Week of September 2 – 6, 2019

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We hope everyone has a great three day weekend and that you have a chance to rest, relax, and spend some time with your family. It’s only about three weeks until we have another break.  We have a lot to cover in a very short period of time.  If you would like to order a class t-shirt, please remember that shirt orders and money are due no later than this Friday, 9/6/19.  This will be our only t-shirt order this year, so if your child wants one, I request that you send in the money and form no later than Friday.  If you aren’t sure if you have purchased a shirt or not, please email either myself (www.robin.poulos@cobbk12.org) or Mrs. Homer (www.tracey.homer@cobbk12.org).  Thank you to everyone who sent in their students’ folders last week.  It was nice to see the change in just a short week.  We had a great time watching Gutsy the Fox at our PBIS kick-off on Friday.  Please be sure you check out Mrs. Homer’s blog for some great pictures and videos from the kick-off.  Also, please feel free to check out their website at www.gutsyfox.com 

Here’s what we have on our agenda for this week:

Writing – We will be continuing to work on our personal narratives.  We will be focusing on our senses and how they can help us add more details to our stories.

Reading – We will begin working on the “Theme” of our books.  In order to understand how to determine a theme of a story or book, the students first need to understand the story elements.  We will be using the mentor text Chrysanthemum to help them identify the characters, setting, problem, and solution.  Once the students have a solid foundation of the story elements, we will move on to summarizing, finding the main idea, and topics related to their readings.  After we have this foundation we will be moving on to determining the theme of the story.

Grammar/ELA – This week, our mentor text is a book called Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun.  The focus will be on showing possession and/or ownership in our writing by adding an apostrophe and an s or just an apostrophe at the end of the word (if the word ends in an s).

Math – We will be finishing up place value and rounding by taking some formative assessments.  Then, we will move into addition and subtraction of multi-digit numbers with regrouping.


Monday, 9/2/19 – Labor Day – Enjoy your “Last Day of Summer” – No school for students/staff
Friday, 9/6/19 – First quarter progress reports to go home
Thursday, 9/12/19 – Curriculum Night – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, 9/12 – Thursday 9/19/19 – Fall Book Fair (in the media center)
Friday, 9/13/19 – College Kick-off Day – Wear your favorite college attire
Friday, 9/20/19 – 80’s Day – Wear your favorite 80’s outfit
Monday, 9/23 – Friday, 9/27/19 – Fall Break – No school for students/staff
Monday, 9/30/19 – Hispanic Heritage Month begins
Friday, 10/4/19 – Visit from WellStar – Temper Tamers
Saturday, 10/5/19 – Fall Festival at Pitner – more details to come

Week of August 26 – 30, 2019

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Well, we’ve made it through the first 3 1/2 weeks of school.  It’s been a busy start to the school year, but we’ve loved every minute of it!  The students are doing such a great job being Respectful, Responsible, and Empowered.  We have already filled our number chart twice and we’re quickly approaching the top of the popcorn jar for the second time! Keep it up!  This week, we have several things happening that are different from what is what we consider “normal.”  Please be sure to read all of the blog to stay up to date on the changes this week.

On Wednesday, August 28, 2019, we will have our first early release day.  Our dismissal will begin at 12:30 on Wednesday.  Please know that ASP is an option, if you need it.  If your student is going home a different way than their “usual” way, please be sure to send in a note with your student.  Unfortunately, we are supposed to have a handwritten note for any transportation changes.  If for some reason, you have to change your child’s dismissal in the middle of the day, please be sure to fax a note to the office at 678)594-8319.  Mrs. Homer and I don’t always have a chance to check our email during the day or there may be a random case where we aren’t even at school and we wouldn’t be able to let the sub know.  You are more than welcome to write a note in your child’s agenda.  We check the agendas daily, so we’ll see the note.

Well, that’s enough of the “boring” information, let’s move on to what we have happening this week.

Grammar – We will be listening to the story The Name Jar and working with a specific sentence from this text.  We will be focusing on capitalization of proper nouns, as well as identifying the mistakes in the sentence and writing the sentence correctly.  The students need to understand that proper nouns are nouns that name specific people, places, and things.  For example, we tell the students that they are important to use and they need to capitalize their names.  It’s the same for all proper nouns.  We will be taking a quiz on the mentor sentence as well as capitalizing the proper nouns within the sentences.

