October 20

There has been a lot of learning happening in 4th grade this week!

This week in Reading Workshop we learned how to build an interpretation of a story by reading and thinking about many aspects of a book and connecting different parts of the book so that we can think across the whole story. We practiced this using the class read aloud Tiger Rising. We looked specifically at Rob and noticed how he was sad and lonely throughout the book, but we also noticed two times when he felt really happy. What we discovered is that Rob feels happy when he is with people who “get him”, for example, Sistine and his mom. We then took this idea and tried to make it in to a “big idea.” Students came up with the theme: “People are happiest when they are with people who understand them.”

During Writing Workshop time students have been writing the final copies of their fiction stories. We will be sharing these in class soon. Ask your child what they wrote about and what they think of their finished piece.

In Math we have learned different methods to multiply multi-digit numbers by 1 digit. Students started with using the distributive method, then we learned the partial products method and final we learned the “shortcut” method (old school method that you and I learned in school). We completed Topic 3 with our test this week. I am noticing that many of the errors are due to students not knowing their basic multiplication facts. It is imperative that your child have instant (correct) recall of all of their basic facts. This is a 3rd grade concept that was to be mastered in 3rd grade. We don’t have time in the day to practice math facts  at school, so please have your child practice at home. Moby Math: Fact Fluency or the Timed Test app are great apps for practice. Flash Cards or practicing in the car on the way to and from school are also great!

We also started our second Science unit: Organisms in Their Environments. We began by discussing habitats and what animals need in their habitat to survive (air, water, food, shelter). Next week we will be adding to our classroom zoo! We will have a tank with 16 African Dwarf Frogs, 10 Guppies and 8 Mystery Snails!

We also participated in an assembly to congratulate Mrs. Smits on becoming a citizen of the United States of America!

Important Dates

Tuesday, October 31 – Halloween parade (9:00 AM) and party (9:30 AM)

Wednesday – Friday, November 22-24 – Thanksgiving Break – no school

Reminder: Parent Teacher Conferences are on Wednesday and Thursday this coming week!

In Reading Workshop this week we have continued to grow insightful theories about the characters in the books we read. We have searched for precise, true exact words that we can use to describe the characters in the stories we read and supporting our theories with evidence form the text. Example: Sistine isn’t just bossy and sassy, she is passionate about the things she believes in. Sistine doesn’t take no for an answer when Rob tells her that they can’t let the tiger go, she fights for the tiger and even says she will saw through the locks! We also discussed finding the arc of the story. We used this format to help us: “Somebody (main character) Wanted (What he/she desires) But (obstacles in their way) So (how does the main character respond) to help us. As books become more complicated, answering these questions becomes more difficult. We are also looking for ways that our characters are complicated, how are they more than one way?

During Math students took their Topic 2 Practice Test and if needed the Topic 2 Final test. Students are still getting used to the language used in this program and the types of questions being asked. Rest assured, for the most part, scores were much improved on the final test. We also started Topic 3: Using Strategies and Properties to Multiply by 1 digit numbers. Continue to encourage your child to practice their basic math facts at home. I still see a lot of students counting on their fingers for addition and subtraction. It is imperative that your child has instant recall of all of their basic math facts (this was a 3rd grade skill), especially multiplication and division. Practice at home is a must!

In Writing Workshop we continued to draft our scenes. At this point drafting should be complete. Next week we will revise our drafts making sure we have stretched out the heart of the story, and we will work on editing our work for complete sentences, paragraphs, punctuation and capital letters.

This week in science we came back down to earth and looked at fossils. Students examined different fossils and made observations. We also talked about the layers of the earth, from oldest to youngest. (oldest on bottom and youngest layer on top). We took our first Science test today!

Important Dates

Wednesday and Thursday, October 11 and 12 – Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday and Friday, October 12 and 13 – 1/2 days – Noon Dismissal

Monday, October 31 – Halloween Parade and Party (more details to come)

Week of September 25

Another great week of fun and learning in the books! It’s hard to believe that earlier this week temperatures were in the 90s! We were all thankful for the air conditioning in the new building!

This week in Reading Workshop we continued studying how authors make characters complicated (more than one way). Students noticed what an author repeats about a character. We talked about authors put things in books for a reason. Good readers pay attention to the details and use these ‘clues’ to help develop theories about characters.

In writing we drafted scenes 1 through 3 of our stories, students worked on making sure they had S.A.I.D.  ~ Scene description, Action, Internal thought and Dialogue ~ in each paragraph. We also worked on not changing tenses in our story (present/past) or Point of View, students should be writing in 3rd Person.  Next week we will learn how to stretch out the most important scene using details so that a moment in time fills a page and we will begin drafting  our final scene.

