St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School

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Classes

LANGUAGE ARTS

Instructor
Mrs. Susan Schweickart
Department
4th Grade
Terms
2017-2018

Course Description

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May 21-25

It is hard to believe we have entered the final stretch of the school year! It has been an amazing year. This will most likely be my last "real update" for the year so I would like to take a moment to thank you for such an incredible year. We have grown in so many ways; we have learned together, we have laughed a lot, we have cried together and we have lifted each other up in prayer.   Thank you for partnering with me throughout this year and for entrusting your child to us here at SASEAS. Know that I will forever hold this group of fantastic students and families in my heart and feel blessed to have been a part of the journey. 
 
While we are winding down, there are still a few loose ends to tie up before we call it done! Here's what we will be doing for the next couple of weeks:
 
Religion:  We will finish our study of each of the Commandments. They will have a test over all 10 Commandments next Wednesday.
 
Language Arts: 
      Reading:  We have finished "Book the Third: The Tale of Miggery Sow". This week and next we will see how their lives intertwine and discover what becomes of this mouse called Despereaux, the rat named Roscuro, Miggery Sow and the Princess Pea.
     Written Expression:  This week each child has their own Spelling list. We looked over the list of "Core Words" that all fourth graders should know by the end of the year and allowed them to choose 30 that they are still struggling to spell correctly. They will have activities to do on Spelling City each night. Our WOW for this week is dexterity. We will not be doing a "normal" prompt, but will once again incorporate a little art and creativity.
 
** Mystery book reports are due on FRIDAY May 25.
 
Math:  As we tie up loose ends here in Math, we will concentrate on two digit by three digit multiplication, dividing by a two digit number and simplifying and reducing fractions. 
 
Science: We will wrap up our study of electricity this week and take a quick look at simple machines. 

May 13-18

Thank you to all who came to chaperone for our field trip to Coney for the Appalachian Festival! We couldn't have done it without you! It was a beautiful day AND they did learn a few things about pioneer life! This week we have an early dismissal on Friday. Today, Principal Spialek announced an out of uniform day for Friday! Thank you Principal Spialek :)!
 
Here's what we are doing this week :
Religion: We are continuing to work our way through the Commandments. This week: the 6th Commandment and the 7th Commandment.
 
Language Arts: 
     Reading: We have finished "Book the Second Chiaroscuro" in the Tale of Despereaux. We have compared our two rodents, Desperaux and Roscuro. We have been introduced to Miggery Sow. Book the Third will tell us a little bit more about Mig, her life and how she fits into the message of this story. We are hoping to finish this 3rd Book by week's end, and then finish the rest of the story next week! 
     Written Expression:  Our WOW this week is luminous.  Students will be illustrating an luminous object and crafting a well written sentence to accompany it. Spelling words this week are common homophones. You might recognize that some have appeared on previous lists. These can be some of the most incorrectly spelled and used words. Hopefully this week will help to clarify the words and their correct usage.
 
Math: This week has us focusing on fractions. We will be taking improper fractions and making mixed numbers, finding equivalent fractions and adding and subtracting fractions.
 
Science: We will be working to gain an understanding of simple circuits this week. 
 

May 7-11

Thank you for thinking of me last week during Teacher Appreciation Week. The daily treats of  coffee, breakfast, lunch, taking my recess duty (on an indoor recess day at that!), the flowers, the spiritual bouquet, and the gift card are things that every teacher appreciates. I feel so blessed to work with and for such loving families. Thank you!
 
REMINDER: Friday is our field trip to the Appalachian Festival at Coney Island. For those of you whose children suffer from allergies...the air at Coney is ALWAYS thick with pollen! Be sure to remember the allergy medicine in the morning. I know I have forgotten a couple times in the past, and ended up miserable by the time we returned. 
 
