St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School

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Happy Spring Everyone!
The months, weeks, and days are quickly passing us by! We have a lot to still accomplish!
RELIGION - We will finish our study of the Fourth Commandment this week! I'm sure that since the fourth graders truly understand the meaning of the Fourth Commandment now, they will be able to share their knowledge with their siblings and all be perfect children for you. On another note, it is a tradition that the fourth graders act out the Stations of the Cross. In the next few weeks, we will study each station so that the children understand the impact that Jesus made on the world. Holy Thursday is the day and the time is 12:00 in church.
MATH - We will be studying various topics this week in Math, from dividing with zeros in the answer to working with geometric transformation and finding the fraction of a set. It doesn't look like it will cause too much frustration for the students.
SOCIAL STUDIES - One project down, two to go! The students' next attempt to learn something on their own  about Ohio will be with their Famous Ohioan oral report, which is due Friday, March 31. Each day we are learning new things about Ohio. We are constantly adding information to our notebooks to help us learn and understand Ohio history.
LANGUAGE ARTS - The students are still fully engrossed in "The Tale of Despereaux" , now trying to figure out how all the main characters' thoughts and actions will come together to finish the story. Be aware that the Tic-Tac-Toe Reading activities are due on Wednesday, March 29. Students should be close to finishing their book soon.
Spelling this week includes many homophones. They will have to be familiar with each words meaning so they know which homophones are being used in a sentence.
The "Buzzword" is scrumptious. It is the students' job to portray the meaning of scrumptious in an advertisement. As you have probably noticed, we have been introducing different forms of writing to replace the normal paragraph prompts, in hopes of building an experience and knowledge of many different kinds of written communication.


It's Testing Week! We will test each morning, usually from around 9-11. Encourage your children to do their best each day! Homework load should be light all week!(perfect for working on a president report that is due on Friday)  In fact, there will be no prompt or spelling packet this week. We are doing our best to hit all subjects areas throughout this week.
RELIGION - We will be studying the fourth commandment "Honor thy father and mother". This is the one commandment that we should have studied extensively since birth, so that their school years would go more smoothly.
LANGUAGE ARTS - Miggery Sow, the third major character in Despereaux, is coming to life as we read the third section. They will learn how Despereaux, Roscurro, Miggery Sow and the Princess begin to intertwine within each others' lives. Students should be reading for their next monthly reading activities. The Tic-Tac-Toe sheet was given to the students on Friday. It will be due Wednesday, March 29.
MATH - The key words in math this week will be millimeters and fractions of a set. We may get stumped a little, but we always find our way to understanding with some patience.
SOCIAL STUDIES - Your child has received the guidelines for each of the Ohio Projects today. Help them to organize their time! We've been having fun adding information to our notebooks about Ohio. Don't forget the Ohio President report is due on Friday.


     It seems every week just flies by leaving us standing in our own storm of dust. There is still so much to do!
The Iowa Standardized Tests are happening next week. We will start Monday,March13 and end by Friday, March 17. We are scheduled to test an hour to an hour and a half each morning. Please make sure your child gets plenty of rest and is fed a nourishing breakfast each morning. We have been preparing for these tests by practicing test taking strategies in reading and  math. The students have actually been doing fairly well with the practice questions.
We have a new interest in Social Studies, that will be around for the next six weeks! It's Ohio History! It will be a quick fast paced race learning as much about Ohio as we can. In class, we will use an interactive notebook to keep track of our learnings. At home, there will be three assignments to work on, an Ohio president report, a famous Ohioan oral report, and an ABC Book about Ohio. Directions and due dates for each project will be coming home this week. Just remember, things will be FAST PACED for the next six weeks!
A few changes are taking place this week in language arts. You have probably noticed that there is no spelling packet this week. We decided to work through "Spelling City" and assign required time each evening this week. the prompt this week will be in letter form versus a paragraph. Please be advised that the March reading activities will be due Wednesday, March 29. Your child should be reading a chapter book with at least 100 pages. The Tic-Tac-Toe activities will be distributed next week.
There are no major changes for Religion and Math this week. We will continue to follow the texts and forge ahead. 


