Week of 3/2-3/6/20

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Welcome to March!  I’ve heard that it’s been predicted to be a crazy weather month this month.  I’ve heard that we could potentially have a blizzard.  Now, I’m not a meteorologist, I’m just passing along the information that I’ve heard.  With this crazy Georgia weather, I guess anything is possible!  We have a very busy week this week, so I’ll get right to what we’ll be learning.  Also, this week, we will have our annual Read Across America activities.  If you are interested in Skyping in or coming in to read to the class for a few mintues, please feel free to email us and let us know.  I believe we’ll be skyping with Oma, aka my mom to hear a story from Birmingham.  Skype is a great way to get involved, even if you can’t take off from work to get here.  If you have a computer or a phone and have a few minutes to be able to read to us, we’d love it!  Just email Mrs. Poulos or Mrs. Homer and we’ll take care of the rest. On Monday, because of Read Across America, if your child would like to bring a device to help them read, they may bring it.  However, we have explained to them that if they are not being respectful and responsible, they will be placed back in the backpacks and not be allowed to be used.  We have also mentioned to the students that they may bring their “pillows/blankets” as long they can fit in their book bags.

Grammar – This week, we will be revisiting a story we covered during our science unit of weather.  We will be working with a mentor sentence from the book Snowflake Bentley.  Our focus this week will continue to be on figurative language, but this week’s figurative language is on similies.  We’ve covered similies before, but it’s always a good idea to revisit them.  Therefore, we will be reviewing similies.  As a review for you, similies are a form of figurative language when authors compare two different things using the words “like” or “as.”  This week, the students will be expected to identify what the author is comparing by reading the sentence.  The students will also be expected to write their own similies comparing snowflakes to something else.

Writing – We are finishing up our informational writing this quarter.  These next few weeks, we will be talking about environmental “issues” for lack of a better term.  The students will be able to research an environmental issue such as “ocean trash,” “wild fires in California and Australia,” “Deforestation/New Construction,” “Polar Ice Caps,” or “Invasive species being released.”  The students will be doing some research on the topic in order to write/talk about it.

Science – Hooray!  We’re finally through with a large chunk of Social Studies and moving back into Science.  This week we will begin our unit on Ecosystems.  We will be focusing on the roles of a producers, consumers, and decomposers in a community.  We will also be talking about words such as camoflauge, food webs, food chains, etc.  This is probably one of my favorite units.

Math – This week we will be taking the Quarter 3 touchstone and continuing to focus on adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions.  We will also spend some time this week working on transferring an improper fraction to a mixed number.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any “magic spells” or ways to teach how to do this, other than the “old fashioned” way we all learned how to do it with.  I’ll see if I can find some more videos on the subjet to add to the “Math How To” tab.

This week, we have lots of things going on.  Please be sure to check your child’s agenda for any changes that might come up this week.  Otherwise, please read below about all the fun activites going on around our school this week.


Monday, 3/2/20 – Dr. Suess’ Birthday – Read Across America Day
Monday, 3/2/20 – Book Fair Opens – our shopping time is 7:15-8:30.  Students must come to the classroom and check-in, prior to attending the book fair.  The Book Fair will close at 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, 3/3/20 – Book Fair – our shopping time is 7:15-8:30.  Students must come to the classroom and check-in pirior to attending the book fair.  The Book Fair will close at 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, 3/3/20 – Quarter 3 Math Touchstone – there really is no way to study.  Just keep practicing those multiplication/division facts.
Wednesday, 3/4/20 – Book Fair – our shopping time is 7:15-8:30.  Students must come to the classroom and check-in pirior to attending the book fair.  The Book Fair will close at 3:15 p.m.
Thursday, 3/5/20 – Book Fair – our shopping time is 7:15-8:30.  Students must come to the classroom and check-in pirior to attending the book fair.  The Book Fair will close at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, 3/5/20 – Bedtime, Books, and Brownies – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  This is a great time!  You get to come to school that evening in your jammies to listen to some bedtime stories and then get a bedtime snack of milk and brownies.  It’s truly a phenomenal experience!
Friday, 3/6/20 – Last Day for Book Fair.  Book Fair will close at 12:00 noon.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release Day – Please let your students know how they’ll be going home.
Friday, 3/13/20 – Mrs. Homer’s Favorite Day
Friday, 3/13/20 – End of third quarter (yikes!)
Friday, 3/20/20 – Third quarter report cards to come home in graded paper folder.

