Welcome to 4B!
I love fourth graders! They are my favorite in all the school! I get excited when I see how my students grow, learn, explore, and think beyond their wildest dreams! It is a thrill to be a part of this transformation! But the best part of all is how we help each other to grow in the love of Jesus.
Grade Level Overview
Grade four at Saint Joseph Elementary School is a year full of excitement and personal growth. We learn about ourselves as students and our world around us. It is the best grade of all, just ask us!
What is a fourth grader?
No two children are the same, thanks be to God! However there are certain traits that fourth graders generally exhibit. First, they value friendships. They love to help one another and work well in pairs. They generally work hard and want to do well. Connecting themselves to learning is a necessary component to the learning process. They love to collect things. They respond well to humor and are developing their own sense of humor. They love to talk things over. They demand fairness and see the world as fair and unfair, just and unjust, right and wrong. Fourth graders are seeking to know more about the Lord and are so open to prayer. They are honest and expect others to be also. In short, they are wonderfully and beautifully made!
"Some people come in your life as blessings.
Some come in your life as lessons." (St. Mother Teresa)
- Welcome to 4B!
- Newsblast 9/6/19
- Newsblast 9/13/19
- Newsblast 9/20/19
- Newsblast 9/27/19
- Newsletter 10/4/19
- Newsletter 10/10/19
- Newsletter 10/18/19
- Newsletter 10.25.19
- Newsletter 11/1/19
- Newsletter 11/8/19
- Newsletter 11/15/19
- Newsletter 11/22/19
- Newsletter 12/6/19
- Newsletter 12/13/19
- Newsletter 12/20/19
- Newsletter 1/10/20
- Newsletter 1/17/20
- Newsletter 1/24/20
August 15, 2019
Welcome to the Fourth Grade at St. Joseph School! I hope you’re having a great summer. I am excited to be your fourth grade teacher!
Fourth grade is a fabulous grade! You will love all the very interesting things we will learn, the new friends you will make, and the fascinating discoveries. I can’t wait to meet you!
I’m sure you’re anxious to know what I’m like, as I’m equally anxious to learn all about you. We’re going to spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year getting to know everyone in our class. In my class, you will be respected,cherished, and treated fairly.
Hasn’t this summer been a great time to read? I can’t wait to hear about your favorite book you read this summer, so please come prepared to discuss the wonderful books you’ve read. I’m excited to hear your thoughts and opinions. We have many discussions and work in groups a lot in fourth grade!
Please remember to bring to school your school supplies, the summer reading log and the math packet. I would like you to bring in Rosary beads to be kept at school, and a recent picture of yourself. It can be any picture of yourself that you particularly like.
I am looking forward to a fantastic year in the fourth grade! Enjoy the remainder of your summer. I can’t wait to see you on the first day of school!
I love teaching fourth grade and I hope that you will love fourth grade too!
“Life truly is not about what we do and what we have. Life is about who we become.”
John Wood (Ordinary Lives Extraordinary Mission)
Happy Friday! What a wonderful beginning to fourth grade we have had in 4B! I thank you for helping these days go smoothly. I explained that the beginning few weeks of school take time and patience until everyone feels totally comfortable in the new class. In fact, my goal for the beginning weeks of school is to build a classroom environment in which all children feel comfortable and respected. I spend these beginning weeks getting to know your child as quickly and thoughtfully as I can. I have such a great feeling about this class! I know this year is going to be marvelous! I truly believe that God chooses which children will be in my class each year, so I know we are meant to be together!
We had fun doing a reader’s theater, “Tale of Three Trees”. They did a great job. It is a beautiful story with a deeply spiritual lesson. Not only does it require reading and practicing fluency, it takes a certain amount of acting to make it work. I find that when children participate in Reader’s Theater, I can take a close look at their reading without the children knowing I am analyzing it! On Thursday they performed 3 more reader’s theaters, a mystery, a folktale and a fairy tale. They had fun!
They worked on “Selfies” that you will enjoy seeing at our Open House on September 19.
We will begin reading Skinnybones by Barbara Park as a class shared reading book. Next, we will be reading Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Coe. I am requesting that your child have a copy of each book by Friday September 13 as I am anxious to begin our reading program in the class! Thank you so very much for getting each of them! I appreciate your support!
The class did a math placement test this week for me to analyze their math strengths and weaknesses. The results of this test do not affect their report card grades; they give me important information regarding learned and retained math skills so I can gear instruction based on the data.
Fr Stamm paid us a visit on Thursday. He asked about their summer and gave them a special blessing!
We had an awesome discussion this morning. I read about St Teresa Of Calcutta and we discussed how she devoted her life to helping others. We talked about she felt that we should do small things with “great love”. The children shared the many ways your families do charity work, and shared examples of how your family serves the poor or help others in need. You are fantastic parents and great role models for your children!
