In the Loop February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Assignments for the Week: There will be less work this week as it is a four-day week and I will be administering FSA tests to grade 4s during work periods.

  • Language: Students worked so hard on their past two stories for Writer’s Workshop. This week we will be starting a new unit on technical writing. There will also be an etymology assignment this week.
  • Math: Students will be assigned individual math this week based on their performance on recent fraction and decimal assessments. Some students may do a bit more review with fractions, while most will be moving on to decimal work. There will be a problem-solving assignment for grade 5s and 6s, but not grade 4s, as they are taking the FSA.
  • Science: This week we will continue to explore simple machines: the screw and the wheel and axle. Students will continue to work with hands-on materials with reference to the scientific concepts in a science textbook.


  • Monday, February 15: Family Day. No school for staff or students.
  • Tuesday, February 16 – Friday, February 26: FSA Testing: Grade 4s will be participating in 5 different one-hour sessions over the course of these two weeks. The testing will be done in the classroom while grade 5s and 6s have a work period.

Simple Machines: Students looked at the trade-offs when work is made easier by simple machines. We used our playground equipment to see how we might apply the equation, Work = Effort Force x Distance Travelled, to what we noticed about inclined planes.

We also learned that wedges do the important jobs of separating things or holding them together. Needless to say, it was entertaining to test whether it was more efficient to separate play dough with a wedge, a book or a “karate chop”…

…and that it is easier to hammer a nail with a pointed tip than with a flat tip. (Thanks to Ms. Griffiths for these resources.)

Talent, Passion, Inspiration: That is what we have experienced with our grade 6 teachers so far. Last week we learned contemporary dance from a grade 6 expert. I can testify that we learned a lot and had fun!

Articles: Some reading on parenting for the weekend! The first, on self-efficacy, reflects Dr. Montessori’s value for responsibility and independence. The second, related to the Lunar New Year, speaks to the immigrant experience and what we wish to pass on to our children.

Published by gretchenbartlett


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