Week of January 27 – 31, 2020

Posted on

Wow!  How can we be through with January already!  The time is flying by!  Congratulations to the first place fourth grade winner of the Pitner Science Fair, Ashara Stephenson.  She’ll continue on to the next level of the County Science Fair, which will be held on Saturday, February 8th.  Best of luck Ashara! 

This week, we have a big week, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to get outside and play.  I don’t know how many more “gray/cold” days I can take!  I hope everyone will have the opportunity to come out this week on Thursday to our first, and hopefully, annual International Night. The students have been working so hard to learn new songs and doing some research on England for our England board, I would hate for you to miss it.  It will be amazing!  We have a pretty busy week this week, so without further ado, let’s move on to what we’ll be covering this week.

Grammar – This week, we will continue to focus on adjectives and adverbs.  We will be reading the story Voices in the Park by Anthony Brown.  The focus for our mentor sentence is on adjectives and adverbs.  The students will need to be able to determine if the underlined word in the sentence is an adjective (words that describes a noun) or an adverb (a word that describes a verb).  The students will have a sentence from the story with a word underlined.  Then, the student will have to write adj. if the underlined word is an adjective, or adv. if the underlined word is an adverb.

Writing – The “Baby James Project” continues.  Hopefully, this week we will have our papers completed, including peer/teacher editing and the students will be able to access their own papers for you at home through office 365.  They have been working so hard and adding some great details to their stories.  As they finish their “Baby James” writing, we will be moving into our “State Project” writing.  The students have had two opportunities to use the computers/books in the library to take notes about their states.  They were very excited about using Culutre Grams and Pebble Go Next to do the research, because several found some recipes from their states and they copied and pasted them into a word doucment to be able to access the receipes to make at home.  If they make the receipe and bring it in to share, there may be some bonus points awarded.  Hint hint.

Reading – This week, we will begin looking at first and second hand accounts of the same topic.  A first hand account would be a photograph or maybe an autobiography about a person’s life.  A second hand account would be a text book, encylopedia, or maybe a drawing by someone who was not actually there, but has done the research and is able to give some information.  We will be talking about how to know the difference in the two.

Social Studies – this week, we will move away from science and back in to social studies and we will begin our unit on Westward Expansion.  We will be discussing Lewis and Clark, Sacagewa, Thomas Jefferson, and how we more than doubled the size of our country through the purchase of the Lousiana Territory from our French friend, Napolean.  We will be working to complete some structured notes on the subject as well as working towards our STEAM activity for this quarter.

Math – please continue to work with your students on their fast fact fluency.  We had a really hard time this week with division, because the students didn’t know their facts.  We had provided them with the opportunity to use the multiplication chart to help those who needed it, but as it turned out, several of us were using the multiplication chart and not even trying to learn the process of dividing.  Please be sure to check out the Math “How To” videos at the top of the blog.  I will try to add more videos this weekend.  This will provide you with lots of good information, as well as give you a glimpse into what we’re trying to teach.  We focused mainly on the traditional algorithm for division, because that seemed easier to most of the students.  This week, we will be moving on to fractions and focusing on equivalent fractions.  We will be talking about decomposing fractions and how one-half is the same as two-fourths, because they cover the same amount of space, but the pieces just happen to be smaller.


Thursday, 1/30/20 – We’ll be heading to the Media Center to work on State Projects
Thursday, 1/30/20 – Our first annual “International Night” – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Read Across the World Day 8:00 – 8:15 a.m.
Friday, 2/7/20 – Talent Development Day with Mrs. Westbrook
Friday, 2/7/20 – Sweetheart Dance (info was sent home in last week’s Friday Folder (1/24))
Saturday, 2/8/20 – County Science Fair for our 4th grade winner, Ashara Stephenson
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects are due
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine’s Day Exchange – letter will come home on Monday, 1/27.
Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid-Winter Break – No school
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author, Carmen Deedy will be visiting in the Media Center
Monday, 3/2/20 – Read Across America Day
Thursday, 3/5/20 – Bedtime, Books, and Brownies – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release – Be sure your student knows how to get home.
Thursday, 3/26/20 – Arts/STEAM Night

Week of January 20 – 24, 2020

Posted on

I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend and does something to help celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  On Monday, we celebrate this birthday.  We are all equal and if it wasn’t for him, many of us would not be able to collaborate and have class together today.  So, thank you Dr. King! It’s so hard to believe that January is half over, already!  Where is the time going!?  We have a relatively “normal” week this week, so without further ado, let’s move on to what we’ll be covering this week.

