Friday, May 19, 2017

Week of May 22nd

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Friday, May 19th:  Half Day 
  • Monday, May 22nd: M-Step Science Part 1
  • Tuesday, May 23rd: M-Step Science Part 2 
  • May 24-26: M-Step Make-ups
  • Friday, May 26th:  Half Day (Elementary Only)
  • Monday, May 29th: No School - Memorial Day 
  • Friday, June 2nd: Field Day 
  • Friday, June 9th: Mini-Society Sale (Note the date change)
FLE: FLE forms were sent home earlier this week.  It also has a permission slip that must be returned in order to have your child participate.  You may also elect to opt out of the program as well.  Mrs. Lindenberg, Dew and Wright will be teaching the girls and Mr. Hebert (5th grade teacher) will be teaching the boys.  The lesson dates are June 5 and June 7.  The materials will be available to preview on Monday the 18th at 4:00 in Mrs. Dew's room. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

NWEA: The NWEA is fast approaching and I'm trying to hold off a little longer so I can finish up the Math unit.  We'll be testing on Wednesday May 31st and June 1st.  We'll be doing make-ups the following week.

Math: We're continuing with our Geometry unit and the kids are doing well!  We're studying the properties of lines, angles, shapes, and sides.  Because of the large amount of new vocabulary, kids have been jotting down vocabulary in their math journal so they have something to refer to if they need it.  We'll be finishing up this unit within next couple of weeks. I'll keep you updated on when the test will be.  To end the year, we'll be doing some work with graphs and data.  If your child hasn't mastered their multiplication facts, please continue to remind them to review at home.  Thank you!

Language Arts: Our informational books are officially finished! Some students were able to submit their writing to the publishing center to be typed and bound and others wrote their books by hand. They worked very hard adding good details to their subtopics!  Our last writing unit is research!  Kids have all been assigned a state and they will be researching and creating a Google slide show when they are finished.

In Reading, we've been analyzing informational text, finding evidence to support our answers, and finding the main idea and supporting details in short reading selections.  We'll also spend some more time working on different text structures and I'll be doing some assessing along the way too.

Social Studies:  We're full steam ahead with our Economics unit.  We are learning about goods, services, wants, needs, scarcity and more!  Please note the following date change: We will be selling our products on Friday, June 9th instead of the 7th.  That gives us a few more days to make our products!  In the coming weeks, we will explain more about the production of products, quantity needed and we will ask them to bring in a prototype to share.

Science: We've been focusing on different phases of the moon and learning the necessary vocabulary that goes along with it.  There will be a quiz on Monday and the students should be looking over the review in the meantime.   Our last unit of study is the stars!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Week of May 8th

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Friday, May 19th: 1/2 Day - Dismissal at 11:40
  • Monday, May 22nd: M-Step: Science Part 1
  • Tuesday, May 23rd: M-Step: Science Part 2
  • Friday, May 26th: 1/2 Day - Elementary Only 
  • Monday, May 29th: No School - Memorial Day 
  • Wednesday, June 7th: Market Day - All products need to be sent in 
M-Step: We finished three sections of the M-Step today and there were a handful that will be added to the make-up list.  We'll be doing make-ups on May 24th and 25th.  We'll have two more sections to complete later in the month and then we'll be finished.  The kiddos really did a great job persevering through the test!  I was very proud of their hard work!

Multiplication Timed Tests: We're resuming our Multiplication timed tests and I would like to be able to send the 4th graders to 5th grade next year having their facts mastered!  The responsibility has definitely slipped the last few months so I need your help. Please remind your child to study their facts.  When they have reached a score of 95% or above for three consistent weeks, they will test out and will no longer need to take the timed tests.  They will also move up to the "coach" status and will be able to help others reach their goals.  Thanks for your help with this!

Math: We just wrapped up our Fractions/Decimals unit and the last unit of study is Geometry.  Many of the Geometry concepts are a review from previous grades so we'll be building on that as we progress through some concepts such as lines, angles, and two dimensional geometric shapes.  This unit is full of vocabulary words as well so we'll probably be utilizing our Math journal as we progress through them.

Language Arts: In Reading and Writing, we're continuing to work through our informational unit. Our informational books are coming along.  Some students will have theirs published at the publishing center if they are able to finish by Tuesday. Otherwise, they'll create a final copy and add pictures, captions and other text features to their books.  Our last writing unit will be research!!  In reading, we'll continue working with main idea, supporting details and we'll be examining many short informational pieces as we do this.

