August 27 – 31, 2018

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Wow!  It’s hard to believe that we’re already coming up on Labor Day!  This first month of school has flown by.  I have really enjoyed getting to know your students and I’m looking forward to continuing our work together! 

Please remember to sign your student’s Graded Paper folder that came home on Friday.  There is a neon green page in the back that needs your signature, please.  If there are not check marks on the green sheet, your student’s behavior is great.  If there are checks, this is the easiest way to communicate where they are lacking.  If it was a big problem, I would have emailed.  Please just be sure to check the back of the folder as well.  All the papers can remain at home, just return the folder on Monday, with the neon green sheet in the back.  Please remember that if your child has to be out due to an illness or doctor’s/dentist’s appointment, please be sure to send in a note within three (3) days of the absence.  If your child has three (3) unexcused absences, you will receive a phone call from me.  If and when your child reaches five (5) unexcused absences, you will receive a letter from the school.  It’s very important that your students are at school, but please keep them home if they have a fever or if they are vomiting.

After Labor Day, I will be ready to have parents come in and help in the classroom and to make copies and such.  If you are interested in helping out with “Fast Fact Fluency Thursdays” or coming in once a week to make copies, please send me an email and let me know your availability. 

This week, we will be welcoming a KSU student, Ms. Melissa Kohlhagen.  She will be coming in on Wednesday and Thursday mornings to work with several of the students.  We are very excited to have her join us. 

Also, coming soon will be our first annual Grandparents Day Ice Cream Social.  Monday, your child should be bringing home an RSVP form for the Grandparents Day ice cream social.  We hope that we have a great turn out.  Sure wish my grandparents were still around to come.  In case your child doesn’t make it home with the RSVP form, you can download it here.  Besides Early Release on Wednesday, here’s what we have going on this week:

Math – We will be continuing our work on rounding.  We’re getting there.  We will probably be having a test either the end of this week or Wednesday following Labor Day.  Be sure to check your child’s agenda and the blog next week for an update.  Please continue working with your student on this skill.  I don’t know why, but it’s probably the most difficult skill that we cover in math all year.

Reading – We will be starting to use “Notice and Note,” which is a way to help us with our close reading.  This first week, we will be focusing on “contrasts and contradictions.”  That means, while your child is reading and he/she comes to a part in the story where the character is contrasting or contradicting what they normally do or how they normally act, hopefully your child will begin to ask themselves, “why did Johnny Jo Jo behave like that?”  This will help the students begin to get a better understanding of the characters, the theme of the story, as well as the internal conflict and the relationship between the setting and the plot.  We will continue working with this first “signpost” for a couple of weeks, with a variety of texts.

Writing – we are beginning our narrative pieces this week.  We are going to focus on where we get our story ideas, as well as really developing our character by focusing on internal and external character traits (qualities).  We will have the opportunity to write personal narratives, as well as general narratives.  This is probably the most difficult writing task, because many students, myself included, don’t like to be that creative when it comes to writing.  I know I have a hard time coming up with topics to write about.  Hopefully, this won’t be too brutal for the students.

Grammar – This week, we will be focusing on a book by Patricia Polacco called When Lightning Comes in a Jar.  Our focus will be on identifying vivid verbs.  Again, we will work with the same sentence all week long and then the students will be expected to complete the invitation to edit where they are to find the mistakes in the sentence, rewrite the sentence correctly, and then identify the verbs within the sentence.

Spelling – we will have our second spelling test on Friday, 8/31.  The students received their spelling lists on Monday, 8/17. so they should be ready for the spelling test on Friday.  Please be sure they are completing at least 4 of the activities on the spelling contract. Unfortunately, this week, the contracts didn’t copy properly, so the contract was on one sheet and the list was on a separate sheet.  Sorry about that.  The next spelling contract should be coming home on Tuesday, 9/4 and the test will be the following Friday, 9/14.

Social Studies – We will have our first social studies test on Tuesday, 8/28.  There was a map test study guide that was sent home last Tuesday, 8/21.  Hopefully your students brought it home and have been studying.  With Early Release being on Wednesday, we will begin Science on Thursday, 8/30.  Mrs. Homer has lots of fun things planned for this upcoming Moon and Stars Unit.