We're still moving ahead with strong, steady steps to complete our goals for the year. Here's what's happening this week: 
 
 
RELIGION - Our plan is to complete our study of the Ten Commandments before the year ends. Presently we are studying the Ninth and Sixth Commandments.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - We are working hard to follow the adventures of a little mouse, as we read "The Tale of Despereaux". The students are being made aware of the sequence of events through timelines made for the main characters. There will be no spelling list this week, but we will have a vocabulary word to create a story around. Our word this week is "heirloom".
**In case you missed it, your child should have a MYSTERY book for our May book report. They should be reading on their own each evening. DIrections will be sent home later this week. 
 
MATH - We're touching on review topics this week. We will try our skills at averaging, finding mean, median and mode and recognizing geometric solids and prisms.
 
SCIENCE - This week we will focus our attention on electrical energy. We will "play" with static electricity and learn how to make a simple circuit. 

April 30- May 4

Happy May! Mass, May Crowning and Grandparents' Day was a beautiful way to start this month off! As I flipped over the calendar for today, it struck me how little time we have left. Next week we will have Muffins with Mom plus our field trip to Coney Island for Appalachian Festival. The following week we will have an early dismissal day, and the week after that we will have our annual Field Day, followed quickly by Memorial Day! So, although it appears that we are winding down in many ways, the reality is we still have lots of learning left to do. This lovely group of scallywags have been working hard and it shows. Ask them about their bountiful loot they are receiving for completing work, following the rules and pitching in with extra help to keep things in top ship shape. We will continue to reward these little buccaneers who are managing to keep it together during these final weeks!
 
Here's what we have going on this week in the classroom:
 
Religion-  We are finishing up the 5th Commandment and will begin the 6th. The 6th and 9th Commandment generates LOTS of questions from this age group. Heads up! ~There will be some questions that I respond, "Talk to your parents about this." 
 
Language Arts-
     Reading-  We are working our way through the Tale of Despereaux. There are many examples of allegory mixed in throughout this tale. We will be working this week to identify some of those hidden meanings. We will also be working on identifying the major events in "Book the FIrst" and will be creating a picture timeline.
      Writing-  This week's WOW is spontaneous.  This week's prompt will be focused on expressing and opinion and trying to persuade their audience about which is better, a spontaneous activity or a planned activity. 
 
Math-  We have been focusing on word problems, estimation of multiplication and division problems. We will also be working with two step problems about a fraction of a group.
 
Science-  Now that we have the basics of an understanding for "transfer of energy" we are moving into thermal energy. We will work to identify good conductors and then move into solar and electrical energy.

April 23-27

Time is just flying by here in 4th grade! As we enter into the final stretch of the year we are buckling down and raising expectations for time management and homework in preparation for 5th grade. It becomes a bit of a struggle when the weather gets nicer and spring sports and activities kick in, but it will be well worth it if we stick together and help them stay focused on the tasks at hand. We look forward to seeing many grandparents here next week. We are also anticipating a fun filled, adventurous, educational field trip on May 11. Look for a note regarding chaperones that will be sent home by Friday. We are excited about touring the new library next door. We will use the opportunity to help your pick out a book for our May book report.
 
Here's what will be happening in the classroom this week:
 
RELIGION - We're concluding our study of the fourth commandment . Hopefully, you are beginning to see the fruits of our labors here as your child learns how to live out these commandments!  We will be moving on to the fifth commandment and we will learn that even as nine and ten year olds, they do have things they can do to follow that commandment.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - The students are enjoying the book The Tale of Despereaux, a tale about a mouse and a princess. As we progress through "The Tale of Despereaux" we will watch how the characters' lives intermingle. Our focus will be to follow the time line of several characters and understand how they end up at the same place by the end of the story.
The W.O.W this week is scrumptious. The prompt will not be a normal writing of a paragraph, but an advertisement to show the scrumptiousness of a product. The theme behind the spelling list this week is words ending with y that have along i or a long e sound. You may have seen some of these words on previous lists, but they are still common spelling errors for many. Be sure your child is practicing their words nightly. Spelling City should be used in addition to any other spelling work assigned. 
 
MATH - We have various skills to brush up on this week. The newest skill will be to identify mixed numbers and improper fractions. The areas to be reviewed will be decimal place value and classifying quadrilaterals. We are practicing our Math Facts daily. Mastery of the basic facts is critical to grasping the harder concepts of double/triple digit multiplication and division.
 
