Update October 9, 2016

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Greetings from Wisconsin!  Our family tradition has been to escape to Rock Dam, WI one final time before the leaves begin to change.  Although it is not as warm as Lake County, it is a beautiful weekend.  Extra family joined us including my son, David, from Champaign.  Nala LOVES the cooler weather!  (Roxy too?)

Chillin' on the dock!

Chillin’ on the dock!

Academics Last Week:

Our attention in Readers’ Workshop was focused on beginning our novel study:  Underworlds: The Battle Begins. The students seem to enjoy the story and we have found that the story is helping us with our writing in the area of character development.  In Writing we worked on showing a story rather than telling (no summaries), checking our work against a checklist, and using mentor texts to write leads and add details to our  stories.  In math students worked to understand the distributive property through partial products and area models to solve multi-digit multiplication.  On Friday we had a Math Game Day which the kids loved.  We will repeat on Tuesday!  Students created and shared their timelines.  Watch the hall in late October for the parade of timelines.

Multiplication Math Game

Multiplication Math Game

Checking my partner's work

Checking my partner’s work

Another hard-working team!

Another hard-working team!

Math is so much fun!

Math is so much fun!

Academics This Week:

In Readers’ Workshop students will continue to read, discuss, and reflect on their novel, Underworlds: The Battle Begins.  Be sure to check your child’s assignment notebook and to see if he or she brought home their Mythology folder, that is a clue that they have homework!  By the end of the week students should have read through chapter 10. Core spelling words are:  although, sat, possible, heart, real, simple, snow, rain, suddenly, easy.  Content words are: continent, scale, legend, latitude, longitude.  Our vocabulary focus is on words from other languages.  In Writers’ Workshop students will work to revise their “scenes” of their narrative, they will write a new lead for their  story, and have homework on Thursday which will involve watching scenes from a TV show.

In Math this week students will practice word problems with multiplication, review lattice method, and practice for a multiplication assessment to be given on Friday.  Although most students have familiarity with traditional multiplication algorithm, we are using strategies that move from the concrete to the abstract (array models with unit cubes, partial products, area models, and lattice). At this point we are not using the traditional method since the concept of  place value is vague and almost hidden.  We will practice traditional at a later time.  We have Rocket Math at least twice a week, so continue to practice division facts.

SS:  Our Illinois unit will include completing our step book of our place in the world, which we began on Thursday. Ask your child to explain it to you.  We will work on mapping: the classroom and then the continents.  Students will be reintroduced to basic map skills and vocabulary.

Green Challenge:  Our challenge this month is to Eat Real.  We are going to use the Food Day Curriculum.  Students will create an action plan and follow up at home for two weeks on changes that they can make to their daily diets to eat more whole foods.  Information on this will be sent home on Friday.  We will also visit our Book Buddies on Friday morning to help with their Eat Real challenge.

Spanish:  On Wednesday, October 12, there will be a Spanish assessment.  Your child has been encouraged to take home their notebook already.

Encourage your child to take neat notes in all classes.  In all cases notes are modeled on the board or projected.  All students have a job to write neatly and clearly in their notebooks.  Research has shown that students will retain more of the information if they handwrite it themselves.  Typing on the laptops or reading typed notes does not achieve the same results.  Now is the time for them to learn to write neatly on the lines and to copy spellings correctly.

Specials:  Due to the non attendance day on Monday we will miss three specials:  Spanish, PE, and Art.  All other days are regular.

Dates to Remember:

10/10:     No School

10/12:     Farm to Table

10/19:     Early Release

10/31:     Spanish Cultural Celebration in McGovern’s Classroom:  Day of the Dead

Enjoy tomorrow and I look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday, bright and early!


Cynthia McG