Ms. Smith's Fourth Grade Newsletter

February 2016

Valentine's Day

We will have a short Valentine's Day celebration the afternoon of Friday, February 12th. If your child would like to bring Valentine's Day cards, they are more than welcome. However, please ensure that there is one Valentine for every student!

Class List (26 students):



























MAP Assessments

When your student takes a MAP assessment, the results are reported in RIT scores. A RIT score is an estimation of a student's instructional level and also measures student progress or growth in school. RIT scores are expected to increase over time. Typically, younger students show more growth in one year than older students. Additionally, students who test above grade level often show less growth. Sometimes RIT scores may decline from one test to the next. One low test score is not cause for immediate concern. Like adults, students have good days and bad days and their test results do not always indicate what they know - it is only one data point! Therefore, growth over time, and the use of multiple data points, is a better measure of student learning.

The overall RIT scores in math and reading are comprised of goal performance areas which are reported in ranges rather than specific scores. In math these areas are: Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. The goal performance areas in reading are: Literature, Informational Text, and Vocabulary Acquisition and Use.

If you and your student are looking for a little at-home practice, these two links will bring you to a list of activities based on a specific MAP score range in each of the break-down areas that are listed above.

Math Practice

Reading Practice

I would be happy to let you know your student's goal performance range for each of the aforementioned areas so that you can better target your student's needs. Just shoot me an email!

Conferences - By Claire and Avery

At the end of February we will be having student-led conferences. Students will be showing some of their proudest artifacts. To prepare for this event, students have reflected on how they have done so far this year. Also, they have been setting goals for the future of fourth grade. Students will be expected to dress professionally during their conference.

Social Studies - By Spencer and Brandon

Dear Parents,

In social studies we are studying the Midwest region. We are reading an Ebook about the economy, history, and people. We also went on a field trip and we learned about agriculture in the Midwest. They taught us lots of things like one bushel of corn is about 60 lbs.

Math - By Steven and Brandon

We have worked on many different math concepts. We can work in a group or by ourselves and also at our own pace. Wh have been working on algebra and measurement. In algebra, we have learned how to find unknown numbers, and in measurement we learned how to convert measurements in the U.S. Customary system and in the metric system. The metric system works like our base-10 number system.

Calming Box - By Sydney

We now have a calming box in our class. A calming box is a box with materials that we can use to help us with our emotions. There are tools that can calm you down and tools that you can fidget with. A few of the things in the calming box are a balloon full of sand that can be used like a stress ball, a plastic cube, a pinwheel, a minute-timer, and play-doh.

iTime - By Rooney and Matt

In iTime you can learn about what ever you want. You can also choose to work by yourself or with a partner. If you are ready to present, you can present on Fridays. You can show what you've learned in many ways like building a website, using Google Classroom, creating a Glogster, or making a poster. Matt and Rooney are learning about the digestive system and James Naismith.

ELA - Lily and Adrienne

The 4th graders in Ms. Smith's class started a new book called Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlen. It takes place in the Midwest during the 1800's. The main characters are Anna, Caleb, Papa, and Sarah. Caleb and Anna's father puts an ad in the newspaper for a new wife years after their mother dies. We can't wait to find out what happens throughout the rest of the book!

Field Trip - By Kate, Lawson, and Haylee

On Friday, January 29 we went to the Douglas County Fairgrounds. We learned all about agriculture in the Midwest: animals, grains, and tractors. A surprising fact that we learned is that soybeans are in makeup and crayons! We also got to eat chocolate covered soybeans, carrots with ranch, and pizza.

Science - By Roman, Keegan, Mason, Ethan, and Sabian

We are learning about endangered animals. A few examples are Hawaiian Monk Seals, sea otters, grizzly bears, sea turtles, and polar bears. We are researching their habitats, diets, life cycles, etc. With this information we are constructing a research paper. In are we are also making clay sculptures of our animals individually. Then, we will make biomes for the animals in small groups. Here is a picture of a biome in progress:
Big image

Dates to Remember....

February 5 - Fabulous Fun Fitness Friday

February 12 - Valentine's Day Party

February 19 - NO SCHOOL

February 24 & 25 - Student-Led Conferences

February 25 & 26 - NO SCHOOL

March 1 - State Assessment (ELA Performance Assessment)

March 3 - State Assessment (Math Performance Assessment)

April 18th-22nd - State Assessment WEEK!