Fourth Grade Coin Lab

The fourth grade had a great time last week working with water cohesion and surface tension.  The STEM challenge we completed was to see how many drops of water you could drop onto a coin using a pipette without the water spilling over the side.  While at first our average was around 35-50 drops, one of our students was able to get over 100 drops onto the surface of a penny.  The students really enjoyed this activity and were excited to keep trying.  We tried pennies, quarters and a half dollar.  We discovered that holding the pipette close to the penny, dropping water on the heads side, and dropping the water slowly worked best.

 

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Jagger, the Gecko, Sheds His Skin

On Thursday, our class was able to observe an exciting event in the life of our class pet, Jagger. We were able to observe the process of him shedding his skin. We watched as he worked all day to rub his body on objects to loosen the skin. We observed as he worked it down below his neck, and then he grabbed the skin with his mouth. Then, we observed him eating his shed skin. While this seemed gross to our class at first, we learned that this instinct in geckos is one of survival. Geckos eat their shed skin to prevent predators from tracking them. We were also so excited to see Jagger’s hard work pay off.

Author Letter Response

This week we had an exciting letter arrive to our classroom.  In the fall,  our class wrote letters to the authors of their favorite books.  On Monday, we received our first reply.  Christopher Paolini replied to Ethan.  He sent him an autographed picture, bookmark and a special letter.  Ethan read the letter out loud to the class.  Mr. Paolini shared his inspiration for the book series Ethan enjoyed, Eragon/Inheritance Cycle.  He also let him know about the next book in the series that was just released.  How special for an author to take time to respond to a student reader.  I was very impressed.  Our whole class was thrilled.  Fingers crossed that we will hear from more of our authors soon.

 

Holiday Fun in 3rd/4th

We had a great time in our class celebrating the holidays. Students worked on creating a budget for an imaginary town full of kids left off Santa’s list. With a budget of $10,000 and specified age groups, students picked a toy for each age group, multiplied by the number of kids in that age group, and tried to use as much of their budgeted funds without going over. Afterwards, we enjoyed some other holiday festivities, games, and cookie decorating. Wishing our class a Happy New Year! I can’t wait to hear all about your winter break!

Christmas Coding

In class today, we worked on an exciting new project. I introduced the concept of coding. We talked about how coding is a unique language. Students created a “game” board/maze, with the premise of seeing who could capture the most candy canes, and they mapped out a path with a series of commands: left turn, right turn or straight. A prize was awarded for whoever’s path collected the most candy canes! Our winners are… Lillian and Ethan!!!

Carolina Music Museum Field Trip

Carolina Prep students first through fourth grade had a wonderful time at the Carolina Music Museum on Friday. The students learned a lot about instruments, specifically harpsichords, piano fortes, and pianos used in the 18th and 19th centuries. Our very knowledgeable guide gave us background on each instrument, one of which Chopin actually played on. One of the things I enjoy about teaching at Carolina Prep is the opportunity to give students a broader look at the world and the experiences these students are able to have at such a young age! It was a great day!

Middle Ages Projects

Fourth Grade worked very hard on their Middle Ages project over the past week.  We learned about some significant figures during this time period including Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc and Thomas Becket.  The students did an excellent job gathering research from their textbook and online.  They complied a list of fifteen interesting facts, and summarized these facts in their own words. Then, using a technique called crayon resist watercolor, they gave their posters a pop of color.  I am very proud of their hard work, and all they learned about research.