Update August 27, 2016

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

Our first full week of school is under our belt and here is a list of our accomplishments:

  • Completed three writing benchmarks assignments:  narrative, opinion, and informational
  • Practiced all Daily 5 and maintained stamina in all areas
  • Worked on multiplicative comparison word problems using bar models and variables for the unknown
  • Finished our Prairie study by creating a mural in the hall
  • Explored the woodland habitat in Oak Openings
  • Began learning about taxonomy through tree identification

Housekeeping:  Water bottle alert!!  Several students have had waterbottle leaks and near disasters in their backpacks.  Please be sure that all waterbottles have a secure seal.  Adding ice generally is an invitation for a wet backpack too.

Also, all students need to have all supplies at school immediately.  Several students do not have indoor slippers or indoor gym shoes.  Students will lose points if they are not prepared for gym class.

Fall allergy season is upon us.  Make sure that your child takes any medicine at home for them to be comfortable during the day.  Allergy kiddos may need to bring in extra tissues too.

Academics this week:

ELA:  Readers’ Workshop:  This week during our CAFE time, students will work on an informational piece on prairies.  Students will use an organizer to support them while they create a summary.  The summary will then be “taken off’ the organizer and written on paper.  The four paragraph summary is due on Friday.  Spelling will begin this week.  All students were re-evaluated and placed in groups that reflect their spelling stages.  Some students will need to repeat a few spelling patterns and then will jump to new patterns.  Do not be concerned if your child appears to repeat a sort from last year.  Over all, students did very well on the evaluations.  Core words are:  fine, round, dark, past, ball, girl, road, blue, instead, either.  Content words are:  biodiversity, insects, mammals, grasses, forbs.  In Writers’ Workshop, students will begin the year using a new writing program called “Units of Study” by Lucy Caulkins.  We are going to begin with Personal Narratives through Ordinary Moment Stories, Stories We Wish Existed, and building Believable Characters.  Students will work in their writing journals on these activities.

Math:  This year your child will be taking LOTS of notes in their Math Notebook.  Our plan is that the notebook will serve as a resource for your child to use when practicing homework or for an assessment.  Keep all the math work that is checked and sent home as these can serve as a resource for your child.   This new program doesn’t have a homework component for each session; however, when we are unable to finish the work in class, it will become “homework”.  We wrapped up our lessons on multiplicative comparison last week and we will have a summative assessment on this topic on Monday, August 29.  Our next topic is the place value of multi-digit whole numbers.  We will use “Arrow Cards”, place value table tents as visual models to help us understand place value.  Students will write numbers in expanded form and create a 2000 chain to understand place value of numbers beyond 1000.  This will lead us into discussions of “numbers ten times as much”.  

Science:  We will work on tree identification using the Wisconsin DNR website for children and go outside with Naomi on Thursday.  We will also name and describe the functions and parts of a tree using role play and by drawing a model.  Students will count tree rings on tree cookies to estimate tree age.  On Friday all students should have two “Good Fit” resources on an Illinois animal to use for the Woodland Animal report.

Green Challenge:  This month’s challenge is to Celebrate Wellness.  Join us for the assembly in the gym on Tuesday at 8:15.

National College Color Day is on Friday, September 2.  Staff is encouraged to wear the colors of their college.  Feel free to send your child in your college’s colors.  Look for me in maroon and buff!  (West Texas A&M University)

Dates to Remember:
8/29  Picture Day
8/30  Green Challenge Assembly, 8:15
9/2 National College Colors Day
9/5 Labor Day, no school
9/6 NWEA:  ELA test
9/6 Comstock Curriculum Night, 6-7
9/8 NWEA:  Math test

Enjoy your week!

Cynthia