Fourth Grade Fundamentals

January 15, 2016

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day (NO SCHOOL)

Thursday, January 21 - PTA Board Meeting and Parent Technology Night

Tuesday, January 26 - Spirit Night at Spring Creek Barbeque in Grapevine

Monday, February 1 - Spirit Night at Kendra Scott in Southlake

Friday, February 5 - Wear Read for Heart Health

Wednesday, February 10 - Play it Safe Presentations

GRAMMAR AND SPELLING

GRAMMAR - Yes, we need to write complete sentences! That's also why we encourage our students to speak in complete sentences when answering questions. Try this at home as this will undoubtedly transfer to better writing and overall communicating. For example, if you ask your child, "Where did put your homework?" the complete answer should be, "I put my homework in my red folder. " It should not be, "in my red folder."


We have begun working on writing complex sentences since we have mastered how to write both a simple sentence and a compound sentence. Ask your writer what a complex sentence is and how it differs from a compound sentence. Keep in mind that we just started examining these types of sentences. Hopefully, they will tell you that both types will have a conjunction such as and, but, or or.


SPELLING & GRAMMAR - We will ALL be working on the same spelling concept next week since it's also a grammar skill. We will be working on adding the "er" and "est" suffix to adjectives that compare. We will also be working on adding "er OR "or" to verbs to make nouns. Both will often involve changing the "y" to an "i." You can see why this is also a study in grammar as it helps us learn about the different parts of speech. In addition, we will start working on our 4th grade sight word list. Look for this red-colored list in the planner. It should be glued in toward the front. We won't be having a quiz about this concept until Friday, January 29.

WRITING

We are working on writing compositions that show we know how to include specific details and description in our "freeze time" paragraphs. Good writers know that they will actually be reading more than they are actually writing. This is because we are taking more care to read and reread so that we can think about whether or not our readers will be able to visualize our descriptions. We are ALWAYS working on rereading for the purpose of editing those smaller details that we call CUPS (capitals, usage, punctuation, and spelling.)

HUMANITIES

"What is HUMANITIES?" you ask. We're glad you asked. It's really a way to integrate what we're learning in social studies with language arts and reading. So, when we read from the Texas history textbook or any other social studies source to learn the social studies content, we are also learning reading and writing strategies. For example, this week the students learned how to do some "reciprocal teaching" as they learned about an important historical figure. They were in groups talking and sharing in a discussion format led by a student. They wrote summaries (reading/writing skills) and completed vocabulary work (reading skills) while learning information about an important Texan (social studies skills).

Science News

This week in science the students have been honing their skills at being meteorologists! They have been using weather maps of Texas and the United States to track and predict the weather. If you have time this weekend, have your child watch the end of a local news program to catch the weather. Now that they know a bit more about weather maps, it may be of interest to them.

MATH NEWS

This week has been all about multiplication with 2 digit factors. Students have shown that they can solve these problems using multiple strategies. We have started deepening our understanding of area as well as the difference between area and perimeter!