What’s Happening Week of November 4

I can’t believe we are well into the month of November.  The year seems to be zipping by at lightning speed. With the holidays soon upon us, kiddos become more and more excited.  This is the time of year I change things up a bit to keep students focused and motivated.  See below for more details.

Things to Know:

Happening now: Collecting  food items or money for St. Michael’s Pantry and the Food Bank of Southern Arizona. There is a tote outside my room to place items.  Thanks in advance.

Report cards come out next week, FYI.

Monday, November 18 – Southwest Test


We continue to learn different strategies for multiplication.  Students are learning to use patterns in multiplication, as well as place value, to determine the product.  These strategies certainly engage students’ number sense abilities.


We are almost finished with Shiloh.  We will take a break from novels until after Thanksgiving and focus on Storyworks from Scholastic.  I will be showing the movie Shiloh, as well. Students will be comparing and contrasting the movie from the book.


As we continue to focus on figurative language, including muscle verbs and adjectives, metaphors, and similes.  students wrote Haikus about leaves. They will be creating a small art project to go with.  We will also be doing a color poem.

Next, we will be focusing on a personal narrative, as well as a creative piece for Christmas. Sentence fluency is our next stop in the 6 Traits’ curriculum and we will learn about hyperbole.  Writing is like baking – we fold in many ingredients to come out with a great writing piece!

Social Studies:

We have begun learning about the Northeast.  Students learned the states and capitals and we have been discussing the history: Native Americans, Explorers, Colonists, Pilgrims, etc.  This unit will take some time as it includes a lot of important information and is the foundation of understanding the formation of the USA .

I have included Maryland as part of the Northeast.  Some experts place Maryland in either the Northeast or Southeast.  Our publisher places it in the Southeast.  Having lived in the Northeast, I’ve always considered Maryland part of that region.  The Mason-Dixon line runs smack dab in the middle so it’s a tough call.  Did you know that the Mason-Dixon line was marked by stones every mile and ‘crownstones’ every 5 miles?  These stones were shipped from England.

Students have begun researching Pennsylvania. They will be writing an expository piece about this state focusing on organization, transitions, paragraph skills, and how to write an introduction and conclusion.

Furthermore, students chose a Northeast State  and will research specific information on same.  The class will be creating a “Northeast Quilt” showcasing their state with information and pictures.


We continue to learn about homophones (their, they’re, your, you’re, to, too, two, it’s, its), possessive nouns, and parts of speech.

Have a great long weekend!





What’s Happening Week of Oct. 28

Well, we all survived Halloween. The kiddos looked so cute in their costumes and our two dinosaurs could have led the parade.  Awesome!  Thanks parents for all you do this time of year.  I know how busy life gets and appreciate all your efforts helping your child be successful at school.

Arizona Project Due: Friday, November 8th.  Your child can bring their project in beginning Wednesday – if it’s complete.

Southwest Test: Monday, November 18th.  A study guide was given, the guide was reviewed and discussed. I even gave students the answer to several questions so they can prepare.

November 8 – Noon dismissal

Monday, November 11 – No School.


It’s that time of year when we begin collecting money or canned goods for St. Michael’s pantry or the Southern Arizona Food Bank.  Any donation is welcome. Thank you, in advance.

WHEN: Monday, November 4 to November 25th.


We continue to learn how to multiply and divide and understand the relationship between the two operations.   Please peruse the math pages that come home to get a better idea of the Terc program.  The children seem to enjoy math and the scaffolding of the program.  It’s a new way of thinking for me, also. I think it’s beneficial to learn different ways to approach math problems as it plays on the different strengths of the students.


We have almost completed Shiloh and things are getting juicy now.  Shiloh has been hurt and Judd finds out Marty has been keeping Shiloh all along.

We completed our September Storyworks and have begun reading our October/November edition.  This Scholastic magazine has wonderful activities to teach all the elements of literature and allows students to  become critical readers and thinkers.


We have completed our Haunted House figurative language story.  Kids will be writing their final copies today. They did a nice job applying figurative/descriptive language to their pieces.   As always, I sit with each student and go over their work.   We discuss word choice, organization and sentence structure. In some cases, I will write a sentence for a child to model sentence fluency and the student and I will search for different vocabulary to improve word choice.

Students will continue practicing their writing skills as we write ‘from pictures’ next.

Social Studies:

We will be delving into the Northeast Region.  Students will be doing a short story-quilt research project on one state of the Northeast.   Additionally, everyone will be researching Pennsylvania – home  to our Pen Pals and of course, an important political state for early government.  We will be learning about the three branches of government as well, since it all began in Pennsylvania.

