Update April 2, 2017

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

thumbnail_IMG_2541       What a brave pig you were, Matthew!

I hate to end your spring break on a sad note, but Matthew became increasingly ill and stopped eating.  His molars were interfering with his ability to eat and drink, so my vet, Dr. Ed, recommended that we put him to sleep.  My son, Chris, came with me for support.  Losing a pet, no matter how small, is always really hard.  My veterinarian is a very compassionate doctor and I totally trust his expert opinion.  He has cared for our family and classroom pets for 20 years.  He waived fees for Matthew’s care too.  I asked how we could repay his generosity, however he would not accept any cash donations.  He did have two requests though…

1.He  rescued a mama cat ready to have kittens.  She birthed three gray tabbies.  Dr. Ed needs to find homes for the kittens and the mama.  He will have them all spayed/neutered at no cost.  They will be ready to go home in about three weeks.  Please let me know if you or someone you know can provide a forever home for these cats.

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2. He sponsors a fund raiser for several rescue groups at an outdoor event in June.  It is located in Lake Villa, just up the road apiece from school.  Description follows on A Day With the Dogs:

This outdoor dog festival is fun for the whole family, including your four legged canine kids! Admission is free and the event is open to everyone. Every year we have 98.3 WRLR join us at Loffredo Park to boogie in the sun. The event features food, games, music, face painting, vendors, raffles and so much more! The whole event helps raise funds for four local rescue groups; Petropolis Inc., Green Pup Shelter, Cast-A-Way Rescue, and Midwest Beagle Rescue and Welfare Education. You can help the cause and get a sweet package by registering for only $30. Your registration gets you an event t-shirt, food tickets, raffle tickets, face painting tickets, and photo tickets. Plus the first 50 people to register get an additional goody bag filled with all sorts of treats, toys.   As the event approaches, more information will come so join the Facebook event by clicking here. Register in advanced by downloading this registration form and turning it in with your check or cash at Animal Hospital of Lake Villa.

Please help us find homes for the cats and sign up to attend the Day With the Dogs.  Nala and I will be there!

Now on to the school stuff:

Academics this week:

ELA:  Readers’ Workshop:  We are going to finish up Little House comprehension and vocabulary activities by Tuesday.  Students will begin their end of the book project:  a slide show highlighting the major events, themes, and literary devices of the book.  On Friday we will set up a “slide show” in the classroom so students can see everyone else’s work.  Spelling:  Please check your child’s assignment notebook to see the core and content words for this week.  We will have the regular spelling test on Friday.  Writers’ Workshop:  Students will wrap up their final chapter of their informational book on Illinois history and type up their work.

Math:  In math we are going to stay with Eureka math for the remainder of the decimal and measurement unit.  On Monday we will complete a study guide for the “mid module” quiz on Tuesday.  We skip math on Wednesday due to PARCC tesing.  On Thursday and Friday we will be comparing decimals using place value charts, metric measurement, area models, and number lines.  Each night will have practice work to complete at home.  Remember that with Eureka Math,  the work we do in class is very similar to the homework practice.  Usually just the numbers or the context is changed, not the concept.  Guide your child to review the daily in-class practice to guide his homework practice.  Rocket Math:  We are almost 100% done with division facts!  Push your child to master the rest of the division facts.  Fluency with the facts will remove roadblocks for 5th grade math success.

SS:  The Hacker Trail has become so muddy, the river so swollen, that many of the wagons have slowed down to a crawl.  This week we hope that the weather clears and the sun shines on our pioneers.  Students are learning the hardships that the pioneers faced as they moved west.  Each student is also completing daily writing assignments using the information from the simulation.  We had hoped to arrive at our destination by end of last week, but we will need at least another week and a half to finish the simulation.

Bee Friendly:  This week we hope to finalize our plans and present a proposal to administration about the purchase and location of a bee house.  Keep in mind that we are considering solitary bees, not honey bees.  Solitary bees are not aggressive and the males do not sting.  The female bees take care of themselves and will only sting if squeezed. (In the pictures that I viewed, they look more like flies than actual bees.)  A Mason bee’s pollination rate is 100X greater than that of a honeybee, making them pollinator super heroes!!  We will have a parent night in late spring to present our project to you.

PARCC:  We only have one test this week! We have ELA #3 on Wednesday at 12:15.

Spanish:  The Cascaron Celebration is coming…Your child needs to bring in several empty eggshells that we will fill with birdseed as part of the Cascaron Celebration.  Senora needs parent volunteers on April 5 from 9:40- 10:20 to assist with the crafting of the cascarons.  Contact her directly.

Upcoming Family Events:

Spanish Poetry Night is on April 12, 2017, 5:00 pm

Green Team Family Compost Class is on April 13, 2017, 5:30 pm.

Family Math Night:  Family Math Night is on April 26, 2017  beginning at 6:00.  Sign up information to come.

Dates to Remember:

4/11:  Green Challenge Assembly

4/12:  Farm to Table

4/17 – 4/21:  Earth Week

I hope that you all had a restful spring break,

Cynthia McG