Update April 5, 2015

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Hoppy Easter to everyone!  Whether you hunt for eggs or golf balls, what a beautiful morning for being outside. I’m headed out to enjoy the day with Nala as soon as this is sent.

This week was very smooth at school considering the pressure that our school family must be feeling.  There is a special board meeting on Monday, April 6 at 7:00 PM.  I encourage everyone to attend; however understand that there may be questions that can’t be answered yet.  A good exercise might be to write down all your questions and then prioritize them within topics.  Coming together as a strong school family to support the school’s efforts will be important over the next few months.

EARTH WEEK SHIRTS:  The LAST day to order is April 6!  Mr. Z has challenged the classes to wear 100% new shirts.  Can we do this?

TRASH FREE:  Last week I noticed extra trash in lunches.  It could be that families returning from the break may not have time to shop for trash free items.  Please do your best to eliminate the trash from the lunches.

Academics:

ELA:  Readers’ Workshop:  This week we will continue to read Little House on the Prairie.  We are being very sensitive to the portrayals of other cultures in Laura’s recollections of growing up on the Kansas prairie in the mid 1800’s.  Our purpose of reading this novel is to allow the children to read an extended text that relates to the pioneer experience on the prairie.  We will be reading additional stories that will present other viewpoints on our country’s westward movement and the effects of it on resources and cultures.  Spelling will follow the regular pattern this week, so be sure to have your children continue to practice at home every night.  Core  words:  lead, break, sit, bought, radio, method, king, similar, return, corn.  Content words:  barge, canal, cargo, immigrant, steamboat  In Writers’ Workshop, I will introduce a Biography project that we will return to next week.  On April 6 students will choose a subject and then on April 13 students will need to bring print resources to school to begin the project. Students will complete this entirely at school unless they are absent.  They will receive a note tomorrow explaining the first step of the project.  During Writers’ Workshop this week we will focus on adjectives, our Service Learning  Project:  to create an interactive garden space in our third and fourth grade gardens.

Math:  This week we will continue to add levels of difficulty to our long division mini unit.  By the end of the week we will be dividing by two-digit divisors and solving story problems.  Most of the errors that students are making are due to their poor recollection of the multiplication facts, not due to misunderstanding of the division process.  Ask your child if he or she is still working on multiplication facts in Rocket Math and if the answer is yes, then please intensify your practice at home.  Expect homework on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Thank you for being a partner in your child’s success!

SS:  Illinois History, Chapter 7, A Changing Illinois.  The next lesson will focus on how the advancements in transportation changed Illinois.  We will spend all this week looking at the invent of steam engines, canal and canal locks, and the railroads.  We will create a timeline, watch some videos on engines, canal locks, and the railroad.  We will play an Illinois transportation game on Friday.

Outdoor Activities:  This week we will bring our attention to garden bed preparation.  We have repaired the cold frames and next we need to turn the soil, work in the new fertilizer, and plant the Asian greens that we will donate to the food pantries in May.  We also will remove the wigwam to prepare for our new one.

Don’t forget two eggs for Spanish tomorrow!

Dates to Remember:

4/6:     Special Board Meeting at 7:00

4/7:     Green Challenge Assembly at 8:15

4/8:     Team Building for 4th Grade Girls (see last week for description)

4/15:    Early Release

4/17:    Variety Show at 7:00 PM

4/20:   Begin Earth Week!!  Overview of our week to come later…

4/27:   “Bus to Us”  for our class.  More details later…

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the beautiful weather!