In math this week we practiced rounding large numbers in order to estimate answers.  We then practiced adding and subtracting large numbers, and using them in word problems.   Although the math concepts are easy at this point, some students are struggling with reading questions and figuring out what the question is asking.  We took our online PRACTICE test today. Monday we will review concepts and Tuesday will be the ‘Real’ test. The best way to help your child be prepared for the test is to have them practice adding and subtracting large numbers and rounding large numbers to estimate sums.

In Science we had a great time visiting the Planetarium at White Pines to learn more about the moon phases and the reason for the seasons (tilt of the earth on its axis). We also had fun making a few projects to help solidify our learning.  We made a vocabulary booklet, a cut-out of the sun, moon, and earth to show revolution and rotation, and a season flip book.  Ask you child if they can explain why we have seasons.

As always, please check out your child’s blog at Kid Blog


Important Dates:

Wednesday and Thursday, October 11 and 12 – Parent Teacher Conferences

Friday, October 13 – Half Day, Noon Dismissal

Week of September 18

First, I would like to thank all of the parents that donated Oreos for our Oreo cookie lab! Thanks to your generousity our Moon Phase Lab was a huge success! I have posted the pictures on the classroom Facebook page. You can check them out here: Mrs. Lannon’s classroom Facebook page

This week in Reading Workshop we have been working on “Growing Ideas About Characters.” Students have been paying attention to details and noticing what a character says and does, asking ‘Is there a pattern here?’ If so what doe it tell me about the character. We also learned that it is especially important to pay attention when a character does something different from the pattern. We need to notice and then think about what that tells us about the character. For example, in Tiger Rising, Rob’s pattern is to not stand up for himself and to not engage or talk with other characters. He acts out of character when he suddenly stands up for Sisitine when she is being bullied. This is surprising, because Rob won’t even stand up for himself.

In Writing Workshop we have learned that good writers plan out their stories. We used a Story Arc to plan out our stories scene by scene, focusing on setting the scene, developing a problem, making the problem worse, having a turning point and then a solution/resolution. Next week students will begin drafting their stories scene by scene.

We started a new Topic in math this week. Students are learning how to use the standard algorithm to add and subtract large numbers. Remembering to regroup when necessary. Students also learned how to use inverse operations to check their answers and how to estimate answers using rounding to see if an answer is reasonable. The online test for this unit will be on Friday next week. I noticed a lot of students using their fingers to add and subtract! 4th graders are expected to know their basic facts automatically (no fingure counting) one way to achieve this is to have your child practice with flash cards or Timed Test on their iPads. We have been practicing our multiplication facts in class, but addition and subtraction will need to be done at home as mastery was to be achieved in 2nd and 3rd grade.

In Science this week we continued to learn the phases of the moon and completed our Oreo cookie moon phase lab. (see the link above for pictures!) Next Thursday we will be heading to the planetarium at White Pines Intermediate School. Space is very tight and we are going with another class. Unfortunately, we do not have any seats (in the planetarium) for chaperones. In fact, I may have to sit on the stairs!

Important Dates

Tuesday, September 26 – Picture retakes

Thursday, September 28 – Planetarium Field Trip


Week of September 15

Wow! We survived our first full week! The students have been working hard and wowing me with what they are capable of.

This week in Reading Workshop we have continued to work on finding books that are “Just Right,” reading intensely, finding the flow of the book and putting ourselves in the main characters shoes. Reading the story as if we are the main character and visualizing what is happening by making movies in our minds. Children took turns acting out the ‘bus’ scene from our class read aloud, “The Tiger Rising.” Ask your child about that scene.

In Math we have just finished our first topic. In Topic 1 students worked with numbers through millions. We compared numbers, rounded numbers, wrote numbers using expanded and word form and worked with place value. Students took their Topic 1 test on Friday. In 4th grade we have a 3 day test cycle, on day 1 students take an online practice test (if they score 85% or higher they are excused from the “real” test). On the 2nd day, we review each type of problem on the test as a whole class, then students receive review pages (paper) to work on to review the skills that are tested. Students are also pulled into small groups to reteach skills that they struggled with. On the third day we take the ‘real’ test. Those that are not taking the real test do math enrichment activities.

In Writing Workshop this week we thought up ideas for realistic fiction stories that we could write. Students spent 2 sessions generating ideas for stories that they could write. Then students selected one idea that they wanted to write about. Students needed to make sure that their story had a problem in it. Students then spent time developing their main character by thinking about what the character looks like, acts like, how other people treat/see the character and thinking about what internal traits fit the character (shy, funny, loyal). Last, we started to write our ‘problem scene.’ Students focused on “showing not telling” the problem. Next week we will be using a story arc to write our stories scene by scene. Our child also began writing his/her own weekly blog! You can read your child’s blog weekly at Kid Blog


In Science we have continued to learn about what makes day and night (the rotation of the earth), and what causes the phases of the moon (the moon orbiting the earth). We also created a Venn diagram to compare similarities and differences between the earth, moon and sun. Next week we will be using our Venn to write a paragraph comparing the earth moon and sun.

