Intermediate SAGE

Grade 4- 1st Quarter Unit of Study Newsletter

Units of Study

Our fourth graders have been very busy this past quarter in their Units of Study. Read on to learn more about each unit!

Lights Camera Broadcast!

In Lights, Camera, Broadcasting students will learn how to use video cameras, editing software, and other broadcasting equipment to create short video packages, news shows, and other projects. They will practice effective communication strategies (such as looking at the audience, speaking at an appropriate pace and volume, and dressing professionally), interview others, develop vocabulary and skills associated with video equipment, utilize the writing process to plan short news stories, prepare storyboards, work with and lead teams of peers, and evaluate the work of themselves and others.

This quarter in broadcasting, we have been learning many exciting things! Students have learned about different types of camera shots with a focus on wide, medium, and close-up or tight shots. Students have learned how to write good interview questions, how to conduct an interview, how to interact with their guest, and on-air camera skills. We are getting ready to create student spotlight packages from these interviews to use in our SAGE News show. In order to create these packages, students will be learning how to use Adobe Premiere editing software. The SAGE News show will be up and running at the NIC very soon. Stay tuned!

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How-To-Train-Your-Robot is designed to introduce students to robotics. This unit is meant to enhance the students’ understanding of robots and robotics. Most will have been exposed to basic information about robots through their toys and society. Students will be encouraged to think at deeper levels about the contributions and challenges that robots make to society. Students will also explore and design their own robot programming to meet specific challenges that they develop.

Our focus this quarter has been on researching the various types of robots, their purpose, and how they impact society. Students chose a specific type of robot and identified its uses and functions and presented their learning to the class. Students have been using the Edison software to download a program to the robot to learn how a robot responds to command icons in sequence, bringing together the concepts of time, speed, distance, and geometry. Each week, students learn a new program that builds upon their previous week’s learning so that they can achieve increased driving control commands of the robot.

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Young Architect Studio

In The Young Architect Studio students think critically about the function and design of buildings and structures. They analyze the similarities and differences between different architectural styles, evaluate the intended purposes for architectural elements, use math proportion and scale, and reflect on the role of architects in the built environment.

We began our study of architecture with the question, How do architects contribute to the built environment? Students explored architects’ tools and products and then created images of their favorite spaces. They studied the concept of biophilia, human’s innate need to connect with nature, and investigated nature as a model for architectural structures. Students analyzed the use of geometry in the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and created their own geometric building designs. Then they analyzed the design elements in Frank Gehry’s amazingly creative buildings and created their own Frank Gehry-inspired digital designs.

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Zoology is a year-long exploration of the wonders of the Animal Kingdom. Overarching themes for this course include comparative anatomy, animal life processes, animal behavior and classification. A heavy emphasis is placed upon hands-on-participation in lab activities as well as lab reports. Current technology will be utilized in the acquisition of data on animal behavior (ethology) and other life processes. Comparative anatomy labs will also include dissections of example species of major animal groups from crayfish to sharks to squid. In these photos, students were conducting water tests for the presence of macroinvertebrates at our local creek.
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SAGE Start Up Venture

Our focus this quarter has been on how the components of a system, their behaviors, and interconnections, work together to create something new. The class has designed two projects in a 3-D CAD program using specific parameters. They have adjusted the snap grid, dimensions of a work plane and learned to create holes as well as manipulate and combine shapes. We have become familiar with the parts of a 3-D printer. We also participated in an activity to practice innovating and thinking creatively. Teams were given two random words and then had to create something that solved a problem that incorporated the two words. Students then had to present their ideas to the class using a variety of tools.
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Light It Up!

This past quarter students have learned how to
  • complete simple circuit diagrams
  • illuminate multiple LEDs using different arrangements of a coin cell battery, copper tape, and LEDs and solder components in place.
  • create an original card design and an electric circuit to light up LEDs incorporated into the design of the card
  • draw a diagram of an electronic circuit in a paper circuit and use symbols and words to explain how it functions as a system
  • solder LEDs in a circuit
  • analyze and troubleshoot a circuit.
  • use a soldering iron safely and apply the skills to build a circuit.
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4th Grade’s core vocabulary centers around clothing. We’ve been incorporating movements into our vocabulary learning in order to make mind-body connections that help in our recall. (“Bufanda” is a favorite.) First semester’s goal, in addition to continued mastery of clothing vocabulary, is to begin saying simple sentences about ourselves using the verbs for “I am” “I have” “I play” and “I wear”.

Your child has Spanish for ½ hour once a week while they are at SAGE. During that time, they are not simply acquiring words and phrases in a second language. They are also gaining flexible thinking, problem-solving skills, and learning to cope with a topic in which they may not yet be an expert. I enjoy working with your students and guiding them through this process!

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