Grade Four wrapped up our Grammar Block with encounters with interesting characters in Grammar Land. The students continue to grow in their consciousness (post 9 year change) and experience their ability to perceive the English language in a new way. With this new awareness of the various types of speech we can expand on writing skills and creating compositions. We also launched into a fun journey to our past selves and our future selves. I hope you had as much fun sharing stories of the past as much as we enjoyed listening to them. 'About Me' books will be shared with our visiting grandparents in a few weeks.
Next up, our zoology block begins! Science is an experience of the senses and fine-tuning our observation skills. We will look at animals great and small as we make our way through the twelve animal kingdoms through descriptive stories and experiences. A rich block full of visual and tactile experiences including a Honolulu Zoo scavenger hunt and Night Tide pool excursion. The block will conclude with working on our Animal Projects. The written and poetic portions will be done during main lesson while the artistic representation of their chosen animal and habitat will be done at home during the break. Please begin taking library trips and checking out lots of animal books to find out what animal may interest them to further research.
We continue to deepen our journey into the world of mathematics by investigating the numbers from one to twelve. They were first introduced to Math, in the first few weeks of the block, through many finger rhymes, rhythmical clapping and walking, and verse in counting forward, backward, adding and subtracting (birds singing and flying away). Then, I strove to have the children begin to awaken to this lawfulness within their own experiences of their human bodies and in nature. Here we explored the quality of numbers 1-10 i.e., two within our bodies - two hands, two feet, two eyes; five - five fingers on a hand, five toes on a foot, a five-pointed star in an apple.
We experimented with the beginnings of geometry and number patterns in discovering three gems placed on a circle can create a triangle; two triangles (six gems) become a six-pointed star. Next, we were introduced to Mother Farthing and her helpers. Satchkin Patchkin (a little green magic man who like to add kin) helped her gather and count her eggs and hens of various colors to take to the market. Thus, the introduction of addition. Soon, we will hear the story of "The Nine Pea Hens and the Golden Apples", as we explore more deeply the number nine.
The Waldorf Schools' Method of Teaching Arithmetic:
• Integrates recitation, rhythmical movement, and manipulatives
• Utilizes both visual and oral approaches to numbers
• Draws on the children's experiences in handwork classes, world languages, and practical life to elicit an interest in and love of numbers
• Works from the whole to the parts
• Always works with two or more operations at a time to help children's mental mobility
What should every bicyclist do before going for a ride? (Answer 1 below.)
How many times should a bicyclist stop when exiting a driveway? (Answer 2 below.)
Where should bicyclists ride? (Answer 3 below.)
These are just a few of the things Grade 4 students learned during BikeEd, which was held February 20 – 22.
During the first class, students also learned the importance of proper helmet fit as well as the reason for having, and obeying, the rules of the road. The Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL) instructor was interesting and engaging. Students were also given word-find puzzles and other “homework” to prepare them for the bicycle skills portion of the course.
The next two days were spent on bikes practicing various skills such as the obstacle course, stopping without skidding and exiting driveways. A slow “race” helped instructors assess students’ ability to balance on the bike and was challenging as well as fun.
On-road practice included procedures for stopping at stop signs, making right and left turns and maintaining checkpoint. Each skill was preceded by a short discussion of the steps involved along with the importance of following the procedures. Each skill was practiced several times around the neighborhood.
Honolulu Waldorf School was selected as the first school to participate in the “Super Bike” art contest. The winner will have his or her drawing posted on HBL’s website. All students also received a BikeEd certificate of completion signed by Mayor Caldwell. 6-Point Bicycle Safety Check – handlebar, seat, chain, pedals, brakes and tires – to make sure they are in good working order and adjusted properly.
1. 6-Point Bicycle Safety Check – handlebar, seat, chain, pedals, brakes and tires – to make sure they are in good working order and adjusted properly.
2. Twice – once before the sidewalk and once before the roadway. Three times if there is a big vehicle blocking the view.
3. The right side is the right side, using a checkpoint of about 3 feet (about 5 feet for more experienced cyclists) from the curb or parked car.