Fascinating Fourth Graders

What's going on in Mrs. Poulos' class.

Welcome to the Fascinating Fourth Graders Blog

June28

Welcome to the Fascinating Fourth Graders Blog!  I’m so excited to get this year started.  I’m looking forward to meeting each and everyone of you.  This blog will be updated weekly, hopefully no later than Monday mornings, at 7:00 a.m.  Each week, I will include what we will be learning, as well as various math videos and study guides for upcoming tests.  Please be sure to check back each week, beginning July 31st to see what we’re doing in the classroom.

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Week of 1/22-1/26/18

January20

Hopefully, this will be an “uneventful” week.  Wow!  Last week was crazy for me, I’m sure it was crazy for you all too!  I hope everyone was safe and sound and didn’t have any problems.  We were very fortunate here at the Poulos household.  It was nice to have everyone home, safe and sound.  Well, enough about that, here’s what we have on the agenda for this week.

I’m taking a personal day on Friday, so we will be having a sub.  Please encourage your students to be on their very best behavior and show the sub how we do things in this class.

Math – we will be continuing to work with various division strategies.  We will review how to use the “Partial Quotient/”Big 7” strategy as well as beginning to work with the “Distributive property/area model” methods of dividing.  Please understand that in fourth grade, the students are not expected to “master” the traditional algorithm for division, so we will not be spending too much time on that strategy. We will go over it, but if the partial quotient and the area model work better for your student, that’s what they need to focus on.

Writing – We will be continuing with our unit on informational writing.  We will be focusing on taking our writing from the planning stages into the actual writing of the paragraphs and using the various text structures to write, much like the authors we have been studying in class.

Grammar/Spelling – We will be taking our spelling test from our inclement weather days on Monday and then getting our next spelling list and contract afterward.  We will also be reviewing Martin’s Big Words mentor text and focusing on prepositions and prepositional phrases this week in grammar.  Due to the inclement weather, I didn’t see any reason to move on, until we had a chance to complete what we had started.

Social Studies – we will be continuing our unit on the American Revolution.  This week, we will be focusing on some of the famous people, patriots vs. loyalists, and some of the causes that led to the American Revolution.

Reading – we will be going to the media center on Friday, hopefully, to learn about a new program that Ms. Stanley has discovered called Biblionasium.  With Biblionasium, the students will be able to participate in various challenges to earn some great prizes.  We will be focusing on the American Revolution during our reading this week as well.  The students will also have an opportunity to choose some informational books and work on summarizing what they’ve read using the “boxes and bullets” strategy.


As soon as we get notification about the Science Fair, I will relay that information to you through the blog.
Six Flags Six Hour Reading Challenge – due 2/16/18.  I’ll attach the forms below.
Valentine Day Exchange – 2/14/18 – There will be an updated class list sent home with students next week.

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Snow Day (again)!

January19

Okay, since we have yet another inclement weather day, due to the fact that there is still a lot of water that remained on the roads and then the temperature dropping to below freezing again.  We will be having our spelling test on Monday, so we will get our new list on Monday.  I will be updating the blog for next week in just a few minutes.  So please, be sure to check back soon.

I’m also asking students to bring their devices again next week, so that we can get started with this new program I want to use.  I hope it will give you a chance to see what we do in class each day.

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Snow days!!

January18

I hope everyone is enjoying their snow days this week.  If you are stuck inside, please work on Moby Max, Conceptua, or Prodigy.  Please understand that we will still have our spelling test tomorrow (if we’re at school), so I expect the spelling contract to be complete.  I know we haven’t had school, but here’s no reason not to have the contract done, since it’s “homework” and you’ve known that the spelling test has been scheduled for 2 weeks.

Many of the things I put on this week’s blog will still be in effect for next week, however I will update the blog with new information.  Stay tuned!

Enjoy the weather!  Stay safe and warm.  I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow!

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Week of 1/15/18

January12

As many of you know, Monday is a National holiday to celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As part of this celebration, we watched a movie called “My Friend Martinin class on Friday and we completed a reading sheet in which we were to write down the main ideas from the movie and then write a summary based on the movie.  The students did an excellent job.  I hope you enjoy your day off and have an opportunity to reflect on how things are different today, thanks to Dr. King.

Now, on to what we have happening the rest of this week.

