News from 4th grade

Week of 10/10 - 10/14

News at a Glance

  • Picture Day is this Tuesday!
  • Wednesday, 10/19 is Unity Day: Wear orange to show you're united in standing up against bullying.
  • 10/24 - 10/28 is Red Ribbon Week
  • Our Fall celebration party will be on Friday, 10/28 from 2:15-3:15.
  • Toby had a great first week in 4th grade!
  • Nightly math homework is now going home. Homework is given out Monday and due on Friday. There is no homework over the weekend.

What We're Learning This Week

Journeys: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Next cycle we'll talk about classic stories and ask the question, "How are performances similar to and different from written stories?" We'll be reading a scene from the playInvasion from Mars. Our focus for this story will be telling the setting, character and events (story structure); and inferring vs. predicting (using clues to figure out what isn't directly stated).

  • Spelling (long and short u sounds using u, yoo and oo): bunch, fruit, argue, crumb, crew, tune, juice, refuse, truth, young, clue, trunk, amuse, suit, rude, trust, dew, stuck, rescue, brush
  • Vocabulary: alarmed, reacted, convey, daring, awe, luminous, indescribable, extraordinary, fade, conferring
  • Vocabulary Strategy: Suffixed -y, -ous (meaning "full of")

How can I help at home?

  • Give your child a practice spelling test
  • Ask them to use our vocab words in a sentence or describe their meaning
  • Give them examples of how the suffix -y and -ous would change the meaning of a word

Journey's: Thursday and Friday

Next cycle, we'll discuss how movies are a form of communication. We're going to read the information text, Coming Distractions: Questioning Movies, about the methods film makers use to express ideas and influence an audience. We'll also read How Do They Do That?, an informational text about the use of special effects in movies.

Spelling (vowel sounds, o): bloom, cookbook, tool, shampoo, put, wool, stool, proof, prove, group, brook, foolish, bush, crooked, booth, raccoon, hook, groom, roof, soup

Vocabulary: entertaining, critics, promote, target, focus, thrilling, advertise, angles, jolts, generated

Grammar: Verb tenses

Vocabulary Strategies: Greek and Latin word parts: phon, photo, graph, auto, tele


Order of Operations:

This week we started to learn and practice the follow rules of the order of operations:

  • If an expression only involves addition, we can add it any order (communtative)
  • If an expression only involves subtraction, we subtract from left to right
  • If an expression involves both addition and subtraction, we add and subtract from left to right.
  • If it only involves multiplication we can multiply in any order
  • If it only involves division you divide from left to right.
  • If it involves multiplication and division, you work from left to right
  • If it involves all 4 operations, we do (P. E.)M.D.A.S.-multiplication/division, then addition/subtraction.

Reflex Math:

This week we began using Reflex Math during our math rotations. Reflex math is an online computer program that teaches students their fact families and improves their fluency. I started all the students on addition and subtraction (we have been struggling with this fluency with our word problems) and when they "test out" and have 100% fluency, I will move them to multiplication and division. If they do not test out by Winter Break, I will move everyone to multiplication and division. The goal of this program is to improve the students fluency enough that they have more room in their working memory for higher-level thinking skills when it comes to multi-step math problems.

If you

Practice at home!!!

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Fluency Quizzes:

Students receive flashcard facts for the cycle in their take home folder. They are printed on colored paper so they can use them at home for practice. Each week's quiz is cumulative. This cycle, we will have 0-6 multiplication facts. They have 2 minutes to complete 50 questions. Please continue to study your facts at home!


Our new class pet, Toby, had a great first week with our class! He let everyone hold him and has been adjusting well to the noise level and amount of children. We are very proud of him and excited to have him in our classroom!

If you would like to help take care of Toby, he can eat many fruits and vegetables! He also eats protein that I purchase at Petsmart or PetCo. We would greatly appreciate any coupons or gift cards you could donate to our classroom.

Finally, if you are interested in taking care of Toby during Christmas break, please let me know. He is fine to be alone up to 3 days, however, I will be in Canada for Christmas and will be gone for more than 3 days.

Picture Day

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 8am

600 South Lingle Avenue

Palmyra, PA


Many parents have been asking about homework. Here is what weekly/daily homework looks like in our classroom:


  • Fluency quizzes on multiplication facts are every Day 5. Practice flashcards for new fact families are sent home on colored paper on Day 1 in the take home folder. Quizzes are cumulative. This week, we are up to 0-6 facts.
  • Weekly homework sheets are now sent home on Mondays and due on Fridays. There is a designated column for Monday-Thursday, but I only go over it on Fridays. As long as it completed by Friday it does not matter which day you do what column.
  • Doing reflex at home is encouraged, but not required.


  • New spelling words are glued into the planner on Day 1, with a Spelling Test on Day 5. The students get their Spelling Bingo sheet on Day 1 and are expected to turn it the following Day 1. If they complete one per day then they are on track. They only have to do a bingo choice for homework if they did not finish it in class.
  • Spelling tests are every cycle Day 5


  • Students have a goal of reading 5 books by November 11 (end of the first trimester). I require them to read at least 8 pages a night. However, if they only read 8 pages a night, they probably won't finish 5 books. We talk about how sometimes you need to read during early finish time or reading groups during school or extra pages at home in order to achieve their goal.
  • The students need to write a summary for every 8 pages they read on their summary sheets.
  • This is a homework grade, and very important for building their reading fluency and comprehension.