September 30th

It is hard to believe that September is over! The first month of school is under our belts. Bring on Halloween!

This week in Reading Workshop students worked on envisionment (making a mental movie as they read). We looked at progressions of what envisionment looked like in third grade and how we can add to it to make it hit the mark for  4th grade. 4th graders not only picture the scene, but they draw on earlier parts of the text to add details to their mental movie using what they know about the characters motivations and struggles.

In Writing Workshop students completed a story arc (map of how their story will go) and then started drafting the very first scene of their story. We talked about the importance of having S.A.I.D. in every paragraph (Setting/scene, Action, Internal Thought and Dialog). Students are working to stretch out each scene with details! We also wrote our blogs today! Visit your child’s blog here: Student Blogs

We finished our testing cycle for Place Value and Rounding and have started on our 2nd Topic. In this next Topic we will be working on adding multi-digit numbers. Students were introduced to a few mental math strategies for adding and subtracting large numbers (break apart, counting on and compensating). This was a difficult concept for some students and they did get frustrated. Rest assured, these are just strategies that they may use, they are not a have to use.

We had a fascinating trip to the planetarium at White Pines and learned a lot about the moon phases and earth’s seasons. In class we had a lot of fun creating the phases of the moon out of Oreo cookies (checck your child’s blog for a photo of their work)!

Thank you for selling the Wesco popcorn buckets!  We can get more if you need them!  We will also be selling chocolate in January.

Please be sure to get your Volunteer forms turned in as soon as possible. All parents need to have forms on file in order to volunteer in the classrooms.

Important Dates

Tuesday, October 4- Parent Math Meeting – 6pm SLHS Auditorium

Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 and 20 – Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21 – 1/2 days


























We also had a lot of Laker Spirit for Homecoming!


September 23

It has been a great week in 4th grade! We are getting in to the swing of our routine and really plugging away at our curriculum. This week also kicked off our popcorn bucket fundraiser, and I am amazed at how many popcorn buckets have already been sold!

In Reading Workshop this week we have continued to read our class read aloud, The Tiger Rising. We have worked on our retelling skills, reviewing how to retell chronologically (start at the beginning and retell the big events, skipping the small details, keeping the retell brief) and we learned how to pause to synthesize, retelling only the part you just read and reaching back in to the story to add in related parts that help you grow your understanding of the character’s actions and emotions.

Students have begun writing Realistic Fiction stories in Writer’s Workshop. We started by coming up with lots of ideas for stories we could write. Students then selected one of their ideas and got to know their main character by writing out his or her internal (character) traits, external traits and how their character sees him/herself and how others view or act toward their character. We also talked about how all stories have a problem and we started our drafting by only writing out the problem scene. We also blogged today (as we will every Friday).

In Math this week we finished up our first topic on Place Value. Students constructed arguments to prove or disprove another student’s conjecture (theory that has not been proven). We are also taking our first math test today. In 4th grade we use a 3 day testing cycle, first we give what we call a practice test, then we have a review day where we go over the practice test together and then do small group re-teaching as needed for skills missed. On the third day we give the final test. Students that score 85% or higher on the practice test do NOT have to take the final test, they have the opportunity to work on some math enrichment activities,

In Science we are continuing our study of the moon by learning about the phases of the moon. On Thursday we will be visiting White Pines Planetarium with Mr. Keller’s class to learn more about the phases of the moon and the Earth’s seasons. Unfortunately, the planetarium can only seat 50 people, so we will be unable to bring parent chaperons. Thank you for all of the Oreo cookie donations! We are all set now and will be doing our Oreo moon phases activity next week!

Check out your child’s blog here:

Student Blogs

Important Dates:

Thursday, September 29 – Field Trip to White Pines Planetarium

Friday, September 30 – Homecoming and Spirit Day (Homecoming Parade @ 6pm)

Tuesday, October 4 – Student Council meeting 8am (elected representatives only)

Tuesday, October 4- Parent Math Meeting – Details to be announced

Friday, October 7 – Honors Choir begins

Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 and 20 – Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21 – 1/2 days


Our First Full Week!

Wow! This week sure has flown by quickly. We have jumped right in to all of our curriculum and are off to a great start!