Looking ahead to next week the children will have their first spelling list. There will be homework in spelling each day, in addition to math. I will be gradually easing them into the fourth-grade curriculum.
I have been asked to remind you to sign up for pizza if you plan to have your child participate. The pizza program begins next Friday, September 13th.
Looking ahead to next week:
Thursday: MAP testing, session 1
Friday, September 13, at 9:00 is our opening of school Mass. We would love for you to join us!
Thank you so much for helping to make the start of our school year go so smoothly! Have a great weekend!
It’s going to be a great year!
“God wants us to be happy even more than we want to be happy.”
(Matthew Kelly, Dynamic Catholic)
We had a wonderful full week of school in 4B! We are slowly getting into routines and schedules. They are doing very well! I frequently remind them to be patient at the beginning of a new school year. They don’t know their teacher well yet, and it is tough saying good-bye to summer leisure and getting back into school routines. I assured them that in a few weeks they will feel more comfortable and at ease!
In writing next week we set up the writer’s notebooks and work on a personal narrative piece around a summer theme. My goal these beginning weeks is for them to see writing as an enjoyable experience, as well to improve as writers.
We will begin the “40 book Challenge” next week. I will explain that each student will be required to read at least 40 books this year. In addition, I will give them a list of how many of the various genres they will be asked to read. I am not assigning individual titles, just genres. The purpose is for the children to read often, and to read genres that they may not necessarily choose on their own. They will log in their completed books in the reading notebook that is kept in the classroom. I will send home another set of logs to use at home. Thank you for supporting my reading program. Each night for homework they will be assigned to read for 30 minutes.
Today we took the first spelling test of grade four. In addition to spelling the assigned words, I dictated several sentences that included some of the words. I will be looking to see how they spell in general, not the just the assigned words, but their overall writing. When I grade their papers, I will only grade the assigned spelling words however. I explained that I will also take off one point for a sentence or proper noun not capitalized, and another point off if a sentence isn’t punctuated correctly. Each month I will increase the amount of points taken off. I am trying to improve the overall quality of their written work. The goal is to have the children attend to the details of written work, being careful to use language mechanics automatically in their writing.
Last week I mentioned the 2 books we are beginning our reading program with. We will begin reading Skinnybones by Barbara Park as a class shared reading book on Monday. Next, we will be reading Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Coe. Thank you so very much for getting each of them! I appreciate your support!
I am looking forward to meeting you this coming week at Open House. It is a good opportunity to come into the classroom to see where your child spends the majority of his/her day. In addition, I will have the opportunity to show you what we will be studying this year, and to get to know my students’ parents. I know some of you have more than one class to visit, so I totally understand if you can only spend a few minutes with me on that night. I always love gathering together at Open House to discuss the year, and to answer any questions you may have! Please note that the evening begins at 6:30 this year. Please gather in the gym for a general meeting, and the classroom visits will then follow. I look forward to seeing you if your schedule permits!
Mrs. Pratt asked me to send along the information about joining the choir. I hope your child will consider this.
· Tuesday, September 17 early release
· Wednesday, September 18, picture day
· Thursday, September 19, MAP testing part 2
· Thursday, Back-To-School Night at 6:30
Please read the letter explaining Future Problem Solvers the children took home yesterday. They were introduced to this program on Thursday afternoon. Please look for several other items that are in the Friday red folders.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend! I look forward to seeing you next Thursday night!
"Love Our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible."
— St. Padre Pio
I really enjoyed seeing and meeting you all last night! I love being able to talk to you face-to-face and to discuss the year ahead. Since we just saw each other, I will keep this brief! The children were excited to read your response letters to them from last night.
I am delighted you enjoyed reading the children’s “selfies” last night that were hanging in the classroom, as well as their letters to you. They thoroughly enjoyed making them for you. I love it when the children really enjoy writing! We are going to continue with personal narratives in Writer's Workshop next week. It is in the telling of the story of their life that the writing can begin to flow. Today they wrote about one of your favorite stories about them when they were little.
The children are really enjoying our first book together, Skinnybones. While reading it, I will be going through a careful study of literary elements, starting with character trait analysis.
They are going to be taking their first math topic test next week. The test will be either Wednesday or Thursday. We will review in class and they will have a practice test to do for homework the night before. The children will need to study for math tests this year. I know that sometimes in the younger grades it wasn't necessary to study for math tests, but this should become a standard practice now, as well as for the grades ahead. I will continue to assign Reflex Math as homework three times a week throughout the year. Knowing math facts greatly helps when doing larger and more advanced math computation.
Next week we are going to visit map scale, latitude and longitude to locate exact locations on a map in Social Studies as part of our study of maps
The children brought home copies of “The 40 Book Challenge” to be kept at home. Ask them to explain what this is all about! There is a reading log that is kept in the reader’s notebook in class to keep track of books read.