 

Math – we will be continuing to work on our various strategies for division.  The students have learned how to use the standard algorithm (like the way we learned), as well as the “Partial Quotient” method, which is also known as “the big 7.”  This week, we will continue with these various strategies and we will also learn how to use the “Box Method” which is also known as the “Area Model.”  Please bear with me as we learn all these new strategies.  I know it’s hard to try and understand why the students are learning “these new ways” rather than just learning the way we did.  The problem with “the way we learned” is that the students can’t explain what they’re doing.  With the use of these new strategies, the students are more able to explain the steps to solve the division problem, rather than just looking at numbers and seeing where they fit.  Once the students have had an opportunity to experience all of these strategies, they will be allowed to choose their favorite strategy and use that for all we do.  In fourth grade, the students are not expected to master the standard algorithm.  We need to make sure they understand the steps before “mastering” a standard algorithm.  If you’re still confused, please feel free to check out the “Math ‘How To’ page” on the blog to watch videos on how to solve long division easier.

Writing – this week we are continuing to work on our informational writing.  We will be focusing on narrowing down broad topics into smaller, more manageable topics that we can really delve into.  We will also be looking at some mentor texts to help us get a better understanding of how to get ideas for our own writing and how to develop subtopics through the use of planning tools.  The students are doing a great job with flash drafting and really beginning to understand all the steps it takes to write an informational piece.

Grammar/Spelling – We will be focusing on prepositional phrases this week, through the mentor text Martin’s Big Words.  This book is about Martin Luther King, Jr.  I don’t know how I could have planned this any better!  Prepositional phrases and words are words that describe a position.  For example, on, in, in front of, behind, below, etc.  Please be sure to work on identifying prepositions and prepositional phrases for our “invitation to edit” on Friday.  Don’t forget that our spelling contract is due on Friday, along with our spelling test.  Please continue to work on learning your new words! Many of us have new lists this week, so things may be a little different than weeks past.

Science/Social Studies – Most of the students did an AWESOME job on the summative Science test on Light and Sound!  Now, we will begin our unit on the American Revolution this week!  This is one of my favorite subjects to teach, because there’s so much to cover!  We will  be discussing important people related to the revolution, various occurrences that led up to the American Revolution.  We are even going to have an opportunity to “role play” this week.  It should be fun.  Please be sure to talk to your students about what they’re learning.

Reading – we will be continuing with our non-fiction unit of reading this week, in which we will begin to work with reading and paraphrasing, so that we are not plagiarizing from the texts we are using.  We will also be talking about primary and secondary sources.  We have already begun talking about these a little, but we will now begin to examine some primary and secondary sources as we begin to research and read more informational writing.  Please be sure to bring back your library books, because we will be visiting the library this week for a lesson in which Ms. Stanley will be introducing us to Biblionasium and Newbery Award books.  Please talk with your student about our new “reading challenge.”

BYOD update – I would like for the students to bring their devices if at all possible next week.  I have a new program that I would like for them to try.  If the students have their devices, it makes it easier.  I have several that we can use, but if they have their own devices, they’ll be more familiar with it and they will be able to use it to connect at home as well.  Please look for information regarding the “Parent invite” to come home soon.  I want to get it up and going, before sending the parent invites, so that there is something there for you to see.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me any time.  I will respond to your email within 24 hours.  Be sure to check ‘ParentVue”/”StudentVue” for up-to-date grades.  Science test/Invitation to Edit quizzes will both be in by Monday.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Six Flags Six Hours of Reading Challenge – due 2/16/18
Media Center for Lesson and Check out on Wednesday
Guidance Lesson with Ms. Perry on Wednesday (during Science/Social Studies time)
Science Fair on Friday, 1/19/18
USA Test Prep – we will soon have a log-in to begin working on prepping for the Milestones that is quickly approaching.
Saturday, 1/27/18 – County Spelling Bee at Kennesaw Mountain High School
BYOD for my class all week long

 

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Sound Experiences

January12

After our summative assessment on light and sound, we had a chance to experiment with different sounds. These included “cup phones” and “rainstorms.”

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Math Homework

January10

Just in case you don’t remember how to use the on-line manipulatives to do your homework, here’s the site and the directions on how to use the snipping tool to copy and paste your work into a word document to send to me.

The online manipulatives website is www.mathlearningcenter.org.  Here is a copy of the directions on how to “snip” the page.

Question of the week:  On a sheet of paper, write down one type of informational text structure that we talked about in class today.  If you bring this to me (Mrs. Poulos) tomorrow morning, I might have a special treat for you.

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Week of 1/8-1/12/18

January5

It’s hard to believe that this time next week, we will be having yet another break.  Next Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday will be observed and we will have a day off from school.  However, in the meantime, here’s what you need to know for this week.  Please have your students bring his/her BYOD this week.  We will be trying out a new program to use in the classroom.

