September Fourth Grade:
Fourth grade will get off to a fast start this year with several exciting plans in the works. In Science, we will begin by studying the scientific method and quickly transitioning into a unit on inventions and inventors. The highlight of this unit will be to meet an inventor who holds a real life patent from the US patent office. Charles Robertson will give the children an opportunity to learn about the evolution in the technology of timekeeping pieces when he shares his collection of them with the children. Speaking of inventors, the first book fourth grade will read this year is about a very famous inventor - Ben Franklin. The book, Ben and Me, tells about the amazing life of Ben Franklin (and how he got most of his good ideas) through the eyes of a friendly mouse named Amos.
The focus of the fourth grade social studies curriculum is Pennsylvania history and geography. To begin the year, however, we will give quick attention to immigration and learn about the many reasons why so many people chose to immigrate to the US in general and Pennsylvania in particular. In this unit, I hope that the children will create a “suitcase” containing some items an ancestor of theirs may have brought with them to the US. I am also planning a writing extension for this unit, wherein students will have the opportunity to interview 1st or 2nd generation immigrants who happen to reside at Bellingham. A possible field trip to the Octagon School house in Newton Square is in the planning stages as well. Stop in and checkout the new yellow wall in the classroom. It has lots of information for children (and parents) to read about all of our current work.
Aside from the core curriculum, I am excited to share Faith and Play stories with the 4th grade on a regular basis. Faith and Play is a Montessori inspired story telling technique that helps children find words and images for expressing their experiences with the mystery and wonder of Quaker beliefs, history and Testimonies. The story I will tell the first week of school is titled “Love’s Way” and it introduces children to the core or Quaker Testimonies. I also think it will be a valuable tool for building community which will be the focus of September. I am delighted to share this gift with your children and I invite you to sit in on a story whenever an opportunity may arise for you.
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