Ms. Swartz's 4th Grade

Just another Cobb Learning site

Happy Daylight Savings Time!

Ongoing communication will be sent through weekly emails to update families on current happenings.

Here on the blog I would like to include resources you can refer to for additional support/practice for your child: : Student Username is their school #followed by @nickajack. The password is math. We have a wonderful opportunity through April to use the IXL Program in all areas, math, ELA, science and social studies. I encourage students to explore some of the exciting topics available and build upon our classroom standards.

My Math Student Practice: Student  User Name: ccsd followed by student ID #. Password is Cobbmath1.

Cobb Digital Library ( Location= Nickajack, Students use their student ID# and Password is read.

Cobb County Library: Students are eligible for a student card being a Cobb County Student.

Excellent site for practicinig multiplication facts:

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Fall and Frost are Upon Us!

Thanks to all parents who attended parent conferences. It was a pleasure to meet with each of you and to share the “Glows” and “Grows” about your child. Any report card envelopes not returned, signed, please do so. Future report cards are sent home in those envelopes.

November will be a busy month. On November 7th the students have No School, it is a professional learning day for teachers. On November 8th we will be going on our field trip to the Tellus Museum. Family and Friends Luncheon will be held on November 14/15. I will update you of the day/time assigned for our class.

Calling for any old pillowcases you may no longer need! I want to make class pillows and the cases make a greater inner cover before the decorative outer fabric.

Please watch for my weekly emails that include details of our daily happenings here in the classroom.

Almost time to fall back (love that extra hour of sleep)!

Ms. Swartz

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Happy Fall!

We close out our first quarter of fourth grade this Friday, October 6th. Report cards will be distributed during Parent Conferences the week of October 16-20. Scheduled conference days/times will be sent home in this Thursday’s Red Folders, so please be on the look out.

Students are settled in and working diligently with our Reading 180 Program. Students can also access e-books/informational articles from home as well. To access here are the following links:

READ 180 (eBooks / eReads):

System 44  eBooks:

Spelling has a new addition to Monday homework. Students are to write definitions of words #1-10, and 16-20. It is not providing any benefit if the children can spell a word, but do not know its meaning. The Monday Pretest signed by you is still required as well.

For our upcoming Nickajack Fall Festival, we are asking for donations of small packaged cookies, chips, crackers, etc. for our Fourth Grade Pumpkin Walk. Your donations can be sent in with your child at any time.

Also asking for any old pillow cases! Yes, I have a giant bag of stuffing a PTA parent passed on and I want to make pillows for our classroom. The pillowcases will be just for the inner covering to fill and I will purchase decorative outdoor fabric for the outer covers.

Please be sure your child continues working on learning his/her multiplication facts. We are now working on the 6 table. Students now should know fluently 0-6 facts. As well, brushing up on addition and subtraction facts would be very beneficial. As we are working on our addition/subtraction unit, some are rusty with these facts as well.

Reminder also in regards to our upcoming November field trip to the Tellus Museum. Please be sure to sign BOTH sides of the permission form. The cost is $20. If you have any questions about the trip, do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks to all!



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Week of September 5th 2017

Do hope all had a wonderful long Labor Day weekend? It was an extra special four days for me, my 22 year old son and our dog came to visit me from Wisconsin. I am a proud mommy, can you tell!

We began our second half of this first grading period. Students have had the opportunity to look over their first Progress Reports and ask questions. With this being a brand new evaluation process for them, I am having them set one goal for each 4.5 weeks and have them track their progress along the way. I stress that it is putting forth their “best” effort in and outside of school that is most important, rather than the letter grade. We all have our own individual strengths and weaknesses which we can build upon.

This week we are rounding multi-digit numbers in preparation for mental math and estimating. Place value is a critical component and foundation for our math understanding. I have many additional resources for practice at home for those students still needing additional reinforcement.

In writing workshop the students have been working on different ideas for narrative writing.This type of writing is our focus this first quarter. I encourage students to keep home journals as well, noting any ideas about their own lives and interests, that perhaps could be the seed to a wonderful narrative published piece of writing for them!

