Dear 4B Families,
Happy spring! I hope you all had a good weekend. The teachers and staff were busy preparing for our site for much of the weekend. We are looking forward to sharing our school with the visiting team Monday through Wednesday this week. Just a reminder that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week are perfect uniform days, this includes a red sweatshirt, sweater or vest. No free dress passes will be honored these days. Thank you.
On Friday, Zachary, Mia, and Nolan will give the first of our Oral Biography Presentations. I know the students have been working very hard to prepare. I was very pleased with the progress I saw on Wednesday. Thank you for all of the help you have been giving your children. These oral biographies are such a wonderful experience for the students, involving a great variety of skills. The students will all be proud of themselves as they complete this challenging and rewarding assignment. Don’t forget to cite sources using the format given to you by Mrs. Harris. Let me know if you need another copy. Sources can be included on a note card or lined paper. Parents, please let the students write these citations themselves. This is a skill they will be using more and more often as they move up the grades. You can assist/support as needed. I would prefer a few little errors on student completed work rather than perfect work typed by a parent. Thank you! Keep in mind that the speeches need to be a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10. Students always talk a lot faster at school—so it should be longer than 5 minutes at home to be safe. Please let me know if you have any questions related to the presentation.
Spelling/Homework: There is a spelling test this Friday for lesson 18. There will not be a spelling test next week however. Spelling practice and possible completion of math homework will be the only homework this week other than preparations for the Oral Biographies.
Religion: We will begin this week our study of the Beatitudes, which are a perfect follow-up to the 10 Commandments. The students discover ways to “weave” the Beatitudes into their daily lives.
Lent: Keep in mind our Lenten Outreach. Thank you for holding off sending in food and other donations until the first week of April because of the site visit and biography presentations.
Brown Bag Fridays for St Martin de Porres continue this Friday. Maybe your 4th grader would enjoy planning and making a delicious lunch as part of their almsgiving. The extra items this week are travel size toothpaste and toothbrushes (singles).
Reading: This week we will be reading the myth, Hecules’ Quest and the folktale, Zomo’s Friends. Our target comprehension skill will be story structure. Students will look at theme and character traits, especially when they answer the essential question “What makes a character memorable?” Students will also look at Greek roots as we match the meaning of various Greek roots to symbols.
Language Arts: We will be introducing the Flat Stanley Project this week. Journals will come home next week. We will be writing the first entry this week as well as designing our flat people. Full directions will come home with the journals and will be posted on the website as well. I am planning to take a picture of each of the students in their oral biography costume with their flat people. Students can use this picture/event as one of their entries if they choose. Stay posted.
Math: We will be moving into units on fractions and decimals. As you know, multiplication and division play a big part in these skills as well, so practice should continue to keep skills sharp! We will begin with a review of factor pairs and prime and composite numbers. We will then move to equivalent fractions and simplest form. I will give time this week to complete most homework in class.
The division tests will come home later this week. My entire weekend has been consumed with preparations for the site visit. Thank you for your understanding.
Social Studies: The students will begin the Oregon Trail simulation activity this week. They will work in “family teams” to plan their trip, purchase needed items and encounter the perils of the journey.
Science: This week we are looking at mechanical engineering and sail design. We will be discussing the properties of materials used to make sails and how those properties affect how well the sails catch the wind. We will then make predictions on which materials will catch the wind the best. The students will select materials and design their own sail. Finally, we will test the different sails by measuring how far down a track they move when blown by a fan.