Friday, October 26, 2018

10/26/2018 Parent Newsletter

Dear Parents,                                                                              10/26/18

It's been wonderful and very busy week here in 4th grade!  We have wrapped up a couple of our units of study and will be moving on next week to several new units!  Always an exciting time for us as teachers.  It gives us an opportunity to see how much the students have learned and where we need to adjust our lessons and instruction.

We have finished our first official small moment story.  Their stories went through the whole writing process from start to finish. We learned about beginnings, middles and endings using the story arc. We added more detail to all parts of our story by using action, dialogue, thoughts and feelings. We practiced editing for grammar, punctuation, spelling and capitalization. We also learned how revision is different from editing. We worked with our writing partners to get their advice on revising and used rubrics to help guide us in where we needed to do more.  We will be celebrating all the authors on Monday during writing time.  For this celebration we will offer students the opportunity to share their stories with the whole class. In November we will be having a whole school writing celebration where we will invite parents.  Tentatively, this is planned for November 15th. This is the same day as the Turkey Trot and the Thanksgiving lunch.  More information to come!

For the next few weeks we will be writing some poetry and beginning to write some opinion pieces about different topics.  This will coincide with our study of Vermont as well as learning about alternative energy in science.  It is a nice way to integrate topics so that students see how many things are connected.

We have also finished up our first multiplication unit. There are a total of 3 units on multiplication and division 4th grade. It is one of the main content areas for 4th grade!  We are so proud of the students...every single student passed the end of unit assessment! That is quite an accomplishment and we feel very confident they are ready to move on to the next unit.  We will be doing some problem solving next week, applying what we have learned as well as practicing how to solve multi-step word problems.  Then we will move onto adding and subtracting large numbers.  We are including a link on this page (under Helpful Links) to the program Investigations we use in math. This link is interactive and can help parents understand our approach to math.  There are different content areas.  Looking at the Multiplication section is a good place to start! We hope you find this helpful!

In reading we are continuing to look at and comprehend the elements of realistic fiction.  We then will use these elements to write summaries and create story arcs.  The students are very excited about their book projects!  Thank you for your help at home with these!

In science we continue to explore potential and kinetic energy using wind up toys, pull back cars, and things that we pull back and let fly!  We are collecting data to see how the kinetic energy can be increased.  It is a lot of fun and there is a lot of learning happening.  In our Vermont unit, we looked more closely at our Vermont maps using a scavenger hunt and are now learning about what scale is and how maps use scale to show distance.

Whew!  It has been busy!!  Yet, the students are embracing and enjoying every minute!  They love to learn and we love to teach! A great combination!

We still are looking for the solar oven item donations.  See the list on the email with this newsletter link. Thank you for any and all help with this!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy some pictures from our week! Especially the ones from when we lead all school meeting on Tuesday.  There were many compliments about how exceptionally well the 4th graders did!  Yay!!

Tracy and Carolyn

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