Writing – We will be continuing to work on our personal narratives.  We will be focusing on writing a good lead, to “hook” our reader into reading our stories.  Once we’ve decided on a good lead for our personal narratives, we will work on adding dialogue and punctuating it correctly within our writing.  We will have an opportunity to do some more task cards, where we decide if the dialogue on the card is punctuated correctly or not.  We will discuss how we need to change up where we tag the dialogue.  This means putting the “said mom,” “answered dad,” at either the beginning or the end of what the character is saying.  By switching up the dialogue tags, the story is more interesting and keeps us wanting to read.

Reading – This week, we will be moving from focusing so much on character traits, to story elements.  The story elements that we will be covering include a) characters, b) setting, c) plot, d) conflict (problem), and e) solution – how the problem was solved.  We will be using our read aloud text, The One and Only Ivan, to help us learn these story elements.  We will use specifics from the books that we are reading during our independent reading time to explain each of the story elements.

Science – This week, we will begin our unit on the moon, stars, and planets.  As part of this unit, we will also be completing a culminating STEAM challenge at the end of the quarter.  In order to complete this STEAM challenge, the students need to build their background knowledge and therefore we will be working on the moon, seasons, revolutions and rotations of the earth.

Math – This week, we will be continuing working with place value and we will be rounding numbers as well as comparing numbers. For some reason, rounding is one of the most difficult tasks we cover in fourth grade.  The students have a good understanding of what it means to round, but when it gets in to rounding to the nearest ten, hundred, thousand…within a multi-digit number, they have a much harder time.  When we teach them to round to the various places within multi-digit numbers, we have the students underline the digit in the that place and then circle the number directly to the right.  For example, if the number was 6,384 and I’m rounding to the nearest hundred, I would underline the 3 and circle the 8.  Then, I would know that for numbers 0-4, I just lie on the floor (meaning it doesn’t change) and that 5-9, I climb the vine, which means we would increase the digit by that place.  So in the case of 6,384 I would round that to 6,400.  I know this is very confusing.  I will try to get a screen capture of how we do it and upload it to the “Math How To” video tab.  Please check back occasionally to see if it’s there.  I will try to send an email to let you know when it’s uploaded.  Please continue to work with your students on this task.  Like I mentioned before, they generally understand  how to round, but get confused when working with specific values within multi-digit numbers.




Wednesday, 8/28/19 – Dismissal will begin at 12:30.  Please let your student know if their dismissal has changed.
Thursday, 8/29/19 – PBIS kick-off celebration – Please wear a blue shirt.
Friday, 8/30/19 – Mentor Text Quiz on capitalization of proper nouns
Monday,9/2/19 – LaborDay – No school for students or staff!
Tuesday, 9/3/19 – First day for lunch time visitors
Thursday, 9/5/19 – Pitner Night at Sparkles – 5 – 8 p.m.
Friday, 9/6/19- First quarter 4 1/2 week progress reports come home in “Friday folders”
Monday, 9/9/19 – Step it Up Fundraiser kickoff assembly
Thursday, 9/12/19 – Pitner Curriculum Night – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, 9/12/19 – Thursday, 9/19/19 – Fall Book Fair
Friday, 9/13/19 – College Tailgate – wear your favorite college team colors/shirts
Friday, 9/20/19 – 80’s Dress-up Day – Wear your best 80’s outfit
Monday, 9/23/19 – Friday, 9/27/19 – Fall Break – No school for students or staff!

Week of August 19-23, 2018

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Wow!  It’s been a crazy week, as we welcomed six new “ducks” to our class.  For those who may not know, we lost a fourth grade teacher and the rest of us who were left took in those “ducks.”  We are so excited to have them!  Thank you for being so patient and understanding as we continue to get to know each other and work out the kinks.  We have picture day on Wednesday.  Please consider purchasing your child’s individual pictures when they come home.  We sent home the picture forms in the students graded paper folder on Friday. Please be sure you are checking your child’s folder each week and initial the back.  Many weeks, hopefully your child will have no checks, but we ask that you still initial the folder to let us know that you’ve at least received it.

We have a very busy week this week, as well. With that being said, let’s move on to what we have on the agenda for this week. 

Writing/ELA/Grammar – This week, we are still working on writing personal narratives, where we focusing on “small moments of time.”  With all the changes last week, we didn’t get to our mentor sentence, so we will be continuing with the mentor sentence from the book, The Golden Rule.  We will be taking a quick quiz on adjectives and how to write the sentence correctly on Friday.

