Grade 4 News

Newsletter #1: Sharing the Planet

UOI #2 Sharing the Planet

Transdisciplinary Theme:

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution

Central idea: Different strategies can be used to resolve conflict and maintain peace.

Key concepts: causation, function, responsibility

Related concepts: peace, conflict, cooperation, history

Lines of inquiry:

  • Causes of conflict [causation]
  • Strategies to maintain peace [function]
  • Strategies to resolve conflict [function]
  • How peace and conflict affect us [responsibility]

What Are We Learning This Unit?

Peace and Conflict

We will be exploring conflict on different levels. First, we'll look at it from a personal level, asking ourselves why we get into disagreements. Then we'll widen the lens and explore conflicts as they happen globally both current and past events. We'll be looking closely at certain instances of major conflicts in U.S. history and explore some of the unrest happening around the world today. Next, we'll look at ways of maintaining peace and learn about conflict resolution. Finally, we will look at how we are affected by both peace and conflict.

During this first week, we had our provocation activities. we did a great job making connections between all the clues. We read the book Enemy Pie by Derek Munson, about a young boy who has a conflict with a classmate and how he resolves his problem. We watched a video about the conflict between white settlers and the native Americans over the destruction of the buffalo herd in the Great Plains during the 1800s. We also experienced the mysterious ransacking of the classroom and talked about how we reacted until we found out who did it. Finally, we played a Breakout game, where two teams were each given a box with several different kinds of locks. Using clues around the room, they had to figure out how to open the locks to get to the final clue about the central idea. The game revealed a lot about how important it is to LISTEN to everyone in your group, working out a strategy ahead of time, and delegating tasks when working as a team. One team worked noticeably better than the other, but both teams learned valuable lessons from that. It was intense and exhausting, but everyone had an awesome time and really want to do a Breakout game again!


We have worked our way through place value and now are applying it to the four operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. During this time we will be working on the following:

  • fluently adding and subtracting multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm
  • solving multistep word problems with whole numbers using the four operations
  • representing problems using equations with a letter standing for an unknown quantity (variables)
  • assessing the reasonableness of answers using mental math and rounding
  • multiplying or dividing to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison
  • gaining familiarity with factors and multiples
  • identifying whether a number is a prime or composite
  • applying the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems
  • multiplying a four-digit number by a one-digit whole number and multiplying two two-digit numbers
  • finding whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors

English Language Arts

We are continuing on doing Daily 5 during our ELA time. We have been learning about developing our ideas when we are writing. We are practicing this by writing our own non-violent stories about revenge, inspired by the book Enemy Pie. We've also learned about inferences and how to combine our background knowledge, aka schema, with evidence from within the text to draw conclusions. We will continue to develop our reading and writing skills during this UOI.



  • Learn the ordinal numbers from 11th to 20th.
  • Describe the things around us (هذا باب- هذه حديقة – هذا بيت).
  • Grammar:

- Learn the signs of the nouns.

- Learn the أسماء الإشارة.


  • Reading: Read the second half of the first Juzaa.
  • Memorize & Understand the meaning of Surat At-Tawba (11-12), which is talking about صلح الحديبية.
  • Tajweed: The articulation points of the Alphabets.

Islamic Studies:

  • The benefits from praying in Jama’aha.
  • The Sunnah prayer.
  • Review the life of prophet Muhammad from birth to marriage from Khadija.
  • Hudaibiyah Alliance (صلح الحديبية).

Visual Arts

Art experiences

  • Recycled book paper collage artwork.
  • Experimenting with space and emphasis.
  • Creative process.

Targeted MSDE Standards

1.0 Perceiving and Responding: Aesthetic Education – Students will demonstrate the ability to perceive, interpret, and respond to ideas, experiences, and the environment through visual art.

2. Identify and compare ways in which selected artworks represent what people see, know, feel, and imagine

2.0 Historical, Cultural, and Social Context: Students will demonstrate an understanding of visual art as an essential aspect of history and human experience.

2. Explain differences between and among historical, social, or cultural reasons for creating and using art, by studying artworks and other sources of information

a. Identify technologies, processes, and materials used to create visual art

b. Describe the origins of selected technologies, processes, and materials used in the visual arts

Other News and Notes

Field Trip

Insha Allah, there is a plan to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. in the works. This is a beautiful museum that I really enjoyed visiting last year. It is full of artifacts and different exhibits that paint a vivid picture of the struggle of indigenous peoples. I'm excited to share the experience with the students this year. I will be sending out more information in the coming days once the plan is solidified, insha Allah.

Scholastic Book Club

Every month I will be sending home a flyer from Scholastic with tons of wonderful books for you to choose from. Each book order earns free points with which I am able to select more books for our classroom library. In October, our class library grew by ten books from the points earned from orders. The books are very reasonably priced and some are as low as a dollar. I sent an email a few weeks with instructions on placing orders along with our class code. If you choose to order books, please note that as a general deadline, I process the orders by the middle of each month.


As you know, we have Salat-ad-Duhr every Monday-Thursday. All grade levels are assigned a ten-minute time frame during the day to make wudu. To save time, we are asking that all students make a fresh wudu at home where they wash their feet and then wear socks to school. This way, at school, they can simply wipe over their socks during wudu to save A LOT of time. Please remind your child to wash their feet in the morning and then wear socks. Thank you and Jazakumallahu khairun!