Newsletter September 23

Dear 4B Families,

It was so great to celebrate the first few weeks of school at WestFest this past weekend. Thank you to all families that joined us! This week marks the first week of fall! The month ahead will be a very busy one including the completion of the fall MAP testing, our Saint reports (see below), preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass and Halloween! Please know that I do understand that these first weeks of school can be a big transition—sometimes stressful for both students and parents. It will get easier as the students (and parents) settle into the new 4th grade routines. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Effective communication is the key to a successful year.

Be sure all recorder orders are in by this Wednesday, September 25th. You can order here. Parents can choose to use a recycled recorder or order a new one or both. A NEW recorder and/or instruction booklet are $6 each.  New recorders must be ordered online by Wednesday, September 25th. Your FACTS account will be billed for any recorder charges. Please use the attached link to submit your orders online. If we do not receive an order from you by Wednesday your child will automatically be given a used recorder and instruction booklet.

Religion/Language Arts: We are beginning our study of saints in preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass, which will be held on Friday, November 1stThis Monday, September 23rd, each student will be assigned the saint that they will write their report on as well as portray at the Mass. All of the work for this report will take place at school except for one homework assignment that is due this Friday, September 27th. Detailed directions for this homework assignment will be in your child’s filer on Monday, and will also be available on the website in PDF form. The students will be prepped fully with an example we complete at school. It is very important that you take time to carefully read through the directions of this assignment. We give the students four days to provide ample time to thoughtfully work on the assignment each night. Please be sure the list of facts and all highlighted materials come back to school on Friday when we will begin the writing process.

All students will have a copy of the Prayer of St. Francis that they should be practicing daily for memorization. The students will recite this prayer at the All Saints Day Mass.

Second Step: Our lessons this week will focus on listening with attention. We will continue to study empathy, respect, and kindness throughout the year.

Reading: We will be taking the reading portion of the MAP test this week. We will do some quick test preparation activities to help prepare the students to perform their best. We will also be wrapping up our study of Stormalong and related tall tale stories this week. We will then move into our first novel, E.B. White’s masterpiece, Charlotte’s Web. Even if your child has read this book before, we will delve into themes and vocabulary that will both inspire and challenge the students. Charlotte’s Web is a beautiful expression of true friendship. The story is also masterfully written to reinforce and build advanced vocabulary and comprehension skills. The book lends itself perfectly to our reading standards and target skills—and never ceases to enchant! (You can probably tell I love this book!)

Spelling/LA:  The spelling words for Long and Short A were sent home last Friday.  The test will be this Friday.  Our LA work will focus on our Saint Report writing and parts of speech.

Science: This week we will continue to study weather and wind. Students are doing research to answer the question: How can I build a working windmill? Students will be quizzed on their background knowledge of wind and weather on Thursday, September 26th.  If you’d like to see what students are reading, you can access it in the Science tab on the 4B website.

Social Studies: The continent and ocean test will take place this Thursday.  All students should have the continent poem memorized no later than Thursday.   The students were introduced to latitude and longitude last week. We will learn how to locate places on world and United States maps using latitude/longitude coordinates as well as read population, rainfall and elevation maps.  Links for study sheets and the poem can be found here.

Math: We will be moving into our second chapter on adding and subtracting large whole numbers. Your assistance in checking over homework with your children plays an important part in building math skills. Students should make any needed corrections with your guidance. For more challenging tasks, students should just do one or two problems and have them checked, rather than competing a whole page with possible repeated errors. It is important that students are accurate and fluent with the less complex skills of addition and subtraction so that when we move into multiplication and division of large numbers they have good habits and solid skills in place. We will work through some addition/subtraction fact work in class, with a focus on accuracy and fluency (speed). It is expected that students do at least one session of Xtramath nightly.


It is assumed by 4thgrade students are able to add and subtract basic facts from memory. I have signed all students up for Xtramath.  This is a great website to help students build fluency in an interactive way.  We will spend a couple of weeks focused on addition and subtraction review while we are on this chapter in math. The majority of practice will focus on fluency with multiplication and division as we move forward.  Thank you for your support!



Please check your child’s filer this week to remove their spelling test, math test, and a reading comprehension test.


  • Saint Report homework due Friday (9/27) Please don’t turn it in earlier than Friday. You should be working on it nightly with your child. Thank you!
  • Study spelling words for Long and Short A Patterns
  • Math homework most nights
  • Read (Saint Report information!)
  • Parents: sign up your child for Xtramath if you have not yet done so

Have a wonderful week!

Thank you for your support of the Magazine Sale!

Ms. Benson

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