Week of 10/28 – 11/1/19

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Finally!  We have some cooler, fall like weather!  I didn’t think we were ever going to have Autumn.  I hope everyone is beginning to enjoy this weather and that the pollen hasn’t caused too much havoc on your sinuses!  I know several children, including my own personal, have had some issues with the pollen lately.  Ugh!  If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  With the cooler weather here, please be sure your students are dressed appropraitely for the weather and that their names are in their jackets.  Mrs. Homer and I will continue to go outside for recess, whenever possible, as long as we’re in the “okay temperature” range.  We are not allowed go out, if the temperature is less than 40 degrees.  We’ve also been told that students are not allowed to walk back out to the playground to get any “forgotten” items.  We remind the students prior to coming in to get their jackets and sweatshirts, but they don’t always remember to do so, so please make sure their names are in their jackets and sweatshirts, in case they wind up in Lost and Found.  Please be sure to check lost and found regularly if your child is missing an item.  Right before winter break, the custodians will put the lost and found items on a table in the main hallway.  If things are not “found” by their owners, many times, they become donations to MUST Ministries or Goodwill.  With all of that out of the way, let’s move on to what we have going on in our class this week. Don’t forget to be sure and read all the way through to the end to participate in the “Weekly Mystery Question.”  No one participated last week.  🙁

Grammar – this week, our mentor sentence comes from the book, How Spider Got a Thin Waist, by Anansi.  We will be covering two skills this week.  The first skill is finding the “adjectives” in the sentence.  As a reminder, adjectives are words that describe a noun.  For example:  He took a long rope and tied it around his waist  Long would be the adjective.  Another example might be:  Mrs Homer brushed her curly hair and tied it up into a bun.  The adjective in this sentence would be curly, because curly is describing Mrs. Homer’s hair.  The second skill of the week is identifying “simple predicates” in a sentence.  A predicate is what the subject (noun) is doing.  For example:  He wrinkled his nose and sniffed the wind.  In this sentence, wrinkled and sniffed would be the simple predicates.  Wrinkled and sniffed are the verbs, or action words.

Writing – we will be continuing to work on our opinion essays.  This time, we are not writing “stories,” but more like essays to tell people about something we want or our favorites.  As part of our learning process of how we write opinion essays, we will be focusing on writing strong opinions, then supporting our opinions with reasons, and doing a “Free Write” Friday, where the students will be able to choose a prompt and write about that prompt in their writing notebook.  The prompt that your child chooses may or may not become a “finished” writing piece.  Also, as we’re working on our various pieces, we will begin typing some, so if you’re interested in reading what your child is writing about, you can always have them log-in to Office 365 and pull up their writing.

Reading – this week, we will begin to discussing non-fiction text features.  There are several text features that help us to read and understand non-fiction.  These text features include bolded words, headings, italicized print, maps, sidebars, captions, illustrations, keywords, pronunciations, and subheadings.  When we are reading, it’s super important that we notice and read these words.  Many times, the main idea will come from these non-fiction text features.  We will be adding to our interactive reading journals, so that we have a resource to refer back to.

Social Studies – The students will be receiving their study guide for our upcoming summative assessment on the American Revolution.  The test will be on Wednesday, 11/6/19.  I will get a completed copy posted to the “Social Studies” tab as soon as possible.  Please have your student study, but not memorize, because the test will have the same questions, however, it will not be in the same order.  We will also be playing some games to help us prepare for the test.

Math – we will be continuing to work on factors and multiples as we begin to focus on multiplying and illustrating how we multiply larger numbers.  Please be sure to check out the “Math” tab of the blog to watch some videos on how to multiply larger numbers.  Please understand that our standards state that we must “teach a variety of ways” to multiply larger numbers, but once we teach those strategies, the students can choose their own preferred strategy.  The main reason behind teaching a variety of strategies is to be able to explain their thinking.  As I mentioned at conferences, you will probably think we have lost our minds by the strategies that we teach, but really it’s what we do (the algorithm), it just looks a little differently, so that the students can begin to understand the concept behind it.

We have several upcoming events in the very near future.  Please be sure you are checking your child’s agenda daily for important information and/or daily changes to these events.

Thursday, 10/31/19 – Mystery Readers -if you’re interested, please let us know, so we can get you on the schedule.
Tuesday, 11/5/19 – Election Day – No school for Students – Teacher Workday
Monday, 11/11/19 – Veteran’s day – Veteran’s Day presentation for family members who may have served in the military.
Wednesday, 11/13/19 – End of 2nd quarter’s 4 1/2 weeks
Friday, 11/15/19 – PTSA Sock Hop – time TBD
Wednesday, 11/20/19 – Field Trip to Cobb Youth Museum 11:00 – 2:00
Wednesday, 11/20/19 – Progress Reports go home
Friday, 11/22/19 – Cobb Watershed Presentation
Monday, 11/25-Friday, 11/29 – Thanksgiving Break – no school for students/staff
Friday, 12/6/19 – PTSA’s annual Dinner with Santa
Thursday, 12/19/19 – Fourth Grade’s Winter Holidays Party – TBD/Early Release Day at 12:30
Friday, 12/20/19 – Early Release Day at 12:30
Monday, 12/23 – Friday, 1/3/19 – Winter Holiday Break – No School

Now, for this weeks’ mystery question:  “What is a predicate?”  If you find the answer in the blog and write it on a sheet of paper, you will receive a “Pitner” dollar worth $5.  However, you must write the answer down on a piece of paper and stick it in the black “turn in” basket on top of the sharing cubbies.  Make sure your name is on the paper, so we know who to give the dollar to.

