Full Moon and Inside Recess and Halloween, Oh My!

Wow! What a crazy week it has been! We have had a Full Moon, two days of inside recess due to rain and it’s Halloween! The students have certainly been excited this week!

Reading ~ We have been continuing to read as if we were in our character’s shoes. We have learned to predict not only what we think will happen, but how it will happen. We are able to do this because we know our character so well. We have also learned how to talk to our reading partner about the characters in our book. We have talked about them as if they were our good friends!

Writing ~ After work on punctuating and tagging dialogue we have begun our final copies. Students worked through and editing and revision process and are now involved in the task of writing their final copy! These will be sahred with the whole class through our student gallery.

Math ~ We are continuing on with multiplying one digit by many digits. Students have now learned the shortcut method (the method you and I learned in school). The best thing you can do to help your child is to make sure that they know their basic multiplication and division facts automatically! (addition and subtraction too!) There is an app on your child’s iPad called Timed Test. This is a great way for them to practice their fact fluency!

Science ~ We have started our second Science unit, States of Matter. This week we explored the question what is matter? (Matter has mass, takes up space). We also explored how to find mass using a balance scale, how to find weight using a spring scale and measuring in Newtons, and how to find volume using a graduated cylinder. This week we focused on finding the mass, weight and volume of solids. Next week we will look at liquids and gases. Check out photos of our science labs!

A huge Halloween Thank You, to all of the parents who donated items and volunteered their time to make our Halloween party a success! A special shout out to Tiffany Schafer for organizing the whole thing! The students and I had a great time! I have attached a slideshow of some of our Halloween fun!

Important Dates:

Thursday, November 5 –  All Janie’s orders must be picked up from school between 5:00 and 6:30 PM – NO EXCEPTIONS

Tuesday and Wednesday, November 24-25 ~ Half Days/Records Days: Students am only!

Thursday and Friday, November 26-27 ~ THANKSGIVING BREAK  No School

Conference Week!

I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and talk with all of you this week. Thank you for sharing your children with me! I know that we are all looking forward to having Friday off and spending time with our families!

This week in Reading Workshop we continued to talk about having empathy for the main character in our book and using that empathy to help us predict what the character will do next and how he or she will do it. We practiced this skill using the character Rob in The Tiger Rising. Students then practiced the skill using the main character from their “Just Right” book.

In Writing Workshop we have continued to work on our realistic fiction stories. Students identified what they thought was the most important part or “Heart” of their story and then stretched that part out by adding details and dialogue. Students also learned the importance of tagging dialogue (letting the reader know who is speaking) and had an explicit lesson on punctuating dialogue. Students then checked their drafts for tags and correct dialogue punctuation.

This week in Math we continued to learn the routine for Math Workshop. During Math Workshop students listen to a mini-lesson either whole group, small group or individually (on ipad) and then rotate through three different math stations: Math Facts, Teacher’s Choice, Hands On and Seat Work (homework). On Thursday we all tried a “flipped” math lesson! Students listened to the math lesson on their ipad and worked through the problems on their student activity sheets while following along. Students were able to go at their own pace and pause the lesson as needed. After they completed the lesson they worked through the math rotations. The great thing about a “flipped” lesson was that it allowed me to check in one on one with each child and see how they were doing. It also allowed me to reteach the concept to those that were still struggling while allowing those that got it quickly to move ahead. The students really seemed to enjoy it!

In Science we reviewed for our first Science Test, the review sheets went home Monday to study and we took the test on Wednesday. We also reviewed with a couple of Kahoot! quizzes on Tuesday. Tests will be reviewed on Monday and then come home.

We also had our first raffle today! Thank you to all of the parents who so generously donated the many terrific raffle items. The students voted to do an auction style raffle today! I think it was a lot of fun! They also had to think about how much they were willing to spend on an item they wanted. We did have a few bidding wars!

Here are some links to a few math videos created by students.

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Friday, October 23 – No school

Friday, October 30 – Halloween Parade at 9:00 AM  Party – 9:30-10:20

Thursday, November 5 –  All Janie’s orders must be picked up from school between 5:00 and 6:30 PM

Friday, November 6 – Box Top drawing!

Friday, November 13 – 4th grade swimming

Friday, November 20 – 4th grade swimming

Tuesday, November 24 – Half Day students am (Records Day)

Wednesday, November 25 – Half Day students am (Records Day)

Thursday and Friday, November 26-27 – No School!

Week of October 12

We have had a lot of fun this week! We have been collecting returnables for the OEDT, we collected food donations for a local food pantry and celebrated Rivalry Week! MSU won the food can vote, so some of our U of M fan teachers had to sing the MSU fight song over the announcements!

In Reading Workshop this week we started a new unit, “Following Characters Into Meaning.” We talked about becoming the main character, Rob, as we read Tiger Rising and using empathy (I understand how you feel) and sympathy (I know how you feel because I have been in a similar situation) to help us understand what a character is thinking and feeling, we can make these connections to a character to help us find deeper meaning in the text. We are also looking at how the author portrays Rob through his words and actions.

