April 20

I guess if it is going to snow in April, at least we had a snow day! I hope everyone had a little bit of extra fun Sunday night and Monday when we received the gift of a snow day called the night before!

This week in Reading Workshop we continued to work in our Historical Fiction book clubs. Groups have been looking for those moments that seem to be written and bold and are pausing to ask, “Why is this important?” “How does this add to our change what I have been thinking?”

We have started a new unit in Writing Workshop. Students will be learning how to write a 5 paragraph Literary Essay. Students have a short story that they are reading closely (finding little details) to help them understand the characters traits, motivations, struggles and relationships. They will be using these observations to create a thesis for their Literary Essay. Students also chose a theme to write about and found reasons that support their theme.

In Math we have finished Topic 13: Find Equivalence in Customary and Metric Units of Measure. Students took the practice test on Thursday, and we reviewed today. If your child has to take the paper test, they will have some review sheets to complete this weekend.

In Social Studies we are continuing to learn about Economic Systems. We discussed Supply and Demand and talked about the upcoming Market Day! On Wednesday students brought home a Market Day planning sheet. This sheet is due back to school on Friday, April 27!

As we approach the end of the year, we have a lot going on. Please note these dates.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, April 24  – 4th Grade Link Up Concert at The Frauenthal

Friday, April 27 – 4th Grade Earth Day movie field trip (cold lunch needed) more info. to come soon

Tuesday, May 8 – Front Porch Night

Friday, May 11 – Market Day

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 15-17 4th Grade M-STEP Testing

Friday, May 18 – Visit SL Intermediate School

Thursday, May 31 – Chicago!

Friday, June 1 – Bocce Ball and Rocket Launch

Tuesday, June 5 – Camp Pendaluan with Jeffers 4th grade (more information to come home soon)

Wednesday, June 6 – 4th Grade Celebration, 6:30pm Spring Lake Middle School

Friday the 13th!

We have had a great week coming back from break and getting right in to the swing of things. There is a lot going on the next two months so please note the important dates at the end of this post.

This week in Reading Workshop we have been working on reading Historical Fiction. The class was divided into book club groups and each group is reading a different historical fiction novel. Students have been keeping timelines of the history of the time period oin their book and of the main character’s history. We have discussed how a character’s perspective is shaped by not only the time period that they live in, but also by their role and their age. The have also learned to look for symbolism in the small details.

We have started a new unit in Writing Workshop. Students will be learning how to write a 5 paragraph Literary Essay. Students have been assigned a short story that they are reading closely (finding little details) to help them understand the characters traits, motivations, struggles and relationships. They will be using these observations to create a thesis about the main character for their Literary Essay.

In Math we have begun Topic 13: Equivalent Units of Measurement, both Customary (U.S.) and Metric (the rest of the World). We have learned how to convert from one unit of measurement to another for example: gallons to ounces, tons to pounds, miles to feet, kilometers to meters. Although the math is simple multiplication, the problems do need to be read carefully and students need to use their persistence! Our practice test for this Topic will be on Wednesday.

We have begun our Economics Unit in Social Studies. This unit culminates with our 4th Grade Market Day. Information about Market Day went home on Wednesday. Students will need to have a completed product plan turned in by Monday. Please help your child figure costs to make 12-15 of his/her chosen item and the cost of 1 item. Remember they may NOT spend more than $8.00 on materials, supplies and labor! We have discussed that nothing is “free” at some point in time, someone had to purchase it, for example; I have rocks in my landscaping. Clayton used some to make his project, although we did not purchase them for the project at one time they were purchased. I charged Clayton 5 cents a rock. They should also price their item between $o.25 and $2. A good rule of thumb is to mark the item up by 50%. So, if it cost 25 cents to make it, it should be sold for 50 cents. To figure the price of 1 item, tae the total amount spent on materials and labor and divide it by the number of items made. The date of Market Day is Friday, May 11.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, April 24  – 4th Grade Link Up Concert at The Frauenthal

Friday, April 27 – 4th Grade Earth Day movie field trip (cold lunch needed) more info. to come soon

Tuesday, May 8 – Front Porch Night

 

Friday, May 11 – Market Day

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 15-17 4th Grade M-STEP Testing

Friday, May 18 – Visit SL Intermediate School

Thursday, May 31 – Chicago!

