Greetings from Tr. Devon!
Spring is here and the flowers are blooming! It is a great time of year at Goshen Friends School.
In Language Arts, we are reading The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh. The book begins thus: "Father said, "We can take very little with us." Only one book each.
Father, Joe, Sarah, and Pattie, and lots of other families, are leaving a dying earth on one of the last escape ships. They are headed for a far planet that they know almost nothing about, hoping it can sustain human life. The main character, Pattie, is so young that she will not be able to remember the Earth. But being the youngest, she gets to name the new planet--"Shine," she calls it, a planet where all the plant life sparkles like glass.
How will they build with mineral laden wood they cannot saw? How will they survive, when their rabbits die from eating the glassy grass, and their wheat shines like diamonds? How will they build a community--what will be valued, and why? And then, when they meet other living beings, how will they co-exist?
One step they take in building a life together is to share their books. Joe's copy of Robinson Crusoe is not in great demand (there are multiple copies), nor is Sarah's copy of The Pony Club Rides Again. Many people would have swapped things for a chance to read Father's technology book, but he won't let it out of his sight--he clings to it as his passport toward becoming the new elite of their community. But it is Pattie's book, the "green book" of the title that becomes the most important. Its pages are blank, and her older siblings had mocked her choice. But in the end, this is the book that will tell the new story the colonists are creating. It is no longer empty, but "full of writing, very large and round and shaky."
Every time I read this book with the students we have wonderful discussions over what book they would take with them to planet Shine. If you were only allowed one book - what would it be?
In science students will be exploring the layers that make up the earth and discovering how weathering, erosion, and deposition change the earth. Students will identify water, land, and air as important resources of the earth. Students will also learn about the water cycle and how land and water together affect and change climate. During this chapter students will see how people can use inexhaustible resources, such as wind and the sun, to create energy to power our homes and businesses. Students will define and give examples of renewable and nonrenewable resources. Students will discover the ways water is used and why water is important, as well as how wastewater is treated, how water pollution can be reduced, and how water can be conserved. Also, they will learn how land resources are used and how people can preserve the land in various ways. Additionally, students will learn about the water cycle and be able to explain the role of temperature in the cycle as water changes from one state to another. Students will compare and contrast climate and weather and describe how the tilt of the earth causes seasons. The fourth and fifth graders will learn how several factors - including land, water, global wind patterns, humidity, and elevation - affect the climate in different ways. Finally, students will learn how volcanoes and changes in the patterns of ocean currents cause changes in weather patterns.
Ongoing math puzzlers that students work on throughout the year are 24 cards. The 24 Game is a mathematical card game in which the object is to find a way to manipulate four integers so that the end result is 24. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division may be used to make four digits from one to nine equal 24. For example, a card with the numbers 4,7,8,8, would have a possible solution of: [7 - (8 ÷ 8)] x 4 = 24. Try to find the solution to the card below and e-mail us your solution at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming events for April: Wednesday, April 6th – All-School Gathering Friday, April 22nd – LS field trip to Rushton Woods Preserve in honor of Earth Day Monday, April 25th – Thursday, April 38th – International Week celebrating the people and cultures of Guatemala, Philippines, and South Korea. Thursday, April 28th – One World Café in the evening
Upcoming events for May: Tuesday, May 12th – Celebration of Friends Day for LS and Clothesline Art Show Wednesday, May 13th – Kids’ Care Thursday, May 19th – Spring Concert Monday, May 30th – No School: Memorial Day
Upcoming events for June: June 2nd – Game Day! June 10th – Fifth Grade Graduation at 10:00 am and LS Picnic follows (1:00 pm dismissal)
ON GOING FOURTH/FIFTH GRADE PROJECTS
This year, in conjunction with Learning Pathways, the fourth/fifth graders are continuing with the independent study project that was started two years ago. An independent study is a student-centered project that involves students working individually to investigate self-selected topics. These topics are connected to the curriculum and the students’ personal interests. Differentiating the curriculum remains at the center of our continued initiative – Learning Pathways. An independent study project is the most effective strategy to use in addressing the needs of all learners in the group. It provides an opportunity for students to study topics of interest in-depth while learning and practicing a variety of skills.
An independent study meets the needs, readiness, interests and learning preferences of students. It also allows students to experience learning beyond the classroom and encourages independence. Additionally, it teaches research skills and improves reading, writing and presentation skills. The semester-long project provides opportunity and time to explore in- depth topics. The fourth/fifth graders came to school in September with a chosen topic to study, and hit the ground running on their research and planning. Stay tuned for a timeline of due dates.
The goal of having the student’s conduct an independent study project was to:
The outcome of the independent study project is to create a formal writing piece at the completion of this assignment, as well as a presentation that reflects the child’s learning preference.The fourth and fifth graders did a wonderful job of presenting their information during the final presentation!
Stemming from our all-school theme, Celebrating You and Me, during the 2009-2010 school year, International Week has traditionally been a time for the Goshen community to come together to honor and celebrate the diverse families we have here within our student body. Former alum, Jonathan K., said it best when asked why we have International Week, "We have International Week to learn about cultures other than ours, to have fun, and to understand other country's people, food, and traditions." This year's International Week will take place on Monday, April 25th - Thursday, April 28th, and is the culmination of the studients' yearlong study of three focus countries. This year students are focusing on Guatemala, Philippines, and South Korea. International Week will be filled with guest speakers, activities and quite often culinary treats! International Week concludes with the One World Cafe, an on campus potluck featuring the cuisine of the countries studied, music and other activities.
Fouth/Fifth Graders will specifically be focusing on GUATEMALA throughout the school year!
FIFTH GRADE RESOURCES:
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We embrace stewardship of the environment and community service.