Fourth Grade Newsletter

February 2016

Math Minutes

After spending several days at home on our snow vacation and several days working through the county's math benchmark test, we have returned to multiplication. We are looking at how the same basic ideas carry through 2 x 2-digit multiplication to 2 x 3-digit multiplication.We will also be reviewing areas of weakness from the benchmark test. We will then focus on division. We learned the basic steps of divide, multiply, and subtract in the fall, and now we will take that process one step further by dividing 3-digit numbers. We generally use the traditional long division method, but it is important to continue talking about what value the digits have in this method and what division means (a number is being split into equal groups).

During the second half of the month, we will begin examining decimals. In the Innovation Lab, students have been designing board games with decimals, so they have had some introduction to this type of number. We will work on representing, reading, writing, comparing, ordering, and rounding decimals. We will also add and subtract, as well as see how every fraction has a decimal equivalent.

Content Update

This month we will be learning both science and Virginia Studies. Currently we are learning about the natural resources of Virginia that make our state such a beautiful and productive place to live. Upon learning about the natural resources, we will focus on ways to conserve and protect these valuable resources for our children’s children. This provides an excellent opportunity for a family discussion on the natural resources that you use every day and how we can help to conserve these resources.

We will begin our Virginia Studies unit with a brief review of the cultural geography and the lessons learned in Jamestown before launching into a unit on colonial Virginia. In this unit students will learn how the colonists used natural resources to provide for their needs. When colonists could not gather resources for their needs, they often used various exchange systems such as bartering, credit, and debt.

Writing Wrap-Up

Students will be working on researching a famous American and sharing a Google presentation with the class. Most of the work should be done in class, but your child may want to work on adding some extras at home. They may want to dress like the character, make a poster, or add some other visual to accent their project.

For grammar, students will continue to work on appropriate use of commas.

Reading Reminders

The Reading benchmark will be February 23rd and 24th. The biggest student need currently is to continually build vocabulary. To help your child with this, you can hIghlight words you hear on TV or words you read that students might not know. Discuss how they can figure out what the word means based on how it’s used. You can also help your child by having your child describe the character from their reading and how the author showed those traits.

Don’t forget to check over your child’s reading homework to make sure they’re looking back in the passage to find the answers. Each week the homework is collected on Friday.

If you are looking for a helpful computer site, ABCya has some good games your child can play to work on building vocabulary and synonym and antonym skills. If you do a search for “synonym games ABCya,” you should find the games more easily than going to the ABCya website.

Important Dates

February 4--Vocabulary Test on Natural Resources

February 9--Unit Test on Virginia’s Natural Resources, Box Top Drive Ends

February 12--Multiplication and Division Test

February 15--Now a School Day, Interims Sent Home

February 18--PTA Meeting

February 23, 24--Reading Benchmark

February 26--Black History Read-a-Thon