Classroom News, 2/28/2015


Tuesday: PARCC Testing begins. Please see earlier email for details.

Also Tuesday: Child Assault Prevention Program (CAPP) event for fourth graders only.

Friday: Father/Daughter Dance

No Green Challenge Assembly this week. It will be held next Monday.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about PARCC assessments.


In third grade, the students took a short test assessing what they understand about fractions. They have learned how to identify fractions when looking at equal parts of divided shapes, how to determine which fraction, with a common numerator or denominator, is larger, how to place fractions on a number line and how to solve fraction story problems. On Thursday, the students were given a packet of assorted pages from our text book to finish by next Friday. These pages are multiplication, division and subtraction with regrouping review. There will not be a Common Core Review packet this week. This week, we will dig deeper into story problems that involve math concepts they have learned. Please remind your child to continue to practice math facts!

In fourth grade math, the students have been comparing decimals and understanding the place value in decimals. We were also making the connections that decimals and fractions are both part of a whole and we can show them in both forms.  Saying the name of the decimal is important because it helps you understand and visualize it as a fraction as well. The students wrapped up most of the fraction and decimal unit. These next couple weeks we will be reviewing the skills we have learned this year and then starting geometry. Please help your child review their work as it comes home for homework and graded in the Take Home Folder!


We have been learning about landforms and events that cause rapid changes in the environment: volcanoes, landslides, floods and earthquakes. The students did a great experiment about erosion and deposition. They also made small paper houses to see how erosion effects homes. It was informative and engaging.


The students were assessed for new word study groups. As we paused in our normal word study activities, the students practiced looking up content words in the glossary of their science text book and the thesaurus for synonyms. They will start their normal word study groups again next week.

In writing, the students are creating a slide presentation research paper about minerals. They are using their text book and at least one other source to write about minerals.

In reading, students had the exciting opportunity to vote on their favorite Blue Stem book. I’m proud to report we had 100% participation in the reading challenge. That means that every child in the class read at least 4 Blue Stem books. Bravo! We have been practicing reading strategies with several different books. Later this week, we will begin reading The Little House on the Prairie. Please check out an audio version of this book from the library if you would like the added support of listening to the book. I will have several copies in class, but there will be at-home reading assignments.


As part of our Green Challenge this month, Design Green, students are learning about the wind turbine on our campus. More broadly, they are learning about personal responsibility. We read a marvelous book called The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, about 12 year old boy in Africa who designed a wind turbine for his village. It was during a severe drought. He built the wind turbine entirely with recycled objects from the local dump. He is living in America now, attending Dartmouth, and intending to return to his village to build a wind turbine farm. This moving story inspired the children. This week, we are going to do a group writing assignment related to the book.


  • If you could invent something that would help your neighborhood, what would you invent?
  • What landform is the most interesting to you?
  • How does erosion effect the environment? What is deposition?
  • What was the climax of the story in the Benjamin Franklin book about lightning?
  • What is the difference between a wind turbine and a windmill?