Week of 2/10

Exceptional Children’s Week and No Place for Hate!  We have a speaker on Friday to help make students aware and learn more about people with exceptional abilities.

https://www.candidlykind.com/*GRACE is a young woman who happens to have Down syndrome and runs her very own successful clothing brand. She not only paints and designs all of  her own stuff, but she also is a part of the printing process and packaging and shipping all of her products and she writes a personalized letter to every single one of her customers.

We will be working on our kindness notes to each other on Friday – thank you Mrs. Ponchot for the beautiful names on the cardstock.  I’m hoping this will be something your child will keep in a special place to lift their spirits when they are feeling down – something to help them remember how wonderful they are!  We will be working on the notes throughout the day while finishing up our work before the break.

 

What are we learning?

ELA and Reading – We will be comparing and contrasting fairytales from different cultures and different points of view.  We will be using versions of the 3 Little Pigs – The True Story of the Big Bad Wolf as well as 3 Little Javelinas.  We will have a variety of fairy tales from around the world and will compare and contrast the different versions.  We will also introduce theme and how different fairy tales have similar themes even if they are from different places.

We are continuing a variety of writing genres.  We are finalizing our opinion of a movie or book we have recently read and will be working on an opinion piece on where we should put our pollinator garden.  We will also be writing a narrative by creating a twist on a fairy tale – We will talk about the different ways other authors have used fairy tales for their stories – Land of Stories, Whatever After series, Sister’s Grimm, etc.  It should be a lot of fun over the next two weeks.

Grammar –  We are continuing to elaborate our sentences using adjectives in the correct order and commas correctly when expanding sentences (applies the two skills we focused on over the past couple of weeks).  Many students still struggle with expanding sentences and make a run-on sentence.  We have worked on subordinate conjunctions over the past week – starting sentences with as, when, because, if, after, etc.  and using a comma after the phrase.  We will continue this work as we work on our opinion and narrative writing.

Math – Last week’s retest showed that students are still struggling with some fraction concepts.  However, they seem very comfortable with multiplying fractions by a whole number – and it is providing good review for improper fractions and mixed numbers.  We will assess this skill and retest interpreting remainders in problem solving this week (probably Wednesday).  We are also working on placing these fractions on number lines and we will move on to line plots.

Science – We are tracking weather data while we are working on catching up on social studies.

In our STEAM work we are have identified plants that bloom in different seasons so that pollinators have a steady food supply.  We will need to gather information on what kind of space, water and sunlight these plants need in order to identify a good area at school to place them.  We still have lots of information to gather!  One question leads to another that leads to another!

Social Studies –   4th grade social studies is so much fun!  We have established our individual rights and are moving on to Westward Expansion.  We are starting with the Louisiana Purchase and will explore with Lewis and Clark before getting in to the War of 1812.  When we return from break, we will look at the impact the Westward Expansion had on Native Peoples in the area.

Week of 2/3/20

Friday night is our annual Tritt dance!  4th and 5th grade is from 8 – 9 pm.  Check the link for more information. https://trittpta.membershiptoolkit.com/dance.

I sent an email this past weekend about the plans for Valentines.  We will be working on these notes during our morning work time – students can work on them at home as they want as well.

What are we learning?

ELA and Reading – This week we will be focusing more on point of view of the characters in a story or passage.  Students did really well overall at identifying if a passage was a first hand or second hand account.  Now we will be analyzing a character’s point of view of the story and how that impacts the story.  We will be using versions of the 3 Little Pigs – The True Story of the Big Bad Wolf as well as 3 Little Javelinas.  We will have a variety of fairy tales from around the world and will compare and contrast the different versions.  We will also introduce theme and how different fairy tales have similar themes.

We are continuing a variety of writing genres.  We are finalizing our opinion of a movie or book we have recently read and will be working on an opinion piece on where we should put our pollinator garden.  We will also be writing a narrative by creating a twist on a fairy tale – We will talk about the different ways other authors have used fairy tales for their stories – Land of Stories, Whatever After series, Sister’s Grimm, etc.  It should be a lot of fun over the next two weeks.

