September 17, 2018

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A special note: There is a new tab on my blog! It is Acronyms for 4th Grade. This is a helpful page to review and see the meanings of acronyms we use in 4th grade.

BIG HEAD CAMPAIGN ENDS TODAY! Thank you so much for your generous donations! We were in the lead this morning!

25 Book Challenge -The six stickers for this quarter are due by October 15th! Remember, students can earn up to three stickers per book depending on how many pages it has and how many paragraphs they write. Check the 25 Book Challenge tab on this blog for more details. Please use this learning opportunity to review these organizers and help your child correct grammar and convention errors (conventions covers capitalization, punctuation, and spelling). This is a great way for you to help them with their writing skills!

Curriculum Notes

Math-We are continuing to work on the addition and subtraction algorithm and also one and two step addition and subtraction word problems. There will be a SWYK this Friday on these skills. Also, the Week 6 Math 4 Today SWYK is Friday.

Reading – This week, we are reviewing making connections and questioning while you read in our whole group mini-lessons. In guided skills groups, we are practicing these skills more and locating text evidence in our Scholastic News.

ELA– Unit 1 Vocab SWYK Wednesday- had to move it from Tuesday because of our field trip. The online tools are great to help kids studying!
We’ll finish our Fox character writing this week. We have worked through the character writing for Dog together, and students are doing the character trait writing for a Magpie independently. They are using the CEEC strategy when formulating their constructed response: State your claim, locate text evidence to support your answer, explain how your evidence supports your answer, close your paragraph by restating your claim in a different way. A copy of this strategy will be put in the Reading/ELA INB this week. This is a strategy similar to RACE, but it works better when there isn’t a specific question to answer.
*Our writing time is cut short this week because of schedule changes for testing, our field trip, and the big head celebration Friday, so our final writing piece will be done after break.

Social Studies- This week in Social Studies we will explore geography of the United States. Students will learn about natural and man-made features that impact our land and history. Towards the end of the week we will begin our unit on Economics. To help reinforce our topics in class, students may watch the following BrainPop videos: Latitude and Longitude, Map Skills, Budgets, and Supply and Demand.

LEEP with Ms. Cunningham’s class– We are beginning our study of the book Fox. We will be discussing key vocabulary and characters’ actions, thoughts, and words, and how they help us learn about their character traits. This week, students will be working on character maps and vocabulary cards.


Important Dates:

9/18 Field Trip to Cobb Youth Museum

9/20 Picture Day Makeups

9/21 Foundation Friday $1 College Team

9/24-9/28 Fall Break

10/4 PTSA Parent Support Night 6:30-8

10/8  STEM Night 6-7:30

Big Head Campaign!

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There are two days left in our Big Head Campaign! A big THANK YOU TO THE FAMILIES THAT HAVE DONATED ALREADY! The foundation allows each teacher to keep 10% of their class funds raised, which I plan to use to buy a few new chairs for some flexible seating options and clipboards!

Online donations can be made at

Updates September 10th

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Math– This week was we are beginning the addition and subtraction algorithm – this is the way most of us learned! Important vocab to know: regrouping (we use this instead of “carrying”).
We took a break from Math 4 Today last week, but are completing Week 5 this week. Students will be able to use their weekly work to help them on their assessment on Fridays. Many parents ask how the can help their children in math: reviewing the M4T work from the week on Thursday nights is a great thing you can do!

Reading – Last week we worked in small groups to complete most of the back of our first Scholastic News together. Students completed the Be a Quiz Whiz! assessment on their own using the magazine. This week Scholastic News, covers the skills of finding the main idea, summarizing, and reading a chart.

ELA– We will complete Unit 1 Vocab this week. Last week I began introducing the words and showed the students how to get online and complete different activities to help them practice the words. There is a link under the “Online Textbooks” tab on my blog. Activities in the book will be completed during the week at school and possibly finished at home, and there will be a Vocab Assessment for Unit 1 next Tuesday. Also, we will finish our character writing for Magpie and Fox and begin the final writing piece, answering the prompt, “In the story Fox, the three characters each have their own struggles. Which character do you think has the hardest life? Support your answer with details from the text.”

Science from Ms. Cunningham: Last week we wrapped up our study on the water cycle and began our unit on weather. Students will continue to observe and complete their water cycle Lab in a Bag this week. The Lab in a Bag report will be due on Thursday. This week is our final week together for this quarter and our focus will be on all things weather! Students will be learning about the various types of clouds, precipitation, weather instruments and what causes weather. We will be working with our Science Workbook and students will be actively reading, learning about cause and effect, and annotating main ideas, key details, and important vocabulary. On Thursday we will have a quiz over what we have learned with Weather. Please make sure to have your child review their Interactive notebook and workbook nightly to ensure their success on their upcoming quiz this Thursday.

