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


Week of 9/30-10/4/19

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I hope everyone had a great week off!  I know I really enjoyed spending time with my family up in Pigeon Forge, TN.  It was a great week of rest and relaxation, as well as a chance to do some things we’ve never done before.  Well, now that our break is over, I guess it’s time to let you know what we have on our agendas this week.  It’s going to be a very busy week.  We have several “extra” things going on this week.   Monday begins “Hispanic Heritage Month” and we will be introducing this in class, but please be on the lookout for a “Bingo” board to come home related to this. If you would like to get a “jump start” on the bingo board, please feel free to download it below. 

Friday, October 4th, we will be participating in “Cape Day” to help support Children’s Health Care of Atlanta (CHOA).  Bring $1.00 and wear a cape to school!

Saturday, 10/5/19 is our annual Fall Festival.  Please find additional information here.

Also, if your child is interested in participating in the Pitner Creativity Challenges, please feel free to download the PDF below.

Grammar – This week, we will be working with the mentor text When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco.  The focus for this week’s mentor sentence will be on using vivid verbs.  What this means is using verbs to help the reader draw a picture in their minds about what they are reading.  Some examples of vivid verbs are “squealed” rather than “said” or “leap” rather than “jump.”

Writing – we will begin working on fictional narrative writing.  This is similar to the personal narratives that we just finished writing.  The only difference between personal narratives and fictional narratives is that personal narratives are true stories about your personal life and fictional narratives are narratives that can be made up about anything.  It can be completely fictional.

Reading – this week we will begin working on point of view (POV).  The point of view for books and stories are from the view of the narrator.  When the narrator speaks in first person, they use words such as “I,” “me,” “we,” “us,” etc.  If the narrator is speaking in third person, they use words such as “he,” “she,” “they,” “them,” etc.  The point of view is either the narrator is either right there, seeing the scene unfold, or the narrator is looking through a window, so to speak.  The narrator will be looking “through” a window and describing what they see, rather than actually being there.

Social Studies – we are moving from our study on planets and our solar system to social studies and we will be talking about the American Revolution, including the causes, the major battles, as well as the key people related to the American Revolution.  This week, we will also hopefully have a special guest, “Queen Edwards.”  Please know that what goes on with “Queen Edwards” is similar to what the colonists dealt with during the American Revolution by the taxes handed down from King George.  The students will get very upset, but that’s expected.  We want them to really understand what it was like for the colonists and to help them understand why the colonists wanted to break away from the monarchy.

Math – this week, we will continue using our addition and subtraction skills to calculate perimeter.  If you recall, to find the perimeter of a rectangle there is a formula. The formula is P = s + s + s +s.  Therefore, the students will need to add the sides of the rectangles or squares.  We will also be taking a common summative assessment, as well as the CCSD touchstone.


Monday, 9/30/19 – Hispanic Heritage Month begins.  Please see the Bingo board that should be coming home with your child tomorrow.
Tuesday, 10/1/19 – Firemen visit from The Cobb Safety Village
Wednesday, 10/2/19 – Conference Letters coming home – please sign and return asap.
Friday, 10/4/19 – Cape Day to support CHOA for $1.00
Friday, 10/4/19 – Zoo Phonics Parade for Kindergarten – 8:00 a.m.
Friday, 10/4/19 – Visit from WellStar Education – Temper Tamers (in house)
Saturday, 10/5/19 – Pitner’s Fall Festival 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Chili Cook-off 11:30 – 12:00
Tuesday, 10/8/19 – Field Trip to Cobb Safety Village
Thursday, 10/10/19 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 12:30
Friday, 10/11/19 – End of the first quarter
Monday, 10/14 – Friday, 10/18/19 – Conference Week – report cards will go home during the conference.

Week of 9/16-9/20/19

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Wow!  It’s so hard to believe that we’ve been in school for almost 6 full weeks now!  Just 5 busy days until we’re off on our first week long break of the year.  Hopefully, this week will be a little calmer than last week was.  Whew!  Who knew a slight change in our schedule would make for such a strange week?  Well, hopefully, we’ll be back on a normal schedule this week and it will fly!  Thank you to all who have come out to support the Fall Book Fair.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to pop in, you can continue to come in until Thursday of this week.  The book fair will be closing at 12:00 noon on Thursday.  Please feel free to click the link in the post below to order books.  Also, thank you for all you did for sending out the fundraiser donation links!  We greatly appreciate it!  Please let us know your thoughts on how you think it worked.  Just a quick reminder to be sure and have everything turned in no later than this Friday, 9/20/19!  Don’t forget about our “Awesome 80’s” dress up day on Friday!  Pull out those scrunchies, big bows, and neon to wear to school on 9/20/19!

