St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School

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Classes

LANGUAGE ARTS

Instructor
Mrs. Susan Schweickart
Department
4th Grade

Course Description

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February 12-15

It is hard to believe we are almost halfway through February already! Our weeks are flying by. Despite the constant craziness due to snow and holiday weekends, we contiue to chug along. This week finds us entering into the season of Lent. Over the years this has become one of my favorite seasons (second to Christmas) in our Church year. It is a time to slow down and refocus on who Jesus really is in my life. I look forward to sharing this journey with "our" kids. 
Here's what is happening in the classroom this week:
 
Religion: We have finished our look at the covenant God made with His people in the 10 Commandments. We will spend some time this week talking about Lent, and celebrating the spirit of St. Valentine. While we do not have a Valentine's day party, we will have some time to share Valentines with each other if they so choose. We also have a heartfelt activity that we will do on Wednesday within the classroom. 
 
Language Arts: 
Reading:  We have finished our book Frindle. We have all been a bit surprised by the ending! Be sure to ask your child about it. We will be working this week on writing a good and complete book summary and review. 
 
Written Expression: In our grammar studies this week we are working on identifying the complete and simple subjects and predicates of sentences. We will also be working on ways to combine sentences in order to add variety to our writing. Our Spelling words this week are more words with suffixes. Please encourage your child to use Spelling City to practice their words. It really does help! Our WOW this week is anticipate.
 
Math:  This week we are continuing our work with division with 2 or 3 digit numbers being divided by a single digit. This is the beginning of long division and can be challenging! I am beginning to see many "aha" moments with them as we  practice daily. 
 
Science:  We have finished our look at how the earth's surface changes. We will be beginning our unit on Matter and also having a little Olympic Stem fun this week.

Week of January 29- February 2

Happy Catholic School's Week! What a blessing to be part of such a vibrant, faith-filled community. We have so many great things happening here at SASEAS! Thank you for trusting your child(ren) to us and partnering with us as we strive to enrich their minds and spirits through our faith and academics. We could not do this without you. We have many activities planned this week that we invite you to join us for. Tuesday we will have Rosary at 8:40 in church, Wednesday the 5th grade will take on the teachers in our annual student vs. teachers volleyball game. Friday morning we will end out our week with an all school mass at St. Andrew Church at 9:30. Despite the many activities we have planned to celebrate our Catholic School this week, we hope to be able to reestablish some semblance of of routine in our classrooms! Here's what we will be working on:
 
Religion:  We will begin our look at how God gave Moses the 10 Commandments. 
 
Language Arts: 
     Reading: This week we will continue reading through our book Frindle. We are working to identify each character's perspective/ point of view of some of the events that are taking place. We will continue to watch for ways in which our characters are growing and changing throughout the story.
     Written Expression: Our spelling words this week end in either -er. -or, or -ar. These endings can be very tricky as they tend to sound very similar. Your child should be practicing these nightly. Our WOW for the week is tradition.  We will be writing about some of the traditions we enjoy.
 
Math:  This week we will be working with reading and creating graphs of many kinds ~ line, bar, picture, and circle or pie graphs. We will also continue to expand our abilities to multiply by multiplying more than three numbers (3x4x5). We will also review our knowledge of polygons, and the characteristics of each.
 
Science: This week we are moving into our earth science unit with some hands on activities that show what slow and fast changes occur in the earth's surface. 
 

Week of January 17

Being from Upstate NY, I have always loved having snow on the ground during the winter months. It makes things brighter and much less dreary than the cloudy/ gray skies and brown land that we normally would see! Although I have enjoyed our days off, I'm ready to say "enough!" Since we have "returned" from our Christmas break, we have had only 6 1/2 days in school. That is not nearly enough for us to reestablish our normal routines and begin to dig in to the "meat" of our lessons. Hopefully, this will happen sooner, rather than later.
In the mean time, we will continue to push through, one day at a time. We are busily trying to complete our regular assignments along with getting ready for Catholic Schools Week Open House. Here's what we will be attempting to accomplish in the next two weeks:
 
Religion: We have looked at the story of God choosing Moses to get his people out of slavery. Students have spent some time reading about the 10 plagues. We will be working to bring those "to life". This story will lead us to understand the story of Moses leading God's people to the "Promised Land." 
 
