Fun in Fourth Grade

A Newsletter About Our Fantastic 4th Grade "Chastain-ians"

Heartfelt Thanks

Thanks so much to all of our families who have contributed items for our Fall Festival raffle basket: The McDonagh, Gomez Lopez, Hong, Zavala, Manning, Pabst, Eick and Bowles families. My sincere appreciation goes out to Jennifer Eastman and Matthew Mullinax for grading our fast facts tests. Also, many thanks to Maria Lopez Valencia for her help with copies on Friday! I sincerely appreciate your supporting our class!

Reminders for the Busy Week Ahead

  • There is a mandatory Age of Sail Parent Meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 23rd at 6 p.m. in Mrs. Miksits' classroom. We will provide an overview of the field lesson itinerary, what your child can expect while aboard the Balclutha, important information about how to prepare for the trip and answer any questions you may have. This experience will likely be your child's favorite memory of 4th grade. Come and hear why this trip is so special. Parents who wish to be put in the lottery for chaperone spaces MUST attend.

  • All donations for our "Let's Eat" basket to be auctioned at the Fall Festival need to be submitted by Tuesday, Sept. 23rd. Please see Priti's message below for more information. I sincerely appreciate your donations. Please remember that for every $20 donated, you may log one parent hour. More information about this process can be found on the WAVE homepage:

  • The Fall Festival is this Saturday, September 27th from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Del Paso campus. Presently, we do not have any volunteers signed up to participate in our classroom booth. The success of this fun fall tradition at WCS hinges upon our families' support and I hope that you will consider volunteering for a shift. All time contributed to this event counts towards families' required 30 parent hours. Again, more information and the link to sign up to volunteer can be found below. Thank you!

  • Some assessment dates to keep top of mind this week include: Mid-Trimester AR goal and our Chapter 2 math test will happen on Tuesday. By Friday, students should complete 9 of the Westing Game Vocabulary List 2 activities to be ready for the test in class on Friday.

  • Mid-Trimester progress reports will come home for your signature on Friday. Please sign and return by Tuesday. As always, the best way to stay apprised of your child's performance in 4th grade is to check Engrade Pro every week or two. Please email me if you are having difficulty logging into Engrade.

  • Our fantastic room parent, Priti Merchant, would like your email address. I am not able to share email addresses without your consent. By adding your contact information to her google doc, you will make it easier for her to contact you throughout the year and ensure you stay up to date on all announcements. Please add your contact information on Priti's google doc to share your contact information:

Fall Festival on September 27th

Please mark your calendars for the Westlake Charter School Fall Festival on September 27th from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the Del Paso campus. This is a fun family event with booths, food and a silent auction. It is the perfect way to celebrate the start of the fall season with WCS friends!

Please see the following message from our terrific room parent:

Coming up soon on September 27th is our school's Fall Festival! For the festival each class organizes an Auction Gift Basket for the silent auction. The money received from the class basket goes Directly to Our Class, which is awesome! The teachers can utilize the money towards supplies, activities, etc.

For our class, we'll be organizing a "Let's Eat" Gift Card Basket! To make this successful, your help is needed and much appreciated. Please choose which gift card(s) you can donate for the basket from the following link: Please enter the requested details as well (gift card amount, 4th grade student name, your name). If you have another local restaurant that you'd like to include a gift card for, please just enter all information on the document.

Please send to school no later than September 23rd (sooner is always great). When sending the gift card(s) to school with your child, please include gift card amount and your child's name.

There are rewards for donating too! For every $20 you donate, you receive one volunteer hour (Ex. $40 Panera Gift card = 2 volunteer hours). Friendly reminder, there is a cap on how many hours you can earn through purchasing items. Please refer to Parent Handbook.

Lastly, please sign up to volunteer at the class booth, which is the Henna Booth at the festival. Volunteers will assist in "crowd control" and making sure the lines are moving smoothly. Please refer to Heather's google doc link:

Thank you so much for your support. This can't be done without your fantastic help. Feel free to contact me via email at if you have any questions.

Curriculum Updates

Language Arts

  • We will continue our work on narrative writing until October break. This week we focus on "showing not telling" in our writing. This includes describing characters, settings and events using sensory details and elaborating on our writing with vivid verbs and precise descriptions that paint a clear picture in our readers' minds.

  • We continue to work on character analysis, comparing/contrasting and finding the main idea as we read The Westing Game. We have been examining details and strengthening strategies for understanding what we read. Next week we dig more deeply into the characters by examining what they say, do and think as well as what other characters think and say about them. We will learn valuable information through this investigation.

  • We continue to find main idea and identifying supporting details in informational texts.

  • Next week's Spelling City List is #9 and supports our grammar unit this week on capitalization.

  • We will be working on Westing Game Vocabulary List #2 this week. Students will be working on these activities in class, however they may need to work on activities at home as well if they needed. On Friday we will take the "test me" vocabulary test in class. Students should come to class on Friday having completed the other nine activities prior to this.

  • Students' progress towards meeting their trimester Accelerated Reader goal will be recorded in Engrade this Tuesday, Sept. 23 for the mid-trimester. By this date, students should be about 50% of their trimeter goal. Ask your child how they are progressing towards meeting their AR goal. What book are they reading right now? When do they expect to finish the book and take an AR quiz on it?


  • We will be testing concepts relating to adding and subtracting whole numbers on Tuesday, September 23rd. Students can prepare for the test by reviewing math notes and practicing IXL strands: IXL Strands that relate to the work we did this week include: 4th grade: B.8, B.9, C.6, C.7, B.1, B.2, C.1 and C.2. New strands for next week: B.7, C.5, K.1, and F.8. Some students have mastered 4th grade strands and are working on correlating 5th grade strands. Please see your child's planner if your child is working on 5th grade strands.

  • On Tuesday I will also pretest students to ascertain what they already know about multiplying and dividing whole numbers, our upcoming chapter.

Social Studies

  • Having delved more deeply how California regions interact with major cities, waterways, and historic locations and parks within our state, our students will begin deepening their understanding of the characteristics of each region and the waterways in our state this week through use of our textbook. Interactive student notes will be taken in class. These notes should be used to prepare for the unit test (which will take place until after October break.) Periodic review of class notes is a great way to solidify understanding of concepts taught in class.

Dates to Remember

September 23: Fall Festival donations due

September 23: Chapter 2 Math Test & Mid-Trimester AR Goal Check

September 23 at 6 p.m. in Mrs. Miksits' Classroom: Mandatory Age of Sail Parent Meeting

September 23: Mid-Trimester AR Goal Check

September 26: Mid-Trimester Progress Reports Come Home

September 27: Fall Festival

October 2: Picture Day (This is a change from 9/25)

October 6-10: October Break

Thanks so much for your time! If I can answer any questions, please email me at


Heather Chastain