Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 2018

     What a treat to have so many Grandparents and Special Friends join us on Thursday. I hope you enjoy the slideshow of our visitors. 
     It has been very busy in Fourth Grade this month! The students have completed two major projects this past week, the Oregon Trail Journals and the National Park Research Paper. Most students finished assembling his/her journal in class on Friday. If you didn't see it come home in Friday Folders, that just means the assembly process is not quite finished. It is amazing to read through those journals and see the improvement in narrative writing and how the 4th graders found a pioneer voice to express an Oregon Trail experience. The National Park papers are located on your 4th graders Google Doc school account. I will be making my way through them over the next week with grading papers coming home in next weeks Friday Folders. The students will close out the 4th grade year learning about poems. We will be reading and writing poems. In Social Studies, the students will be learning about the Oregon's statehood and the diversity of it's geography to close out the year. 

     Our science studies have focused on exploring waves in terms of how sound travels. The students used balloons to feel vibrations and ponder how we hear things. These students are curious and love to think about how the world around us works. This group is eager to share ideas and then build on each others ideas. Collaborate thinking at it's best!

    Our school starts the last fundraiser of the year tomorrow raising money for the Heifer Project. Here is the schedule for collecting pins and supporting this important organization:
  • Monday: Pennies for Pigs
  • Tuesday: Coins for Cows
  • Wednesday: Change for Chickens
  • Thursday: Bills for Bees
  • Friday: Buttons for Heifer- we will have all the pins available to buy for 25 cents each.

God Bless, Jenn

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 30, 2018

      It was a beautiful day as the Fourth Graders continued to learn about the journey of the Oregon Trail this week with our trip to Fort Vancouver. The students learned that the fort is a National Park and received a National Park Pass good for free admission for the whole family to any National Park in the United States. Please find your Fourth Graders pass in the Friday Folder. 

     Our religious studies centered on the Book of Matthew's version of the Beatitudes this week. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave us guidelines for achieving happiness ~ the Beatitudes. The Fourth Graders worked in groups to dive deeply into one of the Beatitudes reading scripture and discussing the central message. The students then created a poster to represent each Beatitude. Check out the finished product on the bulletin board outside the classroom. Our class also spent time preparing for our upcoming responsibility of leading the All School Mass on May 10th celebrating the Ascension of the Lord. Please plan on joining us to celebrate at 2 pm on May 10th!

Choir practice with Dr. Manzo

Choir practice in the choir loft in the Church

     This coming week, I will support the Fourth Graders in putting the finishing touches on his/her National Park research papers. The students have been working very hard during class time to craft detailed, complete paragraphs. Each student should be an expert on their chosen park . We will end the school year in math studying fractions and decimals. In science, we have started to explore waves with experiments involving sound waves. It was a flurry of activity in the classroom as pairs of students designed and tested out many different telephones! 

God Bless, Jenn

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April 2018

Book Club

     The 4th graders have completed their final project ending their first book club study! Each student was part of a group that chose a book from 3 choices. The book clubs met over the course of 2 weeks to discuss the book. The final project was to create a iMovie trailer first by planning and then filming and acting. The results are fabulous! When we watched the short movies in class, many students shouted out "I want to read that book now!" Music to my ears. Check out the students hard work below. 

     The Oregon Trail Overnight is in a couple of days. When packing for our trip, please keep a close eye on the weather and pack rain gear if necessary! As a class we have begun our Oregon Trail simulation. Each student chose a pioneer name and family to make the pretend journey. The pioneers packed their wagons and joined a wagon train. Then each wagon train chose a wagon master to lead the wagons safely across the wild frontier. Interested students wrote and presented speeches to his/her train. The wagon trains then voted for a wagon master, their leader. It will take a couple of weeks to get all the way to Oregon on our in class journey. The students will be writing diary entries to, in the end, create a journal. There has been a bunch of excitement humming around our classroom this past week. I love it! Here are some photos of the wagon master speeches. 

      Our next field trip is coming up quick. We are heading by bus to visit Fort Vancouver on Tuesday, April 24th in the morning. Look for the field trip form coming home tomorrow in your 4th graders planner. Two parents have volunteered to come along and I am looking for a couple more. Let me know if you are interested. We will leave at 9:00 am and return by 11:15 am at the latest. A quick reminder that our Go West play will be performed on Friday, April 20th at 1:30 pm in the Parish Hall. On May 10th, the 4th graders will be leading the all school Mass for The Ascension of the Lord. I hope you can join us at 2 pm in the church. 