Student Council elections are next Wednesday. We talked about this this in depth this morning, discussing how candidates are those who really want to be involved in the school and are excited to be a part of the process to SERVE their school. We also discussed that those who run for this cannot make promises that can’t be kept, such as more pizza days, more recess every day, etc. I am hoping that several students will choose to participate in this process! Interested candidates should make a poster to bring in on Monday and deliver a short speech on Tuesday. Voting will be on Wednesday.
Looking ahead to next week:
· Monday: Spanish quiz
· Tuesday: student council candidate speeches
· Wednesday: Student Council elections.
· Wednesday or Thursday: math test topic 1
Thank you again for last night! Have a great weekend!
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
Happy Friday! Since the feast day of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael is this week, there was a lot of talk about angels in 4B! I wish you could have experienced these beautiful discussions! There are many fantastic feast days coming up also. Next week are the Guardian Angels and St. Francis, for example!
The children began lesson 1 in Wordly Wise. I use these vocabulary lessons to teach study skills as well as to increase vocabulary. I modeled how to make study cards and they made one for each vocabulary word for lesson 1. There are several reasons for making them. As the children make the cards, they are looking at the words and studying them as they do. In addition, the color-coded portion helps to visually remember the words and their meanings. Thirdly, vocabulary cards are a study technique that will serve them well, not only for Wordly Wise, but can be applied to other content area studying as well. For example, making Spanish cards to study is a terrific tool for mastering the meaning of Spanish words and what they mean in English. And finally, the children can quiz themselves and determine which words they know, and which need more time and attention. Next week I will be demonstrating how to use the vocabulary cards to study for the test Thursday.
There are those times in every household when, due to many factors, that a child may not be able to do all their homework. I know this won’t happen often, but if it does, please send me an email so I can excuse your child from homework that day. As I explained at Open House, I will be handing out homework slips for a missed assignment, that also includes leaving it at home even though they had done it. Homework is important because it is always a practice of what we did in class. Each night I want them to be using their spelling words so that by Friday they can accurately spell their words on the spelling test. You may have noticed that the words each week are based on spelling patterns and word study analysis.
We began topic 2 this week in math. I will be testing them on their multiplication facts periodically. This automaticity is very important when multiplying large numbers and doing long division. I explained that they now should be practicing these multiplication facts. I assign Reflex Math 3 times per week for this reason. Thank you for helping with this on your end!
Look for the math test on topic 1 and the spelling test in the red folder please.
We are gathering a “Must Read” library in the classroom. Ask your child to explain it to you!
· Thursday: Wordly Wise test
· Friday: Mass at 9:00. Please join us if you can!
Have a wonderful weekend!
“The Most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family.” (Pope Francis)
We have reached the end of Skinnybones. They have loved reading it! I love hearing them laugh out loud at a funny part, and there are many funny parts! While we have been reading this book, we have been studying literary elements. These include plot, setting, theme characters, mood and tone, etc. In addition, I have occasionally asked them to answer questions about a few chapters. Not only was I looking for how well they understood, but how well they responded in writing. I’m sure you’ll agree that well in writing is a life skill. I gave them a detailed rubric for written answers. The goal is to help improve the overall quality of their responses.
I will explain the breakdown of letter grades and their numerical correspondents soon. I will give them a list to keep so they can keep track of the numerical grades and how they translate to letter ones. I hesitate to focus solely on grades in the month of September.
Now that we finished reading Skinnybones, I look forward to beginning Fenway and Hattie next week.
Next week we will complete topic 2 in Math and the children will review and be assessed on this topic. This topic explores finding patterns, establishing a rule to explain the pattern, and how to use their knowledge to determine patterns of geometric patterns as well.
The children are having fun growing a list of “Must Read” books. Thank you for allowing the children to borrow their book suggestions.
The children have been enjoying writing personal narratives in writing. I read a few books to trigger ideas to write about. One was the book by Cynthia Rylant, The Relatives Came. This reminded them of their own relatives and personal connections they made while reading the book. Then they chose one of those ideas to write a personal narrative piece.
We will continue our study of map types and longitude and latitude next week.
Congratulations to Nichole Cauti and “Team Panda” for a fabulous 5K fundraiser last weekend to raise money for diabetes research. Her team raised $1750!! Fantastic!
When your child comes home today look for the Wordly Wise test and spelling test in the red Friday folder.
· Monday: Spanish quiz
· Friday: faculty retreat and beginning of Columbus Day weekend for the children
I hope you have a great weekend!
"A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul."
— St. Therese of Lisieux - The Little Flower
I am sending this to you a day early due to the long Columbus Day weekend!
We have had a very productive week in 4B!
