Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 4: Going Further)

by Rick Fawcett  In this fourth installment of Grade 4’s Folk Song Unit series, I speak with Heather Fawcett and Jessica Kelly about the real “meat and potatoes” of their inquiry unit. They address the challenges a multi-dimensional project can present along with the manner in which student success is being measured. https://www.youtube.com/v/I179L7jp43c?version=3&f=user_uploads&c=google-webdrive-0&app=youtube_gdata In my role as Curriculum Portfolio Leader, I have been involved in each stage of this unit’s planning and I have been impressed with the amount of careful thought given by our Grade 4 team to each phase of this dynamic project. Students are quickly entering the … Continue reading Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 4: Going Further)

Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 3: Sorting Out)

-by Heather Fawcett and Jessica Kelly Through their guided research, students have compiled a wealth of information on an important element of Alberta’s history. So, now what? Determining what information is important is a valuable research skill and this is what students are now doing. By giving students the challenge of creating songs, they must make some thoughtful decisions about what information is included in the lyrics. The success of their song hinges on their ability to extract the information that matters most, so sorting it all out is a crucial step in the process. Students are beginning the song … Continue reading Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 3: Sorting Out)

Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 2: Finding Out)

by Heather Fawcett and Jessica Kelly  In Part 1 of “Making Alberta’s History Sing”, students were tuning in to topics for their folk song projects. Part 2 of the project challenges students to assert their research and questioning skills by compiling information on a chosen historical topic. After a full day of exploring the various exhibits at the Glenbow, students had a variety of observations and questions about what they experienced. Through a teacher-led class brainstorm, everyone shared the topics that they found particularly interesting. The next step was to conduct some research into each of their options to see … Continue reading Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 2: Finding Out)

Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 1: Tuning In)

by Heather Fawcett and Jessica Kelly The Grade 4 Humanities teachers at Connect Charter School are currently designing an exciting unit of inquiry that provides students with an opportunity to create folk songs that communicate a story from Alberta’s rich history. The design of this unit incorporates a number of Social Studies and English Language Arts curricular elements while also challenging students to express their knowledge and understanding through creative channels. Technology will play an integral role in the process and students will work directly with expert singer/songwriters to create folk song lyrics from their independent research findings. It’s an … Continue reading Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 1: Tuning In)

Energy Diet- A student post

Our grade 4 and 7 classes are collaborating this year in the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge. The students have been assembled into small combined teams where each takes up the different challenges. Our grade 7 students have taken up these leadership roles, and below is a blog post written by a grade 4 and 7 pair. They could earn up to 15 points for their team! Energy Diet (Letter to the editor)By: T and P What are different types of energy sources? And which one is best for our environment? Sun Solar panels generate electricity from the sun. The old solar panels were made of … Continue reading Energy Diet- A student post

An Inquiry into Words and Spelling

-by Abby Saadeh In an Inquiry based environment, we get excited and enveloped in our questions and ideas. At Connect Charter we want to take these opportunities to incorporate Spelling into our explorations and develop skills into our practice. Together with the Grade 4 Humanities team, we identified a need to develop some ideas on how to approach Spelling. I gave the students a Spelling Questionnaire that would give me more information about how they felt about Spelling and what they thought about themselves as Spellers. From the information gathered, I came up with the first discussion question, “What is … Continue reading An Inquiry into Words and Spelling

Spatial Reasoning

Heather Melville- Grade 4 Math and Science In July 2013, I had the privilege to work with students, teachers, Galileo Network experts and researchers at the University of Calgary. (Brent Davis – Professor and chair of mathematics education, Krista Francis Poscente – IOSTEM Director). We met in May to discuss the research portion of the spatial reasoning project. In that one day in May I discovered the importance of spatial reasoning as I went through my own testing and problem solving activities. I learned very quickly that this is a skill that needs to be taught and explored throughout our … Continue reading Spatial Reasoning

Plant Growth and Changes

Flower Pounding in Grade 4Marla Paxton~ Grade 4 Math and Science Prep Time – A weekend (with breaks) to treat and prepare fabricLesson – Approximately 4-5 classes. My partner teacher Heather Melville and I wanted to look at the way we took up Plant Growth & Change this year so the grade 4‘s made a lot of noise exploring the parts of a flower.  It all started with a picture book by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long, A Seed is Sleepy.  Students looked at how seeds were sleepy, secretive, fruitful, adventurous, inventive, generous, ancient, thirsty, hungry, clever, and even … Continue reading Plant Growth and Changes