Monthly Newsletters

April News

Dear Families,

Last Thursday we completed the ERB tests. Experience tells me that the next few weeks will fly by as we cover important and interesting topics in every subject area.

Starting today, most of our language arts and social studies time for the next five weeks will be spent working on state projects, which will be due on May 26. I am including a copy of the state project assignment list for your reference; however, I intend that the students will do almost all of their project work during class time. I’ll update you periodically on your child’s progress, and let you know on Fridays if make-up work will be required over a weekend.

The entire fourth grade will display the students’ state projects during our “State Fair,” on Wednesday, May 31, from 3:15-5:00. The fourth graders will be very proud of their projects, and we invite you to come and appreciate their efforts. We expect the children to remain with their projects until the State Fair ends at 5:00, so they can relate their considerable knowledge to all of you.
We will be working on geometry and division, as well as reviewing fourth grade concepts in mathematics during the next few weeks. You may have heard your children refer to “Mystery Class,” an integrated study during which we have attempted to discover the locations of ten sites around the world using sunrise/sunset data and latitude and longitude clues.  

We have two field trips scheduled before the end of the school year. On the morning of Tuesday, May 2 we will take a boat trip on the Mississippi River from Harriet Island to Fort Snelling. During the “Big River Journey” the students will participate in activities organized by the Science Museum and the National Park Service. On the morning of Friday, May 27 we will go to Feed My Starving Children as a fourth grade service project.

The Grade 4 Parent Meeting is scheduled for 6:30 on Tuesday evening, May 16. The Grade Four Dinner and Celebration is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 25, at 6:00.

Thanks for all of your help and support this year. Feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

Below you will find the state project assignment description and assignment sheet:

    State Project Requirements
    Due on May 26; 200 Total Points

____ 1.  Alphabet book of state (25)
____ 2.  Four ten-sentence reports on places to visit (20)
____ 3.  PowerPoint presentation describing your state (20 slides) (20)
____ 4.  Four worksheets: products, government, population, story (20)
____ 5   Book report:  novel or biography associated with your state (15)
____ 6.  “My Favorite State” poster (15)
____ 7.  Oral presentation as a famous person from your state (15)
____ 8.  Twenty-sentence history report (15)
____ 9.  Twenty-sentence inquiry report (15)
____ 10.  Three-dimensional model or display (10)
____ 11.  Graph of high temperatures in your state over three weeks (10)
____ 12.  Source list (10)
____ 13.  State map displaying the locations of eight places (5)
____ 14.  Introductory paragraph (5)

Unless there is an emergency situation, you will be expected to do ALMOST ALL of your state project work at school.  Three parts of your project you may do at home are working on the 3-dimensional model, reading and working on your book report, and preparing your costume for your oral presentation.  Most of our language arts and social studies time during these five weeks will be dedicated to your state project.  Your progress will be checked every day.  If by Friday you’ve fallen behind on your project work in school, a note will be sent home informing your parents that you will need to work over the weekend.  You will also lose points on your project if you are late.  Of course, if you have an excused absence from school you will not lose points.

Deadlines for the state project: 
April 28:  Four site reports, products map, government worksheet     
May 5:  Inquiry report, population graph, creative story
May 12:  History report, state map, source list
May 19:  PowerPoint, introductory paragraph, book report
May 26:  State poster, temperature graph, alphabet book, 3D model

You must include a bibliography (source list) on a separate sheet of paper at the end of the written part of your project.  Keep track of the websites, books and other materials you use!

Your PowerPoint must include an introduction slide, slides for each site, your history and inquiry reports. You must also include slides showing at least five state symbols. You may choose the subjects of the remaining slides yourself.  

Your project will be presented on a three-sided display board and in a three-ring binder.  Be prepared to tell us about your chosen state (your oral presentation) during the fourth grade “State Fair” on May 31.  You will appear in costume as a famous person associated with your state.

