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Mrs. R. Hodge

Happy Summer!

This has been a wonderful year of learning in our classroom. Thank you for coming along on the journey with me, and for all of your help and support over the year! I wish each and every student and family a fantastic and restful vacation filled with joyful moments of sun and fun!

May News

One morning this month Mrs. Eggea from the UNH Cooperative Extension Service came to our classroom to give some nutrition instruction. We learned about Go, Slow, and Whoa foods. Third and fourth grade students did some terrific thinking as they thought of ways to take ordinary foods and decide which category they would go in, and how they might be altered to fit into one of the other categories. For example, a plain apple is considered a “Go” food, since it has only things that are healthy for the human body. We can take that same apple and easily make it into a “Slow” food by adding some cinnamon and sugar to it. The addition of small amounts of ingredients that are high in sugar, fat, or sodium moves the apple snack into the category that is less healthy for the human body. Then, if we make that raw apple into an apple crisp by adding ingredients like salt, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and white flour, the apple moves into its identity as a “Whoa” food. Being aware of, and able to apply, these Go/Slow/Whoa categories to common foods has the potential to develop us into people who can make more informed food and nutrition choices during our lives.

One of the most engaging WMSI projects this month was starting to make an interactive map using Scratch 3 and a Makey-makey device with cardboard and tin foil to share information. This project has terrific potential to transform a class museums. Please, ask your child about their favorite WMSI projects!

April News from Third and Fourth

Third and fourth grades concluded our study of the ancient Romans with a museum for kindergarten students to visit. Each student made a small model to share one aspect of this fascinating civilization and prepared some facts to share orally. Our visitors were invited to also learn about ancient Roman road structures and watch and explore how the Roman technology of an aqueduct worked to move water long distances from mountains into cities. The construction of the famous Roman arch was also highlighted using plaster of Paris blocks made in the shape of ice cubes. Here are a couple of photos!

April’s Harvest of the Month was also a fun hands-on learning opportunity. We started seeds for microgreen tasting, and then, when they grew, creating a special salad dressing for eating them with according to our own recipes. Did you know that pea shoots taste like the actual peas do? Or that your child can be quite persuasive when asked to create an advertisement for his/her creation?  Again, check out the photos!

A couple of projects from the Ancient Roman Museum!

Harvest of the Month-- Growing microgreens and making salad dressing!

A few book reports...

March News from Third and Fourth

This month grades 3, 4, and 5 have collaborated on a couple of initiatives: one for social studies and one for science. Read on to learn more! Our class finally went on our Tillotson Center Field Trip! Everybody ate lunch in the art gallery, took a detailed tour of the local history museum run by the Colebrook Historical Society, and had the chance to watch a movie in a real movie theater. Many thanks to Ann Sullivan, Melissa Shaw, and Sylvia and Arnold Goodrum for their hospitality! Please ask your student about their experiences on this field trip.

White Mountain Science (WMSI) made the first of 10 visits to SCS. We learned about Stop Motion Animation and students in grades 3-5 made a short video using the program HUE and pico cameras with simple props. To save space I am posting only one to our classroom website to share this form of storytelling with you, but feel free to stop by and I would love to play your own child’s creation for you from my computer!

Our next book report summarizes a nonfiction book. This is a major difference from our previous book reports, but I can assure you that students have learned about, and practiced, writing about nonfiction topics since January. I am confident that every student will be successful with this task, and that there will be many amazing projects that teach us new things! Please note the Updated Due Date for the summary and art project presentation: April 16! As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns.


stewertstown bryce bryson.mov

Here are two of the Stop Motion Animation movies we worked on during our first WMSI session of 2019! This is a pretty neat art form that gets easier the more experience you have.

News Flash!

We have a new presentation due date for Book Report #3: Tuesday, April 16. And, students are working on a nonfiction topic for either this one or the final book report! Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns!

February News from 3rd and 4th

This month has been full of projects! First, students completed their second book reports with great success. Next, in science, they worked in partners to make beautiful posters illustrating one aspect of a volcano, and last, each student made a model showing how a natural disaster of their choice works. In progress also by some students are  “Who Would Win” books based on facts about various natural disasters that have been discovered in the course of researching the topics. Social studies has focused on ideas around budgets and money management, placed in the context of how communities use their resources and meet their needs. We have had many interesting discussions about these science and social studies topics!

Both grades continue to work on multiplication and division, developing fundamental understanding of number relationships that will help in the process of mastering multiplication at third and fourth grade levels. More formally, math class is focusing on learning about fractions. Please keep working with your child to help him/ her become a math master. As always, I look forward to your questions and comments about mastering math facts!

Have a wonderful February Vacation!

