In 4th grade, the students have learned about forces of nature that affect the surface of the Earth through erosion, weathering, and deposition. These forces (wind, water, gravity, ice) can create landforms over time. Bryce Canyon, in Utah, is one of those landforms. The students were able to talk live to a National Park Ranger from Bryce Canyon to learn how its infamous Hoodoos were created and how the land was originally a humid lake environment. They also were treated to a mini geology lesson with an experiment with Bryce Canyon in the background covered in snow.
After evaluating 1st grade students at the beginning of the school year in order to better meet their needs (diagnostic evaluation), January, the middle of the year, is the time when teachers check whether the basic learning has gone well. In a very natural way that is not disruptive for the children’s routine, teachers assess their students according to standards proposed by the French National Education.
The goal is not to grade the students but to understand where they are in their learnings, what concepts should be reinforced and those on which we can build. Also, It is an opportunity for students to self evaluate and see their progress.
Work in mathematics begins as early as possible by acquiring solid foundations from an early age. Automaticity and meaning are essential in ensuring good progress with future concepts. In 1st grade, this approach is supported by manipulation work using individual equipment. Counting, grouping, calculating, estimating etc., takes on meaning for each child who, with the help of this physical referent, goes from concrete to abstract.
Despite the complicated conditions for everyone, teachers are still able to offer coding and robotics sessions in the classes. With the technical support of our remote STEAM coordinator, the teacher in charge of the class offers various activities allowing students to revise or reinforce concepts seen in language or mathematics. At the same time, they approach the specific logic of coding.
4th graders have learned about a popular Mexican folk art called Alebrijes, which originate from the dreams of a man named Pedro Linares in the early 1900s. He used these animal-like creatures to create a new type of art out of cardboard to sell. His creatures were not very popular with the general public until another man named Manuel Jimenez came along. He made them more colorful and a little less scary while also changing the material to carved wood.
The students have read an article, watched a video, and seen photo examples of Alebrijes in English (along with some Spanish!). They designed and created their own. They drew their Alebrije and wrote descriptive sentences about it in English. The next step was to create one in 3D that represents their drawing and writing. And the final step was to present their 3D Alebrije to their classmates using their French oral language skills.
Cathleen Anderson & Sylvia Aka
(You can use the link below to see more).
As we commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the end of World War I in France, 4th and 5th grade students were informed by teachers of the opening of a new memorial in Washington DC.
The duty to remember must not exclude anyone….
The beginning of the year is a great opportunity to reflect and learn more about yourself. The 4th Grade students were able to do just that by writing a poem describing who they are and what goes on around them- both inside and outside. The students started with a handwritten copy of their poem, then typed their own Google Document, practiced reading their poem to others to improve their intonation and speaking skills, and lastly, they recorded themselves reciting their poem on a site called Flipgrid. Students are able to listen to each other and find commonalities and as well as learn about how different and special we all are.
After expressing their dreams and hopes which enabled them to write the rules of the classroom, the students continued to work on the organization of the beginning of the year.
All classes organized delegate elections with very strict protocol on voting procedures: candidates, ballots, voting booth, and announcement of results.
This important event in the life of the class makes it possible to work on civic education but also on language and certain cultural aspects discussed with the children.
Below, some photos of the CE1A and CPA classes.
In 4th Grade the students are learning about the rich history and culture that makes up the city that they reside in; San Diego. They experienced their first virtual field trip to learn more about the tribal nations of San Diego from the director and curator of the Barona Cultural Center & Museum located in Lakeside. The students learned about the culture, history, adaptations of local nations such as the Kumeyaay before colonization and after.
In order for class work to run smoothly, it is customary to establish the classroom rules for the school year. Some teachers use to present these rules to the students.
At SDFAS, it is the students themselves who develop these rules under the guidance of the teacher. This is an important aspect of the “Responsive Classroom” program. Students begin with a very simple activity: “Hopes and Dreams”, which they hope for for the coming school year. They work on their writing, review or discover vocabulary and then shape their “Hopes and Dreams”.
The whole is displayed in the classroom and gives rise to another reflection: how to achieve these hopes and dreams? From then on, the whole class reflects on the organization necessary to promote the goals they have set for themselves. This is how the students, little by little, formulate the rules of the class.
All of this work remains posted throughout the year for reminders and the reasons that led to the development of a rule. This is how we promote intrinsic respect for the rules.