Friday, June 1 – Bocce Ball and Rocket Launch

Tuesday, June 5 – Camp Pendaluan with Jeffers 4th grade (more information to come home soon)

Wednesday, June 6 – 4th Grade Celebration, 6:30pm Spring Lake Middle School

 

March 23

We have had a wonderful reading filled day for our Read-a-Thon! We had a “Boston Tea Party” and drank sweet tea and had some biscuits while we read each other’s American Revolution books. We also had a chance to read some of the books from Mrs. Vandenbosch’s class. We finished reading The Lightning Thief. Students read at special, we read in the Library and we read math word problems involving money! Thank you all for your Read-a-Thon pledges!

This week in reading we continued with our fantasy studies through The Lightning Thief. We talked about how fantasies are all about a struggle between good and evil. We discussed how characters and people aren’t all good or all bad. When we come back from break we will be starting our Historical Fiction Book Clubs!

In Math this week we learned decimals! We learned how to convert fraction with tenths and hundredths into decimals. We plotted decimals on number lines and we solved word problems using decimals. We added, subtracted and even did some dividing with decimals! Our Online test will be Monday, Review Tuesday and Final test is on Wednesday. If your child will not be here Wednesday and they need to take the final test, I will have them take it Tuesday afternoon during iTime.

In Writing Workshop this week we completed our All About the American Revolution books! The students put in a lot of research and hard work into their books. Their efforts are apparent in the quality of the work they did!

In Social Studies this week we learned about the Bill of Rights and completed a Bill of Rights project that will be coming home next week. Ask your child to tell you what the Bill of Rights is!

A huge THANK YOU to all of the parents that have donated items for our classroom raffle on Wednesday!

Important Dates:

Friday – Sunday, March 30 – April 8 – Spring Break

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – No school.  Professional Development for teachers

Tuesday, April 24– Link Up Concert

Friday, April 27 – “Dolphin” movie at Cinema Carousel

March Madness!

We have our own version of March Madness happening here at school! We are trying to finish up all of our projects and units before Spring Break so that we have a fresh start when we return!

Today we read what we were wearing!  I loved reading everyone’s shirts, hats and even a  few had words on their pants! We also had another all school Drop Everything and Read today.  A huge THANK YOU! to  all who have signed up for the Read-A-Thon online! We are hoping to win the prize for having our whole class signed up, so if you haven’t done this yet, please go to pledgestar.com/holmes.

In Reading Workshop we continued to read The Lightning Thief , as we read we are learning about different techniques that authors use when writing fantasy.  One technique we learned about comes from something that was written on the  Lenox Globe – Hic Sunt Dracones, which meant “Here Be Dragons.”  This was written to warn the  mariners who sailed the oceans about places that were dangerous, to stay away! We learned that this was symbolic as there weren’t really dragons,  but it meant “Look out!  You’re in dangerous territory – don’t go there!  We talked about how our characters in our books face metaphorical dragons, or inner struggles that they usually don’t want to talk about.  We discussed the “dragons” of the characters in Lightning Thief and students looked for dragons for the characters in their books.  We also discussed how most fantasy books are really about the struggle between good and evil. To do this we looked at what lessons the character learns and what lessons they teach us, to find the themes of our books.

In writing we spent the week completing our final copy of our research/informational books on the American Revolution.  I am impressed by all the hard work the students have put in to their books. They look amazing! The books will come home right before Spring Break. We are hoping to have the opportunity to share our books with other 4th graders and Mrs. VanderBroek’s 2nd grade!

In social studies we talked about the checks and balances that our government has in place to limit the power one branch could have.  We also went over the Bill of Rights and what the first 10 amendments are.  We will be doing more with The Bill of Rights next week.

In math this week we learned how to create and read line plots and answer questions based on those line plots! We did all of this using fractions!

Important Dates:

Friday – Sunday, March 30 – April 8 – Spring Break

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – No school.  Professional Development for teachers

Tuesday, April 24– Link Up Concert

Friday, April 27 – “Dolphin” movie at Cinema Carousel

March 9

Happy March is Reading Month! Please remind your child to complete the March is Reading Month activities! Information on our Read-a-Thon also came home this week! Send in those donations and we will read, read, read!

Reading ~ This week in reading we have been talking about the Fantasy genre. We have talked about what a fantasy is (magic elements, talking animals, etc.) and we have has some specific lessons on reading fantasy. First, we learned that a fantasy reader has to quickly figure out what type of world the fantasy is set in. To do this it helps to look at the cover (what do you notice?) and to read the blurb on the back. We also learned that the first few chapters will begin to give us a lot of information on the setting. In The Lightning Thief  we learned that the setting is present day New York City and the United States, however there are elements of magic and greek gods and goddesses. We also learned that readers of fantasy have to pay attention to the parts where a character directly asks a question, or talks one on one to someone. In fantasy we need to be alert to this so that we can learn facts about the world and our main character as he or she learns them too.

