Mystic Aquarium


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Pictures, Science, Social Studies | Posted on June 4, 2019

We had a beautiful, sunny day at Mystic Aquarium together, and below you’ll find some pictures of our time there today! Thank you to our chaperones, Danielle and Roopa, for joining us!

Summer Math


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Math | Posted on June 3, 2019

Dear Parents,

Please click on the links below to read a letter about summer math packets, and find the activities that Heather has compiled as optional resources. While we certainly want your child’s summer to be filled with an abundance of fun, relaxation and family time, fitting in a bit of math practice will ensure a smoother transition back to school at the beginning of September. I hope you find the math calendar and supplemental suggestions to be helpful!

Letter to Families of Students Entering 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Re Summer Math Packets 2019

Entering 4th Grade Summer Math Calendar Four a Day 2019.doc-4

Entering 4th Grade Summer Math Calendar Concepts and Computation 2019.docx-2

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

All the best wishes for a terrific summer!


Animal Adaptations – Alien Attack!


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Science | Posted on May 28, 2019

Last week the children worked with a partner, and each small group was presented with an unknown organism from another galaxy. Their job was to look at the physical features of the strange animals and determine what group it would be classified as, what habitat it lives in, how it moves, eats, breathes, drinks and protects itself. As the children brainstormed together, they had to identify what special features these animals had to support their suggestions. Afterwards they presented their findings to the class, and the kids got a kick out of seeing some unusual new creatures!

Australian Animal Reports


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Social Studies | Posted on May 15, 2019

The children have been hard at work putting their research skills to use for their Australian animal reports. They have been diligently reading, highlighting facts, taking notes, and beginning to write these informational reports, and are looking forward to sharing them with a first or second grade classroom before the end of the school year.

Before the children got started independently, it was important that they had a clear understanding of what the research process entails. The first step was deciding what categories we would need to cover when researching an animal. Next, the children came up with important questions to answer about each animal, and we organized them into 5 categories – appearance, habitat, behaviors and special features, life cycle, and food and enemies.

After that, we embarked on our class study of the Red Kangaroo as a model, which began with reading a fact file together as a class. It was a great opportunity to familiarize the students with some of the new vocabulary they would come across when independently researching their own Australian animals. We talked about how important it is to use a simple tool to gain general background knowledge on a topic before delving deeper into more complex resources. Then, using our color-coded key, the children read back through the fact file with a partner, and highlighted important information about the Red Kangaroo’s appearance. They continued using different color highlighters to sort the facts they read into the 5 broader topics we came up with.

Once the children finished finding information about the Red Kangaroo’s appearance, habitat, behaviors and special features, life cycle and food and enemies, they learned the process of taking notes. Our focus this week has been having the students apply all they learned throughout our class research project in order to conduct their own thorough research. Right now they are in the beginning stages of taking the notes they’ve dutifully recorded, and using them to compose clearly written paragraphs about their animal. You’re sure to be amazed when you see the finished product!

Oh, Kangaroo!


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Science | Posted on April 29, 2019

Today the children had an initial experience learning about animal adaptations through a fun game called, Oh, Kangaroo! First we established the basic habitat components that animals need to survive. Our students were quick to identify food, shelter and water. We then divided up into two groups – children who were “kangaroos” and those who were “habitat needs”, and the children lined up across from each other facing the opposite direction. “Kangaroos” needed to find food, water and shelter in order to survive in their environment. Depending on what need the kangaroos were looking for at the beginning of each round, they put their hands over their head, mouth, or stomach. Students who were “needs” also got to decide what they wanted to be at the beginning of a round, and represented it with the same hand motions. When it was time to turn around, kangaroos tried to find the habitat component that matched their need.

Once the “kangaroo” found their “need” they took it back to their line, and the habitat component became a kangaroo. We connected this to nature, where successful acquisition of biological needs makes it more likely that an organism will thrive and reproduce. Any “kangaroo” who failed to find their habitat component did not survive, and became a “need” on the other side – food, water or shelter for the kangaroos who were still alive, just like in nature, where dead organisms provide nutrients for living things.

It was a perfect sunny day for the children to get some energy out while making a connection to science!

Playing Didgeridoo Wind Instruments!


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Social Studies | Posted on April 25, 2019

Please enjoy this sneak peek of the concert we had in the garden yesterday!

Painting Our Didgeridoos


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Social Studies | Posted on April 22, 2019

We have spent the last couple of weeks focusing our social studies lessons on the indigenous people of Australia, the Aborigines. The children have been excitedly anticipating today’s project, which included sanding and decorating their very own didgeridoos – wind instruments of the Aboriginal people. It was a delight to see the children experimenting with various artistic techniques of the Aborigines. A couple of particularly popular designs had them using a lot of dots and animal stencils. Many children also included symbols that they have learned about. Later this week the children are looking forward to taking the didgeridoos outside to experiment with playing them!

Australia – A Land of Contrasts


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Social Studies | Posted on April 16, 2019

The children have spent the last couple of weeks learning about the geography of Australia, and discovering its beautiful, diverse landscape. After looking at a collection of photographs that depict the various parts of Australia – Rainforest, Outback, and Great Barrier Reef to name a few – each student chose one to paint using watercolor as a medium. To connect with our poetry unit in writing, they crafted Haiku poems about the scene they painted. Come check out these gorgeous works of art with accompanying writing pieces!

Planting today with our buddies!


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Community Service, General News | Posted on April 9, 2019

Today our class participated in a planting activity with our buddies from Mr. Adam’s class. Foote’s Environmental Action Group (EAG) organized this activity to honor Earth Day, and every grade was able to participate. You can find all of the native plant species our class was responsible for planting along the walkway that leads onto campus from Loomis Place, between the 5th grade classrooms and the North Building. We hope you enjoy the new flowers and greenery around Foote School!

Making Equal Groups


Posted by Mrs. Schnabel | Posted in Math | Posted on April 1, 2019

Today the children made some initial discoveries about division. After a brief introduction, they realized that division is the “opposite of multiplication”, and that to divide means to “split things into equal groups”. The students were excited for their hands-on follow-up activity, where they were each provided with color tiles. The task was to listen to different story problems, and figure out how to divide the tiles into equal groups. It provided the children with the chance to see visual representations of what division looks like, and gave them practice with making equal groups.

Part of this week’s math work is going to have the children recognizing patterns in division, identifying strategies for solving division problems, familiarizing themselves with the reciprocal property of multiplication and division, learning fact families, and using arrays as tools to develop their understanding of division.

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