Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Plimoth Plantation Field Trip

"How Now!" or "Good Morrow!"  These were just some of the greetings we heard today as we stepped back in time to the year 1627.   

Leaving Boyden during the pouring rain didn't damper our spirits as we eagerly awaited the sights, sounds and smells of Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass.  Students glimpsed what life would be like for the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people of the 17th century.  

In preparation for our trip, Kathy Devlin (Maggie's aunt) who portrays Susannah White Winslow in the Village, spoke with the fourth grade last week via Skype.  She gave suggestions on how to make the trip more meaningful.  Asking lots of questions, offer to help someone with a chore and speak to many people about the same subject, she felt would provide a wonderful learning experience.  With these tips we were ready for an exciting visit.

Making our way through the pathways to the Pilgrim Village and the Wampanoag Village really gave one the feeling of stepping back in time.  The rustic paths led our group to Pilgrims and Native people who were dressed in authentic clothing.  The pungent smell of wood smoke from the cooking fires filled the air.  Buildings and fences looked like those only seen in books. The damp weather contributed to the feeling of authenticity.  

Hopefully, students will have a greater appreciation for the finer comforts that we so take for granted.  After seeing small one room homes (which often housed six to ten people), beds on roped frames, thatched roofs, glassless windows and dirt floors, students learned that life in the late 1600's was rather harsh.  

We spent just over 2 hours touring the villages, but it felt like it was the blink of an eye.  It was a wonderful day filled with learning and wonder.  Ask your child to tell you about their favorite part of our trip.  



Monday, November 5, 2012

Mock Election 2012

Every four years the students at our school are treated to a Mock Presidential Election.  This year the Fourth Graders were in charge of "manning the polls".  

In preparation of the day, students created Obama/Romney posters that were to adorn the walls of the school or to be held by the campaigners during voting hours.  Students at the "check in" table were given class lists and conducted the check in just like it would be done in an actual election. Instead of "Street Name", the poll worker asked "Teacher's Name" and then proceeded to cross off the voting child's name. 
Checking In

Voters were handed a ballot then directed to the polling booths (desks with privacy screens).  
Voting in the Booth

After choosing their candidate the voter then went to the "check out" station. 
Checking Out
 The most exciting moment came when the ballots were entered into the antique ballot box.  It was actually used for the town's Precinct 6 many, many years ago.  As each ballot was entered, poll workers cranked the handle.  A distinctive "ding" alerted all that the ballot was officially entered!  
Ballot being Counted!
 At the end of the day, Poll workers tabulated the results.  A total of 458 students and staff participated in today's event.  

The final results announced at the end of the day:
264 votes for President Barak Obama and 
221 votes for Mitt Romney    
Our results were then added to the KidVote Result Google DocSchools from all 50 states are sending in their class/school results. We will review the information at the end of the week to compare our class/school with the rest of the United States. 

This 'election' experience has given the students a better understanding of events that take place at the this special time of the year.  Hoping that this experience will remain with them not only for the next four years but for many years to come!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween, Hurricane Sandy & More

Our week started when Hurricane Sandy blew into town and left many of our students without power and a 'No School' closing on MondayWe all quickly recovered and returned to school on Tuesday ready to learn.  

We began our new reading story, "So You Want to Be President" in honor of the upcoming election.  Students learned new vocabulary and were treated to a view of a 'real' town ballot (thanks to Mrs. Fucile our Media Specialist).  We continued the week with listening to the story on the computer via the Scott Foresman website. Ask your child to show you how to ACCESS that site! They can practice vocabulary, grammar and more. We continued learning about Presidents.  We hope to share that learning with you via a video later.  In the meantime - listen to this story to learn some great facts about our former Presidents.


In math this week the students practiced finding multiples and factors while learning to recognize patterns using input/output functions.  More next week culminating with a unit test by Friday. 

Students were pioneers this week as we were one of the first classes to participate in the MAP testing (Measure of Academic Progress).  Mr. Dearborn is sending more information home about this topic. 

The most exciting part of the week was our traditional Halloween Parade. Please see the video below to view all the fun costumes worn by our class. 

Next week proves to be another interesting week as the fourth grade will be hosting a "Mock Election" on Monday.  Please fill in this form to share your prediction for Tuesday's Election. (No name required).