Week of September 18th

Dear 4A Families,

I hope you all had a fun WestFest weekend! I was there Friday night and there were great crowds! It was nice of the rain to wait until Sunday.

In the Parent’s Night packet I included a request for any parents that would be able to come in on Thursdays from 12:20-12:50 to monitor the students during their lunch.  This gives me the opportunity to do some group reading planning with Ms. Corrigan and Mrs. Podell. If you are interested in volunteering please email me.  It does not have to be every week.  If I get several parents we can split the weeks.  Thank you for considering.

As we begin our third week of school the students should have a pretty clear understanding of our classroom rules and procedures. We will continue to review and practice regularly, but the classroom management plan will begin this week—along with practice. The management plan is in place to insure that every student in our class feels safe and is able to work and learn without disruption. Our classroom rules, which the students know, are:

  1. Show kindness, respect and integrity
  2. Follow directions quickly
  3. Listen attentively
  4. Raise your hand to speak or leave your seat (this applies for the most part during direct instruction)
  5. Keep your hands and feet to yourself

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 infractions 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 behavioral expectations. Thank you for your support.

Individual picture day is this Tuesday the 19th.  Order forms were sent home last week.  More are available in the office if you need them.  Students may wear uniforms or free dress for picture day.

Online Recorder Order Form: It is time to order recorders for music class. Parents can choose to use a recycled recorder or order a new one. A NEW recorder and/or instruction booklet are $6 each.  New recorders must be ordered online by Friday September 29. Your FACTS account will be billed for any recorder charges. Please use the attached link to submit your orders online.

Religion:  This week we will delve into our new religion textbooks. We will work though opening lessons that will highlight our religion topics for this year. One lesson will focus on the parts of the Bible, which will aid in learning to use and look up reading in our newly blessed Bibles. We will use our Bibles to look up Gospel readings, and we will preview this coming Sunday’s Gospel. Our Steps to Respect/Social-Emotional lessons are weaved into our curriculum daily.

Social Studies: Last week the students received study sheets for a continent and ocean test that will take place this Thursday the 21st. 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 be presenting the poems next Thursday in class as well. We will be focusing on the concept of latitude and longitude as we gain skills reading maps using coordinates.

Science:  This week we are beginning our first EIE kit, Catching the Wind. Throughout this unit students will identify the role of a mechanical engineer and complete real world tasks. They will be able to identify the different uses of windmills and wind turbines. We will also understand that wind energy can be harnessed to do useful work.

Reading: This week we 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 Friday with the students and they can also be accessed on the webpage. The test will be on Friday.

Math: In class the students have been using a site called Front Row to practice/review and learn some new math skills. After taking a beginning assessment the program adjusts the problems the students receive to match their current level of understanding. I will continue to adjust based on their ability. In this way each student is getting practice at his or her level. We will use Front Row and Mathletics to support the skills we are covering in our math books. This week we will spend time getting started with Mathletics and reviewing my expectations when on the site.

Our classwork will continue to focus on place value. Every student will be able to read and write numbers into the millions and higher. Look for some math homework related to reading and writing large numbers to come on Wednesday.

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 our brains back into shape! I will be giving assessments on mastery of the facts. 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. I will have 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”. I also have linked on the homework page three sites where you can print out additional practice pages.

Thank you for your support of the Magazine Sale! The 4th graders are currently in first place—we are off to a great start!  Another Tally/Turn in Tuesday for the MAGAZINE DRIVE is tomorrow.  Keep selling those magazines.  Last day to take orders/renewals is October 6th.  Remember donations accepted, $25 = 1 subscription. 

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