Another Testing Practice Site

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Good evening!  I was told about another practice site that students can use to help them become more familiar with the style of the Milestones that the students will be taking in just a few short days.  I will be going over the website with the students in class, but I think it would be beneficial for the students to have some practice as well.  I’m hoping to give the students an opportunity in class, but in case that doesn’t happen, I thought I would put it on the blog as well.  The web address is  There is a tutorial that your student can watch, in case they get confused.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me.  I will be checking email occasionally during the break next week, so please don’t hesitate to send me an email and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Week of 3/26-3/30/18

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Only five more wake-ups until SPRING BREAK!  We can make it!  This is going to be a very busy week!  We will be getting ready for the upcoming GA Milestones that begins the Tuesday after spring break.  I know many people travel for spring break, I’m included, but please try to get some rest and begin getting into the habit of going to bed earlier, so that you can get a good night’s sleep for the test.  This week, I’ll be sending home some practice pages for you to do over Spring Break.  These practice pages will give you an idea of what the test will look like and the types of questions they will be asking.  If you complete the packets and bring them in, I’ll give extra credit!  Who doesn’t like extra credit!?  Well, that’s enough about what’s to come, let’s get on to what we’ve got going on this week.

Math – This week we will be beginning our unit on geometry.  This week, we will be working on lines, rays, points, intersecting lines, parallel lines, and symmetry.  We will also be reviewing the ways to multiply and divide to make sure we’re ready for “The Test.”  Please consider working through the problems that will be coming home in packet form this week.

Writing – this week we are continuing to work on informational writing.  We are working on a piece to enter into a writing contest.  Hopefully, one lucky student from our class will the prize, if not the grand prize.  More details to come, as we find out the results.  Stay tuned!

Social Studies – we are continuing our discussion on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.  This week, we will participating in a webquest, so I’m asking that students bring their devices on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of this week, if they are able.  If not, we will use the laptops and desktops in the classroom.  I think the students learned quite a bit about the constitution last week, please be sure to ask them about what they learned.

Grammar – This week’s mentor text is Pinduli.  It’s a great book about treating others with respect as well as taking pride in who you are.  We will be continuing to work with simple, compound, and complex sentences as well as relative adjectives.  Remember, a simple sentence is a normal sentence – it contains a subject, predicate, and expresses a complete thought.  A compound sentence has two independent clauses that are connected with a conjunction.  Finally, a complex sentence is a sentence that contains an independent clause, as well as a dependent clause.  I would really like to see the students begin to use more of these types of sentences in their writing.

Spelling – Our contracts are due this Friday, 3/30/18.  We will be taking our spelling test on Friday as well.  Many of the students are not completing their contracts and their spelling grades are not as good as they could be.  Please understand that students don’t need to turn in all the activities that they complete, they just need to get you, as their parent/guardian, to sign off on their contract that they completed the activities.  The best part of the contract is that students have a choice in how they learn their spelling words.  You can find a copy of the spelling contract below. 

Reading – We will be continuing to work on “Close” reading – where we read a passages multiple times and begin to dig deeper each time we read the passage.  Each time we read a passage or text, we get more and more information from the text.  I’m encouraging the students to go back and reread the passages while answering the questions.  It will be so important for the students to go back into the passages and find the answers to the questions when it comes to “The Test.”  We have also discussed using a strategy called “RACE” to help us answer those constructed responses.  “RACE” is an acronym to help students know how to answer constructed responses a little better.  “R” stands for restate the question – take the part of the question that makes it a question and change it to a statement.  “A” stands for answer the question – this is to help remind the students that they must answer the question.  Many times, students don’t actually answer the questions.  “C” stands for cite your evidence.  This means that the students need to go back into the text and find the part of the text that answers the questions and use sentence starters like, “the text states,” or “in paragraph … the author mentions…” This will lead the person reading the constructed responses back to the passage where the students pulled their answers from.  Finally, the “E” stands for explain your thinking.  Many times, the person reading the constructed responses are not educators and don’t always follow what the writer was trying to say.  By explaining their thinking, the writers are explaining what they were thinking and how it relates to the question.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email anytime at [email protected]  If I don’t see you before Spring Break, I hope you each have a wonderful, restful break.  Get some rest!  Question of the week for a “NO Homework” pass – what is the special activity we have going on at 11:00 on Friday?

Friday, 3/30/18 – March reading logs are due.

Friday, 3/30/18 – March Madness Assembly where we tape Mrs. Bristow to the wall.  Keep reading and filling out those tape sheets!  We have four more days to turn in more sheets and earn more tape!

Friday, 3/30/18 – Our first Mystery Skype at 11:00!  I’m excited for our new opportunity to meet with another class from somewhere outside of our community!

