April 12, 2015 Update

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Last week was very busy in our classroom.  In addition to the “usual” academics, we enjoyed a Green Challenge assembly, played a game about the development of modern transportation in Illinois, removed the wigwam, and planted greens in the cold frames.

Some housekeeping items:  Allergy season is soon upon us and we need to restock tissues.  With the warmer weather, students are more active and perspire, they will need to use antiperspirant/deodorant.  Be sure your child has rain gear at all times and dry socks would be helpful.

Bus to Us:  This is a program run by the Waukegan library as an outreach to students outside their library district lines.  They pair students from a local school with students from an out-of-district school.  Think of it as long distance Reading Buddies.  OUr third and fourth graders were chosen to participate on April 27, 2015.  We will spend the morning at the Waukegan library enjoying read-alouds and activities with our first grade buddy class from Waukegan.  There is no cost to parents.  We will write letters of introduction to the students before we go.

Academics:

ELA:  Readers’ Workshop:  This week we will conclude Little House on the Prairie.  Students have used many comprehension strategies including recall, predicting, and inferring.  Students compared and contrasted characters and wrote a short essay on it.  They worked on vocabulary development through using context clues, background knowledge, and reference materials.  In addition students learned about personification as a literary element.  Word Work:  Core:  decide, position, bear, hope, song, engine, board, control, spread, none.  Content:  efficient, scythe, reaper (not the grim one), self-scouring plow, invention.  We will test on Friday.  Writing:  Students reviewed their hard copy of the mysteries and will begin their Illinois Biography.  I heard from only two families with questions about locating sources.  This week students will research and complete the planner, type the rough draft, peer conference, and type the final copy.  After Earth Week students will complete the rest of the project in class.

Math:  We completed the long division mini-unit and will continue to practice in subsequent math packets.  This week in Math we will be adding another mini-unit of study to our Investigations program.  We will be completing a unit on expressing length, mass, and capacity in metric units.  We will use a mnemonic devise for helping students understand the metric prefixes:  King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk:  kilo, hecto, deca, deci, centi, milli.  Students will receive a chart explaining how to use the mnemonic devise to untangle the place value of the metric system.  Students will also solve multi-step word problems using metric units.  This mini-unit requires that students practice at home each night, so I will not assign a math packet this week.

SS:  Illinois History, Chapter 7, A Changing Illinois.  Last week students learned how modern inventions changed transportation in our state in the early 1800’s.  This week students are learning about inventions that made farming easier: the self-scouring plow and the reaper.  Students will also learn about the growing number of immigrants to our state including the Mormons, Swedish, and Amish.  Each student will need a paper grocery bag for a lesson on Thursday.

Service Learning Project:  Our SLP is to add interactive features to our classroom gardens.  Students will have two work days this week.  So far we have created four work groups, each group has a goal and created an action plan, and are beginning to create surveys, interviews, or activity lists.  We will keep you posted.

Taste of the World:  We are going to Mr. H’s room for a taste of South America on Monday afternoon.

Dates to Remember:

4/15     Early Release

4/17     Variety Show

4/18     Green Team Work Day, 9-11:30

4/20 – 4/24     Earth Week

4/21     Field Trip to Botanic Garden