Miss Stacey Schmutz (Grade 4)

 Greetings 3rd and 4h grade families!

Please study math facts (addition/subtraction and/or multiplication/division) 15 minutes a night. I have started giving them timed fluency "quizzes".

Reminder to parents: Please do not write the speech for your child. You may help them, proof read, scribe, type it up for them, but the majority of the words should be coming from the student. The speech should be their "voice". It will be much easier for them to memorize their speech if they have actually written the speech themselves. They WILL NOT be reading from their paper or note cards, it must be memorized.  I understand you want to help, but you are not doing your child any favors by doing the work for him/her.  Also, I would keep the speech to no more than 2 minutes. You may cut it down to 1 minute if you like. Start by cutting out information that does not pertain directly to the person's accomplishments or what they are famous for, such as mother/father/sibling information. 



Great Lives of the United States

Wax Museum Biography Project

    Our next major grade 4 project will be to read a biography of a person from the United States of America. A biography is a book written about a person’s life by another person. The subject of the book is usually famous for some great achievement. The United States was home to many famous people. There were presidents, explorers, scientists, inventors, civil rights leaders, artists, authors, and many others. For any area of interest you might have, there is most certainly a biography of someone for you to read to discover the contributions he or she made to your field of interest.

     Your task is to choose a person you admire and can get excited about. If you aren’t familiar with a particular person, choose based on a subject area that interests you (science, government, etc.). You may need to visit one of the public libraries in Holyoke, South Hadley, or Northampton. You must bring your biographies to school to have them approved by me before you begin to read it. You need at least 2 biography books. You may also use the Internet to supplement the biography books. No Wikipedia!!!

     After reading your books and finding out as much as possible about your person, you will create an eye-catching and informative poster displaying your knowledge about the person’s life and accomplishments. You will write a speech about your person as if YOU are that person speaking. You will also make a costume to wear and gather special props that relate to your person’s life.

    On the day of your presentation you will transform yourself into that person and teach others about him or her. You will “become” a wax statue of your person. Dressed in your costume, you will stand by your poster and give your speech to classmates, parents, and other visitors after they press the button that brings you to life. You will need to memorize your speech.

    Your person must either have been born in the United States or became a U.S. citizen and can be someone from history, a scientist, artist, politician, inventor, or any influential/ground-breaking person no longer living. I do not want actors, actresses, athletes, or musicians.

Do your best work, take your time and put your best effort into this project. Neatness counts!! Spelling counts!! Have fun with this and if you have any questions, ask me!

You will have some practice time at school, but most of your preparation will be done at home. This is a big project, so be sure to mark your calendar for the following important dates. I have broken the requirement into “checkpoints” to help to organize your time:

Checkpoint 1  -  Books chosen and approved     Date: Mon. Feb 26th

 Checkpoint 2  -  Books read, research done, note  facts written    Date: Mon. March 5t

 Checkpoint 3  -  Speech written          Date: Mon. March 12th

 Checkpoint 4 – Poster completed       Date: Thurs. March 15th

 Checkpoint 5  - Costume/props brought to school in a bag labeled with your name   Date: Mon. March 19th

 Keep this packet in your agenda. I will check off each task as you complete it. Completing tasks on time is part of your grade for this project!

Great Lives Wax Museum Project

                                                    Checkpoint 1:              Due Monday Feb. 26, 2018

                                                        Two biography books chosen and approved

                                                  **Show me your biographies as soon as possible**

 Great Lives Wax Museum Project

Checkpoint 2:               Due Monday March 5, 2018

The next steps toward completing this important project are to do the following:

  1. Carefully read your biography all the way through, beginning to end.
  2. Then check the research Questions located in your Wax Museum packet. You will see that you need to collect information in 3 categories: Early Life, Adult Life, and Other Fascinating Facts.
  3. Go back and read your biography AGAIN, this time looking for important information in each of those 3 categories. When you find something you want to include in your presentation, record it in note fact form. Use this example to guide you:


 4. When you have collected your important information and written your note fact cards, go back and check the Research Questions again. Have you answered all of them??? If NOT, you will need to use another source (perhaps another book or the Internet) to find the rest of the information you need.

5. On the day the note fact cards are due, put them in order: Early Life, Adult Life, Other Fascinating facts. You might want to color code them to help with order. For example, make a yellow stripe on top of all the Early Life note facts, an orange stripe on top of all the Adult Life note facts, and a green stripe on top of all the Other Fascinating note facts. Place a cover card on your packet of note fact cards with the name of the person your biography was about and your name.

