Park Specialists' Newsletter

Fourth Grade Edition - Third Trimester

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Third Trimester Recap

All of Park's Certified Teaching Specialists have compiled a summary of what students have learned, enjoyed, and mastered in their respective classes for the past twelve weeks. Please scroll down, read, and watch what students have been up to at Park Elementary.

From Park's Art Instructor - Ms. Kirchoff

Op Art Shading Blobs

We began this trimester with a brain teaser, OP ART! We evaluated the work of artists M.C Escher and Bridget Riley who specialize in this art form. Op Art resembles optical illusions where artists use line, shape, and color to fool your eyes! We used lines to create an illusion and used shading and value to make the illusion have form or look 3D.

Andy Warhol Pop Art

Andy Warhol is the King of Pop Art. Inspired by Warhol, students learned the process of printmaking through the use of Styrofoam printing plates and washable printmaking ink. Each student's goal was to create four successful prints in the style of Andy Warhol. "Pop" in Pop Art stands for "popular", therefore we created Pop Art logos/images that are recognizable in pop culture.

Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers

Ms. O’Keeffe is an artist who chose to draw and enlarge objects from nature. She is most famous for her enlarged flower paintings. Students enlarged flowers and outlined them with black glue. Then, they filled in the flowers with brightly colored pastels, while using a shading technique.

Giant Sidewalk Tessellations

Artist M.C. Escher created some mind-boggling tessellations. Students learned that tessellations are created through replicating geometric shapes – a great interdisciplinary lesson! Inspired by his work, students created tessellations on the school’s sidewalks. Looking for a cool summer-time activity that combine math and art? Learn how to make tessellations here:

Summer Youth Art Classes:

I will be teaching a handful of art classes this summer! I would love to see some Park kids there! See the class offerings here:

From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

Reading opportunities continue to be plentiful at Park! Please read below to see what activities students have been and will be able to partake in over the summer months.


Students accomplished amazing and creative computer programs using the MIT’s Scratch. Download it now to continue learning throughout the summer:

PTO Free Book

124 fourth graders read and turned in their clock sheets to receive a free book from PTO. Ask them to share their book with you! A big thanks to PTO for this neat opportunity!

Summer Reading Opportunities

All summer long, the Library will be open on Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. for book check-out. We would love to see you!

Can’t make it during that time? There are plenty of online reading resources! Please scroll below to find a listing of the various online sites.

Don't know what to read? There are some great book recommendations that can be found at:

Get rewarded for reading: Check out this page to access the reading log/Book Buck$ sheet to earn rewards. Visit the Library on Wednesdays this summer to claim a prize! The prize redemption deadline is September 20th.

From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Students continued to learn, create, and collaborate during Tech Time. Click here to learn more!
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From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Mrs. Mueller

Even though the weather was not always cooperative, we took advantage of every opportunity to be outdoors. Encourage your child to continue keeping active this summer.

Units covered in the third trimester:

· Components of Fitness

· Hockey

· Softball/Kickball

· Lawn Games

· Capture the Flag

· Tennis Stations

· Track and Field (images of the sprint, shot put, and javelin events are posted below)

· Fitness Tests

Fitness Tests:

The Fitness Tests consist of five exercises that students complete annually. The purpose of these exercises is to track a student’s progress in five areas: strength (abdominal and upper body), flexibility, agility/speed and endurance.

Curl-ups – measures abdominal strength

Students have one minute to complete as many possible

Pull-ups – measures upper body strength

Students attempt as many possible with the proper form

Sit and Reach – measures flexibility

Students must keep legs straight while reaching as far as he/she can on top of box. The

Shuttle Run – measures agility and speed

Students complete the following task: run 10 yards, pick up a block and bring it back to the starting line, run back, pick up final block and finish back at the starting line.

½ Mile – measures endurance

Students are timed as they attempt to run the ½ mile course.

From Park's Music Teachers - Ms. Hauth & Mrs. Hoeft

This has been a busy trimester in fourth grade music. The students have worked very hard on learning to sing and play musical notation, both melodic and rhythmic. They practiced pitch matching by reading and singing patterns using Do, Re, Mi, So, and La. Melody Baseball was one of their favorite games to practice these singing skills. Students also learned a new rhythm called sixteenth notes which are fun to say and play, and sang and played sixteenth notes in the round song Kookaburra. Some classes were even able to sing this song as a four part round. Their singing skills have progressed well this year and we hope that many students will sign up for the after school Choir in fifth grade. This is a great opportunity to sing fun songs in a large group ensemble.

As part of our instrumental work, students studied the four families of instruments and listened to each individual instrument. Afterwards, students played Instrument BINGO and identified each instrument sound. Many students expressed an interest in learning to play a band instrument in fifth grade. For their recorder assessment, each student had to demonstrate that they could read and play the notes, B, A, G, and C. At Park Elementary, we use the Recorder Star program to help students track their own progress. For every song in the program that they can successfully play alone using correct counting and fingering, students earn a star sticker on their neck strap. The students were very motivated to improve their playing skills and most students achieved Level 5 this year. The students are off to a good start and will continue playing recorder next year in 5th grade.

Students had a lot of fun singing and dancing Rockin Robin and Bow Belinda while playing their recorders and the Orff instruments along with the music. Another fun partner dance learned was Weaveily Wheat, which included using both low and high C on the recorder. Students enjoyed making up a Bug rhythm, then composing their own Bug melody using new notes learned on their recorders. They even wrote their melodies on staff paper and shared them in small groups and with the class. Click here to view a video!

From Park's Science Specialists - Mrs. Kucera & Mrs. Mueller

In order to learn science, you must do science!

Science Lab spent most of 3rd trimester learning about plants. We explored the various plant parts such as roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds. A comparison between a dry and wet seed was done by dissecting both to learn about what is stored inside a seed. We discovered leaves are green because of a pigment called chlorophyll, and we connected this to photosynthesis: the process by which plants make their own food. Celery stems were used to further examine how plants move minerals and water from its roots. Toward the end of April, two visitors from the City of Hutchinson shared with our students about the various trees we have growing in Minnesota and the many ways we can care for this precious resource. As a closure, we learned about Carl Linnaeus, a scientist that focused on classification of plants and animals. He is credited for developing taxonomy. While learning about Linnaeus, students had the opportunity to sort nature in a variety of ways.

We hope your scientist can take the information they learned throughout this entire year and apply this to the many things they will see and do over the summer months! Whether you are hiking, camping, visiting a lake or ocean, playing in your neighborhood park, touring a national park, or exploring your own backyard, there are tons of science activities you can do with things that are all around you! Take these opportunities to go bird watching, find unique plants, collect weird rocks, or discover new insects.

Try some of the following project resources to get outside, have fun, and enjoy science.

Sign up for weekly science experiments:

50 summer science experiments:

Summer Science Camp Opportunities

A "Turducktile" Science Lab Creation

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Park Elementary School

Park Elementary School serves approximately 875 students in second through fifth grade. Our purpose is to meet the needs of the whole child with an emphasis on basic academic skills. We are committed to providing as many hands-on-learning experiences as possible in all academic areas. We want our students to know, understand, and apply what we teach. We provide instruction and opportunities in all academic areas. As an elementary school, our focus is on language arts and mathematics.