Bacon's Weekly Bits

Friday, December 4, 2010

Week - At - A - Glance

Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break with friends and family. Our week jumped right back into our learning with our pioneer unit, understanding mixtures and solutions in science, beginning our "Project Lead the Way" Module 1, division, and correcting run-on sentences. Whoa! Not to mention, the kids were really hit hard on their pioneer simulation this week They experienced snake bites, broken legs, burns, and flooding on the trails. Plus, some problems with their pretend wagon members. Some members were tired of taking shifts to watch livestock when they didn't own any. Other members were hot-heads and attacked the Native Americans while out hunting. Finally, we had to lighten our loads to cross the raging Cheyenne River. We also explored a trunk with vintage supplies like lye soap, buffalo horn, buffalo hide/skin, wooden dice, a map, and much more. During our learning, a student posed the question, "how big was a prairie schooner?" So, we safe searched and found it to be about 4ft wide and 9 - 11 feet long. We taped off an area to explore how big this was in actuality. Not that big. Next week we will continue on our trail.


The new "Project Lead the Way" (PLTW) is a completely new format for the kids. We are approaching this project based learning as a grade level. We have formed groups of 3 or 4 students from all different classes to collaborate throughout this project. Simultaneously, the 4th grade teachers are collectively teaching. The students were introduced to the design process and observed different materials being used in new, imaginative ways. With this introduction, students were presented with the project to think creatively and solution based. We have a ramp, a car, and an egg...when we send the car with the egg down the ramp, the egg falls off. This is a problem. The kids were able to connect this to real-life as we ride in cars everyday and we use seat-belts to fasten in for safety. We read a bummer-car story about the different features used to protect the passengers. Upon completion, the kids were challenged to think of their own restraint-system that might protect an egg. From there, kids were introduced to potential and kinetic energy on Friday. Kids are engaged and getting excited to continue with PLTW.


In division, we reviewed and took our chapter test. We will revisit multiplication and division in our next unit as we learn about factors, multiples, and patterns.


So, we are trucking along. We have a lot to learn and only a short time before we have extended winter break. Can you believe it?!? If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. I am always here to support our kiddos as much as possible!

Absent

By now, I'm sure you have caught wind that I have missed a couple days this week. Unfortunately, I thought I was getting sick (cold/sinus junk) before Thanksgiving. I thought it was getting better, but started going hoarse on Sunday evening and Monday. Tuesday it was getting pretty bad and Wednesday was basically a wash. We tried using a mic and it helped minimally. So, upon Dr. orders, I have stayed home to rest and heal. If the kids are asking, I just have an ear infection and laryngitis. I did pop in for PLTW on Thursday with my notepad and pencil. It was SO hard not to talk!!


With this, I want to let you know how exceptional each and every one of your kiddos have been. The care and concern they demonstrated this week really melted my heart and reminded me how blessed I am that you share your children with me on a daily basis. Keep up the good work!! Your children are amazing. :)

Major Savers

It's that time. You should have received Major Saver information in your child's Homework Folder on Thursday. Let me know if you have any questions or need another envelope.

What are you hearing at home?

I know our Friday Family letters have been temporarily on hold. We just can't seem to squeeze everything into our day. {If we would complete our homework minutes at home, this would help. :)} So, if you would like to provide any feedback, I am all ears. I love to know what is going well and was is not...so I can try to make it better! If I don't know, I cannot make things better. Your communication is critical for a successful year. It's hard to believe we are nearly half way through 4th grade! Who else wants to pause for a little bit?!? I look forward to hearing from you.