Monday, 8/27 – Media Center Checkout
Tuesday, 8/28 – Maps test
Wednesday, 8/29 – Welcome Ms. Kohlhagen
Wednesday, 8/29 – Early Release – 12:30 dismissal
Friday, 8/31 – Spelling Sort #2 Test
Friday, 8/31 – Grandparents Day Ice Cream Social RSVP forms due
Friday, 9/7 – Grandparents Day Ice Cream Social – 1:00 p.m. 
Monday, 9/3 – Labor Day – No School for students or teachers
Tuesday, 9/4 – Guidance with Ms. Whitton
Tuesday, 9/4 – Mrs. Poulos and Mrs. Homer out to training (all day)


Every Kid in a Park

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Today, during Social Studies, we busted out our new “curriculum” which consists of the Georgia Studies Weekly. We provided the students with 5 minutes to do a quick “picture walk/tour” of the newspaper before we began jumping in.  They were all engaged and picked out some really cool features!  One of the items the kids noticed was an article that talks about various national parks.  Well, as fourth graders, your students have the opportunity to get into any US national park for free!  Feel free to click on the following link to take you to a short video from WSB, channel 2 for more information.  Also, be sure to ask your students about the “Fancy Nancy” word they learned today.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to tell you it’s “Cartographer” and fingers crossed, they can tell you what one does.  Every Kid in a Park


Picture Day!

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Wednesday is our picture day!  Be sure to put on that happy face and smile for the camera!  All students will have their picture made, since this is the one that goes into the year book.  We will be taking our pictures on WEDNESDAY.  I can’t wait to see all the great looking shirts and dresses!  Order forms were sent home with your students last week, in their homework folders.  This is a great fundraiser for the school, so please consider purchasing a set of pictures!


Week of 8/20/18

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I hope everyone had a good weekend!  I know this weekend was an awfully busy one for me.  I’m glad to be back to a routine this week.  Sorry about the blog post last week.  For some reason, I accidentally scheduled it for September 10th, rather than August 10th.  Oops!  Oh well, why digress!  Here’s the blog for this week.  We have picture day coming up on Wednesday.   We will all have our pictures taken on Wednesday for the year book.  You should have received an order form in your child’s folder last week.  If you need another order form, please let me know.   Below, you will find what we have on our agenda for this week..  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Math – this week we will be working on rounding numbers to the nearest 10, 100, thousand, ten thousand, and hundred thousand.  We will be working with vertical number lines, as well as some other “hands-on” kinetic ways to round.  Please be sure to check your students homework each night.  They have homework Monday through Thursday.  Thursday night’s homework will most likely be Xtra Math to help build their math fact fluency.  Rounding is probably one of the hardest concept that we cover this year.  We will continue working on this concept all week.

Reading – we will begin working on reading closely.  We will begin with a quote and looking at what the text says in my own words, then using the details and examples from the text to make inferences based on the text.  An inference is when we “read between the lines” to see what they author is trying to tell us without coming out and telling us.  We take our previous knowledge, along with what the author is telling us with detail and examples from the text to find out what the author is trying to tell us.  For example, if I’m reading a story about a little girl who lives in a very cold climate and the author uses words such as “icy wind,” “snow,” “frozen white world,” I can use my inference skills to say that the little girl is from Alaska.  I have actually been to Alaska and I know that during the winter months, it’s extremely cold, there is an icy wind and much of the land is a frozen white world.  Many times, we need to use our inference skills to help us understand what we are reading.  We will continue to work on these skills throughout the school year.  Inferences are probably one of the hardest reading skills we encounter, because there really is no “right” or “wrong” answer, if you can explain your thinking.  Please encourage your students to use their inference skills as they read daily.  Ask them questions about what they read.  These questions could include, “where does the story take place?” or “what is the climate in your story?”  These are the types of questions that the author may or may not come out and explicitly give the answer to, but if your students are able to pick out explicit text that leads them to their answer, their on the right track.

Writing – we will continue our writing launch lessons.  This week, we will be focusing on different purposes of writing – express and reflect, take a stand, or inform and explain.  We will begin writing with these various purposes in mind.  For “express and reflect” we will talk about how you can take a large topic like “water” and pare it down to one topic they would like to write about.  For example, with the topic of “water,” we could write a narrative about going swimming at a pool or a beach, write an informational/expository essay on ways to save water, or write an opinion/persuasive essay on why we should save water.  As you can see, from the one over arching topic “water” we came up with three different reasons/purposes for paring it down to smaller “seed” topics.  We will create a chart in our writing notebook and add to it each day on the purposes of writing/pairing down the large topics into smaller “seed” topics.

