Week of October 13th

untitledDear 4A Families,

I hope you all had a nice weekend. The picture in the header is a 4th grade class in 1949 I found on an image search.  I thought it was pretty cute.  How times have changed!

Thank you all so much for your support of the Magazine Sale! We met our school-wide goal. Special congratulations to our classroom top sellers, Ella Ridgeway and Zach Brown—who was also the 3rd top seller in the whole school! We have a busy week ahead—with lots of great learning.

Midtrimester Reports will come home this Friday. The students will also be completing their own self-assessment and set some goals for themselves. I encourage you to go over the reports with your children. This report will not have letter/percentage grades. The 4-3-2-1 standard scoring system will be used. At this point in the trimester do not expect to see 4’s except perhaps for spelling tests and certain social and work skills. We are early in the year. A “4” means the student is going above and beyond expectations. This early in the year it is not appropriate to give a “4” in most subject areas as we have not had the opportunity to delve deep enough into the content to warrant this exceptional score.   4-3-2-1 scores do not equate to A-B-C-D grades. Please refer to the explanation of each numerical score when looking at your child’s report. Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions.

untitledStandardized Testing

This week the students in grade four will begin their standardized testing. Below you will find an explanation of the tests that will begin this Wednesday. Homework will be lighter during testing weeks. There will be a spelling test this week, but not next week. I would like the students to visit Xtramath most nights. I will be switching over all students to multiplication next week. Time to read is also expected. Be sure students get plenty of sleep, eat a good protein packed breakfast, and come with a healthy snack (protein encouraged). We will take plenty of “brain breaks” so the students will be able to do their best on the tests!

This week your child will be taking the CogAT or Cognitive Ability Tests. This test is administered to 4th and 7th grade students at Holy Rosary. The test is not as long or involved as the IOWA tests and many students find them quite enjoyable.

The CogAT measures reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals. Reasoning abilities can be good predictors of success in school. CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which also contribute importantly to school achievement.

How do the three sections of the CogAT differ?

  • The Verbal Battery measures flexibility, fluency, and adaptability in reasoning with verbal materials and in solving verbal problems. These reasoning abilities play an important role in reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing, and virtually all verbal learning tasks.
  • The Quantitative Battery measures quantitative reasoning skills; flexibility and fluency in working with quantitative symbols and concepts; and the ability to organize, structure, and give meaning to an unordered set of numerals and mathematical symbols. These reasoning skills are significantly related to problem solving in mathematics and other disciplines.
  • The Nonverbal Battery measures reasoning using geometric shapes and figures. To perform successfully, students must invent strategies for solving novel problems. They must be flexible in using these strategies and accurate in implementing them.

Social Studies: The students will have a copy of a SE states study sheet in their filer for a test on Friday, the 24th. Look for corrected NE state tests in your child’s filer. Just a reminder, students need to know both the locations and correct postal abbreviations of the states. In class this week the students will be showing what they have learned about using latitude and longitude to locate places on a map.

Science: In science this week we will continue our study of energy. The students will be learning about some of the different forms of energy including heat, light, and sound.

untitledMath: Look for some math homework most nights this week. Students should continue to review subtraction facts for speed recall with Xtramath. I will also offer students paper timed tests to complete instead of Xtramath. You can also create your own time tests to run off with the sites I have listed at the bottom of the homework page. Thank you for taking the time to check over your child’s math homework for accuracy. We are working towards “precision” with math computation, which means reading questions carefully, and double checking work as needed. Students should always properly label answers to story problems. For instance, if a problem asks, “How many more children liked Skittles than Starbursts?” their answer should look like: 354 more children liked Skittles. When answers to story problems are correctly labeled it shows they really understand the question and what they are computing.

Reading: After finishing up some work from our Tall Tale activities the students will be introduced to one of the greatest children’s books ever written, Charlotte’s Web. Many children may already be familiar with this story, but our unit will delve into the challenging vocabulary, complex themes, word play and character traits that make this book a classic. While Ms. Corrigan introduces the book, I will be doing individual running records on the students.  Don’t forget to remind your child to keep up on his/her writing journal.

untitledReligion: On Wednesday the parts and readers for the All Saint’s Day Mass will be selected. Even though all students will not have individual speaking or singing parts, they will each play an integral part in the Mass as a representative of a Saint. In the past I have had students ask me if I will be making their saint costumes! If only I were so talented—and had that much time! Yes—that means the costume making it is up to you all. The costumes do not have to be fancy. In the past students have used sheets, bathrobes, Halloween capes, etc. It is amazing what a bit of material can do! Past students are also great resources. I have posted some pictures past saints for ideas. The students are off to a great start on their Saint Reports. Your child will show you his or her report during their conference. The students seem to be working on learning The Prayer of St. Francis. All students need to recite the prayer from memorization by October 29th. Thank you for continuing to practice the prayer at home regularly.

Spelling: I sent out lesson 7 spelling words last Friday. I skipped lesson 6 accidently—so we will make that list up later. The lesson 7 test will take place this Friday as usual.

Homework: There is a Spanish test on Tuesday. Study sheets can be found on the Spanish page. Students should study for their spelling test and SE State test. Practice the Prayer of St. Francis. Visit Xtramath or complete a time test each night.

Look for corrected spelling, NE State, reading vocab and comp and a subtraction time test in your child’s filer.

untitledHave a great week everyone. During these fall days when the weather is unpredictable, students should always bring a coat (preferably with a hood) for recess. We do live in Seattle and drizzle happens! Also, if you have not done so already, all sweatshirts and coats should be labeled with the student’s name. Thank you!