The Ritenour Review

2017 - 2018 Fourth Grade Weekly News

ISTEP - The Final Part

Parents and Families,

Next week starts our last round of ISTEP. Students will be testing daily, M-Th, at 8:30 and M-W the following week at 8:30. Your child brought home an envelope of 4 notecards for testing motivation each day (I will take care of motivation for a few days - including day 1) . It really is great to see the smiles on students’ faces while reading even the simplest message from family and or friends - and even pets. It works to break the tension and put kiddos at ease. Thank you for your creativity in supporting your child! Please return notecards with your child as soon as you can.

ISTEP Schedule

Monday 4/16: ELA 1 (again, I will take care of testing motivation for day 1)

Tuesday: ELA 2

Wednesday: ELA 3

Thursday: Math 1 and 2

Monday 4/23: Math 3

Tuesday: Science 1

Wednesday: Science 2

Testing will be completed each day by 10:15. Please help your child get a good night’s rest, eat well, and be present if at all possible on these days. Healthy, no-mess snacks may also be brought to school for testing days.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!!

The Final Stretch

Welcome back from our Spring Break time off. It sounds like many families had some fun adventures over the break. A few also stayed grounded and enjoyed the simplicity of staying home - like myself.

Starting on Monday, the class was refreshed and ready to move forward with our final adventures in Fourth Grade. We have several things to complete before the end of the year, so there will not be a lot of 'down time' in the next six weeks. Yes, you heard that correctly - SIX weeks. Six weeks before these talented humans take their unique skills and personalities to their next journey - middle school.

This week was very normal for our class. This means we had several things throw off our intended schedule, but we adapted with ease. A few fun extras this week included the middle school music team's visit. Each 4th grader was able to meet the teachers and test out different instruments. They are busting at the seams to get to middle school and work with the amazing educators at that level.

This past week:

In math, we are still working at a slower pace to ensure we are fully making sense of our problems. We added word problems with conversions this week and I am seeing a lot of growth. Their mathematical conversations are growing, they are holding each other accountable for the processes and they are identifying common mistakes. Our biggest takeaway from each lesson is to FULLY make sense of the problem. Majority of our errors come from rushing and not fully understanding the problem. They are starting to see how well they can check their work when they fully understand the questions being asked and visualize the problems.

In reading, we spent a HUGE part of the week researching. Yes, the bulk of our researching happened this week, but they will continue to research until the end of our Hoosier project. As adults, we understand that true research project can last for years, so we have been working in class to not say, "I'm done!" We need to always look for more information to support our ideas and claims. Big tips they learned this week in researching a topic:

  • Make a list of sources that you have previewed. Prior to reading deeply, a good researcher gathers sources that could be strong possibilities to push their thinking deeper.

  • Throughout their sources they should also preview for common subtopics coming up consistently. This can be a beautiful guide to drive our research further. We looked at the American Revolution as a whole and we consistently saw the following subtopics: Boston Massacre, Taxes, England, Paul Revere. As we see the same concepts and ideas being repeated in multiple texts, we build confidence in knowing we are going down potentially helpful paths.

  • As they collect multiple sources (websites, interviews, videos, books) they should order them from easiest to hardest. We start with the easier material first, build a foundation of knowledge and then we can attack the harder information using our prior knowledge. This is a great time to synthesize the high level reads with our base knowledge we gained initially.

Coming up next!

  • Math: We will work with data analysis in different ways. We will use our plants/environment unit to assist with some of the data we will be collecting.

  • Reading: We will continue our Hoosier project - some more researching. Encourage nightly reading at home to include researching, too.

  • Science: We will kick off our Environment unit. Mealworms are being shipped on Monday, so we will start observations later in the week. Hilariously, I initially had the mealworms shipping to the wrong address. Talk about an interesting package you could open by mistake. All is well and I have corrected the shipping address. The class had a great laugh at my expense on this error.

  • Writing: We will dive into our research writing this week. Our goal is to have our rough drafts completed this week, so we can correct and revise over the following two weeks.

Special's Schedule

  • Monday: STEM
  • Tuesday: Music
  • Wednesday: Art
  • Thursday: Wellness **bring/wear tennis shoes
  • Friday: Library

Upcoming Dates!

April 16th - May 4th - ISTEP+ Testing window (Part 2- multiple choice) - 3rd/4th grades

April 20th - Spirit Day (80's)

May 1st - 4th grade field trip to IN State House & Landmarks Tour

May 9th - Bike to School Day (more info to come)

May 10th - Hoosier Heritage Projects (4th grade) & Boone Meadow Voices concert

May 11th - Boone Meadow Voices - school performance for students (AM) & field trip (PM); Spirit Day: Freaky Friday

May 18th - Spring Eagle Rec sessions end

May 18th - Field Day

May 21st - Raindate Field Day

May 24th - 4th grade Celebration - more info to come

May 25th - Last Day for Students

PLEASE mark your calendars for May 25th as our make-up day due to the 1/12/18 inclement weather cancellation.