Week Ahead in Fourth Grade

February 17th, 2020

Congratulations to Maddy, Markham, and Rose for completing their second current events of the year! It was wonderful to learn more about new versions of prosthetic hands, the SpaceX explosion off the coast of Cape Canaveral, and dogs being trained to find diseases in citrus fruits. We look forward to continuing to learn about what;s going on in the world next week. 

The updated current event schedule can be found here, with students in 4A scheduled to present into early March. Presentations for the 4B students will begin on March 5, and students may begin signing up for their topics at any time. 

The 4th grade is helping to sponsor a schoolwide food drive in partnership with the SF Marin Food Bank. Students organizing the food drive have set a lower school goal of 400 pounds, roughly 2 pounds per student. The 4th-graders are aiming for 100% participation from lower school students.  The food drive will run until February 21st. 

Please use the following links to let us know whether or not your child will be attending Special Friends Day (Friday, February 21) and if they will be bringing a visitor. It is important that we have an accurate count of children and adults to plan activities accordingly. 

  • Special Friends Day RSVP here 

  • If your child is not attending Special Friends Day, please let us know here

Fourth grade will explore McLaren Park on Thursday, so students are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes that day, and should also bring a water bottle, extra layers, and an easy-to-carry snack. We will leave after the scheduled current event, and return to school in time for lunch. 

Photo Albums:


How do the lungs provide oxygen to the cells? How does the stomach digest food? What would happen if your body lacked the circulatory system? Last week students began working on their models of the human body systems. They researched the various systems and designed a rough draft of their model. This week they will continue creating these models.  They will work independently or in teams to create a model that accurately represents the structure and function of their assigned system. Students will write a short report about their system and identify the limitations of their model. If there is time, students will display their models for other grade levels to observe.


Did you know that the average price of one pound of granulated sugar in 1860 was $0.10? Or that the first transcontinental phone call cost $20.70 to make in 1915? This week, students will continue to research goods and services related to their research reports, while thinking about the cost of specific items throughout the Industrial Revolution. Students have also gained a beginning understanding of inflation and how it affects the prices of objects each year. This week, fourth graders will finish creating line graphs that show the inflation rate and growth of the price of specific items, such as a radio, a typewriter, and a subway ticket. 

Literacy & Social Studies

How did the First Industrial Revolution impact the world? Students took a break from their research projects this week to discuss the positive and negative effects of the steam engine, furnace, powered loom, cotton gin, and assembly line. This week they will weigh the pros and cons before making final decisions about whether or not they were beneficial or detrimental to the world. Students will also complete their research projects in preparation for Wednesday’s presentation day! The event will be set up like a museum, rather than individual talks, and we hope you can all make it starting at 9am. 



Students have wrapped up their watercolor botanical illustrations. Students practiced observing the details and patterns in plants while practicing art skills. We had an exciting garden work party where students learned how to prune a tree and propagate with cuttings. This week, we will continue learning about tree care by pruning a tree and giving our trees fish emulsion and worm compost tea.  Students will have the option to participate in this activity or work in another station propagating with cuttings, tending to the compost pile, and weeding tidying up the bug hotel.   



Fourth grade students are discussing and learning about the Industrial Revolution in their classroom and in art. In preparation for their research expo students will be creating artifacts and games using clay and the laser cutter to demonstrate their learning.



This week in P.E. students will be completing our Soccer Unit. This means that soccer games will be played, goalies will be present, & students will be engaging in friendly competition.  


This week in drama, third graders learned about a fun theatre style called Commedia dell’ Arte, which originated in Italy in the early 16th century.  We explored the physical nature of the main characters: Arlecchino (leads with knees), Colombina (leads with hips), Pantalone (leads with head), and the Lovers Flavio and Isabella (glide and pose). The slapstick was introduced, and students learned how it is a part of the history of comedy and “slapstick humor.” It was a big hit! :) We will continue this fun lesson and come up with some comedic skits of our own. 



This past week, 4th graders spent much time rehearsing for their GPSF Day performance on February 21st. Next week we'll hopefully wrap up "When The Saints Go Marching In," adding in vocals, snare drum, and bass drums to our arrangement. 


Fourth grade will be learning about interest and leisure activities. With the aid of this vocabulary, students will be able to express which activities they like to do and recognize these words in the body of a text. Repetition is key so feel free to practice with your child at home! 

Amy Johnson, Math
Danny Blum,
Language Arts
Justin Mazzola, 
Social Studies

From now until February break, students will be spending many hours working on their research projects. The project will encompass various modalities of learning and inquiry.  Due to the nature of the work, there will be nights when students will be asked to work on parts of their project for homework, including reading, writing, note-taking, and typing. 


  • 10 minutes of math practice each night (Mon-Thurs)

    • Matific

    • Problem of the Month 

    • Math Practice/Games from School

  • 20 minutes of reading & update the bi-monthly reading log 

Lara Robeznieks, Science

© 2019 Alta Vista School

for curious young minds 

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