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My name is Joe Bolin and I teach fourth grade at Blossom Hill Elementary. This will be my eighteenth year teaching at Blossom Hill, although only my fifth year teaching fourth grade. From 1991 - 1994, I was a kindergarten teacher and from 1994 - 2004, I taught second grade. I love teaching fourth grade because the curriculum is very exciting. Of course, Social Studies, with a focus on California history beginning with Native American tribes and continuing through Spanish colonization, the Missions, Mexican Independence, and the Gold Rush is the most visible part of our studies. Science, with hands-on labs in magnetism, electricity, rocks, and minerals, is also dynamic. Learning to analyze books in depth, through discussion and writing, is fun and challenging. Math takes us from two-digit multiplication to two-digit division; along the way, the children learn to find a mean, measure with both metric and common systems, and work with fractions.
Even though it sometimes seems that I enjoy endless hours at school, I also read (murder mysteries are a favorite), garden, and attend local theater (Northside Theater Company is always a good show) for fun. During summer and winter breaks, I usually travel (the photo is of Goa Gajah on the island of Bali).