Fourth Grade, 2014-2015

Fourth Grade, 2014-2015

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21, 2014

Welcome to a new school year! I'm really excited about this class and can already tell we'll have a great time learning together. We've spent the first few days discussing rules and procedures, checking out books from the library, and setting goals. Next week, we'll start the units in all our different subject areas. We'll be talking about place value in math, reading comprehension strategies, how to use a writer's notebook, how to conduct an experiment, and the different regions of the United States. We'll start having nightly homework next week, and I'll send responsibility reports home on Friday, August 29.

Next week is also Back to School Night! It begins at 6:00, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there. I'll go over our curriculum and my expectations in more detail then.

Our Mass days are moving to Tuesdays this year for grades 1-4. We'll be leading the Mass on September 2 at 8:30. Family members are always welcome to join us.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Recommend Books on Padlet

I love reading all the responses people have left about books! Since it seems like some people are checking back regularly, I thought it would be fun to share some of the books you've been reading this summer and would recommend to others.

I've created a padlet wall where we can share our recommendations, which you can see below. You can click on the picture below and add things to that, or go to the link here. To add something, just double click anywhere on the sky where there's not a note already. Write your name, and the title, author, and a quick description of a book you're reading. You can add pictures, too. If you can figure it out on your own (or with a parent's help), go ahead and add a picture of the cover! Otherwise, we'll talk about how to do this once school begins.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer 2014 Reading: Fantasy

Welcome to our new fourth graders! This year for our summer reading, instead of doing a written report, you have the option of participating in a discussion online. I hope this will let us all see and respond to each other's thoughts about the book.

As a reminder, you need to begin each comment with the book you read, and should write your first name only under "Comment As." You should then write down the number of the questions you are answering, followed by your answer. Later on, you should check back and respond to another student's comment.

For your fantasy book, you need to answer two of the following questions:

1. Who is the main character and how would you describe them? Are they like you at all? Why or why not?

2. What do you think are the three most important things that happen in this book? Why are these the most important?

3. What in this book happens that makes it a fantasy? List at least two things, and be specific.

4. Is the "world" that the author created one that you would like to live in? Why or why not?

Summer Reading 2014: Realistic Fiction

Welcome to our new fourth graders! This year for our summer reading, instead of doing a written report, you have the option of participating in a discussion online. I hope this will let us all see and respond to each other's thoughts about the book.

As a reminder, you need to begin each comment with the book you read, and should write your first name only under "Comment As." You should then write down the number of the questions you are answering, followed by your answer. Later on, you should check back and respond to another student's comment.

For your realistic fiction book by Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume, you need to answer two of the following questions:

1. Who is the main character and how would you describe them? Are they like you at all? Why or why not?

2. What do you think are the three most important things that happen in this book? Why are these the most important?

3. Do you think that this book could really happen in your school, family, or neighborhood? Why or why not?

4. If you could change something about the book, what would you change? (Do not write down "nothing" as your answer!)

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6, 2014

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for helping to make this a great year! I've really enjoyed this class's energy and enthusiasm for learning. They are great performers, readers, and thinkers. I'm sure they'll be fantastic middle schoolers now!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3. 2014

I can't believe it's almost the end of the year! Among the fun things we are doing to wrap everything up is Humboldt Park Day with the rest of the middle school. Unfortunately, since there is 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms tomorrow, we are going to reschedule this day for this Thursday. All students who had originally planned on being dropped off will now be walking over after Mass on Thursday. Otherwise, all the plans will stay the same, just moved over a day!

We're also going to be going to the Nature Museum on Friday, finishing up our ABC countdown with our division, and reflecting on the past year. Students will be receiving their summer math packet and reading packets later on this week. These will be due to their middle school teachers when classes resume in August.

Below, you can see pictures of students' state projects (they did a great job) and Mr. Lindo showing the students a flame tube, which he brought in to show them how sound is a wave.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014



Above, you can see pictures of all the great science things we've been doing lately, including the science fair experiments and students' circuit rooms! Now, we've moved on to learning about heat, light, and sound. We've experimented with tuning fork, made sound sandwiches, and created our own instruments. We'll learn more about light this week and next, and I expect the test to be on June 2.

Since it's the end of the year, we're wrapping up several units, which means there are other upcoming tests. The math test on multiplying two digit numbers is tomorrow, and our social studies test on the Midwest will be on Friday, June 30. Students are also going to be presenting their projects this Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. They signed up for a specific day last week, so everyone should know when they are going to share.

The students' research papers are turning out really well! I've been excited to see all the facts they've learned and how well they've organized their papers. We'll type them up in computer class next week and create a cover page and bibliography for them. They will be very professional looking!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

We've been very busy with science lately! This week was the science fair, and the students' projects look great. I've had many compliments from other teachers about how professional and interesting the projects look. So far, we've shared them with the third and fifth graders, and each other. The students gave fantastic presentations, and I could tell that they had learned a lot. We also had students share their circuit rooms yesterday. Everyone came up with different ways to use the light bulbs and switches, and I think we have lots of future engineers here! Next week, we'll begin studying different forms of energy: heat, light, and sound.

In math, we're working on multiplying by two digit numbers. We're going to do a lot of practice this week and next, and I expect the test to be sometime the week of May 19. In reading, the students are reading The Bad Beginning, the first in a series of 13 books. I told students that I have all the books in the series and if they finish one, they are welcome to borrow the next. Some of them are racing through the books! While we read, we're discussing protagonists and antagonists, how to infer character's thoughts, and the theme and tone of the book.

The students have been doing a great job with their five paragraph essays! Next week, we'll begin working on a research paper. I'm going to bring in lots of books about animals, but I know some students would like to research a different topic. If they'd like, they can bring in at least three books about a person, place, or invention and use that as their research topic. These books should be brought in by Monday.

May is definitely a busy month, and we have some important dates coming up. Next week, on Wednesday, is the walk-a-thon. Everyone will participate, even if the students are not doing it as a fundraiser. It is gym uniform that day, since we will be outside in the park. At the end of the month, on May 28, is the awards ceremony where we will be giving out the peacemaker and effort awards. Each class will also perform a song, and we'll have work on display from all the classrooms.

Finally, we've started our ABC countdown! Each of the last 26 days of school has a letter, ending with Z on June 11. Yesterday was bubble gum day, today is carrots, and tomorrow will be a free dress down.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014



I haven't posted pictures in a while, so there are a lot to share! Above, you can see the students creating water filters and electric circuits, at the Museum of Science and Industry, performing in our play, and working on an art project.

The students did a fantastic job at our play! I've had many compliments from people about their wonderful performance. I had a lot of fun directing, and I hope everyone enjoyed watching, too.

We're doing a lot of fun projects right now! In math, students were given a budget of $100.00, then looked through catalogues for things they could buy. They had to buy at least seven things, and the total amount needed to be at least $95.25. They practiced adding and subtracting with decimals to make sure that they spent all their money and stayed within their budget. In reading, students are using the iPads to make book trailers for their literature circle novels. I'm really excited to see how they turn out! When we get back from break, students will become electricians and design a circuit for a shoe box room. If anyone has any extra shoe boxes, please send them in with the students.

We also started working on five paragraph essays this week, which we will be working on until almost the end of the year. The first one that students are writing is going to be about why they like Chicago. There will be homework over spring break, and part of it will be to finish this essay. They will also have a math packet, and they should be working on their science fair experiments which are due May 5.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dig It!





Hope to see everyone tonight!