It's hard to believe that we have completed two-thirds of the school year already! It's at this time of year where we are teaching new things constantly and the intenseness of difficulty has increased. Those who used to find everything easy are experiencing new challenges, while those who were already having difficulty are facing bigger challenges.
In Math, our main challenge is learning the long division process. It will get easier as we take more time to practice in class.
In Language Arts, we are expecting their writings to be more polished and filled with more content. Many students are resisting, just because it's more time consuming. Reading novels requires students to read between the lines and make inferences about the characters and the plot of the story. Answers to comprehension questions need to be more detailed and less simplistic.
In Social Studies and Science, it's time for students to build on previous facts making connections and expanding their knowledge.
At this point in fourth grade, we're taking steps to prepare them for fifth grade. It's time for them to accept the challenge and to think and make decisions on their own. As fourth graders, they are responsible for managing their time to get things finished. It's time for them to do things on their own without parental pushing.


 We're nearing the end of the second trimester and many children are in need of scissors, glue, pencils and colored pencils or markers. Please check with your children to see if they need any school supplies to get them through the rest of the year.  
We are in the midst of reading "The Tale of Despereaux". The girls are enjoying the story of royalty in a castle with kings, queens, and princesses, while the boys are enjoying the parts about the rats in the dungeon. It's nice to see that they all are enjoying the book and are joyous when we take time to read it. We will spend some time acting out significant parts of this book to help us comprehend the story better and to share our dramatic talents.
The students have been reading silently for 10 minutes each day in preparation for their first attempts at some kind of book report assignment. They have been given a TicTacToe reading assignment where they will choose three activities in a row to do about the book they have read. The first three activities will be due Tuesday, February 28.
There is a spelling packet this week that will be due on Thursday. Due to the short week, we will not have a "Buzzword Prompt" this week.
 Learning about the Second Commandment and how we can live it is on the agenda for the week. We will emphasize the importance of the word "God"
and learn the need to respectfully use it.
We just learned how to display data in a pictograph, a bar graph, a line graph, and a circle graph. Our next challenges will be to multiply three digits
together and understand the purpose of exponents.
We have begun our study of the Midwest Region. The students will be assigned a state from the Midwest to research for their next regional project.
We will learn about the region's geography, climate and natural resources. Ohio History is just around the corner!

WEEK OF JAN. 30 - FEB. 3

Thanks to all who attended our Open House. The students were eager to show off all their hard work. I have to say I was quite proud of them!
This week we will attempt to get back to our normal schedule, but there are some special activities as part of our schedule that may hinder significant progress!
     Reading - We are about to begin our next class novel, "The Tale Of Despereaux".  It is another fantasy in which a tiny little mouse impacts so many lives within the castles' walls. The focus will be to realize that all the characters do not follow the same path and that they also have different points of view.
     Writing - We will begin using Google Docs and Google Classroom to write our rough draft of the prompt. The students will share their writings with me and I will be able to make suggestions to make their writings better. They will edit and adjust their rough draft by adding new information, deleting unnecessary words and making changes to make their prompt more interesting.
     Spelling - The list is all review words this week. It should be an easy time studying!
RELIGION - We have learned a little about each commandment. Now we are going to concentrate on the first commandment and understand its content and what we can do to live that commandment .
MATH - We are going to learn to compare fractions. Are they smaller, greater, or equal in size? We will attempt to also  order fractions from least to greatest. We will end the week with multiplying three digit numbers!
SOCIAL STUDIES - We will review this week and try to correlate everything we've learned about the southeast , in preparation for a test to be given early next week. Don't forget that the southeast states and capitals will also be included on the test!


It's a short week, but we are going to work as if it were a full week!  We are busily working on projects in every subject to show what we are learning and to show off our various creative talents. We're preparing for our "Open House" on Sunday, January 29. Our goal is to prove we are academically excellent and passionately Catholic. Our classroom and hallway will be filled with the products of our excitement for learning, showing examples from every part of our curriculum. It's always fun to make our parents proud and impress future fourth graders and their families.


The new year already has us rolling up our sleeves and digging our heels in to be productive students, to learn to the best of our abilities.
     Reading - Our newest class novel, "Stuart Little" is an old classic written by E.B. White. The students are learning to identify the qualities of a fantasy. We are learning the differences between realistic and imaginary and the methods that an author will use to make a story somewhat real and entertaining using imaginary characters. The use of a dictionary and looking up unfamiliar words is a skill we have been practicing.
      Writing - The "Buzzword" this week is "anticipate". The prompt is,
"How do you anticipate you would feel if you would meet your hero?"
We are still working on paragraph form, deciding what kind of topic sentence will stir an interest with the reader and how we will develop that paragraph with lots of details that will compliment the topic sentence.
     Spelling - The words this week look easy enough, but unfortunately they are words that could be spelled incorrectly if the speller is not totally focused. Be sure to encourage your child(ren) to get on Spelling City to review their words.
RELIGION - We are beginning our study of the Ten Commandments and Moses' journey with the Israelites. We will read excerpts from the bible and learn the process in looking up those verses.
MATH - In the coming days, we will practice adding and subtracting four or five digit numbers and we will also learn to divide numbers with remainders. The challenges are slowly being introduced so the children are not overwhelmed by new concepts.
SOCIAL STUDIES - We are studying the geography of the southeast, including its climate and its resources. The students are working on state projects that are filled with lots of information. The information is being compiled and organized in lap folders.


