News from Lana and Matt’s Class

July 3, 2014

The 3rd and 4th grade class ended the school year in a flurry of activity and excitement. Each and every student worked hard to complete their independent research project, which involved writing a rough and a final draft of a report, creating a visual aid, preparing a presentation, and having an experience that related to their subject. Topics included: Dinosaurs, Foxes, The Pittsburgh Penguins, The Chicago Cubs, Genetic Engineering, Birds, Adele (the singer), Robots, Radios, Magic, Sharks, Parrots, Outer Space, Wolves, Yorkie-Poos, Fire, Dolphins, Iwo Jima, BMX biking, Legendary Monsters, Coral Reefs, Seabiscuit, Chile, and St. Louis. Experiences ranged from building a working radio to constructing the Gateway Arch out of plastic cups, visiting Seabiscuit’s birthplace to interviewing a baseball agent and scout.Another big unit that we wrapped up in May was our businesses project. An annual favorite, this unit allows students to create their own home and business, buy and sell goods from each other, and keep a balanced checkbook register. Students were evaluated on the neatness and creativity of their home and business, how many different stores they bought from, and how neat and accurate they kept their checkbook register. On the last day of school we auctioned off actual, tangible treasures from around the classroom (a jar of bottlecaps, a bundle of Happy Birthday pencils, a mini Eiffel Tower, and a rubber rhino missing its ears were some of the most coveted items), which students could bid on using the points they’d received in these different areas. Fun was had by all!
If you asked most of our students, they would probably say that the highlight of the end of our school year was our trip to St. Louis. It was an amazing experience – we couldn’t have asked for better weather, more hard-working and fun chaperones, or more sweet and well-behaved students! We visited Cahokia Mounds, where we learned about the Mississippian tribe that created the largest civilization north of Mexico over 10,000 years ago. We climbed to the top of the biggest mound of all, Monk Mound. At the City Museum, we climbed, crawled, explored, tunneled, and slid to our hearts’ content, and were even witness to the world’s largest pair of underwear. We watched the Gateway Grizzlies hit home runs into the muggy twilight, and feasted on baseball game grub. At the Gateway Arch, students learned about Westward expansion and manifest destiny, as well as facing fears of heights and close spaces as they rode the tiny egg-shaped elevators up the 630 foot arch. We will miss our students who are moving on and wish them well in the 5th grade. We are so happy to welcome back our 4th graders for their second year, and to get to know the incoming 3rd graders. Have a fantastic summer, everyone!
–Lana and Matt

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