Classroom Update

Mr. Sykes' 4th Grade

I'm Not A Turkey!!!

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Highlights From The Last Couple of Weeks

We've had a busy couple of weeks since our last update. Here are some highlights:

  • Continued our study of rocks and minerals in science with Mrs. Wenberg
  • Hard at work on creating our narrative writing.
  • Studying Pourquoi Tales - we read How Night Came From the Sea.
  • Developing our understanding of fractions and decimals in math.
  • Sharing our I'm Not A Turkey projects.
  • Cracking codes! Students have been exploring language through cryptograms.
BBN '15-'16 Week 10

Base Camp Overnight

Thursday, Jan. 7th 2016 at 1:15pm

201 Bloomington Road, Fort Snelling, Minnesota

Our 4th grade team will be going on an overnight field trip to Base Camp in St. Paul on January 7th. We will depart from Birchview at 1:15pm on Thursday after eating lunch at our regular time. We will spend the afternoon and evening building leadership skills through a variety of team building activities before staying the night. After breakfast and additional morning activities, students will return to Birchview in time for lunch on Friday, January 8th.

We are all looking forward to engaging in team building, rock climbing, robotics and archery on this special trip. Please return your permission slip as soon as you are able. As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Day of Code

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, schools around the world will participate in coding next week! Our 4th graders will be devoting our entire day to introducing computer science next Friday. This introduction is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

Students are excited to be participating in coding related problem solving all day on Friday, December 11th. Learn more about what we will be doing and view more stats on

Holiday Book Orders

Join me celebrating the holiday season with new books for your fourth grade reader! Books make a great gift, and book orders provide an opportunity for families to purchase quality books at a discount price. Along with getting a great deal, purchasing books from the book orders also helps our class to earn points towards free books for our classroom library.

Please complete your orders by Wednesday, December 9th to ensure orders are here in time for the holidays. You also have the opportunity to order books online using a credit card. The web link, along with our class user name and password are listed below.

Online Ordering:

Go to and log in using your user name and password.

If it’s your first time ordering online, use the Class Activation Code GYKHH.


Fix-It Forms

Students demonstrate Trojan Pride at school on a daily basis. Students are often caught doing this and rewarded with a Trojan Pride Slip. These slips are collected and counted at school as we strive to improve our school community.

Just as students frequently display positive behaviors at school, they occasionally make mistakes as well. Often, a quick warning or redirect is enough to correct these behaviors. However, sometimes we need to take additional action to learn from our errors. One tool we have to accomplish this is our Fix-It Forms.

In an effort to better manage our classroom behaviors, I have changed the way these forms are used and understood by students. These forms offer our class a way for students to reflect and consequently improve their behavior. Most infractions are minor and are noted as such on the Fix-It Form.

Please be aware that you may see more of these forms sent home than you have in the past. This does not necessarily represent an increase in problem behaviors. It simply means that a mistake was made at school that day, and we attempted to learn from it. The form is being sent home to inform you of the errors we are working to improve and does not require further action on your part. In the rare instances where a major incident does occur, you can expect to hear from me separately.

I appreciate your support in supporting positive behaviors both at school and at home. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Postcards Please!!!

As we continue to study of the regions of the United States, we are asking for your help. Our goal is to collect postcards from each of the 50 states. Do you know someone who lives in or will be visiting these states? If so, you can help!

All you need to do is send them our address: A personal note is encouraged, but not required.

Mr. Sykes Class


425 Ranchview Ln. N

Plymouth, MN 55447

We will be displaying postcards on our bulletin board to help us get to know the regions of our country.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Calling All Scientists and Engineers!

Birchview will once again be hosting a school wide S.T.E.M day on January 14th and we are looking for volunteers to present to our classes at 9:45 and 10:30 a.m. If you work in a field that involves Science, Technology, Engineering or Math we would love to have you. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Dates

  • 12/11 - Day of Code
  • 12/22- Winter Solstice Assembly
  • 12/23 - 1/4 NO SCHOOL - Winter Break
  • 1/7 - 1/8 - Base Camp Overnight Field Trip

Digital Days

Day 3 - PE/Music

Day 4 - Spanish

Day 5 - Art

Day 1 - PE/Music

Day 2 - Technology

Helpful Links for 4th Grade:

Everyday Math 4

Additional resources from our new math curriculum. Username, password, and instructions sent home in 12/4 Friday Folder.

IXL- Wayzata Sign in Page

Reinforce math skills through standards-based practice.

Spelling City

Practice weekly Spelling Words

Spelling Words For The Week of 12/7

Here are the following week's words. Please note that our spelling test will be on Thursday due to our Day of Code.

1. misplace
2. nonsense
3. reread
4. repack
5. misfortune
6. remove
7. mishandle
8. nonstop
9. recover
10. reseal
11. misbehavior
12. reunion
13. nonfiction
14. rebound
15. mistreat
16. readjust
17. misprint
18. nonprofit
19. nonstick
20. misquote

Challenge Words
21. misinterpret
22. mispronounce
23. noncommittal
24. reconstruct
25. reorganize

Contact Me!

The best way to stay in touch with the daily happenings of our class is to follow us on Twitter! Always feel free to contact me with questions or concerns via email or phone.