Fun in Fourth Grade

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

Hello families! Before I send you off for the Presidents' Week Break, below are important reminders and updates for the coming weeks. Remember, we resume school on Monday, February 24th. Thanks for reading!

Heartfelt Thanks and Shout Outs

And we have another 2,000,000 words reader this week! Jasmine Fang is the latest to raise the bar in reading achievement in our classroom! Congratulations, Jasmine!

My appreciation goes out to my math volunteers this week: Kim Gustafson, Emily Chan, Mariana Valdez and Christine Patterson. Thank you so much for giving your time! Thank you so much, Barabino Family for the supplies donation! Also, many thanks to the Gutierrez, Barabino, Avalos and Payen families for providing treats for our Valentines Day celebration today. The kids really enjoyed the goodies!

Over Break...

As you know, I do not like to assign "homework" over breaks when it can be avoided. However, these breaks can be helpful for additional reading and practice of skills. Please keep in mind the following:

  • We wil be testing 100% Spelling Words on the Monday we return from break. These words can be found on the back of your child's Super Magnetic Binder.

  • Fast Facts will also be tested during the week we return, on Friday, February 27th. On my website, under student resources, there are a number of resources for fast facts practice.

  • The Accelerated Reader points cut-off date will be March 7th. While, this feels a long way off for students, this gives students only two weeks following break to meet their goals. I have reminded students of this and advised them to read, read, read over break!

  • As you review your child's progress on Engrade Pro, you may find that your child is challenged by the math concepts we have studied during the 2nd trimester. If your child's test score indicates that he or she would benefit from extra practice, read the test description and look at correlating strands in IXL. Extra practice will help prepare for the end-of-trimester test that will be given in March.

Classroom Volunteer Opportunity

I continue to look for volunteers to assist students during math instruction. The more the merrier! I have bolded the day that I don't have any volunteers. Having two volunteers would be optimal. Thanks for considering!

Mondays from 8:50 to 9:50 a.m.

Tuesdays from 8:50 to 9:50 a.m.

Wednesdays from 8:40 to 9:40 a.m.

Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Curriculum Updates


  • After break, we continue work with comparing and ordering fractions and adding and subtracting mixed number fractions. Challenge group will wrap up addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators. Please see your child's planner for assigned IXL strands to support what they are learning in class. I do not expect to test this unit during the week of Feb. 24. I expect the test to fall early during the following week.

Language Arts

  • When we return we will begin another round of literature circles.

  • We will introduce the elements of opinion writing and how this is similar and different to the expository writing we have been doing as of late.

  • There will not be a spelling list during the week of Feb. 24. Instead, students will be working on five new Greek and Latin roots in addition to using Spelling/Vocabulary City to learn Earth Science vocabulary. Greek & Latin Roots will be quizzed on Friday, Feb. 28th. The Earth Science Unit 1 test will not be due until the week of March 6th so that we can spend two weeks working on these challenging terms.

  • In grammar, students will continue work differentiating between present, past and future tense verbs and applying them appropriately.

Earth Science

  • Upon our return we will begin our Earth Science unit! During the week we return students will begin to learn about the layers of the earth and a basic overview of the rock cycle.

  • As I mentioned above, students will also be working on science vocabulary terms using Spelling/Vocabulary city in class and at home as needed.

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:
  • February 17-27: Presidents' Week Break
  • Tuesday, February 25th: Guest Teacher Today. (Assessment Day for 2nd Trimester)
  • March 7: 2nd Trimester AR Points Goal Cut-Off
  • March 14: Last Day of 2nd Trimester
  • March 17: Guest Teacher Today. I will be attending the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference in Los Angeles on March 15-17, 2014.
  • March 17-21: Early Dismissal week for 4th graders/Parent-Teacher Conferences this Week
  • April 14-25: Spring Break
I hope you enjoy your week with your kids. They have worked so hard and have really earned some rest and relaxation! As always, please email me if you have any questions.


Heather Chastain