Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Mrs. Spalding's Class
Weekly Update - April 26, 2015

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, April 30, 6 pm–Class Play.  Students need to be back at school at 4:45.  We will provide pizza before the play.  

Friday, May 1–Noon-3:15 pm. Includes lunch, assembly and classroom visits.

Thursday, May 7–Field Trip.  We will be taking public transportation to the Chicago History Museum, where we will meet up with the fourth grade from Chicago Waldorf School for a 9:30-noon visit.  We will then walk over to Lincoln Park Zoo for lunch and looking at the animals.  We will return to UPWS by the end of the school day.  Students should bring Ventra cards and a sack lunch.

Grade 4 Parent Evening–Wednesday, May 13th, 5:30 – 7 pm. If there is any item you would like me to include on the evening agenda, please let me know. Thank you!

In the Classroom:

Students have been hard at work on our class play, learning lines, choreography, staging and blocking, entrances and exits.  We put up our set and practiced with our set, which we then had to disassemble on Friday, but we will put it back in place on Monday.  Thanks to Ms. Ingold and my daughter, Delphine, for outfitting the students in their costumes.  They practiced wearing their costumes on Friday, and we will continue to do that this coming week, as the costumes are more elaborate than in years past.  They all made posters for the play, which they have displayed all over the school.  Everyone is very excited about the upcoming performance. We will be hard at work this whole week continuing our preparations!

We also continued working with fractions.  The students are all gaining proficiency with multiplying fractions, including canceling and reducing.  We reviewed all of the steps in the process, including working with simple fractions, fractions and whole numbers, and mixed numbers.  The students were introduced to division of fractions, working with reciprocals–flipping the second number–then utilizing the reverse process of multiplication to solve the problem.  Students are trying to grasp the rather difficult concept that multiplying fractions gives us a smaller number, in contrast to multiplying whole numbers, which gives us a larger number, while dividing fractions gives us larger numbers (3/4 divided by 1/2 = 1-1/2).  Confounding, but true!  Students worked with timed division tests this week, and most improved their times significantly by week’s end.

We had a wonderful afternoon in the park shoveling and raking wood chips around the trees and a marvelous field trip to Volo Bog on Friday, which exposed them to a more unusual feature of our unique local geography.  Some pictures are posted on the shutter fly site. Several students remarked how much they enjoyed the outing and were thrilled to know that immersion in nature and exploration of the outdoors could count as school!

Students rounded out the week working on their shields for the play, midweek and whenever else they could fit it in, including for some of them during aftercare.  They are measuring, sawing and sanding, and some of them have begun to work on designs.

We look forward to seeing you at the play on Thursday!

With warm regards,

Mary Spalding

Faculty

Urban Prairie Waldorf School