We’ve had some exciting and engaging moments of learning this week in fourth grade and wanted to share some highlights with you.
In General Studies, we learned a lot about the Rancho period through a pictorial lecture, readings, discussions, and a fabulous field trip to the Peralta Hacienda. Students learned first-hand about what life might have been like for someone their age as they dressed up and learned a dance, made tortillas and cinnamon tea, made corn husk dolls, practiced lassoing a fake bull, and made candles. It was a blast and we had a great time learning and playing together. Next week we will be wrapping up ranchos and beginning our study of Gold Rush through starting to read our next novel, By the Great Horn Spoon, and starting up our next simulation which is very engaging. Before we know it we’ll be in Hangtown!
Another big activity this week was completing our inventor simulation. It culminated this afternoon with Thomas Edison Day where students got to share their inventions, patents, advertisements, and logs with the class. It was a big success!
We want to send a big thank you to our parent chaperones who drove on our epic double header field trips this week: Patti, Elena, Leora, Jack, Laura, Jessica, and Jenny. We couldn’t have done the trips without you and we so appreciate your enthusiasm and participation. Thank you!
In Judaic Studies and Hebrew, the theme of the week has been integration…
In Hebrew, we prepared for our Alvin Ailey field trip by learning about the Dance Company and Alvin Ailey all in Hebrew! Students learned new vocabulary related to dance and choreography, read about the life of Alvin Ailey and his Dance company and made advertisements for the show – all in Hebrew! It was a great opportunity to integrate this field trip into our Hebrew learning and I look forward to more moments of integrating real life with the language of Hebrew! We also continued our learning of Jerusalem and wrote letters to the 8th graders to read when they arrive to Jerusalem, as they are preparing to leave for Israel this Sunday. The students wrote a card to each 8th grader and included a fact of history that we learned about in our class – another opportunity for integration! Their engagement, creativity and commitment to learning shined through each of these lessons this week and I’m so proud of their work.
Today the fourth graders started prepping for their Art/Judaic Studies project for Passover, making a seder plate. Next week we will start our unit for Passover learning which is themed around the idea that “in every generation a person must see themselves as if they have left Egypt”. We will explore what this verse from the Haggadah means to us on a personal and communal level and also explore the differences and similarities between the Passover experience in Egypt and how we celebrate Passover throughout generations. We will be doing this learning through a simulation, where students will create passports and journal about their “experiences” traveling back in time to Egypt during the time of the Passover story. I’m very much looking forward to this project and integrating it with their Seder plates that they are preparing with Ms. Esther in Art.
In Judaic Studies, we started a new unit of the 39 melachot, or work that is forbidden to do on Shabbat. This unit will introduce students to new concepts of halakha through their understanding of how these original 39 forbidden acts of work have been expanded and interpreted to include a whole host of movements and actions and it will provide them accessibility to a conversation that has been taking place over many, many years! As an ongoing project, students are creating flip books full of the different melachot that they can use as an educational resource for siblings, friends, family and themselves!
As a class, we’ve really had some positive days this week together and the sense of community is building on itself more and more in fourth grade.
We hope you have a peaceful weekend and Shabbat Shalom!
Sara and Dori