Grammar – This week, our focus is on order of adjectives.  I’m including a quick video that you can watch to preview the order of adjectives.  To watch the video, please click here.  Our mentor sentence comes from the book George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra.  Order of adjectives goes from number, opinion, size, shape, condition, age, color, pattern, origin, materials, to finally purpose.  For example, you would say Mrs. Poulos has two beautiful children.  You wouldn’t say Mrs. Poulos has beautiful two children.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Many times, just reading the sentence aloud helps you to understand the order of the adjectives.

Writing – this week, we are continuing to focus on informational writing and we will be taking our “Baby” projects through the writing process.  We will be drafting, revising, editing, and publishing (on the computer).  The students will begin taking their steps and writing them as sentences and using transition words to help the flow of the writing.

Reading – we are continuing to work on the text structure of non-fiction text – how is the passage/book written.  Did the author use the compare/contrast method where they are comparing and contrasting two things, a description method where they are providing a description about the topic, problem and solution method – where the author presents and problem and then also presents solutions to that problem, sequence – where the author explains the events in a chronological order (usually much like a time line), and finally cause and effect – where the author presents a cause to an issue and then talks about the effects of that cause or vice versa.

Science – we will be continuing with our weather unit by working with weather maps, including high pressure fronts, low pressure fronts, cold fronts and warm fronts.  This has been a weird and wacky weather pattern this year, so far.  Nothing like the normal “climate” for January.

Math – this week, we will continue our lessons on division.  We will be working with division using the standard algorithm (the way we learned), as well as using the area model to help us divide.  Once the students have been introduced to the two strategies, they can pick their favorite one.  We want them to be able to explain their thinking, so whichever strategy works for them is the one they need to use.  Please be sure to check our the various strategies on the Math “How To” videos posted on the “Math ‘How To Videos’ tab” at the top of the blog.

Monday, 1/20/20 – No school in observation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Wednesday, 1/22/20 – Science Fair – We’re looking forward to seeing all those great Science Fair projects.
Friday, 1/24/20 – PBIS School store – you can choose to spend or save your Pitner bucks
Thursday, 1/30/20 – Our first International Night – 6:00 – 7:30 – fourth grade students will be performing!
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Read Across the World – all students will be participating in DEAR Time from 8 – 8:15 a.m.
Friday, 2/7/20 – PTSA’s Sweetheart Dance – more information to come soon.
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine’s Day – We will be having an exchange, but NO Party!  Class list will be coming home soon.
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects are due – again, this will be done at school
Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – No School – Mid-Winter Break
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author Visit – Carmen Deedy in the Media Center
Monday, 3/2/20 – Read Across America Day – DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) All day! Please look for more information to come home soon.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release – Dismissal at 12:30 – Please be sure your students know how they’re going home.


Week of January 13 – 17, 2020

Posted on

Thank you Clipart Crush for the use of your 100 Days of School clipart.

I cannot believe that we’ve already been in school for 100 days as of Friday, 1/17/2020!  I knew things would go fast when my daughter hit her senior year, but this has been such a great year with these students, it’s completely flying by.  I have really enjoyed getting to know each and everyone of these kids and seeing how much they are growing both as students as well as little humans.  We are very fortunate to have such a great class of ducks this year!  Thank you parents for raising such a great kiddos!  We are really going to miss them next year! 

