Mandel's Magnificent Students

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year


For the past three weeks we read the novel Maniac MaGee, by Jerry Spinelli. We did a few activities that focused on the theme of the book while reading and discussing the novel. One of the major themes is racial prejudice and the main character realizes that the unification, or desegregation, of Two Mills (the town setting) will have to be accomplished by educating people about the opposite race.
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Social Studies

After learning about early explorers we dove into our next chapter about the first three settlements of the "New World" (America). Students read how the settlements started, the struggles and problems each settlement faced, and what made them successful.

While reading students worked on taking three column notes and pulled out the main ideas on each settlement. Throughout the chapter students were asked to think about the settlement they would want to live. The overwhelming consensus was Plymouth.

Students were then given the challenging task to take on the role of an advertiser. They were assigned a settlement and asked to create an advertisement on their settlement and bring it to Europe to convince more people to move to their settlement. The students came up with ideas of creating a commercial, bulletin, pamphlet and so forth. As a class we voted on which group had the best advertisement for each settlement.

Here are the winners!

Roanoke: Stephanie, Hunter, Chris, Rachel

Jamestown: Sky, Iuliana, Estefani G, Raquel, Cecilia

Plymouth: Allie, Bernardo, Luis, Alex


We started our first of many lessons on fractions! We learned that fractions are equivalent and we can simplify fractions. Students also learned how to change from an improper fraction to a mixed fraction and from a mixed fraction to an improper fraction.

Right before winter break students were given a real life math problem. They were asked to find gifts for their family and friends with a budget of $1,000. Students looked through flyers to find the best deals on items and they kept track of their gift amounts while subtracting from their total budget. They were also asked to consider sales tax on each item before calculating the total. Students had a lot of fun shopping for items and buying for others.


Point of view, adding details to writing, and editing were our three areas of focus this month. As a class we read the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin which is a story that has a collection of diary entries told through a worm's perspective. The students were asked to write their own diary entries through a perspective of a holiday object. Some of the ideas we brainstormed were a snowman, ornament, candy cane, Christmas tree, gingerbread cookie, sled, etc. While writing their entries students worked on adding more details to make it really seem like their object came to life and they worked on editing with their peers. After we were done writing our stories we shared them with Mrs. Held's class.

Great job Chorus!!

Thursday, December 18th the chorus club sang at the school wide assembly for the fourth grade Music Concert. They did an excellent job singing holiday songs and we are very proud of all of their hard work that they put into the program!
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Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for some of the upcoming happenings at Virginia Lake after Winter Break!

1/5- School starts back up again!

1/19 No School Martin Luther King's Birthday

1/20- No School Institute Day

1/21- PTA Orbit Skate Night!

2/13- Valentine's Day Party

2/16- No School President's Day

2/17- No School Teacher Plan Day

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