Fascinating Fourth Graders

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

Week of 9/18-9/22


 Wow!  It’s so hard to believe that next week, in just 5 “wake-ups,” we’ll be on our week long “Fall Break.”  Where has the time gone!?  It’s so hard to believe that we’ve almost completed the first quarter together!  We do have a busy week this next week, so please be sure to read below to stay up to date on what we’re working on.

Math – We will be continuing to work on addition and subtraction with larger numbers.  I know this seems menial and that they should have learned how to do this in previous grades, but it’s been said that the students aren’t necessarily developmentally ready for adding/subtracting with the algorithm until late third/early fourth grade.  With that being said, we will be working to add and subtract larger numbers.  This can be a little scary when we get to subtracting across zeroes.  We will be working with manipluatives, as well as working with Conceptua Math (www.conceptuamath.com) to help us get a better understanding of what we’re actually doing.  Many times, when adding, we just assume that the students know that when you regroup the tens, that they’re actually a “ten,” but unfortunately that’s not the way they say it.  I have tried to be very self-conscious when talking to the students about regrouping that I actually call the place that it’s in.  For example, if we’re adding 463+389, we would start in the ones place and add 3+9, which equals 12.  However, we aren’t able to put “12” in the ones column, so we need to regroup the “10” in “12” to the tens column.  Then, we add 6 tens + 8 tens + 1 ten (from 12) to get 15 tens (150).  Now, we need to regroup the 100 from the 150 to the thousands column (because 100 hundreds is the same thing as 1,000).  We would continue this trend until we have added all the places.  I know this sounds rather confusing and difficult, but the sooner the students understand how much each column is worth, the better off they’ll be.  If you would like to come in and sit down for me to go over this concept with you, please email me and we’ll set up an appointment.

Writing – We are continuing to work on our realistic fiction stories by adding a good ending that refers us back to the beginning or even the middle of our story.   This is a rather difficult skill for some kids, because they want to just add “The End,” even though they don’t read many books that end that way.  We will be looking at some more mentor texts that have good endings and begin to work to write better endings for our own writing.  Please be sure to discuss with your students the difference between realistic fiction and fiction.  I’ve tried to explain to them that when they are writing realistic fiction, they are writing a story that could actually happen, but the names of the characters have changed.  When the students writing regular fiction, they may be writing fairy tales, or stories that couldn’t be real, such as having a talking dog or cat.  Maybe, their story includes a unicorn.  That would make all of these fantasy stories, which is fiction.  I look forward to being able to celebrate their achievements in the future.  Please be sure to ask your students about what they’re writing in class.

Spelling/Grammar – we will begin our Sort #4 this week.  You can find the list of words and the spelling contract below, in case your child doesn’t get them home on Monday.  As far as grammar is concerned, we will be working on plural nouns (adding “s”, irregular plurals – child – children) as well as metaphors – when we compare two different things without using “like” or “as”, as well as prepositions, conjunctions (For; Another, Now, But, Or, Yet, So) types of sentences (declarative, interrogative, imperative), and subjects (simple/complete)/predicates (simple/complete).

Social Studies – we will continue our study on the Native Americans that were here when Columbus discovered “America,” as well as their locations on the map.  We have been working hard to talk about the Northwest area and will continue with the other regions (southwest – Hopi, Arctic – Inuit, southeast – Seminole, and the Plains – Pawnee/Nez Perce).  We will also be selling our goods for entrepreneur day.  Please be sure you have at least 10 items ready to sale on Friday, 9/22.  We hope that you will consider coming to Entrepreneur Day and making some purchases from your little entrepreneurs.  This is probably my favorite day of the entire year.

Reading – we will continue our unit on poetry and prose by continuing to read from Love that Dog.  We are also working on summarizing what we’ve read and using the text evidence to back up our summary.  The students have been working very hard and are very frustrated that I won’t let them read ahead in the book.  Please be sure to ask them about Love that Dog by Sharon Creech and see what they will tell you about what they’ve read.  My hopes are that at the end of unit, the students will actually learn a little about poetry and love it.

Upcoming Events:

Monday – Eat It! Presentation from WellStar (postponed due to inclement weather from last week – aka Hurricane Irma).
Tuesday – Cherrydale Fundraiser order forms due back to school
Wednesday – Media Center for lesson and check-out.  Make sure you bring back any library books that need to be returned/renewed.
Thursday – Entrepreneur Day ticket sales – 6 for $5.00 or $1.00 each.  Tickets will be available for sell from 7:15-8:00 a.m.
Friday – Entrepreneur Day – Be sure to have your shop signs complete and your items ready to sell.

If I don’t talk to you before the break, I hope everyone has a wonderful Fall break!  Get some rest, relax, and enjoy some quality family time together, because when we return, we’ll hit the ground running!


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