Saturday, January 12, 2013

Things Happening This Week

So this week we have been working diligently on our Colonial simulation. Students have been placed into groups and have completed their first assignment. Each assignment will eventually help students in the decisions they will make during the simulation. During these assignments, student learn the reasons why people left Europe to colonize, what life was like on the ships and in the colonies, and what geographical locations for best for colonizing. These assignments are important because they help determine what are called "wealth points." These wealth points are translated to money that each colony will use to supply their ships for their trip to the New World. I will try to post pictures this week.

We also worked for the first time with our reading buddies from Mrs. Klosterman's class. I can't tell you enough how proud I am of these kids. They took their job of working alongside less experienced readers very serious. They understood they were there to model good reading and to work alongside their buddy. At the end of our time together, Mrs. Klosterman or I usually do a read aloud followed by some kind of discussion of the book we read. Once again, these kids did a great job of modeling, specifically how good readers talk about books.

A couple of important things to remember:

  • Curriculum Night is Thursday, January 31 from 7:00 - 7:45 pm.
  • Friday, February 15 is Student Led Conferences for the entire school. Sign up sheets for all teachers are available inside the school beginning Monday. Make sure you sign up early so you can get a time that is convenient.

Scholastic Book Order

I put together a Scholastic Book Clubs book order for January and will be sending out order forms on Monday. To place an order, you can click on the Scholastic Book banner to the right. That should automatically take you to the Scholastic website. Order will be due on Wednesday, January 23. Our class activation code is GPY4P. Thanks!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Concert

Here is another photo from the 4th grade music performance.

Christmas Concert

I forgot to post these photos of you children from their music performance.

Welcome Back

Hi everyone! I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas break. My family just got back from visiting relatives in California about a week ago and I still feel like I haven't got over the time change. It also doesn't help I caught some kind of bug the last day of my trip.

I do want to remind everyone to take a look at Center Connections. On February 15th, we are having all day Student-Led Conferences. These student-led conferences are put together by your children as they articulate what they have learned this year so far and their goals for learning for the remainder of the school year. We will begin working on preparing for these conferences in the next few weeks. At that time, I will send out sign up sheets for times.


  • In math, we have begun working on decimals. The concept of decimals has been tricky as students try to connect their new understanding of decimals to their prior knowledge of fraction. Students are beginning to learn that .3 is the same thing as 3/10 thus helping them make links between decimals and fraction. This week we are focusing on comparing decimals and ordering them.
  • In social studies, we just finished creating time lines of the information we have collected so far this year. We are using a website called Tiki-toki that lets us create beautiful time lines using photos, videos, and links. Since these are completed, we are moving into the colonization of what will eventually become the 13 colonies. I will begin reading one of my favorite read alouds called Blood on the River which is the story of the founding of Jamestown. 
  • In reading, we will take a more in-depth look at non-fiction including types of non-fiction sources and the graphic features non-fiction often uses to share information such as graphs, charts, captions, headings, etc.
  • In writing, we will continue to practice writing in paragraph form using indention, organized sentence structure, correct spelling and grammar, etc.
  • In science, we have finished looking at weather and will begin exploring how to collect weather data. This will lead us into our inquiry into climate change.
I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful gifts you showered me at Christmas time. Your support has been so tremendous and I am very thankful to work with such a great bunch of parents.

Also, Ms. Victoria will be our new MAT this year. She will join us as a full time MAT when USC returns to school next. Next time you stop by, please introduce yourself.