4D Classroom News

November 4-15, 2013

Academic Update

Language Arts & Social Studies:

Students continue to participate in a variety of literacy activities during our daily reading block. In addition to regular meetings with Guided Reading groups, Word Study groups, and 1:1 teacher/student reading conferences, the students also have choices and opportunities for their own literacy related interests. When they are not meeting with a teacher, they are engaged in various literacy activities including reading independently, reading with a buddy, word study, writing, and listening to reading. They reflect daily on their learning, with an emphasis on how they are using reading strategies and/or working on their reading goal. Whole group lessons occur on a daily basis and have been focused on learning about nonfiction text features and finding the main idea and supporting details in their reading. Check out Scholastic News Interactive for great nonfiction reading material for kids!

In addition to this, we have also been integrating our Social Studies unit into our literacy block. We are currently studying the newspaper and the students have been reading a variety of news and magazine articles, while learning about the writing style and how to find the main idea & 5W's + 1H (who, what, when, where, why, and how). We've studied leads, hooks, and learned that journalists use the inverted pyramid structure when writing their articles. This type of expository writing is unique in the sense that there really isn't a build up to the information. WIthin the first paragraph or so, the reader already knows what the whole article is about! As we've been studying this, students have completed a graphic organizer guiding them through this process. This will eventually provide the structure when they begin writing their own stories. Aside from this, we've also learned about the history of the newspaper, jobs in the workplace, and created a setting (frieze) of our very own elementary school newspaper! As mentioned previously, the kids will now apply what they are learning and develop their own news stories. Next week, we will begin the process of brainstorming ideas for news stories that are relevant to our audience (ES parents, teachers, and students). The kids will then contact people for interviews and go out on "assignment" to get the facts! Finally, we will take the information and begin the writing process. We look forward to sharing this with you!


We are still in Chapter 3, but have moved on from multiplication to division. As with multiplication, we have taken a close look at division with the goal of understanding the "why" behind the steps we take. Students have represented division concretely with place value chips, modeling the regrouping process and the steps along the way. As was the case with multiplication, there are a variety of methods for dividing numbers. While the book presents one way for division, many students have developed or prefer other methods for solving these problems. This has made for a rich discussion in math class with lots of opportunities for students to work together and share their thinking and learning with one another. I can't tell you how rewarding it is to see students tapping into their metacognition and teaching each other! I've heard students say things like, "I know how ______ solved that problem! I think I will try solving it that way too." or "I know how to solve this same problem 3 different ways!" We will continue with division this week, working with 4-digit numbers and solving problems with remainders. Finally, we will study real-world problems related to multiplication and division.

Learning in Action


The 4th grade has been working hard to prepare our skit for the Chapel performance on Thursday, Nov. 21st at 8:30 a.m. in Robb Hall. The Christ-like attitude for the month of November is Faith. Each class is covering a different bible story that demonstrates faith. Our class will be acting out a scene from the Old Testament on Noah's ark and the flood. We have been working closely with the Educational Technology Integrationist, Sarah Carpenter, to integrate video into our portion of the Chapel skit. We did some filming and acting this week in preparation for the big day. Check out the animals below as they are "sleeping" in the ark! We hope you can join us for this special performance!

Upcoming Events

  • November 21st : 4th grade Chapel performance @ 8:30 a.m. in Robb Hall
  • November 22nd: Fourth Grade Thanksgiving Party @ 12:50-2:00 p.m.
  • November 27th: Grandparents and Special Friend's Day; Report cards and MAP score reports are sent home; Noon dismissal (no lunch)
  • November 28-29: Thanksgiving Break
  • December 6th: 4th and 5th Grade Band/Choir Concert @ 1:15 p.m. in Lyso Center (wear concert attire)