SCIENCE- We have had used our knowledge of potential and kinetic energy to construct roller coasters and will do one more activity using different types of balls. We will then formulate the idea that energy transfers into other forms. We will begin looking at thermal energy this week.

April 16- 20

While mother nature seems to be completely unable to make up her mind as to what season we are in, she is helping to keep us somewhat focused in the classroom! It is always tricky after Easter Break to bring them back and keep them focused on academics when the weather begins to warm up. We will be working hard to accomplish all of our goals for the year before it warms up too much! There will be plenty of fun learning opportunities during our last half of this third trimester!

Here's what's happening in our classrooms:
 
RELIGION - We are learning about the Spiritual and Corporal Works of mercy as an extension of the third commandment. We will also begin to understand what the fourth commandment requires of us. Hopefully, their understanding will follow though at home.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS -  Our next novel to tackle will be "The Tale of Despereaux", a fantasy about a mouse, a princess, and a spool of thread. We will spend a little time getting to know the author first. Kate DiCamillo has written quite a few great children's books in the last 18 years. Ask your child if they can tell you how many!
Spelling words this week are easy to spell, but require an understanding of the words' meanings because they are homophones. Our word of the week is "enthusiasm" and our prompt is to describe the enthusiasm they will need to finish the year.
 
MATH - Our main focus this week will be to learn how to multiply a two-digit number by a two-digit number and to understand how to use remainders in a division story problem. We are only just beginning on this adventure, and for some it is tedious and frustrating. Please bear with us as we work our way through. While we teach the traditional method, I will be introducing an alternative way to multiply multidigit numbers that has proven to be quite accurate for those who are stumped and frustrated by the traditional method. I am allowing the students to choose which method works best for themn right now and will move them toward the use of the traditional method as they begin to grasp the concept better. They do NOT have to use the lattice method if they prefer traditional.
 
SCIENCE- We are moving into our unit on the transfer of energy. We are concentrating this week on the understanding of and relationship between potential energy and kinetic energy.  Hopefully you've all recovered from their late April Fool's Day homework ~ the rattle snake egg note! We are constructing roller coasters this week out of pipe insulation, and tape while using a marble as our coaster!

March 19-23

Our journey to Easter is moving rather quickly these days. Sunday we will begin Holy Week. As we move closer, we have several activities planned to help our children grow in their faith. First, this Wednesday, we will have the opportunity for your child to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will be preparing them in class on Tuesday. We are also learning about the Stations of the Cross, Jesus' final journey to Calvary. We will be presenting these as a prayer service next Wednesday, March 28 at 2:30 in church.  Mark your calendar so that you can join us for this! It is always a great way to get focused for the final days of Lent and Holy Week. 
 
On Friday of this week, we will have Spring pictures. Students are out of uniform.  Unlike in the past, pictures must be paid for ahead of time. Pictures will not be taken if you do not pay up front. Also, as in the past, there are no retakes
 
Here's what we are working on in the classroom:
 
Religion -  We will be focusing our energy on the Stations of the Cross this week. 
 
Language Arts
     Reading-  We are enjoying the adventures of Sophie with The BFG! We are learning that some author's (Roald Dahl expecially) love to make up their own words to help paint the pictures of the story! The kids were laughing pretty hard last week as we read about them drinking frobscottle which then caused Sophie and the BFG to experienced whizzpoppers! Be sure to ask them about that :)! Now that we have traveled to "Dream Countyr"  we will find out how he mixes the dreams he blows into children's rooms at night and  travel with Sophie and the BFG to London. We will be looking at sequencing, and figurative language along the way.
     Written expression -  This week's spelling words all end with el, al, il, or , er,  or, ar. Our word for the week is conform.  We will be writing about the times when it is important to conform and when it's ok not to. 
 
 
Math-  We will continue to work on fact fluency and long division. Our other focus this week is identifying different types of triangles ( equilateral, scalene, isosceles, right triangle, obtuse triangle or acute triangle). We will begin to work on measuring angles. 
 