There is a lot that goes on as the year progresses in fourth grade.  I have mini research projects aligned with social studies, as well as writing projects.  This way, students have a variety of things to work on.  In addition, we continue to do grammar and spelling every week.




Current Event due October 30!

We are researching our topics for Science Fair Projects.  They are due at the end of class on October 30.

Please ask if there are any questions.

What’s Happening Week of Oct. 21

Things to Know:

We had an exciting visit to the Reid Park Zoo yesterday.  Students got to visit the kitchen and learn about meal prep and the foods animals eat. They were astounded at how the food was fresh and the quantity of food animals eat daily.  We also went to the Vet Center and had the opportunity to meet a box turtle, corn snake, lizard (can’t recall the name), and their favorite – a hedgehog!  Students learned about the different types of animals: herbivore, carnivore, and omnivore.  We also had the opportunity to walk around the zoo, and I could not pull the crew away from the otters!  The Zoo is all decked out for Halloween.  Super cool.   In conclusion, students practiced their letter-writing skills and wrote ‘thank you’ letters to Andrea and Kayla, our two Zoo Educators.


The Halloween Parade begins at 2:45 and 4th grade will be at the tail end joining K through 3 as they march into the Creswell Courtyard.  We will be having root beer floats and I usually show the Michael Jackson video, Thriller – and we dance, of course!

Please keep costumes simple and comfortable since the student has to wear it all day.  No masks or weapons although masks can be adorned for the parade only.


We continue our journey through division and understanding the connection between multiplication and division.  If your child is weak on their multiplication facts, division is going to be a struggle.  Please practice math facts very day, if possible.


We are learning about figurative language: idioms, similes, metaphors, muscle verbs, adjectives, and ‘show me’ details. Students are honing Word Choice skills by writing a ‘haunted house’ story.  Ask them from what perspective they are writing their piece.


Shiloh is 3/4 complete and students have certainly improved answering questions and citing text evidence.  This is great news!

Social Studies:

I believe most students have completed their Arizona research.  They will have to complete the balance at home since we will be having a test on the Southwest and moving on to the Northeast.

The Arizona project is due Friday, November 8th.  It would be beneficial for your child to type up the information to practice keyboarding skills, plus it allows them to fix spelling and convention errors easily.  Most students have indicated what type of project they are doing and seem excited about the creative process.

Southwest Test: Monday,  November 18th.  Students will be given a study guide and an opportunity in class to start their study notes.  The test will be a combination of multiple choice, matching, and long answers.


What’s Happening Week of Oct. 14

Things to Know:

Field Trip: Zoo, Thursday, Oct. 24 from 9:00 to 11:15 approx.   Thank you drivers/chaperones, I will be contacting you separately via email with details.

Dia de los Muertos Chapel: I am not sure of the date of this chapel but I will find out and send out an email to you.   It’s absolutely a beautiful experience.


We are now learning about division. We took notes in our math books and learned the Mnemonic: Does (divide) McDonald’s (multiply), Serve (subtract) Burgers (bring down), Raw (repeat).  We filled out little hamburgers to help us remember the division steps and discussed the relationship between multiplication and division.  We have been practicing 1 X 2 and 2 X 2 multiplication.  If your child is rusty on their math facts, please have them practice them every day.  It will make their ‘math world’ so much easier.

We will continue to spiral back to multiplication and the students completed a quiz yesterday.  Look for it in their Eagle Express next week.


Shiloh continues to be a challenging and rewarding read.  There are so many themes and moral issues and the students are really engaged.  They enjoy discussing the book and are doing some great thinking.

Storyworks from Scholastic is a very enjoyable anthology of stories – both fiction and nonfiction. We have practiced summarizing, comparing texts, searching for evidence, answering comprehension questions, and inferencing. These are all fundamental to the reading process and comprehension.


We are beginning to delve into word choice and figurative language.  Students will be writing a Halloween story incorporating word choice and leads that hook.

Social Studies:

We continue to research for our Arizona State project and learn about the Southwest Region.   This project will be due Friday, November 8.  Some students may be required to complete their research at home.  They will have today to do more research.  Hopefully, they have chosen the type of project they wish to complete.

The students are also completing crossword puzzles about each of the Southwest States, and I showed a video about the Trail of Tears and the Great Dust Bowl. We’ve been having some wonderful discussions about the history of the United States and your kiddos are eager participants.  These conversations make Social Studies much more enriching for all.