Students will have homework this week so that we can have more interactive discussions in class.

Monday: Read Science Workbook pages 198-199. Make sure to complete the ACTIVE READING ACTIVITY for those pages.

Tuesday: Read Science Workbook pages 200-201. Make sure to complete the ACTIVE READING ACTIVITY for those pages.

Wednesday: Study and look over your notes on weather and weather tools, types of clouds, and types of precipitation for your quiz on Thursday.

Vocabualry words to know and review this week: humidity, weather vane, anemometer, rain gauge, air pressure, atmosphere, air pressure, precipitation, cirrus, stratus, cumulus.

Important Dates:

9/14 National Anthem Day- wear red, white, and blue

9/18 Field Trip to Cobb Youth Museum

9/20 Picture Day Makeups

9/21 Foundation Friday $1 College Team

10/4 PTSA Parent Support Night 6:30-8

10/8  STEM Night 6-7:30


Week of August 27th Updates

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Curriculum Notes:

Math- This week we are covering rounding to any place value. Today we glued in a page of notes with a thorough explanation of how to round with number lines. Our SWYK on rounding will be Friday. Check that INB for examples completed yesterday and how to use number lines for rounding.

Math 4 Today- Every day, we are correcting the Math 4 Today completed the day before. I am modeling how to solve problems, write solution sentences, and showing strategies for all skills. Students are expected to be copying the correct answers/strategies to make their work correct.  Students should review Week #4 on Thursday before our assessment on Friday.

Reading- We are deep into our learning with Scholastic News/Weekly Reader (this is the same thing 🙂 I use both words interchangeably). We have worked on summarizing and main ideas by using a strategy called “Bracketing and Hashtagging” where students take a paragraph at a time and come up with a one-three word hashtag of the main topic of that paragraph. Also, we are working through answering questions that require a constructive response and using the RACE or CEE strategy. We will have a sheet in our INB that explains this soon!

Writing/ELA- We ended up backing up a bit after a short intro of narrative writing to review some sentence/paragraph basics. We are discussing complete sentences, subjects, predicates, fragments, and run-on sentences.

LEEP- Although we are switching for Science now, we are finishing up our Fox study during our writing time. We are working on the character maps for Magpie and Fox and will complete character trait writing for all three characters.

Science- This week we will complete a Get to Know You activity and then dive deep into our unit on the Water Cycle and Weather. Students will be focusing on the states of matter and the water cycle this week. Students will have a SWYK over the water cycle next week.

STEM- Students are LOVING our weather data collections! Weather data teams are in charge of calculating the hours of daylight and recording daily high and low temps and recording them on the board. We also are still checking the tropical depressions, storms, and hurricanes in the Pacific as it’s proved to be more active than the Atlantic so far!

Important Dates: 

  • August 29th- Early Release @12:30
  • September 3rd- Labor Day

August 20th Updates

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We are on our way into deeper content learning! I am proud of how much we’ve accomplished that last couple of school days. Your kids are working hard!

Please remember to send in notes about dismissal changes and absences/early checkouts. There have been many early checkouts and it helps when I know ahead of time so I can have your child get their homework and assignments written beforehand. We don’t copy the agenda until the end of the day, so it helps if I can get the heads up ahead of time when possible.

Curriculum Notes:

Math- We have been studying place value and learning that each place value to the left of the decimal is ten times greater than the place to the right of it. Homework last week worked on this, and the kids really seem to be understanding this concept! This week into next, we are studying forms of numbers (expanded, word/number name, and standard numeral) and comparing and ordering numbers. Our SWYK will most likely be Friday. As I mentioned at Open House, students should now be bringing home their Math INBs daily. This will help guide them through homework and you through the content and strategies we are teaching with math. We usually have a SWYK (test) every week in math.

Math 4 Today- Last Friday we took our first Math 4 Today Assessment- Week #2 Assessment. These are weekly quizzes that are based on our morning work. We completed Week #1 all together, and also we did the assessment together so students could understand the expectations for showing work, writing solution sentences for word problems, etc. This week we are on Week #3.

Reading- We are reviewing guidelines for our Reader’s Workshop. Also, are reading books each day to help us recognize sensory details that authors use,  the power of imagery, and how making connections helps us to understand what we read. We will also begin using our Weekly Reader magazine and reviewing non-fiction text features like subtitles, headings, captions, and text boxes, and learning strategies for reading non-fiction text like magazines/newspapers.

