The Silver Scoop

September 8-11 edition

Our Class Shows PRIDE!

Congratulations to the students who "clipped up" last week for showing exceptional behavior: Gabi, Pat, Vinny, Shelby, Savannah, Joshua, Kiki, Luke, Alexis, Reagan, Christian, and Abigail. Congratulations also to Luke Brewer for being our class's first PRIDE band winner. Luke received his blue band for 30 credits last week! Savannah, Maddox, Gabi, Alexis, Riley, and Vinny are getting close to 30 credits, too!

Upcoming Events

Midterms are going home tomorrow, along with an AR Reading update and STAR Reading and Math reports. Please look for a stapled set of papers in your child's folder on Tuesday. You do not need to sign and return anything; the reports are yours to keep. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Scholastic Book Club flyers will be going home tomorrow. You can send in your order to school (check or money order only, please) or order online. Simply follow the instructions attached to the flyers. Orders are due September 17.


Student Council elections will be held this Friday, September 11. Students who wish to run should return the permission slip by Thursday. Students may bring two campaign posters/banners to hang in our classroom or hallway. They should prepare a campaign speech to be given Friday morning. Three students will be chosen to represent our class. Students must have transportation to and attend meetings at 7:30 a.m. on Friday mornings. (Meetings are held 2 times per month.)


Friday marks the 14th anniversary of 9/11. To remember this event, our school is celebrating Patriot Day on Friday with a silent dismissal. Students will have handmade paper flags to wave as they silently exit the building while patriotic music plays over the intercom system. Any parents who are police officers, firefighters, or active, reserve, or veteran members of the armed forces are invited to attend. Please meet out in front of the school at 3:25 so you can be positioned along the front grassy area to wave to the buses and car riders as they leave. There will be a reception in Town Hall for these heroes after dismissal.


School Picture Day is Tuesday, September 15. Order envelopes were sent home on Friday. If you are ordering pictures of your child, please return the envelope on or before the 15th.


This week's special schedule:

Tuesday--Music, Wednesday--Art, Thursday--Gym, Friday--Computer Lab

We Love to Read!

Attached to your child's midterm, you will find a report listing all of the AR quizzes your child has taken so far this year. Please remember that students have a 50-page reading goal each week. These pages are earned when students take and pass AR tests. Right now Norah and Vinny are battling it out for the top spot, with each reading more than 2,000 pages! Amazing! Other students who have met the current target (4 weeks x 50 pages = 200 pages) are: Maddy, Christian, Joshua B., Luke, Jacob, Nik, Savannah, William, Bella, Gabi, Kiki, Alexis, Abigail, and Riley. Way to go, students! I love to help children who don't like to read find just the right book to make them fall in love with reading. I meet with the students weekly to set reading goals and help them find books to read. If your child is having trouble meeting the 50-page-week minimum, please set a timer and have him/her read for 20 minutes every night.

Last Week's Learning

We completed our paper towel experiment in science last week! Each team of students was given a brand of paper towels to test. We worked together to identify the changing variable (brand of paper towel) for the experiment and to carefully control the other variables. The students dunked a paper towel square into 100 mL of water for 15 seconds, let it drip for 5 seconds, and then measured the water remaining in the container. By subtracting that number from 100 mL, they computed how much water the paper towel absorbed. Every group performed 4 trials, and the results are in.....(drum roll please).... The most absorbent paper towel brand was Bounty DuraTowel! It absorbed an average of 24.3 mL of water, while the poorest performer, Wal-Mart brand, absorbed only 13.75 mL. The "Best Buy" award went to Sparkle, which costs exactly half as much as Bounty Dura-Towel but absorbed 19.5 mL of water, which made it pretty absorbent for a much lower price. Check out the pictures below!


There are also pictures from the popular Function Machines activity and related math stations from last Tuesday and from reading stations last Thursday.

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What We Are Studying This Week

DOL/Journal -- We will do DOL Week #5 each morning this week. On Friday students will take a quiz over the DOL sentences we corrected. We are on List #5 this week on Synonyms. Students need to learn the definitions and spellings of the 10 vocabulary words as well as the spelling of the 5 core words. We will practice all week in class, and there will be a test on Friday. This Week's Words: romp, startle, appoint, grief, jittery, sweltering, glee, vessel, pledge, triumph. Core Words: usually, family, remember, special, anything


STARS Club -- Our reading clubs continue, so check with your child about the book his/her group is reading.


