November Newsletter

What's Going on in 4-2?

Reading

We just finished up a unit on the reading strategy of summarize. Kids should be summarizing experts at this point! You can continue to ask summarizing questions to the kids about books they are reading at home, articles, or even TV shows and movies. Any practice is always helpful!


I plan on starting out December with a focus on Questions. We'll be working on developing questions to help kids understand their reading even more. Kids will be given a new nonfiction book to enjoy in small groups (groups will be shaken up a bit) and several questioning activities to go along with it. Soon after I'd like to begin some fiction groups where we will work on the same strategy. Please be sure to check in with your student about which book their reading and what it’s about!


You can encourage the questioning strategy in kids' reading at home by asking about their 20 minutes of reading books. Questions that will be helpful include: Was there anything a character did that was confusing to you? Were you surprised by anything that happened in your reading tonight? Was there something that happened in your book that you would have handled differently than the character. Please be sure to check in with your student about which book their reading (if you don’t already know) and what it’s about!


Informal book reports have been going quite well! Each Friday, the students are given an opportunity to present a booktalk on a book they have finished independently. The goal for second quarter is to read 5 books and to report on each of them. Students have the option of writing a quick report, (You may use the graphic organizer on our classroom website, or submitting a Booktalk.)


Reminder: Students should be reading a minimum of 20 minutes per night. Reading aloud to your child is always encouraged too! Reading each night is so important to your child’s growth, please don’t “back burner” this!

MATH

4-2 just began working on fractions. We will be talking a lot about equivalent fractions and the rule for finding equivalent fractions. Feel free to test your child at home…give them a fraction like 2/6 and see if they can come up with ten equivalent fractions for it! Now that they are becoming times tables masters, many should be able to do this mentally.


We have been working hard as a class on learning the times tables. Once students have completed the quizzes up to 10, they will be given "mixed quizzes" to complete. For mixed quizzes students are given 95 mixed multiplication problems to complete in 4 minutes. Their goal is to complete more correctly each day than the day before. We are going to continue with these quizzes at least until the holiday break. It is crucial to your child’s math career that they learn and memorize the times tables!! I can’t stress this enough. Please help your child by quizzing them at home.

Hints on reviewing times tables with your child:

· Post the times tables on your bathroom mirror. Encourage kids to study while brushing their teeth.

· Quiz your child in the car.

· Quiz your child while you’re cooking dinner.

· Give a timed test before TV time.

Science and Social Studies

In Science we are just about wrapping up out investigation on ecosystems and food webs. I hope you've heard a lot about it and some of the simulations we've done in class. I think the kids have really enjoyed them!


We will be moving forward in Science and extending our knowledge of environments. We will be observing how organisms have a range of tolerance for environmental factors. Within these ranges there are optimum conditions that produce maximum reproduction and growth. We will be testing brine shrimp and plants for these such optimum conditions, and watching the results closely!


In addition... we will be beginning our year-long study of the states, starting with the Northeast region. Kids will be expected to be able to locate the states on a map, be able to spell the state names and recognize the capitals. Obviously, we will be chunking the states, so they will not have all 50 at once!! With each region kids will be working on a project. Most of this will be done in class. You will definitely hear more about these project as the year passes!


I will be asking students to bring in any pictures they may have from their travels around the states to add to our bulletin board. (You will get these back).

Writing

Recently we began focusing on run-on sentences and conjunctions. When kids can identify run-ons in their writing, you start to really see changes quickly! Please ask the kids about but-head sentences.


In class the past few weeks we spoke a lot about VOICE, writing with personality. This is the start of out Narrative Writing. Kids love this unit; it is the most personal! We will start off with some poetry very soon! You should be hearing a lot about this!!


I’m very excited to watch this group of young writers grow!

Extra

I have signed the kids up with raz-kids accounts! The teacher username is jgeary5. They can absolutely use this at home! Kids can also use XtraMath to work on their multiplication facts.



Please check in with how your child's mouse pad is working. Mice make great stocking stuffers! (earbuds too!!)


If you're interested in book orders, I'll extend the time to WEDNESDAY, December 2. Please order online! (again, great stocking stuffers!!) The class code is K2GFX.

Acts of Kindness!

Starting tomorrow, we will be completing 4-2's second annual 1,000 Acts of Kindness!


Our goal as a class is to complete 1,000 acts of kindness by 12/23. We did the math and that is 2-3 acts of kindness a day per kid.


The students are aware that doing what they are told is NOT an act of kindness, but clearing the dishes without being asked, helping a sibling with homework, bringing in the groceries without being asked IS an act of kindness. The acts do not have to be a big thing, I just want to bring attention to the good that the kids do and are capable of doing on a daily basis.


Kids will be recording their acts in their planners. I hope you enjoy this activity as much as I do!!

Thanks for your help, and as always, you know how to reach me!!


Julie