6.At the back of your note card packet include a BIBLIOGRAPHY card listing each source you used including the title, author, or URL of website. Put a rubber band around your pack of cards. It is now ready to be turned in for me to assess.

DO NOT begin your speech until I have checked your note fact cards and given them back to you. You may work on your costume, props, and poster throughout this project. In fact, I highly suggest not waiting to start these checkpoints!!

 Great Lives Wax Museum Project

Research /Note Fact Questions

 As you read your biography you will need to take note facts. Note facts are NOTES that you make on notecards about the FACTS you are reading. Each fact needs to be written on a separate notecard in note format, not complete sentences. Be sure to use your own words!

 Here are some questions you will need to be able to answer about your chosen person. To help you organize your note facts, at the TOP of EACH CARD write out the general category that the note fact is about. For example, if it is about the person’s early family life, write “Early Life” at the top of the note card (see the checkpoint 2 page). Then underneath “Early Life” write “Family life” and then write the fact.  Remember, only one fact per notecard.

 Early Life Questions

  1. What was your person’s family life like? Who were his/her parents? Did he/she have brothers or sisters? Where did they live? What jobs did his/her parents have?
  2. What schools did your person go to? What early training did he/she have?
  3. What major accomplishments, special recognitions, awards, etc., did this person have as a youngster?
  4. What influences did your person have on his/her life as a young person? Was there an influential person in his/her life? Did he/she have any interesting experiences as a child that helped to shape his/her life later on? Did any significant events happen in his/her young life?

 Adult Life Questions

  1. What was your person’s family life like as an adult? Did he/she get married? Did he/she have any children? Where did he/she live? What job did he/she have, if any?
  2. What schools (colleges, apprenticeships) did your person go to? What training did he/she get?
  3. What were the major accomplishments in this person’s life? Did he/she win any awards or get special recognitions, etc.? Why?
  4. When did your person die? What was the cause of his/her death?

General Questions (Other Fascinating Facts)

  1. Why is this person famous
  2. Why is it important that we remember this person and his/her achievements?
  3. What other fascinating facts did you discover about this person?
  4. Did your person have any hobbies or talents?

                                                       Great Lives Wax Museum Project 

Checkpoint 3:  Speech Due Monday March 12, 2018

Checkpoint 4: Poster Due Thursday March 15, 2018

 it is now time to take the information you have gathered about your biography subject and prepare both your speech and your poster.

Your speech must follow this outline: 

  • It should be in the first person using the word “I” as if you really are your biography subject.
  • Start your speech by introducing yourself and telling about your greatest achievement. For example: “Good Afternoon! I am Helen Keller. I am deaf and blind but I became known as a great communicator in spite of my disabilities.”
  • Next, include several sentences detailing information about your person’s early life: birthplace, childhood, schooling, family, etc. If they made a significant contribution as a CHILD, be sure to mention that.
  • Next, include several sentences detailing the important events in their adult life. What job did they have, did they travel to significant places, and did they have a family?
  • Be sure to tell what their important achievements were, giving details and dates. “ I am famous for….”
  • Many of your biography subjects made mistakes in their lives before they were able to realize their goals and achievements. Be sure to mention any unfortunate events or decisions that may have happened to your person.
  • End your speech by reflecting on what your person contributed to the world and what he or she will most be remembered for. For example: “I was a leader in getting people all over the world to realize that there should be equal rights for people of all colors. I would like to be remembered for encouraging others to judge everyone not by the color of their skin, but by the quality of their character.”
  • Time yourself as you practice reading your speech. It should be no more than 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Proofread carefully! Your speech should be written neatly (or typed), spelling should be excellent! Punctuation and capitalization should be correct also.


 Next steps: After I have checked your poster and your speech, you will need to PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! On the day of the Wax Museum, you will give your speech like a powerful presentation. It must be MEMORIZED!!

Show pride in yourself and do quality work!

 Effective posters should:

  • Teach the audience about the topic
  • Be big, bold, clear, and colorful – the poster itself as well as the lettering
  • Have a title and tell who made the poster
  • Contain information that is accurate and important.
  • Have correct spelling***
  • Contain pictures that go along with your topic. Pictures may be photographs, copies of prints from books or the Internet, drawings, or any combination of the above. Pictures should have captions to explain what they are about.
  • Have an effective layout. Plan out where the pictures will go, where you will write your information, where you will write your title, etc. Use guidelines and write lightly in pencil first, then trace over in bright, bold marker for easy reading.
  • Be creative!!! Don’t make an ordinary, flat, 2-dimensional poster. Think outside the box! Make your poster be a shape that goes with your topic. Or make it be 3-dimensional. Or make it have pieces that jump off the page, or make it interactive like the math notebooks. Creativity counts!!


