Week of October 8th

Dear 4A Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  The weather definitely has moved to fall. During these fall days when the weather is unpredictable, students should always bring a raincoat (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 your child’s name. Now that the weather is cooler, all students need to wear a red Holy Rosary sweatshirt, sweater or vest every Wednesday for Mass. Thank you!

First Month Behavior and Work Skills Self-Assessment:

It has been a pleasure getting to know your children and watch them adjust to life in 4th grade. Last week I had the students fill out a self assessment called “Characteristics of Successful Learners” on which I asked them to score themselves on a variety of important school and classroom expectations.  I have also filled out the same expectations for each student.  This week I will be having a mini conference with each student on this form.  This form does not include any subject grades/assessments.  The focus is on social, behavioral and work skills which are the foundation for successful learning.  After I meet with your child, he/she will come home with the completed form.  There is a section that asks each student to decide on 3 goals they will focus on related to these areas.  Please assist your child in coming up with some achievable behavior/work goals to work on from now until conference time. I would like these forms returned and signed by next Tuesday, October 16th. I will meet with students as time allows, but all forms will be in your child’s filer by Thursday.  Ask your child each day if they have their form. Thank you so much!  Mid-trimester reports will be coming home on October 26th that will include academic, behavioral, social and work skills assessments.

Other than a few make-ups the fall MAP testing is complete.  I was proud of the hard work and attention the students gave to the math portion of the test last week. Once we finish testing teachers will be analyzing the scores.  The MAP scores, along with daily classwork, observations and assessments, provide  information that will assist me in the planning of lessons that will support learning and growth for each student throughout the year.

This Thursday we will have the final Magazine Assembly to announce the results of the sale!  Thank you all again for your generous support of this important funraiser.

Quite a few students were asking about the 8th pizza lunches.  I thought I would include this link if you have not yet ordered.  Orders are due by October 12th for the October 19th pizza lunch.

Social Studies: The NE/SE State test will take place this Thursday the 11th. We will review in class, and you can also review at home with the online sites I created for this test. I added abbreviation practice and a combination NE/SE.  Our classroom lessons will continue to focus on reading maps and using longitude and latitude coordinates to locate places around the world. On Thursday I will send home a study sheet of important terms related to latitude and longitude that the students will need to know for an October 18th test on using maps and latitude/longitude coordinates.

Math: Look for some math homework most nights this week. We are wrapping up our chapter on addition and subtraction of large numbers. The homework this week should be checked over with parents to assure accurate computation. We are working towards “precision” with math computation, which means reading questions carefully, and double checking work as needed. Most of the errors on classwork have been with basic computation. 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 that the problem is clearly understood.  Students are encouraged to underline important information in story problems to focus their reading.

Tuesday/Wednesday math homework will be a test review. This review will be very similar to the chapter test the students will take at school this Thursday.  I am giving two nights so that you can take time to go over the worksheet with your children.  We will also be doing a full test review at school.  Thank you for your assistance.

Reading: This week the students will be working through a creative writing assignment based on a scene from Charlotte’s Web. The students will use EB White’s detailed descriptions as a model for their own writing in describing the barn using their senses, and interesting word choice to describe an event from the chapter.

Touching Safety Program: Holy Rosary School, along with all the schools in the Archdiocese, will be teaching the fourth year of the sexual abuse prevention program called Touching Safety. This program is provided to us by the Archdiocese of Seattle and is part of our ongoing effort to help create and maintain a safe environment for children and protect all children from sexual abuse. We will be teaching two lessons again this year. The first will be this month (October), the second in March. For more information check the information on this page. The topic of the October lesson is Boundaries: Students learn about personal boundaries and how identifying and honoring those boundaries can give a child or young person the self assurance needed to speak up when someone tries to step over the line.   If you do not wish your child to take part in these lessons you will need to fill out this opt out form and return it to school by this Thursday the 11th.  Thank you.

Religion: The students got a good start on their rough drafts of their saint reports last week. As we work through this project the students will be learning and practicing the Traits of Good Writing. We will be working on these special reports for the next several weeks. Your child will show you his or her report during their conference in November. Mrs. Helling will be working on special saint portraits with the students in upcoming art classes that will become a part of the November bulletin board in the main hallway of the school.  It is a good time to start thinking about the saint costume your child will wear for the All Saint’s Day Mass on November 1st. The costumes do not have to be fancy. In the past students have used sheets, bathrobes, Halloween capes, graduation gowns, etc. It is amazing what a bit of material can do! Past students are also great resources for costumes. I have posted some past pictures of the students in costumes for you to get ideas.  If you have any questions please let me know! Thank you for continuing to practice the Prayer of St. Francis at home regularly.

Spelling: I sent home the spelling list for Unit 2 last Friday for this week’s test.  The test will be on Thursday this week since we do not have school on Friday.

 Homework Overview: Look for math homework most nights, be ready for the NE/SE State test and the spelling test on Thursday. Continue to practice the Prayer of St. Francis.

Have a wonderful week everyone. Remember, there is no school on Friday due to a teacher inservice.  Enjoy the extended weekend.