Writing- Our first unit for Writing is narrative. This week we are reviewing the elements of narrative writing and formulating topic ideas. We will also start to draft a narrative and will begin working on character development. Other informational writing strategies will be taught during Reader’s Workshop with our Weekly Reader magazines when answering Close Reading questions. These questions require thorough written answers where we will use the R.A.C.E. strategy to help us answer.

LEEP- Last week we worked on our character map for Dog and began reviewing our character trait list- there is a lot of great vocabulary in this list! This week, I will share the model of character trait writing and we will complete character maps for Magpie and Dog. Our character trait writing for these characters will be graded.

STEM- As part of our daily science, we are observing and recording weather data. Last week, I modeled how to go to Weather Underground and locate the sunrise and sunset times and also the high and low temperatures. We worked out the hours of daylight for each day last week and recorded these temps. This week, we will begin our Weather Data Teams and students will work on this in the morning, and then share it with the class. We are already being able to notice trends and patterns!

Important Dates: 

  • August 29th- Early Release @12:30
  • September 3rd- Labor Day

Happy New Year!

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Hello! It was so great to meet so many of you at Sneak-A-Peek yesterday! I am very excited for this new school year. I’m looking forward to the days ahead where the kids and I will learn more about each other and grow as a team.

I am in the process of updating our schedule and other information on this blog, but it should be accurate by the end of today.

If you haven’t already, please go to and fill out the 4th Grade Information Sheet. Also, please make sure to complete and return the Clinic Card by Wednesday also.  If you could return the other forms by Friday that would be great!

See you Wednesday!


May 7, 2018

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What a wonderful Field Day we had today! Thank you so much to Mr. and Mrs. Ponder for volunteering to run our Field Day stations! Thank you to Mrs. Jones for securing our volunteers and helping out! Our girls AND boys won the 4th grade Tug-of-War tournament!

Class Dojo- I send reminders through Class Dojo- it would be helpful to get notifications from the app. The end of the year is always busy and this tool helps a lot with sharing!

25 Book Challenge- The final day to turn in organizers is next MONDAY, May 14th. I’ll be checking every day or two to make sure students know where they are. May 17th will be the large after-school celebration for students who’ve met the challenge with all 25 Books and their genres. The 9 week celebration (for all students who got 6 stickers) will be Friday, May 18th right after lunch. This celebration will be for Coke/Root Beer/Fanta floats and Extreme Recess (45 minutes 😉 )

Math- Students are finishing their in-class Geometry projects. Students were given a choice board and had to chose enough projects to total $10. Projects were “weighted” with more complicated ones being worth more money. We then will work on Fraction projects.

Reading – We are continuing to read the book The One and Only Ivan together. The Project Choice sheet was sent home Friday. Students need to chose one of the challenges to complete by this Friday. These should mostly be done at home, but there may be some school time here or there to work on them. It’s a good idea to keep that work in the “Return to School” side of the red folder.

Social Studies- The Constitution and Westward Expansion- We will read the book Dandelions to help us understand the lives, adventure, and struggles of families who moved out west.

Science- Space and Earth Science- There will be a moon phase quiz on Wednesday. Students have the phases and pictures of them in the packet that we began last week.

The LAST MONTH of school is upon us!

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The last week in April brings SO many things! Please read for information of all the events coming up.

Evening in the Garden
We have been working in The Wooded Classroom to prepare for Evening in the Garden! We look forward to sharing this special place with all who come by on Tuesday! See you there!

Evening in the Garden – Tuesday, May 1 6:00-8:00 (Rain date May 3)
Performance Schedule
6:30 – K/1st grade performs
7:00 – 2nd/3rd grade performs
7:30 – 4th/5th grade performs
7:40 – Finale for ALL grades

Please plan to park at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church one hour before your performance time.
For the best seating, BRING A BLANKET!

Relay for Life “Coin War”
Ford’s Relay for Life Penny War is next week- April 30 – May 4.  We will be competing with the other classrooms on our grade level. Students will be allowed to go to other classrooms in their grade level to deposit SILVER coins.  Any silver coins collected in your jar count AGAINST your penny count.  It works so well because kids want to bring down totals for other classes by giving them silver coins, but we’re actually collecting pennies and silver coins. This is always a BIG fundraiser for our school and can help boost us to our goal of $8,000 for the year.

FORD MUSTANG 2017-2018 YEARBOOK ~ $40.00   (Deadline: April 30th)
How to order Online
*Sign into your account on  (Organizational Code: FordPTSA)
*Select Online Store
*Choose Yearbook
*Fill out required information (Student, Grade,Teacher)
*Add to cart — checkout and pay
*Please write down your order number
* There will be very few available for purchase ($50.00) once online purchases are finished. Proceeds from yearbook sales go right back to Ford!!

