Mrs. Jackson's

4th Grade Class

Valentine's Fun!

There was so much love in the air at our Valentine's Day party last week! A huge thank you to Mrs. Hoynes for organizing the fun activities, and to all of the parent volunteers who contributed their time, effort, and goodies. The students had a blast! Here are a few pictures...

Curriculum Updates


This week we will wrap up our Freedom Unit. Readers have historical fiction and nonfiction to expand their knowledge on this time period in U.S. history. We have learned about important people such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. This week we will transition to using a new type of text—poetry! We will read and discuss poems to not only to continue to gain knowledge about slavery and the fight for freedom, but also to understand how poems are structured differently than prose. We will learn to identify lines, stanzas, rhythm, rhyme, and figurative language. We will wrap up our freedom study at the end of the week by completing a writing that has students reading, analyzing, and citing both prose and poetry.

We have also been studying similes and metaphors, and will heavily focus on idioms over the next couple of weeks. We have some fun things planned, so be sure to ask your child to share at home!

Finally, next week IHES will get ready to “Hit it out of the PARCC!” as we prepare for upcoming testing the first two weeks of March. All of our review and prep work will be centered on a sports theme. Our goal is that this week will be a fun reminder to your students that they have been hard at work “practicing” and “training” all year, and we can’t wait for them to show up to the “game” ready to set records and new personal bests!

Writing Workshop and Word Work

Our writing will be imbedded with the poetry study we are completing this week and the PARCC fun the following week. Much of our writing is being done online to help increase typing speed and accuracy. Students are encouraged to continue to participate in the Typing Lottery at home as well!

With our short week, we will wait to begin spelling until Monday, February 23rd. New word lists and choice boards will come home then. Choice boards will be due on Thursday, March 5th and tests will be on Friday, March 6th!


Fun with fractions continues as we wrap up Chapter 7 this week. Students have now learned how to add and subtract fractions with like denominators, how to rename mixed numbers and improper fractions, and how to add and subtract mixed numbers. Mathematicians will be working on using these skills to solve word problems as we review. Rather than give a big test, students will complete a “Show What You Know” later this week. This short, quick assessment will allow us to see what concepts each child has mastered, and will allow us to move right into new fraction concepts from Chapter 8—multiplying fractions and mixed numbers by whole numbers. Believe it or not, we will only spend a few days on this chapter before beginning Chapter 9: Relate Fractions and Decimals.

Social Studies

In our next unit students learn how the United States government works. It begins with a review of questions political scientists seek to answer. Building on these questions, students explore the need for government and examine the probable consequences of not having government, rules, or laws. After exploring the purposes of government as set forth in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, students learn how our current form of government functions to serve those purposes. Next, students investigate how the powers of the federal government are limited through the systems of separation of powers and checks and balances, and compare those to state government. A wide variety of instructional strategies are used throughout the unit including small group work, large group discussion, nonlinguistic representations, and web-based activities. In addition, graphic organizers, reading comprehension strategies, and literature connections are integrated throughout the unit.

Technology in the Classroom

The district has invested in technology for each of our students, so we are starting to incorporate it into our classrooms in the form of assignments and assessments. Because of this, some of the grades in Progress Book are a result of on-line work... and the work will not be coming home in the Friday Folders. So, here's how you can view your child's work and comments left by their teachers!

For Language Arts, students have been involved with Google Classroom. They are each a member of several different 'classrooms' within this website where they are assigned activities to complete during our time together. Google Classroom allows for students to get feedback from their teacher on their original document and receive grades connected to their work. Students recently completed a 35 minute narrative that you can view on-line by typing in and entering your child's "ihapps" email address and birthday. You will also see Book Club responses they have completed and other on-line activities. Some activities aren't graded but were meant to get them familiar with typing on-line and gave them practice with videos and responses.

In math, students are working on Students have a user name (last name first initial) and a password (Math!) that gets them into their account. They have recently taken an on-line Mid Chapter Checkpoint and have seen that the way they type in fractions really makes a difference in their grades! Students can get their grades by going to the 'scores' section of the site. They can also view what they missed, and several of them have been able to improve their scores by justifying why their answer was correct (they put the answer in simplest form, but the computer didn't count it as correct). It's always good to go and look at where errors were made -- or justify WHY the computer counted a correct answer incorrect. We are learning about formatting and the inaccuracies of computer grading through this site!

As most students have completed their multiplication and division facts on, assignments are being shifted to Students have THREE assignments to complete this month. These questions mirror some of the PARCC questions they will be seeing in early March, so the more practice they have with them... the better off they will be. Thinkcentral assignments also give them immediate feedback and have tutorials for students to review the concepts when they have forgotten or missed a step.

If your child has NOT completed multiplication and division with XtraMath, he/she is still expected to be doing XtraMath. As soon as they complete multiplication AND division, they are finished with XtraMath (even if it's not 12 sessions in the month of February). They have a little more work to do than the rest if XtraMath isn't complete. Friday Folder work should have indicated if they were "finished" or "need to keep working."

Save the Date

-PARCC Reading Testing: March 3rd, 4th, and 5th (AM)

-PARCC Math Testing: March 10th & 11th (AM)

-PARCC Social Studies Testing: March 12th (AM)