Week of September 24th

Dear 4A Families,

We are entering the last week of September. The month ahead will be a very busy one including the completion of the fall MAP testing, our Saint reports (see below), preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass and Halloween! Please know that I do understand that these first weeks of school can be a big transition—sometimes stressful for both students and parents. It will get easier as the students (and parents) settle into the new 4th grade routines. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Effective communication is the key to a successful year.

Lost and Found:  The lost and found items will be on a table in the main hallway all week.  Please check if you are missing any items.  This is a good time to remind you to please label all coats and HR sweatshirts and sweaters with your family name.  Thank you!

Please be sure all recorder orders are in by this Friday the 28th. Online Recorder Order Form.   Parents can choose to use a recycled recorder or order a new one or both. A NEW recorder and/or instruction booklet are $6 each.  New recorders must be ordered online by Friday September 28. Your FACTS account will be billed for any recorder charges. Please use the attached link to submit your orders online. If we do not receive an order from you by Friday your child will automatically be given a used recorder and instruction booklet.

Religion/Language Arts: We are beginning our study of saints in preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass, which will be held on Thursday, November 1st. Next Monday each student will be assigned the saint that they will write their report on as well as portray at the Mass. All of the work for this report will take place at school except for one homework assignment that is due Thursday, October 4th. Detailed directions for this homework assignment will come home with your child next Monday the 1st, and will also be available on the website in PDF form. The students will be prepped fully with an example we complete at school. We have compiled a extensive collection of student friendly information on many amazing saints. When possible we match students with Saints of the same name/interests. Students also have the opportunity to trade with classmates or select from our collection. Our goal is to have one saint per student, per class without repeating a specific saint. If you have a particular saint that is very special to your family that you would like us to consider, please email me with the name of the saint no later than this Thursday, September 27th. I will do my best to accommodate your requests.

All students will have a copy of the Prayer of St. Francis that they should be practicing daily for memorization. The students recite this prayer at the All Saints Day Mass.

 Steps to Respect: Our lessons this week will focus on the important role of students that witness unkind or bullying behavior.  Bystanders and “Upstanders” can be instrumental in reducing and helping to peacefully resolve bullying behaviors before they escalate.  It takes real courage to be a peacemaker–and to speak up.  In our lessons students will identify uncomfortable and complex feeling they may have when they witness unkind or bullying behaviors.  They will learn how their feeling can help them take positive actions as bystanders to help stop bullying.

Reading:  Along with the reading portion of the MAP test, we will move into our first novel, E.B. White’s masterpiece, Charlotte’s Web. Even if your child has read this book before, we will delve into themes and vocabulary that will both inspire and challenge the students. Charlotte’s Web is a beautiful expression of true friendship. The story is also masterfully written to reinforce and build advanced vocabulary and comprehension skills. The book lends itself perfectly to our reading standards and target skills—and never ceases to enchant! (You can probably tell I love this book!)

Spelling/LA:  The spelling words for Lesson 4 were sent home last Friday.  The test will be this Friday.  Our LA work will focus on writing complete sentences and locating incomplete or run-on sentences.

Science: This week we are finishing creating our KinetiCan’s looking at potential and kinetic motion. The students will observe what happens when the KinetiCan is rolled across a flat surface. We will also extend the lesson to the next part in which the students will use VEX IQ Construction Kits to build a bicycle. This device converts human chemical energy to mechanical energy.

 Social Studies: Look for corrected continent and ocean tests in your child’s filer. This week we will focus  latitude and longitude. The students will learn how to locate places on world and United States maps using latitude/longitude coordinates. The students will also have a study sheet for a NE/SE States Test. Yes, they need to remember the state locations and abbreviations they learned last year! Knowing the state locations assists with our social studies lessons all year—and will continue to be an important part of United States History as students move up the grades. The test on the NE/SE states will take place on Thursday, October 11th. Along with the study sheet, I encourage the students to visit the websites linked on the 4A website. Look under “Map Skills” on the right hand side of the webpage. I will show the students these sites in class as well.  The best practice for map tests is short sessions (5 minutes) each night.  Students will always have a study sheet with one blank side.  This sheet is helpful for parents to use when reviewing with you child. Cramming the night before might secure a passing test score, but is not likely to assure the locations are in long term memory (which is our goal!)

The Cardinal Number math worksheet sent home last Monday was originally due this Monday, but I will give the students until Tuesday to have this completed.  This homework has to be done with a parent.  Please read the instructions and sign that you have worked with your child on this important skill.  Thank you.

We will be moving into our second chapter on adding and subtracting large whole numbers. Your assistance in checking over homework with your children plays an important part in building math skills. Students should make any needed corrections with your guidance. For more challenging tasks, students should just do one or two problems and have them checked, rather than competing a whole page with possible repeated errors. It is important that students are accurate and fluent with the less complex skills of addition and subtraction so that when we move into multiplication and division of large numbers they have good habits and solid skills in place. We will work through some addition/subtraction fact work in class, with a focus on accuracy.

It is assumed by 4th grade students are able to add and subtract basic facts from memory.    I have signed all students up for Xtramath.  We will use this tool in class, and it will also be assigned as homework some nights.  If you have already used this site with your child at home, you will have to sign up again with the information I will send home Monday so that I can monitor the student’s progress and assign specific tasks to their level.  We will spend a couple of weeks focused on addition and subtraction review while we are on this chapter in math.  The majority of practice will focus on fluency with multiplication and division as we move forward.  Thank you for your support!

Homework Overview:

Check your child’s filer for the following corrected papers and remove them:  Spelling test, math test, continent and ocean test, reading comprehension test, and reading traits worksheet.  You will also find the Xtramath sign up sheet. Thank you for enrolling your child this week.   Please select “enroll” not sign up.  

  • Study spelling words for Lesson 4
  • Review the NE/SE State locations and abbreviations for a test on October 11th.
  • Math homework most nights
  • Read 20 minutes
  • Parents: sign up your child for Xtramath after you receive the flyer I will send home Monday 

Have a wonderful week!

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