October 1, 2019

Dear Families,

September flew by! We have had a great first month in 4-245. Here is a bit about what we’ve been working on and where we are headed next!
In reading, we’ve been working hard in our first fiction unit, Interpreting Characters: The Heart of the Story. As per the title of the unit, our focus has been character work and will develop into deeper theme work as we progress through the unit. We have also focused on building our habits around writing about reading in our reader’s notebook as the benefits of thinking and writing about reading are vast. We will continue to build on this work in the weeks to come through continued work in the notebook and some work outside of the notebook too. Please continue to ensure that your child is writing in his or her reader’s notebook and reading every night.
We have focused September on writing essays and reminding ourselves of essay structure and strategies. The students wrote personal essays, utilizing and strengthening their already very strong essay skills. We will use essay structure throughout the year, as this is foundational to our work in fourth grade! We will be shifting our focus in writing soon and begin an integrated unit with social studies… stay tuned!
We’ve begun our year thinking about multiplication. We discussed factors, multiples, prime and composite numbers, and math vocabulary terms. Further, we’ve discussed different multiplications strategies and models (such as the array). We have also begun discussing division and will work to strengthen these skills, utilizing the students’ strong knowledge of multiplication for this.
Please continue to practice your child’s multiplication facts. It is imperative that he or she knows these for our work in math this year.
Social Studies:
We discussed atlases, types of maps, the 50 states and the concepts of latitude and longitude. The students are working hard to learn all 50 states and our song has come in handy for ensuring they do not miss a state. If your child has not yet sung you our 50 state song, ask him or her to do so! We will have a quiz on the 50 states and geography on Thursday, October 10th, so please keep practicing the states at home with your children. We will be beginning our unit on the study of Native Americans very soon!
Continue to ensure that your child is checking his or her own planner each night to ensure completion of the homework. It is the student’s responsibility to write the homework down each day in class. So far, we are off to a great start with homework this year and want it to continue as such.
Field Trip:
We are headed to Inwood Hill Park on Tuesday, October 15th. Please send a bagged lunch and water with your child on this day. Disposable lunch bags are appreciated on this day. This trip is rain or shine. Please send your child with comfortable sneakers and appropriate weather gear. We’re looking forward to a great trip!
As always, if you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.