Grammar –  We are continuing to elaborate our sentences using adjectives in the correct order and commas correctly when expanding sentences (applies the two skills we focused on over the past couple of weeks).  Many students still struggle with expanding sentences and make a run-on sentence.  Much of this is developmental and we will continue to model the correct structure.  We will be introducing relative adjectives this week – that, which, whose, whom.

Math – We are continuing to review mixed numbers and improper fractions and how to change between both.  Some students are reviewing how to compare fractions and make equivalent fractions.  We will be continuing subtraction of mixed numbers with regrouping.  I had planned to move on to multiplying by a whole number this week.  Hopefully we will get to there.  Next week we will moving on to decimal fractions (10th and 100ths)

Reading – We are working on reading passages and identifying the point of view of the story.  Students will identify if a passage is a first hand or second hand account.  We will be analyzing some primary source documents from the Revolutionary War – from Patriot reports and Loyalist reports.  Students will see how a person’s point of view affects the reporting (I’m curious to see if any of my students that keep up with current events will connect this standard to today’s news reporting).

Science – We went to the LLC this morning and researched a given front.  Students will take this information to the Tech Lab on Friday and create a weather report based on their front.  We also had a reading passage last week on fronts that students had to complete some questions about.  Overall they did well, but some students need to work on answering what the question asked.  Questions like “where” does something happen or “what” something looks like should come directly from the text.

In our STEAM work we are have identified plants that bloom in different seasons so that pollinators have a steady food supply.  We will need to gather information on what kind of space, water and sunlight these plants need in order to identify a good area at school to place them.  We still have lots of information to gather!  One question leads to another that leads to another!

Social Studies –   This week we will be working on the 3 branches of government and checks and balances.  One of the articles in our newspaper talks about veto power and impeachment.  In our current events, students have the opportunity to see checks and balances set forth in the Constitution going on right now.  Class discussions remain factual – using information in the social studies book and newspaper.  I try to limit discussions beyond that in the classroom and encourage you to continue these conversations at home.  We will be using our notes and an online Kahoot to check for student understanding.  Next week we will move on to the Bill of Rights and the importance of the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Week of 1/27

On Thursday the Red Cross is holding a blood drive in the gym.  I know they are in critical need for blood, so please donate if you are able!

Thank you to the parents that are checking folders and planners and checking in with their children about their work and progress.  In 4th grade, students are becoming more independent in their work habit routines.  However, they are still developing and some need more frequent checkins to make sure they are completing homework and correcting work.  I do have several grades in the gradebook, so please check that.  Also, some students’ yellow folders are a little thick with papers that have gone home but not been looked at.

 

What are we learning?

ELA – This week we are looking at first hand and second hand accounts as well as how point of view in reading.  In writing, students will be rewriting a story from a different point of view (perspective).  We also will work on changing a third person account to a first person account.  As a result we will review pronouns as well.

Grammar –  We are going to be reviewing pronouns in writing.  We will also be working on elaborating our sentences using adjectives in the correct order and commas correctly when expanding sentences (applies the two skills we focused on over the past couple of weeks).

Math – We are continuing to review mixed numbers and improper fractions and how to change between both.  This skill goes along with adding fractions. 5/7 = 2/7 + 3/7,  decomposing the fractions into wholes – 13/7 = 7/7 + 6/7 = 1 6/7.  Some students are still reviewing making equivalent fractions and comparing fractions.  I hope to move on to subtraction of mixed numbers with regrouping at the end of the week, but we will see how we are doing.

Reading – We are working on reading passages and identifying the point of view of the story.  Students will identify if a passage is a first hand or second hand account.  We will be analyzing some primary source documents from the Revolutionary War – from Patriot reports and Loyalist reports.  Students will see how a person’s point of view affects the reporting (I’m curious to see if any of my students that keep up with current events will connect this standard to today’s news reporting).

Science – We went to the LLC this morning and researched a given front.  Students will take this information to the Tech Lab on Friday and create a weather report based on their front.  We also had a reading passage last week on fronts that students had to complete some questions about.  Overall they did well, but some students need to work on answering what the question asked.  Questions like “where” does something happen or “what” something looks like should come directly from the text.

