May Newsletter

May 9, 2018

Smarter Balanced Assessments

I am so proud of your children. They arrive each day prepared to show all they know and to be shining stars. Their stamina, grace, and commitment have been admirable.

We only have four more SBA sessions to go. Reading and Writing. Later in the month, May 22, there will be a test for placement in the advanced math class at Sakai (informative letter sent home two weeks ago). The second screener will be on the 29th or 30th. Possibly a FastBridge test or two. They've got this.

Big picture

Outdoor Ed

Hard to believe it is true, but we will be leaving for NatureBridge two weeks from today. This week, your child will bring home some additional salmon-colored papers (Outdoor Ed -related content). Please be sure to promptly return the signed behavior contracts after discussing the rules with your child. We will be doing a packing demonstration on Friday, May 19. We want to make sure every child knows what to bring on the bus in their daypack and what to pack in their bus-loaded luggage.

Each child, teacher, and administrator headed to NatureBridge is looking forward to this trip. Every group of students that we take enjoys our stay at Lake Crescent, but we just know this group will love it.

How-To Guides and Books of Choice

This assignment is about sharing a passion with classmates and practicing procedural writing. Students should have read a How-to book on any topic. They also should have found two Internet sources (video and article/blog entry) on THEIR chosen topic. Some children have begun their storyboard (presentation plan) and are creating their actual presentations using Google Slides with their accounts. Here is the slide show that I used to explain the assignment to the children.

The schedule has not been completed, but will be shortly. Each student will have an assigned date for sharing. We have about half the class signed up for presentations in May after our return from NatureBridge and the other half in early June. As I have told the children, the due date is the due date. We are heavily scheduled for the rest of the year and there's nowhere to push a late presentation.

To complete the Luvtareed Reading Log as required, all students need to read five books of choice by June 14th. About a third of the students have already met this expectation as they have read titles beyond the requirements all year. An extra mystery, additional realistic fiction, etc. I will be letting each child know how many books he/she needs to complete before the due date. Please be sure your child is reading nightly.


Greek Mythology is a popular unit of study and we read the easy-to-enjoy D'Aulaires stories. We will start next week and this text is a nice respite from all the computer screen reading they have been doing as part of the SBA. We will actually listen to a bit of it as I have it on CD. Fourth graders love these stories of gods, goddesses, heroes and monsters. Who doesn't?


We will spend the month practicing fraction and decimal operations, geometry, and multi-step problem solving.

We will be doing a fun Greek math simulation called Athenian Secret. Students are teamed in sets of three. They give their team a clever Greek name and then start traveling around Athens solving math problems. For example, The Stoa of Attalus may have a number riddle. Geometry, logic, puzzles - 9 challenging tasks are required and many more are available if a team finishes before the allotted half hour is over. Drachmas are earned for the correct solutions. Competitive and fun.


Hoping to fit a new unit on Orcas in during any down moments.

Upcoming Events

I want to give you some important dates to put on your calendar:

Outdoor Ed. is Weds. - Friday, May 23 -25

Greek Play - Tues, June 12, 6:30 pm

Mariners Game (whole 4th grade) - Wednesday, June 13, 8:45 - 4:25 (parent pick up at the ferry terminal) - $20.00 (includes lunch)

4th Grade to Sakai - Tuesday, June 5, 9:00 - 11:00

Swimming (whole 4th grade) - Monday, June 18, 9:30 - 11:30 am - $5.00 fee and sack lunch

Thank you

May and June are both months that require a huge amount of parent participation and

I feel so much gratitude for your willingness to pitch in and get the work done.

I want to sincerely thank you for all you have done to make our testing sessions go well.

I appreciate your children's daily attendance and lack of tardiness. The snacks have been perfect! I can't tell you how much the students look forward to these little feasts.

We also have 6 parent volunteers going with us as chaperones to NatureBridge - Alice Skipton, Krush Kulesza, William Bernstein, Dave Ellison, Tom Yan, and Rene Ruiz.

Mariners Game

Tuesday, June 13th 2017 at 2:30am-4:30pm

1250 1st Avenue South

Seattle, WA

We need three volunteers. Any chance you are available?

RSVPs are enabled for this event.