Fun in Fourth Grade

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

Hello, Families,

I hope this update finds all of you well. Thank you for taking the time to stay apprised of what those terrific Chastain-ians are up to!

Heartfelt Thanks and Shout Outs

A big shout out to Riley for reading two million words thus far in 4th grade! So proud of you, super reader!

Curriculum Updates

Language Arts

  • Students will conclude our Pioneer Simulation by writing a friendly letter to "Aunt Bertha" back in Independence, Missouri about whether she should make the trip west or not. This should be finished by Friday, May 8th.

  • We had a substitute in class today because my son caught the virus that took down my daughter. (The Chastain house really can't seem to catch a break right now!) This has resulted in a gift for your kids...Mid-Trimester Accelerated Reader Goal Deadline is extended to Monday. Encourage your kids to read, read, read!

  • Next week we begin our poetry unit. We will be looking at types of figurative language and poetic devices while examining these in poetry. Students will be assigned the task of memorizing a 10-line- (or more if they wish) poem, due on May 15. A grading rubric will come home on Monday.

  • We will be working on Spelling City List #22 next week. Just a friendly reminder of our procedure...students work on practice activities for homework during the week and take the test at home with a parent or adult family member monitoring. Students then return the printed test with a parent signature (or a note from their parent) indicating that they proctored the test.

  • And another friendly reminder that students' at-home "Current Event from Asia" project is due on May 19th. Students will find and print a current event from anywhere on the continent of Asia. They will write a five paragraph essay, include two or more visual aides, and a bibliography in response to the current event he or she selects. This will be presented orally to the class. Please see project guidelines and grading rubrics sent home on April 24th for further details.


  • We are nearly finished with a brief chapter on metric units of measurement. The chapter test is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6th. IXL strands that correlate with our work in class include the following. 4th Grade: N.8-N.11 and 5th Grade: W.7-W.12.

  • Next up, students will be working on real-world problem solving using perimeter and area.

Social Studies

  • We begin exploring the gold rush period in California's history. Throughout this unit we will be exploring essential questions such as, Why is the Gold Rush considered one of the more important American events in the 1800s? How was the environmental impact of mining techniques viewed differently by miners, farmers, merchants and townspeople? How did the Gold Rush change California’s population and economy? I will be teaching this unit to the Chastain-ias, as well as to Miss Porter's class.

Physical Science

  • Beginning next week, Miss Porter will be teaching our class about physical science concepts relating to energy.

Pioneer Day Update

Every year, we culminate 4th grade with Pioneer Day! This year this special day will take place on June 11th, and we will be on the Del Campus all day.

Thank you to all of our parents who attended the information meeting for Pioneer Day on Tuesday. If you missed it, here are some of the things we discussed:

  • Please volunteer! This event is only possible with the help of many parents. We are especially in need of chairpeople for each station. Chairpeople make sure that all volunteer tasks are covered, and determine with volunteers if they will work in shifts or all remain at the station during the day. All supplies are provided by the school. Please sign up here!

Westlake Charter School's 10 Year Celebration!

Westlake Charter is 10 years old and we’re ready to celebrate! We hope to see you at our Westlake Charter 10 Year Celebration on Saturday, May 16th at the Four Points at Sheraton in Natomas. This “adults only” event is all about fun and celebrating our school! The cost of the event is $40 (early bird pricing until April 30th) and covers dinner and live entertainment by 80’s cover band, 8 Track Massacre. Dinner and dancing? Yes! We hope you’re up for an evening of fun with your fellow adult Explorers!

Please note that this evening is not about fundraising for Westlake Charter. It’s about celebrating the outstanding accomplishments by everyone who has been and is a part of the Westlake Charter Community. Proceeds from this event, including the silent auction, will be used to cover any costs so that our teachers and staff can attend without charge.

We hope that you’ll join us with our Westlake Charter families from our past, present and future!

Tickets can be purchased online at

Odds & Ends

  • Math Monday Challenge problem can be found at this link.

  • May is Bike Month! A bike trip is considered to be 10 minutes. Be sure to get out there this weekend and ride your bikes and take note how many “trips” you went on. We will take note everyday for a chance to win all sort of fun prizes.

  • I am looking for a parent who can come in and make copies for our class at any time on Fridays for the remainder of the school year. Please email me if you would like to take on this volunteer position.

  • Are you already thinking about ways to prevent "summer slide" in your soon-to-be-5th grader? Stock up on some great summer reads for your child. Our final scholastic book order of the school year will be placed on May 15th. Click here to place your order. Use activation code: L6L3V. Thanks for helping to build our classroom library and encouraging your child to read!

Dates to Remember

  • Wednesday, May 6: Chapter 13 Math Test on Metric Measurement
  • May 7 at 6:30 p.m. on Del Paso campus: WAVE meeting
  • May 8: Mid-Trimester Progress Reports sent home
  • Week of May 11th: NWEA Testing (Exact days TBD)
  • May 15: Poetry Recitation Due
  • May 15: Final Scholastic Book Order Placed
  • May 16: Celebration of Westlake Charter School's 10th Anniversary. More info here.
  • May 19: Current Event from Asia Project Due
  • May 20: Open House from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
  • May 25: Memorial Day - No School!
  • June 11: 4th Grade Pioneer Day on Del Paso Campus
  • June 16: 3rd Trimester Academic Awards Ceremony
  • June 17: Field Day & Last Day of School
Thanks so much for your time! Enjoy your weekend! If I can answer any questions, please email me at


Heather Chastain