Update January 16, 2017

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

This week we said good bye to Juwayriya.  We will miss her creativity and infectious sense of humor.

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Housekeeping:  We are in need of regular white paper towels.  Winter gear:  This week we are guaranteed some interesting weather.  Please check the weather report each day and make sure that your child is prepared for the day.

Last week we wrapped up our Inherited Traits unit.  There was a bit of confusion about a few traits, namely baldness and tongue-rolling, which we will review on Tuesday.  All of the guided reading groups completed their novels, some even had time to complete mini book projects.  I updated all student spelling sorts and we had word tests with the new sorts.  In math, fractions rule!  We worked on equivalent fractions and comparing fractions with like and unlike denominators.  We also began a new social studies unit on the French influence in the history of Illinois.

Academics this week:

ELA:  In reading this week we are going to read about GMO’s:  Genetically Modified Organisms.  Students will have articles from Newsela to read closely.  Reading skills will cover comprehension:  reading for details and main idea;  summarizing; and vocabulary development.  There will also be opportunities to study text features in the form of graphs.  Our Core spelling words are:  except, figure, you’re, free, fell, suppose, natural, ocean, government, baby.  Content words are:  ally, proclamation, colony, treaty, empire.  the in-class spelling bee will be on Wednesday afternoon.  In Writers’ Workshop, students will continue to write stories that they can use in their personal essays and then build their essays with lists as well as stories.

Math:  Students will continue to work on equivalent fractions and comparing fractions.  Students are using several strategies to compare fractions:  common denominators, common numerators, and benchmark fractions.  It is very important that students can create a visual model, not just work with the numbers.  I want to be sure that all students are very secure in comparing fractions and equivalent fractions before we move on to addition and subtraction of fractions.  Keep working on fact fluency in division, fractions, and decimals!

Social Studies:  This week we will look at the influence of the Voyageurs from Canada (and France), the fur trapping and trading industry, life in the French villages in Illinois, and the French and Indian War. In honor of Martin Luther King we will also read several books and articles over the week relating to his life, dream, and peace.

Benchmark Testing:  This week and next, students will be tested in math concepts and calculation.  Each test will only be 8 minutes long and do not require any student preparation.  Students will also be given individual reading fluency tests.  These will not take more than 10 minutes.

Specials:  All specials will meet as usual.  See individual teacher webpages for exact details.

Farm to Table:  Our squash and beans will be served on Wednesday!  Be sure to join us in the barn for a yummy Indian meal.

Dates to Remember:

1/17      Peace Assembly to kick off Peace Week, 8:15

1/18     Farm to Table

1/23     All-school spelling bee

1/23     School Choice Week

1/24     Board Meeting, 7 pm

1/25     Early Release, 1 pm

Be sure to check the homework page.

Have a wonderful week,

Cynthia McGovern