January News from 3 and 4

Our class rang in the new year by making a personal resolution for an area of improvement that each person wanted to work on. Students then thought of specific action steps to achieve the goal, and made a beautiful piece of word art using Microsoft Word.

Most students are doing well working towards mastering their multiplication facts. If your child is struggling with this important skill, please be aware that there are many ways to practice. A Midwestern third grade teacher, Mr. Demaio, has made many catchy videos that are posted on YouTube, for example, that can be played in the background and sung along to. Another fun way of practicing involves writing the letters in a thin layer of flour or shaving cream on a table. Even traveling on an errand can turn into practice time when the tables are chanted or problems are asked. We don’t devote much class time towards mastering these facts, so it is important that children practice learning them when we are not in class. I encourage you to stop into our classroom to check out your child’s progress on our Math Masters bulletin board!

Our class learned about reflective symmetry, and each student created a Cursive Critter showing this concept. Please check out our new bulletin board display!   

December News

Third and fourth grade practiced some engineering design during our most recent science unit, improving a play dough process. Students had some experience learning about material properties and mixing together some different amounts of those materials to test the results. Then, we considered all that we had learned and thought about what variations might make sense to make to improve the basic process. Finally, we tested those out and made some batches of play dough in our efforts to make a high quality play dough.

We have started another, longer term quest: to achieve multiplication fact fluency! Every day we will be taking a Mad Minute timed test. These can become quite a (friendly) competition between students, so don’t be surprised if your child comes home and mentions the need to practice. Please help them out! One way to achieve quicker mastery is through practicing with family members, and there are quite an array of choices. Watching multiplication videos on you tube, reciting the tables out loud, quizzing facts while you are busy getting supper or driving on an errand, or just writing them down are just a few.

Book Report #2 is due to be presented January 30th, 2019, and students are busy reading their books. Thank you for your support with these projects!

Have a wonderful Christmas vacation, and enjoy some special family time!  

November News grades 3 and 4

November has been quite a busy month. Math has taken a large leap forward into multiplication. Soon we will start a friendly Math Masters competition as students take timed math fact quizzes. They have to get all the simple multiplication problems on each of 3 tests correct to be considered a “master” at that table… at which point, a student would move on to the next table to memorize. We will also be using some popular songs and more traditional ways to make sure that multiplication and division facts are memorized. Please help your child out at home, since fact mastery can have a huge impact on your child’s future success with math.

Social Studies has taken a turn toward early America with a study of the time of the Pilgrims seen through the eyes of the Magic Tree House creator author Mary Pope Osborne. Reading both a fictitious adventure story and a nonfiction research guide has been an interesting time. We have also been writing down notes about various acts of kindness that we have seen to try to get our Kindness Cornucopia to overflow. Thanksgiving is a terrific time to practice an attitude of gratitude, as we all have so many things to be grateful for… including a wonderful classroom community and fabulous school!

Our first book reports are done. Nice work, everyone!

Check out these pictures:

Thank you for your support, families!

Then next book report will be due January 30, 2019!

October News

Third and fourth grades have spent some time learning about the rights and responsibilities that we have in our country. We have also studied the structure and function of our national government. Then, we focused some attention on New Hampshire specifically. We read a few of the first articles in the New Hampshire Constitution. All of us found the wording easier to understand when we used Marek Bennet’s graphically-drawn version. You can check this resource out online at https://livefreeanddraw.com/links/nh-constitution/  

Our class has also studied the characteristics and needs of living things. As a grade- appropriate introduction to cells, we made a model of a plant cell. The cell wall was a plastic sandwich box, a peach half was the nucleus, grapes were mitochondria, a marshmallow was a vacuole, cytoplasm was lime jello, ribosomes were cut up jelly beans, and green candy Dots were the chloroplasts. Before we ate them, the parts were labeled and our class visited the 7th grade class to see their Power Point slide shows about cells and share our models. Then, we ate them. Thanks to Pittsburg grade 4 teacher Norma Underhill for this fun idea!

Math focus has recently been rounding for both grades. Learning to make estimates for answers in math is an important skill because it helps to determine if more difficult calculations are reasonable, or if an error has been made.

Language arts instruction has continued to progress smoothly in Walk to Read groups. This structure allows students to get the most targeted instruction for their needs, ensuring that optimal gains are made by every single student.  

Our class has settled in nicely to our routines, and our community of learners has begun to bond together over a few major activities. One is our collection of recess Tag games, and another is the recent writing workshop with Simon Brooks, storyteller. Please check out the photos, below!

Our first book reports are coming up! Here are this year's due dates: November 7, January 30, March 27, and June 5. Please check out the link, below, for more information, and also stay tuned for a letter home about this major (at home) part of third and fourth grade!
Subpages (1): Book Report Information