Language Arts: 
        Reading:  We are continuing our read through Frindle. The students are enjoying the good natured antics that Nick Allen and Mrs. Granger are involved in. They will be identifying what these look like from each person's point of view. The author also uses lots of idioms and metaphors to create wonderful word pictures. We will be working with those as well.
        Written Expression: With the shorter week than we had planned, we will NOT have a NEW Spelling list this week. However, many students had a difficult time with last week's words, so we are going to review and retest those words this week. We do have a new Word of the Week: elated. We will be creating comic strips to depict the meaning of the word.
 
Math: The week in math includes fraction comparisons, rate word problems, and multiplying three digit numbers.
 
Science: Now that we have studied living things, we are looking at how living things and non-living things interact in an ecosystem. We will be looking at energy pyramids, food chains and food webs. Animal Diaries will need to be completed on their own time by Monday January 22.
 
 

Happy New Year! This year is off to a busy, and adventurous start! 
Within a week or so, we will have reached the half way point of this school year! Here's hoping that the winter weather does not disrupt us too much more.
 
 RELIGION We are beginning our study of the Ten Commandments. This week we will start by learning about the plight of Moses and the ten plaques, which will eventually lead us to him receiving the Ten Commandments.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - 
Reading: We have started our new class novel "Frindle". It's a story about a fifth grade boy who has fun with a made up word that eventually makes him famous. We will watch the growth of the characters from the beginning of the book to the end. Throughout the story, we will come across many idioms, which will be the basis for some of our assignments.
Spelling this week will emphasize words with the "ie" or "ei" vowel combinations. Students will have a spelling menu to complete this week. They will need to complete activities totaling 10 points.
Our WOW is "ambition". Our prompt will have our students telling about ambitions for future endeavors.
 
 
MATH - We've just started to introduce dividing with remainders. The students are hesitant to learn something new, but excited for the challenge. This is the beginning set-up for long division.
 
Science- We are working to finish our animal unit project that we started back in December. At this point all students should have the information that is required: 3 adapations, habitat, predators and their prey. They should have begun the task of weaving this information into their own "Diary of a _____", based on the books Diary of a Worm, DIary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly.
We are now into plan C for due date thanks to the snow days! 

Costume notes

Our play is less than a week away! All students must have clothes to wear under their costume. Please make sure they are sent in to school no later than THURSDAY December 14. They should be in a plastic bag with their name on it. Please check with Mr. Powers or me if you have any questions/ concerns.
 

December 11-15

As we journey closer to Christmas break, our path is quite curvy and busy! We will continue to work our way through some academic skills along with preparing our Christmas Play: On Our Way to Bethlehem. We have many rehearsals scheduled for this week, but won't let that get in the way! Homework may be a bit lighter this week due to rehearsals along with an assembly that is scheduled for later this week.
 
Here's what we hope to be working on:
 
Religion:  We are working on our own Jesse tree. Reflections in their prayer journals will be part of this. We have also taken some time to read Luke 1:46-55. The students eyes lit up as they connected one of their first songs from the play with this reading!
 
Language Arts:
 Reading: We will be finishing our reading of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The Herdmann children are adding some life, and learning into the annual show. Our children are seeing the Christmas story from different eyes and learning a little along the way!
 
Written Expression : Spelling Bee test will be on Wednesday. There will be a weekly spelling test on Friday. We will be taking our prompt from last week and redoing it for our little buddies.
 
Math:  This week we are continuing our work with converting decimals to a fraction, adding and subtracting decimals, and multiplying double digit numbers by a single number.
 
Science:  We continue on our animal research. The hope is to have our rough draft of our Animal Diary started, if not completed before break. 
I will be looking for animal adaptations, habitat information, who is the predator and what is the prey.
 