Congratulations to Jalen Dreher and Abdallah Makboul for being our runner – up and winner to our class spelling bee.  These two students will be representing our class on Wednesday, 1/10/18 at the school wide spelling bee.  Congratulations gentlemen!

Math – we will be finishing up our unit on Multiplication and Division.  Hopefully, you have had a chance to watch the unit 2 video that can be found on the “Math” page of this blog.  This week, we will be focusing on division.  We will be learning a variety of ways to divide larger numbers (up to 4 digits by 1 digit).  Please understand that your child is not expected to master the standard algorithm this school year.  We will be working with division in a more concrete way than the way you learned.  Please be patient and let them explain to you the way(s) they are learning in class.  I know this can be very frustrating, but they are not learning the way we learned and these strategies will help them be able to explain what they are doing to solve for the quotients.

Writing – on Friday, we took our pre-assessment on our next unit of writing, informational.  The students seemed to do a pretty good job with the pre-assessment.  We will begin working on this unit by creating research groups and researching Adaptations around the world.  This should be a fun and exciting way to learn to write informational essays.  Please be sure to talk with your students about what they are learning each and every day during writing.

Spelling – On Friday, we took a second assessment test to find out how much the students have improved.  I’ve updated the students’ groups based on these test results.  Please be sure that your children are completing the activities each week.  They are to complete a total of 6 activities over the two weeks.  We will be testing on Friday, 1/19/18.   Below, please find a copy of this weeks spelling lists and the activities.

Science – we will be continuing with our unit on Light/Sound.  The kids have really enjoyed learning about how sound travels.  Please check out some of the pictures of us “making sound” using various objects on Friday (1/5).  We will be taking our test next week on Friday.  A study guide will be coming home on Monday.  Please check back for a copy of the study guide to be uploaded on Monday.

Grammar – we will be working with poetry this week.  Our mentor sentence for this week comes from the book Snowmen at Christmas.  We will be focusing on the pattern of the poetry, or the rhyme scheme.  Hopefully, by the end of the week, the student should be able to identify the rhyme scheme of poetry.  Sometimes, the rhyme scheme could be AB or ABCB pattern, meaning that lines 1 and 3 do not rhyme, but lines 2 and 4 do rhyme.

Reading – we will be starting our unit on informational reading to go  along with our unit on informational writing.  As part of this new unit, we will be doing some “gallery walks” as well as discovering some mystery pictures.  This should be a lot of fun.  Please be sure to ask your students what we did each day during reading.

Spelling Bee – Wednesday, 1/10/18 at 8:15 a.m.  Parents are encouraged to come and root on your student
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday is being observed on Monday, 1/15/18 and therefore we will not have school.  Be sure to work on your science fair project.
Science FairFriday, 1/19/18 I hope we’ll have several participants!
4 1/2 week progress reports to come home – 2/9/18
Valentine’s Day Card Exchange – 2/14/17 more information coming soon.
Thursday, 2/15/18 – Spring Pictures/Class Picture for grades 3-5
Friday, 2/16/18 – Last  day to turn in “Six Flags’ Six Hours of Reading” Challenge.  Don’t forget!  It’s a free ticket for just reading for 6 hours.  Please download a copy of the “Reading Challenge” student form below.


Mid Winter Break – No school for students/teachers the week of 2/19/18 – 2/23/18

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Week of 1/1-1/5/18

January2

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break! Now it’s time to get back to the grind.  Please plan to bring your BYOD devices today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday)! Here’s what we have going on this week.

Monday – New Year’s Day

Tuesday – Teacher workday – no school for students.

Wednesday – Teacher workday – no school for students

Thursday/Friday – we will be working on reviewing our procedures and expectations, as well as have a chance to share what we did over our break. We will be finishing up last minute topics and reviewing how to multiply larger numbers. We will not have homework this week. We will get back to “normal” classwork/homework next week.

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Week of 12/18-12/20

December17

Wow! It’s hard to believe that this is the last week in our first semester together! I have enjoyed every minute of it!  If I don’t see you or talk to you before Thursday, I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful holiday season!  Here’s what we have going on this week!

Monday – we’ll be catching up on all those last minute things. I hope to have everything in my this evening so that students will know what their grades are and can check them on studentvue.  We will also be having our holiday party this afternoon from 12:30-2:00. Please feel free to join us.

Tuesday – we’ll be enjoying some fun activities that require following directions to make them come out correctly. We’ll also be making our “stained glass windows.”  This is also “candy cane day,” so wear your favorite striped outfit. Today is also an EarlyRelease Day! We begin dismissal at 12:30. Please make sure your students know how they’re getting home.

