Week of March 7-11

Dear 4A Families,

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  It is hard to imagine we are beginning the 3rd and final trimester of the year! Just a reminder that this Friday, March 11th, there is no school.

Oral Biographies:  This week the students will start to think about and look for the person they would like to research and portray for their oral biography presentations that will take place in May.  The person they select should have made positive contributions to society and are good role models that show perseverance, overcome challenges, and always strive to continually grow and learn.  It is good to have a couple of choices as we prefer not to have duplicates.  There are so many wonderful subjects.  It is important that students can find a book that they can read independently and is appropriate.  I have a large selection in my classroom and Mrs. Wallace is also pulling biographies for the students to choose from.  All students should have a person and book selected and approved by March 16th.  The full directions for the project will be sent home right around the 16th as well. 

Religion: We learn about the 10 Commandments as presented in the Old Testament as well as Jesus’ teachings. Jesus himself said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘ ” (Matthew 22:37-39) Students use their bibles to read passages and reflect on these critical teachings.

The students received two copies of the Memorare last week.  This is a prayer the students will be working to memorize during Lent.  We will say the prayer daily at school, and I encourage the students to keep a copy of the prayer by their bedside to say each night as well.  We went over the meaning of the prayer last week, and we will do some further activities this week to help the students understand the meaning of this beautiful prayer. Thank you for your assistance at home.

Language Arts: All of the children were so proud to share their Flat Stanley final drafts this week. Already, the writing is improving so much. Students received a feedback rubric highlighting successes in their writing and suggestions for improving the next entries. These are in their folders. Final drafts are being kept here at school and will be organized and bound into a book. The Flat Stanley folders were sent back for the next round of entries. Students have the rough draft and final draft paper inside the folders. Two more entries are due by April 4th. Thank you for all of your support with this project. 

Some reminders and areas the students are encouraged to focus on include:

  • Strong/interesting topic sentences that intrigue the reader to continue!
  • Thoughtful use of descriptive language (adjectives, adverbs and verbs).  Try to double up to add an extra punch.
  • Reminder, every entry should include at least one type of figurative language.
  • Wrap up sentences should bring the entry to a strong conclusion—not just a, “See you next time….” type ending.
  • Be sure that students read aloud their final drafts after writing to check for accuracy.

Reading: Students read this historical fiction story, inspired by the art and life of Romare Bearden. Our target comprehension skill is: “understanding character.” Students develop vocabulary as we learn more about the use of idioms as a literary technique.

Spelling: The spelling words for the week were passed out last Friday.  The test will take place on Thursday rather than Friday this week. 

Math: It has been a fun new challenge for the children to explore algebraic thinking through patterns, input/output tables and equations containing variables. The lessons in this chapter help build important exposure for future learning. Students will learn about the concept: order of operations (PEMDAS). We are also continuing to review the algorithms for multiplying and dividing large numbers to keep these skills strong.  Mastery of multiplication and division facts for automatic recall remains a high priority!  Daily practice is expected until all facts are mastered.

Science: Students continue to classify rocks based on these physical properties: hardness, luster, color, streak, structure. We use a streak test and also Mohs hardness scale, testing rocks using the fingernail, a copper coin and steel paper clips. Next Monday, March 14,  students will have a quiz on unit-related terms and base concepts. They will receive a study guide in class and one will be posted to google classroom, as well.

Social Studies: We will be wrapping up our study of The Oregon Trail by the end of next week.  The remainder of the year we will focus on Washington State History and geography.

Have a wonderful week everyone.