Friday, 3/30/18 – Spelling test and Pinduli Invitation to Edit quiz 

Monday, 4/2/18 – Friday, 4/6/18 – Spring Break – No school for students or teachers

Monday, 4/9/18 – Last day to turn in Color Run fundraiser money.  We’ve already had two friends turn in their forms and money.  Let’s try for 100% participation.  Remember, this is a fundraiser for the school.

Tuesday, 4/10 – Monday, 4/16 – GA Milestones Test – there will be no homework this week.  Be sure to get some rest and eat a good breakfast each day, so that you’ll have the energy you need to get through the test.

Friday, 4/27 – Color Run – Time TBD.

Spring Picture Packages

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As you know, your child’s spring pictures came home on Friday, 3/16 in their graded paper folder.  They are some good looking kiddos!  Please take a minute to look at the directions inside the picture envelope.  If you decide you don’t want to keep the pictures, then please send them back with your child.  If you decide that you do want to keep them, please be sure to fill out the money envelope and return that with your student.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding with this.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email Mr. Traster at [email protected]

Week of 3/19 – 3/23

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Wow!  It’s so hard to believe that in just 10 short days, we will be on Spring break.  Please remember that students will be taking the GA Milestones the day after we return from spring break.  I’m asking that students spend just a little bit of time during their spring break to help prepare them for the upcoming GA Milestones.  We will be covering as much information as we can in the classroom, but the students will have an opportunity to work on some reading and math practice to help them prepare for the test.  I will have assignments posted on that they can complete for extra credit.  Students can also go to Prodigy to work on skills, as well as and USA Test Prep.  I will be out of town during spring break, but will have my laptop, so I will be checking in to see what they’re working on.  Please encourage your students to work for as little as 30 minutes each day.  Well, enough about what’s to come, let’s move on to what we have on the agenda for this week.

Math – We will be finishing up our unit on fractions and decimals.  With decimals, we only go to tenths and hundredths.   We will be discussing decimals much like money.  Hopefully this won’t be too painful for you students.  I have noticed that we are still having a little bit of a difficult time remembering how to switch from an improper fraction to a mixed number and from a mixed number to an improper fraction.  Please continue to work with your students on these topics.  In our various math groups this week and before school, we will continue working on fractions to help solidify these skills.  Please encourage your students to come and ask for help if they are still confused about something.  My table is always open first thing in the mornings for extra help, but I am not going to force anyone to come and work with me other during the morning times.

Writing – We will be continuing to work on our informational writing.  We have had an opportunity to research (as part of homework last week).  This week, we will be completing our post assessment and completing a final draft using all the strategies we have been talking about throughout the third quarter.

Grammar – We will be working with a mentor sentence from the book Crickwing.  We will be focusing on writing complex sentences.  Complex sentences are sentences that contain one independent clause (fragment that can stand by itself) and at least one dependent clause (a fragment that can’t stand by itself).  I’m including a website that will help you understand what complex sentences are and give you some examples.  Please find it here.

Spelling – We will be having our spelling test the week of Spring break (just 10 days away).  Below, please find a copy of this sort’s spelling lists that you can easily download, in case your child doesn’t bring it home on Monday.  Please understand that although we are not asking to see actual activities, it’s important that you as parents are having your students choose at least 6 activities during the two week “study” period.  I’m finding that many of the students are not completing the tasks and therefore are not performing as well on the bi-weekly spelling tests.  I do ask that the contract come back each week and that goes towards the “Work Study Habits” section of the report cards.  If your child isn’t completing the activities and returning the contract, then he or she may earn a “N” (needs improvement) in the area of work study habits and then in turn not be placed on the honor roll or the principal’s list for having all A’s and B’s or all A’s.

Science/Social Studies – We will be finishing up our Moon Phases and study of the planets and moons this week.  Next week, we will be moving back into Social Studies, in which we will be studying about the US Constitution and Westward Expansion.

Reading – we will be reviewing for the upcoming GA Milestones that we have the week we come back from Spring break.  I hope everyone will take heed and begin to review on their own at home during Spring break.  I’m going to send home an information sheet that will contain the information on logging into ( where your child can go in and read the passages and answer questions regarding the passages for extra credit.  If you aren’t able to log-in using  this information, please feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to explain what to do via email.

Question of the week for a “No homework pass” – what websites can be used to help you review for the upcoming GA Milestones that will provide you with extra credit?




