Mountain Day

We joined the sixth graders and hiked up Mount Holyoke at Skinner State Park last Friday for our annual LES Mountain Day. The weather was great and the hikers were adventurous. We covered lots of different terrain, from walking on paved roads and dirt trails, to climbing up and down and over rocky outcroppings.

Check out the Photos page for more pictures of our hike!

Participating in the SAFE Program

Fourth graders recently graduated from the SAFE Fire Safety Program after completing 3 sessions with Leverett fire fighters. Prior to each session, students completed a short questionnaire to assess their previous knowledge of fire safety at home.

 

The final session took place at the Leverett Safety Complex, where students practiced placing 911 calls to a real dispatcher. They also spent time in the SAFE Trailer, identifying fire hazards and practicing escaping when a smoke alarm goes off.

Learning from the dispatcher about how 911 calls work.


Practicing making a 911 call to the dispatcher.

Morse Hill Trip

We had a fulfilling trip to Morse Hill on October 4th. Working with Victoria Shaw and other Morse Hill staff, fourth graders participated in a series of cooperative challenges. We started with games outside in a field on a very chilly fall morning, taking time to stop and reflect on how to work together and make our day successful. The class broke into two groups later in the morning to tackle four different challenges on the low-ropes course. The “whale watch” and the “Mohawk walk” both led to frustration and pride as groups overcame challenges. After lunch, we hiked to the high ropes course and tried the “flying squirrel” and the “ladder.”

Check out the “photos” section of the blog for more pictures of our day together. Thanks to the folks at Morse Hill and to Craig Cohen and Jonathan Lambert for helping to make this field trip a success.

Global Climate Strike

Last week, fourth graders decided that they wanted to join fifth and sixth graders who planned to join the Global Climate Strike initiated by climate activist Greta Thunberg. We discussed the causes and meaning of climate change, and students were offered the chance to join older students at LES if they were interested in doing so. After a lot of discussion and questioning–including parsing out the fact that activism can’t be required–everyone decided to participate. We made posters, many of them out of repurposed cardboard, and marched out of the cafeteria after lunch on Friday. Our march was across the field to the library, where several fifth and sixth graders spoke. Afterwards many of us planted our signs there for the community to read. State Representative Natalie Blais attended, as well as many LES families and community members.

Our Class Constitution is Signed and Ready

In the first week of school, fourth graders started thinking about their hopes and dreams for the new school year. How will each of us find a way to bring our best self to this classroom? We’ve completed a beautiful paper Hopes and Dreams quilt that brings together the goals of everyone in our class.

After defining some hopes and dreams, our next major task was to brainstorm and choose rules for our classroom. These rules will help each of our individual hopes and dreams to be realized. Fourth graders did some serious thinking and positive collaboration in the second and third weeks of school until they finally voted to choose a final 4 rules that we can all agree to follow this year. Check our the Photos tab to see the LONG list of rules that students brainstormed, as well as their proposed final rules and completed Constitution.

We were proud of these rules and felt that they might even inspire other classes at LES. There will soon be a bulletin board display showing the process we went through to create them. Take a look at it, and at our Hopes and Dreams quilt the next time you’re near Room 118.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Leverett Elementary School Fourth Grade blog! It’s been on hiatus for several years while I was the Essential Skills Teacher for grades 4-6. I’m pleased to be back in fourth grade for the fall of 2019.

This site will be a place to share information about our activities and adventures in fourth grade during the 2019-2020 school year.

Immigration Day!

This Tuesday was Immigration Day in fourth grade, a day-long simulation of early-1900s immigrant voyages to the United States through Ellis Island.  Each student prepared for Immigration Day by journaling from the perspective of a specific immigrant for a week beforehand.   On Tuesday, students arrived with carefully chosen outfits, luggage, and food to reflect the time period.  Throughout the day, each student shared his or her story of why coming to the United States was worth the cost and hardship.

In the classroom, fourth grade immigrants purchased tickets for a steamer, traveled in first class or steerage, viewed photos, and listened to audio and video recordings of actual immigrants who entered through Ellis Island.  When the steamer arrived in New York Harbor, fourth grade immigrants left the classroom to view the Statue of Liberty and progress through our school to the Ellis Island Baggage Room. They were tagged (and in some cases, re-named) before moving on to the Great Hall for medical and legal inspections.  The day ended with each immigrant being granted entry to the United States, and an Ellis-Island-style meal in the gym, served family-style.

Check out the photos below to get a better sense of their experiences!

 

Reflections on Our Self Portraits

Earlier this fall, fourth graders created self portraits as a way to reflect on their identities as individuals prior to our Social Studies unit on Personal Heritage and Immigration.

During and after creating their portraits, students reflected in writing and in video about the process.  Take a peek to see their beautiful artworks and insightful reflections:

//player.vimeo.com/video/78945704

Book Character Day

October 31st was Book Character Day at LES, and many fourth graders arrived looking less like themselves!
IMG_0481

 

Our class was visited by characters from the Ramona books, Calvin and Hobbes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lord of the Rings, Gregor the Overlander, Percy Jackson, and more.

SAFE Graduation

IMG_0460

 

Last Tuesday evening, fourth graders graduated from the SAFE (Student Awareness of Fire Education) program at Amherst Regional High School.  This was the culmination of a four-hour program that involved classwork, homework, and simulated fire escapes and 911 scenarios.  Our class had an amazing turnout at graduation and the state fire marshall even commented on their enthusiasm!

Congratulations on your hard work to stay safe, fourth graders!