Week of September 17th

Dear 4A Families,

I hope you all had a fun WestFest weekend! I was there Friday night and it was fun seeing many of the students.  The weather wasn’t the best, but it could not dampen the fun.

As we begin our third week of school the students have a pretty good 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 expectd 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 theirselves

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 the students will be introduced to their newly blessed Bibles.  We will explore the parts of the Bible and label the Four Gospels.  Students will practice looking up Gospel verses.  We are starting our 2nd step lessons this year with the four lessons in the Bullying Prevention Unit.  The objectives for the first lesson are that students will be able to:

  •  Understand that bullying is different from conflict
  • Recognize and idetnify different types of bullying behaviors.
  • Understand you can refuse bullying in different ways.
  • Demonstrate assertively reporting and refusing bullying.

As we work through these first lessons we will also focus on empathy–the ability to stand in another’s shoes and see their point of view.  Building empathy is an important skill for students to practice as they navigate peer relationships. Fr. Oakland will have his first classroom visit with 4A on Thursday. He will be focusing on The Great Commandment and kindness.

MAP Testing: MAP: Measures of Academic Progress. The HR students will begin MAP testing this week with the Language Arts test. 4A will be testing on Tuesday and Wednesday this week for about 45 minutes each day. Next week the students will take the reading test, and the first week of October the math test. This link provides additional information for parents on the MAP test.  https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit/.

Social Studies: Last week the students received study sheets for a continent and ocean test that will take place this Thursday the 20th. We will continue to review in class, but hopefully your child has asked you to quiz them as well. 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 which is in each filer and available as a PDF in the tabs at the top of the 4A website. I will give practice time in class for this, but the memorization should be practiced at home as well. Students will begin presenting the poems Thursday and finish up the following Tuesday. We will be focusing on the concept of latitude and longitude as we gain skills reading maps using coordinates.

Science: This week we will be continuing our review of the Engineering Design Process while we begin our first Project Lead the Way (PLTW) module. In this module students will first review concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Next, students will learn about forms of energy including thermal, light, nuclear, chemical, electrical, and mechanical. Students then learn about the conversion of energy between forms and the energy transfer required to move energy from place to place. The students will take what they learned last week while making their mint mobiles and apply it to making a KinetiCan car this week. This is one part of a larger problem in which the students will design a way to move large amounts of donated food from a truck to a food pantry

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 were sent home last Friday with the students and they can also be accessed on the webpage. The test will be on Friday.

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 next Monday, September 24th.  Thank you for your assistance.

In class the students will be using a site called Freckle (previously Front Row) to practice/review and learn new math skills. After taking a beginning assessment the program adjusts the problems the students receive to match their current level of understanding. It will continue to adjust based on their ability. In this way each student is getting practice at his or her level. We will use Freckle and Redbird (which will be introduced next week) to support the skills we are covering in our math lessons. .

Multiplication Mastery: Mastery of both multiplication and division facts is imperative as a 4th grade student. This week every student will have some fact sheets to complete to get their brains back into shape! I will be giving assessments on mastery of the facts in the coming weeks. The first set will focus on facts 0-5. When students are able to show mastery of this set, they will move to facts 6-9, etc.  All students participate when we take timed tests, but I will offer other assessment options to validate mastery for those students that do not perform as well on timed tests.

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.

GLOW FOR IT! Thank you for your support of the Magazine Sale!   Another Tally/Turn in Tuesday for the MAGAZINE DRIVE is this Tuesday the 18th.  

Have an excellent week everyone.  I am so enjoying my new 4A students!