Fourth Grade Returns to the MFA
The Museum of Fine Arts Arts Boston has opened back up to school groups, and the fourth grade wasted no time scheduling a visit! The MFA visit is a fourth grade tradition that was put on hold due to Covid so we are so excited to see it come to life again for our students. Returning was even more exciting as it connected to our summer reading book, Juileta and the Diamond Enigma, and our visit with the author, Luisana Duarte Armendariz, in the fall. While at the MFA on Monday, students had a busy and engrossing day. Students sketched in the French Impressionist galleries, searched for artifacts they learned about earlier this year, and looked around the Egyptian exhibit.
– Lana Holman, fourth grade teacher
Eighth Grade Science Digs Into Matter
In the second half of their unit on matter and its properties, eighth graders have been looking at the characteristics of the states of matter, changes of state, forms of energy, forces that are responsible for the states of matter, particle theory, and the relationship between heat and temperature. As a culminating activity for this unit, students completed a lab activity in which they used Bunsen burners to heat a sample of ice from solid to liquid to gas. While applying constant heat, students recorded the temperature of the sample every 30 seconds until the sample was fully boiling for five minutes. Students then used Google Sheets to graph their data. Using their graph students were able to develop an understanding of what a heating curve looks like for any substance. They were also able to use their observations as well as the slope of their graphs to determine when phase changes occurred and when the particles in the water gained kinetic energy. This experiment was a highlight of the month as students learned how to light Bunsen burners, worked with partners to record data, and were able to apply math concepts as well as their understanding of the states of matter to the result they obtained in this activity.
– Sandra Trentowsky, grades 7 & 8 science teacher
French Students Take On Poetry, Food, and Themselves
Our second, third, and fourth grade French classes are constantly working on spiraling writing activities to help build confidence. That confidence is contagious and students are quick to get creative in learning more.
In second grade, the students have been learning and illustrating a poem by Louis Codet. They’re learning a choice of 10 words that they can swap with some words in the poem. They get to choose from that pool of vocabulary to create their own version of the poem and illustrate it.
In third grade, the students have been learning a song about a sandwich and playing games during which they sort foods according to mysterious rules that they have to figure out (food groups and noun genders). The pool of vocabulary is bigger, about 30 words. Each student then creates a healthy sandwich and writes a song for their sandwich. It is an opportunity for them to get creative with the tune!
In fourth grade, the students engage in a year-long endeavor. After learning a song about the daily activities of a bunch of skeletons, the students illustrate a book about their own daily activities during their favorite day of the week. For each vignette, they specify the time, and their feelings, using the vocabulary learned in the first trimester. Lastly, the students will put the finishing touch to their book by writing a short autobiography in which they describe themselves, and their likes and dislikes. This project will tie together all the different elements of language that they learned over the year.
– Nathalie Pellenq, French teacher