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rd th News from the 3 /4 classroom January, 2012

Vol. 1 Issue 2

Highlights of our recent Unit of Inquiry How we express ourselves

Eli takes inspiration from the John Hancock building and the Empire State Building as students collaborate to help him with his vision for the “Sky Building” museum.

Bennett’s “Falling Water” Museum Quote of the unit:


“It seems as if Denver took every architectural OTHERWISE DELETEform BOX from around the world and crammed it into one space!”- (Aedan’s exuberant reaction to observing a mixture of Neoclassical and abstract buildings in downtown Denver)

Our current unit: Central Idea: Advancement in knowledge affects how we treat our bodies. Lines of Inquiry: 1. Function of digestion 2. How choices impact health 3. Caring for our own bodies

As we head into February, we are reflecting on a long, busy and rich unit that began with our first line of inquiry “Aesthetics from the Past”. We focused on Ancient Greek mythology, performing the Mackintosh Boulder pioneer play “Tales from the Ancient Hellenes” under the dedicated direction of Matty Miller in December. Our students acted and sang in comic and tragic tales including “Orpheus”, “Arachne and Athena” and “The Trojan Horse”. During our writer’s workshop, we worked on the next two lines of inquiry—“Themes in the arts over time” and “Integrating techniques and themes”. We explored two themes from Greek mythology: “How it Came to Be” and “Consequences for Bad Behavior”. Students used these themes to create their own myths, taking inspiration not only from the ancients, but also from modern works and their peers. Each student’s myth became a unique work, as tortoises, cats, pugs and stuffed hamsters took the forms of gods, goddesses and mortals. Reminiscent of the Ancient oral tradition, these myths inspired weeks of lively “Author’s chair”—a time when students use the white sofa to read their work to the class. We completed the unit with a study of how architectural forms of the past inspire modern works. Students each researched a famous building and generated a thoughtful list of what makes a building “famous”. We studied Classical forms of Greek architecture and then did a scavenger hunt for Neoclassical design features in Denver’s City Park. We toured the Ponti and the Hamilton buildings of the Denver Art Museum to gain more inspiration for own architectural creations. Our final unit project was to integrate either Neoclassical design forms or to the natural aesthetics of Boulder, into the design of a new, fictional art museum for city. After finishing their models, our junior designers wrote persuasive letters to a committee to promote the adoption of their designs. As with the myths, students created a diverse array of uniquely-inspired works. Please see our new website page for pictures from our gallery walk by the th th 7 and 8 grade class:

More news October 13, 2011

Vol. 1 Issue 1

Announcing our New World Affairs “Passport Project” As of last week we have a new and exciting format for our World Affairs class time. In an effort to promote international mindedness, and excite our students about geography, we are beginning a new “passport project”. Each Monday we plan to invite a guest speaker, with knowledge about another place in the world, to share with the class during our half-hour World Affairs time. This past week, Kristi Celico shared stories from her recent trip to St. Lawrence Island, Alaska where she did professional mediation between the people of the island and the U.S. government. She educated the students about the unique culture, wildlife, geography and environmental issues faced by the people on this island. This upcoming Monday, our next “trip” will be presented by Celesta Howe, of World Bicycle Relief, who will talk to the students about the difference bicycles can make in the lives of rural schoolchildren in Zambia.

Molly shares data from her homemade thermometer.

Please let us know if you or anyone you know would be able to present a different part of the world.


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This week we began our new unit “Who We Are” with a focus on nutrition and fitness.


Highlights so far include: 

In Writer’s Workshop, we are beginning a new creative piece “Journey through the Digestive System”

In Inquiry math this week, we looked at food labels— measuring and graphing fats and sugars. Next

Above: Eileen inspires our next writing project, a creative “Journey through the digestive system.” Below: Riley reacts to the 70 grams of fat that Charlotte just measured in a McDonald’s meal.

students selected three items from a McDonald’s menu and measured total fat, sugars and calories in their selected meals. (Molly created a 3-item meal with 92 grams of fat)

We have been outside burning Brazil nuts in a makeshift calorimeter. We’ve been measuring the amount of temperature change in 10 mL of water, produced by food energy in the nut. Our goal is roughly estimate the nut’s caloric count. We have had a few design issues with the calorimeter—and the class has been problem-solving solutions.

Upcoming Field Trips: 2/16/2012 Depart 9 a.m. Return 2:45 p.m.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science--$4

As part of our unit, we will attend a class called “You’ve got guts”, as well as Exhibition health. We have also reserved a viewing of the “Snakes and Lizards” temporary exhibit. Look for permission slips to come home shortly.

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3rd 4th Boulder February Newsletter  
3rd 4th Boulder February Newsletter  

3rd 4th Boulder February Newsletter