November 27-December 1

I hope that you were all able to enjoy the long holiday weekend with framily and friends!  I find it hard to believe that we are in the last week of November! The weather certainly is not matching the calendar at this time, but I'll take it!
As we finish out this month we begin to look ahead and start to prepare for the coming of our Savior, Jesus at Christmas. Over the next few weeks, I'm sure the excitement levels will continue to rise, but we will do our best to remain focused on the meaning and beauty of the Advent Season. We will have many "unexpected" interruptions to our schedule over the next few weeks as we prepare our Christmas play : On Our Way to Bethlehem. Mark your calendars for December 18th. It will be a wonderful time to take a break during the hustle and bustle of the season, as our children share with us the true reason for the season! More information will be trickling out to you as we inch closer to the big show. In the meantime, we will continue to press on and do our best to fill their brains with fun, meaningful academic experiences.
Here's what we hope to accomplish this week:
 
Religion:  We are finishing up chapter 5 on the sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. We will also begin some advent activities. 
 
Language Arts: 
     Reading:  This week we are focusing on the non-fiction genre. Each day we will be focusing on different skills needed for finding meaning in non-fiction writings. We will be able to identify fact from opinion, read graphs and undertand that captions under and around pictures in non-fiction work provide us with important information as well. This will prepare us for our upcoming Science research.
     Written expression:  Our WOW this week is diligent.  Students will be working on improving their topic sentences. As they reflect on their first trimester's work, they will write about the strategies a diligent student uses to be a successful student. Spelling words this week are irregular plural nouns. These will require nightly practice. 
 
Math: We continue to improve our multiplication fact fluency with daily practice. This skill will become increasingly important as we grow our multiplication skills by introducing double digit multiplication. We will also be working with adding and subtracting decimals.
 
Science: We are learning that all animals have the same basic needs, but how they meet those needs differ from species to species. We will be doing some interesting investigations to "experience" different animal adaptations. 

November 13-17

         I would like to give a shout out to Jodi Nause and her mom for taking time out of their day on Friday to hang all of the Saint Shields in the front hallway for all to see! They look awesome! I would also like to take a moment to say THANKS to all of you who have chosen to send your child here to SASEAS. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I realize how blessed I am to be able to work in a Catholic School with such awesome families! May your Thanksgiving break with family be filled with love, and laughter.
 
Here's a peek at our week:
 
RELIGION - We are learning that God graciously gave us a conscience to know the difference between good and evil and right and wrong. We're working on recognizing our own wrongs, before quickly pointing out the wrong doings of others.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - We will finish reading "Winn Dixie" and all the activities associated with this story. Our final task will be to recognize why the characters and different settings were significant to the plot  and would the story be different if they weren't visible at all. Our "WOW" this week will be "fortitude". Since the characters in Winn Dixie had faced some hardships in their lives, the students will choose a character and tell how that person showed fortitude in dealing with their strifes. Spelling words this week are dealing with adding suffixes to words that require dropping the final e, doubling the last consonant, or changing y to I. There will be no spelling menu this week due to the fact that we have Writer's Workbook pages that coincide with our spelling list.
 
MATH - The students will be dealing with measurement from cup, to pint, to quart, to half gallon, to gallon. Keep practicing those multiplication facts nightly. The students are enjoying watching their progress grow on their chart that shows how many  they're getting correct each week.
 
Science-  We have finished our "Worm study" lab and are finishing our Save the Worm posters to show what we learned. From here we will move into learning about the needs of animals and how they meet them (adaptations). 

November 6-10

    What a week last week! Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. A huge THANK YOU to all of the moms and dads who came to help us celebrate Halloween last week. I would especially like to that Jill Reineck and Jodi Nause for coordinating all of the activities. The kids had a blast! Your children did a great job at Mass on Wednesday with their Saint Shields. I will be posting pictures soon! If anyone has a few extra minutes this week, we could use your help in hanging the shields in the front foyer for the school to enjoy for the month. Last but not least, we are beginning a gratitude challenge as we approach Thanksgiving. Ask your child what one thing happened each day that they are thankful for!
  
