What's Happening in 4th Grade!

October 29, 2013

Math

Students are learning strategies for multiplying larger numbers. Arrays are still useful for some children as ways to visualize multiplication. Students are learning the partial product method for multiplying larger numbers, which involves breaking the numbers apart into smaller multiplication problems.


Example:

32

x14


30 x 10 = 300

30 x 4 = 120

10 x 2 = 20

4 x 2 = 8


300 + 120 + 20 + 8 = 448

32 x 14 = 448


This method is a great strategy to use as students utilize their knowledge of patterns and learn their multiplication facts. Students will also be taught the traditional algorithm for multiplication, which is how you and I learned to multiply. Children are free to use any strategy that works for them.


Global Read Aloud - Out of My Mind

We all enjoyed reading about Melody's triumph as she learned to use her new computer to communicate and made the academic quiz team at her school. Students feel a strong connection with Melody and are noticing some of the subtle ways she is mistreated. In spite of all of her challenges, she is persistent and maintains a positive attitude. Ask your child how Melody's computer changed her life.

Language Arts

Students have been learning about parts of speech as they are becoming better writers. Precise nouns, powerful verbs, and fresh adjectives are tools authors use to help their readers visualize. We are also keeping an eye out for this type of language as we read. Ask your child for a synonym for one of these blah words: good, said, fun, or nice. They will impress you with their new vocabulary!


Science

We are learning about seeds and plants in fourth grade! Students know the functions of the roots, stem, leaves, and flower. We are experimenting to see how water and minerals travel through the stem to the leaves and flower. Students will also be taking a close look at seeds and learning the parts of the flower. As we learn about plants, students are also learning comprehension strategies that are specific to reading nonfiction. Nonfiction features such as headings, bold words, and diagrams help us determine what is important as we read.


No word study this week or next week due to the short school weeks. Word study instruction will resume November 11.


Book Character Day - Thursday, October 31

Thursday, October 31 is Book Character Day!


Students (and teachers) are encouraged to dress up as a character from a book.


You could:

Put on a flannel shirt, carry a stuffed pig, and be Fern from Charlotte's Web.

Paint your face with stripes and wearing crazy clothes and be the girl from A Bad Case of Stripes.

Dress in all black and be Viola Swamp from Miss Nelson is Missing.

Carry a pen and be Nick from Frindle.

Wear a toga and be Jack or Annie from Magic Tree House: Vacation Under the Volcano.


Students can plan with others to dress as different characters from the same book or go solo. As always, participation in these spirit days is optional, but it's more fun when more people participate. Please let us know if you have any questions!


Harvest Party - Thursday, October 31

Fourth graders are planning a Harvest Celebration in conjunction with Book Character Day on October 31. We would be grateful if families could donate the following items:


Adams - salty snacks

Albertson - juice boxes or fruits or veggies

Hamel - sweet snacks


We could use a few donations of paper products and plastic utensils as well, but we don't need tons of these. If you would like to send in one of these items, please check with your child's teacher to see if it is still needed. We will combine and celebrate as a grade level on the afternoon of October 31.


Please keep in mind our students with peanut and tree nut allergies.


Thank you for your support!

Conferences

Fourth grade parent teacher conferences will be held November 11-15. Your child's teacher will be contacting you to schedule a conference time, if you do not already have one.


Important Dates:

October 31 - Book Character Day and Fourth Grade Harvest Party

November 4-5 - Teacher workdays

November 11-15 - Parent Conferences

November 27-29 - Thanksgiving Holiday