Mrs. Krehbiel & Mrs. Jackson
4th Grade Newsletter
Last week mathematicians had a chance to begin our first math chapter of the year. Chapter 1 focuses on place value, addition, and subtraction up to one million. Last week, students worked on reading and writing large numbers in standard, expanded, and word form. We also identified the place value of digits in large numbers and compared and ordered whole numbers. By the end of last week, students worked on rounding whole numbers to a given place value.
This week students will continue the study of large numbers by working to rename whole numbers be regrouping, as well as adding and subtracting numbers up to the one millions. We will also be working to learn key words in word problems that help us know which operation to use.
Next week students will be completing a review of Chapter 1 and will be bringing home a study guide. The Chapter 1 math test will be given during the week of September 7th. Once a date is finalized it will be written in your child’s planner, so be on the lookout for that!
Students have set reading goals that not only include the total number of books they want to read this year, but they also require that different genres of books be completed. Students chose to set their 4th grade reading goal to be 24 chapter books. Many are finishing their first book for the year this week, and others are on their second (or third!)
Students are expected to bring their independent reading book to class each day, as time is set aside throughout the week to read. The importance of sticking with one book until its completion has been emphasized. Reading the same book at home and at school will benefit the student and will help him/her reach the independent reading goal for the year.
We began at-home reading logs last week. A letter came home explaining how these reading logs work with an attached sample reading log. Reading logs will come home on Monday and are due back to school the following Monday. 4th graders are expected to complete at least 80 minutes of at-home reading each week. Please let me know if you have any questions!
We have also immersed ourselves in a read aloud which supports our social studies curriculum, The Kid Who Ran for President. It's an entertaining story of a young boy whose idea of running for president becomes a reality. With the help of his friends, babysitter, and news crews... he just might have a chance! In conjunction with the read aloud, students are learning how to summarize a chapter of a book, focusing on the characters, setting, and ONE main point. This is a fantastic skill for them to transfer to their independent book!
Our first social studies topic has taught students what a government is, what type of government the US has, and the rights and responsibilities that are bestowed upon us as citizens in a democratic society.
They have witnessed planning for both a Dictator Pizza Party and a Democratic Pizza Party, and decided they were happy with our government system! We read about rights (a freedom you are given and did not earn) and responsibilities (a duty, something you should do) and did a partner sort, reinforcing the difference between the two. We even discovered that some things, like voting, are both a right and a responsibility!
The important of being an informed voter was emphasized this past week as they voted on helping the zoo... not knowing exactly HOW they would help. Ask them about it!?! We then identified ways citizens can get informed and put it into practice researching global issues on a website for elementary students. From this research, students made a decision to stand behind a cause and developed a letter written to a kid on the presidential campaign trail, Judson Moody, asking for his support with the issue.
We look forward to witnessing one of the 3 branches of government at work this Wednesday (4J) and Thursday (4Kr) with the Gold E. Locks vs. The State courtroom drama. The responsibility of being a juror will be emphasized as students take part in the judicial branch of government. We will wrap up the unit by looking at the Constitution, and a final test will be on Friday, September 11. Social studies is a great subject area to start teaching students how to study. They should know the material from classroom activities, but can use their lap books created during class as a study guide.
This year our writers will be writing for a wide variety of purposes and across all subject areas. We began the year focusing on paragraph writing as we wrote about our goals for the upcoming year. We used the analogy of creating a sandwich to writing a paragraph. The top bun (topic sentence) and bottom bun (conclusion sentence) helps keep the ingredients of the sandwich (details) in place and gives them a framework on which to sit. Creating topic sentences without including any of the details is a big hurdle in fourth grade. It has been very guided thus far but will be developed independently throughout the year!
Letter writing has been an additional focus. We have written letters to teachers, parents, and even the kid who is running for president (in our read aloud), Judson Moon. The first two letters focused on the different parts of a friendly letter and sentence structure, whereas the purpose for the last was one of persuasion. Paragraph writing was incorporated throughout the letter to Judson Moon, and was recently published on patriotic stationery.