Week of 2/24 – 2/28, 2020

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Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful, restful break.  I was able to get some rest, but still came down with a little bit of a cold.  It’s so hard to believe we’re into our last week of February!  Where does the time go?  We have a relatively busy week.  We have quite a bit of stuff happening this week.  So, without further ado, we’ll move on to what we’re covering this week.

Grammar – This week, we will be working on figurative language.  We’ve worked on a littel bit of figurative language earlier in the school year, but this week, we will be working on idioms.  Idioms are words or phrases that have a figurative, or sometimes literal meaning.  Some examples of idioms are “I have a frog in my throat.”  The figurative meaning would be that you have a sore/scratchy throat.  Another example of idioms would be “it was a piece of cake,” to mean that something was easy to do.  We will be reading, The Day the Crayons Out, as our mentor text.

Reading – This week, we will also be working on using a couple of texts in order to be able to write/talk about a topic.  This week, we will be integrating more of our social studies along with our reading.  We will be reading about the transcontiental railroad and the 1849 California Gold Rush.  Hopefully, after having read the various articles, the students will have a better understanding of what the transcontinental railroad and the California Gold Rush were all about.

Social Studies – This week, we will be finishing up our unit on Westward Expansion.  We will be taking our summative assessment on Westard Expansion on Thursday, 2/27/20.  A study guide for the test was sent home with the students in their graded paper folder.  If for some reason your child didn’t bring home his/her study guide, you can find another one on the “Social Studies” tab at the top of the blog.  We will be playing Kahoot on Wedensday to help us prepare for our test on Thursday.

Math – This week, we will continue working on fractions.  We will continue working with adding, subtracting fractions, but we will also be multiplying fractions by whole numbers.  Please continue to work with your students on memorizing their multiplication/division facts.  This will help tremendously when it comes to finding equivalent fractions, as well as when we begin to transform improper fractions into mixed numbers and transition from mixed numbers to improper fractions.





Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Visit from author, Carmen Deedy (in the media center).
Wednesday, 2/26/20 – Kahoot! to review for upcoming summative assessement on Westward Expansion.
Thursday, 2/27/20 – Summative Assessment on Westward Expansion
Monday, 3/2 – Friday, 3/6/20 – Spring Book Fair
Tuesday, 3/3/20 – Read Across America Day
Thursday, 3/5/20 – Annual Bedtime, Books, and Brownies – beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release Day – Dismissal @12:30 p.m.
Thursday, 3/13/20 – State Fair Exhibition (In the Media Center)
Friday, 3/13/20 – State Fair Carnival in the Media Center
Friday, 3/13/20 – End of the 3rd quarter
Friday, 3/20/20 – Third Quarter report cards
Thursday, 3/26/20 – Nerdy Derby Art Night
Monday, 4/6 – 4/10/20 – Spring Break – No school for Students/Staff

February 17 – 21, 2020

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful break!  I’m jealous of those of you who are in some exotic, warm location.   I hope everyone is getting some rest and has a chance to relax and rejuvenate.  In case you weren’t aware, school is closed all this week (Monday – Friday) and will reopen on Monday morning, 2/24/20.

Beginning 2/24/20, we are going to begin working toward really ramping up for the upcoming GA Milestones test.  Mrs. Homer and I have been discussing adding optional homework to the daily agenda.  We think it’s important that the students begin working towards their stamina for taking the test, so we are going to start assigning optional homework.  As “payment” for being empowered to build their reading/test taking skills, we will be paying out Pitner dollars each week for their hard work.  We will be assigning DreamBox for math and ReadTheory for reading.  We understand that students are busy and as spring approaches, various sports will begin to amp up, that’s why it’s optional.  We would like to see the students complete a few ReadTheory quizzes each week, as well as complete about 5 lessons on dreambox each week.  Your child’s log-in information should be in his/her agenda, but if you need the log-in information, please feel free to email me and I’ll email you back with the information.

