What’s Happening in 4B

Good morning,

First, I want to thank you for being patient as I learn new technologies and a new way of teaching your wonderful kids.  There will be bumps in the road but the kids probably won’t notice.  Ms. Baese and I have been working every day to set up Google Classroom and figure out logistics, student work, etc.  She and I will continue to meet every Monday morning to trouble-shoot and develop lessons for each week.

From now on, I will be posting on Google Classroom.  If there is something important you should know, I will email all of you.

PACKETS -Math and Storyworks

I gave some math in a packet to get students started.  This math is optional and you can decide whether your child completes it. The fractions work is good review and your child may want to do a few problems.

Storyworks: I put some hard copy worksheets on Storyworks in a packet – please discard as all Storyworks will be on-line.  DO NOT DISCARD THE MAGAZINES – the worksheets.

Here are some things you need to know (as well as your child).

Zoom meetings will take place on Mondays at 9 a.m.  Please have your child set up on their account.  Some of you have already done this – thank you!  I will ‘invite your child’ to the meeting via Google Classroom with a URL code that they simply ‘press’ to join.

• Projects:

Strider Book Report: Due Friday, April 17th (this includes summary, questions)

Midwest state project: Due Friday, April 17th

Civil War project: Due Friday, April 10th

Circle Book: Due Friday, April 3

Personal Narrative – Rough Draft – Due Friday, April 3

Letter to a family member: no due date – please have your child complete and mail.  Send a picture to me.

At this point, I  simply ask that students send a pic of their completed work.  During our Zoom meetings (fingers crossed Zoom will work) I will have them show me their work, too.


This has been set up in categories by subject.  I will post new work under the categories.  Please have your child check enrichments, also.

Daily Work:

I will be posting new work for the week on a Monday with due dates.  Students complete the assignment via Google Classroom and submit to me.



I will check  in with a ‘hello’ and small activity every day at 9:00 a.m.  – it could be answering a riddle, completing an analogy, doing a household chore, or fixing errors in a sentence.  This is to make sure students are up for school.


Students should still be reading every day for 30 minutes and noting it on the form I attached in the Reading Log category.  Strider can count as part of their 30 minutes.


Students are expected to complete their spelling pages as per usual.  I will be posting the lesson to be completed each week.

Students are expected to do a spelling test every Friday.

I will be recording the words for your child to write down OR you may give the words to your child. We are going on the honor system here!

A form has been provided under Spelling for your child to use.


I have attached some fun, educational links in Google Classroom.  Have your child explore away!


Freckle math is always an option – the kids love it.  I am assigning Freckle math for Friday math but they can go into it anytime.

READ ALOUD  – Tucked in With Mrs. T.

I will continue to do our read aloud and read other smaller books to the students.  They will be posted under the heading Tucked in with Mrs. T.  These could be video or just audio.

Finally, I believe once we all get into the groove of this new ‘homeschool’ paradigm, things will get easier.    Also, if your child is having difficulty completing work assigned for daily completion, have them do what they can and submit.  It’s OKAY.  I just want to make sure they are doing school every day. 

Email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Take care.


Mrs. T. 🙂



What’s Happening Week of March 9th

First off, I hope everyone is staying healthy and taking precautions to stay that way!  At school, students are diligently washing their hands and classrooms are being sanitized on a regular basis. Please make sure to read informative emails from Mr. Sullivan to keep abreast of the situation at St. Michael’s.

Stay tuned with information about our Field Trip to Camp Cooper next week. There is a STRONG possibility it will be cancelled! I will immediately send an email to all parents when a decision has been made.  Sign of the times 🙁


We are learning how to multiply larger numbers – 3 X 2 and 4 X 1.  We have also been learning how to write multiplication story problems.  The students are doing a fine job with this.  Finally, we are learning how to calculate intervals of time.  It’s amazing to observe students’ thinking when they present their ideas to the class. We all learn from one another!


We continue learning to write in our reading responses, synthesizing ideas and providing examples and text evidence. Writing about our reading is higher-level thinking!

The fluency packet is providing students with plenty of opportunities to revise paragraphs for better fluency and word choice.  The object is for them to transfer this learning to their personal narratives.


