Rooney & Hassman's Tribune

Week of Dec 7- Dec 11

Hot Cocoa Mug Exchange 12-23-15

In celebration of winter fun and outdoor adventures, (and the return to colder temps??),

we are going to have a mug exchange between Hassman's and Rooney's classes.

How does it work?

Bring a new mug, gift wrapped by Wed, 12/23. No labels needed.

On Wed, 12/23, students who brought a mug exchange with another student.

Mugs will be washed and used for a hot cocoa treat, while enjoying some winter activities.

What else?

In celebration of winter arriving, feel free to send a healthy snack with your child on Wed, 12/23. Please see the sign-up genius link here:

Any questions, please contact Mrs. Rooney or Mrs. Hassman.

News, reminders, and more!

Hour of Code

Be sure to ask your student about the hour of code that they participated in on Friday! If students would like to continue their work on coding, they can go to at any time!

Next week, a number of fourth graders have volunteered to assist some K5 classes in their Hour of Code. For those students not volunteering, they will continue to explore new areas of coding.

Domino Effect Lesson (Guidance lesson from Mrs. Farrow)

The objective of the lesson is to observe how one affects others with word choice or behavior so one can choose to make any personal changes so that others view one as a respectful person.

This lesson comes at a good point in the school year. It's a busy time of year. Many of us are chasing around, preparing for holidays, company, and so much more. Our stress as adults does impact those around us, including our children. We need to be mindful of how our actions can affect those around us -- an idea that we have talked to the fourth grade students about on a number of occasions.

Just this week, we've experienced some difficulties with behaviors that we have not been seeing since the start of the school year. There is a lot of excitement in the air, but again with this time of year also comes anxieties, stress, and many questions. Often times students "show" their emotions through behaviors that might not be typical-for example acting out, talking back, lacking normal self-control.

Mrs. Farrow talks about our "Amelia Bedelia" (our adrenal glands) and how we physically act when we choose to get angry, or how we feel when the gland kicks in and we are quickly frustrated. In order to have students grow socially and understand that our behavior may kick in someone else's "Amelia Bedelia", it's good to get feedback from someone else's point of view.

Mrs. Farrow would like a parent/guardian to write a short note, or email, explaining your thoughts and feelings as to how you react when: a) you have been teased by a person of your own age and b) your child tells you they have been teased by someone their own age. If you could do this by Wednesday this week, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

Report Cards

Report card glitches should be fixed. You should be able to see grades and comments for all subjects! Please be sure to log in to see your student's grade for Terms 1 and 2.

Thank you!

Many thanks to all those who were able to donate to the Christmas Clearing Council student council drive!

Read to Succeed

Students in both sections received papers on Friday for the Six Flags Read to Succeed program. If students wish to earn one free admission ticket, they need to read and log 6 hours (360 minutes) of reading between now and Feb. 19, 2016. They have a student reading log in which to do this. Logs must be returned no later than Feb. 19, 2016. Late submissions will not receive their free admission ticket.

Goal setting

MAPs goal setting --These are sites developed with direct links to skill practice related to MAPs testing.

Mid-year MAPs testing will take place in January.



What is going on next week?

The week's schedule:

Monday, 12/14- Day 1 (Hassman-- Art), (Rooney-- PE)

Tuesday, 12/15- Day 2 (Hassman --Music and Spanish ), (Rooney - PE and Spanish)

Wednesday, 12/16-- Day 3 (Hassman -- Spanish and PE), (Rooney -- Art, Library)

Thursday, 12/17-- Day 4 (Hassman -- PE, library), (Rooney -- Music)

Friday, 12/18---- Day 5 (Hassman -- Music and PE), (Rooney -- Spanish, Music)

What's Going on in Fourth Grade?

Math: Students have been working on long division. One method, that is similar to the traditional method in which we use, is called the partial quotients method, or "chunking" method. A video of this strategy can be found here! Today, students were exposed to the area model in division. Once again, we had some students who were more successful with the "chunking" method, while others though the area model made more sense to them. We continue to reiterate that this is why we expose them to different strategies-- because our brains all work differently!

We’d like to share with you some important ideas about this unit:

  • We spent a great deal of time on the multiplication unit. Students need to see the (inverse) relationship between multiplication and division.

  • Multiplication and division math fact fluency is a vital tool for efficiency in future division, measurement, and fraction success.

