Week of September 22, 2014

untitledDear 4A Families,

Fall is here (technically at 10:29 pm on Monday)–but you sure could not tell from the weather. I hope that you all enjoyed the beautiful West Fest Weekend. I was up Saturday afternoon and had a great time. We have an excellent week of learning ahead in 4th grade.

We are now beginning our 4th week of school. At this point the classroom and school expectations should be clearly understood. In order to have a productive classroom where all can comfortably learn, it is important that students respect and follow these expectations. The students know I expect excellence from them in all they do. This does not mean perfection, it means doing your personal best each day—showing kindness, respect and integrity and making smart choices and using self-control. It means listening attentively and using work times productively—allowing teachers to teach and classmates to work without interruption. When these expectations are followed our classroom and school becomes a happy, safe and productive place for learning and growth. Thank you for your support. Together we will have the best school year ever!

untitledMonday the 22nd is picture day! Students may wear free dress or their uniforms for their pictures.

Religion: We will begin our Sacred Story meditations in class on Monday. The meditations will focus on the 7th and 10th Commandments and honoring what God has given us. We will continue to work on our Steps to Respect lessons as well with a focus on how to join and participate successfully in groups.

Each student will have a copy of The Prayer of St. Francis in his or her filer on Monday.  Memorization of this prayer is expected by the last week of October. We will practice at school most days, but review at home will be necessary as well. This is a wonderful bedtime or morning prayer. You can access extra copies of the Prayer of St. Francis on the website in the Prayers to Know tab. It is a PDF file you can copy if needed.  Look for a homework assignment next Monday related to the Saints!

Spelling– On Friday the spelling list for Lesson 3 came home in your student’s filer. This week’s focus is on words with Long i and Short i. Thank you for practicing spelling words with your student at home to make sure that they are ready for our spelling tests on Fridays.

Language Arts: We will be writing a persuasive essay which is part an all-school Archdiocesan writing and scoring project. All teachers will be involved in the scoring of these writing pieces including our specialist teachers. We are very excited about this project and we are looking forward to reading all of the 4th grade essays.

Science – The students are learning/reviewing the steps of the scientific method in class. They have done some fun experiments to help them remember the steps. Friday, the 26th, students will take a short quiz on the Scientific Method.

untitledSocial Studies: Corrected continent tests will be in your child’s filer. In class we will focus on map skills, reading different types of maps and using latitude and longitude to locate countries and cities around the world.

Math:  We have been working hard in math—and will be finishing up our unit on place value this week. Check your child’s filer for a corrected quiz that reviewed lessons 1-4. With this, and any assessment, I look for patterns in any errors and work with students individually or in small groups to make corrections and build understanding. In the coming weeks I will also be adding in challenge work for students as well. At home I will be asking you to practice having your child read aloud large numbers to the millions. I will be sending home a practice sheet for you to use. It should be signed and returned on Friday after you practice this week.  Feel free to create larger numbers if your child needs a challenge!  Thank you for your assistance.

Our math lessons will focus on rounding and estimating numbers. The upcoming IOWA tests have an entire section based on estimation, so the lessons we do in class will help them prepare. The chapter one assessment will take place by the end of the week. A practice test will be sent home the night before the test. Our next unit will focus on adding and subtracting large numbers. We will also be incorporating some multiplication review.

Please visit the Xtramath site at least three times this week. Our goal is for students to be fluent (automatic recall) in their basic math facts. We are beginning with addition and subtraction to match our classroom lessons, but the majority of the year we will focus on multiplication and division facts. I opted to wait on introducing the Digit Whiz site for a couple more weeks. It focuses on multiplication, division and higher level math skills.

Reading: This week we will be working on the target skills of cause and effect and being able to interpret visuals when we read our informational texts called, My Librarian is a Camel and From Idea to Book.

In all of our subject areas we will be incorporating standardized test practice skills so that the students will be able to do their best on the upcoming test.

recordersIf you have any Scholastic Book Orders you would like to make, be sure they are in by Tuesday the 23rd. You can order online or fill out the paper order form on your child’s flyer (sent home last week). Also, please return your recorder request forms for Ms. Mudge indicating which color recorder you would like, and also if you wish to purchase a new recorder and/or book. If you have misplaced the form you can access it here.  Finally, be sure to check out the flyer about the after school Art Workshop Ms. Reuter is offering.  All students have a copy in their filer.  I will also attach it to the end of this newsletter.

Homework this week includes:

  • Spelling words for Lesson 3
  • Xtramath: 3 or more visits
  • Quiz on the scientific method on Friday the 26th
  • Rules: Students need to be able to recite our classroom rules to be by Tuesday the 23rd.
  • Reading numbers into the millions. Practice at home and return the practice sheet signed by a parent on Friday.
  • Check daily for assigned math or spelling work

Check your child’s filer for the following:

  • Math lessons 1-4 review quiz
  • Reading comprehension test for My Brother Martin
  • Vocabulary test for My Brother Martin
  • Spelling test
  • Continent & Ocean test

Please remove all corrected tests from the filer. Note, I fold the tests in half to cover scores so that when they are passed out scores are private. You may have to look carefully for the folded papers in the filer.

Have an amazing week!