Update October 23, 2016

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

We all enjoyed our Winn-Dixie party last Friday afternoon.  After several technology issues, Mrs. Jeffrey came to our rescue so we could enjoy our movie.  Students made “mistake bottles” and filled them with their “regrets”.  They are hung in the classroom and I will send a picture to you all.  They are really creative and add a great deal of personality to the room.  We plan to finish up the movie on Monday.  Thanks to the Moriarty, Smith, Thorson, Paras, and Andersen families for donating the snacks.

Academics this week:

ELA:  In Readers’ Workshop students will complete their end of the book Powerpoint project.  We are using Google slides, which is sufficient for students.  We have noticed that it doesn’t offer the variety of options that Microsoft’s Powerpoint does.  After the students complete their projects, they will read several individual Greek myths: Arachne’s Web, Echo and Narcissus, Pandora, and Psyche and Cupid.  For each of these myths, the students will complete a series of assignments, including vocabulary, comprehension, and literary techniques.  I plan to include daily grammar exercises in Daily 5 in hopes to improve their grammar and usage skills.  Spelling core words are:  someone, center, field, stay, itself, boat, question, wide, least, tiny.  Content words are:  marathon, muse, nemesis, odyssey, and Pandora’s box.  In Writers’ Workshop, students will continue to revise with various “lenses” which include paragraphing, similes and metaphors, and dialog.  Later in the week students will be creating a space (in their minds) to do their final revisions on their stories, work on adding prepositional phrases, and understanding author’s techniques.

Math:  In math we have learned several new ways for longer division:  partial quotients and column division.  We are also working on showing division with repeated subtraction and using arrays to understand division expressions. We will move on to using rectangles and area to determine missing dimensions.  To address remainders we will use “lifeboat problems”  and “Tell Me the Truth” to show remainders with partial quotient strategy.  I expect that students will have math homework on Wednesday and Thursday.  Please check the student assignment notebooks for daily updates.

SS:  In Social Studies we will map the classroom and begin a map of Illinois; adding major towns and cities, landforms, waterways, highways, and railways.

EE:  We are beginning a Service Learning Project that will carry us through until the spring.  We are going to approach the dwindling pollinator problem in our area through a project based learning lens.  Students will be presented with a problem (endangered bee population) and perform research to generate possible solutions that we can act upon locally.  I will start the unit with sharing information that I received in the mail from The Sierra Club on the threatened bee population and some of the causes behind it.  Students will have lessons on pollinators, bee colony collapse, and have a visit from a beekeeper.  Students will also need to create an action plan which will include necessary research and possible solutions.  This will continue over the next few months so we can be ready to share our ideas and implement them in the spring.

Green Challenge:  This month’s challenge has been on eating whole foods.  Our challenge will conclude this week with the Eat Real Food Store on Tuesday.  We will shop for a family, paying attention to their dietary needs and with a focus on choosing foods that are not highly processed.

Specials:  All specials will meet as usual this week.

Halloween:  This year we are teaming up with Senora Roman-Ahlgrim to celebrate The Day of the Dead on October 31st.  Christine Hoddap will be running the show and she will need helpers.  Cori Moriarty sent information to everyone regarding the sign up late last week.  Please refer to her email for sign up information.  We still participate in the parade and our party will have snacks.  Please remember to send in morning snack and lunch.

From Administration in regard to appropriate costumes:

No excessive violence depicted by the costume
No face masks or hoods which render students unrecognizable
No “Creepy Clown” masks or “Creepy Clown” face paint 
No Weapons of any kind, real or toy
Be sure to check out all the new additions to PCCS clubs for the next few weeks.  Clubs include:  Chess, Winter Crafts, several others.  Look in the Virtual Backpack for more information.
Dates to Remember:
10/25:     School Board Meeting, 7 pm
10/31:     Halloween:  Day of the Dead Celebration, 2:15
11/1:        Green Assembly, 8:15
11/2:        Early Release
11/4:        End of Trimester 1
Enjoy your week!  Hope to see you at the parade next Monday!
Cynthia McGovern