Thank you so much for sharing your little darlings with us this year.  We have truly loved working along side them this year and we look forward to hearing how much they continue to improve and grow in the future.  As always, if you have ny questions or concerns, please feel free to email either of us and we’ll do our best to get back with you as soon as possible.

Have a great week!  We’ll see you on 2/24, bright and early!

Valentine’s Day

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Good morning!  Just a reminder that Friday is Valentine’s Day and it is a regular school day.  Admin has asked that we remind you of that.  Please do not send/bring things that would be a distraction to the students in our class, such as balloons, or extremely large stuffed animals. Please wait until after school for those kinds of gifts.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and cooperation!

February 10 – 14, 2020

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Wow!  It’s so hard to believe that we only have 5 more wake-ups before the break.  Didn’t we just return from a break!  I hope everyone has an opportunity to get some rest and rejuvenate next week, during the break.  I know some people have big trips planned to warm places and I’m just a little jealous!  I hope everyone enjoys their time off and is ready to rock and roll when we return.  It’s going to be a busy week, so I won’t waste any more of your time.  Let’s move on to what we’ve got happening this week.  Please help us out by having your students work on Prodigy and or Dreambox at home.  The county has purchased a Dreambox license for all of our students and Mrs. Homer and I are seeing the improvement.  However, there is never enough time or resources at school to be able to do DreamBox at school, so we’re asking for your help to get them working on it at home.  We don’t have “homework” other than reading for 20 minutes each night, so please have them spend a few minutes each night working on one or both of these great resources.  If you need help logging in to DreamBox or Prodigy, please email me or Mrs. Homer.  I have also added the log-in information to the Technology tab at the top of the blog.

Grammar – This week, we will be working on Greek/Latin roots and affixes.  We will be working our way through a powerpoint to better understand how we use base words and affixes to help us understand new, unfamiliar words.  We will also be taking some sketch notes in our writing journals.

Writing – this week, we will be finishing up our collaborative state projects with Ms. Stanley in the media center.  The students had a choice in either participating in creating a video or making a flyer.  Several students will continue using Do Ink and the iPads to create a video on their state.  Others will be using the computers to create a flyer with three pictures and information about their state.

Reading – we will work on reading multiple passages to be able to talk or write about a topic.  We will be integrating many of our Social Studies standards in the reading this week by reading about the California Gold Rush, Pikes Peak, the Titanic, and the Oregon Trail.  Students will also be working on their literacy center sheets in which they will be practicing reading fluenty to perform a reader’s theater all about the Oregon Trail on Friday.  Hopefully, Mrs. Homer will be willing to video the performances and add them to her blog.  Be sure to check them out next week!

Social Studies – our journey across the new land continues as we discuss the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush this week.  We will be doing some reading about the Oregon Trail and California Gold Rush during our reading segment, but we will also be completing some structured notes on the topics.  We will have our summative test on Westward Expansion on Thursday, 2/27/20.  A completed study guide should be coming home in your child’s graded paper folder on Friday, 2/14.  That gives them about two weeks to study.  I’m not expecting them to study over the mid-winter break, but if they have nothing to do, they can get a jump on it and really be prepared.  I will also be posting a completed copy in next week’s blog and it will be located on the Social Studies tab across the top of the page.

Math – this week, we will continue to find like denominators to compare and order fractions.  We will also begin decomposing fractions to help us with adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators.  Fortunately for fourth grade, we only use like denominators to add and subtract, therefore it’s a little easier than it will be next year.  In order to add/subract like denominators, you just look at the numerators and then either add or subtract.  If the students add/subtract and get an improper fraction, they will be expected to change the improper fraction into a mixed number.  Please be sure to check out all the videos on the math “how to” page if you or your child needs help.  We will continue working with them as much as we can.