Also, if you weren’t aware, we have been nominated as a “Best of Cobb 2020” elementary school, however we need your help!  Please be sure to go to tinyurl.com/sluqqoj to vote today!  You can vote once a day every day until January 24th!  Please get out there and exercise your right and vote for Pitner today!

Okay, enough of the sappiness, let’s move on to what we’ve got going on this week!

Grammar – this week’s mentor text will be coming from the book Snow Day! by Lester Laminack.  This is probably one of my favorite books!  It has such a great, surprise ending!  Be sure to ask your students about the ending!  We will be listening to the book beginning on Monday.  Our focus this week is on adjectives and adverbs.  Remember, adjectives are words that describe nouns (people, places, and things) while adverbs are words that describe verbs (what you do).  The students will be expected to identify the adjectives and adverbs in the mentor sentence.  The students will also be expected to add an adjective or an adverb to the sentence that is written, so that it makes sense.  The students will also need to circle whether or not they’ve used an adjective or an adverb in the sentence.

Writing – Well, if you weren’t already aware, Mrs. Homer and I gave the students their “holiday” gifts by providing them with the materials to create their own “baby.”  I’m sure the students have been coming home talking about “making their own babies.”  Please understand that they have taken to making these sock babies to be able to read to and work on their sight words and such with.  As their holiday gift, we purchased footed baby outfits, pacifiers, thread, needles, poly-fil (stuffing), socks, buttons, as well as hats for the students to make their own babies.  We began working on our “Baby” informational writing last week We will continue working on our procedural writing on how to “make a baby,” and we will continue working on research for our International Night and our state projects.  We are looking forward to hearing/reading all the great stories that come from our “babies.”  If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

Reading – this week, we will be continuing to work on informational reading.  We will continue working on the way the texts are structured.  The students will begin to identify the text structure (compare/contrast, problem/solution, description, cause/effect, sequence).  This can be a very difficult task for students, but we should make progress.  As you are reading with your students, be sure to ask them what the text structure is and why they think it’s what they say.

Science – This week, we will continue working on weather, weather patterns, and clouds.  As part of our STEAM challenge this quarter, we will be learning to predict the weather and able to create our own weather forecast using the green screen in the PNN room.  We are going to have a blast with this!

Math – This week, we will be continuing to work with dividing larger numbers.  Last week, we used the area model/”Box” method.  We had quite a bit of push back from the students, but they seem to be getting the hang of it.  Once the students understand this strategy, we will move on to the traditional algorithm.  Hopefully, by starting with the box method, the students will have a better understanding of the traditional algorithm.  I understand that it’s going to take some time, but once we’ve had a chance to introduce and use both methods, the students will be allowed to choose their favorite method for solving the problems.  Please understand that students will need to know how to use the traditional algorithm in fifth grade, but we are just learning how to work these problems this year.  Once we understand the concept, we’ll move to more difficult concepts.

Friday – 1/17/20 – 100th day of school!

Monday, 1/20/20 – MLK, Jr. Birthday is being observed – no school for students/teachers

Wednesday, 1/22/20 – Science Fair – If you’re interested in participating make sure you bring your project in by 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, 1/30/20 – International Night – All fourth grade classes will be performing.

Friday, 2/14/20 – State projects due – these will be done in class.  Also, we will have a valentine’s day exchange – no party, just exchanging valentines.  I’ll be sending home a letter this next week.

Monday, 2/17/20 – Friday, 2/21/20 – No school for students or staff – Mid Winter break.


Week of January 6-10, 2020

Posted on

Happy New Year! Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a chance to rest, relax, and rejuvenate over the break.  We’re sad to have to say “good-bye” to some of our friends who moved schools over the break, but excited to welcome the new ducks that we receive!  This is going to be a very busy week, so without further ado, let’s move on to this week’s learning/plans.


Grammar – This week, our mentor text comes from the book Pinduli, by Janelle Cannon.  Our focus for this week will be on relative pronouns and adverbs.  Relative pronouns and adverbs introduce relative clauses.  Who, whom, which, whose, and that are all relative pronouns (they take the place of the noun).  An example of how the relative pronouns are used would be:  The woman who was sitting next to me was my aunt.  Where, when, whenever, wherever, and why are all relative adverbs (they describe the verbs).  An example of how the relative adverbs are used would be:  The house where I live is very small.  You can find more information on relative adverbs and pronouns here.

