4/5 Home

Chapter 1. Welcome to the new school year!

Later Elementary is trying out a new website and we’re really excited about it!  Follow this link: honeycreek4-5.weebly.com to check it out and give us feedback.

Chapter 2. Monthly Newsletter

  • November

    Happy Fall!  We would like to thank all of the parents who took time to meet with us for Parent/Teacher/Student conferences.  As we have been getting to know your kids throughout the first months of the school year, it was really nice to be able to meet with you to set the tone of expectations and goals for the year.

    In Social Studies, 4/5 students have been finishing up their Autobiography Landforms project.  They are excited to show them to you at curriculum celebration in January.  From there, we have been moving on in our geography/mapping unit to learning about latitude and longitude.  This includes a large scale “Battleship”-type game between the classes.
    In science, we are continuing to learn about how organisms sense the environment around them and what it is in the environment that they are sensing. We are talking about chemical energy, electromagnetic energy and mechanical energy and the structures organisms have that sense these. Specifically, this week, we will be studying the eye. On Nov. 8th, we’ll be doing a very structured and supported dissection in order to study this structure.  We’ll move onto modeling the way organisms sense, how our brain interprets the energy signals and onto thinking about the human effect on the environment.
    Hoot continues to be an engaging book that is keeping us wanting more!  We are a little more than halfway finished.  Students will be making their own Hoot glyphs to reflect on their own opinions of the book when finished.  In addition, in literature, students were also just assigned their first book project.  They will be selecting a fantasy book and creating a scrapbook to go along with it.  Look forward to seeing these at curriculum celebration in January!
  • October

    The 4/5th graders are off to a stellar start!  In science, we are learning about living things and how they sense their environment!  We’ve studied organisms, looking for details about their structure and how that helps them succeed in their environment.  We’re also looking at the environment, and how organisms respond to it.  Coming up….  how are our senses like sensors? We’ll be studying the way organisms take in energy from the environment and react.  The eye will be studied in detail, culminating with a very carefully planned dissection.  We’ll work under the direction of Sandi Little, a veterinarian and parent at our little school!  Adults will work directly with children on this project in order to get the maximum learning experience. The children have been excited about this since day one of this year!

    In literature students are fully immersed in Carl Hiaasen’s novel Hoot.  We are about halfway through and some students are having a hard time refraining from reading ahead since it’s such an engaging story!  This book has offered a plethora of new vocabulary words as well as opportunities to discuss author choice and voice.  Each class is also reading another book by Carl Hiaasen which has given opportunities for students to make comparisons between his characters, themes and plot lines.

    Landforms have ruled the day in social studies!  Students have created landform study guides and are now engaged in creating their landform autobiographies.   Look for these creative works of art at our winter curriculum celebration!

    Math finds many upper elementary student digging deep into the foundations of math.  Numeracy and place value are essential to a deep understanding of mathematics, and we are working hard on not only calculations, but understanding of numbers,patterns, problems and multiple ways to solve them. Flexible thinking is encouraged and we are looking at the why of math in order to promote a real love of math and the processes!  We love our growth mindsets!
  • June

    Later elementary student were very proud of the work they were able to show off at curriculum night!  Thanks to all who came and supported the students– a special thanks to those of you who listened to our wax museum figures!

    As the year draws to a close there are many more celebrations to be had.  Our fifth grade students will be traveling to Camp Tamarack June 8-9 for a farewell adventure!  There, they will work on teambuilding initiatives and have some fun surprises.  Also, the whole grade level will have one final field trip on Tuesday, June 13.  It is the biannual photo scavenger hunt in downtown Ann Arbor.  If you are out and about that day you may see groups of Honey Creekers and their loyal chaperones roaming the streets and accomplishing missions.

    It’s been a fantastic year and we hope everyone has a terrific summer!

  • May

    Can you believe there are less than two months to go in this school year?!  It doesn’t mean things are slowing down though!  In later elementary students are going to be wrapping up Mstep testing, completing the maturation curriculum and digging even deeper into our last units.

    Literature finds us wrapping up Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  This book has kept students riveted!   Look for some reflective projects at curriculum celebration.  There, you will also see students’ science fiction book projects.

    The Earth has been a huge piece of our learning in science this year.  Everything can be tied to it.  If you have time, check out some of the student’s work using the USGS website of 3D photos of the National Parks.  We incorporated writing and language arts standards along with our science standards to look at a formation and determine how it was formed and what will happen to it in the future.  It was exciting to wear 3D glasses for a professional simulation.  Mysteries are what geologists solve!