Social Studies: We're just finishing up our Human Geography unit and we'll be testing on Thursday, May 11th.  For a few weeks, the Social Studies units will be overlapping as I get the Economics unit off the ground.  Hopefully, you received the information about the Mini Society project I sent home yesterday. The kids have been great about bringing their questions as we get the ball rolling but feel free to email me with any questions that come to mind.  This unit has many vocabulary words that can be challenging for the kids.  Designing a product definitely makes this unit easier and more fun! Kids will be designing a product or service and they will be allowed to work by themselves or in small groups.  I've told them to begin thinking about what product they would would like to make (no food) and who they would like to work with.  I'll email you more information and also pass necessary information off to the kids as well. It should be an action packed month!

Science: The students just took their first quiz on the Sun, Moon, and Stars unit and they are in Friday folders today.  The first investigation focused on the sun and shadows. The second investigation of this unit is all about the Moon. Students will learn about the phases of the Moon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Week of April 24th

M-Step Dates are in!!  4th graders will be taking the test in May.  The dates are as follows:

Tuesday, May 2nd - Math
Wednesday, May 3rd - Math
Thursday, May 4th - ELA
Monday, May 22nd - Science Part 1
Tuesday, May 23rd - Science Part 2

Important Dates to Remember:

Monday, May 1st: Reading Logs Due
Friday, May 19th: 1/2 Day - Dismissal at 11:40
Friday, May 26th: 1/2 Day - Elementary Only
Monday, May 29th: No School - Memorial Day

Science Fair:  We had 6 students participate in the Science Fair this year!  I know a lot of hard work and time goes into preparing for the Science Fair.  Thank you for your dedication!  The kids loved hearing about all the different projects!!

Instrumental Music: Anderson Music was here this week presenting to the 4th graders about instrumental next year.  The kiddos were fitted with instruments they were interested in. They are very excited about the opportunity of playing an instrument next year!  I haven't received information about the plan for next year but I'm assuming they will be doing something similar to what they are doing this year. Currently, the 5th graders practice instrumental music twice a week and they begin at 7:30 AM.  Your child will be coming home with a folder from Anderson Music and it will give you more information if you're interested.

Math: In Math, we're rolling right along with our second unit of Fractions.  This week, we worked hard to multiply and divide to make equivalent fractions.  We'll use what we know about equivalent fractions to compare fractions of different sizes and then we'll move onto fractions and line plots. Next week, we'll move into Decimals.  If there's anything you can do at home to make fractions easier, please continue doing so.  The kids are really starting to make connections!!

Language Arts: In Reading, we're continuing to work through our informational unit and we've been focusing on main idea and supporting details. After this, we'll be doing some fun activities that will help us more with our understanding of main idea and supporting details.  We've been pulling out a lot of our Scholastic News articles. The articles are so interesting and it's been fun learning about many concepts in this unit through them.

We're in the midst of our Personal Expertise unit in writing.  They are taking a topic they know a lot about and organizing the subtopics into paragraphs and sections.  We will be digging deeper into our Scholastic News articles to see exactly how an informational book should be written as we add many text features to our books including headings, photos, captions, etc.

Social Studies
: Thank you for helping your child with their latest homework assignment in Social Studies.  Each child presented this information and we had an interesting conversation about why different families chose to come to the United States.  Human Geography is our umbrella topic with several concepts falling under it.  Over the next few weeks, we'll focus on learning how people have changed the earth in positive and negative ways, push and pull factors tied to immigration, and we'll touch briefly on the westward migration and slavery.

Science:  We just started our Sun, Moon, and Stars unit. To begin the unit, we'll be focusing on lessons that teach the students about the sun using their shadows.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Week of March 27th

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Friday, March 31st - Reading Logs Due
  • Spring Break - April 1st through April 9th!  Enjoy the time off!! :)
  • Monday, April 10th - Return to School 
  • Wednesday, April 12th - Spring Pictures 
  • Friday, April 14th - No School (Good Friday)
The book report projects are officially finished and they were amazing!!  Thank you for all of your hard work and support on these projects. I know they took a lot of time out of your evenings and weekends.  Corrected rubrics will be going home in Friday folders today.

Math:  We're rolling right along with our fractions unit.  Our Math groups are back in action and this way, we can either speed things up or slow things down.  If you notice your child is having difficulty on the Math homework, please spend some time working with them to develop these skills. The groundwork we're laying now is so very important for our next unit on Fractions/Decimals and also next year in 5th grade!  We'll be wrapping up unit 6 next week so expect a review sheet early next week.  After break, we'll continue building on these skills as we begin unit 7.  In this unit, we'll explore equivalent fractions and decimals.  It's hard to believe we have just a few units left this year!!

Language Arts:  We're officially finished with our Persuasive unit!  I should have graded persuasive papers next week.  I'm still working on getting them finished up and back to the kiddos.  Our next writing unit is informational writing.  Kids will become experts in this unit as they pick a topic and develop it into 5-6 chapters.  We'll be spending a lot of time looking through informational books to see how authors write so we can use some of their techniques.