In Reading Workshop this week we talked about how readers read intensely: They choose books they want to read that are at their just right level, they read as if they are in the book, the figure out confusing parts, they stop and jot things to discuss later, they do the work the book is requesting and they find the flow of the book. We practiced doing these things with our class read aloud The Tiger Rising.

During Writing Workshop students wrote a few on demand pieces so that I can gauge their writing abilities. They wrote a narrative, an opinion (on school uniforms), and an informational piece. Students also learned how to blog! Our student blogs are located on the Kidblog website, you can access them here:Student Blogs

This week we dove right in to our new math program! We started with Place Value and worked on comparing numbers, rounding and saying numbers. I have noticed that some students are struggling with reading larger numbers (hundred thousands and millions). A great way to practice is to write out some large numbers numerically and have your child read the number to you.

Our first science unit is called A View From the Earth. We started out talking about weather tracking and why it is important to track weather. We also learned about the different tools used to help record weather data. Next, we started to discuss the moon and we have been making moon observations. Encourage your child to look at the full moon tonight or Saturday. Soon we will be talking about the phases of the moon.

iPads are coming home today! Your child is bringing home their school iPad and charger, the iPad will need to be charged at home. I have gone over the rules and expectations with students. They understand that mom and dad can take it away if it becomes an issue. Students can explore the apps on their, share their blog with you, and work on their Star of the Week presentation.

Here are a few photos from our week:












Important Dates:

Sunday: September 18- Community Open House 2-4pm
Thursday: September 22 – School Pictures and Wesco Popcorn buckets come home

First Week!

I can’t believe how fast our first week flew by! I have absolutely loved getting to know these fantastic 4th graders! They are amazing! Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but I think I have the best 4th grade class ever!

This week was filled with getting to know all about each other and getting to know our new school. We spent time getting to know each other by sharing our “All About Me” bags, we also talked about how each of us matters in this world and the ways we are genius! We read the book “The Best Part of Me” and each student chose their best part and wrote a poem or short narrative about it. We will be sharing these next week. We spent time getting to know our school by taking a tour and checking out all of the cool new spaces! We even watched a Reading Rainbow video in the Collaboration Studio with some of the other 4th grade classes!

We also spent some time talking about the need for rules in the world and we created a Classroom Constitution with the rules the students created for our classroom. We did an activity that helped us think about what our classroom should be like and what we needed from each other to be successful this year. Then we wrote our class constitution together and signed it.

Each day we read a book that dealt with bullying and discussed the theme (the author’s message). We talked about how themes should be universal and created a “bumper sticker” for each book that states the theme of the book.

Students also took a Multiple Intelligences survey and we talked about all of the different ways that people can be smart. We tied this back into our discussion about how we are all geniuses in our own way. Ask your child how they are smart!

Please mark your calendars for our Community Open House on Sunday, September 18th from 2-4pm. You will be able to check out some of our work from this first week!



Sunday, September 18 – Community Open House  2-4 pm

Wednesday and Thursday, Septemeber 21 and 22 – School Pictures


First Day!

Wow! What a great first day! I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! We spent our time getting to know the new school and each other. We will be continuing to do activities this week to create a sense of community in our classroom and to learn more about each other. I enjoyed being able to put names with faces and am looking forward to getting to know each and everyone of my students.

Students did receive a little bit of homework tonight, the will be filling a brown paper lunch sack with 4-6 items that represent something about themselves. They should be able to tell the class why they chose each item.

Please remember to return all forms as soon as possible, including the $15 for iPad insurance. We will bring the iPads home as soon as we have all the consent forms and insurance money.

Your child came home with a few notes today. The notes explain the 4th grade trip to Chicago in June, the payment options and our classroom policies as well as our homework and iPad policies for 4th grade. Please take a moment to read these through.

Have a great evening!

Ready to Go!

Wow! It has been a whirlwind, but I think that I am ready for our first day! I am so excited and I can’t wait to meet ALL of you! Here is a little sneak peek of our classroom! The only thing missing is…YOU!

Remember to meet me by the swings on Tuesday!

ps. In case you were wondering what some of your teachers do in the summer…check out the photo at the top of this blog. Recognize anyone?