One reading group’s lively conversation today lead to us discussing Morse code. The character in the book learns about it, so the group did too. Below is a resource I shared with them. I do not personally know Morse code, but I do believe this information is accurate. All fourth graders are welcome to use it to explore Morse code.
LEARN MORSE CODE in one minute!
Place your pencil where it says START and listen to morse code.
Move down and to the right every time you hear a DIT (a dot).
Move down and to the left every time you hear a DAH (a dash).
Here’s an example: You hear DAH DIT DIT which is a dash then dot then dot.
You start at START and hear a DAH then move down and left to the T and then you hear a DIT so you move down and RIGHT to the N and then you hear another DIT so you move DOWN and RIGHT again and land on the D
You then write down the letter D on your code copy paper and jump back to START waiting for your next letter.
The key to learning the code is hearing it and comprehending it while you hear it.
The only way to get there is to practice 10 minutes a day.
Listen to code tapes or computer practice code while tracing out this chart and you will find yourself writing down the letters in no time at all without the aid of the chart.
The chart brings repetition together with recognition, which you don’t get from any other type of code practice aid.
On Tuesday fourth graders role-played being immigrants immigrating to America in the early 1900s. Before starting their journey, they changed into outfits typical of that time period. They filled out a real government document before gaining passage on the Cunard Line, a ship to the United States. They went to the ticket office where passports and documents were checked, and tickets to America were purchased. Then they traveled to a port by foot, a very long and tiring journey. Students boarded the ship (the quiet house), eager to set sail. First class had luxurious accomodations. Steerage passengers had to cram into a smaller space. It was cramped and many passengers hoped they would not become seasick. After a long voyage, students could see a green lady on a pedestal holding a torch in one hand and a book in the other. They jumped for joy!
Upon arrival at Ellis Island, everyone was taken to the Baggage Room. They had to leave their possessions behind and trust that they would not be stolen. Each family group had to wait until they were called. Each family member was then asked many hard questions and had to pass many tests. If any test was not passed, the individual was sent to detention. Those in detention hoped they wouldn’t be sent back to their home countries. As part of the inspections, everyone had to be checked by a doctor and experience mental tests. Once all of these tests were passed, everyone had to take a citizenship test. The questions were really hard! After a long and grueling journey, everyone was welcomed into America.
It was a lovely day for Mountain Day. The sun came out and the weather warmed up at the top of Mt. Sugarloaf. Students hiked up the mountain, with peers from third and sixth grades. At the top, we ate lunch together, sang songs, visited the tower, played group community-building games, and took a class picture. Many students enjoyed their time outside, experiencing nature. It was a fabulous Mountain Day!
Students had their third and final SAFE class. They used everything they had learned to identify safety hazards that could start a fire, get out of a “smoky” room quickly, and practice making 9-1-1 calls. We would like to thank the Leverett and Amherst fire departments for all of their time and expertise.
It has been a fun and busy first few days! Students have been doing activities to learn about one another, get to know the classroom, understand the expectations of the school, and learn my expectations of them. I am so glad to be the teacher of such a fun-loving and hardworking group of students. I am looking forward to a great year together!
Fourth grade students went on a field trip to the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Students had the opportunity for a full day of hands-on science. They had access to over 165 interactive exhibits in ten galleries. There was a special traveling exhibit that could be visited and live science demonstrations that can be attended.