Grammar – Due to a change in the schedule last week, we will still be working on the mentor text Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, where we are focusing on showing possession.  Remember, when we’re showing something that belongs to one (1) person or thing, we write an apostrophe and add an s to the end of the noun.  If we are talking about something that belongs to more than one (1) person, we just need to add an apostrophe to the end of the word.  We will also be reviewing adjectives.  Remember, adjectives are words that describe the noun.  For example, Mrs. Poulos wore a blue shirt to school today.  The word, “blue” describes which shirt Mrs. Poulos wore.

Writing – This week we will be publishing our final draft on our personal narrative, using Microsoft Word and placing into our Fascinating Fourth Graders Class Notebook.  If you haven’t used Office 365, it’s a great way to do work and access your account from any computer.  Your children will have access to pull up their Office 365 account from any computer or device.  We will be spending lots of time learning how to log-in and upload to the notebook.  Please ask your children to share their writing with you.

Reading – We are continuing our unit on determining the Theme (lesson/moral) that the author is trying to convey with the story.  For example, the theme for this week’s mentor sentence text, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, was to be kind, even if someone isn’t kind to you.  Also, some of the students mentioned, “Lend a helping hand,” “Be Yourself,” “Friendship,” “Care for others,” and “Stand up for yourself.”  With theme, there is not always one right or wrong answer.  We are working toward students determining the theme and then supporting their thinking by using examples from the story.  In your students’ nightly reading, please consider asking them some questions related to the theme.  Even if you have not read the book, your child should be able to tell you what they think the theme is and then have them show or explain to you what made them come up with that idea.

Science – this week, we will be discussing the planets in our solar system and the constellations in our night skies.  We have a special treat this week.  We will have the CCSD star lab coming to Pitner.  Our very own Mrs. Homer has been trained on the Star Lab and we will get the unique opportunity to venture in there and find out where all the various constellations are located in the night sky.  This is one of our favorite things during the entire school year!  We will be testing on planets and the moon on Friday, 9/20.  A study guide should have come home in your child’s graded paper folder on Friday, 9/13.

Math – we are continuing with our unit on addition and subtraction.  The students are doing a great job of regrouping the zeros, when there are no other “units” to regroup.   We are still having some difficulty with the subtraction of larger numbers.  Please continue to encourage your students to work on Xtra Math (www.xtramath.org) at home. I know they love Prodigy, but having those addition, subtraction, and multiplication math facts down will help tremendously as well.  Please be sure to check out the “Math How-To” page for videos that might be helpful in helping your child with this daunting task.


Friday, 9/20/19 – 80’s Dress-up Day!  Wear your favorite 80’s outfit
Monday, 9/23-Friday, 9/27 – Fall Break – No school for students or Staff
Monday, 9/30/19 – Hispanic Heritage Month begins
Friday, 10/4/19 – CHOA Cape Day – Bring $1.00 and wear your favorite cape!  See information link in the blog post below.
Friday, 10/4/19 – Well Star Visit at 12:30 p.m. – Temper Tamers
Saturday, 10/5/19 – Pitner’s Fall Festival
Thursday, 10/10/19 – Early Release – 12:30 dismissal – please know how your child is going home.
Monday, 10/14/19 – Friday, 10/18/19 – Early Release due to Conference week – 12:30 dismissal

Week of 9/9-9/13/19

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We are 10 quick days from our first “break” of the school year.  We have had a great start to the school year!  Students are working hard on learning how to round, all about the moon, adjectives, correct capitalization of proper nouns, as well as several other things.  This week is no different!  We have a very busy couple of weeks these next two.  Please be sure to check back each week for any and all updates.  Here’s what we are working on this week.  On Friday of this week, we’re asking that your students support their favorite college team.  Mrs. Homer and I will have on our college attire.  If your student doesn’t have any of their college attire, that’s okay.  This is not mandatory, just something “fun” to look forward to at the end of the week.