Enjoy this last fabulous weekend of summer! Maybe I will see you at the Irish Music Fest!

Also, if your child participates in a sport, I would love to have you send me a game schedule so that I can come watch a game or two. Thank you!

Week of September 5th

*My auto update did not work this weekend, I just realized this did not publish. Updates will normally be published on Friday*

Thank you for taking the time to read our classroom blog. Every week This blog will tell about our learning for the week, give important information, share pictures and maybe video, and list upcoming events. Please remember to subscribe to this blog (scroll down on the right hand side bar), and you will receive an email when the blog is updated. I will send an email with the blog link the next two weeks, after that you will need to be subscribed to receive the email updates.

We have had a busy 4 days! We began your curriculum, we set up our iPads, and we have taken some baseline assessments!

in Reading Workshop our first reading unit is: Interpreting Characters in Fiction, by talking about how we need to read intensely. We learned how to slow down and notice everything in the we are reading. We Learned that good readers make movies in their minds, noticing when the movie get blurry, and analyze why the author uses certain words or phrases in the story. We also discussed having sympathy or empathy for our characters to help us better understand them. Students too a pre-assessment before beginning the unit and students spent some time evaluating themselves by looking at the rubric of skills they will be learning with this unit, so that they can see where they started and at the end of the unit we will repeat the process to see what they have learned. We will be beginning the tri-annual reading assessments next week. These assessments allow me to get to know your child as a reader and help guide them toward “just right” books. The assessments also help me individualize reading instruction for each student.

In Math our first unit is all about place value. This is the math curriculum that was rolled out last year. This first unit is short and mostly review of third grade skills, just extending those skills to larger numbers. This year our math Homework (Practice Buddy) and a Quick Check are on the iPads every day. The benefit of doing it this way is immediate feedback for your child. Often students will complete the paper homework, getting many problems incorrect and not know they are practicing it incorrectly until the next day or even later when the teacher grades it. By that time, it is too late. Practice Buddy on the iPad tells them immediately if they are correct or not, and gives help. We will go over all the help options available to them in class. Often your child will be able to complete most of the homework in class. Math homework will be written in their planner. Please review the Homework and Quick Check with your child, check to see if it is complete, and review what they are learning. Your child can show you how to go on to the program and see what we are working on. I will post a short video this week, going over the steps for logging on to see their work.

I am aware that there have been some issues with logging on at home. Rest assured, SL Tech Team realizes there have been some issues with their new filter and not being able to get into programs at home. They are working on resolving these issues, and promise it should be fixed by Tuesday! Thank you for taking the time to check over your child’s work each night and signing their planners!

Our first science unit is A View from the Earth,  we are studying the sun, moon, and Earth. Your child has been asked to go out and observe the moon the next few days, for most of this week the moon (waning gibbous) will be visible in the morning before school and on the way to school. The observation sheet is due Friday, September 15.

Our first Chicago fundraiser began on Friday, Wesco Popcorn buckets! Please try to sell all 5 buckets and return the $60 to school as soon as possible. The fundraiser will continue for a few weeks. We have more buckets available to sell, as your child sells five we can give them more! Remember selling 15 buckets covers the cost of the trip! Buckets are $12 each and good to use at many Wesco stores (see the side of the bucket) immediately until December 2018. Please be sure to return any unsold buckets and lids.

I have noticed a few students do not have headphones/earbuds yet. We will need these by Wednesday for a diagnostic assessment we are taking.

A huge thank you to all who donated Oreos! We are all set and will be doing our moon phase lab soon!



First Week of School!

Wow! Our first week is complete! Even though it was only three days, we have sure accomplished a lot! I have really enjoyed getting to our class!  What an amazing group of awesome people!

This week students presented their “All Abot Me” bags to help us learn a little bit more about each other.  We also wrote our own Classroom Constitution or our rules for our classroom.  We did some activities to help us think about what we wanted our classroom to be like, and what we wanted our school year to be like, then we wrote a Class constitution together and we ALL signed it! We also created a class mission. Our mission is: We are here to lear, have fun and make friends.

We also read a few picture books and talked about the theme of the story (the author’s message, lesson or the moral of the story).  We then worked on making our theme/message fit on a bumper sticker (short and sweet and to the point).  All of the books centered around the theme of stepping up to bullies and being nice to everyone.  Once again, we are a “Be NICE” school, we will be learning more about this throughout the year.

We also talked about how each one of us is important, each one of us matters! We learned that each of us has Multiple Intelligences and we are all smart in our own way. Students then wrote about a way they are smart and why the world needs them.

