October has almost arrived! What a great first month of school we have had. 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. Remember, this Friday there is no school so the teachers can take part in the Teacher Excellence Day. I am looking forward to attending some great workshops.
Religion/Language Arts: We are beginning our study of saints in preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass, which will be held on Friday, October 30th. Monday, each student will be assigned the saint 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 this week’s homework assignment that is due on Thursday, October 1st. With the saint information your child will be been given, he/she will create a sequenced list of important events in the saint’s life. Specific directions are coming home with your child today. (It is also be available on our website in the Saint Project tab at the top of the page). 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, look under the “Religion” section. Thank you! Be sure this assignment is completed and returned this Thursday the 1st as we will be working on the project in class that day. The material should be read over several times so that the students are very familiar with their saint. This is a good opportunity to do some oral reading with your child. We always encourage work with reading fluency!!
There will be no math homework on Monday, and I will work to give the students time to get their math homework started at school on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Spelling: Since there is no school on Friday, and the students do have “saint” homework due on Thursday, the spelling test for Lesson 3 will be given next Monday, October 5th. I have added a link to an online site where students can practice their spelling words. It is linked on the spelling page.
Science – This week we are examining the life cycle of paper. The students will identify and discuss the resources required for and the environmental impacts of the manufacturing and use of paper. Students will be able to apply the life cycle process and analyze the environmental impact of a technology, in this case paper
Social Studies: Corrected continent and ocean tests were sent home last Friday. We have been learning about latitude and longitude in Social Studies. This week the students will apply some of this knowledge as they locate geographic locations using latitude/longitude coordinates. Looking ahead, the 4th grade students will be reviewing and reassessed on their knowledge of the 50 State locations again this year. Our US map work will include geographic features such as rivers and mountain ranges, which will also tie in with our US/Washington State History. I encourage students to visit some of the fun state practice sites on our website to begin to refresh their memories of the state locations! Look for “Map Skills” under the links on the right side of the 4A website.
Reading: We got a start last week with our class novel unit on Charlotte’s Web by doing a visualization activity and learning about the author, E.B. White. Please click on the link “reading” link at the start of this paragraph to visit Ms. Corrigan’s webpage to get more detail about this week’s objectives. Vocabulary acquisition, both meaning and pronunciation, will stressed throughout the unit. Be on the lookout next week for some vocabulary homework related to the story. I have added a new tab to the website called “Reading/LA Practice” which contains links to sites that practice and reinforce some of the reading, language and grammar skills we are working on in class. The links will be updated regularly to match our curriculum.
Regarding Home Reading: Regular home reading is an extremely important and expcted activity. Students should read both orally and silently on a regular basis to build fluency, expression, pace and comprehension. Talking with your child about what he/she is reading is a great way to check for understanding. 4th graders are learning how to think and talk about text in order to find deeper meanings and messages in what they read. When reading aloud, if your child is struggling with more than 5 words per page, the book may be too challenging for independent reading. Ms. Corrigan, Mrs. Harris and I are happy to help the students find books they may enjoy reading. Reading aloud to your child is also an excellent way to expand vocabulary and listening comprehension. This week’s saint homework is the perfect way to get in some great reading practice.
Math: The students did well overall on their math test last Friday. I will be working with small groups to do some reteaching and make corrections as needed. Check your child’s filer for the corrected test. We will be moving into our next unit which includes adding and subtracting large whole numbers. We always strive for accuracy and fluency in math computation. This often means rereading story problems and checking math problems twice! It is quite important that students are accurate 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 in place. Your assistance in helping guide your child locate needed corrections on homework is greatly appreciated and beneficial. Work with multiplication, area and perimeter will also be included in our math work this month.
As mentioned last week, automatic recall of multiplicaiton and division facts is a high priority. Using information gained from the math assessment we took last week the students will be making flash cards of the facts they were not able to answer within 3-4 seconds. These are the facts that they should focus on at home. Look for the flash cards to come home later this week.