Dear Parents, January 18, 2019
It's been a wonderful and a very busy week! Miss Sylvia spent three days with us this week, getting to know the students, the routines and the expectations. Officially, her first day is Tuesday January 22. The kids are very excited to have her in our classroom full time! Sylvia is currently in her senior year at Northern Vermont University (formerly known as Johnson State College). This is her final requirement before graduation!
Thanks to everyone for such a successful potluck and performance Monday night. The students' dances were amazing and there was such a great turn out for this event! Definitely one of the things we will all miss about our school.
We took the assessment for addition and subtraction this week and once again, everyone passed with flying colors and have now begun our fraction unit. It might seem that math concepts and skills that we focus on take a long time. But in reality, there are only 4 major areas we focus on during the year: multiplication and division, addition and subtraction, fractions, and problem solving. This allows more depth of the concepts and skills ensuring that students have a solid foundation. We fit in between these larger units of study, smaller units like our ones on algebraic thinking and data. During the fist part of this unit, our focus in on understanding fractions of a whole and fractions of a set (1/2 of 24 for example), comparing different fractions, and equivalent fractions.
In writing, we finished up our last opinion essay (the topic is a surprise!) and will begin learning how to write persuasive essays next week. Students have the structure and format down for writing an essay and will now pick a topic that they feel very strongly about and try to persuade others to feel the same. In reading, we are finishing our work with characters and theme in fiction and will be focusing on non-fiction. We will practice using text features such as table of contents, captions, diagrams, etc. to help us understand the ideas in the book. This reading unit will then merge with writing after we are done with essays. Students will learn how to research, take notes, summarize, and recognize the main idea of different sorts of non-fictions texts as well as how to write a non-fiction informational book!
We are planning a trip to the Vermont State House and Vermont HIstorical Society and Museum in February. As soon as I get confirmation for a date, I will let you know. This trip will kick off our Vermont unit in earnest as we learn how laws and bills are passed as well as an overview of Vermont's short history as a state.
Finally, as I have mentioned, this is a great time of year for learning. It can also be a time where we need to remind students of the expectations here at school and in the classroom. The 4th graders are beginning to feel their oats, and they forget that they are bigger and therefore louder, than the younger students. Please remind your child that you expect them to do their best here at school, to follow directions, to be respectful and to use recess, lunch, and snack time as their social times with their friends rather than class time! Thank you for your support and encouragement with these expectations. It truly is a partnership between home and school!
Below there is link for a poem that one of the students wrote. Enjoy it! The theme for our share time next week is a special/meaningful photograph.
There is no school on Monday for students in honor of MLK Day. Homework will go home on Tuesday.
Thank you and have a wonderful weekend! I hear there is some snow coming!