Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Mrs. Spalding's Class
Weekly Update - May 31, 2015

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, June 10, 6pm–All School Music Festival

Friday, June 12–Last Day of School, Noon Dismissal

In the Classroom:

With the Memorial Day holiday and our field trip on Friday, we had just three days in the classroom for morning lesson this week.  We spent our time focusing on various mathematical elements, with the Rules of Divisibility as our centerpiece.  Some of these Rules are readily apparent, e.g., all even numbers are divisible by 2; all numbers divisible by 5 end in either 5 or 0; all numbers divisible by 10 end in 0.  Others involve knowing some tricks, e.g., for 3, 6, 9 and 12, it is necessary to add the digits and look at multiples.  For the numbers 7 and 11, it is necessary to remember “tricks,” e.g., doubling the ones digit and subtracting it from the other digits to get either 0 or 7.  While the process of discovering and compiling these rules can be rather tedious for some students, it is exciting to put these rules to practice and to see how useful these shortcut tools can be in working with larger numbers in the context of long division, factoring and other mathematical tasks.

We also spent some time finding numbers halfway between other numbers (a + b/2); finding factors that equalled a number that could also be added together to equal another number; reviewing how to find whether fractions with different denominators were greater, less than or equal to each other; sequencing fractions; and reviewing long division with double digit divisors.  Some of the students were challenged to solve long division problems with triple digit divisors.  On Thursday, we began looking at number patterns of the sum and product of multiples. We will continue working with these patterns and other mathematical wonders in the coming week.

On Friday, we had another fabulous field trip exploring our great city.  Our visits to the Chicago Fire Academy and Hull House were both extremely interesting to all of the students.  They asked many excellent questions, and the tour guides were terrific.  They were very impressed with the behavior and engagement of our students.  After waiting for a bus that never came, we took the Blue Line to the Daley Center, then walked to Maggie Daley Park.  We unfortunately missed connecting with the CWS fourth grade, but the students had a blast, nonetheless, and it was just the right ending to our study of Chicago this spring.

The poor weather yesterday resulted in the canceling of our SummerFest, but we may find another opportunity for the class to dance the Maypole before the year is out.  We have also been working on a Maypole duet on our flutes, which would be fun to perform while others dance, so stay tuned.

With warm regards,

Mary Spalding


Urban Prairie Waldorf School