4th Grade Newsletter
Teacher’s Note: While February is our shortest month, it is no less jam packed with lots of rigorous learning. The trimester ends mid month and we have much to cover.
Miss Betando, Mrs. Burrell, Mrs. Emig and Mrs. Freschi
English Language Arts:
This month in ELA, our main focus question is: How do we overcome obstacles? Using stories of fiction, some new skills students will learn are finding a story’s theme, comparing story themes, understanding adverbs, and paraphrasing notes to avoid plagiarism. Also, students return to reading core literature. They will learn about the Gold Rush adventures of a boy and his butler in the novel By The Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman. Some reading comprehension strategies we cover through guided reading include: vocabulary development, character development, figurative language (similes, metaphors, personification, etc.), and themes, to name a few. This novel also aligns with our California Social Studies curriculum.
Students continue to support answers by explicitly citing evidence from the text. We will challenge them to elaborate and stretch their answers. Students should be proficient with this skill in both fiction and nonfiction texts. We have also been working on the comprehension skills of summarizing, finding the main idea and key details, and determining new vocabulary using context clues.
Our writing focus is still informational essays. We have added rigor by expecting students to refer to articles or books on their topic, from which they must cite quotes that support their ideas. We will soon introduce how to write persuasive, or opinion essays.
This month in Math students will continue to focus on fractions. Typically, fractions and decimals are the most difficult fourth grade math standards. Some students need more support with comparing and ordering fractions. We cannot stress enough that knowing multiplication facts with automaticity will allow students to focus on the fraction lessons, and not their multiplication facts. Next, students will learn how to add and subtract fractions, with and without regrouping.
Many students still continue to struggle with applying math skills in their performance tasks. Please be sure to review the practice performance tasks at the end of each topic.
This month in Social Studies students will learn more about early California settlements. Then they will get introduced to the events that led up to the Gold Rush, and its key players.
Our quintessential field trip to Sacramento is scheduled for April. If you have not already done so, please send in your voluntary donation as soon as possible. Students will visit four different sites that directly tie into our state’s development. Please consider chaperoning, as it is definitely a favorite field trip among many.
We conclude our science exploration around ENERGY this month. Students thoroughly enjoyed creating a simple series circuit. Some students were even challenged to create a flashlight using a series circuit.
Our Next Gen Science Standards emphasize inquiry based instruction. We pose questions, and students are encouraged to investigate certain phenomena related to the standards. Another shift is to ask students to track their thinking, and their new learning as they get exposed to more information. Students have worked on group projects, where they have to develop teamwork skills.
Friday, February 1
Staff Development Day- No School
Wednesday, February 6
GATE testing for registered students only
Kona Ice Fundraiser
Thursday, February 7
Book Club- 7:20 a.m.
School Site Council Meeting, 3:15 p.m. in the Library
Tuesday, February 12
Dine out at Habit
Thursday, February 14
PFC meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Eagles Nest
Friday, February 15
Spirit Day- Mismatch Day
Minimum Day- end of 2nd trimester
Monday, February 18
No School- President’s Day
Wednesday, February 20
DUSD District Band Concert- 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the DHS Sports Complex
February 25-March 1
Read Across America
February 25-March 8
Golden Sneaker Contest
Kolb Spring Fundraiser- 3:00 p.m.
End of February
Read to Success Forms Due