The children have been asked to answer questions based on the reading of Skinnybones. In addition to checking their overall reading comprehension, I am also looking to see how they answer them. In other words, attention to answering in complete sentences, neatness, and punctuation. Rather than starting right out grading them numerically, I use a grading rubric at the beginning of the year. It is a system based on 1-3, with 3 being the best and desired score. I graded a set of papers and passed them back. They analyzed what they need to do to receive a 3 the next time, and subsequently changed their current work. I hope that this will help them to do better on written school work. These are life skills! I sent home a copy of the rubric for you to see. After discussing the acronym RAPS for written answers and giving them a benchmark to show what a good answer should be, the children were asked to fix theirs to bring it to the desire level. I am attaching the RAPS explanation for written answers as well as the grading rubric I used for the Skinnybones reading worksheets. I’m sure you agree that it is important the children raise the quality of their written responses to a higher level. These visuals will greatly help.
We are studying and analyzing literary elements: character, setting, theme, mood, etc. in reading. This week we focused on the story elements plot diagram to help to visually analyze the components of fiction. We will continue next week.
In Writer’s Workshop, we looked at how personal narrative writing is more effective when we use good writing as models. What I am most happy about is that the children are really starting to enjoy writing as they see how they can make choices about what they write, and how they can improve their writing by applying what we are learning.
Next week the children will begin topic 3 in math. This topic focuses on rounding numbers, place value positions, and extending number knowledge to increasingly larger numbers. There will be a review of this topic followed by a chapter test. I hope the children are using Reflex Math three times a week on the nights I assign it for homework. The children will perform better in math if they have mastered their math facts.
Enjoy the long Columbus Day weekend!
Looking ahead to next week:
· Wednesday: early dismissal
· Friday: Wordly Wise lesson 2 assessment
“The Rosary stops a busy family in its tracks, quiets the world’s noise, gathers us together, and focuses us on God and not ourselves. This does wonders for a family.”
-Tom Hoopes, from The Rosary of Saint John Paul II
We just returned from our school Rosary prayer service. What a beautiful experience for us all to gather and pray as a faith community!
It was a busy short week in 4B!
We began topic 3 in math which deals with large numbers, place value, comparison of larger numbers, ordering, etc. Their topic 2 test is in their red folders today so look for those please. Also, in the folder are the Skinnybones end of book written assessment. This is the piece that was graded using the rubric of a scale from 1-3. The goal was for them to redo them bringing them to desired score of 3. This attention to detail and acceptance that school written work should be thorough, full of detail, and well written is a valuable quality for students throughout their years.
On Wednesday I explained the Saint project that we do in grade 4. I’m sure your child brought it home on that day, but I will attach it to this newsletter so you will have it. I am also attaching the grading rubric I will use. The children were supposed to talk it over with you and bring in their top 3 choices of Saint to do. The reason is since this is a learning experience, I don’t want to have more than 1 child doing a saint. Their goal is to teach the class about their Saint. Most of the children did bring them in today, but if your child did not, please have him/her bring it in on Monday. Even though All Saints Day is November 1, this assignment is due Monday, November 4. We didn’t think having it due the day after Halloween was a good choice!!!!!
We have been reviewing types of maps. They made a picture dictionary of these map terms and types this week. This will be a tool to help them prepare for a social studies test on Wednesday. It will literally be on what is in their dictionary. I always begin each year administering literal type tests to help to get them to adjust to studying and preparing for them. As the year goes on, I will gradually add to the complexity of the test type.
We looked closely at point of view in reading. This use of first person, second person, and third person perspective, is helpful in their reading. We will begin Fenway and Haddie on Monday which is a book that is told through the eyes of the lead character, the dog Fenway. I hope they will enjoy reading it as much as they did Skinnybones. I am seeing an increase of the amount of reading motivation in 4B which really pleases me!
The children are studying types of rocks in science. Next, we will look at how weathering and erosion affect the surface of the earth.
Looking ahead to next week:
Monday: Spanish quiz
Wednesday: social studies test and the Fun Run. The children should wear their gym uniforms.
Friday: Trunk or Treat
Have a blessed weekend with your families!
“The Saints are all the people who live according to the law God has given them.”
(St. Teresa of Calcutta)
You can feel the Halloween excitement building each day as we get closer to Halloween! Isn’t that part of the charm of children, seeing how they get so excited and enjoy life? I know that they love “Trunk or Treat!”
I am so grateful to you parents for helping with the Halloween party that the room moms have organized. The children are going to have so much fun on Thursday! Thank you, Room Moms!
THANK YOU so very much for the incredibly generous Wish Tree items you all purchased for the children and the classroom. I love the rug for a gathering/reading space! Mine had to be replaced this summer so I am thrilled to have another one. I like the children to learn about the world around them, so I am delighted to have the individual world maps that you purchased. My absolute favorite is my new document camera! I have always wanted one, so I am so excited about it. Many thanks for the playing cards, Sharpies, and games for the children. I am overwhelmed by your generosity! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!
The old saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them” will apply in 4B on Thursday/Halloween. I have decided to scratch what we would be doing normally and instead we will have a “spooktacular” kind of day! The children will be designing “bootiful” Halloween costumes. Next, they will write a fashion show script (full of great descriptive writing!), describing their creations. It will be a lovely Halloween fashion show straight off the “blood-red carpet”! Math will take on a Halloween theme as well. They will also be performing reader’s theater based on Halloween. They love doing them!