Writing – this week, we will begin working on our informational writing.  As part of our informational unit, will be conducting some research on a state for our collaborative unit with Ms. Stanley.  Many of the students have already started reading up on their states, so that will be great!  I’m looking forward to their projects.  These projects will be completed at school.  We are also going to be working on researching information on England for our international night, which will be held on January 30th.  If you are interested in helping out with our International night, please feel free to let us know.  We are open to any ideas that you may have.

Reading – this week, we will begin looking at the various text structures.  Text structures are how the text is written.  The various text structures that student will encounter are:  compare/contrast, description, problem and solution, cause and effect, and sequence.  When using the compare and contrast strucute, the author is comparing and contrasting one topic from either two places or two different points of view.  For example, when reading a book about ancient Greece, the author may explain how the Spartan women were different from the Athenian women.  When the text structure is description, the author is providing a detailed description of something to give the reader a mental picture.  For example, a book may tell all about whales or describe what the geography is like in a particular region.  When the text structure is problem and solution, the author sets up a problem or problems, explains the solution and then discusses the effects of the solution. When the text structure is cause and effect, the author presents the relationship between a specific event, idea, or concept and the events, ideas, or concepts that follow.  When the text structure is sequence, the author gives the reader a chronological list of events or a list of steps in a procedure (much like a “how to” procedural writing or a book about the events that lead to the American Revolution (in chronological fashion).   We will be practicing this with various worksheets as well as during reading conferences.

Science – This week, we will continue our unit on water and weather.  This week, we will be focusing on weather instruments.  We will be reviewing the states of matter, as well as talking about the various forms of precipitation and the instruments meteorologists use to help them predict the weather.

Math – We will begin our unit on division.  Again, much like multiplication, we will be teaching the students a variety of ways to solve division problems and students will be able to choose their favorite method.  We will be teaching what we call “partial quotients” or “the big 7,” as well as the traditional standard algorithm and the area model/”box” method.  Please be sure to check out the videos on the Math How To tab at the top of this page.  We will also be taking a “pre-assessment” in order to place the students into the “Empowerment Express” groups to hone in on some of the less fluent skills that were taught during the first quarter.  We will begin the “Empowerment Express” rotations on January 15, 2020.  The students really seemed to enjoy working with other teachers for the three weeks prior to the break.

Thursday, 1/9/20 – Our next visit from Wellstar.  We will be discussing good eating habits with their program called “Just Eat it!”

Friday, 1/10/20 – School Spelling Bee – our two spelling bee winners, Jazlyn Prather and Autumn Floyd will be participating in the school spelling bee.  We will be watching from our classroom via skype.

Friday, 1/10/20 – Second Quarter Report cards will be coming home in graded paper folders.

Friday, 1/17/20 – 100th Day of School

Monday, 1/20/20 – No school for students/staff because of MLK, Jr.’s birthday is being observed.

Wednesday, 1/22/20 – School Science Fair – if you received a packet and decide to participate, all science fair projects will be due for judging by 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, 1/30/20 – Our first annual International Night – more details to come soon.

Friday, 2/7/20 – Sweetheart Dance sponsored by Pitner’s PTSA.

Saturday, 2/8/20 – County Science Fair for those who advance from the school level.

Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects are due.  Also, we will be having a Valentine Exchange – not a party, just exchanging valentines within our classroom.  Please look for a list of students to come home the end of January/first of February.

Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid Winter Break – no school for students or staff.

Question of the week for Pitner Dollars!  What is the name of our mentor text this week?  Be sure to read through the blog completely and write your answer on a scrap piece of paper and bring it to Mrs. Poulos for a chance to earn $5 in Pitner bucks!  Be sure you don’t tell anyone else!  The goal is for all to read the blog.