Week of September 25-29

Dear 4A Families,

Happy last week of September and first week of Fall!  It was so good to be back at school last Friday.  I opted to stay home this weekend–and I believe it is the first West Fest I have ever missed!  I have to admit I had some FOMO.  A huge thank you to all of the volunteers that worked so hard to make this community event possible! The Bible Blessing has been rescheduled for Mass this Wednesday. After students receive their blessed Bibles they will be labeling the Four Gospels as we start to learn to navigate our Bibles and look up readings.  

Just a reminder to check your child’s filer several times a week.  The first section, School/Home, is where students will place graded papers, HW for the night, notes and other important information.  Please remove notes and graded papers.   We also encourage you to have your child read what they have written in their assignment book to you. This is a great way to keep up on daily work and upcoming assessments.  If you notice your child’s planner is not neat, or does not seem complete, please let me know.  We write in the planners Monday-Thursday.  Thank you!

I love this time of year, and the students will be busy with some fun projects, especially their upcoming saint reports. The bulk of the report will be created at school, but we will be asking for some important parent homework assistance the week of October 3rd, to help your child learn about his/her saint. Please read below.

The Saints are Coming!

Next Monday, October 2nd, each student will be assigned the saint that they will write their report on as well as portray at the All Saints Day Mass. The 4th grade teachers have collected a wonderful assortment of amazing saints, with kid friendly information that they can use to write their reports. I will randomly pass out a saint to each student, as well as give them the opportunity to trade or look at extras to exchange.  This process works very well. I do try to give students saints with their names if we have them.  If your family has a request for a particular saint that holds special meaning to your family, please email me no later than this Thursday the 28th. We will do our best to accommodate your request. Some saints have very little information, which makes it difficult to write a report. 

 Looking Ahead: All of the work for the saint report will take place at school except for one homework assignment that the students will work on with you next week. Detailed directions for this homework assignment will be in your child’s filer on Monday, October 2nd, and will also be available on the website in PDF form by this Friday if you want to read ahead.  The students will be fully prepared on how to tackle this homework assignment after taking part in a detailed example we complete at school. It is very important that parents take time to carefully read through the directions of this assignment. 

Religion Our religion this week will focus on some introductory lessons on both our newly blessed Bibles and the Saints.  Students will learn that the Saints are models of faith and virtue, and that following their example helps us grow in holiness. 

All students will have two copies of the Prayer of St. Francis in their filers on Monday. Students should practice the prayer daily at home for memorization. We encourage the students to keep a copy of this prayer by their bed and say it before they go to sleep each night. What a beautiful prayer to end the day with!  We will also say the prayer daily at school. The students should have the prayer memorized and recited to me no later than October 27th.

Math: Our MAP testing this week is in the area of math on Monday 25th and Tuesday the 26th.  Our class work will focus on finishing up Chapter One and reviewing for the chapter test.  Wednesday and Thursday the students will work on a chapter review for HW that will help them prepare for the test. Please take time to look over and talk to your child about the review sheet and assist as needed. On Thursday we will go over the HW and on Friday we will take the Chapter One test. 

Be sure to enroll your child in  XtraMath using the information sheet that was sent home last Monday.  Let me know if you need me so send home another enrollment information sheet.  Please sign up by this Wednesday.  Thank you! Xtramath helps students transition from counting or calculating the basic math facts to recalling them. Quickly recalling math facts, instead of calculating them, frees up mental resources for higher-level operations. Success with fact mastery requires regular, focused practice.  Thank you for encouraging your child in this area. Let me know if you need any assistance with the sign up.  BE SURE TO SELECT ENROLL AND USE THE INFORMATION ON THE FLYER!

Spelling: Spelling lists for the September 29th test  were passed out last Friday.  The test will be this Friday as usual.  This week’s words all contain short and  long “a” sounds.

Reading: Students continue to practice identifying different examples of figurative language in tall tales: simile, metaphor, idiom, hyperbole, personification, alliteration and onomatopoeia. 

Fourth graders illustrate with paint and crayon resist various examples of hyperbole found in the texts. Throughout the school year, students will frequently refer to their interactive reading notebook and use charts like this as a reference when reading about or writing with figurative language.

At the end of this week we will begin our unit of study on  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 the 4th grade teachers love this book!) 

Science: We will be continuing the first lesson on volcano patterns. The students will explore the past and present pattern of where volcanoes exist on earth. They will also be mapping and plotting volcanoes. The students will be analyzing the maps and discovering that volcanoes form a “Ring of Fire” around the Pacific Ocean!

Social Studies: The Continent and Ocean test will take place Friday, September 29th.  The students will have a word bank for the test.  All students need to have the continent poem memorized and presented by September 29th as well.  In class we will be continuing our study latitude and longitude and reading maps in Social Studies.  The students will apply this knowledge as they locate places using latitude/longitude coordinates, as well as read different types of maps including precipitation, population and elevation. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Magazine Sale.

Have an excellent week everyone!