I finished reading assessments last week and I'll be noting instructional levels on the report cards.  In reading, we're moving into informational reading next week. We'll start by looking at the layout of non-fiction pieces and discussing how text features help us understand what we're reading.  We'll also begin to dig deeper into Main Idea versus Theme.  Kids sometimes confuse the two so we'll be doing a few fun lessons to solidify those concepts. In the next couple of weeks, we'll focus more on reading short articles and discussing the main idea.

Social Studies: We've finished up our Geography unit and will be starting our Human Geography unit next week. In this unit, we spend a lot of time learning why people might migrate to different areas. Next, we'll be talking about why families might choose to move to different places and we'll discuss factors that push us out of our countries and pull us into different ones.  I have a few fun simulations that I'll do with the kids that will help us learn more about these concepts as well.

Science: In Science, we just finished up our last part of this unit which focuses on propeller driven vehicles.  Kids had an awesome time making their final designs and testing them!  Our next unit is Moon, Sun and Stars.  We'll be doing a little research along the way and will tie in some fun activities as well.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Week of March 6th

Field Trip: The field trip is fast approaching and will take place on Wednesday, March 15th!  Thank you to all the parent chaperones who volunteered!  We had 11 volunteers so unfortunately, I had to do a drawing and decide who would be able to go on the trip. We will be having lunch at the Rouge Factory that day so your child will need to bring a lunch with disposable containers.  It should be a fun trip and we're all looking forward to it!

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Wednesday, March 15 - Field Trip to the Factory Rouge
  • Friday, March 17 - 1/2 Day: End of Trimester
  • Monday, March 20 - Book Report presentations begin.  Check with your child about what day they were assigned.
  • Friday, March 31 - Spring Break begins at the end of the day :) 
Math: We tested this week on our Measurement unit and I should have those scores for you next week.  The students were allowed to use the conversion notes we took to help them convert larger units to smaller units.  We will be pretesting our Fractions unit Monday and will begin our groups again on Tuesday!  We spend a lot of time on our Fractions unit because the groundwork we lay this year will be very helpful as they move into more difficult concepts in 5th grade.  If there's anything you can do at home to help make fractions more meaningful, please do so!  Cutting up food, talking about what each fraction means and also discussing equivalent fractions will really help a lot!
    
Language Arts:  In Reading, we'll be doing a little more work with perspective and point of view. We'll be examining some more texts and dig deeper into different perspectives and talk about how the story changes depending on what point of view it's written from. I'll be also beginning F and P assessments and doing some more reading assessments to see how we're progressing.

In Writing, we're finishing up our Persuasive unit.  We'll be working on our Informational unit next.  Kids will be choosing a topic they are experts on and writing an informational piece using all the strategies they learn in class.  As we make our way through this unit, we'll focus on using text features and headings to organize our writing effectively.  We will be taking the final drafts to the publishing center to have them bound in hard cover books.  So, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us but we're up for the challenge!

Social Studies: We're just finishing up our lap books in Geography.  We'll be doing some work with latitude/longitude next and then moving into regions of the United States!

Science:  We are "cruising" along in our Motion and Design unit.  The past few lessons have focused on potential and kinetic energy, as well as friction.  The second quiz for this unit was given today. The quiz was similar to the last one because it included matching vocabulary words to the definitions and applying those vocabulary words to different vehicle scenarios. We'll be doing a little more with this unit and then wrapping up in a few weeks.  The field trip will support what we're learning in Science.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Week of February 13th

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Tuesday, February 14th:  Valentine's Day Party 2-3:  Everyone is welcome!  
  • Friday, February 17th:  1/2 Day - Dismissal at 11:40
  • February 20-21:  No School - February Break
  • Wednesday, March 1st:  Reading Logs Due
Book Report:  Book report requirements were handed out on Wednesday and all students should have already selected their books.  Please take a look at the packet that was sent home and send back the contract on Monday.  I've gone over the rubric with the class and the project is worth 100 points. Kids also received their presentation date and have it recorded on their packet and in their agenda. If you have any questions about the project, feel free to email me.  Thanks!

Math:  The algebra tests were placed in Friday folders this week.  We're well into our Measurement unit and it's going well.  We've decided not to switch for Math groups for this unit because it's a shorter unit and we thought it might be easier to keep our own groups with us.  We've been pulling out our math tools to help us understand the Metric System a little better and they seem to help.  Our Think Central logins have some math tools to help with converting some of these units.  I've been using them at home with my third grader and it's really helping!!  Feel free to use this at home as much as needed.  Unfortunately, we don't have much time to use this resource during Math class because we have too much content to cover.