In our STEAM work we are have identified plants that bloom in different seasons so that pollinators have a steady food supply.  We will need to gather information on what kind of space, water and sunlight these plants need in order to identify a good area at school to place them.  We still have lots of information to gather!  One question leads to another that leads to another!

Social Studies –   This week we will be working on the 3 branches of government and checks and balances.  One of the articles in our newspaper talks about veto power and impeachment.  In our current events, students have the opportunity to see checks and balances set forth in the Constitution going on right now.  Class discussions remain factual – using information in the social studies book and newspaper.  I try to limit discussions beyond that in the classroom and encourage you to continue these conversations at home.  We will be using our notes and an online Kahoot to check for student understanding.  Next week we will move on to the Bill of Rights and the importance of the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Week of 1/21

Hope everyone had a great 3-day weekend!  We have a busy couple of weeks planned.  Please be sure to monitor your child’s grades and review their work with them!

What are we learning?

ELA – We are continuing to work on opinion writing – we are analyzing thesis statements and reasons to make sure they match.  Then, we are analyzing our own thesis and reasons – how can we make them better?  We will be working more on elaboration this week – developing stories that illustrate our reasons that someone is our hero.  Even though we have submitted a “final copy” for the contest deadline, we will be continuing to work on this piece as well as others.

Grammar –  Overall I think students are more aware of how to use the comma correctly in writing – and in reading (pausing for phrasing).  This week is a trickier skill – order of adjectives.  We have some activities we will be working on in class and a Mobymax lesson has been assigned for individual practice.

Math – This week we are will be assessing comparing fractions this week and moving on to decomposing fractions – building to adding fractions with like denominators and eventually mixed numbers and improper fractions.  On the surface, this is a very simple skill – 5/7 = 2/7 + 3/7.  However, we will be working to decomposing the fractions into wholes – 13/7 = 7/7 + 6/7 = 1 6/7

Reading – We are continuing to work on Revenge of the Gods – analyzing the structure of a play, parts of a myth, and understanding tone.  Students are really excited about “doing” a play, so we will have a little performance for each other.

Science – Students are becoming meteorologists!  We are taking our knowledge of the water cycle and states of matter and applying that to weather tools and conditions of the atmosphere to create weather forecasts.  Students will be working with Mrs. Pascual in the technology lab and Mrs. Bates in the LLC to create and produce a weather report.

In our STEAM work we are have brainstormed the kinds of plants different pollinators need.  Next, we will be making a plan on where is the best place to put these plants to help our pollinators as well as providing a good habitat and water source.

Social Studies –   Students worked hard to understand what a representative democracy is and why we have that form of government in the U.S.  We will be working on the 3 branches of government after we finish our weather reports.  Two grades have been taken so far this quarter – one from understanding the preamble, and another one that involved questions from the Representative Democracy passage.  Students had the opportunity to review and correct their answers in class today – we need to work on our reading skills of going back into the passage and use key words to find the correct answer.

Week of Jan. 13th

Whoops!  Almost forgot I didn’t update my blog this week!  Sorry!  We are full on in to our next quarter of work.  After setting our goals for the new year last week, we might need to check in already on our work habits – completing homework, getting to school on time, staying on task during instruction.  Please check your child’s folders and planners for work progress.  If something has a note to correct it or complete it, please help to make sure it gets finished.

What are we learning?

ELA – We are continuing to work on the structure of opinion writing – thesis statement with reasons.  This week we are working on an opinion piece of someone that is important to us.  This piece will be completed by Friday to submit for our Honoring Our Heroes essay.  We are focusing on elaboration – giving good details to support our reasons and writing a hook to introduce our writing.

Grammar –  This week we are working on how to use commas correctly in our writing.  Students looked at the different rules for using commas and applying them correctly.  Classwork is due by Friday and we will have a small assessment on the application of this skill.

Math – This week we are comparing fractions and I’m pleased with their progress.  We are continually reviewing equivalent fractions – students have MobyMax lessons they are working on for homework this week that are due on Friday.  At the end of the week, students will be given an assessment on their progress on making equivalent fractions and comparing fractions.  Knowing multiplication facts is important in correctly forming equivalent fractions.  We are continuing to work on interpreting remainders in word problems – I’m making them all event planners in getting enough busses and tables for events!

