Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Book Exchange

We will be having a Christmas book exchange. Each student is asked to bring in a book that any of our classmates would enjoy; it should not be gender specific. The book can be either a gently used book from home or a new book. Students should wrap their books in holiday wrapping with a tag to indicate who it is from. Please have your child bring in their book by Wednesday, December 19th.

Camp Read-a-Lot

Wednesday is the big day we've all been waiting for! Students may bring a sleeping bag or blanket and a pillow. We will have big blocks of time for reading, so the 4th graders should be sure to bring plenty of reading material...novels, magazines, newspaper, informational texts, etc. Of course, our classroom library will be open as well. 

Moravian Love Feast

The 4th grade will have a traditional Moravian Love Feast on Thursday afternoon at 2:00. We learned about this tradition on our trip to Old Salem and look forward to experiencing it together. We will light the traditional candles and enjoy hot apple cider and Moravian cookies. Ask your child about this experience!

Read more about this timely tradition here:

Moravian Sugar Cake

Our class will make Moravian Sugar Cake on Wednesday during Camp Read-a-lot! It will be a great learning experience to see and smell the yeast and to watch the dough rise. It requires a lot of patience to make homemade bread! Perhaps your family would like to try to make this over the Christmas vacation?

Moravian Sugar Cake

Yield: 4 9x9 cakes
    1 package active dry yeast 
    1/2 cup warm water 
    1 cup plain mashed potatoes 
    1 cup sugar 
    1/2 cup butter 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    2 eggs, beaten 
    *6 cups flour 
    Brown sugar 

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add a teaspoon of sugar. Once the yeast has "proved" itself (gotten bubbly), mix potatoes, sugar, butter, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add yeast mixture and stir well. Stir in eggs and enough flour to make a soft dough -- this can be as little as 5 cups or as much as 6 1/2 depending on the humidity the day you make the cakes.
  3. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
  4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide dough in four equal pieces and roll or stretch out to fit into 9x9 greased pans.
  5. Cover and let rise again.
  6. When doubled, make indentations in the top of each cake about 1 inch apart with your fingers.
  7. Sprinkle each cake with brown sugar, about a 1/4 cup per cake, sprinkle with cinnamon, about 1/2 teaspoon per cake, and set small cubes of butter into the holes in each cake.
  8. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Liam's Book Talk

Spelling Bee

 We were so proud of our class during the spelling bee on Friday.  Each contestant did his or her best and had good sportsmanship. Congratulations to Scottie for winning our class bee and to Emma for being our runner-up. Scottie will head to the school wide bee on Tuesday morning. Good luck! We'll be cheering for you!

Old Salem Trip

We had a great experience in Old Salem. I hope your student has shared with you the highlights of this trip. We are making postcards in class to reflect on our day.

*If any parents who went on the field trip with us took photographs, please share and I'll post on our class blog along with these shots I took. Thanks!

Growing Crystals

Ask your student to tell you about this process! Next week we will examine these crystals with magnifying glasses to examine their structure.

Rock Cycle Experiment

These whole crayons represent igneous rocks.

These crayon shavings represent sediment created after igneous rock is weathered or eroded.

This is sedimentary rock formed by sediment being compressed together at the bottoms of lakes, creeks, or oceans. 

This is metamorphic rock created from sedimentary rock being under extreme pressure or temperature changes under the crust of the Earth. This change takes thousands and thousands of years. 

Extreme heat melts the metamorphic rock back into lava or magma.

When the magma / lava cools, igneous rock is created again.

Morrighan's Book Talk

I did my book talk on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is about four kids named Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. It all started when Lucy and Edmund were playing hide and seek, and Lucy found a wardrobe. She opened it, went inside and found herself in Narnia, and met the Faun. There is a Snow Queen who doesn't want to have humans in Narnia. You'll have to read the book to find out more!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Annie's Book Talk

I read The Bad Luck Chain by Sue Wilkowski. I think it is called that because there is a B.L. in all capital letters on the back of the seat. It has two eyes, and there is a star on the seat that looks like a ghost. The three main characters are Addison, Abby, and Sam.

