January Newsletter

Jan. 10, 2015

Thank You

I want to thank you for your thoughtful holiday gifts. You were very generous. I also wanted to be sure to note how much I appreciated the help the class received with the Gingerbread House building. A great team made that a ton of fun. Heather Burke and Helen Foley also were very gracious in providing treats for the holiday plays. Heather and her son Evan served cocoa in a mug each child was allowed to choose and keep.

NatureBridge Informational Meeting

There will be a parent meeting to discuss our annual outdoor ed. trip to Lake Crescent. It will be on Jan. 20 at 6:00. Stephen Streufert will speak. His children attended Blakely and he is the director at NatureBridge.


The semester is almost at an end. Conferences are Jan. 27, 28 and 29. I am looking forward to meeting with all of you. I will be sharing your child's writing portfolio, report card, and assessment results. If you have a special scheduling need, please, do the on-line sign up promptly. Mrs. Hawkins will send the email later in the month that allows you access to the schedule.

My Math

Chapters 5 and 6

Multiplication and Division

We have been talking a lot about the properties of multiplication and how they can help us solve problems efficiently and accurately. We started multi-digit by multi-digit multiplication last week. We will be focusing on the use of partial products before going on to master the algorithm. Division follows. Then fractions.

Slow recall of the facts is holding some of the students back at this point. JiJi to the rescue. ST Fluency. Every night, 10 minutes. It's a great program. Maintenance of the facts they know. Conceptual instruction and rate practice for those they don't. Thank goodness. Please be sure to follow up and make sure your child commits to this daily task.

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The genre we are currently reading is Fantasy. Three books by Feb. 10. Students are making some excellent choices as they feel more capable and competent. Skill-wise we will be focusing on summarizing and determining the author's intent.

I cannot repeat often enough that at this point in your child's reading development the amount of daily practice and the consistency of the practice determines his/her progress.

Upon our return from break, I was very disappointed to discover that only three of the twenty six students in the class had completed the Mystery Reading Log contract. Three mysteries were to be read between Nov. 29 and Jan. 4.

It is essential that child, teacher, and parent all work together. Please be sure that your child is reading nightly.


I am happy to report that this is an area of huge growth. The kids produced some solid pieces of writing the week before we went on break. Informational writing using at least three sources. They wrote on Holiday Props like the candy cane, mistletoe, etc. Very organized and fluent.

We have begun to look at the crafting of stories. Last week we started to write a narrative as a group. We wrote using a wordless picture book, Good Dog, Carl as the prompt. This month we will do some mini-stories both true and fictional.

For the second year in a row I am loving the spelling program. I think it is working! Thank you, Blakely PTO.

Social Studies

We are all about geography these days. The basic stuff (continents, oceans, hemispheres, directions, latitude/longitude). We have started individual lap books as a tool for increasing everyone's recall of the content. Look for a study guide early this week. Assessment on Thursday.

Then we will spend the next two weeks studying Washington State geography.

Hana's Suitcase

Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, 8am

201 Thomas Street

Seattle, WA

The entire fourth grade is going to the Seattle Children's Theatre to see this play. We will be gone all day. I hope that at least five of you can join us.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Looking Back on December

Isabelle and Katelyn document December for us.