Curriculum Updates:

Math- This week we are finishing metric measurement. There will be a show what you know on Friday. Please be sure to review the packet and INB.

Reading – we are reading the book The One and Only Ivan together. Students will be working on vocabulary activities and response journals. I know some tunes have read this book before, but we go much more in-depth with our discussions and questions then students have before. There are also several extension opportunities with this unit.

Writing- most of our writing will take place during reading, social studies, and science for the remainder of the year.

Social Studies/Science- Because of the volume of content, we will be spending more time on social studies and science for the last few weeks. This week and into next, we are covering light and sound for science. We have finished the American Revolution for social studies and are discussing the Constitution and the formation of the new nation.

Post-Testing Updates

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TESTING IS OVER! We are so thankful to be back on our normal schedule!

Today, I conferenced with every student about their reading and the genres remaining that need to be read in order to complete the 25 Book Challenge. They are supposed to share with you their checklist. Also, during reading (Mrs. Turner had her reading group, so they were not there), we went to the Learning Commons so students could check out books as needed to help them meet the challenge. Please sign this checklist after you discuss together.

Also, I forgot to tell students that TOMORROW we will be going outside to work on the Wooded Classroom. Please make sure they are dressed appropriately for some clean up outside- closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate attire. If you have any hand trowels/shovels you could send in tomorrow, please send them with your child. We will send them back home tomorrow if you’ll need them.

Thank you!

March 26th

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We are into our second full week of the nine weeks! As Milestone testing approaches, we are very busy with our academics. We are working diligently to finish all our math standards, although we will extend our learning of geometry and measurement after testing with some extension projects done in class. Students will have an optional bingo assignment over Spring Break.  More information will be available in the coming week.

-We have been discussing a strategy known as “Brain Dumping” for us to try during testing- ask your child about it!

-I am on Twitter as @mrsplunkert – I’d love for you to follow me and see things I share about our learning in the classroom!


Math-  Math 4 Today Week #26- assessment Friday. As I mentioned above, we have been covering a lot of math content in order to have students best prepared for the Milestones. Last week, we covered geometry and concepts such as classifying triangles and quadrilaterals by perpendicular and parallel lines, side length, and angle type. This week, we are covering customary units of measure for length including inch, foot, yard, mile, and capacity, including fluid ounce, cup, pint, quart, gallon, and mass/weight, including ounces, pounds, and tons. Students are expected to estimate units of length or capacity for items, for example being able to know that a swimming pool capacity would best be measured in gallons instead of cups, and the measure of milk in a bowl for cereal would best be estimated using fluid ounces. Students are also expected to be able to convert between units of measure, for example, how many yards is 27 feet, and how many inches are in 6 feet. I’ve been comparing this to finding equivalent fractions.

ELA- Reading & Writing

We are covering our standards with comparing drama, poetry, and prose. We have looked at the structure of drama and how it differs from prose, and this week we are studying poetry. There is a lot of vocabulary that we’ve discussed with this unit, and there are anchor charts in the Reading INB that review the important vocabulary. For drama, we’ve discussed cast of characters, script, stage directions, and props. For poetry, we are covering rhyme scheme, meter/rhythm, line break, and stanza. In small groups, we will continue working with Scholastic News on our non-fiction reading skills and paired text strategies.

For writing, our DBQ plan changed a bit, and instead of the planned DBQ, we used a different one: “Would you have liked to have lived as a child in colonial times? Why or why not?” Rather then studying new texts/documents, we are using our notes and the newspaper as resources to answer this question! Students have already drafted their body paragraphs and typed them into Word Online (this is what I discussed in the email last week), and this week we are learning strategies for creating an intro and closing paragraph. This instruction is a big step-up for students who are used to writing one large paragraph for opinion writing. I am so proud of what they’ve done!

Science/Social Studies- We are taking a break from science so we can push ahead with the Revolutionary War. Also, because of the amount of content we have to cover for math and the time that  it’s taking for writing, we will have limited time for social studies and science until after testing. With the time we do have, we will be studying the Revolutionary War and get into the Constitution and then Westward Expansion. There will not be a formal SWYK on the Revolutionary War, but the students will be completing ABC posters at school as a summative assessment.

Important Dates:

3/26 Stevi B’s Pizza Night

4/2- 4/6 Spring Break

4/10-4/12 and 4/16-4/17- Milestone testing for 4th grade- there will be schedule changes for specials