May 13th, 2013 by ebelknap
We had a great time last week during our Localvore Residency. All the kids seemed to enjoy our trip to Hartshorn’s Farm, making eggs at The Store, writing about food, working in the garden and even cooking with beans! We tried new foods and learned about how important our local food sources are. We are so lucky to know where our food is coming from!
We just finished a science unit on electricity and began a unit on inventors and innovators. Each student is currently solving one of their personal pet peeves by coming up with an invention. We started a frustration list and read a book called “Brilliantly Ridiculous Inventions.” This week we will begin to design these inventions. We hope to have these designs finished to display at the Bridge Street Art Fair this coming Saturday 5/18.
In June we have several fun trips planned to support our studies. Please send in $8 to cover the cost of these trips. Kids will need to pack snack and lunch for these trips. The schedule is as follows:
June 5: Rock of Ages
June 7: Montshire Museum
June 14: Hike Stowe Pinnacle
I will let you know if we need chaperones. I’m not certain how much room we have on the bus but will keep you posted. You are always welcome to drive and meet us there if we don’t have room on the bus.
Tomorrow & Wednesday all 4th graders will take the Science NECAP. Please be sure kids are on time and have had a good breakfast. Testing will occur on both mornings only.
Hope to see you all at the Bridge Street Art Fair this weekend!
Apr 15th, 2013 by ebelknap
Last week we finished collecting stickers and colored pencils for Clear Water Filtration’s trip to Honduras. I was able to present Jenneth with a box full of goodies to take to the children of Honduras. She was very grateful for our participation in this project. They will be creating a movie about their trip and will share it with us this spring. Thanks to all who contributed to our efforts!
We had a great visit last week from Melissa Bounty from Choose Your Own Adventure. She came to talk to us about a project we are doing with them for the upcoming publication of their series. She has asked our class to read their books and write reviews that will be published on the inside cover. Students are really excited about the prospect of having their review and name printed in one of the books. I was able to show them the quotes of former WES students who did this same project with me a few years ago. Melissa had said these quotes were some of the best she has ever used, so the challenge is on for us write another round of exciting recommendations!
We will go to the Flynn on Tuesday April 30th. Please send in $3 this week to offset the cost, the PTO pays for the rest. We will see Zuma Zuma, see the quote below from the Flynn website for more information.
”Celebrate the richness of African cultures with this dazzling show that blends acrobatics, dance, and music by incredibly disciplined performers trained in Kenya and Tanzania. Described as an African-style Cirque du Soleil, the artists of Zuma Zuma combine breathtaking feats of balance and dexterity with colorful costumes and unbridled enthusiasm to thrill, chill, and wow their audiences!”
Have a great April vacation!
Apr 2nd, 2013 by ebelknap
Please help us collect colored pencils (gently used is fine!) and stickers for Clear Water Filtration’s trip to Honduras. We will be collecting these items up until 4/10. Thank you!!!
Mar 25th, 2013 by ebelknap
On Wednesday Jenneth & Steve from Clear Water Filtration will be coming to talk to us about their upcoming trip to Honduras. Here is a blurb from Jen about their project & how it involves us!
“In April, Steve (my brother) and I leave on a mission trip to several remote villages of Honduras with an organization called Pure Water for the World (based in Rutland). The mission is to install water filters in several homes for families to have access to safe water, build latrines for several schools and pass out anti-parasite medication for several villages and schools to treat the waterborne illnesses children have already contracted.
To brighten their day even more, I would like to bring them fun things like stickers and colored pencils. It is even more special if it comes from Vermont children because then the connection is formed from one child to another…I can just be the person delivering the gift. We will be visiting with anywhere from 200-300 children, so the more stickers/pencils, the better!” -Jenneth Fleckenstein
To support this great project we will be collecting stickers & colored pencils for them to deliver. Your child will bring home more details on Wednesday so be on the lookout!
Feb 8th, 2013 by ebelknap
February is “I Love To Read and Write Month”
As part of “I Love To Read and Write Month”, we will have a pajama & books day
on February 12th. Students (and adults if they wish) can arrive at school in their
pajamas for 25 minutes of reading beginning at 7:40-8:05. Children may bring one
of their favorite stuffed animals and bedtime story. If you are interested in
reading with a small group of children, please let me know. We’d love
your company (or your neighbor’s!!) If you know of a community member
that would like to join us in this event, please let Kathi know.
Jan 25th, 2013 by ebelknap
So sorry it has been a while since my last post! I guess time flies when you are having fun! We continue to be busy, busy in fourth grade. We have finished our unit on immigration (which the kids loved) and started a science unit on the human body systems. Each student is creating a google doc. research presentation on how the human body systems help us survive. Parents will be able to view these presentations at home in their child’s google account…..or we can share them with you if you have your own google account.
This week in writing we read about and discussed Martin Luther King Jr’s famous I have a Dream speech. Kids did a great job thinking about that speech and coming up with their own ideas about how to make the world a better place. We will type these in our google accounts so that you can read them. They are pretty powerful!
You may have noticed I have increased homework a bit so that kids get used to the load they will have next year. I feel it is really important for kids to have nightly work so that next year it is not an overwhelming experience to have 50 minutes of homework per night. Please let me know if your child is struggling with this change. Homework books continue to be written in daily so if your child is saying they don’t have homework …check (& sign) the assignment book!
Take care & stay in touch.
Nov 12th, 2012 by ebelknap
Please don’t forget to sign up for parent-teacher conferences next week. You can go to our school’s website to find the online scheduler. I encourage you to use the days & times that are available, however let me know if you are unable to come on either of those days.
Conferences will be more student than teacher driven this year. Students will be challenged to reflect and discuss their progress and set goals for next trimester. I look forward to taking this time for us to work as a team to set academic and social goals to support growth.
Oct 31st, 2012 by ebelknap
We have begun our unit of study on U.S. immigration. Next week students will be asked to interview a family member about their family history. Please keep your eyes out for more details about this assignment next week.
In conjunction with this we would love for parents or other family members to come in and share immigration stories. Please let me know if you (or a family memeber) is interested in coming in to talk with our class and Mrs. Hales class about your family history. The best times for these talks are Wednesday & Friday afternoons.
As always let me know if you have questions or concerns.
Oct 16th, 2012 by ebelknap
We are back in the groove post-NECAP. The kids worked hard during testing, yet seem happy to be done with standardized tests …..for now anyways!
We are enjoying reading the book Poppy by Avi, as a class. It is an exciting story about a likeable mouse and her adventures escaping the terrors of the owl, Mr. Ocax. Avi uses great vocabulary and descriptive writing to help the reader feel like they are part of the story. The story will make for some great Reader’s Theater skits for our final projects.
In math we are finishing up a unit on data and analysis. Students were required to survey two groups within the school and are currently working in teams to analyze the data. Students were challenged to organize and graph the data; finding the mean, median, mode and range of the set. Students will present their findings to the group this week.
We are finishing up our study of life cycles and next week will be starting to study immigration. Keep an eye out for some homework related to this study as kids will be asked to conduct interviews about their heritage.
Take care & stay in touch!
Oct 1st, 2012 by ebelknap
We will begin NECAP testing tomorrow. The schedule is as follows:
Tuesday: Reading Session One 8-9:30
Wednesday: Reading Session Two 8-9:30, Reading Session Three 9:45-11:10
Thursday: Math Session One 8-9:30
Friday: Math Session Two 8-9:30, Session Three 9:45-11:10
Please be sure kids are well rested and have breakfast before school each day. These tests can be stressful so giving some additional test taking tips at home could be helpful!