Week of April 4th

untitledDear 4A Families,

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and spring vacation. The Seattle weather certainly cooperated—what a treat to have warm, sunny days! It is hard to believe we are in the final trimester of the school year. We have lots of great learning and fun projects ahead. It can be easy to lose focus and dream of summer, but so much important curriculum remains, which sets the stage for 5th grade. Thank you for your support in keeping your child focused and attentive to projects, test preparation and homework. Hopefully the students are rested up and ready to go!

ZZ78286A8BOral Biography Project: We will be including special mini lessons in the coming weeks on oral speaking and presentations using a program called PV Legs. Erik Palmer was the speaker at the March 18th teacher inservice. He works with schools and educators as a consultant on teaching oral communication skills. We will be using PV Legs with the students. The acronym stands for: Poised; they have Voices that allow every word to be heard; they have Life and emotion in their voices; they make Eye contact with the audience; they use hand, face, and body Gestures to enhance the message; and they use Speed and pacing for effect. I will be sending home information for you to use at home as well to practice these skills as the students prepare for their presentations.

Religion: This week we will be reflecting on the Easter Season and making Easter Candle Crosses and butterflies to decorate our classroom and hallway. We will also begin our study of the Beatitudes, which are a perfect follow-up to the 10 Commandments. We will also be reviewing our classroom/school rules and expectations, especially being respectful.  Our Steps to Respect lessons will be discussing social bullying/teasing/unkind behaviors.

Math: Our new math unit is fractions. We will begin by reviewing factors, multiples, prime and composite numbers. This review will prepare the students for upcoming lessons that will involve determining equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions. As you know, mastery of multiplication and division facts are essential elements for success with fractions. Students should continue to visit Xtramath to solidify quick recall. Look for nightly math homework this week.

Spelling: The spelling words this week are contractions. Lists were sent home before the break. The students will need to know not only the contraction but also the words each contraction represents. Ex: we’ve = we have.  This site has some interactive contraction activities.

ZZ588F2709Reading: This week we will be reading a touching historical fiction story called Train to Somewhere. This story is based on the real Orphan Trains that carried homeless children to small towns and farms in the Midwest in the hopes of placing them with caring families. The target skills of sequencing, inference and author’s purpose will guide our reading. This story ties in nicely with our Westward Expansion lessons in social studies.

Flat Stanley/LA: Hopefully your child’s “Flat Stanley” was included in some fun spring break activities and is writing about those outings in his/her journal. It is important to include time to compose rough drafts and work on journal entries each week. There is just about one month left until the due date! In class along with our oral presentation lessons, we will be working on a mini biography assignment that will be one tool we use to let the students practice their speaking skills.

Social Studies:

This week we will focus on the Whitman Mission and early settlers of Washington State. Students will reflect on how the influx of settlers to our state affected the Native People—changing their way of life forever.


  • Spelling test on contractions on Friday
  • Nightly math homework
  • Flat Stanley Journals
  • Nightly reading and note taking for Oral Biography Project

picture day

The BINGO BASH takes place this Friday!  Should be fun.

Class pictures will be taken next Tuesday, April 12. Students need to come to school in perfect uniform this day.

Have a wonderful first full week of April.