December in 4thÂ grade has flown by! Portfolio Day kicked the month off with a bang. Students reflected on projects ranging from their human body boards and poems about themselves to their persuasive human body papers.
As we continued our study of the First Texans this month, fourth grade students participated in inquiry-based learning, developing 5 questions they had about the First Texans and researching the answers to these questions using books in our classroom and the internet. Students will share their findings with the rest of the class this week. We also learned about the tradition of smudging, burning sage. After discussing how burning sage is believed to clear energy and purify a space, we burned sage in our classroom. Using a seashell to represent water, feathers to represent wind, the sage to represent Earth and a lighter to represent fire, we cleared our own energy and the energy in the classroom. Connecting our study of Texas history and geology, we visited the Gault Site on December 6thÂ where we learned about various tools and resources that were used by the Paleo-Indian culture. Students are now working on developing a Native American Board Game. After researching about a specific Texas tribe, students are working in groups to design a board game that describes the food, tools, weapons, children, customs and religious beliefs, traditions and shelter of their Texas tribe.
As we explored the rock cycle more this month, we were also very lucky to have a geologist from UT come and do a rock cycle lab with our class. Using chocolate, we created â€œsedimentary,â€ â€œmetamorphic,â€ and â€œigneousâ€ chocolate rocks. Just as rocks can be ground into small particles (weathered), heated, cooled and compressed, so can the chocolate that we used throughout the lab. Â We will be starting a stop motion project soon that will enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the rock cycle.
We also started reading one of my favorite books in class this month, Bridge to Terabithia. If you have a favorite book that you remember reading when you were in 4thÂ or 5thÂ grade, please feel free to email me the title. Iâ€™d love to check it out!
As always, you can follow our class adventures on Instagram by following ms.burkly.