The final week of classes before the winter break was a busy one around Nose Creek School. 4E students were keen participants in all the activities that took place this week. On Monday was Hot chocolate for $1 in the gym, Tuesday was Santa Hat Day, Wednesday was Pajama Days and finally on Thursday many students went to the year end dance or participated in afternoon activities like face painting, watching a Christmas movie or making crafts.
Students put final touches on their fossil opinion pieces during class this week. Also, each child chose a dinosaur found in Alberta to research. Demonstrating skills and processes for inquiry and research are integral parts of the Social Studies curriclum and will be further explored in 2018.
Over the Winter break, students are encouraged to read for 20 minutes per night. During time away from school this a great way for students to keep up their literacy skills in an ongoing way. For practice, students are encouraged to come to this blog and take part in the activities provided on the Word Work link provided here: gradefourncs.weebly.com/word-work.html
I would like to thank all parents/guardians for the many thoughtful gifts I received. All of them were very good and I enjoyed getting home baked goods! I look forward to seeing my students back in January 2018. Have a peaceful and enjoyable vacation!
I would like to thank the many students and their parents who contributed toys, food and clothes to our 4E Christmas stocking for Inn from the Cold. The items contributed are intended for a 4-year old boy. When children from our homeroom took these items to Ms. Malayko on Friday she remarked positively on 4E's efforts. Mr. Brewer told students that at this time of year it is good for all students to be mindful of those who have less than others.
Following our opinion writing assignments, students shared their writing with peers on Google docs. Students used lists to detail what peers did well and list areas for improvement. In the final week of December students will use this feedback to work on improving their written work. We read a chapter from Superfudge and Mr. Brewer introduced the reading comprehension strategy of chunking text. This means that we break down words into smaller parts. Students have identified prefixes in words and through our study of Haiku poetry we learned about syllables. The chunking strategy is an effective means of improving students’ reading comprehension by allowing them to break down larger words smaller parts.
On Wednesday students wrote their final spelling test of the year and on Thursday students received results and most students edited their spelling sentences. Many students showed good knowledge of the Science terms that were contained in the list through their sentences.
This week was abbreviated as the majority of students went skiing/snowboarding at C.O.P. on Tuesday and Friday was a P.D. day with no classes. Mr. Brewer introduced a new spelling list. The list is notable for having many words related to 4E and 4F's study of Science in Ms. Ross's class. In Humanities we endeavour to extend sight vocabulary to include words frequently used in other subject areas in order to extend understanding. In addition, words in the list like conclusion, opinion, and finally are being used in student opinion pieces on the subject of protecting Alberta's heritage. In these pieces they are actively seeking to identify other perspectives by exploring a variety of ideas, opinions, responses in oral, print and other media texts. This weekend Mr. Brewer came across the following article that relates strongly to this topic: news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/12/duck-dinosaur-amphibious-halszkaraptor-fossil-mongolia-science/
Classes viewed a Bill Nye video on the subject of dinosaurs on Thursday. We reviewed how fossils are created and learned about the variety of dinosaurs that Science does know about. The wide-ranging video also discussed current theory on the demise of dinosaurs due to a meteorite impact approximately 65 million years ago. World-wide distribution of iridium (a rare element that is not often found on earth) in strata and the fact that dinosaur fossils are not found after 65 million years in strata were advanced as evidences of the meteorite theory being a plausible explanation of the disappearance of dinosaurs. In coming classes, students will choose a dinosaur that was found here in Alberta to do a personal research project. 4E and 4F will be introduced to the website www.kidsdinos.com/ On this site students can read about a number of dinosaur fossils that have been found in Alberta itself: www.kidsdinos.com/alberta
This week, students in grade 4 learned that up until 1978 in Alberta, anyone who wanted to could take fossils and keep them for themselves. In 1978 that all changed when the government introduced a law that stipulates that anyone who finds a fossil must report the find to the government. We learned in class about a girl who found a fossil on the surface of the ground. She reported her fossil find to a paleontologist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller who informed her that it was a squid fossil. Since these are very common types of fossils she was allowed to keep her find. The law was passed to protect Alberta's fossil heritage and is one of the strictest laws on the books in the world. In class this week 4E and 4F worked on expressing their opinions about the issue of how Alberta's fossil heritage should be protected. Students were exposed to different points of view from paleontologists, government officials, people who enjoy making jewellery from ammonites and fossil hunters. They considered these various different viewpoints as they expressed their opinions by speaking and crafted their own written responses. They have been considering issues from multiple points of view and explaining which one they agree with most. Below are some of the words they are incorporating into their written responses:
Students used the knowledge gained through classroom discussion/debate and by looking at the textbook. The phrases above were introduced to students and they were encouraged to use them in their opinion pieces. The writing process involves pre-writing; in class we had a discussion and engaged in a class-wide activity where students had to choose one of four corners to go to to react to statements about how to conserve fossils. Secondly, we did some research using our text books to discover who holds different opinions and how these opinions differ a lot. Finally, we looked briefly at the website of the Royal Tyrrell Museum and we viewed the rooms inside the museum using the Google Earth app and read about the law of 1978. All students are encouraged to look at the Royal Tyrrell's website to see how the museum contributes to scientific knowledge regarding Alberta’s fossil heritage: www.tyrrellmuseum.com/ Many students have a good plan about what they will say in their opinion pieces and they are now typing using computers. We learned how to log into our CBE Google accounts. Next week, students will investigate the various aspects of the program in order to self-edit their writing and share their opinion pieces with Mr. Brewer.