The actors and actresses of 4B are starting to get a little jittery as we get closer to their performance date of December 13. If your fourth grader has a solo part, please make sure they are learning their lines. Work loads will be lighter due to extra show practices this week. 
RELIGION - We will continue to work on the Jesse tree, refreshing our memories with the bible stories that preceded the birth of Jesus.
MATH - We will start to focus on how multiplication and division are related and work on increasing speed and accuracy with the division facts.
SOCIAL STUDIES - I have decided to postpone the social studies test until Wednesday to give them a little more time to study. At week's end, we will start our study of the Southeast region.
LANGUAGE ARTS - We will continue reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" in reading. The spelling list contains words with suffixes and their base words. All are signed into Spelling City and should be visiting the sight throughout the week to review their words. The "Buzzword" is ambition and its prompt is: "What do you have the ambition to learn or do?"


The weeks and months are passing by quicker than I can imagine. Thanksgiving is only a memory and Christmas is pounding on our doors. It's that time of year when the fourth grade is very busy preparing for the annual production of "On Our Way to Bethlehem". Mark your calendars for this joyous event for December 13, at 7:00 p.m.
RELIGION - Throughout December, we will be hearing bible stories that reflect the timeline that lead to the coming of Jesus. We will make symbols to symbolize those stories and add them to our Jesse Tree each day.  We will also take time to review the liturgical calendar and learn about the seasons that the Church celebrates.
MATH - This week in math, we will review subtracting with zeros, estimating and rounding numbers, adding and subtracting decimals, and introducing the multiplication of multi-digit numbers. The multiplication could be a difficult concept for some.
READING - We are beginning our next novel "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"  so the students have something to relate to as they get ready for their own Christmas Show. The main focus of this novel is to watch the growth of the characters from beginning to end.
SPELLING - We are reviewing this week with 20 words from the last five lessons and also adding some frequently misspelled words to the list.
WRITING - The "Buzzword" this week is efficient. The prompt to enhance the understanding of this word is: "What is the most efficient way to handle your busy evenings?"
SOCIAL STUDIES - We will finish our studies of the northeast region this week. We  will review all the facts that we learned, review the states and capitals of the northeast, and work on a small culminating project. Each student will be responsible for making a state plate that represents the interesting facts they learned about their assigned state. A test will be in order around next Tuesday!


There is never a dull moment in fourth grade. It seems we are always busy, barely taking a breath in between classes.
     READING - We've been reading the novel  "Frindle". We have been working on many skills that have been prevalent  within the text. We've spent some time on similes, metaphors, idioms, cause and effect, and fact and opinion. Of course we also have been working on comprehension skills and being able to identify the main characters, the setting and recognizing the sequence of events.DE
      WRITING - Our "buzzword" this week will be fortitude. The prompt for the week is :  When would it be good to  show that you have fortitude?
RELIGION - I must congratulate the students on their strong efforts in producing saint shields of exemplary quality. They all were able to get up and speak confidently about the saint they researched. We are nearing completion of the actual saint report and again I am very pleased with the results, thus far. 
MATH - We have been spiraling through many mathematical concepts, but the skills reviewed this week will be reading and writing large numbers, learning what a mixed number is and understanding that dollar and cents can be converted into a mixed number.
SOCIAL STUDIES - We have been learning about the election process, from the act of deciding if to run to inauguration day. We will have a mini mock election in class by secret ballot to teach them  what election day involves.  We will continue to learn more about the Northeast region.


This week we celebrate Everybody Counts.  It sounds as if the parent volunteers have worked very hard preparing for this week, so that our students are able to recognize these disabilities and accept those people as one of God's children. 
We are now reading "Frindle", a realistic fiction, which is about a fifth grade student who proves that the dictionary is a tool that can still be added to. We have been working with different concepts throughout the book. For example we have worked recognizing metaphors and similes, practicing our dictionary skills, understanding how humor can be a factor and of course, recognizing character traits.
The students have had a little reprieve on writing weekly prompts, but I'm sure they can't wait to get started again!
Our buzz word is "Defiant". The prompt connected to this word is:  When is it okay to be defiant?
If you think you are seeing double, you are! Our spelling words this week contain double consonants.
MATH - The concepts have not been overwhelmingly difficult, but the students are not taking their time and they are not checking to make sure their answer makes sense. Please check and make them redo to understand their mistakes.
RELIGION - Throughout this entire week, we will devote our religion time to finding out information about the saint that each child has been assigned and working on a report that will reflect an understanding of the saint that was researched.
SOCIAL STUDIES - We are beginning our study of the northeast region. We will learn about the geography and the early history of the northeast. In order to understand each lesson more fully, we are going to start outlining. We will do it as a class, and gradually they will learn to do it on their own.


