Update 9/4/16

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Labor Day Greetings from Rock Dam, Wisconsin!  We have had a beautiful two days on the lake.  I want to get this off to everyone before we head off for ice cream…


Curriculum Night:  Our Curriculum Night is on Tuesday, September 6 from 6:00 – 7:00.  We will begin in Muir Hall and then break out to the classrooms.  I understand that you may have other classrooms to visit and will send home the curriculum packet to you if you can’t make it.

Please take a note of this memo from our administration:

Given we are all in the age of media and all things photo, we all love to take pictures of our students at work and play. Please note, however, that not all parents have given permission to have their child photographed. Please ask the child’s parents for permission before posting any photos or names of students on social media. Thanks!

Allergy season:  Several of our kiddos have some severe seasonal allergies and can be pretty miserable in class. Please monitor your child and administer medication at home to help them through the day.

Supplies:  Many students are still lacking supplies, please be sure to figure out what they are missing and send them in ASAP.  Some of the obvious ones:  gym shoes, sketch books, and slippers.


Last week

We fell a bit behind in reading due to the assemblies and other interruptions, so some of our reading work was pushed to this week.  We began “small moment stories” and “stories we wished existed” ideas in our writing journals.  In math everyone completed the “end of the lesson” summative assessment on multiplicative comparisons…tongue twister for sure!  Then we began working on place value, value, and expanded form of really BIG numbers.  We used the “arrow cards” to build the numbers and then create the expanded form.  To give students a visual of how much 2000 is, we created a 2200 chain in the hallway, noting each 100.  We built a living a breathing tree using creative dramatics, learned how to use a tree identification guide in class and then outside with Naomi, and established the expectations of the woodland animal research project.

This week

In ELA we are pressing forward in our work on creating summaries of a prairie book excerpt.  When we are done with this we will begin a summary of an excerpt from “One Day in the Woods”.  Fountas and Pinnel testing will take about two more weeks for full completion, at which time we will begin guided reading groups.  Students have been testing at expected levels, no surprises.  Our vocabulary work will focus on antonyms this week.  Spelling:  Core words:  held, already, warm, gone, finally, summer, understand, moon , animals, mind.  Content words: heartwood, sapwood, cambium, phloem, bark.  In Writing we will work on character development:  creating believable characters with struggles and motivations.  Integrating science and EE with writing, students will be summarizing topics for their woodland animal report.

In math we will extend the function of the tape diagrams and include place value of larger numbers (beyond 1000), use number lines to compare the value of large numbers (10 times as much), work our way up to the value of numbers in the millions, and play the traditional Spoons game using large number cards and expanded form.

Science/EE:  This week we will focus on our research skills and summarize topics for our Woodland Animal report.  Students all received a list of task cards, each one will become topic for their report.  Examples are: anatomy/appearance, diet, habitat, life cycle, etc.  Students will write their summaries on note cards and then re-write in a more formal format.  At this point, we do not know if they will type or hand write.

NWEA:  We have NWEA this week on Tuesday and Thursday.  ELA is on Tuesday and Math is on Thursday.  Remember that this test is not truly timed.  Students can return to finish on another day.

Specials:  This week is Early Release on Wednesday, so both Spanish and PE are shortened.

Dates to Remember:

9/6:     National Reading Day, spend some time reading with your family!

9/6:     Comstock Curriculum Night, 6-7 pm.  Come and find out what is new this year!

9/7:     Early Release, 1:00

9/14:   Farm to Table lunch

Coming at the end of the month:

9/28-29  Earthkeepers for McGovern and Hahn.  This is a very important program for all third and fourth graders.  It involves two days of field trips and one on-campus day.  Students will work to earn their Earthkeeper Keys over the next several months.  More on this later.

9/28:     Parent/Staff Book Club:  This is new this year.  We will read “Mindsets for Parents”.  Our first meeting is on 9/28 from 6:00 – 7:00.  Pick up a copy, read the first three chapters, and join us.

Hope to see everyone at Curriculum Night!

Cynthia McG