Update January 22, 2017

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

A BIG congratulations to Shrishant and Rania on advancing to the school-wide spelling bee.  The school-wide spelling bee will be held on January 23, 2017 at 8:30 (ish) right after the School Choice Assembly.  We will be in the gym for both events.  Parents are welcome to join us.

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Playing a new spelling game on Thursday.

This week is School Choice Week and students will be celebrating their family’s choice to attend PCCS!  Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday – Assembly –  Wear your yellow scarf and spirit wear.
Tuesday – Crazy Hair/Hat Day
Wednesday – (ER)- Pajama Day
Thursday-Mismatch Day
Friday – Spirit Day!  Wear green and white.
Academics this week:
ELA:  Readers’ Workshop:  This week we are going to look at fact and opinion informational reading.  Students will begin the week with a powerpoint that details the differences between fact and opinion using an informational text book, Adelina’s Whales.  This lesson will be followed by newspaper investigations and a scavenger hunt.  Students will then look at student created editorials and sort information into opinions with supporting facts.  And finally, we will wrap up the week with an article on “fake news”.  Spelling:  Core words are:  grass, plane, street, couldn’t, reason, difference, maybe, history, mouth, middle.  Content words are:  pioneer, settler, frontier, sod, oxen.  In Writers’ Workshop students will continue to build a cohesive draft by revising and re-organizing their essays, and then write introductions and conclusions.
Math:  In math we will assess equivalent fractions and comparing fractions early in the week.  Then students will begin reviewing for addition and subtraction of fractions by “decomposing fractions” into unit fractions and re-combining them into wholes with addition.  This is a quick review lesson and students will assess on Friday.  Keep up the hard work on fact fluency.
SS:  We will be reading about the pioneer experience in Illinois as settlers pushed westward in the early 1800’s. Students will learn about the methods of travel, homes, work, and children’s daily life.  Students will read informational texts, create “sketchnotes” in their social studies notebooks, and complete an informational packet to accompany Chapter 5 in Illinois, Our Home.
Science:  We will begin our study of the rock and soil cycle on Friday.  Our first investigation will explore the composition of different types of soil.  Students will maintain an experiment log throughout the unit.
Environmental Education:  This week we will return to our “Bee Problem”.  Prior to the holiday students were presented with the problem of the decline of natural pollinators: native bees.  We learned of bee behavior and threats to bee populations.  We had a beekeeper speak to the students in November also.  This week students will work in groups to research possible solutions to the decline in native bees who are important pollinators.  It is important to note that we are not focusing our attention on honey production, rather students will turn their attention to native bees as pollinators.
Specials:  Spanish pronoun check is coming this week!  Ms. Stanbary needs your input about recorders ASAP!  See her teacher webpage for more information.
Literary Magazine:  Our students will be submitting poems for publication.  I will send home the parent approval form for you to sign and a copy of the selection.  They are due to me on February 13, 2017.
Dates to Remember:
1/23      School-wide Spelling Bee
1/24     School Board Meeting, 7 pm
1/25      Early Release, 1 pm
Have a funtastic week!
Cynthia McG