Language Arts:  We're just finishing up book clubs with the class.  In book clubs, the kiddos have done an amazing job discussing their books, making connections, and digging deeper when something doesn't quite fit.  I've loved sitting back and listening to them ask questions and work really hard to answer other questions.  We've been really working hard to find evidence in the text when answering questions.  They amaze me with their great conversations!!  Next week, we'll be getting into Point of View and Theme a bit and then possibly working in another round of book clubs. I'm not sure if I can squeeze it in before our Informational unit, but I'll try!

In Writing, we're chugging right along with our Persuasive unit.  We're currently working on our second piece and others are beginning their third and fourth piece.  Thank you for helping out with this at home as well.  The students are getting much better at supporting their topic sentences and I'm thrilled!  In the next week or so, I'll have them bring home a completed piece for you to take a look at.  Having many sets of eyes on our writing is so important!  During writing time, I'm only able to confer with a handful of students so your feedback is very helpful. :)

Social Studies: In Social Studies, we're continuing to work through our Geography unit.  Our next topics of study are landforms.  This is a review from previous grades so the kids always do really well with this topic.

Science:  Corrected science quizzes are in Friday folders this week.  The kids are loving the Motion and Design unit and picking up so many great skills while testing their vehicles!


Friday, January 27, 2017

Week of January 30

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Friday, January 26th:  1/2 Day - Dismissal at 11:40
  • Wednesday, February 1st:  Reading Logs Due
  • Thursday, February 2nd:  Math Test - Unit 4
  • Wednesday, February 8th:  Lunch With a Loved One
  • Tuesday, February 14th:  Valentine's Day Party - 2:00
  • Friday, February 17th:  1/2 Day - Dismissal at 11:40
  • February 20 and 21: Mid-Winter Break 
Book Reports:  In the next week or so, I'll be going over the expectations for our upcoming book report.  The kids will be selecting a Historical Fiction book and will be responsible for creating a story map, visual and will be presenting it to the class.  They will have a little over a month to work on their project.

Valentine's Day Party: The Valentine's Day Party is fast approaching and will take place on Valentine's Day at 2:00.  Mrs. Erickson has been busy preparing all sorts of amazing activities for the students.  There are still a few more slots to fill up on the Sign Up Genius so if you haven't had a chance to sign up for an item, please consider doing so.  Thanks for all your support with the parties! The kids are already looking forward to it!  I will be sending home a class list in Friday folders this weekend so your child can begin working on their Valentine's Day cards.  We'll be doing the card exchange earlier in the day. It should be a fun filled day for everyone!

IST Groups:  Students are continuing to work in their IST groups on a variety of skills to enhance their reading.  Below, are the highlights of each group: 

Dew: Using non-fiction books and articles to learn main idea and supporting details. 
Holland: Using informational books to conduct research on a topic and prepare a presentation. 
Lindenberg: Using Word Masters to reinforce vocabulary and analogies.
Wright: Using picture books and short fiction stories to analyze characters and infer meaning. 

Math:  Our work with Equations and Word Problems is coming to an end.  The test will take place next week on Thursday, February 2nd.  We will be handing out a study guide to your child study to help your child prepare for the test.  We'll be spending next week reviewing and fine tuning our strategies to make sure we're prepared for the test.  The next unit is on Measurement.  Students will be receiving their next math book and homework book sometime next week.

Language Arts:  We started our book clubs this week and it's going well. The kids are having great conversations about their books!  In addition to nightly reading, kids are currently responding to reading in a packet I have prepared for them.  They are given plenty of time in class to work on their reading response questions and in the evening, they will be reading for their book club that will take place the next day.  We will have book club homework Monday through Thursday.  So, as always, I'll try not to assign homework over the weekends so your child can use their time to catch up on their multiplication facts, reading, and fine tuning their response to reading packet.

In writing, we're plugging right along in our Persuasive unit.  We're nearing the end of our first persuasive piece and will begin our second piece next week. Thank you for giving your child great feedback last week on their persuasive evidence.  It definitely helped! They are definitely getting the hang of the process! In the next few weeks ahead, we'll be writing another piece and soon we'll have one to share with you!  

Social Studies:  We're continuing with our Geography unit in Social Studies.  We just finished an activity titled Where in the World where we talked about where the United States is located in respect to the rest of the world.  Next, we'll review hemispheres, bodies of water, and we'll be also be learning more about land forms.  

Science:  In Science, students continue to work in teams as design engineers.  They are having fun simulating real-work situations and are given design challenges and problem solving opportunities where they use many skills such as I messages, taking turns, and leadership.  There will be a short quiz on Monday, January 30th.  The students  are responsible for knowing 6 vocabulary words as well as applying them to different scenarios.