March 29, 2015 Update

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

As we returned from Spring Break, many of us learned of the legal issue threatening our school.  There are many questions that only time will answer.  Administration has set up a FAQ section on the school website, so please refer to that to answer your questions.  Meanwhile, it will be business as usual for classroom teachers!  Please do your best to calm your children about the issue before the school.  Thank you.

Academics:

ELA:  In Readers’ Workshop we will continue to read Little House on the Prairie.  Students will be working on each set of chapters and related activities in class and at home.  I anticipate three days on each segment: two days spent on reading and one day on follow-up activities.  Each segment will cover four chapters. Students will have class time to read each day and I will meet with small groups to support their reading.  Spelling words for this week:  Core:  meant, broken, interest, chance, thick, sight, pretty, train, fresh, drive.  Content:  delegate, Congress, reject, reservation, treaty.   Writers’ Workshop:  This week we are going to return to Grammar Boot Camp and review run-on sentences and adjectives.  Students will work on editing for run-on sentences also.

Math:  For the next two weeks or so, we will work on the traditional long division algorithm.  (Math without mystery!)  I will introduce the concept slowly and give tons of support to the children through connecting the strategy to partial quotients, multiplication strategies, and mnemonic devices.  For children who have not mastered the multiplication facts, they will be given supports during the learning process.  Please work with them at home to master the multiplication facts…it is never too late!  I anticipate math homework on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Service Learning Project:  We kick off our Service Learning Project this week.  I will present a “vision” to the students:  Interactive Garden.  We will take a tour of the current garden spaces, develop a problem statement, define our “know and need to know” facts, and write an action plan.  I will update you as we move forward with our project.

Social Studies:  This week we will wrap up Illinois Our Home, Chapter 6 with lessons on Illinois statehood, The Blackhawk War, and an interactive review followed by a quiz on Friday.

Reading Buddies:  We will meet with our favorite Kindergarten friends on Tuesday morning.  Our focus will be on teaching about Fossil Fuels.  We hope to use Chromebooks to access website information and then create a poster to share with others.

Spanish:  Don’t forget the blown-out eggs for April 6th.

PARCC Update:  We are done with our classroom testing.  If your child was absent for any of the testing, make-ups will be this week.  The schedule is not solidified yet, but I can update you when I know the exact times.

For the girls:  From your teachers…

In April and May, we are going to gather the fourth grade girls for a couple of “girl time” groups. This will give the girls a chance to be together and focus on connecting with one another. Topics may include team building, friendship and how we communicate with others, and how we feel about ourselves. As a team, we are excited about this idea and hope you are too. As always, please feel free to get in touch with any questions.
Here are some pictures from before break.  What a great group of troopers!
Chilly Phenology in the Medicine Wheel Garden

Chilly Phenology in the Medicine Wheel Garden

Another view of early Phenology in the garden.

Another view of early Phenology in the garden.

 Have a wonderful week and stay alert for notices from the Administration and School Board.
Warmly,
Cynthia McG