We are reaching the end of the Sign of the Beaver and I will be showing the movie.  The students will be comparing the movie to the book.  We will be delving deeper into Storyworks and I’m hoping to read one more short novel before the year ends.

We will be working on the theme of the Sign of the Beaver.

Social Studies:

We have begun learning about the geography and history of the midwest region.  We have been taking notes and discussing the westward movement, particularly the hardships and adventures of the pioneers.

I am planning on having a midwest states and capitals test and will let you know ASAP.


We have begun learning how to write dialogue properly and continue to learn about adverbs.


Students are exploring series and parallel circuits and comparing the functioning of the components(lightbulbs and motors) in each circuit. They formulated and justified their predictions, based on their observations of electricity transferring energy to produce light and motion. D-cells and solar cells are used as energy sources. Students will also learn about alternative energy sources next week.


What’s Happening Week of March 2, 2020

We’ve had a very busy “Love of Reading Week” with door decorating, Seuss hats, and a visit from an author.  It will be topped off with some delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies that the students will enjoy today.  Further, it’s free-dress day and Eegees will be served to celebrate the Math-a-thon success!

Things to Know:

Field Trip: Friday, March 20 – Camp Cooper.  Please read the information that was sent home in Wednesday’s Eagle Express.

Report Cards: please return the brown envelope so we can reuse it for the final report card in May.  Thanks.


We are diving into multiplication and estimation, as well as division. I am giving a page of math for homework Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to practice and solidify concepts learned in class.

****Please make sure your child completes the work.  I have had several students not complete the homework or leave it at home. The only other homework your child will receive is the reading piece and of course, general reading for 30 minutes each night.  


We are almost finished Sign of the Beaver. There is a wonderful Sign of the Beaver movie which I will show the students.  We will be comparing the movie to the book – more higher level thinking!

Students will also be completing a character assessment of the main character, Matt. This will be in the form of a circle book and include what the character did, felt, and learned over the course of the story


We continue our journey of sentence fluency. Students have been working through a packet revising paragraphs for better sentence structure and word choice.  They are learning how to write a sentence beginning with a ‘verb’, combining sentences, beginning sentences in different ways, using transitions, and revising run-ons.

Students are drawing sequence sketches of their personal narrative. Drawing pictures prior to writing enhances the quality and quantity of the writing.  They are being encouraged to write words, ideas, and ‘internal’ thoughts around the illustrations to begin the writing process.

We are writing back to our pen pals in Pennsylvania.  The students are typing up their letters to practice keyboarding skills. Sadly, I observe a lot of ‘pecking’.  It would be prudent to have your child practice keyboarding at home.  One way to do this is have them type their spelling words.


We learned about adverbs and of course, the practice of writing hones all the grammar skills introduced this year.

Social Studies:

We began learning about the Midwest.  Students will be creating a booklet of information about a Midwest state and sharing their discoveries with the class.

Students have also begun researching the Civil War. They have been given different topics to choose from and will be creating a pyramid diorama to showcase their work.


As you can see, 4B students are busy beavers!  Projects and research motivate and engage students. They allow them to practice many academic skills as self-directed learners. Further, projects help students exercise time management and organization in an authentic way.




What’s Happening Week of February 24

It’s hard to believe that we are almost into March!  The school year is flying by and soon summer will be upon us.

Things to know:

March 20 – Field Trip to Camp Cooper.

I will need at least 4 drivers for this field trip. There are 17 students in 4B so I think that will be sufficient as long as someone can take 5 students and the rest 4.  The camp is near Gates Pass so it’s quite a drive.  I found out that parents do not have to lead any centers so that’s a relief.

Let me know ASAP if you can drive and spend the day with us.  Our estimated time of departure is 9:00 a.m. and the field trip goes until 3:30 p.m.

Scholastic Book Fair

Next week we celebrate the Love of Reading and the Scholastic Book Fair will be in full swing beginning Tuesday.  I know the students in our class LOVE to read. It’s so incredible to see them share books and their enthusiasm of reading and learning.

