# This Week in 4th/5th

## Week 4 Update

We had a busy (yet, great) week in Gamma! We started the week off celebrating Eric’s birthday (11) which is such a fun, festive way to start a new week. In class, we focused much of our efforts on helping students acclimate to the scientific method to hopefully help your family feel better supported as you begin working on Science Fair projects at home. We ended the week with a paper airplane experiment (complete with flying ‘trials’ in the chapel.) We’ll be sure to include photos in next week’s update.

## Memorable Moments

We finally finished our first read-aloud book! Yay! We read Kneeknock Rise (by Natalie Babbitt)–a fable of sorts about a mysterious monster who howls from the mountain, but only when it’s raining. We pondered Uncle Ott’s strange poems and debated whether or not it is better to be wise and solemn or foolish and fun-loving…or it is possible to be a little bit of both?

We are looking forward to our next read-aloud–one of Ms. Ansley’s favorites—”Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson.

## What’s Up In Math Class

Multiplication was the name of the game for Year 1 and Year 2 students alike. We practiced estimating BEFORE solving so we can gauge the reasonableness of our products.
Year 1 students practiced multiplication with multi-digit numbers (3 digit x 1 digit) via base-ten blocks to begin and then onward to the standard algorithm. One highlight of the week was the group’s eager attack on our first “math mystery” activity.
Year 2 students learned how to estimate with decimals, colored decimal equations on models, and took a special “choose your own adventure” style beach vacation to practice multiplication. We had a game day on Thursday where students were given the chance to practice order of operations or tackle an above-level partner game involving variables and exponents.

## What’s Up In Language Arts?

This week in Reader’s Workshop we read several great picture books to complete plot mountains. We worked on pulling out characters, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. We also worked hard to turn these concepts into complete sentences on a plot map. In writing this week we worked deeply with conjunctions! We analyzed their purpose in a sentence and wrote plenty of our own examples! We then read an example opinion piece about why video games can actually be good for you and started brainstorming for writing our own opinion pieces.

## What’s Up In Theme?

It was a definite Scientific-Method-A-Rama in theme this week. We did many hands-on activities to help students distinguish scientific and non-scientific questions/statements. We learned how to identify dependent and independent variables and the importance of including an experiment control. We practiced finding an average (using calculators to make the calculations less daunting and more speedy.) We created flipbooks that will come home so students have some materials to reference as they work through their own scientific experiments. Next week, we’ll begin exploring light energy, electricity and simple circuits.

1. We played a variation of the French game “Dixit” during morning meeting 2. Henry, Sid & Lincoln work as a group during morning meeting 3. Aliana hides behind 2 very interesting art cards 4. Eve & Haddie help celebrate Eric’s birthday 5. Ms. Ansley leads the Gammas in our morning game 6. Ciel asks a question during Reader’s Workshop 7. Ms. Ansley introducing “My Best Friend” 8. Wren & Haddie looking cute on the couch