March and April News

Posted by K. White on 4/18/2015 2:19:51 PM

Units of Study

We have had a rich study of historical fiction and are continuing to read aloud Bud, Not Buddy.  Ask your child about Bud.  He’s such a fun and endearing character growing up in the Great Depression.  Students’ biographical sketches are complete and will be displayed in the hall with a symbol for that person.  Next we will begin a poetry unit just in time for spring.  Students have the opportunity to submit poetry or art to The Voices of the River contest (  I will send submission in for students who participate.  The deadline is 3/27/15. 

In math we have been studying fractions and the kids have been grasping how to compare fractions, as well as add and subtract fractions.  We will be beginning decimals shorty after I study students’ latest fraction assessment to see that they are ready to move forward. 

In science, we have studied magnets and their properties as well as conducted experiments to introduce the idea of controlling variables to ensure meaningful results and data.  We started connecting what we have learned about magnets to begin electricity.  The kids learned a lot at Colburn Museum and we have conducted one lab on static electricity.  We will do one more lab on exploring the various types of energy and then begin generating inquiry questions that the students have about electricity so that they can conduct their own science experiment to find the answer to that question.  This is hard work for us all and anyone who has an interest in science projects, electricity or kids’ learning in general is welcome and needed to join us to make these science projects a success.  I will work with your schedules! 

In social studies we have used our historical fiction unit to read a lot about the Revolutionary War.  Students demonstrated if they were able to describe at least two ways North Carolina influenced this war as in 4th grade everything is connected to North Carolina.  They did a fabulous job!  They are becoming nice historians and seeing the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to history.  We studied westward expansion and the Trail of Tears last week, which was really saddening, but meaningful.  The students’ job was to try to figure out what could have been done differently given the wants of the pioneers and the needs of the Cherokee.   Students learned that without changing the minds and hearts of the population at the time, that most of the options involved fighting and violence.  It was an interesting discussion!  Next we will begin studying the civil war and North Carolina’s role.  

Important Dates and Volunteer Opportunities

3/16 – 3/20 - We were awarded the TAPAS grant and will have two visiting artists; Greg and Carla Filippelli come in and teach us basketry!  We’ve read “Basket Moon” to build background knowledge of basketry and connecting it to history and culture.  The students will make two pieces to take home and all three 4th grade classes will contribute to the culminating project which is to make a model of the earth, sun and phases of the moon to be displayed in the school. 

3/19/15 – Math club until 4pm.  Each week the club may meet on different days or not at all due to other meetings and obligations I have each week.  I will let you know each week as to the schedule.

3/23/15 – We will be heading to Linville Caverns and Linville Gorge.  Michelle and Xandria will be joining us as chaperones.  This trip will connect to our study of rocks and minerals that we will begin after studying electricity.  We had to have it sooner than later due to scheduling testing at the end of the year.  Field trip forms are coming home this week!

3/30 – 4/3 – Spring Break

4/8 – Report Cards

4/9 – Asheville Symphony visits

4/14 – Mock EOG testing for grades 3 – 5.  We will use this time to help students build stamina for the lengthy End of Grade Tests and to do a school-wide run-through.

4/16 – Last Field Trip!  Living History Day at Smith McDowell house is something I’ve wanted to try.  The Living History program will show students what life was like for the early settlers of Western North Carolina (  We need two chaperones for this one, so let me know!

5/8 – Career Day – If you have a career you would like to share with students, please consider volunteering.  You can volunteer for part of the afternoon or all of it.

Donations Needed

We need PANTS for our emergency clothes closet.  If you have gently used PANTS (please, not shirts), we’ll take them. We need smaller sizes (5-7) the most but we’ll take bigger (up to 12/14) sizes too.  

Joan, our Garden Club leader and Garden Coordinator, is looking for donations of rain gear, boots, coats, umbrellas, etc. If you have some gently used items your children have outgrown, please send them in to the gym for the Garden Club. 

Do you have books your child no longer read? Be awesome and donate those books to our end of the book drive.  Classes visit the library and each student picks out a book to take home and add to their home library. Students don’t have to donate a book to get a book, but we need a lot of book donations so students can find something they are truly excited about reading. Donations can be brought to the library. At the end of the year, if we have enough books, we will invite all classes to the library to pick out a donated book.