Fun in Fourth Grade

A Newsletter About Our Fantastic 4th Grade "Chastain-ians"

Hi families,

I hope all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving with your families. In less then two weeks, we will be off for winter break as well. (Can you believe how fast the time flies during the holidays?!) It is a busy time for your kids. Thanks for reading our newsletter about what is happening and what is to come.

A few words of thanks...Thank you so much Katya Alfaro for your help with math this week. Thanks also go out to Linh Nguyen who helped make many copies for us today. I also really appreciate the knot-tying expertise from Christa Cobb!

Tis the Season!

In class today we discussed how we would like to celebrate the winter holidays together. The students have decided they would like to do the following...

Holiday Traditions Feast

Some winter holidays just wouldn't be the same without that special dish that you always make as part of the celebration. The kids would like you to share that dish with us! : ) I have created a Volunteer Spot sign up for our party contributions here. Parents are certainly welcome to join in the fun! The party will be on Dec. 18th from 10:40 to 11:40. Thank you for donating nut-free dishes and your time!

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

The students also voted to do a Secret Santa gift exchange. In class next week, students will draw a name of a student to be the recipient of a gift from your child. By Dec. 17th, please send a gift to class for this child not exceeding $5 in cost, gift wrapped and with only the recipient's name on it. We will have some fun guessing who the Secret Santa is! Thanks for supporting the fun!

Also for your information...

Kylee Lillich Charitable Giving Tree

Westlake Charter School supports the Kylee Lillich Giving Tree. We have a tree in the office with ornaments detailing the ages of a needy or grieving children and what they want for Christmas. We have plenty of ornaments on the tree and the December 12th deadline is coming up fast. If you are feeling like giving something back this holiday season, this is a worthy cause. Thank you for considering!

Curriculum Updates

Language Arts

  • We will be analyzing Greek Mythology until winter break. We will be learning allusions from Myths as part of our vocabulary work. Additionally, we will be comparing and contrasting the treatment of themes, characters and text structures and examining cause and effect relationships within texts.

  • We have been working on the Spelling City Vocabulary List, "Allusions from Greek Mythology" in class. The test should be completed in class by December 12th. Activities can be worked on at home.

  • Our vocabulary study will also continue looking at prefixes, suffixes and Greek and Latin roots.

  • We will continue our work on expository writing and the "power of three" details and elaborations in support of a thesis statement.

  • Next week our Spelling List will be List #28.


  • This week we began our work with division concepts. This will continue through January.

  • IXL Strands that support our 4th grade upcoming coursework includes: H.1, H.2, H.3, H.4, H.6, H.7, H.8, H.9, and H.15.

Social Studies

  • This week student learned why explorers came to the region that eventually became California. They gained deeper understanding about individual explorers as they researched their accomplishments and made "explorer trading cards" in class.

  • Next week, students will begin studying the mission period in California's history. More information on this is to come. This is a brief unit and will be tested on December 17th or 18th.


  • We continue our study of animal structures that support growth and survival. Next week we will look at the digestive system in animals and humans, the function of the brain as the "command center" and compare and contrast the structures that support survival in plants and animals. These concepts will be tested on December 17th or 18th.

Age of Sail Field Lesson Update

Today, Age of Sail information and other forms for participation came home today for "lads" and "tall sailors." Some information is yours to keep as you plan for the trip. Paperwork requiring your signature needs to be returned to the classroom by December 12th. Thank you for your help with this!

Dates to Remember

  • December 12: Age of Sail Paperwork Due
  • December 17 or 18: Science Test on Animal Structures
  • December 17 or 18: Social Studies Test on Explorer and Mission period.
  • December 17: Spelling Bee! Come cheer on Adam H. as he represents the Chastain-ians!
  • December 18: Talent Show Applications are due. They can be submitted here.
  • December 18: Pajama Day!
  • December 18: Holiday Traditions Feast/Gift Exchange -- Early Dismissal!
  • December 19-January 2: Winter Break
  • January 8-9: Chastain-ians' Age of Sail Field Lesson
Thanks so much for your time! If I can answer any questions, please email me at


Heather Chastain