The Longmore Learners

Week of September 14, 2015

Fall Conferences

On Friday, I forwarded the link to sign up for fall conferences. Conferences are 15 minutes long. If you have a concern that you think will take more than 15 minutes, please let's talk before that time. I do not want to wait until that time if you have a concern. Unless I have a meeting, I am often at school early in the morning and unless I have to pick up my sons from something, I am often at school late.

Here is the link to sign up:

Week In Review

- we finished Math Topic 4
- we started intervention groups
- we finished our first small group reading book and practice summarizing those books
- we completed both the ELA and Math Galileo tests. I can not tell you much about these, other than they are required by the district. They looked similar to the MAP test the fourth graders took last year. I do not know much more about it.
- we selected our animals for our animal adaptations research project
- we went to the school library to check out books about our animals
- we started to look online for information about our animals (students have a list of resources available to them)
- we talked about the expectations for the animal paper.
- we worked on grammar lessons, focusing on commas between lists of things in a sentence
- we worked on "oo" words and finished week with dictation sentences

Topic 4 Test and Tests in General

We took our Topic 4 test. Just a housekeeping bit, if your student did not do well, I will send an email. I allow a test retake, using the online test (which is much different than the test we take, but covers the same material) however, the students must take it on their own time during recess. They can only take it after they do the extra practice pages. These pages can be found on schoology website and I also assign them through Pearson Realize. I will work with any students who come to see me as well.

For this test I had 2 no name papers and one person that did not turn in a test. Not sure how that happens, but I will talk to those three people on Monday.

Research Paper

I know that your students have written research projects before, but this of course will take them to a new level. In my class, I have given them the main ideas that they will need to write about. I will reiterate every day, this paper is not simply a paper about an animal, it is about how an animal has adapted to its environment (the polar bear is white to camouflage into its environment).

Please be aware that if your student is not studious during the writing time in class, they will fall behind with their research. We must be done with research by the end of this week.

They can work on research at home, and I have provided information for the research paper, including deadlines in the schoology site. It is under Units of Study folder/ Animal Adaptation Research. It has the research turn ins as well as the outline that I gave students to help them take notes. I am working on getting the database page from Mrs. Bender, so they can research online as well.

I would like to encourage you to take your student to the public library to search for books on his/her animal.

This is the major writing grade for this quarter. It encompasses all aspects of their writing and they will be graded in each area. I will upload the grading rubric tonight to the schoology website so that you know what I will be grading on. I think we will publish this electronically too, so that we can add photos and other text features, but it will depend on how quickly we get through the revision and editting stages of writing.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Week of September 14th

We did not get very far with Unit 2 last week, so we will be doing more with that this week. We will be working mostly on taking notes for our research project and learning about main idea and details from non-fiction text.
In Math, we will be starting Topic 1. We are starting multiplication and division. Please take a moment to work with your child on skip counting, so they can have automaticity in their multiples (7, 14, 21, etc.).
In small reading groups, we will be working with animal adaptation non-fiction books. I can not remember what book I assigned what group, but I will try to get that into schoology this week. We will be focusing on main idea and details, as well as some research techniques.
In science, we will have one lab on bird beaks (tomorrow) as well as a lesson on camouflage. These lessons will go hand in hand our our research project.

We are starting Unit 2

4.2.1 (RI.4.2, RI.4.7)
We will look at the structure and the features of texts, in order to determine the main ideas expected to read in that text. We will have an idea of what to expect to learn in each section of text.

Homework/Assignment: main idea using text features

Science(4-LS1.A, 4 – LS1.D)

We will understand that an adaptation can be a physical structure that helps a living thing survive (either by helping it obtain food, defense from predators, or to survive a certain climate)

Homework/Assignment: bird beak lab, summary of what we learned about adaptations

4.2.2 (RI4.2, RI4.9)

We will read short sections of text, then stop to name the main ideas presented in nonfiction texts. We will summarize the important information.

Homework/Assignment: summary of non-fiction using a graphic organizer

Science(4-LS1.A, 4 – LS1.D)

We will understand that an adaptation can be a behavior that helps a living thing survive (either by helping it obtain food, defend itself, or to survive a certain climate)

Homework/Assignment: Camouflage project/summary of project and how it relates to adaptations.

4.2.3 (RI.4.2, RI.4.5)

We will use the Descriptive Structure of a text to identify the main idea and supporting details. We will summarize the important information

Homework/Assignment: main idea using descriptive text structure


Students will read to find examples of specific physical and behavioral adaptations in animals.

4.2.5 (RI.4.9)
We will read closely for deep understanding, so we can effectively take notes on our topic

Homework/Assignment: note taking activity


4.2.1 (W.4.8)

We will get a sense of how informational texts go by analyzing a mentor text, and then plan the structure and categories of the informational topic.

We will begin to think about Big 6 Step 1: Task Definition

Homework/Assignment: take notes on our animals using text and digital sources

4.2.2 (W.4.8)

We will preview a collection of texts before research, thinking about the information/ topics they expect to learn in each

We will create an organizer to utilize during research and note taking. They will begin to identify the topic and subtopics they will teach through informational writing.

