4D Classroom News

October 21 - November 1, 2013

Korea Week

Korea Week was a blast! Throughout the week, the kids participated in a variety of cultural activities including watching a Korean Dance performance by Yewon Girls' Middle School and also a B-Boy Dance, making Korean crafts, listening to Eddie Moon's storytelling, and watching a Korean Talent Show put on by various grades in the ES. The culmination of Korea Week was Hanbok Day. In addition to dressing up in hanboks and other traditional costumes, the kids participated in a variety of activities including playing Korean instruments and trying out Sangmo (twirling a long ribbon fastened on a hat). Finally, the kids were treated to traditional Korean snacks such as Gguldduk, YakGwa, YuGwa, and Shikhae. Thanks to all the parent volunteers and Korean teachers who made Korea Week such a success! More pictures from this special week can be found on the SFS Media Gallery page.

Cameron and Ian did an AMAZING job at the talent show! Check it out!


4D Bucket Fillers of the Month

Ben and Cameron were selected as the 4D Bucket Fillers of the month! These students were recognized at the 5th Grade Chapel performance on Thursday, Oct. 24th. Ben was nominated by his classmates because he apologizes when needed, cheers people up, helps both boys and girls, demonstrates good sportsmanship, and is always cheerful! Cameron was nominated by a teacher for his willingness to help out and cheer her up! Congratulations to Ben and Cameron! Keep up the "Bucket Filling!"

Gwacheon Science Museum

Another exciting event was our field trip to the Gwacheon Science Museum on October 18th. There were so many neat exhibits to see that it could have taken multiple trips to really see it all. One highlight was visiting the insectarium and seeing the Rhinoceros Beetles! It was a great connection to what we had been studying in Science. Here is a link to some of the exhibitions that the kids were able to see. Thanks to all the parents who volunteered their time and accompanied us on the field trip! Below are a couple photos from the trip.

Academic Update

Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Word Study):

Students have been learning to write a weekly reading response letter based on their independent reading. They have also recently learned how to write a reading response after listening to a fiction or nonfiction story on Tumblebooks Jr. I am currently meeting with students 1:1 and working on reading goals. Together, the kids and I have chosen 1 reading goal and strategy to focus on related to the CAFE Literacy Menu. Goals relate to one of the following areas: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. These goals and strategies were identified using the MAPS data and DRA information from the beginning of the year. We will meet in Guided Reading groups this week and begin a study of nonfiction text features, with the goal of using and understanding how these text features help us to better comprehend our reading. Word Study is also underway and the kids have been doing an excellent job of practicing their words, both at school and at home! We will continue moving forward with a new sort this week, building upon what each group learned last week. I am revising the homework a bit based on feedback from last week. I will continue to share this google doc with the kids, as well as print it out for their reference. You may access it by having your child log into their google drive.


We are currently working on multiplying larger numbers using a variety of methods. While many of the students already have a solid foundation in multiplication, it was interesting and challenging for them to think about the "why" behind some of their multiplication methods. We represented this concretely with place value chips and students worked through problems with a partner, explaining how to regroup and why it was necessary. This was frustrating for some because they had never thought about why they followed the steps they did, but it was great to see them thinking deeply about math. In addition to this, we've started working through problems such as 4-digits x 1-digit and we will finish off the week learning how to multiply a 2-digit x 2-digit number, as well as a 3-digit number x 2-digit number. I hope you all received my email this week with the Chapter 3 enrichment materials. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

Science/Social Studies:

We have just finished up our Science unit on organisms. After learning about adaptations, each student chose one animal to research on The National Geographic Kids "Creature Feature" website. The kids really enjoyed exploring other animals and learning more about the structures and behaviors that help them to survive.

We have just begun a new unit of study in Social Studies on the newspaper. This unit will take us up until Christmas break and will be integrated into our Language Arts block as well (Reading, Writing, and Word Study). Students will explore a variety of concepts and ideas in this unit including the following:

  • Purpose of a newspaper
  • Services it provides for the local community
  • Jobs within a newspaper
  • Distinct features of a newspaper, layout, sections
  • Types of news covered
  • Current events
  • Freedom of speech
  • How to conduct interviews for news stories
  • Research
  • Nonfiction texts
  • Expository and persuasive writing
  • Plagiarism
  • Writing Process
  • Collaboration
  • Technology integration

The kids are very excited and we've already started to dig into the newspaper and begin our learning! We are currently brainstorming the setting for our newspaper building and the class has agreed that our target audience will be the Elementary School and we will provide news and information for students, parents, and teachers. However, we just can't quite agree on where we will build our hypothetical newspaper building! Regardless, great conversations have surfaced through this and students have come to realize that there really isn't a lot of free space on campus and that we need to consider building in an area where our target audience is likely to be. We will vote on the location this week and then we'll create a frieze (mural) of our newspaper building, making this unit become even more meaningful and real for the students.

The culminating project for this unit will be a class newspaper covering a variety of news stories that are relevant to the SFS Elementary School. We are eager to begin our writing and can't wait to share this with you!