4B has a new alias name for the next two weeks. We are known as the Soda Surfers for the upcoming Fun Run. Our incentives for our fundraiser include sitting where you want in class, crazy hat and sock day, a week without a prompt or a spelling packet, and if our goal is met, the students will get to watch a movie with popcorn.
     Reading - We are working on some culminating activities for "Stone Fox". The students are working with partners to create a poster about the chapter they have been assigned. They will also extend the story of "Stone Fox" by writing a final chapter to add to Little Willy's adventures. Later in the week, the students will compare and contrast the book and movie versions.
     Writing - The "Buzzword" this week is repulsive. Its corresponding prompt is:  Explain why something might be repulsive. I can't wait to read these prompts this week! No telling what might be considered repulsive with a class that is majority boys.
     Spelling - The spelling list this week contains words that are in the comparative and superlative forms.
MATH - This week we will practice making triangles and rectangles with straight edges. We will learn to use a compass to make circles with given diameters and radii and we will finish the week practicing subtracting with regrouping.
RELIGION - We have finished our study of the Beatitudes and are scheduled for a test on Wednesday.  Through the remainder of this week we will focus our study on the different kinds of sin and act out the popular story of the Good Samaritan.
SOCIAL STUDIES - We will learn a little about the U.S. government, its three branches and also some basic economy.


     The weather is finally breaking and the students have a little more pep in their step and less cobwebs in the brain. The cooler weather has awaken the tribes! Just in time to start the week that will keep them busy again!
Reading - We are still reading "Stone Fox" and enjoying the storyline. Since the story includes a dog race, the students have been researching the facts about The Iditarod Race that takes place annually. They will use the information they have gathered and the facts that were presented in the story to make a flyer to advertise the race in the book. The flyer is due this Friday. I have to say their research skills are much better than I ever expected.
Writing - The "Buzzword" this week is perplexed. The prompt that will accompany this week's vocab word is: "What are some good strategies that will help you when you are perplexed ?"
Spelling - Our  words this week will have -ed and -ing endings. It should be somewhat easy because we practiced this skill a couple weeks ago in our Writers Workbook.
RELIGION - This week we will finish our study of the Beatitudes.  We have learned the many ways our lives can be full by living the Beatitudes as our example.The project we have been working on will also be fully completed by Friday.
MATH - We will take a benchmark test assessing how well the students are progressing thus far. The rest of the week will feature measuring activities, with a classroom scavenger hunt at the end of the week.
SOCIAL STUDIES - This week our studies take us back to the times when immigrants were flocking into America. We will learn where they first arrived and how they dispersed through rural, urban, and suburban areas. They will also learn about the three branches of government and draw the White House, the Capitol building and the Supreme Court building.


Reading - Throughout the week we will continue to read "Stone Fox" and do activities related to the characters, setting, and sequence of events. As we read through this book, the students will be asked to make connections and write about them from time to time. They are also using the laptops to look up background knowledge to deepen their understanding of the story.
Spelling -
Our words this week  include the /k/ and /f/ sounds. The most recent spelling test looks a whole lot better grade wise than the previous one. It's good to see so much improvement from one test to another.
Writing -
The "Buzzword" this week is rickety and its prompt is: Describe something that you have seen that is rickety.
RELIGION -  Our focus this week is to complete our study of the Beatitudes, as well as complete a project that will reflect the students understanding. 4B is also responsible for Mass this week, Wednesday, at 9:00 a.m.
MATH - We are moving through the lessons very quickly and doing quite well
with new concepts. Some of the topics we're about to tackle this week are expanded form, addition of three multi-digit numbers, temperature and elapsed time. I think we'll breeze right through!
SOCIAL STUDIES -  In the beginning of the week, we will be reviewing for our Chapter 1 Test , which will be on Wednesday. We are working on study packets in class, which can be reviewed at night. Help your child to review, please! Through the rest of the week we will take a look at how immigrants came to the United States and settled in rural, urban, and suburban areas.