Reading – This week we dove into our new Storyworks magazine and looked at a Greek myth written as a play.  We are analyzing the structure of a play, what a myth is as well as understanding the lesson in the story.

Science – Students are becoming meteorologists!  We are taking our knowledge of the water cycle and states of matter and applying that to weather tools and conditions of the atmosphere to create weather forecasts.  Students will be working with Mrs. Pascual in the technology lab and Mrs. Bates in the LLC to create and produce a weather report.

In our STEAM work we are have brainstormed the kinds of plants different pollinators need.  Next, we will be making a plan on where is the best place to put these plants to help our pollinators as well as providing a good habitat and water source.

Social Studies –   Students worked hard to understand what a representative democracy is and why we have that form of government in the U.S.  We will be working on the 3 branches of government after we finish our weather reports.  Two grades have been taken so far this quarter – one from understanding the preamble, and another one that involved questions from the Representative Democracy passage.  Students had the opportunity to review and correct their answers in class today – we need to work on our reading skills of going back into the passage and use key words to find the correct answer.

Happy 2020!

It was so great to see everyone back to school today and on time!!  It was a great start to our third quarter!

We spent some time today looking back over 2019 – what things we enjoyed – and then looked ahead to 2020.   We spent some time thinking about our effort over the past year – did we give our best or can we do better?  I have seen some great effort and growth from most of our students.  I will be reaching out to a handful for conferences to come up with a plan for this next quarter to help their child get to where they need to be.

Report cards will go out Friday, but hopefully you have kept tabs throughout the quarter and looked through your child’s yellow folder so nothing should be a surprise.  I understand that parents are unable to see the gradebook during the last couple of weeks of the quarter and I understand the frustration.  If you ever have any questions, I am always available through email.  I still have a couple of students that are not correcting assignments to take advantage of grade recovery.  As a parent, please look over their corrections to verify their work.  Students may also check with me before submitting their corrections if they aren’t sure if everything is correct.  All incorrect answers should be made correct – not just enough to get to a 75%.  Attaching a separate piece of paper to show the work is preferred – it is hard to read work that is squished in or difficult to read.  The corrections should show effort – not something rushed and turned back in.

Students received new reading logs and behavior sheets for the start of the quarter.  We had a really great start today – it was great that everyone was here to get all of the information for the coming quarter.  Thank you!

 

What are we learning?

ELA – We moving on to opinion writing this quarter.  Overall, students showed good progress in using the correct structure for their informational writing post assessment – compare and contrast.  Some students still need work in writing complete sentences (not run-on) as well as using the text to spell given words correctly.

Spelling/Grammar –  We had a spelling pretest today on /ar/ and /air/ words.  Students will be completing activities in class with their words during the word work time rather than as homework.  However, I would encourage them to practice any misspelled words at home during the week.  We will have a post test either Friday or next week on these words.

Math – Today we did our unit 3 and 4 fraction pretest for our next unit.  We will start this week with equivalent fractions and comparing fractions.  We DO NOT use the butterfly method for comparing fractions (cross multiplication).  I will post the different strategies we use when we get there next week – it is based using the benchmark of 1/2 to compare.

I will also be pulling students that still need work on dividing using partial quotient.  We played a game today involving remainders and there are some students that definitely need some work on that skill too!

Reading – We are going to be working on understanding point of view in reading and how it affects the story.  Students will look at a variety of literature and identify the point of view.  Then, we will work on changing the story and tell it from the point of view of another character or first person.  We will have some fun with our fairy tales for this as well (True Story of the 3 Little Pigs).

Science – Students are working on modifying their states of matter cartoon to make sure they they have made sure their cartoon explains how the water drop has changed states.

In our STEAM work we are continuing to gather information about what pollinators are and what they need to survive – do they all need the same things?  By finding this information, they can begin to brainstorm ideas on what we can do to help increase their population.

Social Studies –   This week we will be diving in to the Preamble of the Constitution and what kind of government we have (representative democracy).

