I hope you all had a nice weekend. The teacher inservice day last Friday was very good providing some great new ideas I can use in the classroom. My favorite is a wonderful book I received that teaches about the amazing Catholic influence on the building of our State. It will be a perfect companion piece to our Washington History Studies. Thank you all for your generous support of the magazine sale—we will find out this Friday at the closing Magazine Assembly if we met our school-wide goal. The final turn in day is Monday the 6th!
There will be on all school Mass tomorrow, Tuesday at 8:45 to honor Mary. The Living Rosary will take place this Friday the 10th at 8:45. Join us if you are able. Please have students send in a rosary on Thursday this week if possible. We will be reviewing how to pray the Rosary prior to the Friday service. Perfect uniform is required both Tuesday and Friday this week. Thank you.
Pike Place Market: 4A will be going to the wonderful Pike Place Market on Thursday, November 13th. You will find a field trip permission slip in your child’s filer on Tuesday for this event. I know it seems early, but we have to verify that all drivers are compliant with the Safe Environment Training through the Parish Office. Thank you for returning the forms by next Tuesday the 14th. Thank you!
Math: Our current math lessons are focusing on adding and subtracting large numbers. Working with accuracy and fluency is expected. It is very important that the students are able to quickly recall addition and subtraction facts. This will only be a reality if they practice regularly both at home and school. Please be sure your child is using the Xtramath site at least 3 times a week. You can alternate with flash card practice if you like. Consistent, short practice sessions daily are the best way to insure long term memory. With the IOWA tests fast approaching, building focus and endurance is very important. I will be sending some homework with addition and subtraction (larger numbers) for the students to complete at home. You can help by asking your child to work for the suggested time I will have put on the top of the worksheet without disruption. They can pretend they are being timed like the IOWA tests. Then, go over the problems with your child to check for accuracy. Thank you!
If you would like to run off time test sheets to have your child complete at home this is a great site: Common Core Sheets. Ignore the grade specifications. Just choose add, subtract, multiply or divide—stay with addition and subtraction for the next few weeks for the most part however!
Reading: This week we will be finishing up our first Unit in our new reading series. We will read the tall tale, Stormalong and the folktale, Hoderi the Fisherman. The target skills are understanding characters, point of view and hyperbole. We will also work on some skills in class to remind the students of good test taking strategies on standardized tests. The reading logs did not get passed out on Thursday, but will be coming home on Monday. You can also get a copy on the website tabs.
Language Arts & Spelling: Our spelling words for Lesson 5 are homophones. The students will need to know both the spelling and correct meaning of each word for this test. We have been doing some daily practice on analogies and will also work on some grammar, word use and sentence structure activities. Finally, the students will use their creativity to create some Halloween Haiku poems.
Religion/Writing: The students will be busy working on their saint reports this week. Thank you for your assistance on the homework portion of this project. Your child will be sharing this or her finished product during their conference, and they will be on display prior to that as well. We will also be learning about saints in general, and how we too are called to be like the saints. Next week we will begin preparations for the All Saint’s Day Mass. You might want to begin thinking about a saint costume for your child for the All Saint’s Day Mass on October. Past 4th grade students can be great resources. The costumes do not have to be fancy. Sheets, bath robes, graduation gowns, etc. all make great costume bases. Check out the “Saint” tab above for some pictures of past “4th grade saints”
Mark your calendars: The School Mass for All Saint’s Day will be on October 31st at 8:45. We are also asking that the 4th graders also attend the Sunday, November 2nd Mass at 10:30 dressed in their Saint costumes. They will be marching in and reciting the Prayer of St. Francis during this Parish Mass. This is a request not a requirement of course, but if your schedule allows, please plan to attend. Thank you.
Social Studies: The NE State Test will take place this Friday the 10th. All students have study sheets in their filers. We will review in class, but be sure to quiz your child on both the locations and correct abbreviations of the states in these regions. Students will also need to label several features of the region as noted on the study sheet.
Science: In science this week we will be learning more about different forms of energy. Our focus this week will be on Potential and Kinetic Energy.
Homework: Spelling lesson 5, NE States, Spanish test the 14th, Xtramath subtraction practice, math lesson homework on addition and subtraction of larger numbers.
Check your child’s filer for corrected spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary, addition and subtraction time tests. Please note, the two time tests are the baseline tests. Each student’s individual goal is to improve their scores each week. Once a time test is mastered I will move them to new tests to continue to challenge them.
If you have not done so already, it is not too late to send in your donations for our Ugandan students.
Enjoy your week.
Students are expected to spend time reading outside of school most days (everyday if possible!). As we all know, reading is the key to success in most academic areas.
Independent reading in a book at the child’s instructional level is the most important reading activity. This means that the books chosen are not too hard or too easy. They should provide some challenge so that reading skills will grow, but not be so challenging that fluency and comprehension suffer. One easy way to test for a “just right level” is to read a random page from the middle of the book. If while reading the student is unable to read 5 or more words from the page, this book may be too challenging for independent reading—but it may be a good candidate for the next reading category…
Parent read alouds are a great way to expose students to books that interest them, but are too difficult to read independently. Read alouds also expose students to rich vocabulary, plus it is a fun bonding experience. Read alouds are also an excellent way to share amazing literature with your child.
Books on tape are also a nice way to explore more challenging books. It is preferable to have the students follow along in the text as they listen, listening comprehension of any type is great!
Oral reading to build fluency. Oral reading often is neglected as students get older, but it is an important skill to continue to build. Students can read a picture book to a younger brother or sister, focusing on excellent expression, pacing and diction. They can also take a half a page or so from a book they are reading independently and read it aloud to an adult several times to practice the above skills—aiming for a perfect read! When reading orally, students should focus on appropriate pace, expression and fluency.
General Reading Guidelines:
Students should read from a variety of genre. If students like comic books, they are acceptable, but they should not be the only type of reading they do. Mixing fiction, non-fiction, poetry and more will help students become well-rounded readers and better prepare them for the variety of reading materials they encounter in the classroom and on tests. Reading should take place in a quiet place without the distraction of television, computers, and music. I would like to see each student strive to read at least one chapter book a month.
As a parent, you are an important model for your child. If he or she sees you value and enjoy reading, they are more likely to follow suit.
Thank you, and remember, if you need suggestions or ideas for books feel free to contact Mrs. Harris, Ms. Corrigan and me. Happy Reading!