St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School

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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. 

September 19-22

It was wonderful to meet so many of you last Thursday at our Meet the Teacher evening. Know that we have already made "your kids" "OUR kids" and we want so much for them this year! We look forward to watching them grow and develop as children of God and academic learners. We also look forward to working with you to make this year a great one for these kiddos that you entrust to our care each day. Please be sure to contact us any time with questions, concerns and any happy growth moments you experience throughout this year. 
Today, the students had a little fun with "Talk like a Pirate Day"!  I hope they shared some of our fun with you.
Here's what we hope to accomplish the rest of this short week:
 
RELIGION - We're working to  fully understand the meanings of the Beatitudes and what message Jesus was trying to give to us in regards to helping others. Our hope is to finish this chapter by the end of the year.
 
MATH - We will work with elapsed time and rounding numbers before taking our cumulative test 3. At the end of the week, our timed test will focus on subtraction this week.
 
LANGUAGE ARTS - We have almost completed "Stone Fox", but won't read the exciting ending until next week.  The skills we've been working on throughout the story have been cause and effect, sequencing events and context clues.
     We do not have a new Word of the Week this week, but we still are working on our prompt for treacherous from last week. Our prompt is a newspaper article describing the who, what, when and where of a treacherous scene. There will not be a vocabulary test this week since we do not have a new word.
     There is a spelling list this week to study. Be sure to have your child(ren) practice on Spelling City this week! They should be doing one activity of their choice each night. As usual, we will have our Spelling test on Friday.
 
Science- Now that we have worked through the scientific process, we are ready to move into some of the meat of our science curriculum. We will begin our study of life sciences with a look at the plant kingdom. Our new book has chosen to weave this in with the animal kingdom. My plan is to work through the information on the plant kingdom first with some hands on labs and book work. So, we might be skipping around the book just a little bit for the next two units. They will be getting "real note taking" experience as we go through this. This week's topic: where do plants come from and what do they need to live. 
 

Spelling City

Spelling City is up and running for the year! Students have all week to complete 4 different activities of their choosing. They should NOT do all four in one night. The idea is to give them extra practice using their Spelling Words to help reinforce the spelling pattern. It loses its effectiveness if they do it all in one night rather than ONE activity each night.
 

September 11-15

We are finally settling into a somewhat "normal" routine in fourth grade! Now our goal is to get up to "cruising speed" in completing work. The pace of our day is much quicker than what your child has been used to, so we are finding we are moving at a slower pace than we need. This is typical, and we know we will pick up the pace soon.
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening where we will discuss our expectations for your children as well as ways you can support them and us throughout this year of big transitions. 
 
Here's a peek at our week:
Religion: This week we are focusing on the Beatitudes, Chapter 2. I like to call these our "Be happy 'tudes", ways to live as disciples that share God's love and joy to others.
 
Language Arts
    Reading: We are continuing in our novel, Stone Fox. This week we are focusing on cause and effect and finding evidence in our story to support our views of the character.
     Written Expression:  This week we continue or look at nouns, and writing well thought out paragraphs with good sentences. Our WOW this week is treacherous. Spelling words are up on Spelling City. Students have been given their login information and should complete 3-4 activities at home this week in preparation for Friday's Spelling test. This Friday we will also have our first Vocabulary Quiz over our first two words: ability and treacherous.  
 
MathThis week in Math we are working on addition problems of two digit numbers with regrouping and elapsed time. Continued practice of addition facts should be encouraged nightly.
 
Science: We are finishing up Chapter 1: The Nature of Science. We have discussed the scientific process, methods that scientists use to answer questions and how to document findings and draw scientific conclusions from those results. We will have our first quiz on Thursday.
 

September 5-8

 I hope that you all enjoyed the nice 3 day weekend after we made it through our first full week! You've got GREAT kids. Thank you for helping to get our year off to a great start. As of today, they have their portfolio to help keep them organized for the year. As a class, we have given our "best friend" the name "JERRY".  This folder portfolio will go with them to almost every class and will travel between home and school daily. They have a special pocket for IMPORTANT notes and another one for HOMEWORK. Please check the important note pocket and use that for when you need to send one to me. Help your child at the end of the day to put any homework sheets back into the HOMEWORK folder. Ultimately, they will be able to do that by themselves within a couple of weeks. I ask that you do not remove anything from their folder that is not in the IMPORTANT note pocket. Often times, they will put unfinished work into the proper folder (Science, Social Studies, etc. ) and then not be able to find it when it is time to work on it in class. Our experience is that by using this folder system, it helps keep them organized and aids in them becoming responsible, successful, independent learners! We appreciate your help in this.
 