We have been learning many new routines and procedures this week, we will continue to work on them in the weeks to come. Help your child to be successful by looking at your child’s planner every night and also initialing your child’s planner every night. By initialing the planner you are saying that they completed their homework.  For the next few weeks please help them in filling out the Reading Log. This is found at the very front of the planner. It should be filled out completely each night that reading is assigned. Hopefully soon, they will be able to complete this on their own.

Enjoy the long weekend! Remember, no school on Monday!


Welcome to 4th Grade!

Hello! Welcome to Mrs. Lannon’s Classroom Blog!

I am so excited to welcome you to 4th grade! This blog is where I will update you on our classroom activities throughout the school year. Please subscribe to this blog by putting in your email address on the right hand side where it says, “Subscribe to blog.” This way you will be notified whenever I update the blog.

I can’t wait to meet ALL of you on the first day of school! This year, our first day is a HALF day of school from 8:45am – 12:00pm. I will meet you outside of the South doors (near the swings). I will have a sign with my name on it! You can’t miss me, I have long, dark, curly hair!

FYI ~ We do have a nut allergy in our classroom. Please make sure that your child’s snacks do not contain nuts. Thank you.

Here is the supply list if you have misplaced yours:
4th Grade
Necessary Supplies:
• 1 hardcover composition notebooks ( 9 ¾ x 7 ½” – at least 80
• small headphones or earbuds in a a Ziploc baggie (to be kept at
• a large box of Kleenex (to be shared with class)
• GIRLS – Gallon size freezer bags
• BOYS – Clorox Wipes
• 2 pencil boxes (approximately 8inx5in)
The following must fit inside of the two pencil boxes above, due to limited storage space:
• 24 sharpened pencils
• a pair of scissors
• 1 large glue stick
• a small enclosed pencil sharpener
• a package of 12 colored pencils
• a package of 24 crayons
• a highlighter
• small sticky notes (square, light-colored, plain)
• a stylus to write on your iPad with (stylus and headphones must stay at school)

Optional (Nice to have):mini-stapler, markers, mini-scotch tape and erasers)

Since we no longer have traditional desks (we will have student tables with small storage areas underneath) – Please do NOT bring in binders and folders – all necessary folders will be provided.

STEM is also asking for quart size Ziploc bags.

There will be an Open House on Wednesday, August 23 from 6-7pm.

Enjoy your last weeks of summer! I can’t wait to meet you!


Mrs. Lannon

Parents from last year, you can unsubscribe from these updates through the email update you received! Give your 5th grader a big hug from me, tell them good luck and I hope that they come visit me soon!

Good Bye Elementary School!

I can’t believe what a whirlwind this year has been! Thank you so much for allowing me to be  a part of your child’s education! Each one of these students will always hold a special place in my heart! It has been my pleasure to be their teacher! The growth they have all made is amazing! I know that they will have a spectacular year in 5th grade!

I want to thank the parents that donated items for our end of year raffle!  Each child that had raffle tickest was able to take at least two prizes home.

I would also like to thank my students and their families for the wonderful end of year gifts! I will miss you all!


Mrs. Lannon

Please enjoy our 3 Words video.

May 19, 2017

In Reading Workshop this week we continued talking about “Literary Elements” or little tricks that some authors may use.  We discussed and found examples of Allusion, Poetic Justice and Similie and Metaphor. Being able to recognize and talk about “Author’s Craft” is an important 4th grade skill.

In writing students completed their Literary Essays. Students learned how to use Google Docs to put their essays together and then shared them with me using Google Drive. Students also wrote an On Demand Literary Essay using the story “A Bad Case of Stripes.”

In math we finished our unit on geometry by learning how to classify triangles by their sides and angles. Students also learned how to name quadrilaterals, and how to identify line symmetry and draw in lines of symmetry. Our Final math test for this Topic will be on Monday. Review sheets will be coming home tonight.

In social studies we wrapped up Market Day by doing a final accounting of our expenses and profits and found our net profit. Students then chose how much of their profit they wanted to donate to Save the Catwalk. Our class donated $135.25! I believe the 4th grade as a whole donated $410.

This week we took the English Language Arts and Science M-STEP Tests. On Tuesday and Thursday we will take the Math M-STEP Test. Please be sure that your child has an early bedtime, a good breakfast and comes with a healthy snack on those two days. Ipads and headphones are a definite must have for Tuesday and Wednesday!

Important Dates

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23-24 MSTEP Testing

Thursday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 30 – Discovery Testing

Thursday, June 1 – Chicago Trip 6:45 AM-9:00 PM

Friday, June 2 – Bocce Ball Day

Wednesday, June 7 – 4th Grade Celebration Night – 6:30 PM

Thursday and Friday, June 8 and 9 – 1/2 Days