Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Conference Sign-Up

Hello, Parents!

Don't forget to sign up for Spring Conferences through Skyward.   I believe the directions were sent home but also were in a Gleason Lake school email.  Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to conferences in a few weeks!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Academic Update (1/4/15)

Hello Parents!
       I hope you had a wonderful and restful Winter Break!  As we reach an especially important time of the school year with a few months of heavy prep for the MCA's in March, I just thought I'd update you on where we left off before Winter Break:

Reading: We are still deep in unit two in reading dealing with Drawing Conclusions, Author's Purpose, Generalizations, Sequence, and Fact/Opinion.  We are studying these skills through out anthology and small groups.  The kids will be taking the unit two benchmark test sometime in the middle/end of January.

Writing: We wrapped up a typed copy of our Personal Narratives in mid-December and did a 'cold' draft of a new one shortly after.  We will be transitioning to our next piece, the Persuasive Essay, in addition to continuing mini-lessons dealing with writing skills before practicing through writing 
prompts.  I will send home the Personal Narratives in the coming week.  

Math: We finished unit four dealing with decimals and are on to unit five, which deals with extended multiplication facts, large addition and multiplication estimation, as well as large multiplication.  We will be spending next week heavily covering large multiplication through the Box Strategy (Also known as Partial-Products).

Science: We are in the thick of the unit dealing with matter and energy.  We are currently learning about states of matter and how energy transfers between places and forms.  We will soon be learning about how density affects mass of objects.

Social Studies: We're nearing the end of our first region, the Northeast.  In the coming weeks, students will be quizzed on states and capitals of this region.  We will then move on to the Southeast, where we will learn about the culture, geography, and climate of that region.  We'll spend about a month on the Southeast before moving on to the Midwest.  Again, students should learn the states and capitals, which will be posted on the website soon.  

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you do have.  Take care and have a great week!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Flashlight Reading Tomorrow!

Hello Parents!
       Just a heads up that tomorrow we are doing flashlight reading with our 2nd grade buddy class so if you could send your child with a small flashlight tomorrow, that would be great.  Thanks!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Reader's Response Homework (12-16-15)

4th Graders,
       Please click the link below and respond to the two prompts.  Make sure to write your answers as paragraphs and use complete sentences.  Each answer should be multiple sentences.  To answer the prompts, click on the 'reply' box below the prompts.  Also, don't respond to anyone else's responses.  Thanks!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Northeast States & Capitals

Hello Parents!
       The kids are moving on in Social Studies to our first region, the Northeast.  Part of this unit deals with learning the states and capitals of the 11 states in the region.  Below is a map for the kids to start studying.  They'll be quizzed a couple times in the upcoming weeks with a final quiz at the end of the unit.  I will also give them a paper copy on Monday.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Academic Update (12/7/15)

Hello, Parents!
       Wow, this fall has been a crazy one and I sincerely apologize for such a delay in posting what we're up to in class...I hope your kids have been filling you in along the way!  First of all, I want to offer a belated 'Thank You' for your attendance at conferences.  I really enjoyed the conversations and sharing what I have gathered about the kids so far.  Also, I really hope that you had a great Thanksgiving break as well!  It's hard to believe that Winter break is only a couple weeks from now!  Also, I wanted to share with you that I will be more diligent about doing weekly, more condensed posts on the classroom website each Friday about the week we had, and a preview of the week to come so please take a few minutes to read these on the weekends as you are able.  I will also do more 'quick posts' as things come up during the week as well as posting more class pictures on our Twitter feed on the classroom website.  On a final note, daily homework will now be posted on the calendar on the classroom website each day, in addition to being written in the student planners.  

The unit three math test has been taken and will be graded on eBackpack this week.  We are currently working on unit four, which highlights decimals.  We are learning about decimal place value, decimal estimation, as well as decimal addition and subtraction.  In addition, we'll cover metric measurement, and metric measurement conversion.  I would anticipate testing by the end of the week.  The next unit deals with large multiplication.  Stay tuned this Friday for details about next week.

The unit two benchmark test is after break during the middle of January.  In the meantime, we take the weekly '8-Pointer' comprehension checks.  We are going to be starting the selection 'So You Want To Be President?' this week which covers Generalizations and Main Idea.  We are also settled in with reading groups.  The five groups are meeting each week and we will be doing more flex grouping coming up, which is more skill-based.  