Science - We are finishing our unit on matter. This week we will learn how to  figure out volume of regular shaped prisms (LxWxH) and irregular shaped 3 dimensional objects by water displacement. We will begin to study for our test which will be next Tuesday. Chapter 6 is our chapter on matter.

March 12-16

Hard to believe that we have two trimesters down and are beginning our third! It won't be long before spring and summer will be knocking on our doors. It is important  that we stay focused in order to accomplish all of our goals for the year. We will continue with our rally cry from last we, "We've got this!" 
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - The students are enjoying the writings of Roald Dahl in the "The BFG". He has a way of making up words that are totally comprehendible, but equally entertaining. Our vocabulary word of the week is "bedlam". What a perfect word to describe the activities that the little leprechauns are thinking of pursuing. The spelling list this week includes words that have qu within each word. The students are required to complete activities in a spelling menu which are due on Friday. Be sure to have your children go on Spelling City to practice their words.
 
RELIGION - We are learning about the Second Commandment and what we should do to live this commandment. We are also preparing our hearts and heads to perform the Stations of Cross on the Wednesday before spring break. In order to act out these stations we have to be able to feel and understand the pain Jesus endured.
 
MATH - Long division has been a major focus recently. It seems that most students are grasping the process, but we will continue to practice  and work toward mastery. We will also tackle some geometry this week, even going as far as learning to measure angles.
 
SCIENCE-  This week we will be continuing our study of measuring matter. We have identified the difference between mass and weight; and we have identified the idea of conservation of matter. Now it's time to move into understanding volume, or how much space an object takes up. The hope is to finish our study of matter by mid week next week, and close it up with a test before we leave for Easter Break.

March 5-9

IT IS IOWA TESTING WEEK! Please make sure your children are getting a good night's rest and a hearty healthy breakfast each morning. Don't forget a healthy snack for the morning! We will test for 1 1/2 - 2 hours each morning, with some brain breaks in between sections. Because of this, we won't have every subject everyday this week, but we will attempt to devote equal time to all subjects. Homework will be light as well. There will be Spelling each night and Math probably every other night. 
Enjoy this little reprieve from the usual work load. We should be back to "normal" next week.
 

February 26-March 2

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the second trimester! We have been working hard and are beginning to settle back into our "normal" routine of things. Hopefully, the worst of the winter weather is behind us and we will have fewer interruptions to our schedule. With THAT said, next week we begin IOWA testing.  We will test only in the mornings and then rotate which classes we fit in the rest of the day in an effort to keep somewhat on track. A good night's sleep, a healthy breakfast and snack willl go a long way in helping your child feel good about and do well with the IOWA's. I will send a reminder notice later this week :).
Here's a peak at what we are doing this week.
 
Religion: This week we are busy finishing our look at the 1st Commandment. We are also working on decorating some lunch bags for a prison ministry retreat that is coming up soon. Students are decorating the bags with symbols of faith and illustrations of their favorite bible story or a Christian inspirational quote or bible verse. This week we are also beginning our look at the Stations of the Cross. We will do a few each week leading up to Holy Week.
 
Language Arts: 
     Reading:  We are reading Roald Dahl's The BFG as our first look at the fantasy genre. Right now we are concentrating on using our senses as we look at the setting of the story. We are also working on the author's choice of sensory language and how that evokes different emotions in us as we read about Sophie's experiences with the BFG. 
     Written expression: Our WOW this week is replenish.  We will be writing about healthy ways to replenish our bodies. Our spelling words this week all have either au or aw. Spelling homework should be done nightly in their spelling notebooks. Additional activities are available on Spelling City. Please encourage your child to get on and do an extra spelling practice. 
 
Math: This week we are working with fractions of a group, fractions of a set and geometric transformations. Daily practice of multiplication and division facts are highly encouraged. 4A students have been given their login information for the MobyMax website. This is a great place for them to go and get a little extra practice time in.
 
Science: This week in Science we are looking how the mass of an object is measured, what happens to it when we change the shape, what happens when it changes states and what happens when we add something to something else. There will be plenty of hands on activities for them to discover the concept of conservation of matter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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!