Ms. Fitzgerald & Mrs. Vaughan

April Monthly Newsletter

Superheroes Unite!

We are focusing on 'everyday people doing extraordinary things' in our superhero unit as we harness our inner strength for the upcoming AIR Testing. Each child has made his/her own shield to kick off the unit. Students will be introduced to the computer tools that will help them on their mission and a sidekick or two that will reinforce good test taking strategies for the upcoming weeks. We sincerely hope that this will put a little 'fun' into the preparation as they get used to the 'format' of the test, because we've truly been working on the 'skills' they need to be successful all year long!


We thank you for helping to keep the cape making a secret, and ask that you continue to send in the oversized t-shirts for our parents to cut tomorrow morning. We want to remind you to label and send in any fabric markers you might have by cape making day --Monday!

Language Arts

We have continued developing our essay writing skills these past few weeks. Students have completed 5 paragraph essays more independently as they have focused on pulling out information from various texts to inform the reader about a particular topic. Recently, the students read 3 passages about invasive species in Ohio and completed a 3-5 paragraph essay! It's amazing to think that when they began 4th grade we were working on writing ONE paragraph well, and now we are writing ESSAYS!


Our essay focus shifted from informative to persuasive. We learned that persuasive doesn't JUST state an opinion, but it also has reasons and evidence that supports the opinion. You may have heard of the 'Oreo Song.' Well, this catchy tune reinforces the pattern of persuasion - Opinion, Reason, Evidence, Opinion. The students selected a persuasion topic of their choice, researched some evidence to support their reasons, and will be sharing their essays with you in the upcoming week, I'm sure!

OREO - Adventures in Writing Camp

Math

This month we will be studying types of lines and the concept of angles. This understanding is fundamental to the study of geometry. Some of the performance tasks required of your child this month will be to;

  • · measure and draw angles using a protractor
  • · use a protractor to draw parallel and perpendicular line segments
  • · identify different types of angle
  • · understand the concept of an angle as a turn
Ways that you can help at home are to have your child practice the terms we’re using in class by having them identify parallel and perpendicular line segments in the real world. Also, though Math Madness has ended, students may continue to log onto Khan Academy and practice geometry skills at home.

Science


Our scientists have been busy this month, continuing our study of ecosystems! We recently dissected owl pellets, which provided us with the chance to learn more about adaptations of the barn owl. They were apprehensive at first, but after they realized that they had permission to dig for bones, they were ok! It was cool to see students reconstruct skeletons to discover what the owl ate. Students picked through the pellets to find vole, mole, rodent, and even bird remains! Students did a great job taking on the role of biologists and had fun with this real world lab experience!

Social Studies

We recently wrapped up our Journey to Freedom Unit where students learned about Ohio's role in the anti-slavery movement and the Underground Railroad. Classrooms were transformed into safe houses, complete with lanterns, quilts, stars, and trees. We focused vocabulary terms unfamiliar to us at first... fugitives, abolitionists, Quakers, and Fugitive Slave Act ... and by the end of the unit we were able to understand the role each played in the journey to freedom.


In the upcoming weeks we will be reviewing key concepts from social studies this year. Fourth graders get tested on Ohio social studies standards, so we will be refreshing our memory with regard to government, Ohio's geography, map skills, prehistoric people. conflict/cooperation, the road to independence, and so much more!