Here's a peek at what's ahead:
 
Religion: We have finally finished our final copies of our Saint Reports! We will jump back into our Religion Book this week and begin chapter 4. We will be focusing on ways to grow closer to God through developing our conscience.
 
Language Arts:
      Reading: We are pushing through the novel Because of Winn Dixie. Our focus this week will be on analyzing the characters, identifying the author's purpose and building our vocabulary. 
       Written Expression: Our Spelling words this week are words with oy and oi. Students have a Spelling menu to complete this week to help them with their studying. Spelling City is also available to them, although not a required activity, it is another way to sneak in a study session! Our WOW is back this week. Our word is cantankerous. 
 
Math: This week we are continuing to challenge our problem solving skills each day as well as working on understanding fractions of a dollar, fractions and mixed numbers and measuring to the nearest 1/4 inch. Multiplication fact practice will be happening regularly as well. 
 
Science: We took some time to go over our plant test today. A retest will be given on Wednesday for those students who received a C or below.  We will begin our study of the animal kingdom this week with a fun look at worms! 
We will be reading Diary of A Worm and using that as a jumping off point to discuss animal structure, needs and adaptations. 

October 23-26

 It was great to see all of you last week during conferences. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to come in and talk. I value our partnership in helping your child learn and grow academically as well as spiritually throughout this important transition year. If at any time you have concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact me!
 
It is hard to believe, but, we have yet another short week! Don't let that fool you, we will be packing the days full! Along with all of the academics, we will be enjoying the "classroom rewards" we earned from our Run4Fun. Monday will be NO HOMEWORK DAY!
Here's a peek at the rest of our week:
 
Religion: We spent some time this morning reading about the virtues that disciples try to live by. This quick study of these characteristics lead us directly to the qualities of our Saints. We will spend the rest of this week writing and editing the four paragraphs of our Saint Report. Don't forget that the Saint Shields are due on Monday, October 30. We will process into church with those shields on All Saints Day (Nov.1) at 9am. Please plan to join us if you can!
 
Language Arts:
     Reading: We are slowly working our way through our class novel: Because of Winn Dixie. We will continue to work on sequencing of events, summarizing and identifying cause and effect
     Written Expression: This week's Spelling words are irregular past tense verb forms. We will be working through these in different ways this week. 
There is NO WOW this week in order to facilitate the writing of the Saint Report.
 
Math: This week we are beginning to identify patterns in multiplication. We looked at our 9's, 10's, 11's and 12's today. We are also working on recognizing place values of hundred thousands and millions.
 
Science: We have dissected our flowers to identify the different parts, their functions and what different parts become. We will be working to understand the pollination process as well as the process of photosynthesis. Look for a study guide to come home later this week in preparation for a quiz on Tuesday next week.

Conferences

Please be sure to go to OptionC to sign up for conferences. Times are filling in fast! If you are unsure of how to do that, you can contact Sandy Reed in the office. Sign ups close on Friday October 13.

October 9-13

Wow! It's hard to believe that we are half way through our first trimester! Your (our) children have been working so hard and are beginning to step up to the challenges we place before them daily! Thank you for helping them to settling into the routine of school. It truly takes a team effort between home and school for each child to reach their fullest potential. Sign up information for conferences will be sent out soon!
 
There are a few things to make note of this week. We are in the final stretch of our Run4Fun fundraising. Wednesday is our last turn in day! Our run is scheduled for Friday after our All School Mass. Friday is also the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's final apparition at Fatima. To help celebrate this important event in our Church's history, we will begin our day with an all school rosary, followed by mass, and then a short period of time for adoration before we begin our Run festivities! We hope you can join us. 
 
Also,October is BOX TOP$ collection month! Box Tops can be turned in October 9-20.
 
Here's what is happening in the classroom:
 
Religion:  This week we are beginning our study of the Saints. Students have been assigned a Saint to read and research. This project is handled in class, but feel free to ask your child what they are learning each day as they read and begin to take notes. Directions for the home component (the shield) will be sent home next week. 
 
