January Update

4th Grade with Mrs. Brigham


We continue to LOVE the moments spent reading our daily picture books. Below are some of the books we've read recently. The invitation for parents to come in and read a book is open. Let me know if you are interested. This can also be done via Zoom from your home or office. We can be flexible around your work schedule.

Kindness Week at Memorial

Last week Memorial Students participated in the great kindness challenge. Mrs. Bell organized thoughtful activities for the students to participate in all week long. Some of our favorites were decorating our classroom door and writing letters of support to our classmates. We designed kindness bookmarks and kindness quilt squares, too. Our reading specialist, Mrs. Hagen prepared a special book walk for us to enjoy. Mrs. Bell and some fourth-grade friends helped us to kick the week off and wrap the week up with really special school-wide assemblies held over Zoom. Memorial School was already full of kind children but it sure was nice to focus on kindness and the little things we can do to be kind to others and to be kind to ourselves.

Success with STMath

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the families I'm working with this year for your support of STMath in our classroom. I know I've mentioned that the development of this math application is based in neuroscience and that the research supports the fact that students who complete a greater number of STMath puzzles enjoy increased achievement in math.

I couldn't be happier with the results I'm seeing. Our students are on track to complete the 4th-grade curriculum by the end of the year. We are taking it 10% at a time. The most remarkable byproducts of using STMath so far are the JOY it brings to our math class and the increase in CONFIDENCE I see in so many students!

Our January goal was for every student in our class to achieve 60% completion of the curriculum. Are you wondering if your child made it? Wonder no more. EVERY SINGLE STUDENT achieved the monthly goal for the fourth month in a row! I couldn't be more proud of them and I can't wait to see what the future holds for these hard-working students who set and chase down goals. Thanks for everything that you do at home to support these efforts!

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A Conversation with Your Student

Here is your January cheat sheet. I hope this bulleted list helps to start some great conversations with your child.

  • We have just wrapped up our first fraction unit. Students looked closely at building equivalent fractions, decomposing fractions into unit fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, and comparing fractions. Their work with models like bar models and number lines helped students to make sense of these quantities.
  • We are just beginning a unit on the addition and subtraction of whole numbers. This unit will build upon students' number sense and will help them to develop strategies for adding and subtracting grounded in place value knowledge. The standard algorithm for addition will be reviewed and the standard algorithm for the subtraction will be introduced.
  • In social studies, we took a deep dive into the migration of early man to North America. We explored two theories: the land bridge theory and the maritime theory. Next, we move on to explorers.
  • The students just finished studying Earth's features and its processes in science. They used a program called Thrively to explore earthquakes, and tsunamis closely. They worked as engineers to design technology that can help humans to minimize the impact of these disasters. Next, we move on to a very hands-on unit on energy.

The students really are making great gains. They are happy, social, engaged, and generally thriving. We have all experienced the frustration that comes with this lingering pandemic but you wouldn't know it from observing my students. They are flexible, hard-working, critical thinkers who are very much focused on their goals. Mostly, they are fun to learn alongside. I continue to be very grateful for the opportunity to teach them.