We have been studying landforms in the combined study of social studies and science. The children used the laptops on Monday to do a map skills in-class project that showed their knowledge of maps, map keys, elevation, etc. They each selected a state to create a physical and political map.
In reading I have been guiding them in a close study of literary elements. This week’s focus has been on plot. We will continue next week studying how the conflict is paramount to a good story. They will analyze different types of conflict commonly found in literature.
In writer’s workshop we are writing personal narratives. We are focusing on “Show Don’t Tell”. In other words, using descriptive writing to “show”, rather than simply tell.
The children seem to love doing Reflex Math. I reminded them that should be logging in 3 times weekly. As you know I also assign it as homework.
Please look for the Wordly Wise test and spelling test going home today in their red folders.
Looking ahead to next week:
· Monday: Spanish test, topic 3 math test
· Wednesday: Wordly Wise test lesson 3
· Thursday: Halloween tag day $3, Halloween colors
· Friday: Mass at 9:00 for All Saints Day; students begin wearing winter uniforms
Have a wonderful before Halloween weekend!
“We must remember that God has no other hands but ours, no other feet but ours, no other mouth but ours. Therefore, God is still going to work miracles of love, miracles of freedom and liberation through people like you and me.” (St. Teresa of Calcutta)
We had such a great Halloween party in 4B! Mrs. Nichols and Mrs. McNamara organized everything and what great ideas party ideas they had! Mr. Cauti, Mr. Bargoot, Mrs. Dorman, Mrs. Millsom, Mrs. Arena, Mrs. Pelosi, Mrs. Carroll, and Mrs. Sheehan were wonderful helping in the classroom! Many thanks to you all! The children loved the party, and each game and activity. Thank you all so much for making the Halloween party special for the children! They aren’t nearly as perky today as they were yesterday!
This year we are establishing a relationship with our second-grade counterparts (2B). We will meet with them to get acquainted next week. We will show our support for our buddies by going to their Saint Parade next Friday afternoon. Since grade 4 is also researching Saints, we will show them our Saint banners. This will be a special relationship between the younger students and our children.
This is a reminder that the saint projects are due Monday. I love this project and can’t wait to see them! Monday will be a very “Saintly” day! On Tuesday the entire fourth grade will gather with Fr Stamm, Mrs. Kelly, and Mrs. Solomon to share their beautiful saint projects banners.
We will be writing letters to Veterans next week. I have been doing this for some time now. For a Veteran, celebrating Veteran’s Day is at the top of their list! They gather to remember and memorialize their fellow members in service. They love gathering and reading the letters from the children. They mean so much to them, and I love that the children can bring such joy to them.
The children are bringing home their “Must Read” list of books. This list was created by the children themselves. They recommended books that they have read, and they are so good that they feel that everyone “must read” them too! Julia Ritchey took the list and typed it up for us! That was so sweet of her! The copies of the list are going home today. This should help to direct your child when looking for a good book to read. I am thrilled by their enthusiasm and motivation! If you own any of the titles and would like to let us borrow them for a while, that would be fantastic! We are gathering copies of the books for easy access in the classroom.
Looking ahead to next week:
· Monday: Saint projects and Spanish quiz
· Friday: professional day, no school
Enjoy your weekend!
“Just ask Jesus: What do you want me to do? And then do it.”
What a busy week we have had!
We had a fantastic day on Monday when the children presented their Saint reports and banners. The children were well prepared and did a great job! On Tuesday we gathered with the other 4th grade cases, along with Fr Stamm, Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. Solomon, Miss McShane, and Mrs. Brady. After presenting 2 reports from each of the classes, we all made a large circle showing our banners, as we prayed a litany of the Saints. It was very beautiful! Today we went to the Second Grade Saint Parade to support our grade 2 buddies. Each 4th grade class is buddied with a 2nd grade on of matching letter. We are 4B so we partner with 2B.
The children wrote lovely letters to the veterans. They are going to the Veteran’s organization in Needham. These proud Americans love reading these letters from our children as they gather together to celebrate a day that is to them, the most important holiday of the year. I loved how the children really got into writing them and cared so deeply about offering their kind thoughts to the veterans. They are a tribute to you and how you are raising them! We were blessed to have 2 veterans speak to the children Tuesday.
We used the iPads to look closely at how latitude and longitude determine specific locations on earth. They also used the world maps that you parents purchased for the classroom.
The children are really enjoying reading Fenway and Hattie. We have been focusing on literary elements and point of view. This story is told through the point of view of the dog.
We will be completing topic 4 in math next week. This chapter deals with large number addition and subtraction, as well as rounding and comparing numbers. Subtracting across zeros can be a challenge for them so I suggested they practice it over the weekend to conquer it.