Spelling/Grammar – we will receive our second spelling sort/contract.  The students will have until Friday, 8/31 to complete their spelling contract and be ready for their spelling test.  We will also be working on possessives this week in grammar.  We will be reading the mentor text Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy.  We will focus on showing possession with apostrophes + s.  We will also be talking about the various types of sentences (declarative, imperative, interrogatory, and exclamatory).  Declarative sentences end in a period and “declare” something.  For example, “Mrs. Poulos wore a black shirt and white pants on Friday.”  I “declared” what I was wearing.  An imperative sentence also ends in a period, but it’s telling you to do something.  For example, “Go push in your chair.”  there is no excitement in the sentence, but it is telling me to go do something.  Interrogatory sentences are sentences that are asking you a question and end in a question mark.  For example, “What’s for lunch?” the narrator is asking what they will have for lunch.  Finally, you have exclamatory sentences.  These are the sentences that are showing lots of emotion and end in an exclamation point.  For example:  “Look out!” You would want to yell that, if there was someone in danger.  There would be lots of excitement in your voice, and therefore you would use an exclamation point at the end of the sentence.  For the invitation to edit, at the conclusion of the week, the students will need to be able to identify three mistakes in the mentor sentence, write the mentor sentence correctly, identify the adjective (words that describe nouns), as well as identify possession within a sentence.  For example, Mrs. Poulos’s daughter, Beth, marched at Mercedes Benz this weekend.  The possessive in this sentence would be Mrs. Poulos’s daughter.  Whose daughter is it?  It’s Mrs. Poulos’s daughter.  Below, you will find a copy of the sort 2 spelling lists and contracts, in case your student doesn’t bring it home on Monday.  

Social Studies – we will be finishing up our unit on map skills.  We have had a great time learning the parts of a map, the cardinal and intermediate directions, as well as how to use a map scale.  I think the students really enjoyed our “treasure hunt” on Friday, when they earned the popcorn party.  It was great to listen to them discuss how they had to follow the map to find the locations where the various “Xs” were found.  This week, we will focus on map legends and types of maps.  We will also be taking our first map test.  Below, you will find a completed copy of the map the students will be tested on.  Please encourage them to identify the locations on the map and use the resources to spell the locations correctly.  These locations will become more and more important as we move through our numerous social studies units this year.


Week of August 13, 2018

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It’s hard to believe that we are already 1.5 weeks into school.  We survived our first full week, and boy, has it been a busy one!  Thank you to everyone that came out to Open House on Thursday evening.  I really enjoyed getting to meet/see all of you.  I am looking forward to a very successful year with your children.   Please be sure you subscribe to the blog on the right hand side, so that any time there is an update to the blog, you are automatically emailed a copy.  Below, you will find directions on how to subscribe to the blog.

  Well, that’s enough about how you can get the information.  Let’s move on to what we’re actually going to be working on this week.

Math – we are still working on getting some of those foundational skills down.  This week, our focus will be the three (3) ways we see numbers in math.  These three (3) ways include: a) standard form – the usual way we are use to seeing numbers (i.e. 6.,037), b) word form – words for each number (i.e. – six thousand, thirty-seven), and c) expanded form – where the values of the digits are added together (i.e. 6,000+30+7 = 6,037).  We will also begin working in our math cooperative groups.  Each day, the students will rotate to a different center to deepen their knowledge of the skill or get some extra help.  The students have been placed into groups based on the third grade “pre-requisite” quiz we gave the first week of school.  Each day, with the exception of Thursday, the students will work their way through activities that are based on the skill we are focusing on.  On Thursdays, we will be working with Conceptua Math (www.conceptuamath.com) to reinforce and extend those skills that have been covered previously.  We will also begin to use <,>, or = to compare two or more numbers.  As part of our rotations, the students will be expected to work on their math fact fluency by working on a program called Xtra Math.  Please be sure to ask your student about Xtra Math.  (S)He can always work on Xtra math if they don’t have “math homework.”