Wednesday, 2/12/20 – Third Quarter 4 1/2 Week Progress reports come home
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects due
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine Exchange
Monday, 2/17/20-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid-Winter Break – No School for students/teachers
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author Carmen Deedy Visit
Monday, 3/2/20 – Friday, 3/6/20 – Spring Book Fair

Week of February 3 – 7, 2020

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It’s so hard to believe that it’s already February!  Holy toledo!  Where is the time going!?  Since the winter break, we’ve been very busy with celebrating the 100th day of school, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and our first International Night.  It has been a very busy month!  Unfortunately, February doesn’t slow down at all!  We have a several things coming up. so be sure to keep abreast of what we have by checking the blog often.  In order to stay on top of all our activities, please check out Mrs. Homer’s blog to see all the pictures of the activties that we’ve been doing in class.  So, without a further ado, here’s what we’re doing this week.  There is a copy of the class list and a letter regarding Valentine’s Day in your child’s graded paper (Friday Folder).  Please be sure to go through the folders and get the papers out.  In case your child didn’t bring home the Valentine’s Day letter, please feel free to download another copy below. 

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PTSA’s Sweetheart Dance will be this Friday, 2/7/20.  A pre-order form letter from PTSA was in your child’s graded paper folder last week.  If your child didn’t return their graded folder last Friday, they should have the PTSA letter in their folder this week.  I’m also including the links below, for your convenience.  If you would like to volunteer to help with the Sweetheart Dance, please click here.  If you would like to help with a donation or two, please click here.  If you would like to order tickets, you can click here.  We had a blast last year and I’m sure it will be just as good, if not better than that.

Grammar – This week, we WILL NOT be having a mentor sentence.  Instead, we will be focusing on having Guidance with Ms. Perry on Monday, followed by working on our state projects (videos with DoInk and brochures) in the classroom, as well as with Mrs. Stanley in the Learning Commons on Thursday.  The students have had several opportunities to work on their projects both in class and in the learning commons.  They have a graphic organizer that they can use to help them organize their thoughts.  As part of their projects, they will need to write an informational piece about their state.  The graphic organizer has all the information they need to write their informational piece.  If your student would like to work on their project at home over the weekend, that is perfectly fine.  They can log-in to Office 365 and type directly into their word document from there.

Reading – This week, we will be continuing to work on First and Secondhand accounts.  Like I mentioned last week, first hand accounts are told from the person who was actually there and experienced whatever is being shown/explained.  Some examples of a firsthand account would be diary/journal entries, paintings, and/or photographs. A secondhand account is told by someone who was not there, but has done the research to write the information.  A couple of examples of secondhand accounts would be textbooks, encyclopedias, webpages, etc.  We will be looking at several pieces of text/images to tell if they are first or second hand accounts.

Social Studies – We will be continuing our study of Westward Expansion by completing a WebQuest.  For those of you that have never hear the term “webquest,” it’s like a scavenger hunt, but using websites to answer questions.  Last week, we worked to complete some structured notes and the webquest will be somewhat like the structured notes that we took last week, but for the webquest, the students will have to read the webpage (or use the immersive reader), to find the answers.

Math – We will continue with our unit on Fractions.  We will be learning how to decompose mixed numbers.  We will talk about how if we had 1-2/5, we could take 5/5 (=1 whole) + 2/5 for a total of 7/5.  Then, after the students understand how to decompose the fractions, we will move on to adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators.  We will also be continuing with our Empowerment Express – where the students are going to other classrooms for math 1 day per week (Wednesdays), to focus on skills they are still having trouble with from the first semester.

Monday, 2/3/20 – Guidance with Ms. Perry
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Empowerment Express (math)
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Read Across the World 8:00 – 8:15
Thursday, 2/6/20 – Media Center for State Project
Friday, 2/7/20 – Talent Development Day with Ms. Westbrook
Friday, 2/7/20 – PTSA’s Sweetheart Dance
Saturday, 2/8/20 – County Science Fair – Good Luck Ashara!
Wednesday, 2/12/20 – Empowerment Express
Wednesday, 2/12/20 – Third Quarter 4.5 week progress report
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects due
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine’s Day Exchange – Letter went home on Friday, 1/31/20
Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid Winter Break – NO SCHOOL!
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author Visit with Ms. Carmen Deedy, in the Learning Commons