Decorated Door:  Every class will be decorating their door in honor of the week. Our theme is Read Around the World.  It was decided that teachers would collect donations for their doors to give to a charity.  So, if you have any spare change, there will be a ‘tip’ jar outside 4B’s door beginning Tuesday of next week.  I have the door idea and we have begun executing the design.  Stay tuned!


We have almost completed our unit on fractions and decimals. There are a lot of minute details to retain when adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions. They will be seeing fractions again in 5th grade and currently, they have a pretty good understanding of fraction computation.


We practiced finding the main idea and supporting details in a variety of fiction and nonfiction articles.  The students are also going to write a comparison between Sign of the Beaver and an article in Storyworks entitled “Frozen Dreams”.  We have already discussed the similarities so students have a good idea of what to write.  Learning to compare texts is an important skill in reading.


We are well on our way learning about and practicing sentence fluency.  Generally, students work with their “kindness” partner to revise paragraphs for better fluency and language. They have come a long way understanding how to write clearer sentences to paint a picture.  This skill will definitely be required when they begin to write their personal narrative.


We learned about adverbs.  Students will have a grammar quiz next week.

Social Studies:

Thursday, March 5 – Southeast Test.  A study guide was given.  Students may bring home their binders/textbooks this weekend to begin to study.  Most students had the opportunity to complete the study guide with answers during the school day – time was given for this task.

All students completed their Southeast state travel poster.  They presented them yesterday.  The posters are colorful, fun, and informative.  It was a great lesson in visual presentation and graphic design skills.

We will begin the Midwest region next week!


Have a great weekend!



4th graders have started a new unit: Energy and Electromagnetism.   This week students are investigating electric current and circuits, the pathways through which electricity flows. They are working with a variety of components—D-cells, solar cells, lightbulbs, motors, switches, wires—and will eventually explore conductors and insulators. Over the next few weeks, students learn that energy transfer results in heat, light, sound, and motion and will be introduced to sources of energy and components that store energy for later use.

I went over safety guidelines with the students for this unit explaining what a short circuit is and how to avoid it (the battery will get hot, it’s more alarming than dangerous) and that if students want to do any “extra exploring” with their supplies to just ask me first.

What’s Happening Week of February 10


Another busy season approaches at St. Michael’s. Please read the school calendar once a week to see what activities or events are happening at our school.  I will try to keep you abreast of things in emails.


Fourth grade will be going on a field trip to Camp Cooper Friday, March 20th.  I will need at least 3 or 4 parent volunteers to run stations at the camp.  I will know more after Rodeo Break when I sit down with Joanna and go over details.  Let me know if you would be interested.


We are now delving into mixed numbers and adding and subtracting same. It can be confusing, especially when it comes to regrouping or borrowing.


We have begun our fluency unit and after Rodeo break, students will begin working on a personal narrative using the skills they have learned so far in writing: ‘show me details’, figurative language, leads that hook, effective closings, fluency,  and ‘internal thinking’ to add voice.  They are currently brainstorming ideas to write about.


We read about Arctic explorer Matthew Hensen in Storyworks and discussed the similarities between his life and that of Matt in Sign of the Beaver.  It was a rich discussion and the students came up with wonderful details to support their thinking.   I will be making this a formal assignment to develop critical thinking skills.


We looked at comparing with adjectives: happy, happier, happiest, etc.

Who Am I?

Don’t forget to ask your child about our Who Am I?  We write about a person every Friday who has had a positive impact (and sometimes negative) on the world.  Last week we wrote and learned about the Roman Emperor Augustus.  So far, we have learned about Mary Anning, John Muir, Rachel Carson, Alfred Wegener, Gerardus Mercator, Hippocrates, Steve Jobs, John Wesley Powell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Hudson, Ferdinand Magellan,  Daniel Boone, Margaret Murie, Francisco Pizarro, Clara Barton, Robert E. Lee, Ponce de Leon, and Wangari Maathai.  Phew, that’s a lot of writing and learning!

Social Studies

Most students have completed typing up their Southeast state information. After Rodeo, they will be creating their travel posters which include pictures.  They have done a nice job using persuasive language in their writing.