September 19

We have had a fun filled week of learning!

Writing ~ We began our first unit, fiction writing.  We talked about how real authors get their ideas for their stories.  They write about the things that they know, perhaps choosing an event from their life or imagining stories that they wished existed. We discussed problems that the students  face in their lives, being scared of something, standing up to a bully or being chosen last for a team. The students then  chose a problem they wanted to write about and began developing the main character by listing internal and external character traits.

Math ~We have been working on adding larger numbers, students have practiced lining up the numbers correctly, an remembering to carry numbers over. The students have also worked on rounding numbers in order to estimate answers.  Students are also working on basic fact fluency.  In class we are using and mad minutes.  You will see a mad minute come home almost every day. These are timed for 1 minute. Th goal in 4th grade is 30 facts  correct in one minute. Please practice multiplication and division facts at home by using flashcards, apps on the ipad or on the computer.

Reading ~ We have been talking about all of the thinking that we do when we read.  We discussed making a movie in our mind as we read to help us visualize the story and we learned strategies to help  us when the movie goes blurry.  We also discussed what it means to read like a curmudgeon (ask your child what this means). We decided that we should NOT read like curmudgeons, but instead we should read books like they are gold!

Science ~ We have started our first unit  “A View From the Earth.”  We began by looking at weather tracking and what tools are used to track the weather. We discussed that weather data is used to help predict weather, meteorologists look for patterns to help them predict what the weather will do.  Next, we started our study of the moon. We made a moon observation from the playground and students have an optional moon observation sheet they may choose to complete. We discussed what makes day and night also. Next week a request for Oreo cookies will be coming home. We will be using the cookies to learn the phases of the moon!

We have also started our vocabulary study this week. Please use the vocabulary words with your child and encourage them to use them as well. Our goal is to have these words become a part of their spoken and written vocabulary. This weeks words are: bizarre, effective, ineffective, get-up-and go, sag, and creak.

Dates to Remember:

Friday, September 19 – Janie’s Cookie Dough sale begins, flyers went home Friday.

Thursday, September 25 – Picture retakes

Tuesday, September 30 – Planetarium field trip, information will come home soon!

Friday, October 3 – Janie’s orders and money due


Our First Full Week

We have had a great first full week of school! There certainly is a lot of learning going on in here!

Math ~ We have been working on place value, rounding numbers to the nearest 10, the nearest 100 and the nearest 1,00o.  We have also practiced writing numbers in standard notation (745), expanded notation (700+40+5) and in word form (seven hundred forty-five). We have also taken a few mad minutes (both multiplication and subtraction). These will be coming home tonight. The 4th grade goal is 30 correct problems in 1 minute. The papers your child is bringing home were timed at 2 minutes. To help your child meet this goal, have your child spend a few minutes each night practicing their multiplication and division facts. (There is an app for that)!

Writing ~ We have written three on demand pieces, an opinion piece (school uniforms), a narrative and an informational piece. These are used to evaluate your child’s writing in each area. We will begin writing our Realistic Fiction stories next week.  Every Friday, students blog about their week. Please check out your child’s blog using the Student Blog link on the right side of this page.

Reading ~ In reading workshop we have been talking about the things that good readers do. We have learned that research shows that in order for students to grow as readers they need to read tons and tons of books at their just right levels.  We also reviewed how to select just right books, as well as reading ourselves awake! Taking care not to read on autopilot.

Science ~ We will begin science next week. Our first unit is “The View from the Earth.”

Have a great weekend!

Day 3!

We have the first week in the books! I have really enjoyed getting to know all of my students this first week. I know that we have an awesome class and will have an amazing school year!

Today, we practiced some basic division skills, we learned how to log in to Xtramath on our ipads and explored some of the different math apps.  Ask your child which app they liked the best and why.

We continued to work on reading books about bullying and looking for the theme of each book. That message the author wants you to take away!

Today the students also became bloggers! You may check out your child’s blog by clicking on the student blog link to the right of this post. We will be planning to blog every Friday. This is where your child tells you about their week in school in their own words. They are so much fun to read. You can also comment on their blogs.

As you probably noticed, your child came home today with a little more glitter! Ask them what the purpose of the glitter activity was. It has a very powerful message about choosing our words careful, as our words can hurt and we can’t undo the hurt.

I am looking forward to a great week next week. Five full days. Daily homework will begin on Monday.


Have a great weekend!

Day 2

We had a great full day of school! There was a very brief power outage…maybe 5 seconds and the kids handled it like champs!

Today we spent some time writing our own constitution for our class. Ask your child what we did and what a constitution is!

We also began reading instruction. We talked about the THEME of a book and how the theme is “the message” the author wants to leave you with. We then discussed common themes in stories.  We related theme to a bumper sticker on a car. We talked about how bumper stickers are little phrases or messages, short pieces of advice, and themes are like that too! We then read The Recess Queen and discussed the theme. Ask your child if they remember our “bumper sticker” theme for the book.

Here are some photos from our constitution activity.



Best First Day Ever!

Wow! What a great group of students! We had an amazing first day! It all flew by so fast! I am excited to spend the whole day with them tomorrow. I know that we are going to have the BEST school year ever!

Please remember to return all forms, including the iPad consent form and insurance payment as soon as possible.

One student dropped their homework on the way out today,  so I want to remind the students that their homework tonight is to fill their “Me Bag” with five items that represent something about themselves. They will then share these items with the class. The items should all fit inside a paper lunch sack.

I promised the students that I would post  a video that we saw at the assembly today. The video is our “ALS Ice Bucket” challenge.

Ice Bucket Challenge