How lucky are we to be so close to the Intrepid, a critical piece of American history! She participated in WWII, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. We got a tour of the museum, got to see what life was like aboard, and even saw some cool jets.
Trying on a life preserver!
We really liked looking at the jets. We learned that a lot of times, the airplane crew would customize their planes (hence the shark face on this one.) We also learned about symbols/insignias. This particular plane we are able to tell is American because of the star on the side.
We learned about how to identify the function of an artifact using inferences! This particular set of artifacts pictured involves a chain, a floor insert (the circle,) and a hook. It is to keep the jets securely attached to the ship.
Thanks to New York Cares, we were able to take a field trip to PMT Dance Studio. There, we were accompanied by mentors/volunteers from JP Morgan. We took a dance class on Theatrical dance, and then we had time to free dance and had a pizza lunch. Not a bad deal at all! We were lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with the "big kids" from JP Morgan and we choreographed dances in small groups.
Ms. Jessica and Ms. Carolina have been helping out our class. Ms. Carolina is a student teacher and Ms. Jessica is part of the program America Reads. Both of them have been a huge help in class and we are sad to see them go!
Last week we went to the Bronx Zoo for a rainy, yet fun end-of-the-year field trip. We were two feet away from a giant crocodile, we saw lemurs, flamingoes, and more! We were enthralled by all the animals and didn't even seem to mind the rain.
Don't worry, it wasn't all fun and games. When we got back to school the next day, we did some critical thinking and jotted down in an argumentative writing style about the function of zoos and whether or not they have a positive impact on society. We realize that while zoos have great conservation efforts and educate the public, we also wish that the animals could have the chance to roam free in the wild.
Don't look now but there is a huge crocodile behind them!
An assortment of fourth graders and sea lions.
We got to watch the sea lion feeding!
It was pretty cool seeing a bald eagle, the symbol of America, after a year of learning about American history. He was a lot bigger in person, too!
We had different approaches to dealing with the rain...
What a demonstration of kindness! So proud to see this.
This past Wednesday, the entire fourth grade took the subway all the way downtown to South Ferry and hopped aboard a ferry to visit Ellis Island! This perfectly complements our literacy units for both reading and writing on historical fiction. We got a brief tour from a park ranger (our second National Park visited this year!) and then we had an audio tour. We got to see all sorts of things immigrants had to go through before entering this country. What is particularly cool is that not only is this a museum with artifacts, but it is the actual place where all these things happened! Of course, it was also a gorgeous day for a little cruise.
Waiting for the ferry in front of one of NYC's 5 forts built for protection during the War of 1812.
Excited to see Lady Liberty!
(Cameo:Ms. Greenberg's coat.)
Some of us may be making ambiguous facial expressions, but trust us, we were really excited to see Ellis Island!
Here our Park Ranger is about to pretend to demonstrate the dreaded "buttonhook test" on our brave volunteer. The buttonhook test has nothing to do with buttons but everything to do with eyelids. If you failed this test, you might get detained in the health center on the island or worse, sent back to your home country!
Each room and most artifacts had a code you could type in and listen to a commentary. Here pictured is a sample of graffiti that immigrants drew. The piece of the wall was preserved and the graffiti was done in pencil. It was lists of people's names and where they were from.
In conclusion, NYC is our playground and we love it!
The state tests may be over, but we have one more math question for you:
What happens when a student brings in a Costco-sized tub of jelly beans to share? (Thanks, Angela!)
A. Students get an inquiry-based lesson on estimation
B. Students get to collaborate, discuss/justify their answers using logic/math
C. Students get to eat the jelly beans
D. All of the above
The students took all the initiative and wrote down their guesses. We are trying to see whose guess is the closest to the actual amount of jellybeans in the container. Stay tuned... we wouldn't want to count (read: eat) all those jelly beans at once!
Here are the jelly beans (yum!) and here is the book Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstone. It helped us hone in on our estimating techniques.
Students are counting/serving/distributing jellybeans.
We justified our answers by explaining our logic in writing. We also ate as we worked!
Some of us approached the problem by using spatial/visual clues such as counting the amount of jellybeans per side of the container, then multiplying based on the assumed relative volume of the container.
Some of us used whatever clues we had available. For example, Luca knew the serving size was 27 beans and there were 60 servings in the container. He then determined 3/4 of that number, since about 3/4 of the container had already been eaten.
Meanwhile, Shehrin made a very logical assumption about Jelly Belly's advertised 49 flavors.
Like Gavin, Grace used visual-spatial clues to estimate. This was the strategy provided by the book Great Estimations!
Whatever the strategy, the point of the lesson was to use math to back up our conjectures.
Sorry for the very belated post- last month, we were lucky to be able to experience Federal Hall, the birthplace of our nation! It was where George Washington was inaugurated as President of the United States and where the Bill of Rights was composed! Since Federal Hall is a National Park, we got a (free) tour from a park ranger and we got some cool National Park badges at the end and we all became Junior Park Rangers. Here are a few pictures of us with captions about what we learned/did. This field trip was the perfect complement to our social studies unit on the Revolutionary Era.
Learning about journalism and the Peter Zenger trial (which ultimately led to our Freedom of the Press!)
We got to see the Bible that George Washington used to swear in as President of the United States. He was sworn in in 1789 right here in Federal Hall!
At the time, this atrium cost 1 million dollars to build (hey, that was a lot of money back then!) It was gorgeous to look at.
The cracks in the foundation are the result of the September 11th attacks.
Here we are getting a briefing from our own personal Park Ranger before getting to explore.
Investigating a vault. Federal Hall served as America's treasury until 1920 and so millions of dollars worth of gold and silver were kept here.
At the last Family Friday, students were engaged in creating fraction strips in order to answer the question "What possible combinations of fractions add up to one whole?" Students worked in partnerships (some parents joined in too!) and now we have a beautiful display in the back wall of our classroom.