Happy Birthday Mrs. Homer, 3/18
Wednesday, 3/21 – Third Quarter Report cards go home
Wednesday, 3/28 – STEAM Night (Performing Arts + STEM) 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, 3/30 – March Madness Conclusion – Tape Mrs. Bristow to the wall!
Our first Mystery Skype – 3/30/18
Spring Break – 4/2-4/6
Tuesday, 4/10 – Beginning of GA Milestones EOG test

Cherrydale Fundraiser ends – 4/9
Fourth Quarter 4 1/2 Week Progress Reports go home



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Your child should have brought home a flyer about our upcoming “STEAM” night.  STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering,  art, and mathematics.  We have our own specials STEAM night coming up on Wednesday, 3/26 beginning at 5:00.  On this night, you will have the opportunity to come and see your child’s art framed and hanging in a gallery.  You will also have the opportunity to hear our wonderful chorus sing and even experience some STEM Activities.  It’s a night you don’t want to miss.  Be sure to look for the flyer your child brought home in his/her graded paper folder.

Week of 3/12-3/16

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Welcome to the last 1/2 week of the third quarter!  I don’t know about y’all, but this year is flying by!  I don’t know when a year has gone by this quickly previously!  Wow!  Well, that’s enough about the year.  Thursday, 3/15 will be the first day of the fourth quarter.  Don’t give up and let you grades begin to fall because of “Spring Fever.”  Just a few more weeks and you’ll be out for summer as a 5th grader!  This is going to be an extremely busy week.  Be sure to read all the way to the end of the blog to answer the “No Homework Pass” question of the week.  You have until Thursday to find the answer and turn it in!  Good luck!

Math – This week we will be continuing to work on adding and subtracting of mixed numbers.  We will talk about two ways we can do this.  We can either change the mixed numbers into improper fractions and then subtract and turn them back into mixed numbers (the way I learned) or you can just regroup from the whole number (the big one) and add the whole (numerator and denominator are the same) to the numerator.  I’ve attached a couple of videos to the math help page.  You may refer to it by clicking here.

Writing – We will be finishing up the publishing of our final draft state project writings.  We will also be going back to the lessons and talking about how we can work together to elaborate more by writing partner sentences.  Hopefully, this will allow us to elaborate more within our informational writing.

Spelling – we will not get our spelling contract this week.  With such a weird schedule because of things out of our control, we will not be having a contract this week.  We will start again next week.

Grammar – we will be skipping grammar most of this week.  We have some special county guests coming on Friday, 3/16 to watch how we do our mentor sentences, so we’ll wait until Friday to begin our mentor sentences for the week.

Reading – we are busy working on assessing through the DRAs (Developmental Reading Assessment), as well as working on the March Madness Goal of taping Mrs. Bristow to the wall.  Be sure to pick up a reading form and complete it for each book you read in class.  We’ll be finishing up Wonder this week, so there will be an opportunity for everyone to fill out a form and for us to earn some more tape.  Right now, Mrs. Scales’ class is in the lead with 22″ of tape.  We can’t let her class win, right!  Let’s get reading and filling out those forms!  Unfortunately, I can’t put an electronic copy out there, so you’ll have to be sure and pick them up from class.




Monday – 3/12 – Final preparations to our “State Projects” – we will be putting everything together at 8:15.
Field Trip to the Cobb County Youth Museum – we will eat lunch right after specials and return around 2:00.
Tuesday – 3/13 – Last Cherrydale Fundraiser Kickoff for grades 3-5 – wait to you hear what they have planned! – 8:15 – 9:00
Wednesday – 3-14 – Pi Day (3.14) – Also, this is an early release day.  We will have a different schedule as well as leaving school at 12:30.  That should give you plenty of time to read and be ready to complete a “March Madness” reading form when you return on Thursday.

“No Homework Pass” Question of the week – who’s winning the fourth grade March Madness challenge?

Week of 3/5-3/9/18

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It’s hard to believe that the end of this quarter is so quickly approaching. (3/14/18).  It seems like yesterday was the first day of school.  How can it be that we are approaching the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the last!?  Time has flown this year!  I have really enjoyed getting to work with you all this year.  I look forward to our last quarter together.  You all have made such progress this year.  I hope you keep it up as we move into the last quarter.  Below, please read about what we will be covering this week.

Math – we will be working with Conceptua Math, as well as working in our math groups this week.  This week, our focus will be on subtracting like fractions, simplifying improper fractions into mixed numbers and switching from a mixed number back to an improper fraction.  This skill was begun last week in small groups, but we will be continuing to work on it this week.  We will also be working on Conceptua Math to help us get a better understanding (a conceptual idea) of how to transition from mixed numbers back to improper numbers and vice versa.

Writing – this week we will be focusing on finishing up our collaborative state project with Ms. Stanley by completing our state project booklets, as well as typing our essays to go along with our state project booklets.  We will be joining Ms. Stanley in the media center from 8:15-8:45 putting the final touches on the project.  If you have not finished typing your information or completed the “Mini book” portion of your project, you will have until 2:00 on Friday, 3/9 to complete it.  We will be checking out the laptops three days this week to get our typing done.  The other two days will be spent completing the “mini book.”  We will spend Monday, 3/12, putting everything together in time for the “State Fair.”