Week of 10/21-10/25/19

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It’s Red Ribbon Week.  There is a “red” paper in your child’s “Friday”/”Graded Paper Folder” that gives you all the information that you need for the things we have going on throughout the week.  You can always download another copy here.

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their super busy schedules to meet with us for your child’s conference.  I know it was difficult to take off from work and such to meet with two crazy teachers, but we do appreciate you taking off the time and coming to meet with us.  We have really enjoyed working with your students and look forward to how they continue to grow and mature throughout this year.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us for anything at all.  Please be sure you are signing your child’s agenda and graded paper folder each week.  We don’t generally mark the backs of the folders, which is a good thing, but occasionally we do, so this is the best way to keep you up to date and informed about what’s going on in the classroom.  Well, without further ado, let’s move on to the next quarter.

Writing – due to a crazy busy schedule last week, we didn’t get to half the stuff we wanted to.  Therefore, we will still be working on opinion writings.  This week, we will be working with creating some ideas of their wants and favorites.  We will also be working on getting a pre-assessment completed.

Grammar – This week for grammar, we will be working on simple vs. compound sentences.  Last week, we worked on conjunctions, and that’s what we use when we want to combine two simple sentences into a compound sentence, so hopefully this week won’t be too difficult of a task..  A compound sentence is when you take two simple sentences and combine them with a comma and a conjunction.  For example, “Fat tears streamed down Laura’s face, and Jane took a step toward her.”  The students will also be expected to find the errors in the sentence and rewrite the sentence correctly.  This week, the students will be revisiting capitalizing proper nouns, as well as the beginning of a sentence.

Reading – This week, we will be continuing to work on finding the main idea.  One way we are going to begin working on finding the main idea is by putting words into categories and then giving the categories names.  Another way we will introduce main ideas is by learning how to find the main idea through a “foldable” that we will glue into our reading journals.  The students will be able to refer back to their journals until it becomes second nature.

Social Studies – we will be getting back into The American Revolution this week.  Due to the early release schedule, we decided to just postpone working on the American Revolution and we worked on our STEAM Projects. The students did a great job of presenting an interactive model in which they taught the various phases of the moon.  This week, we will be focusing on the important events and key people related to the American Revolution.  It’s my hope to have our special guest come in either this week or next.  If you students come home very upset that their skittles were taken, it was for a good cause and hopefully your students will be able to tell you how the colonist felt while they were undergoing the changes to become free from England.

Math – We will be continuing to work on factors and multiples. We have worked really hard to get the 0’s, 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s down.  We will begin focusing on the 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, this week.  We may even learn a new figure trick or two to help us learn some of the higher numbers.  The students will be able to use their journals to help them in the beginning, but when it comes time for the tests and such, they will not be able to use the notebooks.



Monday, 10/21/19 – Author visit in the Learning Commons
Monday, 10/21 – 10/25/19 – Red Ribbon Week and Canned Food Drive
Friday, 10/25/19 – Day of Awesomeness

Thursday, 10/31/19 – Mystery Readers
Tuesday, 11/5/19 – No school for students – Teacher Workday

Mystery Prize Question – beginning this week, if your student comes to school and can answer the special question from the blog, they’ll earn a Pitner dollar.  So, here’s this week’s question:  “What is a compound sentence?”  If your student writes down the definition of a compound sentence from the “grammar” section, I’ll give them a dollar.  Good luck!

Week of 10/14-10/18/19

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It’s so hard to believe that the end of the first quarter is upon us!  Where on Earth is the time going?  I don’t remember a time when the school year has flown by so quickly!  I guess what they say about “Time flies when you’re having fun” is true!  We have so loved having your kids this year!  We are looking forward to continuing to see them grow both physically and academically!  They have all made so many gains so far, I can only imagine how far they will continue to improve.  With that being said, let’s move on to what we’ve got going on this week.  It’s an early release week, due to parent conferences.  Dismissal will begin promptly at 12:30 each day (Monday – Friday).  We are so excited to meet with each and everyone of you to tell you about your child’s successes.

Grammar – This week, we will be using the mentor text Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts.  This such a heartwarming story.  If you would like to listen to the story, you can watch it via YouTube using this link.   This week’s focus is on conjunctions.  We have been discussing the acronym “FANBOYS” to help us remember the conjunctions.  The “F” stands for “for,” the “A” stands for “and,” the “N” stands for “nor,” the “B” stands for “but,” the “O” stands for “or,” “Y” stands for “yet,” and finally “S” stands for “so.”  We will be taking our invitation to edit quiz on Friday.  Please help your student learn to identify these conjunctions.