Please be sure your child is taking their spelling pretest on Mondays at home and you are signing off on the words they need to practice with for the week. It will be these words they will use to complete an activity from their Spelling Choice Board each evening for homework.

We are also beginning our small group rotations in math and reading. Students will be working either at the computer station, independently at a comfortable nook in the room, or with me. It is very important that the students develop the confidence to work independently as they cycle through the stations of instruction and practice.

Tomorrow evening here at Nickajack is our Multicultural Night. A flyer went home in today’s Thursday folder about this wonderful event. I hope to see some of you there!

Have a wonderful rest of the week/weekend. I am always available, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Is it really starting to feel like fall????

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Highlights Week of August 28th

We closed out last week on a sad note having to say “so long for now” to one of our dear classmates who will begin this week at his new school. The outpouring of kindness with homemade gifts, pictures, cards and hugs, brought tears to his eyes (as well as to ours). The positive spirit and smile of sunshine he touched us with each day, we will continue in his honor. The students are excited to keep in touch as “pen pals”. I am so proud of them all!!!

This is a short and busy week:

  • Wednesday, August 30th is Early Dismissal. Please send notification of any transportation changes.
  • Friday is Football Friday! For any parents interested in signing up to volunteer, you can do so at
  • We will be attending our Learning Commons Orientation tomorrow afternoon, so students will begin checking out library books for their reading pleasure and assigned reading.
  • We are moving on to the 3 multiplication facts. Please be sure your child is practicing daily to obtain 100% fluency from memorization. We tested on 0, 1, 2, 5, 10 today, so the easy ones are behind us, now we begin our climb to the top with the rest!
  • Important letters went home in last Thursday’s Red Take Home Folders. Thank you to those who signed and returned the letters. If you have not done so, please sign and return the letter by this Friday. If you have any questions about the EIP Program, please do not hesitate to contact me.
  • Don’t forget students are to take their Spelling Pretest tonight for homework and have it signed by a parent/adult. This guides the children as to what words they need to focus on learning this week.
  • Math Skills – Comparing and ordering multi-digit numbers and rounding. Place value understanding through the millions place is essential. For extra practice, students can use fourth grade skills in the Place Value section.
  • Reading Skills – Mental Images and Mental Movies as strategies to build deeper comprehension.
  • Health – Keeping our eyes, ears, nose and skin healthy.
  • Science – The Water Cycle.
  • I want to thank Mrs. James and Mrs. Oikaovi  for volunteering to serve as our class room parents this year. I look forward to us all working together to make this a special fourth grade year for the children!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy a most restful long weekend!

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Week of August 14th Highlights

Thanks to all of you who were able to make it to Open House last Thursday evening. I hope I was able to provide you with an overview of our curriculum, grading,  and expectations. Your involvement means so very much. As a parent, the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child” resonated with me each and every day. Knowing I could not do the job without all of those who were there to support and encourage my son. To each of you, I am here each day to encourage and support your child. I am honored to be part of your Nickajack family!

Students came home with their weekly spelling and reading in their folders. Pleases be sure to sign off on their spelling pretest tonight and on their Reading Log each evening. Students will be keeping their Reading Logs through the weekend and any weekend reading will receive extra effort points. As I mentioned, any time you can read aloud to your child is one of the most valuable things you can do to help your child’s reading, vocabulary, writing and comprehension. Any reading you do with them, please be sure to include it on the back of their Reading Logs.

We have moved on to learning our 5 multiplication facts, however, a number of students still do not have a command of the 0, 1, and 2 multiplication facts. I cannot stress enough how vital learning these facts and mastering them to memory is to their success in fourth grade math. Please encourage your child. Flash cards are a simple, yet effective way for the students to practice by themselves. I do not want the children to master the facts in order, since they often depend on that means of skip counting through the entire table to arrive at the one fact they need. In addition to IXL, there are also many other free websites for practice. If your child needs flash cards, or you would like additional information about how you can help your child gain such fluency with the facts, please email me and I will gladly provide additional suggestions.

Some Red Thursday Folders have not been returned. Be sure to keep the important Milestone Test results and any additional flyers that came home in the folder and return it empty as soon as possible to school. These folders will be used to send home graded work and other information this Thursday.