Writing ~ In writing we have been working on putting our All About the American Revolution books together. This entails, writing final copy for each section, creating text features and then gluing our text and text features on to the pages creating a pleasing layout that is easy to read and not confusing.

Math ~ We completed Topic 10: Multiplying Fractions. The test results will go home today. Today, we also started Topic 11 reading line plots. I had several students who rushed through their homework today and did not read carefully. Some may be bringing home homework (paper) that they need to correct.

Social Studies ~ This week we learned about the Separation of Powers, the different roles of Federal, State and Local governments and the three branches of government, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. As well as how each serves a certain role in providing checks and balances so that one branch does not abuse its power.

 

Important Dates

Friday – Sunday, March 30 – April 8 – Spring Break (NO school Friday, March 30)

Tuesday, April 10 – No school.  Professional Development for teachers

April 24 – Link Up Concert.  Look for information about this trip coming from Mrs. Ireland soon.  There a few opportunities to chaperone for this trip

April 27 – “Dolphins” movie  Thanks to generous donations from Holmes families and friends, we will be taking the 4th grade classes to see this Earth Day movie at the Cinema Carousel. (We will not be taking chaperons to this event).

May 31 – Chicago – You received your final payment information at conferences

June 1 – Bocce Ball and Rocket Launch Day – Look for information to come home about this fun day to come from Mr. Robinson and Mr. Overway.  I know they always need parent help for this day!

June 5- a day at Camp Pendalouan with Jeffers 4th graders.  Plans are being finalized.  We will let you know more at a later date.

March 2nd

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

I enjoyed having the chance to talk with all of you at conferences this week!  Thank you for coming in to talk about your child and his or her learning and development.  Can you believe that there are only 12 weeks left in the school year?!

Since we already about what we are studying in the upcoming weeks during conferences, I will make this update short and highlight a few special things.

March is Reading Month – a gold colored packet went home a few days ago detailing all the activities for the month.  There are a couple of contests and a calendar of reading activities to do at home.  Each Friday we will be Dropping Everything And Reading for a few minutes as a whole school.  Today’s theme was “read at the beach” There will be a Read-A Thon again this year.  Look for information to come home regarding this event.

Field Trips – We have a few!  More detailed information will come home closer to each date.  I just wanted you to be aware. Check out these important dates:

April 24 – Link Up Concert.  Look for information about this trip coming from Mrs. Ireland soon.  There a few opportunities to chaperone for this trip

April 27 – “Dolphins” movie  Thanks to generous donations from Holmes families and friends, we will be taking the 4th grade classes to see this Earth Day movie at the Cinema Carousel. (We will not be taking chaperons to this event).

May 31 – Chicago – You received your final payment information at conferences

June 1 – Bocce Ball and Rocket Launch Day – Look for information to come home about this fun day to come from Mr. Robinson and Mr. Overway.  I know they always need parent help for this day!

June 5- a day at Camp Pendalouan with Jeffers 4th graders.  Plans are being finalized.  We will let you know more at a later date.

Important Dates

Friday – Sunday, March 30 – April 8 – Spring Break

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – No school.  Professional Development for teachers

February 23

Wow! It is hard to believe that March is right around the corner! I think some of the students may have a little touch of Spring Fever!

This week in Reading Workshop students have continued to research the American Revolution. Students chose a second focus topic (famous person or battle) and then continued their research. We discussed what readers do when the text gets hard. First, read an easier text on the topic, next re-read the hard text and chunk and paraphrase the text bit by bit, using the text features to help you figure out the difficult parts.

In Writing Workshop we continued to work on the sections for our All About the American Revolution book. We are wrapping up the drafting of the sections and will be working on writing an introduction and a conclusion for our books next week. We will then begin the process of writing final copy, creating text features and putting our books together.

This week in Math we wrapped up our unit on adding mixed numbers. I will be sharing tests with you at conferences. Everyone did very well! Our next topic will be multiplying fractions.

In Social Studies we have begun our unit on Government. We started the unit by learning about the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Students learned what the words in the preamble mean and created a project to show their understanding. Next, we will be learning about the Bill of Rights.

