Week of September 26th

zz17f25ef3Dear 4A Families,

Happy Monday and last week of September everyone. The month ahead will be a very busy one including the IOWA and CogAT tests, a Saint report and 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 routines. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Effective communication is the key to a successful year.

zz3127a1bdReligion/Language Arts: We are beginning our study of saints in preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass, which will be held on Tuesday, November 1st. This Monday each student will be assigned the saint he or she will write his or her 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, September 29th. With the saint information that will be distributed, each student will create a sequenced list of important events in the saint’s life. Specific directions will come home with your child on Monday as well. (It will also be available on our website in the Saint Report tab at the top of the page) Monday night homework should only focus on reading the information and helping your child with new vocabulary. Tuesday and Wednesday nights should be dedicated to highlighting and compiling their list of facts. There will be no math homework on Tuesday and Wednesday so that they have extra time to dedicate to this project. Using the list of facts they compile at home with your help, the students will write their reports at school. Our writing lessons will be integrated with this project as the students learn to pick out relevant information, summarize and organize facts into a mini report. Please do not write a report at home, just a numbered/sequenced list of important events in the Saint’s life. This list should be in the student’s own words. Your assistance in making sure your child can understand the information they read, and in developing lists of relevant and clear facts, are the areas you will help with. You are also welcome to look up additional information to add to the lists. Our website has links to some sites that may be helpful. Thank you! Be sure this assignment is completed and returned on Thursday the 29th, as we will be working on the project in class that day. The material should be read over at least 3 times so that the students are very familiar with their saint. This is a good opportunity to do some oral reading with your child.

Remember to keep practicing the Prayer of St. Francis as well!

Social Studies: We have been learning about latitude and longitude in Social Studies. This week the students will apply some of this knowledge as they locate places using latitude/longitude coordinates. The students will also have a study sheet for a NE State test. Yes, they need to remember the state locations and abbreviations they learned last year! The test on this region will take place on October 11th. Along with the study sheet, I encourage the students to visit the websites linked to the right. Look under “Map Skills”. We will show the students some of these sites in class and during lab time as well.

Science: This week we are continuing our look at the life cycle of paper with the students actively participating in the life cycle. We will be looking at how recycled paper is made and attempting to make our own recycled paper. Then we will be switching gears on Tuesday and turning our focus on insulation. We will start questioning the different properties of certain materials and making hypotheses on which materials would make good insulators. We will also review how to read a thermometer, both in Celsius and Fahrenheit

Math: 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. 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 timed tests in class, with a focus on accuracy and recall of addition and subtraction facts. When I assess students on timed tests it is individualized. I start with a baseline score, and each student’s goal is to improve their score each time. Accuracy first, then speed. Students are expected to visit XtraMath 4 or more times each week (7 days). Look for math lesson homework pages on Monday and Thursday this week.

Spelling lists for lesson 4 were sent home last Friday.  This week’s words focus on long /o/ and short /o/ sounds.  Just a reminder that the weekly spelling words can also be practiced on Spelling City.  This is optional for now, but we will be assigning activities for homework from Spelling City in the future.  All students have logged in at school several times so they should know the routine. If you have trouble logging in let me know.

Reading: We continue our journey in Charlotte’s Web. Our target skills while reading include vocabulary acquisition, character traits, themes, and oral reading fluency (expression, pacing and volume). We will be incorporating descriptive letter writing with chapter three.

Homework Overview:

  • Saint report HW on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (due Thursday),
  • Study spelling words for Lesson 4
  • Begin to review the NE States for a test on October 10th
  • Math lesson homework on Monday and Thursday.  Visit XtraMath at least 4 times by Sunday the 24th.

untitledIt is that time again for each student to bring in their monthly $1.00 to support our Ugandan students in their schooling. Students are asked to bring in one dollar during the first week of each month. Thank you for your generosity of these very deserving students.

Have a wonderful week!

Don’t forget to sell those magazines!