Johnny Appleseed, the poster/visual was a tree

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the poster/visual was a log cabin

                                                           Great Lives Wax Museum Project 

                                            Checkpoint 5:           Due Monday March 19, 2018

 Costume and props brought to school in a bag labeled with your name.

Please don’t feel you need to buy your costume and props. Look around your house for clothes and props.  You can also make your own props.

 If you do want or need to purchase anything, check second hand stores, Salvation Army stores, Goodwill stores, Savers, flea markets, tag sales, and dollar stores.


Great Lives of the United States Living Wax Museum Rubric 

           Name:                                                           Character:     






Historical Accurac

All historical information appeared to be accurate and in chronological order.

Almost all historical information appeared to be accurate and in chronological order.

Most of the historical information was accurate and in chronological order.  

Very little of the historical information was accurate and/or in chronological order. 


Student wears a costume that accurately fits the period, and shows considerable work/creativity and makes the presentation better. Student also uses 1-2 props.

Student's costume accurately represents the period. Student uses 0-1 props that accurately fit the period, and make the presentation better.

Student's costume did not fully relate to the character or period. Student uses 1-2 props inaccurately and/or distract from the presentation.

The student did not have a costume and used no props.

Knowledge Gained

Can clearly explain the life and time of their character as well as the significance this character had on History.

Can generally explain the life and time of their character as well as some of the significance this character had on History.

Can minimally explain the life and time of their character, but cannot explain the significance this character had on History.

Cannot explain the life and time of character and cannot explain the significance this character had on History.


Student was able to stay in character throughout the entire performance. They went above and beyond to become their character.

Student was able to stay in character throughout the majority of the performance. They were able to become their character.

Student was able to stay in character throughout some of the performance. Student was sometimes able to become their character.

Student had a hard time staying in character throughout the performance. They never truly became their character.


Student fully knew their 1-2 minute script and was able to present it with voice and expression.

Student knew most of their 1-2 minute script and was mostly able to present it with voice and expression.

Student knew little of their 1-2 minute script and was able to sometimes present it with voice and expression.

Student did not know their 1-2 minute script and was not able to present it with voice and expression.



Poster/visual is free of spelling and grammar mistakes. The poster is neat, eye-catching, & colorful. The student thought “out of the box” when creating the visual. The poster has moving and interactive parts.

Poster/visual has 1 spelling or grammar mistake. The poster is neat, eye-catching, & colorful. The visual is a standard tri-fold poster. The poster has moving or interactive parts.

Poster/visual has more than 1 spelling and/or grammar mistakes. The poster could be neater and/or more colorful and eye catching. The visual is a standard tri-fold poster. The poster may have a moving or interactive part.

Poster/visual has more than 1 spelling and/or grammar mistakes. The poster is messy and not colorful and eye catching.

The visual is a standard tri-fold poster or flat poster. The poster has no moving or interactive parts.

































Fourth Grade:


TBD-Chapter 8 Test- open book



Topic 7  - Number Sense: Multiplying bt 2-Digit Numbers

7-1-Arrays and Multiplying 2-Digit Numbers by Multiples of 10, 7-2-Using Mental Math to Multipky 2-Digit Numbers, 7-3- Rounding to Estimate, 7-4- Using Compatible Numbers to Estimate, 7-5-Multiple Step Problems ("hidden question" problems that require solving prior steps before solving the question that is actually asked of them).

2/8- Topic 7 Test 



 Engineering - 

 Students will use popsicle sticks and tape to try and improve on their design of the straw bridge.

2/7 - Engineering quiz-know the engineering steps/process, be able to identify which step is being described. (Only 5 questions so 1 wrong is already a B-)

Social Studies:

Unit 1, Ch 2. Lesson 3- 

 2/6 - U1Ch2L1,2,&3 vocab quiz- 20 words

immigrant, culture, government, republic, represent, democracy, citizen, Constitution, federal, legislative branch, Capitol, executive branch, White House, judicial branch, Supreme Court, amendment, Bill of Rights, passport, taxes, & jury.

Third Grade:


2/6-- Chapter 8


TBD-Topic 5