Grade 4 News

An insight into life in Grade 4...

Dear Friends of Berlin Metropolitan School,

A Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for checking out Grade 4‘s first newsletter of 2016.

Hopefully everyone is now well and truly back into the school routine. The Grade 4 classes are now tuning into and finding out about their current Unit of Inquiry, How We Express Ourselves. The central idea: "A person‘s appearance and behaviour can be an expression of their identity and may be perceived in different ways", is clearly quite broad and complex, but the teachers are doing their best to break it down into engaging learning episodes.

We hope you enjoy seeing and reading about everything that Grade 4 have been up to.


Dear Parents,

I hope the new year finds you all well and time was found over the break to relax and enjoy time with your families.

As the winter break approaches we are working hard in 4A to investigate and reflect on our unit. We have had many discussions in the class with regard to stereotyping and prejudice. It is difficult sometimes not to have preconceptions about certain topics. Our aim is build up enough knowledge and understanding of different cultures that will allow us to be open minded when faced with unusual or uncomfortable situations. We would like to have the students embrace an identity that is different to their own and help others not to judge a person, culture or generation without first looking at it from different perspectives.

In numeracy we continue to work on probability and data handling and will start to develop the language of multiplication and division as well as fine tune our basic understanding of times tables.

Literacy work will be based around poetry and fiction writing with a particular focus this week on metaphors, similes and personification.

Andrew Comerford

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Stereotype Cafe (above): Grade 9 drama students gave an Ad-Lib performance based on profiling a potential thief through social background and personality traits. Thank you Mr. Collins for supporting this.

The latest from 4b...

With the recent news of David Bowie’s passing on January 10th, 2016, the 4b students led a passionate discussion on what it means to a be a brave, confident and creative role-model, and the responsibility for activism celebrity figures can hold. With their unit “ How We Express Ourselves” in their hearts and on their minds, students watched with inquisitive eyes as Ziggy Stardust took the stage and publicly challenged gender stereotypes.
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The fortnight in 4c...

Addition. Quadrilaterals. Carroll Diagrams. Subtraction. Superheroes and Supervillains. Miss Crackdown. The author's use of language. Newspaper headlines. Maori Hakas.

Since the return to school, the children have been very busy learning, revising and developing their mathematical, reading, and writing skills, as well as exploring their Unit of Inquiry.

I know that you are all very good at speaking to your children about what they have been doing. Please remember also to go through your child‘s homework with them, and to ask them how it relates to the work they are completing in class.

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Dear parents,

We have been reading the Tale of Despereaux with Ms Melanie Rice during our “Literature Circles”. “Literature Circles” is a collaborative and student-centered reading strategy, in which we explore different aspects of the story as well different literary devices.

Last week we launched “Daily 3”, a daily literacy routine that enables students to develop lifelong habits of reading and writing independently. Through the “Daily 3” students have freedom of choice, cultivate a sense of community and build stamina. Our main writing work for the “Daily 3” will be poetry.

We are finishing our Geometry unit and just getting started with Data Handling. At the same time we continue to work on number, by doing operations (addition, subtraction and problem solving).

I have been really impressed with the level of depth that our discussions have reached during the Unit. The children have demonstrated not being in agreement with the stereotypes and prejudice that have perpetuated in society.

Warm regards,

Ms Mariano

Greetings from the German Team

Dear Parents,

We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and a great start into the New Year.

We started our German classes by writing New Year's resolutions, which will hopefully motivate us to work with dedication throughout the rest of the school year.

Our new Unit of Inquiry is a German stand-alone unit: Der Zauberlehrling (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) by the famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The aim of the unit is to explore the plot, atmosphere, language and themes of the Zauberlehrling, as well as analyze the ballad as a poetic form. Furthermore, we are looking at various ways of presenting literary works to different audiences.

The language focus of this unit will be on identifying key words in a text and learning how to use them for better understanding and summarizing the content of the text.

Furthermore, we will focus on direct speech and the appropriate punctuation.

Ways to help at home: Please support your child with memorizing parts of the Zauberlehrling and finding a creative and innovative way to present it to the class.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Warm regards,

Frau Pointner and Frau Lucic