Week of Dec. 16th

The last week of school for this decade!  Such a strange thing to think!  This week of school is the most challenging of the whole year (even more than the last week of school).  This is the last week of the grading period, and several students need to use this time to make sure they have done everything they can to help improve their grades (please be sure you have checked ParentVue and turned in any corrected work).  We have end of quarter assessments to check growth in reading, writing, and math this week.  We will not be introducing any new material – just trying to wrap up what we have learned and make sure it is mastered.

Tuesday – Sparkle and Shine!  Sorry for any confusion last week and thank you for helping to keep me straight!  Students are encouraged (and staff!) to sparkle and shine for the holiday season!  We are taking the Math Inventory assessment tomorrow, so anything that is too distracting will stay in the classroom during that test.

Our room parents have also planned a small holiday party to celebrate the season during the last hour of school (thank you!!).  If you are volunteering, you will not be able to sign your child out after 1:45 – just have your child meet you in the lobby with the walkers at dismissal.

Wednesday – last full day of school for 2019.  We will take our end of quarter math post test over all second quarter standards.  We are also completing the Reading Inventory to see how our lexiles have grown since the end of the first quarter.

Thursday – Early release at 12:20 – Crazy Holiday Attire – time for tacky sweaters!  I have planned for students to finish our math area and perimeter Minecraft zoo that we started at the beginning of the quarter (and then I kept not getting the right laptop cart!).  This activity is an enrichment activity that will utilize our second quarter standards.

For students that have not finished work – or need extra review on other skills – I will be working with them to make sure we have done the best we can this quarter!

Friday – Early Release – Pajama Day – Holiday Sing!  Made it to Friday!  After celebrating with a sing along we will return to the classroom to watch The Polar Express – or maybe The Christmas Chronicles – something fun and relaxing.  I also plan to make it rain in the classroom.  Yes – I still plan on doing a little science to go with our water cycle standards we started last week.  I promised the class that I was going to make it rain in the classroom before we left for break!!

 

Thank you for all you do at home to help your child be successful in school.  2019 has been a fabulous year, and I can’t wait for 2020!  Have a safe and joyful holiday season!

 

 

Week of 12/9

Last full week of the quarter!  Don’t forget to send in donations for the LaBelle book and board game drive going on this week!  Donations are being gathered outside the front office.

Holiday magnets went home last week with your child’s picture.  Please either return the magnets or send in the money for them.  The collection box is also at the front of the school.

I hope you checked your child’s yellow folder and reviewed their emergency release transportation plan.  I will be collecting these on Monday.

Thursday – Papa John’s Pizza night!

Friday – Ballgowns and Bow ties!  Wear something sparkly and fun for our final full Friday of school for 2019! (next week will be an early release day).  Please see the Tritt newsletter from last week for more information.

What are we learning?

ELA – I have reviewed student drafts of the body paragraphs and we will be continuing to work on topic sentences with details this week.  This skill fits nicely with our Main idea and detail lessons in reading.  Organization of thoughts seem to be somewhat of a challenge for several students.  We will have the laptops most of the week for writing to help us revise and edit our work as well as write a closing paragraph.  Students are expected to work on this in class, but if they are not almost finished by Thursday, it will be homework Thursday night.

Spelling/Grammar –  We worked on the ou/ow and oi/oy pattern this past week.  Students will be assessed on this pattern on Tuesday.  We will also check our progress on identifying prepositional phrases.

Math – This past week we covered area of rectangles and rectilinear shapes.  Overall students did FABULOUS with this skill.  L figures are the only figure that gives some of our students a challenge in identifying the length and width.  Students that need additional practice will work with me during our I/E blocks this week.

We are moving on to division!  We are starting this week with basic division with remainders – 36/5,  18/4.   We will then move on to dividing multiples of 10, 100 and 1,000   (Ex.  360/6).  Finally, we will put those two skills together and use partial quotients to divide 3,582 by 6.  Please review the second quarter math parent letter for more detailed examples and expectations.  WE DO NOT USE THE STANDARD ALGORITHM IN 4TH GRADE.  Unless you have an older child, this method of division is going to be very different for you.

