Mrs. Wright's Fourth Grade Class

Learning and Growing Each Day!

Another Two Weeks FLIES By!

We have been very busy!

I cant believe the first quarter is nearly over! We have been so busy! After finishing our first novel together we have moved on to a unit on nonfiction reading skills. We discussed the elements of nonfiction and began reading nonfiction together. Nonfiction reading is much different for kids than reading a story, novel or passage is. Many students struggle with finding the main ideas of a nonfiction text and really need to slow down and practice the thinking skills needed to fully understand what they are reading. Its also a good time to practice summarizing, note taking and highlighting information needed to answer questions. We practice this a lot in science and VA studies and now are practicing it in reading. We use Scholastic News Magazines to practice reading high interest articles and answering higher level questions. We will also practice with a variety of passages, nonfiction books and online news websites. We will read a whole group novel again in a few weeks (some students are already begging for another!) but in the meantime we will be polishing our nonfiction reading skills in order to continue to type of reading all school year.

In math we have been working on addition, subtraction, estimation and word problems. The students are very good problem solvers overall and Ive been able to really challenge them throughout this unit. We will also revisit all the skills taught in the first nine weeks before the last week of the quarter when the students will take an end of quarter test on our online testing system, Illuminate. The students have done well on each skill taught so I know after some review they will be ready for the end of quarter test! Expect that grade to come home in the blue Friday folder at the end of the month!

VA Studies has begun and is in full swing! Your students know the states that border Virginia, the 5 regions of Virginia, the major bodies of water that border Virginia and the major rivers in the state! Phew! They have been able to practice nonfiction reading skills as well as our VA studies quizzes are all open book in order to practice that very important skill of looking back for answers. By the end of the quarter the students will be able to do some VA studies projects to show what they know! We will wrap up our unit on Virginia soon before revisiting science, but for now we are enjoying our time learning about our state!

In the next few weeks keep looking for those blue Friday folders with grades as the quarter is coming to an end quickly! We have begun online testing in all subjects now and grades are sent in the blue folder on the signature page. Please keep the signature page in the folder. A few friends did return the folder with no signed paper. I have explained to the students how overly verbal I become on the phone and how getting the sheet signed would probably be much easier on them than a phone call home to check in :) though I am always happy to chat about students I am hoping the signature page becomes a habit and is signed weekly to cut down on the calling, messages, emails and such that I will have to send to follow up. Please ask your student for that folder weekly! I will never take that signature sheet out either- if there was no online test it may be blank but wont be absent. So if its not in the folder please ask your student for it! Thanks for helping me keep you informed. Its better than being surprised when report cards come out. As always, please keep checking parent portal so you are fully informed.

From new playground equipment to a special visitor these past two weeks have been great! Your students have really settled into fourth grade. They are becoming a community of learners who work together, share and really listen to one another. They are growing so much and Im so proud of them. The first quarter is really flying by! I cant wait to see what the next quarter brings!

Reading and Math!

During the past few weeks Ive been able to finish up all the fall reading assessments and form reading groups based on reading and comprehension levels. The students are beyond ready to begin reading groups and literature circles! Each group will read a novel on their instructional reading level and practice all the fiction comprehension skills through their novel. Reading groups are so much fun! The kids look forward to them and really learn a lot during their time at the table with me. I am so excited to begin the novels with the students. The yellow group began planning for their group this past week. Each group meets before we choose the novel to "preview" a few books and really get a chance to practice choosing the right book for their group. Although not everyone gets their first choice, we practice finding "good fit" books for our group and attempt to find something that appeals to the group as a whole. The yellow group thought it was best to gather data on the books and really "vote" in order to come up with a first and second place option. They did a great job and ended up with a very interesting book filled with opportunities to think critically! They will be reading Things Not Seen and we cannot wait to begin! Ask your student if their group has chosen a book yet!

In order to really challenge the students in math I have been calling them to the table in small groups and asking them to complete multi-step (difficult) word problems! They have been very committed to their work and are determined to do anything that is considered a "challenge"!

Writing, writing, writing!

