November Update

4th Grade with Mrs. Brigham

November Conferences

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I know it can be challenging figuring how to slip away from work or arrange for child care so that you can attend the November conference. I am filled with gratitude for the time we spent together with your child discussing progress and setting goals. For some of you, this was your first Student-Led Conference. I'm hopeful that the format worked for you and that every family walked away feeling like the time spent together was valuable and that the information regarding student progress was as useful as you have found it to be in the past.

Might you consider taking a SHORT and ANONYMOUS survey so that I can better my practice?

Click HERE to access the SHORT survey.

Picture Make-Up Day

Your child's school pictures will be coming home today. There is a picture Make-UP Day scheduled for Thursday, December 2nd. Return your child's photos on the day of retakes if you feel Morin's missed the mark and they'll give it another shot!

Fall-themed Rotations

I hope your child enjoyed the Fall-themed Rotations on Halloween as much as I did! During the day, students got to visit each fourth-grade classroom for a 25-minute activity. Halloween, thankfulness, Day of the Dead, and Veterans Day were topics covered by the other teachers. I focused on math. Shocker! The students and I enjoyed an Esti-Mystery. It really was SPOOK-tacular! Esti-mysteries, generally created by a really great math educator named Steve Wyborney, are a FUN and engaging way to get students estimating while revisiting many other fourth-grade skills along the way. I loved having the chance to meet so many of the other fabulous fourth-grade students in our school.

STMath Update

Our students are really working hard to solve puzzles in STMath. MindResearch, the organization that funds Memorial's STMath grant, has compiled some pretty compelling research that points to the fact that regular use (completing about 10% of the program each month...our November goal is for every student to get to 30% progress) of STMath does increase student achievement in math.

I can tell you for certain that I am seeing a BIG uptick in confidence and perseverance. There are groans when I tell the class that their 20 minutes of STMath is I infer that our students love learning math this way.

This week was a BIG week for our class. Our class, on average, has completed over 50% of the fourth-grade curriculum. (This is kinda a big deal!) Two students finished the fourth-grade curriculum. They'll revisit any objectives they struggled with and will then work their way through the challenge objectives before beginning to tackle the fifth-grade objectives. I am enormously proud of these two and the two to three additional students who will soon do the same, but let me tell you something... I was nothing like those two in elementary school.

TRUTH: I was a SLOW processor. Everything I did was done at a slower pace. My work was always good quality but it just took me a lot longer than some of my peers. I was sometimes discouraged when I saw my classmates reaching milestones that seemed unattainable. Is your child more like me? Here's my advice:

  • Ask your student to show you his or her progress by selecting "settings" in the app. You will be able to see his or her average puzzles solved a week. Was last week's total better than average? CELEBRATE THAT!
  • Did your child solve 60 puzzles (the minimum per week) last week without being hounded by you? CELEBRATE THAT!
  • Did your child receive the GOLDEN BIRD AWARD last week for completing at least 90 puzzles? Check your child's email with him or her to see if a GOLDEN BIRD AWARD was received. If yes, CELEBRATE THAT!
  • Has your child reached 30% yet? CELEBRATE THAT! (We're hoping that all kids will get there by the end of the month.)
  • Is your kiddo solving hard puzzles without becoming discouraged by occasional setbacks? REALLY CELEBRATE THAT! Perseverance and learning from mistakes are two of the greatest gifts of STMath. It is these habits of mind that will support your child as he or she learns at an increasingly high level.

We celebrate the little accomplishments and the big ones in class. (I'm sure you've heard...and yes, there is a lot of bad dancing going on!). Ask to see your child's passport. No matter where he or she is on the journey, CELEBRATE the hard work it has taken to get your child there and then do what you can to offer support as we move through the year.

I LOVE STMath (can you tell?) but PLEASE let me know if your child should become frustrated. I receive A LOT of data on my end and can almost always nip frustration in the bud but you know your child best. Please let me know if there is something more that I can be doing to support your child and his or her math learning at school.

Report Cards

Report cards will be coming out on December 9th in PowerSchool.


Our students continue to LOVE #classroombookaday. A special shout out to Mrs. Hahn, Jasper's mom, who Zoomed in to read a book in late October. We also loved when our reading specialist, Mrs. Hagen, popped in to share a Bill Peet book with us. He is a favorite author and she picked the sweetest of his books to share. Please let me know if you'd like to Zoom in and share a book with us. I'm sure your child would love the surprise! You can pick a book of your own or I can make a few suggestions. Just email me if you're interested. Please see the pics below featuring our latest #classroombookaday titles.

Scenes from Room 307