We will be using this Learnzillion video in class – It explains the concept step by step. Go to www.learnzillion.com and paste V3SJ7B9 into the search box.

Reading – We are continuing our work on informational reading using Animal Defenses. We are working on vocabulary strategies to understand new words, and identifying the main idea and details.  These skills will help support our work in content areas (science and social studies).  Students will be completing work in their reading notebook online through Office 365.  Homework this week will require them to read a section of the article and identify new vocabulary words to be used in class the next day.  I will try to give students time to complete in class.  If your child does not have access to a computer for homework, please let me know and I will print out the article for them to use instead.

Science –  We will begin our exploration of water – states of matter and how it moves throughout our environment.  (Wahsega application – is water biotic or abiotic?)  Several links are shared in the pages section for student exploration.  Classroom challenge – using what they know, can they make it rain in the classroom?

In our STEAM work we are continuing to gather information about what pollinators are and what they need to survive – do they all need the same things?  By finding this information, they can begin to brainstorm ideas on what we can do to help increase their population.

Social Studies –   We finished the Constitutional Convention and worked on compromise in writing the Constitution.  Hopefully students appreciated the importance of the character traits of Washington, Madison and Franklin.  Hopefully I will get the assessment in the grade book and send the papers home on Monday (I am still battling this stupid cold with no voice and very little energy).  When we return in January we will look in more depth at the 3 branches of our government, the preamble and Bill of Rights.

Week of Dec. 2nd

How is it December already?  We only have 3 weeks left in the second quarter and then we are halfway through the school year – how is that possible?  I know this is a busy time of year and I will do my best to limit homework as much as possible.  If they work hard and stay focused during the day, we shouldn’t have too much homework.  There are a couple of assignments I have planned for students to complete at home in reading, but I will give them time to get it done in class.

What are we learning?

ELA – We are continuing to draft our paragraphs.  By the end of this week students should have drafted their three main things they are teaching about their topic along with supporting details.  We will work on the closing paragraph and editing next week.

Spelling/Grammar –  We will continue working on prepositions and possessive nouns this week.  We will also have a new group of spelling words – I will decide on the pattern tomorrow.

Math – Before break we worked on using patterns to solve problems.  On Friday students were given a quiz that was exactly the same as the homework that had been completed the day before.  In class, we worked through all 4 problems and students were encouraged to ask questions and participate in the work and extending the pattern.  Unfortunately, several students were not engaged in this work, and therefore struggled when they were given the same questions with different numbers.  Please review these papers when they go home on Monday.

This week we will cover area of rectangles and rectilinear shapes.  I am going to use this skill to review multiplication before moving on to division next week.  Two skills students need to be able to do – find the missing side when given the area and understand that area is additive.  Please see the Quarter 2 math standards in the blue pages bar at the top of this page to understand expectations.

Reading – We are continuing our work on informational reading using Animal Defenses. We are working on vocabulary strategies to understand new words, and identifying the main idea and details.  These skills will help support our work in content areas (science and social studies).  Students will be completing work in their reading notebook online through Office 365.  Homework this week will require them to read a section of the article and identify new vocabulary words to be used in class the next day.  I will try to give students time to complete in class.  If your child does not have access to a computer for homework, please let me know and I will print out the article for them to use instead.

Science – We will apply what we learned about food chains and webs to information on pollinators.  What role do producers and consumers play and how can we help them?  We will also begin moving on to our exploration of water – states of matter and how it moves throughout our environment.  (Wahsega application – is water biotic or abiotic?)

In our STEAM work we are continuing to gather information about what pollinators are and what they need to survive – do they all need the same things?  By finding this information, they can begin to brainstorm ideas on what we can do to help increase their population.

Social Studies –   We had such a great time at the Cobb Youth Museum Friday before the break.  I posted pictures on our shutterfly account.  We will finish up the writing of the Constitution this week – looking at the issue of counting slaves and the three leaders of the Constitutional Convention – Washington, Madison and Franklin.  Students will have a quiz based on the information from the newspaper on Wednesday.  They will be able to use all resources that we have gathered during this unit of study.