# Mrs. Drew's Classroom Newsletter

## This week in 4th grade...

• Language Arts: This week for writing we reviewed our knowledge of poetry in preparation for our end of unit test, which is coming up in a couple weeks. In reading, the students learned how to pick out the main idea of a poem. They spent some time reading poems in class, and created short responses to three of their favourites. We also continued Spelling and Literature Circles. We are loving our Jerry Spinelli novels!

• Social Studies: The students finished up their last bits of work from "Day 1" of our Lewis & Clark simulation, and answered their first Daily Dilemma. This first Daily Dilemma was a decision about whether to invite Toussaint Charbonneau and his pregnant wife to come along with us on the journey. After this, the students began work on some of their "Day 2" project of creating a story related to the Lewis & Clark expedition, then drawing symbols to tell the story on a piece of "animal skin" (brown construction paper) without using words. We will finish these up next week, along with our new Daily Dilemma. We've also been going through the state capitols on a regular basis. The kids have memorized so many of these already! Their geography skills are growing!

• Science: To continue our electricity unit, the students were introduced to Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin. We talked about some of the inventions each man created, and talked through the facts that Thomas Edison improved the incandescent lightbulb. The students were most excited about the fact that they got to build circuits in lab partners! This has been a long awaited event in 4th grade. Each pair of lab partners created a simple circuit that would light up a tiny lightbulb, then they tried to add in a switch to control their lightbulb. They were successful!

• Math: This week your children began studying the basic concepts of algebra. They learned to identify a variable to stand in for an unknown value, then learned to solve some simple algebraic equations. They also learned how to write expressions and equations. We finished off the week learning how to solve word problems by identifying if the problem was missing information or contained extra information. After that was identified, they figured out what that meant in terms of solving the problem. This activity caused the students to go through each problem very carefully, which is a great and necessary skill in math!

• Kindness Week: The 1st grade classes hosted this weeklong event to help us all to be mindful of our actions, and to make an even greater effort to show kindness to others. Each classroom decorated their door in a kindness-themed fashion, the students were able to dress in a way that matched our kindness theme of the day, and we discussed things we could do to show kindness. We all had fun, and appreciated the reminder to keep being kind.

## Next Week in 4th grade...

• Language Arts: Finish poetry unit; Wordly Wise (vocabulary); add to CAFE reading menu

• Social Studies: Day 2 of Lewis & Clark simulation (new Daily Dilemma, find new latitude/longitude on map, finish story made by symbols); work on capitols, reviewing northwest and midwest states, then focusing on southern and east coast states

• Science: Continue Salmon study and Electricity unit (review past electricity concepts & plan to create complex circuits)

• Math: Continue chapter 5 on algebra (focusing on numeric and nonnumeric patterns, writing and solving algebraic expressions with the four operations)

## Important Dates...

• *Jan. 29 (M-F): Ski School #3

• *Feb. 2 (T): Jump Rope for Heart

• *Feb. 3 (W): Talent Show

• *Feb. 5 (F): Final Ski School Friday

## Parent "Move Up" Night

Thank you for coming to the parent night last Thursday! I hope you were able to glean some valuable information about Evergreen's 5th grade program. I know Mr. Mat King is looking forward to having your students in his class next year.

We, as a school, are very excited about our new middle school bus run to Brighton, too. We hope to provide an excellent education for your family for many years to come!