Reading – we are continuing to work on our Reading Workshop launch lessons, in which we are focusing on reading longer and stronger.  This week, we will also be taking the Reading Inventory (RI) on Wednesday.  Please encourage your student to do the best they can.  We really want to know what the students are capable of.  You will receive a copy of the results in your child’s graded paper folder on Friday.  If you happen to have an extra pair of ear buds lying around your house, please consider sending them in for your student.  This could be helpful as we begin to move into using more technology in the classroom.

Writing – we are working on building our writing stamina, honoring ourselves as writers, as well as other procedures of what to do if we need help spelling a word or if we get stuck during our writing workshop times.

Spelling – be sure to work on your spelling contract!  Contracts are due on Friday, along with our spelling test.  Please remember that you have to complete a minimum of four activities.  If your child completes four activities, you need to sign the contract saying they did complete the activity and then make sure your student turns in the contract on Friday, 8/17/18.  We will be taking our first spelling test that same day as well.

Language Arts – we use mentor sentences to help build our grammar skills. Many of the students participated in mentor sentences last year, however many of them don’t actually “remember” doing them.  Please help by review with your child what the various parts of speech include.  Each week, we use the same sentence throughout the week and complete a variety of activities with the same sentence.  On Monday, we read the mentor text and look at the mentor sentence.  Hopefully, on Monday. the students will be able to identify various things they notice.  These can include, but are not limited to a) capital letters for proper nouns, b) declarative/interrogative/exclamatory/imperative sentence, c) adjectives, d) adverbs, e) articles, f)prepositions/prepositional phrases, etc.  At the end of the week, after we have worked with the same sentence repeatedly, we will have an “invitation to edit” worksheet that covers the skills we have worked on all week.  This week, our skills are proper nouns and adjectives.  The students will be expected to identify letters that should be capitalized, because they are proper nouns.

Social Studies – we are still working on map skills.  This week, our focus will be on coordinate maps and map scales to be able to locate various locations/items on a map as well as the distance between various locations on the map.

Please continue to encourage your child to do his best every day.  No one is perfect, especially not me, but I do try my best each and every day.  That’s what we would like to see your students do as well.  Please be sure you read all the way down to the end of this lengthy post, so that you are up to date on all upcoming events.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me (robin.poulos@cobbk12.org).  I will respond to your email within 24 hours, unless we are on vacation or it’s a weekend.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 8/15/18 – Our class takes the Reading Inventory (RI) during reading time.
Friday, 8/17/18 – Spelling test/invitation to edit quiz
Friday, 8/17/18 – first day for graded paper folders.  Please be sure to initial the page in the back and return it, along with the folder on Monday.
Wednesday, 8/22/18 – Fall Pictures.
Thursday, 8/23/18 – ALP Parent Meeting at 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/29/18 – End of first 4 1/2 Week period.
Wednesday, 8/29/18 – First Early Release Day – Dismissal at 12:30.


Week of August 6, 2018

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Welcome to the first week of the blog updates!  Each week, you will be able to come back to this site and find out what we will be working on throughout the week.  Each week, I will break down each subject to let you know what we are going to cover, based on the schedule.  So, without further ado, let’s get on with what we’re learning this week.

Math – This week we will begin working with place value, which is probably the most important skill in all of math.  Without a strong foundation in place value, everything else is more difficult.  This week, we will be focusing on recognizing that in any multi-digit whole number, a digit in any one place represents ten times what it represents in the place to it’s right.  For example, in the number 777, the value of the 7 in the “tens place” is ten times greater than the 7 in the ones place.  Therefore, as you are moving left in a number, each place in is increasing by a value of 10.  We will also begin to compare multi digit numbers and read and write the various forms (standard, expanded, and word forms) of the numbers.

ReadingWe will be working to introduce “Reader’s Workshop” – the process in which we will be reading for stamina, as well as increasing our reading ability by thinking more about our reading and responding more to the text.  These first couple of weeks are getting used to routines and building on what we’ve learned in the previous years.  We will continue to work on building our stamina and responding to text every day.