Science – We will continue working on planets in our solar system this week.

Spelling – We will have our spelling test on Friday, 3/9.  Contracts are also due this day.  Please be sure you have at least 6 items completed on your contract.  Also, please remember that the contract sheet (the page on the opposite side of the spelling lists), is on Friday as well.  As you are completing each of the activities, please have a parent initial that you completed that activity.  You do not need to turn in all the activities.  

Grammar – this week, our mentor sentence will be from a book called, Night Rabbits.  Our grammar focus is on similes, which we have covered before.  Similes are when you are comparing two different items using “like” or  “as.”  For example:  The clouds were as fluffy as cotton candy, or your room looks like it has been hit by a tornado.  The students will be expected to write their own sentences.

Reading – this week, we will be completing the quarter 3 mini touchstones, as well as revisiting author’s text structure when writing books.  This week, our book focuses will be on galaxies and stars, in preparation of our next unit in science, Stars.  We will also be looking at how visuals help us to better understand what we are reading.  Some of these “visuals” include:  a) charts, b) graphs, c) time lines, and d) graphs.  As we continue to encounter more and more informational texts, I would really like to see the students using more and more of these visuals.

Question for the No Homework pass – When does this quarter end?  Be sure to jot down the answer and bring it to Mrs. Poulos for a “No homework pass.”  You must answer the question correctly.  The answer is somewhere within this blog entry.



Monday – Friday – Scholastic Spring Book Fair – If you would like to purchase a book or poster from the book fair, you may come Monday – Friday from 7:15-8:30.  Please remember you must check-in with Mrs. Poulos prior to attending the book fair.  The book fair will have extended hours on Thursday for Bedtime, Books, and Brownies, but will close at 12:00 noon on Friday.
Thursday, 3/8 – Our Annual Bedtime, Books, and Brownies will be held beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Be sure to come back and visit some of the classrooms.  There are a total of 15 classrooms participating this year.  This event gets bigger and bigger each year.
Friday, 3/9 – Last day to work on your State Projects.  Please remember that you will need to have all of your project pieces completed by Friday, so that we will have time to put them together on Monday, 3/12.
Monday, 3/12 – We will be putting everything together for our State Projects.  If you don’t have a completed project by specials on Monday, 3/12, you will not be participating in the “State Fair Celebration” the next week.  Mrs. Poulos has provided ample opportunity for you all to finish the projects in class.
Monday, 3/12 – Field Trip to the Cobb County Youth Museum.  We will be having lunch here, so if you generally purchase a hot lunch from school, you will still be able to do so before our field trip.  We will be eating lunch right after specials, so that we have plenty to time to get to our field trip.  Please be sure to wear your Pitner 4th grade t-shirt, or a teal/marine blue shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes.
Wednesday, 3/14 – Last day of the  third quarter. IF you check ParentVue or StudentVue and you notice that you have missing grades, Wednesday is the last day to get them turned in.  Mrs. Poulos places all missing assignments on the board each week, so you should know what you’re missing.  Please see Mrs. Poulos if you’re not sure.


“March Madness” Reading Challenge

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During the month of March, we will be having a “March Madness” reading challenge.  For each book you read, you will need to complete a “Reading Response” sheet (found on top of the cubbies in the class).  When you complete a book and a reading response sheet, you will receive 1 inch of tape.  On the school last day of March (March 30, 2018), we will have an opportunity to tape our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Niki Bristow (aka Queen Bristow) to the wall.  What a better way to get her back for “feeding Parliament and the tax collectors” skittles during the “Stamp Act” reenactment.  So, start reading and filling out those forms!  Also, rumor has it that the class that has the greatest number of participants will earn a “Gaming Hour” which means that we will have an hour to play (Wii from ASP, the big TV, iPads, and laptops will be set up for us to use).  Let’s challenge ourselves to get the most amount of tape of fourth grade.  For each picture book you read and complete the paper, you will receive 1 in. of tape.  For each chapter book, you will receive 2 inches of tape (after you complete the paper).  We all like a friendly little “competition” now and again, don’t we?  Let’s show the rest of the fourth grade, and the school how much we like to read!

Imaginormous Challenge

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After our Skype Session with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver today, we found out that we have the opportunity to enter a wonderful contest in which one student from our class could win one of five phenomenal prizes.  I’m attaching a link to the website as well as a link to the trailer to the activity.  If you are interested, please submit a 100 word or less essay expressing an idea for Willy Wonka.  For more information, please click on one of the two links below.   You may type your submission into Office 365 and share it with me and I’ll be glad to enter you into the contest.  his is completely optional!  I hope some of you will enter!

Willy Wonka’s Imaginormous Challenge

Imaginormous Challenge Trailer