    We will be tying together the technology and engineering project that Jessica has been working on, Wigglebots!  Energy and electricity will be our course of study for a short bit before ending with our journey into space!  Again, we’ll be tying reading standards into science standards, for more close reading of non-fiction materials as well as labs and activities.  It seems fitting to hit the final frontier as we look to wrap up the school year!
    In 4/5 Social Studies, we are deep into our Three Cultures unit, studying how European, African, and Native American influences affected colonial history.  We have almost come full circle now in our year.  Having started with foundational information on units of Government, the Revolutionary War, and Early Colonial History— we moved back in time then to help the students understand the leading issues, back-stories of those units. Be sure to take a look at our maps and historical timelines at the May Curriculum Celebration!
  • March

    Later Elementary has been tackling a lot of challenging topics since returning from winter break.  In literature we are reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.  This has brought up a lot of issues of equality, discrimination and justice.  We’ve examined Jane Elliott’s work with the blonde eye/brown eye experiment which gave some new perspective in understanding the racism that comes from a group being told they are superior.  We also conducted an activity called Cross the Line where students were able to self identity with a variety of statements.  It helped students connect with and understand each other more deeply and we’ve gotten some great feedback from this!

    Thanks once again to the generosity of the fine arts committee, 4/5s will be taking a field trip to the UMMA on March 8.  We will participate in two different programs and are excited about the ways that they will tie in and support our science and social studies curriculum.

    Finally, the time is here to begin our biography project.  Students have selected their historical figures and will be starting to research and prepare for writing essays.  Look for news of the final culmination–our wax museum–in April!

  • January
    Happy New Year!
    Later elementary will be moving and grooving as we enter the new year.  The first few weeks we’ll be putting the final touches on some of our curriculum celebration projects and sharing the work that we’ve done with our classmates.
    Geology rocks!  Literally!  In science, we have been studying how our planet operates and changes from the inside out!  Now, we are going to learn about what makes up the rock material, the rock cycle and how the landscape we live with changes!  We’ll be doing some labs and having some guest speakers come in to enrich our learning of the topic.
    Literature will be busy with book projects and the second half of Hatchet.  This gripping novel has students on the edge of their seats and they can’t wait to finish!
    Map making has been a big hit in social studies!  Thank you so much for the support to purchase the detailed maps so students could each have their own copies to work with.  They’ve been excited to explore them!
  • December

    December is a busy month in later elementary!  We just took our first field trip and are extending what we learned from the Henry Ford River Rouge Plant and how it applies to our Michigan economy.

    In literature, students are hard at work on their independent adventure book projects.  These will be on display at Curriculum Celebration in January!  In class, we are continuing to read Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet.  The story is leaving us on the edge of our seats as Brian works hard to survive!  As we read we’re creating a portfolio of reflections about the novel.

    4/5 students in Social Studies are multitasking. Over the past two months we have been diving pretty deep into the concepts of government: types of governments, federalism, branches of government, balance and separation of power, the election, the U.S. Constitution, and how historically, all of these functions stem from our break from Great Britain during and after the Revolutionary War.

    Last week, however, we took a quick break to focus on an upcoming cross-curricular project with Jess’ technology unit entitled “Pure Michigan.” Students are choosing a specific place, activity, or industry within Michigan and creating a free verse poem to communicate how special it is to our state.  Then the kids will be creating an iMovie that matches pictures and music to create a Pure Michigan video. Look for them to be on display at the Curriculum Celebration in January.
    We are studying the Earth as a dynamic planet!  What we are standing on, what is under our feet is fascinating to the children!  We have learned about the layers of our planet, most importantly the crust.  The students have studied the map of all recorded earthquakes and volcanoes from the US Geological Survey.  We have used this map to look for patterns and analyze what might be the reasons for the location of these events.  The kids did a great job of working through this process and discovered that the crust under the Atlantic Ocean spreading and that the crust under the Pacific is shrinking.  Our planet is dynamic!  We will finish out December with reinforcing what we have learned and will be starting off January with rocks, minerals and the changing face of the Earth!
  • November

    We are excited to share that November will bring about our first later elementary field trip of the year!  On November 16 we will be visiting the Henry Ford Museum to view a movie celebrating and teaching about our country’s National Parks.  From there, we will travel to the River Rouge plant for a tour.  This will nicely supplement our upcoming curriculum about  Michigan’s economy–past and present.

    In language arts we are continuing to dig into some of the conventions of writing.  Some upcoming topics will be more on apostrophes and quotation marks.  Once we finish these foundational skills, we will move on to individualized phonics packets.

    Literature finds us wrapping up our poetry unit–be sure to check out the gorgeous poetry books at curriculum celebration!  From here, we will be beginning to read Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and introducing the fall book project–adventure!

    Science Rocks!  In science, we are beginning our unit about the planet we live on, Earth!  I am thrilled that the Michigan Science Standards have brought a lot of the study of Earth science into our grade level!  So, we’ll be spending a nice amount of time learning about how our planet works, the materials that form it, how the face of our landscape changes and the forces involved.  We hope to involve the National Parks in our study, as they are often the best examples of the topics covered.  Note to fourth graders:  there is a terrific program currently, called “Every Kid in a Park” through the National Park Service.  Fourth graders can get into National Parks free and there are special incentives for them.  Check out https://www.everykidinapark.gov/  for more information!