In Writing Workshop we have continued to draft scenes for our realistic fiction stories. We worked on the heart of our story and stretching it out and making sure it is the most important part of our story. We will be working on putting our stories together and writing final copies next week.

In Math we started our new unit on multiplication. We learned about the area model for multiplying and the tens trick. Ask you child to show you how to use the tens trick when multiplying with a number that ends in zero. The students were also introduced to our math workshop rotations!

In Science we have finished up our View from the Earth unit. This week we spent time looking at fossils and learning how fossils can help tell us about the past. Wednesday was also National Fossil Day! We looked at real fossils, read a book about fossils and watched Bill Nye: Fossils! Please look for a Science Review sheet to come home on Monday, the science test will be on Wednesday.


Important Dates

Monday – Wednesday, October 19-21 – Conferences. Your time slip came home already.  I look forward to meeting with you.

Friday, October 23 – No school

Friday, October 30 – Halloween Parade at 9:00 AM  Party – 9:30-10:20

Thursday, November 5 –  All Janie’s orders must be picked up from school between 5:00 and 6:30 PM


October 9

What a beautiful fall day! I love that the colors are just starting to turn! We have a gorgeous tree outside our classroom window with the reddest leaves! We have had a week full of fun and learning!

Reading ~ We have finished our first reading unit and have talked about the art of sharing our thinking about the books we are reading with our reading partners. We discussed what it means to “listen well” and what it looks like. Students practiced “listening well” with their reading partner. Our next unit is Following Characters into Meaning. We will be reading the book Tiger Rising as a part of this unit. If your child has a copy at home please feel free to allow them to bring it in. I only ask that they don’t read ahead of the class.

Writing ~ We are continuing to draft our realistic fiction stories. Students have learned the acronym SAID for creating their scenes. We have talked about each scene needing said, “Scene description, Action, Inner thought and Dialogue and Details.” While conferring with students I noticed that many are switching point of view mid-story and also switching tenses. We worked on cleaning up these errors as well.

Math ~ We have completed our first math unit and took our Practice/Review test today. Students that score 85% or better on the practice test do not need to take the final test on Tuesday. For those students that did not score 85% or better we will do a class review and small group re-teaching of missed skills. They will then bring home a practice test to complete for homework Monday night and will take the final test on Tuesday. 4th grade follows this testing cycle for ALL math tests.

Science ~ We had a great time at the White Pines Intermediate School Planetarium and learned a lot about the seasons and phases of the moon! We also learned in class that the Earth’s tilt (23.5 degrees) is the reason for the seasons. Students created a paper flap book to demonstrate this concept.

As always, remember to check out your child’s blog for the week. You can access the blogs by clicking on the Student Blog link under the Blog Roll on the right hand side of this page.

We also had a couple of special visitors this week! On Monday, the Zero Waste In Landfill team came and talked to the 4th graders about the importance of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. The 3 Rs! Students have been sorting their lunch trash this week with the goal of reducing our waste! We are even composting our scraps!

The fire department also stopped by for their annual fire safety week visit! All students that turned in a completed Fire Escape Plan received a SLFD water bottle. We also had an opportunity to tour the fire truck.

Check out our photos from the week!

Fire Safety

Zero Waste In Landfill



Monday – Friday, October 12-October 16 – OEDT Returnable Can Drive

Monday – Wednesday, October 19-21 – Conferences.  Your conference slip will be coming home Monday.

Friday, October 23 – No school

Thursday, November 5 –  All Janie’s orders must be picked up from school between 5:00 and 6:30 PM – NO EXCEPTIONS


We have had a great week in Room 16!

Reading ~ This week we have met and interviewed our reading partner. Students learned that reading is much more meaningful and fun when you can talk with someone about the stories that you are reading. Students also worked on identifying non-fiction text features in expository text and what to do when we come to a word that we don’t know (read on and try and figure out its meaning from context clues).

Math ~ We are continuing to work on rounding, adding and subtracting larger numbers. We talked about slowing down, taking our time and checking our work. Students learned how to add up to check their answers when subtracting. Students also were encouraged to ungroup and subtract one place at a time as many errors were made when they attempted to ungroup all at once.

Writing ~ We are working on our realistic fiction stories. Students created a story map and focused on the problem in their story, how the problem gets worse, the change and the solution. We will begin drafting next week. We also blogged today, ask your child to show you their blog.

Science ~ We kicked off the week with looking at photos of the Super Moon Eclipse and learned about the phases of the moon. We had fun creating the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies! Yum! Check out some of our photos below.

We also helped Mrs. Vanderbroek’s class put apps into folders!


Wednesday, October 7 – Field trip to White Pines Planetarium

Thursday, October 8 – Picture retakes

Friday, October 9 – Janie’s orders and money due

Monday – Wednesday, October 19-21 – Conferences

Friday, October 23 – NO SCHOOL!

Thursday, November 5 –  All Janie’s orders must be picked up from school between 5:00 and 6:30 PM – NO EXCEPTIONS