  • We will work mostly on concrete methods so that our students can truly understand the process of what division means rather than just memorizing a procedure. This does not mean that students will not eventually learn traditional methods of long division; it simply means that they will learn additional methods when appropriate for them.

Reading & Writing:

We spent time this week looking at the differences between reading fiction and nonfiction texts.

Ask your child about:

What is the difference between "reading like you're at the dentist's office" and "reading like you want to get smarter"? When and why would we choose to read like this?

What are some examples of text features that we encounter when reading nonfiction? (maps, graphs, headings, bold words, glossary, table of contents, etc)

What are text structures and how can we use them to write nonfiction?

(these are styles or techniques of writing, such as using compare/contrast, cause/effect, sequence, description, problem/solution).

This week students also looked to set goals for Term 3 in Reading, Writing, and Success Skills.


Grammar -- application of "no excuse" skills: capital letters to begin a sentence, ending punctuation, capitalization of proper nouns.

New skills: run-on sentences and using commas.

Unit 5 Spelling work -- will be assigned Monday this week

Spelling test and work due -- Rooney class -Tues, Dec. 22nd; Hassman class-Tuesday, Dec. 22nd

Spelling Challenge words--- phon, phone (means sound)

Greek/Latin roots sites

These spelling challenge words are also a great way for students to build vocabulary. Many readers have decided that this is a personal goal for them over the next 6 weeks.

If you wanted to view any of the videos we've used in class, join our LA section. Go to and click on the "join a class" link. Use the code 6CRGP3.

You will need to create a username and password.

Report Cards

Term 2 is the first term in which students will receive grades for all academic areas, and grades for success skills. You will see an overall grade for many of the academic areas, as well as grades for skill specific areas within the content area.

Fourth grade is a year in which we are asking students to be deeper thinkers; to go beyond literal meanings and interpretations. Students are asked to provide reasons and evidence to support their reasoning and thinking in Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies, etc. This is a much more difficult set of skills and it make take some students more time and practice to become consistent and successful independently.

While grades are a snapshot of performance at one given point in time, they also represent growth in skills over time (throughout the term). Grades take into account understanding of skills, but more importantly the application of a skill in daily work.

There are many areas where skills will be assessed throughout the year, for example computation in Math. Students may have a 3 on the report card now for addition and subtraction computation skills, but for term 3 may have a 2 on the report card because the computation skills are focused on multiplication and division, and the student may be needing additional practice time and support.

A grade of 3 is meeting expectations for the grade level skill, consistently and independently. These are the two key words we've stressed with students. A score of a 2 means that students are able to show some understanding of the skill or expectation; however, they are still needing some support to show independence and consistency. Students are looking at a grade of a 2 as an opportunity for goal setting and an area to work on to show continued growth and improvement.

Why is it important to read and think about your reading each day?

As we started nonfiction this week, we looked at some real statistics for both classes.

1,540 minutes is the expected number of reading minutes for 11 weeks.

(65% average turn in rate for bookmarks Rooney's class; 85% average turn in rate for Hassman's class)

A total of 16 reading journal entries were to be completed by 11/19.

Who will improve their reading the most?

Student A read 224 minutes in 11 weeks and wrote one sentence for each journal entry (equivalent of about 3.7 hrs of reading total) *same student's reading assessment score = 1

Student B read 1520 minutes in 11 weeks and wrote 2-3 detailed sentences for each journal entry (about 25 hrs total) *assessment score = 2

Student C read 0 recorded minutes in 11 weeks and only had 2 journal entries completed by the turn in date. *assessment score = 1

Student D read 2,297 minutes in 11 weeks and had detailed journal entries that focused on reading strategies like inferencing, predictions, making connections, and questioning. (about 38 hrs total) *scored 3s, 3.5, and 4s on the final reading assessment

Reading "home" notebooks

Next "check up" dates (please be sure notebooks are returned to school on these dates).

Students should have a minimum of 12 additional journal entries by this next due date. (This would make a total of sixteen if you include the first group of six the students did.)

Rooney section -- next check in Monday, February 22nd

Hassman section -- next check in Monday, February 22nd

Expectation for these red, home, Reading notebooks/journals:

*2-3 entries per week

*2-3 sentences for each entry

*Entries can focus on our Reading strategies -- making predictions, identifying character traits, making connections (text-text, text-self), etc. Each student should have a set of questions they can also use if they get stuck trying to figure out what to write about. Details and journal sample questions here: