Week of September 16th

Dear 4A Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I am so impressed with this wonderful group of students.  I am in awe of what we were able to accomplish last week.  This will be the last hardcopy of the newsletter.  I have made our 4A email group list.  If you did not receive an email Sunday night with the subject: Newsletter is Up–please contact me to add or correct contact information.  Thank you!

 Tuesday, September 17th is individual class picture day.   Flyers to order pictures were sent home on the 6th.  You can also use this link  to order online with our school ID# LS119030Q0. Students may wear free dress or their uniforms on picture day.

As we begin our third week of school the students are building an understanding of our classroom rules and procedures. We will continue to practice and review.  Every student in our class has a right to learn and work without interruption and enjoy school. The management plan is in place to ensure that every student in our class feels safe, included and is able to work and learn without disruption. Our classroom and school rules are based on being SAFE, RESPECTFUL AND RESPONSIBLE.

Students are expected to:

  1. Show kindness, respect and integrity
  2. Follow directions quickly
  3. Listen attentively
  4. Raise their hand to speak or leave your seat during direct instruction
  5. Keep their hands and feet to themselves

When rules are not followed student receive (in the order):

  • A warning
  • A time out-(generally inside the classroom so instruction is not missed)
  • A note home (this note will explain the infraction(s) and ask you to sign and return)

Our goal is always to help students be responsible, respectful self-managers. Each new day is a new beginning. The less time we have to spend of managing behavior—the more time we have for great learning! I will be holding the students to high academic, behavioral and social expectations. Thank you for your support.

Religion/2nd Step:  This week Fr. Oakland will bless the 4th grade Bibles during the Wednesday Mass.  Ms. Benson and I have been asked to be in the church on Wednesday for the blessing.  Because of this, all students will need to access the Mass themselves (we will not have the Mass via our Zoom this week).  Thank you for making sure all 4th graders are tuned in to the stream to see their Bibles blessed!  All students should sign in as usual at 8:30 so we can take attendance.   The Bibles will be sent home on the Oct 2/3 pick up days.  Our 2nd step lessons this week will focus on Empathy, Respect, and Listening with Attention.  Empathy is a crucial foundation for healthy communication and interpersonal relationships.  Listening with attention is a skill necessary for effective communication with others and academic success—and especially important as we navigate Zoom/Remote learning.  We will also be discussing Cyber Bullying as we complete our Bullying Prevention Unit in Second Step.  These lessons, and strategies to recognize, refuse and report bullying will be revisited throughout the year. Finally,  Fr. Oakland will be visiting both classes this week!

Language Arts:  I have been enjoying reading the My Favorite Place writing the students completed last week.  These pieces  are used as a beginning of the year writing assessment that I will be using to help me plan our upcoming lessons.  I have/will be leaving a voice comment with each student on their story in Seesaw.


He focused on the meaning of our school theme and challenged the students to “discern” what fruits they will build and share this year.  The “fruits” are the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (see left).  In class this week we will begin our discernment, and the students will also bring home the assignment to share with their families.  It would be wonderful if each family member chose one of the fruits to focus on.  I am beginning the year with the fruit of JOY.  My goal is to instill a joy of learning as we develop our growth mindsets and build relationships with each other.


Social Studies: This Thursday the students will take their continent and ocean test. The test will be located We will continue to review each day in class and they are expected to practice at home. The test will have a word bank of the continents and oceans. Students need to know the locations. The 4A website has links to review the continents as well. Look under the “Map Skills” section on the right-hand links column. The students are also memorizing the Continent poem. I am extending the due date to recite the poem to October 1st, but students can recite the poem when they are ready.  Students have a copy of the poem in the packet in their filer, and you can also access a pdf on Google Classroom and the 4A website. Our classwork will be focusing on the concept of latitude and longitude as we gain skills reading maps using coordinates.

Science:  Students became scientists last week by observing, problem solving, and making hypotheses. They will continue to be scientists in the upcoming weeks when we start our wind energy unit. This will nicely tie into our tall ship theme with tall tales that we are reading in class. By the end of the unit, all students will create their very own working windmills!

Reading: We will continue with our study of Folk/Tall Tales and figurative language. Along with our main story, Stormalong, the students will read three other folktales, which will allow us to compare and contrast characters and look for themes in the folktales. The students will also get additional practice identifying figurative language examples.

Spelling: The words this week go with our reading lesson on Stormalong. The words are homophones so the students will need to be able to both spell and explain the meaning of each word. Study sheets can be printed from Google Classroom and they are also available on our website.  The test will be Friday, September 25th.  The tests will be taken during language arts time for both classes.

Math: Our classwork will continue to focus on place value. We will be having a test on chapter one this Friday.  Thursday’s math homework will be a test review. Fourth grade students are expected to be able to read and write numbers into the millions and higher. Look for math homework related to reading and writing large numbers to come today.  You can also acess a PDF of this homework here.  Parent assistance is needed for this assginment that will be due this Friday, September 20th.  Thank you for your assistance.

Xtramath:  As of Sunday, only nine 4A families have enrolled in Xtramath.  The enrollment form was attached to the newsletter last Monday.  Please take a few moments and enroll your child in Xtramath by Wednesday this week.  I will be sending a new form on Monday to those families that have not yet signed up.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Fact Mastery: In our math work last week I noticed that many students are quite rusty with their addition and especailly subtraction facts.  We will be focusing on addition and subtraction reveiw this month but will quickly move to multiplication and division. It is imperative that 4th grade students are able to recall facts automatically.  All students can master facts with consistent daily practice.  Practice sessions should be short and focused—and done daily until mastery is reached.  I am not as concerned with speed as I am with accuracy.  Students are only competing against themselves—trying to better their score with each assessment.

For practice I highly encourage flash cards as well as paper/pencil tests. When using flash cards the students should say the entire fact: “Six times three is eighteen,” rather than just, “eighteen”. Some students respond well to online practice.  There are many sites (some better than others) that can help students master facts.

The Homework Page above will have an overview of homework.  Sometimes assignments change as the week progresses.  I do my best to keep it updated, but the student planner should be your first place to check.  This homework page does include links for study sheets and pdf’s you might need.

Treat Yourself: Thank you for your support of the Magazine Sale!   Another Tally/Turn in Tuesday for the MAGAZINE DRIVE is this Tuesday the 17th.  

Have an excellent week everyone.  

I hope to see you at WestFest this weekend.