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January 13, 2023 — Dreams for the future …

Humanities with Hilary

Dear 4th Grade Families,

Thank you to those who attended today’s MLK Tekes! Over the past month, this group has worked so hard at breaking down Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s words (from his “I Have a Dream” speech given on August 28, 1963’s March for Jobs and Freedoms), gaining an understanding of why Dr. King said what he did. That power can be seen in this class’ choreographed excerpt of the speech, which can be found in our Google Photo Album for the week. 

Over the past few weeks, 4th Grade has not only dissected Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but also worked backward from 1963 to 1863 to further understand how history connected to Dr. King’s words. We explored peaceful protests and the reasons they had to be peaceful. We explored voting rights and how those evolved throughout history. We figured out why representation is so important, not just in having a politician to speak for you but also one who looks like you and understands what life is like for you. We briefly delved into why Jim Crow laws came to life after Reconstruction, and how that was a major push factor in the Great Migration. The US Census provided wonderful data maps for us to explore (we look at the maps from 1890-1960), to see how and where the population changed throughout each decade. We ended by having students annotate the “I Have a Dream” speech, making notes about what Dr. King’s words meant. Here is a link to our end-of-unit discussion, where you can see what the class took away from this year’s study of The Civil Rights movement. On the last two pages are copies of what students from the class came into the unit knowing.

In writing, we have begun our personal/persuasive writing unit! This week, we have worked on a few strategies:

  • boxes and bullets –> writing a thesis (such as “Ice cream is the best”) and providing bullet points reasons (sprinkles/toppings, soft serve vs scoopable ice cream, cup or cone, etc)
  • taking a subject that matters to you and listing ideas about why
  • freewriting (as described by the students) –> writing whatever you want; being yourself by writing what you want instead of what your teacher tells you to; staying on the same topic but it can be any topic you want; can be fiction or nonfiction; choose your own idea; you get to write based on what you want to be done instead of what needs to be done; writing freely
  • stretching out our thinking –> using sentence prompts to help us elaborate and stretch our idea

The anchor charts of these can be found in this week’s photo gallery!

Dates to remember:

  • Monday, January 16 –> NO SCHOOL for MLK day
  • Tuesday, January 24 @ 2 pm –> afterschool class presents “Seussical the Musical” (kids version)
  • Monday, January 29 –> first day of Spring After School classes
  • Friday, February 17 (time TBD) –> 3rd and 4th Grade Talent Show
  • Monday, Feb 20-Friday Feb 24 –> NO SCHOOL for February Break

Math with Luis

Wow, wow, wow, fractions!!!!!

4th graders have been comparing, adding, drawing/interpreting pictorial representations, subtracting, and converting between different types of fractions for the last two weeks. Last week was comparing, subtracting, and adding fractions (don’t touch the denominator!) and this week was improper fractions, mixed numbers, and beginning to master converting between the two. In class, we’ve been working independently, in pairs, in groups, on teams, on worksheets, on chromebooks, in workbooks, standing up, at our desks, and on the carpet. We do math here, there, and everywhere. We still have plenty of practice and application of fractions left to do, and then we get to move on to decimals!


Judaic Studies with Shira

Students have delved even deeper into the story of Ya’akov and Esav in our chumash study of Parshat Toldot. We looked closely at the six verses which describe a tricky interaction between the siblings and a conversation where each sibling speaks twice and tries to negotiate a trade. The students analyzed the text closely, identifying all names, places, and verbs. We talked about how the location of the scene could influence the power dynamic between the siblings. Students looked for recurring shorashim (roots) to try and guess what the siblings were arguing about. Lastly, we dramatized the interaction with props letting the students bring their own flare and interpretations to the text!


Music with Heidi

In Music class, Fourth Graders have been reviewing We Shall Overcome and learning how to play that melody on the xylophone. Starting this week, one fourth grader a week is invited to present a song that they think is powerful – it could be in the meaning of the song’s lyrics, in how the song affected the world or fit into history and/or how the beat or the melody affect people, or what the song means for them personally, etc. They can perform the song for their class or share a lyric video of a song. Students are also learning how to be an attentive, supportive audience. We all enjoyed Laszlo’s piano performance and the information he shared about Beethoven on Wednesday!


Hebrew with Rimma

We were engaged in the activities about food, restaurants and cooking.We created our own restaurant menu by writing a restaurant name, list of starters, main courses, desserts and drinks along with their prices. Role-play activities helped us practice language for ordering food and drink. In the beginning we wrote the dialogues between waiters and customers and after practicing it, we presented our role-plays to the class.

We continue to learn how to summarize the stories, determine what is important and retell it in our own words. For this,  we identify the main idea and the characters and important information that we want to retain. In grammar, we continue to learn past tense and infinitives. Our next story we will explore the history of the chocolate that can be traced back more than 3,000 years to the Maya and Aztec people.