Finn's Book Talk

Mike Lupica's book Game Changers is about a kid named Ben who plays football Ben has never played quarterback, but he has tried out for it for three years but never gotten the spot. He is the best player on the team, but the coach never sees that.

Sydney's Book Talk

Seedfolks is about a bunch of people who come together to turn an empty lot into a garden. It starts with one girl. She is the first one to plant the first seed. Then more and more people help to make it happen. Each chapter introduces a new character and their story.

Ashley's Book Talk

This book is entitled Bliss by Kathryn Little Wood. It is about a family of five who are magical bakers. One day Mayor Hammer comes to their house because her town, Humbleton, has the flu spreading and she know about this family because they have been to the mayor's town before. The parents leave, and while they're gone "Aunt Lily" comes. She is a woman who comes to get the book, and causes chaos in the town. "Aunt Lily" is a bad person from the Albatross side. One day, the town sides of the family had a fight. that caused damage between the sides' relationship.

Math Update

We have started Multiple Towers and Division Stories: Multiplication and Division. In this unit, students will develop strategies for solving multiplication problems with two-digit numbers and deepen their understanding of the operation of division by focusing on the relationship between multiplication and division. Using story contexts and multiple towers, students continue their investigation of the relationship between numbers and their factors. Students practice multiplying by 10 and multiples of 10, break problems into smaller parts that can be multiplied easily, and find the multiples of two-digit numbers. They gain fluency with all multiplication combinations to 12 x 12. Students solve, represent, and discuss division story problems, including some that have a remainder.

Parent Letter

Activities To Try at Home

Old Salem

The 4th grade trip to Old Salem is just around the corner. Mark your calendar for 12/12/12! We will depart from school at 8:15 on the chartered bus. Be sure to note that we will return to campus between 5:15-5:30. We will send a detailed e-mail later this week with all the information you need to know about this learning adventure.

We will spend our Social Studies' time during December learning all about how the town of Salem was settled and about the Moravian religion and culture. We have been learning about the original settlements in Virginia and North Carolina. Ask your 4th grader to share some highlights of this learning with you. Why did the early Carolina farmers have to sell their goods to merchants in Virginia? What were the early relationships like with the Native Americans? What are imports, exports, cash crops, and surplus goods? Why did colonists move to Carolina? Who were the Moravians? Highlights of this study will include making Moravian sugar cake and having our very own Love Feast. Details to come!

Click here to learn more about Old Salem:

Christmas Performances

Last Friday we had the great opportunity to see Charlotte Youth Ballet's Nutcracker performance at CPCC's Halton Theatre. Trinity's own Thomas Young, Tyler Bell, and Hardin Minor were in the company. A real highlight was that several of the dancers came to school earlier in the week to share with us about the ballet and what it is like to be a dancer. Ask your student about Sykario and Morrighan's special contributions!

This Wednesday we are headed to Imaginon for the Children's Theatre performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It is sure to have us in stitches at the Herdman kids' crazy antics!

Science: Rocks and Minerals

We are having a great time learning about rocks and minerals. We have been exploring the rock cycle to understand the complicated relationship between sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. We will be conducting many experiments in our classroom to aid in our understanding of rock formations. Throughout the week, ask your student about what we did with crayons, charcoal, beans, and playdough. Many students have been bringing in rocks and we are looking forward to identifying each one. Click on the link below to refresh your memory of rocks! Also, enjoy the "Rock Cycle Song" as a fun way to review the 3 different kinds of rock.

Rock Cycle Song  
(Sing to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat")

Has been formed in layers  
Often found near water sources  
With fossils from decayers.  

Then there's IGNEOUS rock  
Here since Earth was born  
Molten Lava, cooled and hardened  
That's how it is formed.  

These two types of rocks  
Can also be transformed  
With pressure, heat and chemicals  
METAMORPHIC they'll become.