This week:  September 18 – 24

Monday:  Mrs. Brooke Meyer, from SARSEF, came to talk with the students about their science fair project.  She had some basic hints and general information for the students and also passed out some handouts.

Wednesday:  1/2 day.  Reading in textbook about the differences between erosion and deposition

On Friday,  students consider whether erosion and deposition are happening in their own schoolyard. We will look for evidence of erosion and for locations where deposition is in evidence. Then we will simulate a rainstorm by pouring water on various outdoor surfaces.


Dear Parents,

Today your student was given preliminary information about the Science Fair.  In particular, they were given a list of due dates for each section of their science fair project, as well as some helpful websites and general information.   Please ask them to see it.  It is copied on yellow paper and will be quite helpful.

Again, we are completing this project in class, but any unfinished class work is to be  completed at home.

Thank you

Lisa Jamison

p.s.  Reminder:  4th grade test on soil this Friday, September 15

Spelling Week of Sept. 18

Silent Letter Words

fetch         ditch

wren          patch

sketch       limb

design      align

wreck        wrench

comb          clutch

twitch        snatch



Tuesday: Sort words according to their silent letters

Wednesday: Workbooks pages 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

Thursday (NEW) REVIEW PAGES. Workbook: pages 26, 27

Week of Sept. 11

FYI, next Wednesday, Sept. 20 is a 1/2 day for teacher professional development.  There will be After-Care.


• we continue to dive into Kokopelli’s Flute.  We have discussed characterization, cause and effect, and setting.  We will be learning about theme and how to write a summary.


• We continue to write a personal narrative.  Students are revising and editing.  This piece will be graded.  However, they are novice writers and aren’t there ‘yet’.  Developing writing skills and strategies takes a lot of time and practice.  For most students, it is there first foray into writing a focused paragraph with a lead sentence, details, and closing sentence.  We are also learning to incorporate internal thinking and feelings – both of which project voice within the piece.


• Students complete a grammar warm-up every day focusing on sentence structure, reading comprehension, thinking skills, such as analogies, and spelling.

• Currently, we are learning how to write good, solid sentences that are more complex.

• We have learned about pronouns and continue to discuss nouns, verbs, and conventions every day.


Just a quick note about spelling.  The way I see spelling is to teach students the spelling rules so they can attempt to spell unfamiliar words.  We are also focusing on phonics.  Some students continue to struggle to identify a long v.s. short vowel.  Students need to see patterns in spelling and understand that it is visual.  Spelling is not just memorizing a test for Friday.  Our words may seem simple, but they serve a greater purpose in learning how the English language is structured.

If you look at your child’s spelling tests, I give the words and then I dictate sentences incorporating the spelling words. This allows me to see if students can spell the lesson words in context: the fundamental goal of spelling.

Social Studies:

• We continue to discuss the Southwest.  Students will be working on their ‘interactive’ notebooks’ starting next week.  This book allows students to independently  research facts about the Southwest making the learning more meaningful and relevant.  I grade this work.

• There will be a Southwest test on Tuesday, Oct. 3.  Students will be given a study guide to assist them.  They should study a little every day and not cram the night before.  I also encourage the use of index cards or even a small whiteboard so they can jot down facts, etc. and put ideas/facts/details/concepts to memory.


• On Thursdays students attend Mass.  A collection is taken for various charities throughout the year.  Currently, we are collecting for a sister school in Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Students are encouraged to bring in $1 or $2 on Thursdays to support our philanthropic efforts.


4th graders have been exploring what makes up soil and how rock is weathered – chemically and physically.  We have completed some hands-on labs that help explain chemical and physical weathering up close in the classroom.

There will be a quiz on Friday, September 15 with a study guide going home the week of September 11.

Students are encouraged to take their science notebook and textbook home to study.



Las noticias en español

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? Estoy feliz. Hasta mañana.  This week we are continuing to review various greetings and expressions.  On Tuesday, the fourth graders had fun practicing these greetings by performing in short Spanish skits. They also have been working with their partners to write their own original Spanish skits which they will perform next week for the class. ¡Adiós!

Spelling Week of Sept. 11

CH, SH Words

bunch              cherry

cheese           sheep

hunch            punch

shift              cheap

charge          shelter

perch            chief

ranch          chance


TUESDAY: Write words 5X in cursive, or type 5X

WEDNESDAY: Workbook pages 18, 19, 20, 21

Week of Sept. 4, 2017

Welcome back from a long weekend.  Here’s what’s happening this week:


• We continue to work on Kokopelli’s Flute.  We are discussing the various elements of literature.  Students are practicing writing complete thoughts with text evidence, as well as illustrating their responses.

• We are also taking a closer look at fact v.s. opinion and cause and effect.

• I have begun listening to student’s oral reading on an individual basis.  At this point, I am noticing several things:

• choppiness

• students do not self-correct miscues

• insertion and deletion of words in the text

• skimming over unfamiliar words and not stopping to decode

  In order to develop better reading skills, your child must read aloud every night.  When a student reads silently, they are more likely to make the above-noted errors.  


• Students continue to learn about focused, specific details in their writing.  We will be practicing this skill with several personal narratives.

• Students are learning that after a rough draft, they will edit/revise on their own, then with a buddy, and finally, with me.

• I take a multi-step approach to writing introducing various elements of the 6 Traits of Writing. This builds confidence and mastery, but it is a slower pace.


• Students are revisiting some basic phonic skills such as blends and  short and long vowels.  They are also learning how to decode longer words.

Social Studies:

• We have begun our unit on the Southwest.  We read sections of the text together or in pairs.  We discuss each section and try to make connections with our own lives so the ideas in the chapters do not feel so foreign.

• Students will be completing an ‘interactive’ notebook on each region.  Using their iPads, students will be researching additional information about each state.

• There will be a short quiz next week.  Students will have to place the 4 Southwestern states on a map, their capitals with the proper symbol, as well as complete any missing pieces required on a map.



Spelling Week of Sept. 5

Here is the spelling list and homework for next week.


throne                     squeaky

stretch                     strength

squirm                     thrill

throw                       scrape

strap                         threat

through                    screw

scream                     string



TUESDAY: write words in cursive, or type – alphabetical order

WEDNESDAY: Workbook pages 14, 15, 16, 17

Week of August 28

Hello Parents,

The first full week of school has gone exceptionally well.  Students are learning new rules and procedures.  They are listening and attending to what they need to do to be successful 4th graders. We are off to a good start.

Remember, this Friday is a 1/2 day. Students will be dismissed at noon.

PE is every Thursday and Friday. Students will be required to wear a PE uniform.

At Curriculum Night I discussed that it would be helpful to supply your child with a whiteboard calendar to keep track of assignments and projects.  The colorful markers help organize the work, too.


• We will soon be starting analyzing Kokopelli’s Flute focusing on elements of literature: characters, setting, plot, cause/effect, facts, opinions, conflicts, theme, and summarizing.  Phew, that’s a lot.  This is our jumping-off point for the year so students become familiar with the language of literature and expectations.

• We have already begun learning how to answer comprehension questions by restating the question in the answer and citing text evidence.

• We have delved into our first Scholastic News.


• We are learning about focused details and paragraphing.  These are the first steps to the Six Traits of Writing.

Social Studies:

• We will be starting a short unit on mapping.  Students will be learning what comprises a map and  how to read a map.

• Our first region of study is the Southwest with an emphasis on Arizona.


• Students were given their first book report guidelines this week.  Their peek-a-boo book report is due Friday, Sept. 22nd.  All materials for this project will be supplied by the school.