Writing – This week we will begin our unit on Opinion Writing.  With opinion writing, we aren’t necessarily trying to persuade someone to do something, we can just be stating an opinion about something.  We will be discussing two ways authors come up with opinion essay ideas.  These two ways include “Favorites” and “Wants.”  Please talk with your students about some of their favorites – i.e. favorite foods, restaurants, vacations, etc. as well as their wants – i.e. a Nintendo Switch, a PS4, a specific dessert, etc.  We will be creating some graphic organizers, as well as writing a pre-assessment essay.

Reading – this week, we will begin working on determining the main idea of a text and using supporting details.  We will be using an ice cream cone as our graphic organizer. The main idea is the “most important thought” from the text.  This is a very difficult task for many students.  The students will be expected to determine the main idea, then support their thinking with the supporting details.

Math – this week, we will begin working on our multiplication skills – we will begin with talking about factors and mulitples.  Many of the students already know that products are the answers to multiplication problems, but now that we are in fourth grade, we will call products multiples.  There are several “multiples” for the factors.  For example, the multiples of three (3) are 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, etc.  We will be focusing on the first 5 multiples of each number.  Hopefully, by the end of lessons, we hope that students will understand that to find the multiples, they will be multiplying the number by 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 to get the multiples.  As we get into these new tasks, please feel free to check out the videos on the “Math How to” tab of the blog.  I’ll be adding new videos from time to time to help with these new skills.


Week of 10/7-10/11/19

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My apologies for the delay in the post this week.  It was a very busy weekend.  I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the wonderful fall weather.  If you were able to make it to the Fall Festival, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  I hate that I missed many of you, but I was there for the first half of the day and had to leave, due to other commitments.  This is going to be a very busy week as well.  Especially with this being the last day of the first quarter.  We have a lot to cover and a very short time to do so.  So, without further ado, let’s move on to our week.

Grammar – This week, our grammar focus is on personification – this is when in animate objects are given humanistic characteristics.  An example of this would be “An orange ball of a sun dipped down behind the orchard, painting the sky pink and red behind it.”  Well, the sun doesn’t actually “dip” nor does it “paint.”  These are both humanistic characteristics given to the sun.  Another example might be, “I smacked the table when it jumped up and bit me.”  Well, we both know that tables don’t have teeth, therefore it can’t “bite” anything. 

Writing – This week we will continue working on fictional narratives.  We have just begun this unit, and due to circumstances out of our control, we’ll be putting this unit on hold after this week and moving on to opinion writing, beginning next week.  We will be talking about what makes a fictional narrative a fictional narrative, as well as beginning to focus on characters and settings of our fictional narratives.  Never fear, we will be coming back to all of this at the end of the year, during the fourth quarter, so this will give us a quick jump start on “coming attractions.”

Reading – This week, we will be continuing to focus on theme, as well as point of view.  The students seemed to understand the various points of view, but some are having a hard time providing evidence from the passages to support their thoughts.  The students understand that when it’s first person, the narrator uses the words I, me, we, us, our, etc. and that when the narrator is speaking in third person, the narrator will call the characters by name, use words such as he/she, them/they, etc.  However, when it comes time for the students to support their thinking, they are not going back into the text to find specific text to “lift” from the page and put into their answer.  We will continue working with this during this week.

Science – This week, we are going to be participating in a STEAM Challenge.  We have been working on the STEAM challenge all during the quarter, but now it’s time for us to actually create something.  We will be creating a moon in a box within groups in our classroom.  The students will need to go through all the design engineering process steps to create their “moon in a box” and then present it to the class.

Math – this week will be continuing to work on calculating the perimeter of rectilinear shapes.  All this means is that we will use the formula of P = s+s+s+s.  The students will need to add up all the sides of the shape.  We started working with irregular shapes last week, but many of us became frustrated with the concept, so we will go back and work on that concept as well.  We will also be taking the Cobb County mandated Math Touchstone.  We will use this data to help us “regroup” and focus on skills that were taught, but did not get mastered.  Please understand that the Touchstone score may have been put into Synergy, but will be taken out as this is not a test that is a grade.  It’s just an assessment to help us know what we need to go back and reteach or extend.

We have a lot of upcoming events this week.  It’s going to be a very busy two weeks or so.


Monday, 10/7/19 – Math Touchstone
Tuesday, 10/8/19 – Field Trip to Cobb County Safety Village
Wednesday, 10/9/19 – ELA Touchstone (again, not for a grade)
Thursday, 10/10/19 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 12:30
Friday, 10/11/19 – Last day of first quarter
Monday – Friday, 10/14-10/17/19 – Conference Week – 12:30 Dismissal Daily
Monday, 10/14/19 – First day of second quarter
Tuesday, 10/15/19 – Learning Commons for a lesson
Wednesday, 10/16/19 – Guidance with Ms. Perry