Your students have been writing SO much! I am so proud! We have been reading picture books daily to help us brainstorm different ideas for writing. We have also read poems, nonfiction and passages to get ideas and compare authors. The students love to talk about their ideas, try working on writing, and asking other for input! They have been dabbling with a few different writing techniques and next week they will choose one and write their first graded piece. I will use the rubric that Albemarle County asks we use to grade their writing. The rubric addresses many things including- complete sentences, proper grammar, ideas and vocabulary and a well polished piece! These kids are eager and ready to choose their piece for the semester. Ask your student what they are writing!

Music and Specials!

This week the kids practiced playing instruments and singing during music. They do an amazing job and I am always so proud to see them working so hard in music. We are so lucky to have great music teachers here at BBES and fourth grade works so hard with Mrs. Rehorn!

In PE this week your students ran the mile this week! I was so proud to hear that Angelina broke the record for our female runners completing her mile at 6 minute and 13 seconds. Go Angelina!! I am proud of all my students who complete the mile- its not an easy task. I am always very impressed with our PE program. I am coming from a district that offered PE only once a week. The four days/week PE program here in ACPS is rigorous and student centered. Your students work hard, play hard and get a lot of exercise each day! We have had a few conversations about how lucky we are to have that opportunity! Ask your students about their specials at school!! They are an important part of our school day!

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Virginia Studies Partner Work!

Virginia Studies White Board Practice!

Our New Playground!

We are enjoying the new playground equiptment very much! I am seeing happy kids who want to work together, plan games and enjoy their recess time together. I think recess, exercise and outdoor time is very important. I plan to incorporate some outdoor/exercise options into homework choices- some students who make healthy choices a part of their day may find themselves with less homework! Score!

Our day at camp Albemarle!

The students did an incredible job on our field trip! They rotated through five stations focusing on different science, math and language skills while enjoying the great outdoors! They waded in a stream, hiked in the woods, hunted for different items and attempted to communicate in silence in order to experience the woods in a different way! They did a great job!

I did not get to take pictures of them at all their stations because I was teaching sign language but I loved seeing them at my station and found them to be the most pleasant and well behaved students all day :)

We Haven't Forgotten About Our 7 Habits!

Each day we talk about and mention the 7 Habits throughout our day. This week we really focused on one habit in particular. I feel like this group might need to focus on a few of the habits on their own. I know if we do that would really help a lot of our friends at school.

Today I taught a quick lesson on habit #1- Be Proactive. Specifically I want the students to be aware of what it means to be the opposite of proactive- reactive. As a group we really need to work on not being reactive. I used a power point and some real life examples to help the kids identify what it means to be proactive vs. reaction and what that truly looks like. We related it to being a motor boat (proactive, in control of ourselves) or a row boat with no oars (being pushed whichever way the world moves us, not in control) and talked extensively about how to be a "motor boat" at school. Ask your student about the lesson and what they know about being proactive vs. reactive. Everyone could use a reminder but Id like to think that we can work on a few of the things that make school days a bit rougher. We are going to be responsible and in control of our own emotions/attitudes this year!

A Special Visitor!

We were so lucky to be able to connect with the superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools in our very own classroom recently! Dr. Pam Moran began following our adventures on Twitter and noticed that this classroom is filled with amazing students! She asked if she could meet the students and work with them and I (of course!) said an enthusiastic YES! She came to our classroom this past week and got to know the students while reading a book to them and hearing them share their own family stories. She loved working with your students very much. She shared a story about her own mother as well and then tweeted us a photo of her mom the next day! We were so lucky to have her join us! We had a great time!

Parent Conferences

Monday, Oct. 24th, 2:30-6pm

2740 Proffit Road

Charlottesville, VA

If you signed up for a conference for Monday or Wednesday I will see you the week after next!

Parent Conferences

Wednesday, Oct. 26th, 2:45-4pm

2740 Proffit Road

Charlottesville, VA

See you soon!


If you have not signed up for a conference yet please check out up sign up by clicking on the button below! If you would rather email me we can make arrangements to meet at an alternative time! Please contact me ASAP

Reminders and Info...

As always- keep checking those blue folders and parent portal for your students most up to date grades! Also please sign the score sheet in your students blue folder weekly!

Dont Forget Homework!

Fir Your student will take weekly homework home on Mondays and it will be due the following Monday. Please be sure your student reads at least 20 minutes a night and fills out their reading log nightly as well!! Thank you for your help!

Just Some Cuteness From My World to Yours...

Mrs. Wright

Follow my adventures in the classroom on twitter too!

"I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework." Lily Tomlin