September News…

September News…
We are off to a great start this school year. We haven’t wasted a moment
returning to learning! I hope your child has been coming home sharing some of the
lessons we have been working on. If your kids are like mine, you may have to ask
specific questions rather than, “How was your day?” Try asking, “What was the
most exciting thing you did today?” Or perhaps, “What is one new thing that you
learned today?” In case they haven’t opened up enough just yet, here is a sneak
peek into 4th grade so far.
We have completed our first novel, Hundred Dresses. This is an excellent
book to begin the school year. It talks about a girl who gets teased for wearing the
same dress to school every day. It gives our class such a great opportunity to
discuss differences in our classmates, and it is OK to be uniquely you! 
We will also start working on our comprehension toolkit lessons. We will be
working on monitoring our comprehension through a series of lessons. It is so
important to be a THINKER while reading. The toolkit allows me to demonstrate
with a text while modeling my own thinking so they can see how thinking through
the text can help us get the most from our reading. We will be working on listening
to what our inner voice is saying as we read, notice when we lose our way,
brainstorming fix up strategies to get our minds back to the text, and we will also
be learning how sharing with each other can add depth to our knowledge of the
text. We will continue on to our second unit of the toolkit which will help us
Activate and Connect to the text. We will begin looking at how text features and
non-text features help us gain even more understanding. We will merge our
thinking with new learning and share our reactions based on our new knowledge.
We will also see if our new ideas or concepts make us revise or change our old
ways of thinking. YOU CAN HELP WITH THIS PROCESS!  Each night your child
is to be reading at home, have your child tell you about their reading. One strategy
you might try is having your child jot down on post-its their reactions or questions
to the text as they read. Have them share their post-its with you after they have
finished a book or a chapter. Get involved with their reading. Just because they
are old enough to read, doesn’t mean they need to be completely independent of
parents help when it comes to reading. Join in the rich conversations about the
text and help them fall in love with reading by having someone at home to share
their stories with. Don’t be afraid to partner read with them too. They still love to
be read to and read to someone! Have fun with it! We will also begin our book clubs
this month.
Lots of writing going on! We are planting seeds in our writer’s notebook to
choose a topic to write about. By planting seeds, we will always have ideas to
stimulate writing topics this school year. We will be picking our favorite seed and
taking it through the entire writing process. Our end result will be a personal
narrative to cherish forever!
Language Arts:
Students are working on correct punctuation usage with our Write Source
curriculum. It is important to be on the lookout for punctuation marks while
reading to self. We are also launching our word work studies. Students will be
placed with specific spelling patterns based on their levels. They will work with a
pattern in words rather than random lists. Our goal is to learn more about the
English language by studying how and why words are spelled certain ways. Rather
than memorizing lists for a weekly test, students will sort words, hunt for words
that fall into the same category, and learn meanings for these words. Every couple
of weeks we will quiz them to see if they are understanding the word pattern, not
necessarily the exact words from their lists.
We will be finishing our first unit on geometry next week. We have been
reviewing the terms ray, line segment and line. The students have also learned what
it takes to be a polygon. We learned there are four key components to being a
polygon. This unit is rich in vocabulary so we will spend timing making sure we
understand the terms. Our next unit of study will be Using Numbers and
Organizing Data. The students will learn different names for numbers, review place
value, organize/display data and add/subtract multidigit numbers.
Social Studies:
Over the next two to three weeks we will finish our first chapters in social
studies. In our first chapter students discovered the social sciences and learned
what social scientists actually do. The second unit will explore regions of the U.S.
Students should come away with the ability to understand how geographers study
the regions. They will think like a geographer as they learn to read maps. They will
locate the five regions of the U.S. They will then discover the geographic features
of each region.
In our first unit on Animal Studies, we will spend the first few weeks
researching two animals. We will compare and contrast these animals focusing on
life cycle, habitats, predators/prey, etc. After completing research the students
will take the information and make a Venn Diagram to display their research. We
will have a class gallery walk to share what we learned.
Important Dates:
September 4-No School, Professional Day for teachers
September 7-No School, Holiday
September 11-Dynamic Dads
September 24-District Collaboration Day
District Collaboration Dates
Our first collaboration day will be Thursday, September 24th.
K-4 Students: Buses will run approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes later on these
dates. Please be out at your bus stop 1 hour and 45 minutes later than normal on
these dates. Car Riders should arrive no earlier than 10:20 a.m.
School begins promptly at 10:40 a.m.
Mrs. Crabb