Extra credit work is certainly welcome!  Extra credit work may be done at home, but will be accepted only after you have met your weekly deadlines at school. Examples of extra credit assignments might be another report, a more extensive PowerPoint presentation, an extra book report, or an extra three-dimensional model.  

Good luck on your project!  Have fun!

                                                                        January 18, 2017
Dear Families,

            The children returned from Winter Break refreshed and ready to get back to work.  Our schedule continues to be full of projects and exciting events.

            We have been reading I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King.  The students will produce computer-generated timelines of Dr. King’s life, and will complete several comprehension activities. Each student is also creating a picture book based on a classic fairy tale.

            We have begun a study of fractions in math.  The students will add, subtract, and multiply fractions. They will also begin to use the concepts of equivalent fractions and simplest form. Along with our Math in Focus textbook, each student has been working in the Key to Fractions Booklet #1. Booklets #2 and #3 are available for children who would like more of a challenge.

            In social studies our class has been studying the Mid-Atlantic region. Part of our study requires each student to produce a report on a memorial found in Washington, DC.

            We are excited to welcome a student teacher from South Korea, Yeonsun Oh, who will join our class on Monday, January 23. She will spend ten days with us, observing, working with small groups, and teaching several lessons.

            Our next fourth grade Leadership Day will be on Wednesday, January 25. The children should wear their navy blue CARE shirts that day.

            As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


October 26, 2016

It's hard to believe that Grandparents' Day and Thanksgiving are only a few weeks away.  Our days continue to be filled with fun and exciting activities! 
In language arts we have begun to read biographies, and book reports will be assigned within the next couple of weeks. We have continued our usual spelling and grammar lessons. During writing workshop time we are working on an essay writing unit. As the children produce their essays they are practicing drafting, editing, and revising their work.

We are in the middle of a multiplication/division unit in math. Among other concepts, the children will explore the division of numbers through thousands, with and without remainders. They will be practicing their estimation skills to determine the reasonableness of their answers.

In social studies, we are studying the Southeast region. We are continuing to discuss current events and practice nonfiction reading strategies using our weekly Time for Kids magazines.         

Monday of this week was the first day the fourth graders brought their laptops home. Please monitor your children while they are working on their laptops. It’s important that the laptops come to school each morning fully charged, as well.
As our weather becomes colder it will soon become necessary for the children to be prepared for recess with boots, snowpants, gloves/mittens, and hats.

Our annual Halloween celebration is scheduled for next Monday, October 31. I look forward to seeing the creative costumes! Thanks to the parents who will supervise our class party that afternoon.

Grandparents’ Day is scheduled for Wednesday, November 23, with no school on the following Thursday, Friday and Monday.

Our first field trip of the year is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, November 3. We will visit The Works to explore their displays and participate in activities relating to simple machines and electricity.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks for your on-going help and support.

September 12, 2016

I have enjoyed meeting your children and beginning our work in fourth grade!

The children excitedly received their laptops a week ago. We have spent time discussing appropriate laptop use, trying out various applications, and personalizing each child’s computer. The laptops will stay in the classroom for several weeks. I’ll let you know when you can expect them to come home.

During writing workshop periods the students have approached their work with enthusiasm and confidence. We have begun our essay-writing unit, and are working on the Unit 2 list in our Everyday Spelling book. Our spelling test will be this Wednesday, September 14.

We have been working on Unit 1, “Working with Whole Numbers,” in mathematics. According to our Math in Focus book, the Big Idea of this unit is “to read, compare, and order numbers according to the place value of their digits. Also, we learn to add and subtract multi-digit numbers.”  Additional math practice is provided by our “Math Cycles” assignments.

Our fourth grade social studies curriculum is based on United States geography. We have begun our study of the New England region. Electricity and magnetism are topics we are studying in science.

School will not be in session on Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7, as those days are designated for parent-teacher conferences. Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions. We’re off to a great start!