Spring Creek Cardinals
4th Grade Newsletter
FEBRUARY 2016 EDITION
While our students were in the library last week, Mrs. Ellis shared a summary of a quote that went along with the book she read. For bell work on Monday, I had the full quote up on the board. Here it is - "“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice”
- Robert F. Kennedy
I asked each class why I had the quote up on the board and really our discussion went from there.
I am sharing this with you for two reasons:
1-each class had great comments and discussion
2- we really have awesome 4th graders!
thanks for supporting and encouraging their "awesomeness"!
Math in February
First, I would like to introduce my student teacher, Mrs. Hugghins. She is a student from Sam Houston University who is studying to become a teacher. This is her last semester of school and she will have her own classroom next fall. We will benefit from having her in our classroom from now until the end of April, so if you are at school stop in and tell her hello.
February has a variety of math concepts that the students will learn about. We will begin with data analysis by looking at three different types of data tables, “Frequency Tables, Dot Plots and Stem & Leaf Plots. We will discover how to create each of these different data tables from either data they are given or from data they collect themselves. They will also look at how to interpret the data contained in the tables.
We will also explore financial literacy. As a part of financial literacy they will learn about saving their money and different ways to do that as well as how to allocate their money between saving, spending and making donations to charities. They will learn about the purpose of financial institutions and the difference between fixed expenses and variable expenses such as the difference between the fixed expense of rent or a car payment as compared to the variable expense of groceries or buying clothing. We will also explore how a business can create a profit.
Finally we will begin our exploration of measurement, including perimeter, area, and converting the measurements of length, time, liquid volume, mass and money. When performing conversions, the students will change between units of measurement, such as converting between inches, feet and yards or seconds, minutes and hours. It promises to be a very busy month leading into a very busy spring.
We have just finished a month of nonfiction research and presentations. The students have worked very hard on their topic and came up with creative ways to teach their topic. Students have created quizzes, posters, slideshows, interactive games, prezi presentations, and board games.
Our next reading book club will be focused on the genre historical fiction.
When your student is reading at home remember the following online options:
www.raz-kids.com user name inside planner
www.pebblego.com user name: spcreek password: reads
Students are continuing to write essays, stating a central idea and using supporting details. Students understand the basic structure on an essay, but now we are working on developing our introduction and conclusion. Students are also working on how to add their voice to the essay so that it doesn't sound formulaic.
Students have learned about many comma rules this past month, and I am seeing them apply the rules in their writing. We will continue to practice comma rules for introductory clauses, compound and complex sentences, direct address and dialogue.
Don't forget to check out the website for helpful tips on reading and writing.
SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES Update
In Social Studies:
During the next three weeks we will look at the development of the Republic of Texas, the important leaders, and the impact of the Mexican-American War on Texas. Each week students read a section of the newspaper and answer 2-3 critical reading questions. Students answer the questions independently and then they show me their answers. We also work on finding the main idea and supporting details in the articles. This is a great carry over from what they are learning with Mrs. Dungan. I have been incorporating this concept in our weekly quizzes too.
**WEEKLY QUIZZES** - encourage your student to participate in class and review the key vocabulary that is on the webpage.
We will look at our resources on Earth and conservation of them along with the patterns of change in the moon and sun and the effects they have on the Earth.
As a reminder, Encourage your child to review the vocabulary on the website.
"Stretch Questions" - Twice a week, during bell work we look at different leveled questions from social studies, science and even a little math. The students are really thriving with these questions.As a reminder, stretch questions look a lot like a STAAR test question. They require the students to understand a concept and then apply it to the question to find the answer. Two-part thinking. We discuss the incorrect and the correct answers and the WHY. This will help your student feel comfortable with different formats of test questions and allow them to build and improve their critical thinking skills.
Help with the first Spring Creek Yearbook!
February 8 - PTO meeting @ 12 noon
February 10 - Author Steve Swinburn visits with 4th grade
February 12 - Class Parties for Valentine's Day
February 13 - Regional Spelling Bee
February 15 - Staff Development for Teachers/ Student Holiday
February 16 - Enrichment Day- "Flight"
guest speaker -Dan Lench from Gessner Engineering
February 17 - Writing Practice STAAR
February 19 - End of the 4th six weeks
February 26 - 4th six weeks Awards Assembly