The Ritenour Review

2017 - 2018 Fourth Grade Weekly News

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Wonder Classroom Week

Another fun week in fourth grade! As most of you know, we LOVE the book Wonder in our classroom. This is an exciting year for this book's fans. Not only do we get more opportunities to show kindness in new ways, this year, the book's movie will be out in theaters! The author and the movie creators have created a fun challenge for schools around the world and our class decided to join the fun! We are working toward becoming a Wonder Certified Kindness Classroom. A mouthful, but an important goal! Our first activity was to create a shirt design to show what kindness means to us. Everyone had an opportunity to participate and the class voted on their favorites and we submitted those designs. The kids did an amazing job!

This week in reading, we are working on creating theories about our characters. We are building heavily on our lessons from last year relating to character traits. This week, we are looking for the trends of a character over the course of the book. Along the way, our characters have 'out of character' moments and we are deciding what those moments mean for the character. We are practicing stopping throughout our reading and figuring our why the author chose to have an irregularity in the troend. The conversations in class have been fun!

In math, we are working on multi-digit addition and subtraction. We are becoming more efficient with this strategy so we will feel comfortable when those skills are needed with more complex problems in the future.

Science, we had a really fun simulation this week to connect with our habitat conversations. In our simulation, we had the class broken into different parts of our habitats: carnivores, herbivores, vegetation and humans/developers. We used our entire classroom created a mock habitat for all included. Through the course of the simulation, the developers came into the land and took over and we quickly lost our vegetation and animals. As fun as the activity was for the most part, it became quite somber when the kids realized what just happened. They finally understood the reason for the simulation and how habitats are shrinking due to multiple factors. The somber tone turned into some great connections: how humans affect habitats, how humans help habitats, how preservations can help these goals, noise pollution can affect habitats, too. The end of the simulation was 100% led by the students and it was beautiful!

In writing, we are using Pixar short films to help us find the arc of stories. We have been watching one short film daily and looking for the entire plot: characters/settings, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. The kids are having a lot of fun using these short films to identify those parts of a story. Several have even been inspired by ideas in the films and we will hopefully see those reflections in their writings.

Coming up next!

  • Math: We will revisit geometry skills this week and test over the first unit's skills on Friday.
  • Reading: We continue building theories on our characters.
  • Science: We will start our first Energy experiment this week!
  • Writing: We will work on building the arc of our stories and continue writing.


Our fall conferences are right around the corner! In the next week, you will receive an e-mail with dates for you to pick. I will have traditional conferences in the fall and will meet with each family one-on-one. You are more than welcome to bring your student with you to the conference. It is always beneficial for he or she to be a part of the conversation. I am also more than happy to just meet with the parents.

In the spring, I would like to hold a Student-Led conference round again. I learned a lot from last year's spring conferences and I cannot wait to host those again and apply a few positive changes.

Shrinking Habitats

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Personal References for Measuring

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Shirt Design Voting

Special's Schedule

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

Upcoming Dates!

September 18th-22nd - Spirit Week

September 27th - Jog-A-Thon

October 5th - Picture retake day

October 10th - Quarter 1 Ends

October 12th - PTO Meeting (6:00-7:00 in BME Cafe)

October 16th-20th - Fall Break

October 25th - Blood Drive