Beginning of the Year News and Events!

Posted by K. White on 9/2/2015 5:05:28 PM

Our class is embarking on the Daily 5 literacy structure that teaches independence and gives children the skills needed to create a lifetime love of reading and writing.  It consists of five tasks that are introduced individually.  When introduced to each task, the children discuss what it looks like, sounds like and feels like to engage in the task independently.  Then, the children work on building their stamina until they are successful at being independent while doing the task.  The five tasks are: Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading and Word Work.    When all five tasks have been introduced and the children are fully engaged in reading and writing, I am able to work with small groups and confer with children one-on-one.  Ask your child about the Daily 5 and see what they have to say.  I hope they will tell you about building stamina, reading for enjoyment and becoming a stronger reader!

In Math we are working on place value and using a structure that is very similar to the Daily 5.  Students are learning to work with a partner in math as well as work on math on their own.  We will be starting flexible math groups with the entire 4th grade soon in order to best meet students’ individual strengths and needs regarding place value. 

In Social Studies we are working on beginning to learn about North Carolina government and our constitution.  Our class will have a mock senate and go through the process to pass a “law.”  Students will also be able to apply for a classroom job soon.  Once their job starts they will receive a paycheck that they will use to pay bills as well as use for purchases that are fun.  Class Dojo, our behavior tracking system, helps students earn extra dollars for when they are helpful, respectful, working hard and staying on-task. 

Please remember to encourage your child to read and log 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes a session.  They should also do their best to complete problems on their weekly math sheet.  I will collect both of these items on Fridays.  Math problems that are too tricky should be circled and we will work on them during morning work time since these problems cover a large amount of 4th grade math work.  We know what their best effort looks like and they will be given credit for that!

Special Events and Volunteer Opportunities

9/7/15 – No school for Labor Day holiday

9/25/15 – Parent Teacher Conference Day – Please see attached schedule and let me know at least two times you could make that are listed.  We can try for other days than the ones posted if these don’t work for your schedule. 

9/28/15 – Required Teacher Workday – This will most likely be professional development for me, but I will squeeze in more conferences if I can on this day once I know the schedule.  

9/30 – 10/6 TAPAS Artist Audra Holden will teach our class how to weave and create a reading mat that depicts one of three region of North Carolina for our school to enjoy for years to come.  Each 4th grade class will construct a reading mat with one region from North Carolina.  The school days of 9/30, 10/1, 10/4 – 10/6 will be our class’ week to weave our mat outside on a loom that we will be constructing in the next few weeks.  Most importantly we could use parents during the hours of 9:20 – 11:15 on those days to help take small groups outside to the loom while the rest of the class works in the classroom.  Please let me know if you might be available any of those times.  The weather could create some changes to the schedule.   We will also need used t-shirt donations to use for materials so please send any t-shirt you don’t want our way!

10/15/15 – Early Release Day – We hope to have a presentation and celebration of our weaving project that morning.  We will keep you posted!

10/26/15 – Teacher Workday

11/4 – 11/6 – Sound to Sea Field Trip!!!  The 4th grade teachers are working on all the components of this trip and a newsletter and financial commitment form will be coming home soon.  The cost of the trip is $250. Thanks to Mitch Russell and some very dedicated parents we are already in the process of raising money!  One way the kids are going to do their part is to run or walk a half marathon over the course of the next few months during part of their recess.  This not only connects to our science unit on health and development, but gives the kids a chance to earn money for their trip.  Students can get sponsors for running.  They could get either a set amount for the total half marathon or a certain amount of money per mile.  If anyone is interested in sponsoring an additional child that may not have access to a sponsor please let me know so that every child has the opportunity to help fund their own trip. 

This school year our class will be participating in Trout in the Classroom.  Students will raise trout from eggs to fingerlings, monitor water quality and engage in stream habitat study.  These experiences can lead to a better appreciation of our water sources and our environment.  Check out for more information about this exciting opportunity.