The kids are well into their Personal Narratives.  They rough drafted them, and then worked to edit and revise them.  They are currently typing them in Google Drive where they will share them with a partner and myself, before asking questions to elicit more detail and provide feedback.  The kids will then publish them.  The final step is to write another Personal Narrative on command, which tests to see what writing skills and abilities were developed along the way with the original Personal Narrative.  

Social Studies:
The kids read and answered questions about the first two chapters from our Social Studies book dealing with geography and government basics.  We recently started our first region, the Northeast.  We will be reading about the region and it's uniqueness in the coming weeks.  Students will also be expected to learn the starts and capitals.  I will send home a list this week with the kids.  We will spend a few weeks on this region before moving on to the Southeast region.

We wrapped up the first unit on magnetism and electricity.  We will be starting the second unit this week dealing with matter and energy.  The kits work the same way with hands on experiments and science notebooks to unpack the knowledge the students are picking up along the way.  We will also review and quiz the previous unit to assure retention so the kids are prepared for the science MCA's next year.  

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as time goes by.  Hearing from parents when issues arise is critical as there is a lot that kids share with parents that I'm not aware of.  Thank you as always!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Academic Update (10-19-15)

Hello Parents!
       Here's a look at what we're doing in class, now that school has resumed following MEA Break:

Math: We wrapped up unit one on geometry a week or so back and took the assessment, which should be available on eBackpack in the next week.  The kids will get directions how to access this at home.  Currently, we are in the midst of unit two dealing with place value, large addition and subtraction, as well as graphing and landmarks.  We have covered everything to some degree but are not just spending time on practicing and reviewing.  I would anticipate that we'd be testing by the end of the week.  The tests should be on eBackpack next week.  Following this unit, we'll be getting into unit three, which deals with multiplication, fact families, order of operations, very basic algebra, and True/False number sentences.  As we progress throughout the year, however, we'll continue going back and reviewing past concepts to help reinforce skills and fill holes as needed with the kids.

Reading: We are onto our third selection of the year called Letters Home From Yosemite.  This narrative nonfiction will help us with Main Idea and Details as well as Fact and Opinion.  Through the last couple stories, we have also spent time on Author's Purpose, as well as Sequence.  We practice with a variety of skills as we cover background information as well as engage in the texts themselves.  The benchmark test will be in the next week or so and will give the most accurate depiction of your child as a reader so far.  We are also getting small groups under way.  It takes time, especially with the chaos of the first handful of weeks, to get things going, but the groups are set and we'll be routinely meeting, starting this week.  I anticipate quite a bit of movement the first week weeks as I'm continuing to get the know the kids as readers, but once the groups are solidified, they are a huge source of comprehension building for the year.

Writing: We're still getting Writer's Workshop launched through our Writer's Notebooks.  We're getting routines established and are spending some time on sensory writing, which involves using all five senses to paint a vivid picture in the mind of the reader.  I will be introducing our first official writing piece later this week, the Personal Narrative.  We will be spending quite a bit of time on these going through the writing process.  The students will also be doing smaller entries in their Writer's Notebooks that are more skill-focused.  I will be sharing a sample of their writing at conferences to share strengths and areas of growth. 

Social Studies: We are getting into the first chapter of year dealing with Land & Geography of the United States.  In this chapter the students will be reading about the country's land and resources in order to show comprehension, as well as work with vocabulary and mapping skills.  There are four lessons in this unit, and we'll spend the next few weeks on these lessons.  

Science:  We're in the midst of the next investigation of the year's first science kit (Magnetism & Electricity).  The kids spend a lot of time experimenting with magnets, and now we have moved on to learn about electricity.  We are currently working with batteries, bulbs, motors, and switches to investigate some basic ideas of electricity.  Following this portion, we'll be working with magnetism and electricity together.  This week's Bakken Field Trip is coming at the perfect time!

Thanks to those who volunteered for Bakken!  I had to just pick 5 volunteers at random, but I appreciate the support!  I shared with the kids about the chaperones today.  Also, please make sure that the kids have bagged lunches to eat at the museum.  I hope your MEA break was fantastic!