Wednesday – BYOD! We’ll have an opportunity to practice using our own devises as we get ready to move toward more on-line learning. We will also be participating in a “Winter Sing-Along” in the cafeteria, as well as pajama day! Be sure to wear your pjs, tennis shoes, and you can even bring a pillow and a blanket. We’ll be spending some of the day watching some vintage holiday movies. This is also an early release day, so please make sure your child knows how he/she is going home.

Thursday – please feel free to sleep in and begin your holiday season!

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Week of 12/11-12/15

December11

I can’t believe we’re down to the last full week of the semester!  I don’t know about you, but I feel like this year is flying by!  Why is it that the last half of the second quarter always goes by so fast!?  With this being such a busy time, I’ll go ahead and get started with what we have going on this week.

Math – we have been working so hard on getting our multiplication strategies down and we have been working hard on problem solving.  Please continue to encourage your students to work on memorizing those multiplication facts!  This will be so important as they move through the various grade levels.  When your student is working at home and during classwork, I’ll allow them to use their multiplication chart to help them work on the strategies rather than missing a problem because of them not knowing their facts.  However, with that being said, when it comes to tests and such, they will not be allowed to use the charts, but they should have a variety of ways solve their problems from third grade.  We will be completing the “Quarter 2 Touchstone” on Friday of this week.  The “Touchstones” gives us a chance to look at where the students are and make adjustments to our groups and such on a daily basis.  The grades automatically populate into ParentVue, but I will go through and take them out.  I will be sending home the results of the “Touchstone” with your students after the break, so that you can continue working with them on the missing standards.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or check out the “Math How To” pages for various videos.

Writing – we are continuing to work on our persuasive essays.  I’m really looking forward to hearing these great essays.  We are going to be focusing on drafting, editing, and revising our persuasive essays.  With this, we will be working on using our checklist to set our goals, revising to cross check for structure and basic elements, as well as writing with a convincing tone, so that we sound more like experts on the subject.

Grammar/Spelling – This week, we will be completing unit 9 in Spelling.  We will be testing on Friday, so therefore I’m switching back to only 4 activities from the contract.  I will not be testing the students the week we have short days, therefore we will be having the Sort #9 test Monday, 12/18.  

 As far as grammar is concerned, we will be working on adding the suffixes -er and -est as comparative adjectives.  These two suffixes are added to the end of words to show more (-er) and most (-est) when comparing adjectives.  For example, “The boy was happier than his sister when he received his birthday gift,” and “the boy was the happiest his parents have ever seen when he opened his birthday gift.”  We will also be focusing on circling the simple subjects and underlining the simple predicates.  Remember, simple subjects are only what the sentence is about (who/what) and the simple predicate is what the subject is doing (the verb).

Science – we will be continuing with our unit on light and sound.  I hope your kiddos have been coming home telling you what they are learning each day when it comes to light and sound energy.  They have really enjoyed having an opportunity to make light waves using a slinky last week.  Please be sure to ask them about how light energy moves.

Reading – we will begin to move into non-fiction reading this week.  We will continue to work on our various standards for informational reading (summarizing, finding the main idea, as well as informational text structure).  We will also be touching a little on primary and secondary sources.  We’ve touched on this subject once before, but we will delve deeper into the understanding of why a source is a primary or secondary source.

Wednesday, 12/13-Monday, 12/18 – PTSA Holiday Shop
Thursday, 12/14 will also be a “Holiday hat day,” so you can wear your favorite holiday hat.
Thursday, 12/14 will be our field trip to see the movie Wonder starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.
Thursday, 12/14 from 5-8 p.m. will be Dinner with Santa (Volunteers needed)
Friday, 12/15 will be our “Tacky Holiday sweater” day, so dig out those ugly holiday sweaters and wear them with us on Friday.
Monday, 12/18 is “Favorite Holiday Movie Character Dress up Day”
Monday, 12/18 will be our holiday party from 1-2 p.m.
Tuesday, 12/19 will be “Candy Cane/Red and White Striped” Day wear your favorite candy cane outfit or red and white stripes.
Tuesday, 12/19 will be an early release day.  We will be dismissing at 12:30
Wednesday, 12/2o will be “Pajama Day” wear your pjs to school  (Be sure to wear tennis shoes)
Wednesday, 12/20 will be our first annual Sing-along Assembly at 8:30
Wednesday, 12/20 will be an early release day.  We will be dismissing at 12:30
Thursday, 12/21 through Wednesday, January 3, 2018 school will be closed for the holiday season.

 

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