Fourth Grade News

TEACHER: MRS. GINA GIFFELS

St. Vincent de Paul Parish School

Greetings, Parents!

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for all of the flowers, thank you cards, candy, fruit, and gifts that you so generously gave me during teacher appreciation week. You totally spoiled me, and made me feel very special. It's hard to believe that the end of the school year is upon us. I want you to know that it has been a pleasure to work with your child this year. This class has come such a long way since the beginning of the school year. I am very proud of them, and will miss them very much! Here goes my final newsletter to you. Sit back and relax; this is a long one! We've been very busy learning and having fun!

Social Studies News:

Fourth graders participated in an Underground Railroad simulation. The goal of the simulation was to demonstrate the difficulty that slaves faced while trying to reach freedom using the Underground Railroad. Students traveled between locations (a plantation where they had to pick "cotton"; an abolitionist's home where they got a chance to rest and eat some nutritious soup; in the woods through a virtual tour; on the road as they followed the North Star; in their cabin, where they worked on their freedom quilt) trying to find their way to freedom. Along the way, they encountered "strangers" who would either guide them to an abolitionist's home, or send them back to their plantation where they would have to plan another escape. Only a few students were able to obtain freedom. What an engaging and amazing learning experience this was!

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Science News:

Megan Muniak, a student studying science at the University of Akron, visited our class to teach about fossils. Megan explained the difference between an archeologist and paleontologist. She taught the class about types of fossils, why we study fossils, how scientists date fossils and how scientists compare and contrast fossils from the past to the present. The students really enjoyed her presentation!

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Cleveland Museum of Natural History Field Trip:

Our class also had a great time learning about fossils at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
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Engineering News:

In engineering the fourth graders put together their very own Derby Down stock car. They also put together their own mini stock cars which they painted in art class. Each child had an opportunity to race their mini cars in class and on STEM night.

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Hattie Larhlam Wrap-up:

Hattie Larhlam participants and their representatives came to our school to see the intermediate grades' sponge, mop, and animal feeder inventions. The Hattie Larhlam representatives were very impressed with our students' presentations. They all composed themselves in such a professional way, and I am very proud of them! We are so pleased to be able to give Hattie Larhlam all of our inventions so they can start using them. The inventions will help people with disabilities be able to complete chores more easily and efficiently, which will enhance their self-esteem. What a way to make a real-world difference!

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Autism Awareness Day:

The entire school had a great time while learning about autism. Our theme this year was "Where in the World is Autism?" Students learned about artist Andy Warhol, who had autism. Then they got to create repetitious artwork similar to Warhol's. They also learned about baseball player Jim Eisenreich, who also has autism. In honor of him, the students got to play a Whiffle ball game in gym class. In digital literacy class the students learned about Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri, who has autism. After learning about him, they got to partipate in a Pokemon Go activity that took place throughout the school while using their iPads. In music class, they learned about various musical composers who had autism. Fourth graders also had fun dressing up and posing for pictures with their teachers and friends in the photo booth.

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Field Trip to the Akron Art Museum:

The intermediate grades had fun learning about different forms of art at the Akron Art Museum. They especially liked the "Please Touch" exhibit, which will continue at the museum trough July 16th. This exhibit included touchable art work that the students could manipulate.

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RubberDucks Outing:

What a great time we had at the RubberDucks baseball game! I can't think of a better way to end our school year!

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It has been an honor and a privilege to be your child's fourth grade teacher and mom away from home. Have a wonderful summer!

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