Grillo Gazette

Issue 14 4/11/14


To recognize that competition takes place when many sellers of similar product exist, economist’s evaluated three brands of popcorn based on taste, packaging, and price. Retail analysts then determined the quantity and health factors that could also influence a consumer’s decision.

Entrepreneurs entered the Shark Tank! Marketing teams made their final pitch to investors during our economic presentations. Many entrepreneurs and investors reached a compromise between the size of the loan and equity offered. Check out some deals below!

Motion and Design

Scientists began the next unit, motion and design. We discovered who Isaac Newton was, and began exploring his three laws of motion. Throughout the unit students will be working in small groups to build model vehicles using “Kinnects”. Our first challenge was to build a vehicle in 20 minutes or less that will move at least 100cm (39 inches).

Engineers constructed a vehicle by following a two-view technical drawing. We identified details that are important in technical drawings and compared our own vehicle drawings with a technical drawing, or "blueprint". Engineers now use science and math to plan, design, and construct products. We recognize the importance of sketching plans before building. Engineers make detailed records of products after building them, either by drawing them or using computer graphics so the products can be studied and improved.


Mathletes established a rule for finding equivalent fractions. We renamed fractions as decimals to develop an understanding of the relationship between decimals and fractions. Students created their own fraction cards to help order and compare fractions with different numerators and denominators. We loved working (and eating!) M&M’s to help us visualize fractional parts of a set and determine probability. We also used pattern blocks and counters to help us visualize numerators and denominators. We developed an algorithm to multiply whole numbers by a fraction!

Writer's Workshop

Authors examined strategies essayists use to support their thesis by listening to a very famous essay, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech illustrates the use of repeated phrases and focus words to make a strong impact. Next, students created parallelism by listing ideas in their own writing. Students also added conversational prompts such as “this makes me realize…” or “in addition...” to their supporting details. We focused on adding transition words, opening with strong introductions and wrapping up our essays with convincing conclusions.

Reader's Workshop

Using the story of Cesar Chavez as a model, 4G students recognize an author's use of language to influence readers. We made inferences using textual evidence and recorded our thinking on persuasion maps.

Readers zoomed in on the life and times of Sacagawea to identify main idea and supporting details in her travels with the Corps of Discovery. We zoomed in on comparing and contrasting similar texts, author styles and characters.