Fun in Fourth Grade

A Newsletter About Our Fantastic 4th Grade "Chastain-ians"

Hi families,

Whew! It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks wrapping up our first trimester together! There are some folks who REALLY helped during this crazy time. Thank you so much to Matthew Mulinax, Bett Marie Barragan and Jennifer Eastman who corrected spelling and timed fast facts tests! Nora Romero washed our donated t-shirts for our "kindness capes." Also Maria Lopez Valencia has helped a great deal making many copies for us. As always, I sincerely appreciate the help of math volunteers: Katya Alfaro, Christa Cobb, Nora Romero and Michelle Hewitt! Finally, the Olympic Triathlon event was a huge success. I want to thank all families who have donated their time for this event, as well as those who have donated money to our fundraising campaign. Most especially, we all appreciate the efforts of Nancy Kong Vasquez, Chastain-ian parent as well as our WAVE president and co-chair of the Olympic Triathlon. As a former WAVE board member, I know just how hard she works for our children. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Nancy! I am one lucky teacher to have such supportive families in my classroom!

I'd like to give a shout out to all our kids who competed to represent our classroom in the school-wide spelling bee. Adam H. will represent our classroom, supported by runner-up, Simrit S. Way to go, Super Spellers!

This Week...

Early Dismissal This Week

Thanks so much to all of our families for signing up for parent teacher conferences next week. Just a reminder that we have early dismissal Monday-Friday. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child's progress!

Scholastic Book Orders

I want to thank all my families who have placed book orders through Scholastic this year. If you are interested in doing some holiday shopping for the bookworms in your lives, this month's book orders can be placed online at this link through November 21st. When you order, you will need our class activation code: L6L3V.

In addition to providing students with options for purchasing great-priced books that they love, the truly fantastic thing about Scholastic Book orders is that our classroom earns points that are used to purchase additional books for our library. I recently conducted a book interest survey to find out how kids would like these points used. Thank you for ordering and helping connect our students with books that will continually ignite their love of reading.

Want to order an Age of Sail Hoodie?

It's not too late. They can be ordered here! Remember orders must be placed by Friday, November 21st.

Curriculum Updates

Language Arts

  • Students continue to use fiction and non-fiction passages to identify common text structures and develop "close reading" skills. This is closely intertwined with our science and social studies studies.

  • We continue onward with our Traditional Literature study, exploring Tall Tales next. With this genre we examine literary devices like hyperbole and examples other of figurative language.

  • Vocabulary study will now take a new turn as we begin looking at prefixes, suffixes and Greek and Latin roots. By learning the meanings of the most common roots and affixes, students' potential to understand unfamiliar words really takes off!

  • This week we talked about the importance of transition words and phrases to guide readers through our thoughts and ideas. Sequential writing was the focus as students worked on informative pieces on "how to clean their rooms." (That one was for you, parents! Now they can't say they didn't know how!) They were introduced to KidBlog and will publish and share these paragraphs next week.

  • Next week students will be working on Spelling List #14. Test signed by a parent or note/email due on Friday.


  • We continue to learn more ways to approach multiplication of increasingly larger factors. If all goes as expected, the chapter math test will be on Friday, November 21.

  • 4th grade IXL strands that correlate to our classwork include: D.17-D.25.

  • 5th grade IXL strands that correlate to this group's classwork: F.12-F.16

Social Studies

  • Students did a fantastic job researching the Native American tribes of California and presenting via Google Presentations this week! Ask your child to log into their google account and share their crew's presentation with you.


  • Next week, we continue into the next phase of our science unit: structures that support the growth and survival of animals.

Responsive Classroom

We continued our Project Kindness campaign this week by brainstorming individuals and groups of people to whom we wanted to spread kindness through words of appreciation and compliments. Students made posters and we displayed them all over the school. Our hope is that these words of appreciation make these folks' day brighter and we felt really good doing this small act of kindness.

Olympic Triathlon

Thank you to all of our families who have donated to the Olympic Triathlon, Westlake Charter School's biggest fundraiser of the year. The fundraiser will continue to December 4th, but our final on-campus collections day will be Wednesday. This fundraiser supports the specialty Spanish, Art and PE programs that make WCS such an enriched learning environment for our kids. Below are some goals, dates and deadlines for the Olympic Triathlon.

Important Links and Contacts:

  • Information about the Olympic Triathlon or making online donations can be found a Thank you for your support and many contributions to Westlake Charter School, an exceptional place for learning.

Fundraising Goals:

  • 100% participation per class
  • $3000 per class
  • $180 per student
  • Students receive a prize for every $10 they raise in donations

Olympic Triathlon Dates:

  • Collection dates are on Wednesdays: 11/19. WAVE (not WCS) collects these donations so please bring donations to school on these days.
  • Closing Ceremony Assembly: 12/5

Age of Sail Field Lesson Donations

Thanks to all of the families who have already donated to help support our Age of Sail field lesson. For those who are interested, there are many ways to help donate. Please check out the paypal page for more information.

Thank you for your continued support of our program, this Age of Sail field lesson is going to be a great experience for your students!

Dates to Remember

  • November 17-21: Parent Teacher Conference Week (early dismissal all week for 4th graders)
  • November 21: First Trimester Awards Ceremony at 9:45 a.m. in the Cafeteria. (Emails have been sent to families whose students are receiving awards)
  • November 21: Book orders will be placed through Scholastic
  • November 21: Age of Sail Hoodie orders will be placed.
  • November 24-28: Thanksgiving Break
  • December 19-January 2: Winter Break
  • January 8-9: Chastain-ians' Age of Sail Field Lesson
Thanks so much for your time! If I can answer any questions, please email me at


Heather Chastain