Update March 19, 2017

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

We are slowly closing in on the end of our time together as a classroom family.  Spring break is right around the corner and it has always seemed to me that the rest of the school year slips by very quickly!


We are all caught up on paper products.  I have noticed that many students do not have a working calculator or rulers.  Please check with your child to see if these supplies need to be replaced with new.  Also, your child’s home study area should have access to many items for homework time:  loose leaf notebook paper, pencils, colored pencils, post-its, ruler, calculator, and a stapler are all good items to have on hand.

Locker Clean:  We are sending home all unnecessary items on Friday.  Please send in a big bag (not paper) for your child to lug his or her stuff home.

Academics this week:

ELA:  In Readers’ Workshop we are going to finish up our study of Little House on the Prairie.  Students will have just enough time to finish the reading by Friday.  We will save the end-of-the-book projects for when we return in April.  Check your child’s assignment notebook for spelling words this week.  In grammar we are going to use adjectives to combine sentences, begin pronouns, and work on subject and object pronouns.  In Writers’ Workshop students are drafting their fourth chapter of their book on a period of time in Illinois history.  I expect that we will type final copies after we return from spring break.  We will meet with our Kindergarten book buddies on Wednesday morning in our room to work on reducing our carbon footprint.

ALSO:  In fourth grade we use “Hate That Cat” as a group read aloud to understand the genre of poetry.  (We did a similar lesson last year using “Love That Dog”.)  If your child could obtain a copy of his or her own or check one out from the library over the break, that would be helpful for them.  I will have a few extra library copies for emergency, but I will not have enough for everyone.

Math:  For the next few weeks while we study decimals, I have decided to use Eureka Math lessons.  The format will be a bit different from Model Math, but we are still using the Common Core Standards for math as our foundation. If you didn’t discover this yet, the homework is a repeat of the in-class work.  Remind your child that he or she simply needs to review the practice from today’s math class as a guide to completing the homework.  We will have math homework on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.

SS:  Our wagon trains got a very slow start out of Fort Independence this week.  We are not going to get to Hacker’s Valley to finish the simulation by Friday.  Students will continue the simulation after break, but we will be adding gardening to our afternoon work.  We hope to have four beds of lettuce planted under the cold frames very soon.

Bee Friendly project:   I have information to pass on to the students that may speed up our process on providing a support network for native bees around our school.  We plan to work on our project on Tuesday afternoon.

PARCC:  This week we will have two PARCC tests.   Monday:   ELA test 1 at 10:00 and Wednesday ELA test 2 at 12:15.  Please be sure that your child receives a good breakfast, snack, and lunch on these days.  The students were calm and focused last week and that is the best testing environment.

Specials:  All specials teachers maintain their own webpages with updates from them.  Be sure to check in with them occasionally to stay in the know.

Farm to Table:  Farm to Table is on Wednesday.  Be sure to send in place settings for your child.  Any child who is not taking Farm to Table needs to bring in a cold lunch and please try to avoid nut products on that day.  Just easier for everyone involved, thanks.

Important Dates:

3/20:  Earth Week shirt orders are due.

3/21:  School board meeting, 7 pm

3/22:  Farm to Table

3/27 – 3/31:  Spring Break

I guess that is all for this week!  Enjoy your break and we will see you in April!