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Current Studies in Fourth Grade

January 12, 2022 | Ms. Jonker

It’s good see the fourth graders embrace hybrid learning. The in-person students patiently wait for me to open my zoom rooms and deal with the many tabs that I inevitably need! The remote learners flexibly deal with tech issues that arise while staying engaged with our class discussions.

So what are we studying? This post will summarize most of it.

In STEAM, the students are working to answer this big question: “How do human-made objects fly?” Students are exploring answers to that question by researching terms like air resistance, lift, and fuselage. At the end of this week, students will be assigned a specific aircraft to research and eventually build a model of.

I am excited about all of the cross-curricular connections in our current units of study! As we study flight in STEAM, we are studying the book Amelia Lost in language arts. This book is about Amelia Earhart and its chapters alternate between telling the story of her growing up and the story of her disappearance. Students read the book in partnerships each day. They are also writing paragraphs about Amelia Earhart’s goals and struggles.

In math, we started a measurement unit. Students are learning how to do measurement conversions, starting with units of length. Students will learn how to calculate perimeter, as well. Next week we will begin a study of polygons. I am excited to see how students apply their understanding of measurement and shape when they construct aircrafts for STEAM.

In art this term, fourth grade creates entries for The Graceful Envelope Contest, transforming an envelope into a work of art. We experiment with turning words into pictures in the style of calligrams. Next we’ll begin brainstorming ideas around the contest theme, Greetings and Salutations.

In music, students are preparing songs related to the MLK celebration. In PE, students are doing a combination of things including volleyball.

In Spanish, Brandon Brown dice la verdad is the class read.  Fourth grade students are developing literacy skills by reading, acting, and discussing each chapter.  They are demonstrating comprehension through classroom conversations and by completing scaffolded writing assignments that are meant to help develop oral and written fluency.

Kat Jonker

Teacher, Grades 4

Kat Jonker is energized by how passionately Mustard Seed School nurtures each student to blossom into the person God has made them to be. She’s honored to teach and learn beside the fourth and fifth grade students here.

Ms. Jonker’s always been surrounded and inspired by dedicated teachers--including her mother! When she began teaching private violin lessons as a high school student, Ms. Jonker began to think about teaching as a career. Soon she realized her passion for teaching and learning as an Elementary Education with an integrated science major at Calvin College. There she flourished as an assistant teacher at Calvin’s middle school chemistry camp. She also led elementary nature programs at Calvin’s ecosystem preserve.

Music remains one of Ms. Jonkers passions and you’ll sometimes get to hear her playing in worship. She’s an avid violin player and spent a disproportionately large amount of her college life in string quartet rehearsals. She listens to music constantly and likes to keep it eclectic, so if you have any music recommendations, send them her way.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is Ms. Jonker’s home town. Through God-gifted communities of faith there, she found her roots in grace and a life of service.

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