One of my favorite projects we do at St. Joseph School is participating and gathering turkey dinners for those who need help at Thanksgiving. In the past, our food drive has provided over 200 Thanksgiving meals in our local Boston area! Thank you for donating to this great cause! Each child is asked to donate a minimum of $3 to purchase the turkeys. Please send that in by November 15 so we know how many turkeys can be bought. Each class will assemble the makings for two complete dinners. Your child brought home a specific food item to purchase for the meal. The food donations can be brought to school any time by November 25. No items should require refrigeration. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Looking ahead to next week:
· Thursday: topic 4 math test
· Friday: Wordly Wise test lesson 4
I hope you and your family enjoy the long weekend!
“Be faithful in little things, for in them lies our strength.” -St Teresa of Calcutta
We have had a great week in 4B! Lots of learning and accomplishments!
In Math, we completed topic 4 and are beginning topic 5 which is multiplying by large numbers. This multi-step process takes lots of practice and perseverance. This is a good example of that knowing multiplication facts becomes important so they aren’t having to stop mid problem to figure out what that answer should be, and then proceeding to complete the other steps. This can lead to errors and miscalculations. This is an example of why the school had purchased a license to use Reflex Math to help the children master their facts. This week, when I logged onto that website, I discovered that some of the children have not done their Reflex math time that I assigned for homework. Please help your child to complete this very important homework assignment.
We are studying landforms in Social Studies. We began with a PowerPoint to view actual photographs of each type. They made a “picture dictionary” of landform terms. We will continue this study this week. I am going to give a quiz on key terms also.
I have been teaching them about the key people of our faith tradition. We learned about creation, Noah and his ark, and Abraham so far. It is so important they know who these key figures are in our faith history.
We teachers routinely look very closely at our students’ work. We 3 grade four teachers have been noticing that the children are not using their knowledge of capitalization, complete sentence usage, and how to answer using a complete sentence. We are very concerned that this has not been mastered by them. To address this issue, we gathered them together as a whole grade and expressed our concerns. Then we 3 teachers each took an area and gave them an in-depth review of each. After this comprehensive review, they will now not be allowed to write without complete sentences and use capitalization where needed and must include correct punctuation. If they fail to do so, there will be points taken off each time. Please remind them to use these correctly when you see them doing their homework. This attention to detail is very, very important!
If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for a parent conference yet, please do so. I love parent conferences because they give us a chance to meet and talk about our children!
We are coming to the end of this grading term. We are gearing up for report cards.
Looking ahead to next week:
Thursday: Social Studies U. S. landforms quiz
Friday: early dismissal
Have a blessed evening,
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! (Psalm 95:2)
Thank you so very much for your generosity donating turkey money and food items for the Thanksgiving outreach project. The children will never see who the recipients will be, but they are learning that giving without expecting anything in return is our Christian way. I love how excited and proud they are of the meals they are donating! All food item donations are due Monday please.
There are several things going home today in their red folders. These include the math test, Wordly Wise test, landforms test, and a reading paper based on Time for Kids. Since most of the reading we do in real life is nonfiction, I have been doing frequent nonfiction reading comprehension tasks. You may notice that the scores might not be what you would like, but do not despair! I anticipated these lower scores. I have been assigning these reading comprehension assessments frequently. They have started off to be low as many students don’t read and comprehend nonfiction as easily as fiction. The reasons are many. For some students there were 2 papers stapled together. The first was the initial one, and then I looked at them and had them redo by rereading carefully and looking back into the text for the information to select the correct answer. When I assigned these, I reminded them that they needed to look back into the passage to find the answers. Many of the children neglected to do that step which is very typical for fourth graders! Also, many children just want to read it once and rely on their memory to answer questions about the reading. They want to get through it and be done. I had them look at their papers and go back into the text to make corrections. I am anticipating a “closer” reading in the future! It takes time, but we will prevail!
As we come to the end of first term, I have been reflecting on how much they have grown already this year. I . I have seen a lot of growth and great progress!
Since next week is a short week, the only assessment will be their Wordly Wise test for lesson 5 on Tuesday. I will be checking their study cards on Monday. There will not be a spelling unit next week.
I am looking forward to focusing on Thanksgiving with your children next week. I have a math task, reader’s theater scripts to perform, and writing projects to do.
Please know I am keeping you and your families in my prayers this Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to experiencing Advent with the children!
Looking ahead to next week:
· Tuesday: Mass of Thanksgiving at 9:00; please join us!
Wordly Wise test lesson 5
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
It was a pleasure meeting with you at parent conferences. I love talking with my students’ parents because our relationship, home-school, is so important for the children. Since we just met I will keep this short!
Looking ahead to next week, I love that we can do Christmas here!!! We are all looking forward to attending the Kindergarten Nativity.
