# Mrs. Jackson's

We had fun last week wrapping up plot by reading Pumpkin Soup and making our own pumpkins with each element of plot. This week we will be beginning a new reading unit—mythology! This unit is always a hit with our students. During this unit we will be continuing to identify plot elements and using context clues to learn new words, but will heavily focus on character traits and comparing and contrasting. We will practice using evidence-based terms when making a claim about a story event or character. These terms include things like “In the text it states…” or “According to the passage…”. Over the next couple of weeks we will focus on these skills as we read about important Greek mythology figures including King Midas, Hercules, and Pandora, just to name a few!

Writing and Word Work

Wow! I have been so excited to see our seed stories unfolding on the pages of our notebooks. What fun stories your writers have to share! Over the next couple of weeks we will be working on revising and editing our writings. We will study different leads to personal narratives and test them out in our own writings. Some leads we will test out include description leads and setting leads. We will also study why authors add dialogue, and then add to our stories. We will be learning how to properly punctuate dialogue as well. As we edit we will be looking to use correct capitalization and punctuation. Writers will also use a variety of resources to check spelling.

Students will receive new spelling lists this week. These lists do not have a common pattern, but are rather individualized for the needs of each spelling group. Thank you for helping your child to complete at least 4 spelling review activities and then signing off in the coordinating boxes. The spelling boards that come home today are due back Thursday, October 16th. The spelling test will also be October 16th, since students do not have school on October 17th.

Math

We have picked up the pace in math class and are already wrapping up Chapter 2! We have been busy learning multiple strategies to multiply large numbers, including the Distributive Property and the standard regrouping method. This week students will study the order of operations as we practice solving multi-step word problems. Our Chapter 2 test is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8th!

At the end of the week we will begin Chapter 3, which will be a smooth transition as it builds on the multiplication knowledge from Chapter 2. Students will be learning how to multiply even larger numbers—two digit by two digit. Mathematicians will also learn to identify compatible numbers to help make mental multiplication easier. One thing that is essential for math success is that each student memorize his or her multiplication facts. Last week we took a pre-assessment, giving students one minute to complete as many facts as they could. We then introduced a great online learning tool—XtraMath. Students should have brought home a letter about signing up for this program, along with their log-in information. Our expectation in 4th grade is that students complete at least 12 practice sessions during the month of October. Students do not have to turn in anything for this homework, as we can track their practice online and see exactly where students are in their learning. The benchmark goal for 4th grade is that students can solve at least 30 problems accurately in one minute. At the end of the month we will take another timed test that will be included in the grade book. Some students have already hit the benchmark for 4th grade, so are challenging themselves to a higher number in one minute, which is great to see! The mastery of facts will help students be successful as we move into more challenging, multi-step multiplication!

Science

Scientists “Rocked Out” on their Soil, Rocks, and Landforms test last week. Way to go!! During the next two weeks, students will immerse themselves in the study of fossils. Fossils provide a valuable record of the plant and animal life and environmental conditions from millions, even billions of years ago. In this unit, students create their own fossils, and then use multimedia resources to learn how real fossils form and what scientists can learn from them. Through hands-on activities students will examine how fossils are formed and understand how fossils provide evidence of plants and animals that lived long ago as well as the environmental conditions at that time.

## Important Dates

October 9th—Green Acres Field Trip (9:00-11:00)

October 17th—End of 1st Quarter; No school for students

October 20th—No School