I am hoping to have the Reading 180 Lab up and running by Wednesday. In the meantime, our Reading Workshop has been focusing on different genres of literature. Ask your child to tell you what genre they are currently reading independently? Place value (reading multi-digit numbers to the millions, expanded form, written form, standard form and understanding thee Base 10 place value system in relation to multiples of 10 will be our focus this week. We wrapped up our Maps/Globes social studies unit and will begin our Water Cycle science unit this week. Have your child check out  any precipitation, evaporation, or condensation when you are out and about. This week’s grammar is understanding what is necessary to write a complete sentence (subject/predicate), as well as narrative writing.

Please mark your calendars for the August 21 Solar Eclipse extended release time. “Parents are welcome to come into the building to check out their child prior to 2:30.   No transportation changes or student checkout after 2:30 pm.” I encourage you to explore this most exciting once in a life time experience with your child. The Cobb County School website has some wonderful resources/links to check out.

Remember to check with our front office to be sure you are signed into our ParentVue system to view your child’s grades on line. As well, if you have not yet joined our Class Dojo invite, please do so. I provide the students with their daily and weekly totals. All fourth graders must end the month at 80% or higher to share in our grade level celebration.

Please be sure to send any transportation changes in writing with your child in the morning, or contact the front office. For absences, sending a note to explain the reason, will allow the absence to be designated as an “excused” absence. Students are tardy after 7:50am, so please make every effort to have your child arrive on time. Students morning work (begins at 7:15am), which is an excellent warm up to launch their day of learning.

On September 8th we are hosting a Multicultural Night here at Nickajack. If any parents/students who want to  host a booth to share your family’s culture (food, music, or whatever you would may have to  celebrate this exciting night), please email me. I am volunteering that night and would be more than happy to help set up a booth with you.

Have a wonderful week! Thank you for sharing your amazing children with me each day!!!



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Welcome to Fourth Grade!

Thank you to all parents who have completed your “back-to-school homework” by signing and returning the many forms sent home in the Cobb County District packets on Monday.  Most importantly to me have been the information you have shared about your child on the parent questionnaires. This helps me tremendously as I get to know your child, so I can most effectively teach to his/her strengths.I certainly realize all of this takes a great deal of your time, so for those who need a few extra days, certainly understand.

We  are spending this first week building our class community. Establishing solid routines and procedures will ensure next week gets off to a successful  launch as we begin our first units of study. Our classroom Dojo rewards system began today, as well as our class Warm and Fuzzy Jar. Students have already filled a quarter of the jar by using their best manners and demonstrating positive acts of kindness in the classroom. Agendas and a Home/School folder are organized together in their three ring binders. Students must bring these binders to school and home each day. Please sign agendas daily as well. As I shared with those of you I was fortunate to meet during our” Nickajack Meet and Greet”, I only assign homework in specific content areas when it is necessary to reinforce certain lessons taught in the classroom. I do however, require students read for a minimum of 30 minutes each evening, do hope there is some family time to read aloud to your child, and practicing to master fluency with their multiplication facts is essential. I have assigned the 0, 1 and 2 tables this week.  Students will be tested on those tables (0-2) next Wednesday. Flash cards, IXL Math, or any other math games/apps can be used that will motivate your child to commit the facts to memory. A significant portion of fourth grade math involves multiplication.    Students will use the same log in information for programs such as IXL and used her at Nickajack last year.

Our Fourth Grade Open House will be held next Thursday evening, August 10th. Details will be forth coming. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear specifics about our grade level curriculum, policies, assessments and class procedures.  Tomorrow (August 3rd) our first Red Thursday Folders will be coming home. You will find a signature card inside the folder that I ask you sign each week to acknowledge the folder, graded papers, and important information has been received.   Please be sure the Red Folder is returned to school with your child on Fridays.

I look forward to working together with each of you to make this a very exciting and successful school year for your child. Please do not hesistate to reach out to me with any questions. My email is the best means of contact, [email protected]. I check it each morning from 6:15am-7:15am and then after school from 2:15pm-6:00pm.   If you need me to contact you after this time, please leave a specific time and number you would like me to reach you.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

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