Writing – we will be introducing Writer’s Workshop.   We will be talking about how well known writers don’t just sit down and begin writing.  They have to go through some of the same process that we go through to get our ideas down on paper.  We will be working on getting our ideas down, as well as doing some quick writes.  We will also do some sketching and writing stories to go along with our sketches from our memories.  We will also be writing about people who are important to us.  These first few days are all about routines and procedures, but we will be working on improving our skills throughout the year.

Spelling – We will begin our spelling contract this week.  We took a pre-assessment on Thursday to find out where each of the students are from the beginning and I have placed the students into groups based on that pre-assessment.  On Monday, the students will receive their spelling contract.  This contract will not be due until Friday, August 17th, when we take our weekly spelling test.  The contract will be highlighted for you.  If for some reason, you don’t get your spelling contract home, it can be downloaded from the Spelling page attached to this blog.  You will be expected to complete a total of 6 activities over the next two weeks.  You are not expected to turn in the actual activities, just have your parents sign off on the contract that you completed the activity and turn in the contract on the day of the test.

Grammar – each week we will be working with a mentor text and a mentor sentence from the text to cover all of our grammar standards.  Each week, we will work with the same sentence to list things we notice, we label the parts of speech in the sentence, and then work with the sentence to revise and ultimately imitate the sentence to write our own sentences to help us become a better writer and incorporate these better mentor sentences into our own writing.  This week, the focus is on proper nouns and adjectives.  On Fridays, we will take an “Invitiation to Edit” quiz that will encompass adjectives, correcting mistakes in editing, as well as looking at the particular standard we are working on.  This week, our mentor text is a book called The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper.  Our focus is on proper nouns and knowing when to capitalize them.

Social Studies – this week we will be launching our new social studies curriculum and each student will be receiving their own copy of “Georgia Studies Weekly.”  Each week, we will be incorporating some of the same skills/standards from social studies into our reading standards.  However, this first week, as we begin to get our feet wet, we will be focusing on map skills.  We are going to be talking about various maps and observing those maps.  Hopefully the students will pick up on what all maps have.  We will also be working on creating our own map that encompasses all the same things that we talk about in class.

Study Guide informationIf we are going to have a test, the students will receive a study guide a week in advance.  The students will be expected to complete some of the study guides in class, but there will always be a completed study guide posted to the blog.  Typically, for science and social studies tests, the study guides will be located on the Science / Social Studies Page.

 

 

 

Open House – Thursday, August 9th 6:00 – 7:45
Fall Picture Day – Tuesday 8/21/18 or Wednesday 8/22/18.  Exact day and time will be relayed as soon as we receive that information.
Advanced Learning Program Eligibility Process Meeting – Monday, 8/20/18  – 9:00 a.m.
Advanced Learning Program Parent Meeting/Open House – Thursday, 8/23/18 – 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Early Release Day – Wednesday, 8/29/18 – 12:30 Dismissal
End of first 4 1/2 Week period – Wednesday, 8/29/18
Monday, September 3rd – No School – Labor Day

If you have any questions or concerns at any point, please feel free to email me at robin.poulos@cobbk12.org or Mrs. Homer at tracey.homer@cobbk12.org.  We will do our best to answer your questions as quickly as possible.  If we don’t know the answer, then we will find it out.  Please be sure to check back each week for important weekly updates, as well as what we will be covering each and every week.  I am looking forward to this year.  I’m very excited about the progress the students have already made!  This is going to be the best year yet!


First Day 2018

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Wow!  What a phenomenal day today!  The students were so engaged and excited to be back.  We really had a great day!  Parents, you have homework tonight.  Please be sure to go through the “Cobb County” folder that came home with your student today.  There are several forms that need to be filled out and returned as soon as possible.  Also, the students received some homework today.  One is the “Me Museum.”  This is meant to be a fun activity to help us get to know the students and create a community in our classroom.  The students also received a “job application” that needs to be completed, if your child is interested in having a job this first quarter.  

Also, I sent an email out this evening.  If you didn’t not receive the email, would you please send me an email (robin.poulos@cobbk12.org)?  I have gotten several “undeliverable” responses back.  Email is the most convenient way for me to stay in contact with you and it’s imperative that we have the correct email.  Thank you for sharing your students with us.  Mrs. Homer and I really enjoyed getting to know them today and look forward to the rest of the year and getting to work/know them even more.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email either of us (robin.poulos@cobbk12.org/tracey.homer@cobbk12.org).