We will do Big 6 Steps 1, 2,3 : Task Definition, Information Seeking Strategies and Location and Access

Homework/Assignment: take notes on our animals using text and digital sources, learn how to log sources

4.2.3 (W.4.8, W.4.9)

We will set up a boxes and bullets note taking form to reflect the Descriptive Structure and begin taking notes on their topic of choice

We will do Big 6 Step 2, Step 3 and Step 4: Information Seeking Strategies, Location & Access and Use of Information

Homework/Assignment: take notes on our animals using text and digital sources

4.2.4 (W.4.2a, W.4.8, W4.9)

We will learn about online databases, additional resources in the Learning Commons, and reference materials in order to locate resources for their research

We will do Big 6 Step 3 and Step 4: Location & Access and Use of Information. We will communicate their knowledge of adaptations and how plants and animals process the information from their surroundings.
Homework/Assignment: take notes on our animals using text and digital sources


1-1 (OA.A.1)
We know how to skip count. We will understand how patterns occur in numbers as well as shape . We will be able to recognize multiplication as repeated addition of equal groups used in arrays and comparison.
Assignment/Homework: Math Practice 1-1


District Math Assessment


(OA.C.5) We will use patterns to find products with factors of 2, 5 and 9
Assignment/Homework: Math Practice 1-2

1-3 (OA.A.3)
We will use multiplication properties to simplify computation
Assignment/Homework: Math Practice 1-2

Spelling Week 6

Vowel Team ui

A vowel team for U found within the root, most times the Y- part of

the long U sound is lost











Dear Parents,

In 4th grade this year, we will be sending home a word list for spelling each week. We encourage you to focus on the pattern of the words with your child as you review the words with him/her. During the week at school, the students will be completing word work activities as they learn about the words and the weekly words' pattern. On Friday, in lieu of a traditional spelling test, the students will be given two dictation sentences that will include words that follow that week's pattern. If you have questions, please contact your child's teacher.


4th Grade Teachers

Homework Help

Please remember, there is a link on the schoology page to send me an instant message of sorts for homework help. On most evenings I am available.

Vocabulary Unit 2

· Feature (a part or detail that stands out) Example: text features or animal features.

· Structure (a body part an animal has to survive) Example: structures as in animals/plants, buildings and a way to organize your writing

· Function (the particular purpose for which something is used for) Example: function of ears is to hear.

· Propulsion (the act of driving something forward) Example: how an octopus swims through the ocean.

· Mimicry (the resemblance of one living thing to another) Example: when an animal pretends to be something else for survival.

· Instinct (the behavior an animal begins life with and that helps it meet its needs) Example: natural ability.

· Regurgitate (bringing food up from stomach) Example: the owl regurgitated its owl pellet.

· Basic Needs (things needed for survival) Example: food, water, air, and shelter

Synthesize (to combine and organize ideas to make sense) Example: using multiple sources to make sense of a discussed subject.

Kahn Academy

I sent home sheets for parents to log their students into Kahn Academy last week. I am sorry that I forgot to address this in the newsletter. Kahn Academy is a math site, which allows students to move at their own pace through 4th grade (and other grade levels) math curriculum. It follows common core, which therefore follows our Math series. I would like all students to have access to it, but the website says that students under the age of 13 need to be signed in through a parent email account. In addition to using it as an extension program, I would also use it to help students who might struggle in a certain area by giving them additional practice.

Finally, I am considering doing a flipped classroom approach, which would mean students watch the video of the lesson at home for homework and then return to school and we do the bulk of the practice here, so that I can help them when they get stuck. Kahn academy has videos that might help make this work, which I could assign to students.

In case you no longer have the sign on sheet, here is the information to get started.

They need to:

Sign up at (or log in with their existing accounts)
There, in the "Add a coach" field, enter the class code 3Q8HH4
Once they are logged in, it will ask them to take a short quiz. This will determine the level they are within the Kahn academy math curriculum. That will give them a place to start when using it for extensions or intervention.


Just some helpful information. First of all, if your student is interested in the Mark Twain nominee books, please encourage them to read them. Mrs. Bender, or librarian (I know they are called something else now, but I can't remember the name) has a link to the list of books, plus a link to the site which has the quizzes. If you go to the Castlio website and then to the Learning Commons tab, there is a section with the books and links to the quizzes. Remember to login with your first name last initial and your teacher name.

Also I have the link to the Reading Counts website on my Schoology page, and Mrs. Bender has a link on For Students tab. You need this link to connect to the site that Castlio uses. Please encourage your student to read as much as possible and take these quizzes. It will log what they read, how many books they read and how many words they read. It is really an exciting way for them to monitor their own progress with reading.

Weekly Calendar

Monday, August 14th
Science Lab - Bird Beaks
Recorder Orders were due last week.

Tuesday, September 15th
I am out of the classroom in the afternoon. Mrs. Gideon will be my sub. I have high expectations when I am gone, and I will expect the class to be better than usual.
Camouflage lab
3:00 - Fire Drill

Wednesday, September 16th

Thursday, September 17th
Counselor Visit
We will finalize research. If students are not done, they will need to complete their research at home.
Board of Education Meeting - 7:00 Board Room

Friday, September 18th
No school - teachers get to learn today!

Log Ins
username: first initial last name: Example: tlongmore
password: student id#: Example: 123456
username: first name + last name + last three digits of student id (example:tonyalongmore456)
password: FHSD + Id number (example: FHSD123456)

Scholastics Reading Counts
username: Student ID (lunch number)
Password: Password1
first initial, last name and last 3 digits of the student (example:
Password: fh123456 (fh followed by the students id or lunch number)

Voice Threads
The link has to go to the FHSD subscription, so here is the link
email: the students ID number (123456)
password: francis

KidBlog (not ready yet)
You can click on this link and go directly to my site:
Then select your student's name and their password is 1234. In the future, I will get parent codes in the system, but as of right now, I do not have them.

Discovery Education (not ready yet)
first initial, last name @castlio (example: tlongmore@castlio)
password: 12345

Classroom Rules

The students spent some time working on what they would want to see in a classroom and from that idea, we spent some time working on what would expected and unexpected behaviors look like. We took those behaviors and categorized them to come with with some fairly simple rules, but they encompass a lot of behaviors.

Classroom Rules
1. Be Responsible
2. Be Respectful
3. Be Caring
4. Be Safe

Our DOJO point categories will reflect these rules.
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