4D Classroom News

April 7 - April 11, 2014

Dear Parents,

It was so great to see all of you this week at conferences! This is a busy season at SFS and there is a lot to look forward to in the final months of school. Rehearsals for the 4th grade play have begun and will gradually pick up during the next week or so as we draw closer to the performance on May 15th & 16th. There will be no school on Friday, April 18th due to Good Friday. We will also have the final MAP assessment on April 23, 24, & 25th. Finally, Library Week is April 21-25 and students are invited to dress up as their favorite book character on Friday, April 25th.

Academic Update

Language Arts

In reading, we are now focusing on the comprehension and analysis of literary texts. We have begun book clubs and students have chosen a novel of interest that we will be reading during the next month or so. Book clubs will meet a couple times a week and they will have scheduled reading assignments and jobs. On meeting days, students will be expected to have read the assigned portion of their book and completed their assigned job. Basically, each person in the group will have a role in the meetings and complete a job such as leading the discussion and asking questions, identifying important vocabulary words for the reading selection, choosing parts of the text to read aloud and examine, etc.

I will not be sending home a student feedback form during this time, as most of the work in reading will be done over the span of the next month in our book club meetings.

I am going to attempt to continue word study groups whenever possible, but it will not be as structured as it has been in the past because we will not necessarily have a regular schedule as we begin rehearsals for the play. Stay tuned for more information on this, but I just wanted to let you know that the kids may not be bringing home their weekly words or have homework each week, as we have in the past.

Lastly, we have just finished up our informational reports in writing. Students inserted photos, added the bibliography, and went through the editing and revision process this past week. Students will now share their published writing with their classmates. I'm very impressed with their dedication to this writing piece. They did a great job!

Book Clubs


In math, we have just finished lesson 6.3 on mixed numbers and lesson 6.4 on improper fractions. Next week will we work through lesson 6.5 on renaming improper fractions as mixed numbers & lesson 6.6 on renaming whole numbers when adding and subtracting fractions. Photo on right: Jungwon and Ben match the mixed numbers to the pictures.


In science, we have just finished our exploration of heat transfer through radiation. Students worked diligently last week to construct a solar oven. They made predictions about the best time to use it, as well as the best design. We learned a lot through our first trial and students were given an opportunity to modify their current solar oven design to see if they could improve it. Almost everyone was able to increase the temperature inside their solar oven on the second try. The students loved this experiment and were able to pull together their knowledge of light, reflection, absorption, conduction, convection, and radiation to build their solar oven. We will now analyze the data and compare and contrast the designs to draw some final conclusions about the experiment.