September News from 4th Grade

Check out what's happening this month in room 112.

Important Dates

  • Orchestra lessons begin - Monday, September 9

  • Math MAP testing - Monday, September 9

  • Reading MAP testing - Tuesday, September 10

  • Chapter 1 Math Test - Thursday, September 12

  • New Math Classes Start - Tuesday, September 17

  • Picture Day - Thursday, September 19

Reminders

Seesaw

  • I sent an email last Thursday inviting you to your child’s Seesaw classes. You will need to sign up for all three classes in order to receive updates from both your child and me!

  • I highly recommend downloading the Seesaw app!


Headphones/earbuds

  • All students need headphones/earbuds for their chromebooks. Please be sure your child’s headphones/earbuds fit in the pocket attached to their chromebook.

Big picture

What’s Happening in 4th grade?

Reading

Students took the Unit 1 pre-assessment and started our first Unit of Study, Interpreting Characters. They are building reading stamina and learning how to stop and jot to monitor their comprehension and think more deeply about what they are reading.


We have started reading Wonder by R. J. Palacio during our read aloud time. This month we will progress through the first bend called Establishing Reading Life. Students will learn how to summarize in two different ways: chronological summary and synthesized summary. Students will also work on visualizing what they are reading by thinking about books as movies in their head.


After building this foundation, we will move into the next bend called Thinking Deeply about Characters. We will start to analyze characters in our books by developing evidence-based ideas about who these characters are as people. Students will think about how characters can be complex and have multiple character traits.


As students start developing stronger stamina, I will be expecting them to read one to two books a week! I will also be asking that they read one book at a time. So the book your child is reading at home should be brought to school everyday.


Tips for Reluctant Readers:

  • Graphic novels! These entertaining novels are the gateway to reading for many students.

  • Consider participating in the parent/child book club.

  • Find the audio of a book so students can listen to it. (I have a couple “old school” CD players anyone is welcome to borrow.)

  • Help your child establish a good reading spot and time to read.

  • Go to a bookstore!

  • For more ideas, contact me and we will devise a plan!


At Home:

  • Ask them about the characters in their independent reading books.

    • Who are the characters in your book?

    • What type of person is this character? How do you know? What have they done or said to make you think this?


  • Get your child talking about what is happening in their book. Ask them to summarize what they are reading by asking them to explain the big moments in the text.

Math

On Thursday students will take the chapter one test on place value. With the start of the second chapter, we will be flexibly grouping our math classes to help better meet the needs of all fourth grade students. In order to create the initial groupings, we take into account a variety of assessments that have been administered this year. The groups are fluid, and some children switch groups for each new unit of study. It is very important to emphasize that we will be teaching the same content and administering the same assessments to all groups of students at the same time. However, the way in which we teach each group of students and the pacing of each lesson will differ slightly. You will receive an introductory email from your child’s math teacher next week.


In chapter two, students will use estimation and the standard algorithm to solve multi-digit addition and subtraction. Students will also learn to identify the commutative, associative, and identity properties of addition.


At Home:

  • Practice basic addition and subtraction facts using Xtra Math, flashcards, or any other fact practice activity.

  • You can follow your child’s Xtra math progress with the invite letter I will send home on Wednesday. Let me know if you would like me to email the letter home.

  • For additional practice, Students can log-in to IXL. Ask them to show this to you.

Writing

We kicked off writing this year reading the picture book The Mischievians by William Joyce. Using this book as a model, students wrote about their own Mischievian. From there I introduced their writer’s notebooks using a video by Penny Kiddle. Students’ writers notebooks are a place for them to free write about anything they like. Students will write in their notebooks daily, and, while not a requirement, I will also be encouraging them to write at home.


This week we are entering into our first writing unit that will teach students how to write realistic fiction short stories. We will begin with the first bend encouraging students to see ideas for fiction stories everywhere. They will aim to create and develop 2-3 strong scenes that show a character, plot, and setting change over the course of the story.


At Home:

  • Ask your child about what their Mischievian does.

  • Check in with your child on their writer’s notebook. Ask them to share something they wrote.

  • Ask your child what story ideas they have come up with.

Science

This week students started studying waves. The unit begins by introducing students to the concept of waves and how they travel. Students will learn about the properties of waves in water, on a string, and sound waves. They will discover which waves travel through Earth causing seismic activity. Students will also study how sound waves and patterns are used to send messages. Using this knowledge, students will demonstrate different ways information can be transferred by creating a new communication method. All students should have the online textbook, TCI, bookmarked on their chromebook. I will email you when the test approaches so that you know when your child should be studying.

That's all for now!

I LOVE this class! As always, please email me with any questions or concerns.


kweis@d64.org