Update January 29, 2017

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Last week was a wonderful week in Fourth Grade at PCCS!  Here is the short list of our accomplishments:

  • Cheered on Shrishant and Rania in the school-wide spelling bee
  • Participated in School Choice Week each day
  • Studied newspapers and student editorials to differentiate between fact and opinion
  • Completed a mini-unit on comparing fractions
  • Drafted effective introductions and body paragraphs for our personal essays
  • Read closely about the early settlers in Illinois
  • Used technology to research native bees and their population decline
  • Completed soil investigations
  • Enjoyed the warmer weather for phenology observations

Wow, we needed a weekend to get ready for next week!

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Our squash runneth over yet another year!  We have nearly 120 pounds of Butternut squash seeking a meal in your home.  We will be offering the squash for donation to raise money for the sustainable schoolyard.  If you would like to give one (or several) beautiful and healthy-for-you squash a place at your dinner table, please send in a paper bag labeled with your child’s name and teacher, and we will send home one (or more) squash for you to enjoy.  First responders will get the pick of the harvest!

Academics this week:

ELA:  In Readers’ Workshop we plan to wrap up our study of editorials before we move on to informational text on soil, rocks, and landforms.  Students will work in small groups to understand and record notes on our text.  Spelling core words are:  step, child, strange, wish, soil, human, trip, women, eye, milk.  Content words are:  weathering, physical, chemical, soil, abrasion.  (Kids get a two-for one this week on soil!).  In grammar students will continue to work on verbs.  In Writers’ Workshop, we will draft conclusions and begin a draft on yellow paper, revising and editing as we go.  The final copy of their personal essay will be typed on the chromebooks.

Math:  In math we will continue to work on fractions, with an emphasis on mixed and improper fractions.  Students will work to move fluently between the two and be expected to decompose them.  We will play a game called Freeze the Fraction and there will be homework on Monday and Wednesday.  On Friday I will administer a fractions on the number line pretest and begin the next segment in the fraction unit.  Ask you child if he or she is still working on division facts in Rocket Math.  If the answer is YES, then please increase his or her time spent practicing to memorize the division facts.  Students need to have them mastered in order to solve word problems fluently and easily.  Needing to check a multiplication chart slows them down.

Science:  This week we are going to spend studying soil and weathering.  Weathering is the process by which rock is broken down into smaller pieces, eventually becoming soil.  We will focus on physical and chemical weathering using FOSS science experiments.  Please note that we will be reading and summarizing a complementary text in reading.

Environmental Education:  This week we hope to go to Solo Spots on Thursday.  Please have your child ready for the adventure every day!

Specials:  Please see the Specials’ teachers website for specific information on their class content.

Dates to Remember

2/2/17       Groundhog Day!!

2/7/17       February Green Challenge Assembly, 8:15

2/8/17       Mrs. McGovern is at Professional Development

2/14/17     Valentine’s Day Party

Pray for a cloudy day on Thursday in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania when Phil emerges (not by choice) from his winter slumber!

What a way to predict the weather…

Enjoy the week,

Cynthia McG