Reading – This week, we are working on finding specific character traits about characters that we are reading about.  Sometimes, the character traits are “inferred” and the author doesn’t come out and tell us what the character traits are or where the story takes place, but by “inferring” (aka reading “between the lines”) we can determine those traits or maybe the setting of the book (when/where it takes place).  We will also be working in our reading groups to begin conferencing and working on “CAFE” strategies.  Please ask your students what “CAFE” stands for.  They should know.  However, just in case, C – comprehension (understanding what they read), A – Accuracy (the correctness of the words on the page), F – Fluency (how quickly they read), and E-Expanding their vocabulary.

Science/Social Studies – We will be finishing up our unit on maps and globes by taking a summative test on map skills on Tuesday.  The study guide was sent home on Friday of last week, in your child’s graded paper folder.  I know several were still in their graded paper folders when they were stuffed Friday.  However, if your child is missing his/hers, you may download another copy from last week’s blog post.  After our test, the rest of the week, we will be particitipating in a STEM activity to build on the four C’s (collaboration, communication, critical thinking/problem solving, and creativity/innovation).

Math – We will be continuing with our unit on place value and beginning to work on comparing numbers and preparing to round whole numbers.  For some reason, rounding is one of the most difficult math standards to teach/understand.  Please help your students practice rounding each night.  You can do this verbally by looking at the clock and having them round the time to the nearest whole number.


Fall Picture Day – Wednesday, 8/21 – all students will have their pictures taken.
Country Western Day – Friday, 8/23 – wear your favorite country western wear!
PTSA’s Back to School BBQ and Bingo – Friday, 8/23 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Early Release Day – Wednesday, 8/28 – 12:30 Dismissal
Labor Day – No school for students/staff – Monday, 9/2/19
College Kick-off Day – Wear your favorite College attire – 9/13/19
80’s Dress Up Day – Friday, 9/20/19 – Wear your best 80’s outfit!
Fall break – No school for students/staff – Monday, 9/23-Friday, 9/27

Week of August 12 – 16, 2019

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Wow!  I can’t believe we’re already into the second full week of school.  We have begun to get into the swing of things with our routines each and every day.  We are still learning about each others’ idiosyncrasies, but we are well on our way to a great school year!  Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and understanding as we learn new routines and expectations.  Please remember to dress appropriately for school.  The information regarding dress code and other student handbook information can be found in the agendas.  If your student comes home complaining that he/she is cold at school, please allow them to bring a jacket.  Sometimes, our room does get chilly and if the students have a jacket or sweatshirt, it makes it a little more bearable.  Also, please remember that if your student is absent, we must have either an email or a note from the parent, within 3 days, explaining the absence.  You are more than welcome to email me at robin.poulos@cobbk12.org and I will print out the note and send it up to the office with the attendance.  If your child is absent and we don’t have the note, he/she may be marked as unexcused and after five “unexcused” absences, you will receive an email from us.  Also, no lunch visitors until after Labor Day, due to getting our routines in order.  Transportation Changes – Please make sure that transportation changes are sent via a handwritten note.  We are not allowed to take emails, because 1) we may not get them in time, 2) we may be absent and not have the ability to send a note to the substitute.  Thank you all for your continued understanding and support!

So far, things have been great!  Please continue to stay in contact with us throughout the year.  We are here for your students and want what’s best for them.  Well, that’s enough about “nuts and bolts,” let’s move on to the exciting stuff – what we’re doing in our class this week.

Grammar – Well, we didn’t get to the mentor sentences that we hoped to get to last week.  So, with that being said, we will be reading the mentor text, The Golden Rule, and will be focusing on adjectives (words that describe nouns), and using correct capitalization.  The students will revisit the same sentence all week long and interact with it throughout the week, then they will take an invitation to edit quiz on Friday.

Writing – This week, we will continue focusing on getting used to the workshop model of writing and working in our writing journals.

Reading – We will begin our “TEAM” groups this week and focusing on strategies that will help us become better readers.  “TEAM” is an acronym that helps us know what station the students will be working at.  “T” stands for Teacher guided – which means one of us will be working on specific strategies.  The “E” stands for “explore” where the students are going to have the opportunity to explore various forms of writing through our GA Studies Weekly Newspapers.  “A” stands for “At teacher’s table.”  This is where one of us will call the students over to the table to discuss what they are reading through reading conferences. Finally, “M” stands for “menu.”  The students will have a menu each week that they are expected to complete and turn in for a grade.  This is what they’ll be doing while the teachers are busy working with other students.  This may be a completely new “beast” to the students, but we will work together to make it work best for us.

