Fun in Fourth Grade

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

Holiday Greetings, families! Below are important reminders and updates. Thanks for reading!

Heartfelt Thanks and Shout Outs

First a shout-out to our latest million-word reader, Jasmine Fang! Way to go, kiddo! You should be so proud of your reading success.

Our Winter Celebration party was a huge success! It went off without a hitch thanks to the donations and hard work of the Fahiua, Cote, Gutierrez, Fang, Gustafson, Morrow, Carter, Mavromatis, Chan and Miller families. Thanks so much for your contributions of food items and your time!

Thanks so much, Mariana Valdez, for your assistance this week. As always, it is sincerely appreciated.

Last but certainly not least, every year I am overwhelmed by my families' generosity during the holidays. Thanks to all who donated to our Donor's Choose project and for the many gifts given to me. I sincerely appreciate your thinking of me!

***Important Age of Sail Reminders ***

Its hard to believe but our Age of Sail field lesson is almost here! We depart on the Wednesday of the week we return from break.

*** Students should bring their Age of Sail gear packed, labeled and ready to go on the day we return to school on Monday, January 6th.***

Earlier, I sent home a packing list and labeling instructions. But in the event it has been misplaced, here is a link to the information: The only exception to this list is galley gear. We already have galley gear for everyone.

Remember that all items should be packed into ONE garbage bag (preferably double bagged for durability) and labeled with students' first/last names and crew. For example:

Heather Chastain

Rigger Crew

Per my earlier email, sweatshirts have been ordered. The cost per sweatshirt is $20 (for both adults and children.

Directions for Payment:

  • Go to PayPal on WCS website:
  • Scroll down to the field for "Student Scholarship"
  • In the memo field record: "sweatshirt, the student's first and last name, Chastain" (if ordering two sweatshirts record "2 sweatshirts, your name and student's names, Chastain")
  • Click "donate" and indicate the amount you are donating for sweatshirts

Thank you to families who have already made their field lesson donation for this year. If you haven't yet made your donation, please do so here: Even if you are unable to donate the full amount at this time, any amount will help us. Thanks!

Even if you were not selected as a Tall Sailor for our field lesson, parents are welcome to drive separately and join us in San Francisco at Mission Dolores. Please send me an email if you plan to meet up with us.

Students NOT attending Age of Sail must attend school on January 8 and 9. They will be given assignments to be completed in Miss Rog's classroom during the two days that the class will not be at school.

Over Break

During break it is a good idea to be mindful of the following:

  • Students need to read, read, read and then read some more over break. Literature Circles reading The Hobbit and Artemus Fowl are finishing their books over break. Also, the mid-trimester will be here before we know it. Students will be receiving mid-trimester grades for their progress towards meeting their trimester AR goal as of January 17th. So students should be finishing up those books over break and taking AR quizzes when they return.

  • Math facts will be tested for the mid-trimester a couple weeks after we return from break. Because we will have fewer grades in "Base 10 Math" these quiz grades tend to have greater impact than during 1st trimester. If your child is struggling to memorize math facts, he or she should practice these over break. IXL, Manga High (students were given user names and passwords for this website) as well as links on my website are all great resources for math facts practices.

  • Mission Projects are due on January 15th. Please make certain that your child is progressing well towards completion of this long-term project.

Curriculum Updates


  • No chapter math test during the week we return from break. When we return, we will be creating a fun "monster book of factors." Later we move onto fractions.

Language Arts

  • We will begin a new round of literature circles upon returning from break.

  • We continue to work on inferencing skills with non-fiction texts, as well as identifying the main idea and supporting details when working with this text genre.

  • Due to Age of Sail, there will be no spelling or vocabulary lists for the week of January 6th.

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:
  • Dec.20 - Jan. 6: Winter Break
  • January 8 & 9: Age of Sail Field Lesson
  • January 15: Mission Projects Due
  • January 17: Mid-Trimester AR Progress Evaluated
  • January 24: Mid-Trimester Progress Reports go home
Wishing you all the peace and joy of the season! As always, please email me if you have any questions.


Heather Chastain