This Friday we will have an out of uniform day as a way to help support the relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey through Catholic Charities. We encourage students to do a few extra chores to earn the money they bring in rather than just asking you for money. I'm sure there is something you can find for them to do that you haven't had time to do yet yourself.
 
Here's a peek at our week:
Religion: This week we will finish our look at Chapter 1 Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Students will be identifying the traits of a disciple.
 
Language Arts: 
     Reading: We will begin our next class novel this week. As we read through the chapters, we will be looking for evidence that points to a character's traits; what they are like. We will also be working on creating summaries as well as identifying cause and effect.
     Writing: There is NOT a spelling list this week with the short week. We are introducing our WOW vocabulary work, step by step this week. We will be targeting our efforts in their paragraph writing on strong topic sentences as well as the use of correct punctuation. Most of the hard work will be done in class during the week, with a final copy done at home. Students will be asked to turn in both the rough draft and the final copy.  
 
Math:  We have been working with two digit and three digit addition and subtraction as well as working on solving for missing numbers. This week we will be working with 2 digit subtraction with regrouping. Please be sure to be practicing basic addition and subtraction facts nightly. It is important to have these facts as second nature as we increase the complexity of our math work. We will have weekly facts tests where students will have 3 minutes to see how many of the 100 problems they can correctly answer. What we are looking for is improvement week to week, so don't be alarmed if right now they are not completing the entire 100 facts accurately. 
 
Science: This week we are wrapping up our look at how we "do" science. There will be a quiz next Tuesday over the first 4 lessons. Students should be receiving their Pearson Science login information this week. There will be some things that I assign online to help them review what we are learning in class. 

Welcome Back!

   It is great to be back and settling into our routine. We have spent some time getting to know one another and are now slowing sweeping away our summer cobwebs! What a great group of kids, and I'm sure we will have a fun filled, year full of learning adventures. Keep in mind that it is a year of big changes and adjustments for your child, but we will do our best to ease the adjustment for them as well as for you. Please don't hesitate to contact either Mrs. Fields or myself with any questions you may have along the way.
   Each week, we do our best to post a quick peek at what will be going on in our classrooms.  It is common for 4th graders, when asked about their day, to respond with; "It was ok." Or if asked what they did during the day for them to say: "Nothing". Our peek at our week should help keep you up to date as well as giving you "talking points" for those vague responses you receive!
 
SO, here is a peek at our week:
 
Religion:  We have already talked about the fact that as disciples, we need to spend time with God. We have created our Prayer Journals where we will take time to write and reflect. We will spend some time each week after mass writing and reflecting on our own personal "WOW" moment. These are the moments during mass when something we have heard (either in the reading, gospel, songs or homily) makes us say "WOW" or touches our hearts in some way. We are also beginning our look at Chapter 1 which helps us to identify that Jesus is both human and divine and that he came to save us.
 
Language Arts:
Reading:  This year we are learning to apply all of those skills that we have been taught since Kindergarten. We will be reading a lot and writing responses and reflections about what we have read. This week we have talked a little about the different genres that we will be experiencing this year. Students have found a book that interests them to be reading on their own each day. We have also begun our first class novel. We are reading Freckle Juice by Judy Bloom. We use this easy read as a way to jumpstart our unit on Realistic Fiction. We are identifying the characteristics of this genre as well as focusing on the characters. We are looking for character traits and using evidence from the story to back up our ideas.
Writing: We have jumped right into our first unit on Spelling. This week's words are: rolled, fingers, except, speed, couldn't, questions, catch, itself, mark, button, bargain, certain, orphan, fountain, oxen, latitude, longitude, compass, absolute, equator, with compensation as our challenge word.
This year, students are keeping a Spelling notebook where most of their word work will be done at school. Words are also listed in their assignment pads for nightly review. They are also using a program called Sitton Spelling to strengthen their skills with spelling patterns and high frequency words. Words are assigned on Monday with Spelling tests given on Friday. 
 
Math: These kiddos love numbers! A baseline assessment was given yesterday (Monday) and they all did well! Because of this, we have jumped ahead to Lesson 11 in our Math book to start our Math lessons. This week we are working on finding missing numbers in addition and subtraction problems, as well as adding three digit numbers together. There is daily fact practice as well. 
 
Science: We are beginning our year of becoming Scientists by first looking at what a scientist does and the scientific method. We are learning the foundation for acting and thinking like a scientist through different demonstrations and mini experiments.