Fun in Fourth Grade

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

Greetings all! Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend. Now that the first trimester is drawing to a close it is that time for teachers like me to reflect, to plan grade mountains and mountains of student assessments. : ) Knowing that next weekend I will be busy, busy, busy with report cards, I will be including information for the next two weeks below. But first...

Heartfelt Thanks and Shout Outs

When students take Accelerated Reader quizzes, the number of words read are also recorded. I want to take a moment to recognize our first student to read 1,000,000 words in our classroom. Congratulations, Amanda Chan! In celebration of her achievement, I bought her the lunch of her choosing, as is our tradition in 4th grade when a student reaches this monumental reading milestone, and every million words thereafter. I have a feeling Miss Chan will be earning quite a few cheeseburgers this year!

Speaking of hard-working students, Jasmine Fang and Spencer Mott will be recognized during morning line-up on Tuesday, November 6th for their perfect CST scores in both language arts and math. CBS news will be filming at this time and their achievement will be recognized on the news! Congratulations, Jasmine and Spencer!

I would like to thank Kim Gustafson and Vanessa Whang Mott for their help grading math facts tests this week. I also appreciate the help of Dia Siefker who is making many, many copies for our Age of Sail song books. Also, sincere thanks to Mariana Valdez and Emily Chan for their assistance during math groups last week! Thank you so much to all of our parents for their help!

Curriculum Updates


  • On Monday and Tuesday of this week we will be reviewing all the math concepts covered during this trimester in preparation for the 1st trimester math assessment to be given on Wednesday, November 6th.

  • Beginning Thursday and continuing into the next week, students will be working on the order of operations when approaching multi-operations in an equation. They will also be simplifying and comparing equations and inequalities. The test date is not yet determined. IXL strands that correspond with the work in class include: G.4, H.1 and F.9.

Language Arts

  • During the next two weeks, we continue our traditional literature unit. Next week, we explore tall tales as well as literary devices commonly seen in this genre: hyperbole and superlatives. Following this, we move into mythology. As you likely know, many common expressions and words used today originate in Greek mythology. We will be learning terms like "Herculean" and "Achilles Heel," among others as we study stories of Greek mythology.

  • Friday, November 8th is the student deadline for students to meet their individualized Accelerated Reading goals. Ask your child how they are progressing towards meeting this goal. Many students have surpassed their goals and continue to work towards meeting our million word challenge.

  • This week, students will be working on Spelling City List #8. Next week, Spelling City List #9 will be assigned.


  • On Monday we will be reviewing for our Life Science test, scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th.

Social Studies

  • We will be using our social studies unit on Native Americans of California to kick off our work with expository writing and research. Students will work in groups to research Native American tribes and write informational essays about their findings. This teacher-guided, in-class project will provide students with a solid foundation in research skills, expository writing and collaboration with others during the coming weeks.

Other Reminders

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Beginning on November 4th, you will be able to schedule a conference with me during the week of November 18-21. It is my hope to meet with each of you to share how your child is progressing in 4th grade. Please see the flyer that went home last week for the link to the scheduling portal, or see the WCS website beginning on 11/4.

Olympic Triathlon

As you have likely heard from your very excited child, the Olympic Triathlon torch was passed to our class this week for raising more than $2000 in our classroom. Thank you so much for supporting our school!

Olympic Triathlon Donation Days on the Del Paso campus are on Wednesdays at AIM Mail Center from 7:30-8am and at campus from 7:45-8:30am through November 20th. However, checks can also be put in the WAVE mailbox in the office at any time or through Paypal through December 6th. Our students will be participating in the Olympic Triathlon event at school this Tuesday.

It is WCS and WAVE's goal to have each student fundraise $180 in support of our programs at WCS. Please consider talking to friends and family about donating to our school. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Canned Food Drive

WCS is currently accepting canned and boxed foods for people in need within our community. We have a box outside of our classroom for collection. Thank you for considering!

Volunteer Opportunities

I'm looking for a parent who would be available to work one-on-one with a student on Wednesday (this week only) from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. Please email if interested.

I also have a take home project of separating our social studies newspapers by week. This project should take no longer than 30 minutes and will need to be completed by Thursday. Again, please email if interested. Thanks for considering these opportunities!

Dates to Remember...

I have an up-to-date calendar on my website as a handy reference for you. But here are some dates to keep in mind:
  • Olympic Triathlon donations accepted until December 6th.
  • Nov. 5: Olympic Triathlon Student Event
  • Nov. 5: Life Science Test
  • Nov. 6: 1st Trimester Math Test
  • Nov. 8: Accelerated Reader Goal Deadline
  • Nov. 11: Veteran's Day - No School
  • Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m.: WAVE Meeting on Del Paso Campus
  • Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m.: WCS Board Meeting
  • Nov. 15: Last Day of Trimester
  • Nov. 18-21: Parent-Teacher Conference Week - EARLY DISMISSAL ALL WEEK
  • Nov. 25 - Dec. 2: Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec.20 - Jan. 6: Winter Break
  • January 8 & 9: Age of Sail Field Lesson
I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead of them! As always, please email if I can answer any questions for you.


Heather Chastain