Language Arts:
     Reading: We are continuing to read through our class novel: Because of Winn Dixie. Students are working on understanding cause and effect, summarizing and identifying character traits.
     Written Expression: This week we are working on writing an opinion paragraph. Our WOW is repulsive.  Students will need to convince me that something is repulsive. 
     Spelling:  I admit that our word lists to date have been rather difficult! This week, you should find the list to be a little less daunting. The words all have ou, and ow. This week, we are trying out a "Spelling Contract" where they can choose which activities they want to complete to meet the required points for the week. Spelling City  is also out there and they hopefully will be using that in class as we go.
 
Math: We are beginning to look at repeated addition being the foundation for multiplication. We will be practicing using a multiplication table and learning our facts for 0, 1, 2, and 5. We will also be practicing subtracting 3 numbers with regrouping.
 
Science:  We have looked at the parts of a plant and will now begin some of our hands on "experiments". We will be identifying the life cycle of a plant, what a seed will need in order to germinate, where seeds  are found, and what plants need in order to grow.
 
 

October 2-6

We have been quite busy here in 4th grade! We are settling into our daily routines and are moving ahead with gusto. We have one more week to meet our goal for our Run4Fun. These "Ducky Pirates" of 4A re excited and working hard to earn some fun prizes! Thanks for your help with this!
 
Here's a peek at what is happening in our classrooms:
 
Religion- We are learning about temptation and sin. We have talked about the difference between mortal and venial sins and also have identified what "sins of commission" and "sins of omission" are. We will begin our study of the Saints by early next week.
 
Language Arts- 
     Reading- We have begun our next class novel Because of Winn Dixie. We will continue to work on comprehensions skills that involve cause and effect, making connections and understanding how the character's actions reflect their personality (character traits).
     Written Expression- Our WOW for this week is perplexed.  We are writing about something that has perplexed us and how we have managed to figure it out.
      Our spelling words have been quite difficult so far. Please be sure your child is practicing them nightly.
 
Math-  We have been working on identifying the key words in a story problem so that we can determine if we are being asked to add or subtract. Fact practice and memorization continues to be important part of Math class. 
 
Science- We have finished our look at cells and are ready to begin our study of plant life. There will be lots of hands on activities to go along with this unit of study!

September 25-29

We have another busy week ahead! We are celebrating Everybody Counts and learning about the motor impairments that many people have and how they have to compensate for their disabilities. Thanks to Jill Reineck, Sheila Martin, Kim Chamberlin and Shannon Wenstrup for their efforts in helping the fourth grade understand these disabilities that people have to face day in and day out. We are also very excited to have Skool Aid coming during Everybody Counts week!  Ian Smith, and his coworker, Jacob Counts (a paralympian who competed in the 2008 Beijing paralympics) have a wonderful program planned including speaking/Q&A and a game of wheelchair basketball!
 
Don't forget that Friday is our Family Movie Night!
 
 
RELIGION - We seem to have a better understanding of the Beatitudes and the Kingdom of God. Many have memorized the popular sayings and appear to be ready for a test on the Beatitudes. Thursday will be the judgement day. 
 
MATH - This week, we will review lines, angles, triangles, rectangles, squares and rectangles. Terms like millimeters, centimeters, meters, inches, feet and yards will also surface this week.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - We will be finishing "Stone Fox" and the activities that reinforced the skills we have been focusing on. Spelling words have been tough, so make sure your children are spending time studying their words or reviewing them on Spelling City. The WOW for the week is rickety. The students will be describing a rickety object that is displayed in a picture, for this week's prompt. 
 
Science- We have been studying the basic building block of all living things ~ the cell. We have read about the similarities and differences of the animal and plant cells; we have drawn and labeled them and we have now made "model cells" for each. We are ready now to discuss how a scientist would  identify what they were looking at (plant or animal cell) and to use that knowledge to write to a prompt.