Parents/guardians please sign the Social Studies unit test on Regions and Resources and return to school by Fri. June 1.
This week in Humanities our primary focus was on editing and evaluating student writing. The editing process involves reviewing and correcting spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation. In evaluating, we reflect and asses what has been written. Mr. Brewer went through all legendary stories using proofreading symbols. Students edited written pieces using Google docs. Mr. Brewer gave a lecture on the some of the common issues faced by students. Below is a summary of the lecture:
Mr. Brewer was able to have many one-on-one check-ins with individual students to see how they could improve their stories overall. Most students understood that a good story must have a story problem, characters, a setting and a solution to the story problem. Much time was devoted in class to editing and revising stories. Students who completed this task also worked on their opinion pieces about the oil sands. Stories were due on Friday, though a student who is revising over the weekend may do so. All changes are saved on Google drive. Since all students have shared stories with Mr. Brewer revisions can be made and seen on Google drive.
On Thursday May 31 we began the YEP (Year End Project). It is entitled: The ABCs of Grade 4. In some instances students are doing their project only with the alphabet letters contained in the word: G R A D E F O U R. Mr. Brewer showed 4E an exemplar from a previous year. In this project work, students will make booklets using the letters of the alphabet from a ~ z. The first letters are used to name different things we covered during the year. As an example, f might be for 'fractions' (an area of study in math class) & b might be for 'bitumen' a word that we learned during our study of natural resources in Alberta in humanities class. The project is due on June 26. Students will have time to work on it during class. They also may work on the project at home. Please ask your son or daughter about this project work. Many students in 4E took the booklets home as homework this weekend.
This week in Humanities we had a test on natural resources and regions on Tuesday. The test covered the work we have done in class about how are natural resources are used by Albertans. For the test, students were asked to review and be able to identify the location of sources of renewable and nonrenewable resources. In class we discussed how some resources are nonrenewable such as oil, natural gas and minerals. These resources are limited in quantity. The prime example of this in our province is the oil sands in northern Alberta. Renewable resources, such as forests, water, agriculture, livestock and fisheries, can be regenerated and can last indefinitely if used carefully. The test was marked and sent home on Friday. Parents/guardians are asked to please review the test results, sign the test and return it to school. Mr. Brewer will check to see if there are signatures on tests.
On Friday, students received back their psyanky eggs. They were varnished over the past weekend. It was great that so many turned out well. On the right hand side you can see a picture of the egg that I made in class. I used three colours on my egg, though in hindsight I wish I'd used more. I never imagined my egg would look so nice!!
In grade 4 Social Studies one of our primary areas of focus is on developing an understanding of how Alberta’s various peoples contribute to our own sense of belonging and identity. Ukrainians began coming to Alberta in the late 19th through the early 20th century and even more recently. The making of Easter eggs is one of their most important traditions. The first wave of Ukrainian settlement on the prairies was largely comprised of people who came to farm the land. The vast plains of North America resembled the homeland in Europe that Ukrainians had left behind. In the 1890s and early 1900s the Canadian government encouraged settlement of agricultural workers in Alberta from Europe. Vegreville Alberta has a big Ukrainian community and is the site of the biggest psyanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) in the world. I think my egg sort of looks like this one:
In our study of Alberta we have learned about First Nations, Metis and Francophones in this province. In this week's lessons we also learned about Alberta's British cultural roots. British institutions provided the structure for the settlement of newcomers in Alberta. We learned that back in the mid-19th century Alberta was not yet a province. It was divided between the Northwest Territory and Rupert's Land. Only later did it in fact become the province of Alberta.
We finished reading the novel Stone Fox on Thursday. Students were clearly engaged in the story and many connected to the story through their own experiences. For most students the end of the story was moving. In class we identified and discussed the main characters, plots, and settings to show our understanding of the novel. One means of understanding is through a variety of oral, print and other media texts. As a follow up to reading this novel, students drew a picture of what they imagined a movie poster for the book would look like. Here are the instructions given in class for this assignment:
We will have some time to complete this in next week's classes. In the final week of May we will be doing a lot of writing: evaluating and publishing of various written assignments we have been working on in class.
Social Studies unit test: May 22, 2018. Study guide sent home on May 14, 2018. Students placed this study guide in the front plastic insert of the agenda:
This week 4F and 4E made Easter eggs. In Social Studies, we consider how the art, narratives and literature of various ethnic groups have contributed to the vitality of the culture, language and identity of diverse Alberta communities over time. We were very lucky to welcome Jean to our class. She explained to students the significance of making Easter eggs for the Ukrainian community here in Alberta. Students were very intrigued by her explanations. They watched her demonstration of how to design eggs and were able to use beeswax, candles and tools to create their own designs on eggs. We very much appreciated that grade 8 leadership students came to our classroom to assist grade 4s in making their eggs. Jean will varnish the eggs and we will likely be able to bring their eggs home next week as a unique and beautiful souvenir of Jean's visit and of the knowledge we have gained from this unique and worthwhile cultural activity.
Weekly spelling list. There are 12 words this week. On next Monday's test students will need to write 6 sentences using words from this week versus the usual 5:
Spelling quiz - Monday May 14:
Weekly words in alphabetical order:
Monday May 14 - Hats on For Mental Health
Tuesday May 15 - Dance and Activity Afternoon: Dance tickets on sale for $2 in the front foyer of N.C.S.
Wednesday May 16 - Mindfulness in Flex
Thursday May 17 - Pajamas Day
Students discussed oil sands development and began writing a short opinion piece on this subject from either the point of view of:
This week in Humanities, students continued to develop reading comprehension strategies in class. During classroom discussions, students brought in information from what they already know & what they have read before about topics brought up in class. These discussions about the novel Stone Fox increase their understanding of the text and prompt them to remember what they have read. On a number of occasions during classroom discussions students raised their hands to say how they had connections between the text and their own experience. As students read, they were encouraged to listen and talk about the story. When reading books on their own, students are encouraged to think about how what they read reminds them of things they have done or read before. This can lead them to a deeper understanding of what they read.
Due to the swimming program this week the progress through Stone Fox varied with classes. 4F read up to chapter 6 in Stone Fox while 4E students read fewer chapters. Next week 4E will be doing some catch up.
Both 4E and 4F did get some time to in class to finish up legendary stories. Mr. Brewer encourages any student who has not finished their story to complete it by typing it in Google documents then sharing it with me at: email@example.com Luckily, most students now have already done so. I am currently editing student work and giving feedback on it. I have noticed that many students used the red flag words and phrases we studied in class and that most stories have essential story elements like main characters, story problems, settings, climax of action and solution to the story problem. The current crop of stories is among the best I have read in several years. Good work 4E and 4F!
I am also encouraged by the amount of improvement I am seeing in many bi-weekly spelling quizzes and word work exercises. Many students are writing longer, more complex sentences nowadays as compared with what they wrote in September 2017. Over the course of this week, I have been reading aloud with many students to gauge their reading levels. In these instances, students have likewise been showing improvement over where they were mere months ago. Keep up the good work grade 4s!!