February 6, 2018

Dear 4-243 Families,

Good Afternoon.  Here’s an update. Reading clubs have launched.  Book Clubs are reading historical fiction books that all take place within the Colonial/Revolutionary Era.  Students continue to work on character growth and theme along the historical backdrop of our Social Studies Content.   In addition, we will be doing some writing within this context.  Children will be persuading friends or family “back home” to come or not to the colony they are studying.  Using research as the reasons and fictionalized examples, Persuasive Essays will take the form of a letter written from a historical perspective.

In Math, we tackled the multiplication algorithm.  Although it is not a requirement in 4th grade, we teach it as ONE of the many strategies students have.  The long division algorithm is not a 4th grade standard and will not be taught in 4th grade. Please dissuade your child from using this as their only strategy.

We are heading into fractions this week.  Students are refreshing their understandings and we will build on those foundational ideas as we move into concepts of equivalence, some modeling, and some operations.  Again, please refrain from teaching your child “shortcuts” –we will explore these concepts together and build an understanding together.

Test Prep:  Yup. I said it. The 4th grade administered a practice ELA test last week.  I am in the process of marking it and will go over it with students little by little.  In the meantime, we will be introducing the Test Prep Book next week.  Zoe and I have worked together to try and map out a plan of action.  Of course, we will make adjustments as needed but we expect to do some work in class and send some homework.  We plan to start with fiction reading and then spend time on informational texts.  The writing portion will come later.   We do plan on sending home an Optional Packet for the Mid Winter break.  We will send it home mid week next week with an accompanying letter.  Again, IT IS OPTIONAL.

Many of the children asked for refresher ( or first time) cursive lessons so I am trying to squeeze a bit of that in too.   Occasional Grammar packets continue and Word Study will too.

Oh yeah…we also have Wingspan.  Save March 8th for that.

Taking deep breaths along with you all,

Donna