February 22, 2015 Update

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

What a wild and crazy week!  Hopefully things will settle down a bit before we have the PARCC tests in a few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed!

Housekeeping:  Keep sending in the warm winter gear.  The weather is still beastly cold and frosty at recess.

Mrs. Krissek and I have a surprise for the kids (and a small gift for you).  On Thursday, the 26th, we are going to provide a pizza party for the students at lunch.  This will include cheese pizza and juice for all!  We will even provide cups and dishes, so please take a break from the lunchbox.  Send a snack in the AM, but let us do the rest.


ELA:  This week in Readers’ Workshop, we will wrap up our pencil and paper PARCC review.  On Thursday morning we are going to tackle parts of the on-line practice test as a whole class.  As part of our CAFE work, students are going to practice informational text features using Time For Kids news magazines (CCSS Reading Information #7 and #8).  Guided reading groups will meet several times and work on vocabulary and comprehension of classic children’s literature (CCSS Reading Literature #1, #2, #3, #4).  Our Student Teacher, Ms. Mathias will be presenting a lesson using excerpts from Little House on the Prairie.  Spelling will have a compressed schedule this week:  Monday:  cut/sort/write, Tuesday:  buddy sort, Wednesday:  core and content sentences, Thursday:  word test.  Core words are:  ride, region, nor, period, rich, team, corner, cat, amount, garden.  Content words are:  flatboat, keelboat, sod, calico, linen.  In Writers’ Workshop we are going to complete a practice pencil and paper PARCC prompt and begin a new writing unit:  What’s In a Mystery?  Students will be studying the traits of mystery writing and writing their own simple mystery story.  Our final copy will be completed on the Chromebooks.

Math:  Last week we continued to work with our student-made fraction cards to sort and order fractions from zero to three.  Students have been working to understand the relationship between area, improper fractions, and mixed numbers.  This week we will continue to compare fractions and then move on to adding and subtracting mixed numbers and learn to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers.  We will have Rocket Math and Group Challenge this week too.

SS/Science:  Last week we continued our discussion of plate tectonics by making a “Pangaea Puzzle”.  It really is amazing that the continents appear to fit together, and a little mind-boggling too!  We will return to our study of earth processes and landforms in a few weeks when the materials are available to our class.  At the end of the week we began a Social Studies unit on Life on the Frontier.  Students learned where who settled in Illinois came from and why they left their homes in the east and in Europe.  This week we will continue our study and discuss the hardships of travel, study primary documents, and read “A Ramblers Notes” by Jane Pigsley Mitchell, an early settler.  Students will study the lifestyles on the homestead and gain a better understanding of the world of a pioneer child.

Remember that we will not have school on Friday for a Teacher Institute Day.   Do not forget to sign up for Student Led Conferences on March 11, 2015.  Please refer to the email that was sent on Wednesday, February 18 for the link to sign up.

Dates to Remember:

2/24/15     Board Meeting @ 7:00

2/25/15     Farm to Table  (we eat at 11:55)

2/27/15     Teacher Institute: No school for students

3/6/15       Daddy and Daughter Dance

3/9/15       Green Challenge Assembly @ 9:30  THIS A DATE AND TIME CHANGE!!


Sometimes it is so cute when the kids choose the same clothes on the same day!  Here are the Sweater Twins! Can you pick out the difference in the sweaters?  Other than the colors, of course!

Beautiful sweater twins!

Beautiful sweater twins!