On Thursday, 9/12/19, our Scholastic Book Fair “Arctic Adventure” will begin.  It will run from Thursday, 9/12/19 through Thursday 9/19/19 from 7:15 – 2:45 each day.  Please consider coming and purchasing some books from the media center.  If you aren’t able to attend the book fair, but would like to purchase a book or two, please feel free to use the following link:  Pitner’s Scholastic Fall Book Fair 2019

Grammar – This week’s mentor sentence will come from the book Spaghettin in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy.  We are focusing on punctuating possessives correctly.  When we show possession, we use an apostrophe and a s, or if it the word is already plural, we would just add the apostrophe at the end of the word.  For example, “Have you seen the boy’s backpack?”  Here, we add the apostrophe and the s, because are talking about one boy.  However, if we were talking about more than one boy, we would write “Have you seen the boys’ backpacks?”  Here, we would just add the apostrophe at the end of boys, because we are talking about more than one boy.  We will also need to identify the adjective in the sentence.  An adjective is a word that describes a noun.  For example, Mrs. Poulos wore her red Braves shirt on Sunday.  The words red and Braves would be adjectives that are used to describe the shirt that Mrs. Poulos was wearing.  We will have our “invitation to edit” quiz on Friday, where the students will be expected to identify the adjective in the mentor sentence, then choose the word that correctly fills in the blank (these will be the words that show possession).

Writing – we are continuing to work on our personal narrative. This week, we will finish working on adding sensory details by having a “tasting” session.  Then we will begin working with paragraphs and knowing when to start a new paragraph, how to write a good ending to their story, as well as beginning to edit and publish their writing.  We hope you’ll come by within the next week or so to see their published pieces.

Reading – we are continuing to work on determining the theme of the story, or poem.  This can be a rather difficult task, because it’s generally implied and the author doesn’t come out and tell you what the “lesson” is that they are trying to “teach.”  To determine the theme, you have to infer by using your background knowledge and what you’re reading on the page.  There can be several “themes” within stories/books/poems.  For example, one theme in the story, The Three Little Pigs, someone might say, “the theme of this story is to preserve,” or “hard work pays off.”  The first two pigs didn’t work as hard as the third pig, and they hurried through building their houses.  Well, look what happened to them, they got eaten.  However, the third little pig put forth lots and lots of time and effort to build his house of bricks, and he was able to survive the wolf.  The author didn’t come out and say “the theme of the story of the three little pigs is ‘to persevere,'” but we know by “reading between the lines” and using our background knowledge that his hard work paid off.  We will continue working on determining the theme this week and next.

Science – we will be continuing our unit on the moon and beginning to discuss the planets and stars in our solar system.  We will be continuing to integrate some “STEAM” activities within our unit.  We will be including some information about distances and having the students write some word problems using various distances during Math.

Math – This week, we will begin working on adding and subtracting with larger numbers.  We are going to try something new this year with regrouping.  As you now, there can only be one (1) digit per column in place value.  Therefore, when we have a double digit sum, we would need to “regroup” the extra digit to the next place.  Well, Mrs. Homer and I talked about it and we thought it would be helpful to have the students “regroup” any zeroes (0) to the next place, so that when we get to the point where we have to regroup digits, the students will be in the habit of regrouping.  I know this sounds “different” than the way we learned, but not everyone learns in the same way, or in the same amount of time, so we will be continuing our math groups and working to begin “regrouping” the zeroes, to help us remember to regroup larger digits. 

Monday, 9/9/19 – Step it up Kids Fundraiser Kick-off
Thursday, 9/12/19 – First day of the Fall Book Fair.
Thursday, 9/12/19 – Curriculum Night – come learn about our Literacy and STEAM initiatives

Friday, 9/13 – College Day – wear your favorite college attire!
Wednesday, 9/18 – Friday, 9/20 – the Star Lab will be at Pitner – this is an in school field trip, where we get to go climb into an “igloo” and see the various constellations.
Friday, 9/20 – 80’s Dress-up Day – Wear your best 1980’s outfit!  Bring on the NEON!
Monday, 9/23-Friday, 9/27 – Fall Break – No school for students/teachers
Tuesday, 10/1/19 – Fire Safety Visit from Cobb County Safety Village
Friday, 10/4/19Cape Day for CHOA
Tuesday, 10/8/19 – Field Trip to Cobb County Safety Village
Thursday, 10/10/19 – Early Release – Dismissal begins at 12:30 p.m.


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.

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