Social Studies – We will be continuing to work on map skills this week, with a quiz on land features on Friday. When we have tests, I will also incorporate a study guide in the students’ take home folders at least one (1) week prior to the test.  If for some reason your child comes home and says, “Mrs. Poulos/Mrs. Homer didn’t give me a study guide, you are always more than welcome to come back here to the blog and download another copy.  There will almost always be a copy in the week’s blog post as well as one on the specific page listed across the top.  For example, this week, if your student says that he/she didn’t get a copy of the Map Quiz Study Guide, please feel free to click on the Social Studies tab above and download another copy.  Or you can download one right here.

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Math – This week we will begin working in our guided math groups.  Again we have an acronym to help us remember what each day of the rotation stands for.  The students will be split up into four groups (MATH).  “M” stands for “Math Fact Fluency.”  This is when the students will have an opportunity to work on their fact fluency through programs like Xtra Math (www.xtramath.org) or Prodigy.  Your students should have their log-in information in their homework folder or in their agenda.  “A” stands for “at your seat.”  This means that students in this group will be working independently to complete a math assessment (worksheet) to demonstrate what they’ve learned.  “T” stands for “Teacher” – this means students at the “teacher station” will get some extra help or will be extended, depending on their level of  proficiency.  Finally, “H” stands for “Hands-on.”  This is the center where students will be more “hands-on” and be able to play some math games to reinforce/extend their thinking with the standard we are covering that week.  The students will have at least 45 minutes each day (Monday – Thursday) to complete the expected centers.  Our focus for this week will be place value.




Friday, 8/16 – Ms. Stanley’s Summer Reading Challenge Due  Turn in your “scrapbook” to receive the following:

  • a prize from my prize bag for completing 7 of the 21 activities
  • a $5.00 voucher to buy whatever they want at the fall book fair for completing 14
  • a September CELEBRATION for completing ALL 21 activities

Friday, 8/16 – Test on Map Skills – study guide sent home on Friday, 8/9.  You can also find a copy in the above blog post and on the Social Studies Page.
Friday, 8/16 – Media Center Orientation
Friday, 8/23 – PTSA’s Back to School BBQ and Bingo 6:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, 8/28 – Early Release at 12:30

Week of August 5 – 9, 2019

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Wow!  I think this has been the best beginning of the school year ever!  We are so excited to be working  with you and your students this year!  This year is going to rock!  This blog will be updated each week and will provide you with information that you and your students will need and can refer back to it as needed. This will also be a place where you can find other important information from the school.  At the bottom of the blog each week, I will list all upcoming events, so that you can quickly and easily know what’s going on at school.  Please be sure to check out the pages across the top of the blog all the valuable information. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at tracey.homer@cobbk12.org or robin.poulos@cobbk12.org.

We look forward to working with you this year.  So, without further ado, let’s get on with what we’re learning this week!

Writing – We will begin working on creating our writing journals and beginning to generate ideas on what to write on.  We will be reading some mentor texts as well as beginning to write our own narratives.

Reading – we will be “thinking with inking,” which means while we are reading, we will be interacting with the text.  While reading, when the students come across something that is interesting or important to them, they will stop and jot down that thought or interesting thing down on a sticky note.  This will encourage the students to read carefully and critically.

Content Area (Science/Social Studies) – This week we are still working on getting to know each other.  We will be participating in some fun activities that help to encourage cooperation, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.  These are the four C’s of STEAM as well.

Math – we will be taking some more pre-assessments and begin working on our math workshop model.  We will be focusing on place value and rounding.


Fall Pictures – August 20 and 21 – more specific info to come.
PTSA’s Back to School BBQ and Bingo Night – 8/23 – 6 – 8 pm
Wednesday, 8/28 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 12:30
Friday, 8/30 – End of first 4 1/2 Week period
Monday, 9/2 – Labor Day – No School for students or teachers
Tuesday, 9/3 – Friday, 9/6 – Fall Book Fair
Thursday, 9/5 and Friday, 9/6 – Grandparents Day – more info to come