# Back to School in Fourth Grade

## New Year, New Beginnings

Fourth graders have "hit the ground running" over the last two and a half weeks! They are now starting to adjust to their new classroom routines and procedures and build relationships with their peers and teachers. All while learning about place value relationships, writing personal narratives, analyzing different types of texts, and exploring North Carolina history and culture. We have all enjoyed getting to know our students and are optimistic for a fabulous school year! So far, so good!

## Math

Students have been comparing and ordering numbers with values ranging all the way to the millions! Student have also been challenged with decomposing numbers and writing them in expanded form. The big take away from this unit is how the digits within a multi-digit number are related to each other. Students have learned that same digits located beside each other in a number have a relationship of 10. The digit to the left is ten times greater in value and the digit to the right is ten times less in value (Ex: In 770, the first 7 has a value of 700 which is ten times more than the second 7's value of 70). Please remind students to complete their nightly math homework. We are looking forward to exploring more about relationships between each place value!

Some classes also started "Mad Minutes" where students are tested every week on their facts. Students who pass each level with a 90% move on to the next level the next week. When students have mastered all of their facts, they receive a classroom reward. If your child does not know their multiplication facts, please practice with them at home. It will be a HUGE help to students throughout fourth grade math- especially when we start our units on fractions!

Did you know that all types of writing "fit" into one of three genres? These three genres are poetry, prose, and drama. We have been exploring features of all three of these writing styles and the features that make up each one. Last week we started with drama and then moved onto prose. Prose is what students read everyday so we did not spend too much time on it! This week we focused more on poetry. Students have not only learned the basic parts of a poem and poetry vocabulary, but they have also learned that poetry speaks to the heart- this is what really sets poetry apart from the other styles of writing! Next week will be focusing on figurative language. More specifically, idioms, adages, proverbs, similes and metaphors.

## Writing

Students have begun to draft personal narratives with Ms. Ellenberg & Ms. Najera. They have chosen a small "seed" moment of their life to write about. Our focus has been on selecting an idea that is not too "big" to write about. We have used the texts The Wednesday Surprise and Roller Coaster to model personal narratives written about small moments. Students used the visual of a watermelon (see below) to help them narrow down their ideas. Once they had picked a small moment, students created a strong lead, added transition words, and sensory details to help stretch out their writing. We are looking forward to reading the finished products!

## Social Studies

Students are in their NC history and culture unit with Mrs. Maxwell and Mr. Tompkins. They are studying Native Americans through a mini archaeology experiment and will be moving onto European Explorers and colonies next week!

## Field Trips

We have our Haw River field trip coming up! Information about this trip will be coming home next week. We will be asking for \$5 from each student to cover the cost of the trip and bus.

Dates to Remember:

October 6 (Haw River)

November 3 (Mountains)

May 17 (Beach)

NC Symphony TBD

## Recorders

Please remember to send in the recorder form and/or money! Fourth graders will need access to one for music this school year. The cost for the recorder is \$10. Please see the form sent home in last week's Friday folder for more information.