Math -- We will finish Topic 2 on patterns and function tables this week, doing Lessons 2-4 and 2-6, and there will be a test on Thursday. Then we will begin Topic 3 on Place Value. There will be math homework on Tuesday and Wednesday. In fact, Wednesday's homework will be the reteaching and practice test questions from the textbook, which is a wonderful review of the concepts we're studying. Last week we set a counting record for 4s (Yay!), so this week we will learn the 6s song and work on that record, too. Check out the 6s video later in this newsletter, and practice the song with your child. We will also continue working on multiplication facts. Two students have passed ALL of their fact tests! Wow! Congratulations to Josh Nunley and Jacob Catron! Other students should have sets of colored flashcards to practice at home each night. These flashcards should be returned daily to practice in class, too.


Science -- On Tuesday the students will read excerpts from a Science Studies Weekly newspaper, and there is an assignment that goes with it. Then we will begin reading Unit 1 in our science book. This book is unique because the students will keep it at the end of the year, so we are able to write and highlight in it. This week we will read Lesson 1, which is a review of the science process skills and the scientific method that we have already been studying.


Reading -- I am really excited about this week in reading! On Wednesday, we will begin reading one of my all-time favorites: The Westing Game. I first fell in love with this book when I read it in a 5th grade high ability class many, many years ago at Reelsville Elementary. I still remember the excitement my teacher, Mrs. Thomas, created for our class as we read this mystery novel. In fact, she had to tape our books shut so we wouldn't read ahead! I hope to create similar excitement for your child, and one way of doing that is by assigning the persona of one of the 16 main characters to each person in our class. Not only is this fun for the kids, but it will help them keep track of so many different characters! I have some other surprises planned along the way, and I hope your child comes home each day eager to tell you all about our novel study. This week we should read Chapters 1-5. We will typically read and discuss every chapter together. The author's writing style requires readers to frequently read between the lines, and it's also very fun to discover new pieces of information all at the same time. There are questions for the students to answer with each chapter, and the first set of questions are due Friday. Some of our Thursday reading stations will focus on synonyms and antonyms, which is the next vocabulary skill we are studying.


I also wanted to tell you about a graded homework assignment that should come home with your child tomorrow. I graded last week's questions over Encyclopedia Brown: Super Sleuth twice. The first time, I marked any errors in grammar, spelling, capitalization, or punctuation with a black pen. Then the students were given a language grade for this piece of written work. The second time I read through their answers to check for accuracy in reading comprehension, and a reading grade was given in red ink. Occasionally I will grade written reading assignments this way. As I've stressed to the students, it is important to check all written work for accuracy. DOL is just one way to assess students' understanding of the English language and conventions, but daily written work usually provides a better picture of this knowledge.


Language -- This week we will begin a new writing assignment related to the Encyclopedia Brown: Super Sleuth novel we read last week. Students will pretend to be newspaper reporters writing articles about the remarkable boy detective, Encyclopedia Brown. The articles will be 4-paragraph essays, with an introductory paragraph, two body paragraphs about two of Encyclopedia's cases, and a concluding paragraph. This week we will mostly brainstorm and plan our writing. In grammar, we will read about articles (a, an, the) from Grammar Town, and we will also practice identifying nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles in sentences.


Social Studies -- On Wednesday the students will record the important information from Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 2 in an outline. This outline is essentially the study guide for our first social studies test. The test won't be until the week of September 14, but your child should hold on to the study guide and begin reviewing the information now. There will also be an assignment over Lessons 1 and 2 on Thursday, although lots of class time will be given to start (and maybe even finish!) this assignment.

Counting By Sixes Song Video

This Week's Funny

This joke was sent to me by one of you! The kids loved it!
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Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. We're going to have an AMAZING week!

Mrs. Kara Silver

4th Grade Teacher

Clarks Creek Elementary

Plainfield Community Schools