Fourth Grade News

Updates from Ms. Smith's Class

General Information

  • You are receiving a lot of papers in Friday folders, so I thought it might be helpful to keep newsletters separate and online. If you would prefer a paper copy in Friday folders, please let me know.
  • I sent a test e-mail Thursday this week. Thank you for replying! Please contact me if you did not receive it.
  • Thank you for keeping our classroom peanut free!
  • Library check-out starts next week. We will check out and return books on Tuesdays.
  • Scholastic book orders were due today. I'll wait to submit them until Monday in case you'd like to place an order online (code: Q86Z3) or send a check to school made out to Scholastic Reading Club.
  • I am thrilled with the way your children are learning to live together as a school family! They are good to one another, cooperative, and engaged in their learning. It's going to be a great year! I try to keep updates concise, so please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you! -Kendra Smith
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Curriculum Updates

Readers' Workshop

I wish you could see these kids during independent reading! They are so into their books already. We have been learning about strong reading habits such as goal setting and self-monitoring. Thank you for supporting your children by encouraging them to read at home. The expectation is 100 minutes per week, and our first log is due on Monday. October through March, students who turn in completed reading logs will receive a monthly ticket for a free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza, Passport to Reading, and a sticker at Pizza Hut.

Writers' Workshop

We are kicking off Writers' Workshop with a Realistic Fiction unit! To begin, we are reading short realistic fiction stories and analyzing the smart moves that authors make. We are currently gathering seed ideas for stories that involve strong emotions. We have noticed that the best realistic fiction stories include feelings like shame, embarrassment, fear, worry, loneliness, deep sadness, anger, and excitement. As readers, we connect and care more about characters that are having emotional experiences.


We have been working on writing multiplication and division equations and making multiplication models to represent and solve story problems. The four models we draw are open number lines, tile arrays, ratio tables, and area models. As part of our new math curriculum, we also do "Number Corner" at a separate time. This involves various routines each day. In September, we are working with measurement, analyzing Ancient Egyptian numerals on a calendar, and tracking multiples on a number line. There is a new district math website for parents. Your children now have XtraMath accounts to help with fact fluency. Their codes will come home today for home access.

Science with Mrs. Sorenson

This week we focused on the steps of the scientific method. Students worked cooperatively in groups to create a poster representing a particular step of the method. Early next week we can share our posters, and then we will begin applying our knowledge of these steps by conducting some fun, hands-on experiments!

Social Studies with Mrs. Warner

S​tudents now know more about a fun activity I do once a week, called STATE STUMPER. Once or twice a year, your child will be given a bag of state books and a template, to create 4 different clues about ONE chosen state. This is top secret; as clues are shared in class on Thursday with their classmates. The goal is to try to figure out the mystery state by using resources and using the State Stumper’s given clues to help narrow down the secret state. Please help your child prepare for this when it is their turn by allowing them practice time to read orally the clues and to catch any last minute spelling errors. Thanks for your help.

*Our next State Stumper is Frankie!

Leader In Me

We are beginning to learn about Habit 1: Be Proactive. This week, we have discussed the fact that people are in charge of their own choices. We get to choose our attitude, our behavior, and our reactions to what happens around us. Ask your children to explain the water vs. pop bottle demonstration. The basic idea was that when we are "shaken up," or when bad things happen to us, we get to choose to either be a proactive water bottle (and stay calm), or a reactive pop bottle (and explode). There are simple explanations of the habits on the Parent Site if you're interested in getting ahead of us in our learning about leadership.