Our class will begin leading the school with morning prayer next week. The children will be writing their own prayers to be prayed over the loud speaker each morning. Each child will write their own prayer, but it is voluntary as to whether they pray theirs over the loud speaker. I respect those children who find this a difficult thing to do.
The children’s supply of pens and pencils seems to be dwindling. I appreciate your help getting these supplies replenished. It’s difficult when they don’t have the necessary school tools. Many thanks!
With Christmas fast approaching I know that their heads are on Santa and Christmas! We will continue to work on our curriculum next week, but I also know that productivity and focus suffer these next days! It is great being with children!
Please know how much I enjoyed meeting with you yesterday and today. I wish you all a great weekend!
“I will proclaim to you good news of great joy: today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord.”
You can feel the excitement in the air! What joy there is to be with children at Christmas time! We’ve been having fun singing Christmas songs. These children have great voices!
Each class in the school takes a turn leading Morning Prayer on the loud speaker for the whole school. Today the children in 4B began their turn. Each child was asked to write a prayer and to volunteer to lead their prayer in the morning. They have done a beautiful job writing very heart-felt prayers. I am so proud of their written prayers and how spiritual they are! I wish you could hear them!
St. Joseph School is raising money this season for Franciscan Hospital. The children will have a tag day for this event on Thursday, December 19. However, the money donations for this worthy cause is due on Monday so it can be received by Franciscan before Christmas. In other words, the tag day money is due on Monday, but the children don’t have their actual tag day (pajama day) until Thursday. This is the same day that we attend Santa’s Workshop. Thanks for always supporting our worthy outreach programs!
On Thursday morning, the children will be shopping at Santa’s Workshop. They love this event and really look forward to going. We go first thing in the morning (8:40), so luckily, they don’t have to wait all day! These are the fun things that the children will have as happy memories at St. Joseph School!
The Kindergarten Nativity was fantastic!! I loved how the children in 4B were so excited to attend, and how they were reminisced about their lines in the play when they were in Kindergarten. A truly beautiful event that makes the season!! It truly puts us all in the Christmas spirit!
Next Friday afternoon is the Middle School Nativity. If you have never gone, and you are free, I highly recommend attending. It will begin about 1:40.
The children are enjoying reading and discussing their books with their group book members.
Looking ahead to next week:
Monday: Spanish test and tag day money due ($3)
Tuesday: Wordly Wise test lesson 6
Thursday: Santa’s Workshop and Pajama Day
Friday: Christmas assembly and MHMS Nativity
Come let us adore Him!
I want to wish you a very Blessed Christmas with your beautiful children!
It has been both a joy and a gift to have spent Advent with these precious children! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this week, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of the children in 4B! Thank you for sharing them with me this year.
I will pray for you and your family this season, and I look forward to 2020! I have set many goals for the children when they return after break. Some of these will include a close study of reading comprehension strategies, larger number multiplication, and writing to explain using writing strategies and many opportunities to practice.
Thank you so very much for your gifts! Your generosity touches me deeply! Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the parents at St. Joseph School!
Christmas vacation is such a special family time. I wish you and your family many memories in the making!
Until then, may God bless us all this Christmas! I will keep you and your children in my prayers this Christmas!
Love to all,
“If we pray – we will believe. If we believe – we will love. If we love – we will serve.”
Mother Teresa, Thirsting for God
As we begin our new year in 4B, I am excited about how much more capable the children are since the beginning of the year. They have grown so much in the past 4 months, and we have not even quite reached mid-year! I am proud of their progress and I know you are too!
We are studying larger number multiplication, and with a strong command of multiplication facts, this will go well. I plan to test their mastery of the basic multiplication facts in the next week or so. This will enable the children to assess their knowledge and automaticity of their facts.
I have been teaching them about the key people of our faith tradition. We learned about creation, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, etc. and how Moses was chosen by God. When we reach the part when Moses leads the Hebrews out of Egypt and receives the Ten Commandments, we will stop there and do an in-depth study of the Commandments.
Next week the children will be bringing home a mystery genre project. The project is to read a mystery book of choice and to complete a book report, selected from 3 choices. While they are reading and doing this project, I will be leading the children through a study of this genre. It is the perfect genre to do an in-depth study of the comprehension strategy of asking questions while reading. It is very important to model how good readers are “active readers”, who ask questions while reading and look to find answers to them. It is when a reader is passive or not thinking while reading that can greatly impact the depth of comprehension
Miss McShane announced this week that the school community reached the goal of 100 “Joey” cards. When they do, the students are given a reward. This one is will be a ”Crazy Hair or Crazy Hat Day”. This reward day is next Friday, January 17. Please note it is not a tag day, but the children can come in with either “crazy” hair or hats.
Extra Learning: Monday afternoon I will work with any student who would like to have instruction on how to use the Wordly Wise study cards to prepare for tests. Please let me know if your child will attend Monday, January 13 from 2:40-3:30.
Looking ahead to next week:
Tuesday: Wordly Wise test lesson 7
Friday: Crazy Hair or Hat Day and early dismissal
Have a great weekend,
I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before Me.