     That is all I have for now. Blessings to you and your family this rainy Sunday!

Jenn Langhus

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 2018

     We have new iPads! Here we are exploring some of the new apps available to show what we know in innovative ways. The 4th graders and I are so excited to show learning in new and creative ways. Stay tuned...

       Book report oral presentations gave the students the opportunity to teach us about the person they chose to read about for the second trimester book report. Each student was prepared and passionate about the presentation. Although there was some nervous energy flowing, every 4th grader bravely stood in from of his/her peers and spoke loud and proud. Public speaking isn't easy for anyone but the more opportunities the students have the more confident and empowered they become. Thanks for practicing at home!

     Science energy labs ~ STEM in the 4th grade
     The 4th graders really enjoyed our day dedicated to building chain reaction machines during our study of energy and how it is stored and transferred. This lesson built on the previous lesson when the students built ramps. The day was full of countless attempts at problem solving with both successful and not so successful engineering design. It was a roomful of engaging discussions, sharing of ideas and encouragement. It was loud and busy. I loved it!

     In our next lesson in our study of energy, I introduced electricity as a form of energy. Students learned energy is stored in batteries, how it flows through conductive materials and then how to make a LED flashlight. More problem solving and engineering design skills were put to the test. It took many tries for some students to come up with a working flashlight as they investigated how electrical energy travels. At home, students could continue their investigation of how electrical energy works by taking apart items that use batteries to look inside at design. 4th graders could also search for devices plugged into electrical outlets. How many? Our energy studies are coming to a close at the end of this trimester as we will move onto the biological study of our human bodies. 

     Next week, students will chose a National Park to research and write an informational report about. Most of the research and writing will be done in class. Please ask your 4th grader to tell you about his/her research as a way to process the information and deepen comprehension. This coming week, I encourage you and your 4th grader to plan a trip to the public library or local book store for books on the National Parks! 

     Thank you for attending the Oregon Trail Overnight meeting on Thursday night. I still need paperwork from many families. Please send in tomorrow! The 4th grader will begin diving deep into the journey of the early pioneers of Oregon who made the incredible journey across the west on the Oregon Trail. 
For your calendar:

            April 10-11th ~ Oregon Trail Overnight. Please plan to pick up your 4th grader on                                           Wednesday, April 11th when we get back at 1:30 in the afternoon. 

            April 20th ~ Go West! musical at 1:30 pm in the Parish Hall

            April 24th ~ Field trip to Fort Vancouver. Let me know if you would like to chaperone!

            May 10th and May 24th ~ 4th grade leads all school Mass. Join us!

God Bless, 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 2018

Catholic School Week Mass

          February is here and we are moving in the 2nd part of the 4th grade year. As a class we are working on tightening up routines and pushing ourselves to full potential. We continue to meet every morning to share experiences, work through any problems and pray together. We continue to look for God in each other and lift each other up!

     It was a fun week for science in 4th grade. On this past Tuesday morning and the one coming up, Mrs. Chambers and I are collaborating with the 4th and 8th grades to create a robot with Legos integrating the technology of creating code and the science of engineering design. Last Tuesday, the students got to know each other, the computer program and materials they will be using. Next Tuesday, will be completing design ideas, testing, improving design and retesting. I love these kind of experiences for students! We also continued our study of Energy as a class. The students pondered on why the first hill on a roller coaster is the highest. Hills were added the bumper coasters teams of 3 created last week to build understanding of hills and energy. More hands on learning!

     We have wrapped up learning about the journey of Lewis and Clark this week with a gallery walk through all of the Timeline Story Maps the students made as a final project for this unit. The students walked around admiring the interpretations of this epic adventure. With Oregon's birthday coming up, the 4th graders looked at interesting facts about Oregon. Each interesting fact was added to the whiteboard. There are so many interesting facts about Oregon! These facts can be used when creating the assigned Valentine's Day Box. 

     Finally, I am so proud of the 4th graders as they continue to lead the school spiritually. This past Thursday the students focused on compassion and created an acrostic poem to express their understanding of this important word. You have amazing children!


     God Bless, Jenn

May 2018

     What a treat to have so many Grandparents and Special Friends join us on Thursday. I hope you enjoy the slideshow of our visitors.  ...