Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Many Events During Rachel's Fourth Grade Year

Fourth grade was full of projects and celebrations for Rachel at Spring St School.  It is the last year in elementary school; making it the last year I am able to go into her classroom often. 
Here are some of the events I was able to attend.

In December, Rachel was assigned a heritage research project.  We discovered that my mother's great-grand-mother made quilts for wealthy families in RI.  Here is Rachel's favorite quilt that was made by her great, great, great grandmother.  I think Rachel's love for sewing gave her a wonderful respect for how much time was spent hand sewing these quilt tops.  This one is her favorite.

Rachel is with her good friend Kirsten.  Kirsten is holding up the other quilt top.

Each student was given a small area in the cafeteria to display their heritage pieces.  One student brought in this hand carved shoe.  It was made by his grandmother for St. Nicolas day, December 8th.  We celebrate this feast day by using our own shoes and receiving a special ornament for the Christmas tree.  Later, when the kids have their own home I will give them a box of ornaments to start their Christmas tree with. 

Next, we have the Invention Convention.  Each 4th grader has to come up with an invention that uses at least one simple machine.  They design it, make it and present it to their classmates and to the whole school.  Rachel made the cat feeder 2011.  She wanted to make something that would measure out the right amount of dry food for the cats each time.  She used a wheel and axle, a lever and an incline plane.  Abram calls this project "shop time at home".  It is the one time he is able to show the kids how to use the saw table and other machinery in the basement.  Rachel used the drill press and the miter to make this invention.

Rachel began learning the cello this year.  She upgraded to a 3/4 sized cello with all her growing.  She has grown over 5 inches since last April!

Every year, the music teacher at Spring St School, puts on a May pole celebration. All the grades, K-4th, come together and perform different songs. The graduating fourth graders get to learn and perform the May Pole dance. Here is Rachel's graduating fourth grade class. (Spring St is one of the smaller elementary schools. There were less than 100 fourth graders in Spring. The number of fourth graders in town is closer to 500.)

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo. For two months prior to May 5th, the art teacher had invited the 4th graders to come in and learn different kinds of Mayan art. Rachel's class was able to learn how to do gold plated engravings. I took her into school early on Mondays to work on her art piece. Here is a sample of the art work they did.

On May 5th I was able to come into the school and help the kids enjoy a bit of celebration. They ate salsa and chips, chicken tortillas, made paper flowers and took pictures of each other behind this backdrop. 
This is Rachel and me.

Here is Mrs. Tolozcko and some of the girls from Rachel's fourth grade class. Rachel's class was wonderful.
May 8th was Grand Friend Luncheon.  My mom came down from NH and had a very nice lunch with Rachel. 
The principal came into the cafeteria smelling lunch and commented it was the best the staff had served this year.  They were offered Chicken Parmesan, pasta, salad and rolls. 

Rachel, Kirsten and Phoebe (can't really see her in this photo) sat together with their grandparents for lunch. 

Then there was the research project about a famous person. Rachel chose Jane Goodall because of her love for animals.  Rachel is very organized.  She was given 4 weeks to do this project.  She planned it all out, had many sources and plenty of time to practice her oral report. This project was done like a wax museum.  This kids were all seated in the gym, given a paper with a colored circle on it and we had to push it so they would begin their presentation. 

As the year comes to end all the fun begins.  Field day is a fun time for the kids to be outside and play different organized games. It is the gym teachers responsibility to organize the games and the parents volunteer to run them.  I was going to help out, but the original date was forecasted to be 98 out so it was postponed to a Friday that Abram and I were going away on. 

Fourth grade is assigned to wear blue for field day.  Rather than pay $10 for a shirt with the school logo on it Rachel and Kirsten decided to tie dye their own shirts.  They spent multiple days creating their field day shirts.  They spent an afternoon at my house dying their shirts in blue, animal print.  Then they spent another day using puffy paint to do their names on the back.  They treasure this memory and still wear the shirt.

Kirsten slept over the night before so they could get ready together in the morning.  I couldn't go to field day because it was on Friday, June 10th.  Abram and I left to drive to NY that morning for our anniversary get-away. 

June 14th was the fourth grade chorus concert.  It was paired with the Oak middle school's select choir concert.  They performed very well.  The two schools sang a song together.  I'm always impressed.  both choruses showed up an hour before the concert and were able to coordinate and pull off a fantastic concert. 

Two days later, she has graduation from 4th grade.  It always happens on hot day and someone always faints. 

Here Rachel is with her Fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Toloczko.  She is reading her memory of fourth grade:  When she got to use the elevator for a few weeks while she was on crutches. 
Fourth grade celebration is a big deal. the kids get special shirts with everyones' self illustrated head shot.  A DJ comes to the school for dancing and fun and so does the ice cream truck!

It is amazing that I am out of the elementary schools!  Our town has two middle schools:  5-6 and 7-8.  Rachel and Carmen will travel on the same bus since the two middle schools are only a block apart. 

It was crazy making this blog.  So much has happened during her forth grade year.  This is only pieces from school, I didn't include her sports throughout the year!  There's more to come.  I will be creating something like for for each of the kids.