(The First Commandment)
We will begin our study of our nation’s capital very soon. I love introducing my class to our nation’s capital! It is such a fascinating city! We focused this week on what are natural resources, which resources occur in the United States, and how they are useful to humans.
As you have seen, we have been doing 2-digit multiplication by 2-digit multiplication this week. Initially I began by using colored pencils to color-code the steps to help to keep these steps in their proper order. We also used graph paper to align the places (tens, hundreds, etc), which greatly helped also. I have been reassuring them that this is a difficult process, one that involves several steps and lots of practice! I gave a multiplication fact quiz Thursday. It was for the children to see how strong they are with multiplication facts. This is going home today in their red folders.
The children received their mystery book project assignment earlier in the week. I have been focusing on the reading comprehension strategy of asking questions while reading. Reading mysteries lends itself naturally to being metacognitive, that makes for deeper understanding and remembering while reading.
Ask your child about the fantastic assembly we had Wednesday! The author of Drawing God spoke to the children. It was wonderful!
As I corrected the spelling test last week, I realized some students really didn’t study sufficiently for it. The focus of that list was “ie” and “ei”, and how they can make both the long e and i sounds. In addition, there are other words in which these letters make a different sound altogether. The age-old rule of “i before e, except after c” was part of the focus of that lesson. This test is going home today.
Please look at the children’s red folders. There a several items going home, including the Wordly Wise test, multiplication quiz, spelling test, and reading quiz.
Enjoy the long weekend!
“Find something good in each person you meet and help it grow.” (Matthew Kelly)
"Pay attention to what is happening around you. There’s a good chance that God is speaking to you without using words."
- taken from Stop Worrying and Start Living
It is so hard to believe that we are hitting the mid-year mark of grade four!! Catholic School Week generally comes at that point. Other than going to Mass during Catholic School week, my next favorite thing for the children is to experience LIFT! If you are free Wednesday morning, please join us at 10:00 as we worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I love that the children experience Adoration.
Monday grade 4 will be hosting the Catholic Schools Week Mass. I know that many of you cannot not join us due to work commitments, but if you are free, please join us! I know you are going to love the song they will be singing at Mass! This week celebrates what makes us different from other schools. There is no better way to begin than by attending Mass.
On Thursday morning, please visit us in the classroom from 8:30-9:00. Please know that the children understand that many of you are working and cannot come in to school, but if you are available, we would love to have you! Stop to get coffee and a treat that the teachers are making for you, then come up to be with us for a visit. I admire you for choosing a Catholic education for your children; and I know there is huge sacrifice to do that! In fact, when we pray each morning, the children always thank God that you chose Catholic education for them. They also pray for you each day!
In Math we are completing topic that focuses on 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication. We have been doing lots of practice and we will be testing that skill next week.
On Monday we will be writing letters to the greater community as part of Community Day. Our class will be writing letters of thanks and gratitude to the Knights of Columbus. This men’s organization does so much for both the St. Joseph Parish community as well as for the school. Did you know that for many years they have held an Irish Night and donate the proceeds of it to the school? It is amazing how many outreach programs these dedicated men do quietly and behind the scenes. I am thrilled we get to say thank you to them.
As I look at the children at mid-year and think back to them in September, it is so exciting to realize how much they have grown as students!
St. Joseph Parish will begin Catholic School Week on Sunday at the 9:30 Mass! Perhaps your family could attend? If you are able to attend that Mass, have your child wear the school uniform to receive a free tag day for doing so!
Progress Reports are available for your viewing. Please keep in mind this is an ongoing gradebook so as I add grades next week, the average is liable to change.
Please have your child participate in our school-wide “Souper Bowl”. To help those who need our support, we are asking each student to bring in at least one canned good to donate to the Needham Food Pantry. I thank you ahead of time for your support!
Extra Learning: Monday afternoon I will work with any student who needs extra practice multiplying by 2 digits. This will provide support before the test. Please let me know if your child will be attending. This session lasts until 3:30 and you may pick up your child in the parking lot.
We were very blessed to have Mr. and Mrs. Cauti and Mrs. Brett visit our classroom on Thursday. Nichole and her parents did a wonderful job explaining type 1 diabetes. They were extraordinarily knowledgeable. Nichole read a very powerful story written from the point of view of a child with the disease. Her witness was both moving and positive! We are very proud of how well she handles her diabetes. The students had lots of very good questions to ask. It was wonderful!
Looking ahead to next week:
· Monday: Mass at 9:00
· Tuesday: early dismissal and math topic 8 quiz
· Wednesday: LIFT retreat and Wordly Wise lesson 8 test
· Thursday: parent visits 8:30- 9:00, and no homework for students
· Friday: student day and free tag day, casual clothes day
Have a great weekend,
Calendar & Category Legend:
- SJES Main School Year Calendar