Weekly Update

4th Grade: 10/14

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This week in 4th grade...

  • Math: This week we began a new chapter, which covers multiplication strategies for finding products of 1-digit by larger numbers. Each of the students did a wonderful job identifying patterns that help when multiplying by multiples of 10. For instance, in the problem 200 x 7, they knew that you could solve 2 x 7, then add two zeros to the answer. We also worked on using rounding to estimate products, and using the distributive property and mental math to solve multiplication problems requiring an exact answer. After all of these strategies are introduced, the students will pick the one(s) they feel most comfortable with to solve multiplication problems.


  • Language Arts: In Writing, the students completed their first realistic fiction stories. Soon they will dive into a second, more structured narrative. In reading we focused on summarizing and comprehension strategies, which will help the students to pick out important elements of texts they read. In Grammar, our focus was on sentences. We reviewed the fact that sentences begin with a capital letter and end with punctuation. Sentences also must express a complete thought. To further this knowledge, the students learned about simple, complex, and compound sentences. On Friday they took their grammar test through Edmodo.


  • Science: In our study of environments, the students came to a deeper understanding of how organisms have preferred environmental conditions, and that organisms need to be in these conditions in order to thrive. They also were introduced to the idea of competition for resources among organisms.


  • Social Studies: This week the students created clan crests, in the style of Native American art, which represented their clan name. (Later in this unit we will learn more about Native American art.) They also explored the various roles, jobs, and interactions their character may have had in the community. One of the favorite activities of the week was creating characters out of paper to represent the character they've been creating in Social Studies. They then researched the clothing worn by the Native Americans of the PNW, then tried to duplicate this clothing style using fabric to clothe their character authentically. You will love what they came up with!


  • I.D.E.A.S. Hour: This class is a huge favourite of our fourth graders! Our first project is on airplane construction. This week the students completed the Research and Plan stage of this project, and some even began the Building stage! I can't wait until you can see what they've come up with!


  • Class Collaboration: In fourth grade the students engage in various forms of group work. Science and Social Studies are two classes where students are required to collaborate with peers in order to complete a variety of tasks. As you know, teamwork can be a challenging excerise for anyone! After one session of group work early in the week, where the success of group teamwork and dynamics were very mixed, we had a class meeting about how to improve in working with others. I was so impressed by the list the students came up with! They took time to honestly reflect on what worked well for their group, and what things were a struggle. I appreciated their diligent effort into self reflection, and am excited for the great things that await us throughout the year as we all work together!

Next week in 4th grade...

  • Math: continue chapter 3 on multiplying larger numbers by 1-digit numbers, focusing on place value and partial product strategies, as well as using the algorithm


  • Language Arts: Reading- Guided Reading in small groups; Penmanship; Word Work; new grammar concepts (subject/predicate)


  • Science: continue unit on Environments; focusing on carrying capacity, and continuing mealworm observations


  • Social Studies: continue unit on Early NW Coast People, continuing to explore various roles in the community; Washington State Corn Maze field trip (Tuesday)


  • No School Friday: Camp Available

Important Dates:

  • October 17th (M): Individual Student Pictures (uniform required)


  • October 18th (T): Class Group Pictures (uniform required)


  • October 18th (T): 11:15-3 p.m. Corn Maze field trip (bring good walking shoes and be prepared for mud. Think about sending your child with a change of clothes due to picture day that morning.)


  • October 21st (F): Professional Development- No School (camp available)


  • October 28th (F): OPT Pumpkin Carving


  • November 8th-10th (T-Th): Scholastic Book Fair


  • November 11th (F): Veteran's Day: No School


  • November 22nd- 23rd (T-W): No School, Conferences Available


  • November 24th- 25th (Th-F): No School- Thanksgiving holiday!

Helping Hands

Calling all volunteers! :-) If you're interested in coming into the classroom to help out, there are a few options available! We'd love to have you for any of the following positions:


1. Garden helper (monthly or every other week): This could happen at a variety of times, and would be a chance to take a small group of kids out to our garden to weed, plant, or do other garden care.


2. Salmon tank helper (monthly or every other week): Once we get the salmon, this could happen at a variety of times as well. This would involve helping kids to care for the salmon in small groups, and helping with some routine tank care.


3. Minute math (weekly during our math blocks- one good option is Wednesday afternoon from 2:30-3:15): This would involve pulling kids out of the classroom in pairs to give them multiplication tests. This volunteer would time the students for two minutes, then correct the completed tests (there is an answer key!).


4. Word Work (Wednesdays from 10:30-11:00): This volunteer would work with one spelling/vocab group to go over meanings and/or help them with a word sort.


If you are interested in any of these, please let me know! :-)