The fourth graders have been busy this semester studying Art and Justice. We analyzed a variety of injustices through literary and art analysis. The students read poetry, short stories. They investigated a variety of visual art pieces. The topics covered included bullying, poverty, racism, religious intolerance, and child labor. The students selected one of these topics to do independent research to learn more. One group is looking at the injustices of World War II and another group is investigating child labor.
The students have also had fun developing their skills in art and literature. Each week they work in either a poetry, writing, drawing or art lab to refine their skills in these areas. The students will produce a persuasive visual or written piece to demonstrate their learning later in the semester.
Besides Art and Justice, students have been learning algebra in the unit, At the Mall. They have learned about expressions, equations, variables, prime numbers and factors. The students have also learned the mathematical problem solving strategies of guess and check, work backwards, organized list and the cover up method. A major component of this unit is to learn mathematical communication. The students have learned how to share their mathematical thinking both verbally and in writing. They are learning how to defend and explain both the procedures they use and the strategies for solving the problem.