Important Dates

Wednesday and Thursday, February 28 – March 1 – Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday and Friday, March 1 and 2 – 1/2 days

Friday – Sunday, March 30 – April 8 – Spring Break

 

 

February 16

Today, the 2nd Continental Congress met in Room A205 of Independence Hall (also known as Holmes Elementary). John Hancock presided over the Loyalists and Patriots as they were debating the fate of the colonies!  The debate was well argued and rebutted, and the colonists adjourned to take time to determine the next course of action.  We had a great time with this reenactment of the Second Continental Congress, as it was a culmination of all of our historical reading and researching up to this point. Great job, delegates! Check out our class Facebook page for video and pictures!

Class Facebook page

In Reading Workshop this week we spent much of our time preparing for our debate! The students surpassed my expectations and surprised me with their debating skills! Students had to state their position, support it wit a reason and give evidence that supported the reason. Students also had to prepare rebuttal arguments.

In Writing Workshop we continued to work on our All About the American Revolution books. Students worked on writing a 1sst person account (historical fiction) of their focus topic.

This week in Math we have worked on adding and subtracting fractions, adding and subtracting mixed numbers, converting improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa, as well as simplifying or reducing fractions. Whew!

In Social Studies we are wrapping up our Black History month studies on slavery and civil rights by creating a class quilt. I will post pictures when we complete the display. It will be in the hallway during conferences for you to see.

Important Dates

 

Wednesday and Thursday, February 28 – March 1 – Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday and Friday, March 1 and 2 – 1/2 days

Friday – Sunday, March 30 – April 8 – Spring Break

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day! Today we had a chance to watch Punxsutawney Phil look for his shadow! We heard that he predicted another six weeks of winter!

This week in Reading Workshop we have continued to research our selected focus topics within the scope of the American Revolution. Students have learned that in reading history the details and the drama are what makes it interesting and memorable. Students also learned about primary sources, and how to evaluate these sources. We spoke a lot about differing points of view and the authors purpose for writing it.

We have been taking our research from Reading Workshop time and using our notes to help us write our All About the American Revolution books. Students began by flash drafting a section that is an overview of the revolution. They used their notes and a class timeline to briefly write about significant events throughout the course of the revolution. Next, students drafted a section about their focus topic. Students chose to focus on the Intolerable Acts, the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Boston Tea Party or the Boston Massacre. Students learned that they need to add  interesting details into their writing to make history come alive.

In Social Studies this week we have been learning about the Civil Rights movement. We focused on the brave actions of Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Next week we will be watching the Disney movie about Ruby Bridges. Students will then be creating a quilt square (paper) for our Black History Month Quilt. (This is a paper quilt that we construct).

In Math this week we are continuing to work with fractions. Students learned how to add fractions with like denominators, how to decompse (take a part) fractions and we learned about mixed numbers; how to turn them in to improper fractions and what a mixed number represents.

Important Dates

Monday and Tuesday, February 5 and 6 – Winter Break – No School

Friday, February 9 – Chaperone lottery results sent home and chocolate sales wrap up

Thursday and Friday, March 1 and 2 – Half Days – Parent Teacher Conferences

Friday, March 30 – Friday, April 6 – Spring Break – School resumes Monday, April 9

Tuesday, April 10 – No School – S.A.T. testing 11th, Professional Development

 

January 26

This week in Reading we have continued to research All About the American Revolution. Students have also begun to research their chosen focus topic.

In Writing Workshop students chose a cause of the American Revolution that they were interested in and are researching it during reading time. In writing time they will be writing an All About book about the American Revvolution. On Monday we will begin by drafting our first section, All About the American Revolutuion.

In math we have been learning how to compare fractions. We reviewed how to compare fractions with like numerators or like denominators. Then we learned how to compare fractiuons using benchmark fractions like 1/4, 1/2, 3/4. We also learned how to compare fractions by finding equivalent fractions with like denominators. Finally, we learned a shortcut to use to compare fractions. The online test will be on Monday, review on Tuesday and the paper test on Wednesday.

In Social Studies we have begun our Black History studies. We began by talking about the start of slavery in the United States and we discussed how people escaped from slavery. We have watched a few videos and read the books Follow the Drinking Gourd, Henry’s Freedom Box, and Sweet Clara’s Freedom Quilt. Next week we will begin to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.

We have completed our 3 Science units. Mr. Overway will be teaching the last science unit, Energy Transfer, in STEM.

Important Dates

Friday, January 26 – Chicago chaperone requests due and BINGO Night from 5:30-8:00 PM

Monday and Tuesday, February 5 and 6 – Winter Break – No School

Friday, February 9 – Chaperone lottery results sent home and chocolate sales wrap up