This week we have mainly been focusing on improving out use of the traditional multiplication algorithm with special attention to when we are multiplying by a two digit number. Luckily we had Odin, father of the Norse gods, to help us with his laws of multiplication. We have been hearing lots of Norse tales and the children are enthralled.
We continued our study of local geography the past two weeks by learning how Pennsylvania was settled by several European groups during the colonial period. Since I attended Moravian College and find Moravian history very interesting, we focused on the founding of Bethlehem and the societal and industrial developments the Moravians brought with them to Pennsylvania. This also helped us explore the shape of Pennsylvania and its borders, local waterways, and the building and use of the Lehigh Canal.
We also finished up maps of our school grounds and school building.
Then we finished last week by visiting historic Bethlehem. We had very knowledgeable our guides and learned a great deal more about the Moravians and other local history and geography. The tour was terrific and easily could have lasted another hour or two. We will now begin transitioning into Mathematics by working with area and perimeter in relation to maps.
Welcome back to Circle of Seasons and Fourth grade! As always this promises to be a terrific year full of fun and learning. We have started off running by studying Local Geography, the children’s homes and beyond. We have begun to explore features of a map and the compass rose. To orient ourselves to the cardinal directions in relation to our classroom, we make a compass with a dish of water and floating magnetized needle.
We drew maps our our classroom, and yesterday, we went up on the roof of the school to take in the geographical features surrounding our school building. This week we will map our school inside and out as well as learn more about what geographical features are and how to identify and define them.
All week we have been laboring on our building project and rehearsing our class play. Both are going splendidly! This week we finished the foundation of the oven, laid the fire brick for the floor of the oven, shaped the 27 inch tall and 32 inch diameter sand mound that will later be dug out and leave a void for the actual oven and completed the 4 inch clay layer on top of the sand.
Next week, we will mix the cob layer that will be 6 inches thick and shape the doorway of the oven. I am considering painting the oven with lime paint and sculpting the cob layer to look like an animal…
We will continue play rehearsal next week and all children are expected to have their lines memorized by Tuesday. Hopefully there will be lots of practicing this weekend. We will focus on voice projection and diction next week when working on the play and even perhaps try some scenes with costumes.
One of the countless reasons why I love teaching at Circle of Seasons is our dedication to the arts. Humans have created art for as long as we have existed. It is intrinsic to the human experience and our curriculum recognizes that and engages children through this powerful conduit.
This week we were incredibly fortunate to have the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School visit Circle of Seasons. On Friday afternoon, the school was presented with Mountain Laurel’s recorder ensemble and chamber orchestra. The recorder ensemble was made up of 5th through 8th graders and the chamber orchestra was composed of 6th through 8th graders. The musicians performed music from the Baroque period to modern movie scores. It was truly an enjoyable and impressive performance, and I feel that our class was especially gifted with the experience as they prepare to being playing stringed instruments next year.
As I sat listening to these talented young musicians, I looked around at our class and saw each child enthralled. Even those that often have a difficult time sitting still were absorbed for over an hour.
As you have already heard, our class play this year will be two stories from the Robin Hood legend, the meeting of Robin Hood and Little John and Robin Hood and the Sad Knight. The first story depicts the meeting of two strong personalities. While they at first clash and battle for superiority, they earn each other’s respect and realize that they can do good if they world together. The second story shows the ingenuity that the merry men employ to live and survive in the forest, the importance of hard work and dedication, and the compassion we strive to hold for our fellow man especially those in need. This year each child in the class will have a speaking role and the play will be double cast. Each cast will have a change to perform. I will set the dates of the performance this week and let you know via email. The children as always have impressed me thus far with their enthusiasm and dedication. Last week, we began blocking and will continue this week as well.
Now that we have finished state testing, we are back and busy with Main Lesson. This week, we will finish up our Fiber and Fabrics block by learning about silk. We will continue working on spinning using a drop spindle in Fiber Arts class as well as weaving during our extra main period each day.
Here are some pictures from our special guest, Mrs. Houston. She came and shared lots of information about natural dyeing and weaving.
She also prepared a table top loom that belongs to COS for us to use in the classroom!
MAY FAIRE – COS May 13th
The May Faire is a celebration of May Day, an ancient festival welcoming spring. Often the center of May celebrations, the maypole bears garlands and is a symbol for the growth of new vegetation and spring life.
Classes who are presenting for May Faire will begin the day’s festivities by processing from inside to the school to the maypole with song and dance. This year second grade classes will gather around the pole that is sprawling with greenery and colored ribbons. They will learn the weaving dances allowing the rainbow of colors to intertwine or create a braided wave around the pole. This colorful weaving dance is a special part of the coming of Spring. The second graders will be joined by a few other grades classes in presenting various folk dances.
Once the maypole and folk dances have concluded, children can enjoy playing games, weaving floral crowns, partaking in wholesome foods and sweets, and playing on the school grounds. Please help us welcome in the springtime weather with fellowship and celebration.
Our class will be working in conjunction with Mrs. Ostfeld’s class to run the silk dyeing booth. I believe all the volunteers needed for our booth have been found, but please visit the Sign-Up to see if there are any other place you can serve during the event.
CLASS BUILDING PROJECT
I am hoping to begin our building project construction on May 15th. Please watch for an email to volunteer to help lend a hand in our effort. I am also still working to find a very handy person would could serve as our foreman. Handy and interested? Email me please! Please visit our class Sign-Up to donate needed supplies!