4th Grade Rocks December 2016 - January 2017 Newsletter

This second newsletter finds the fourth graders preparing for two important performances - their 4th grade play: The Feather of Friends, and the Winter Concert. Scroll through the glideshow to see other upcoming activities in 4th grade.

Important Dates

  • December 7 @ 8:45 am - The Feather of Friends Play
  • December 9 @ 7 pm - Middle School Fall Play: The Tempest (Students will see an afternoon performance.)
  • December 15 @ 7 pm - Winter Concert (Students arrive by 6:45)
  • December 16 - Report Cards Released (through Renweb email)
  • December 21 - January 2 - Winter Break (No school!)
  • January 16 @ 9am - Service Morning (All invited)
  • January 26 @ 7 pm - Winter Dance Night

Recess Reminder

Fourth graders should come to school prepared for outside recess. Mittens/gloves, hoods/hats, and warm coats are recommended. If there is snow, students are required to have boots and snow pants to play in the snow. Otherwise, they will remain on the sidewalk.

Language Arts with T. Patti

The students have been examining mentor texts and their IDR books for common characteristics in the genre of fiction. They are exploring how setting, characters and the plot are developed in stories. One way to demonstrate their understanding of the story elements is by writing letters to their teacher about their independent reading. In addition to improving their reading comprehension, this sense of story construction will be put in practice when they draft and publish their next writing piece of fiction. In January, the fourth graders will practice the reading comprehension strategy of questioning using expository nonfiction text.

Reading with Partners

Math with T. Patti

The Math in Focus program concentrates heavily on computation in the first few chapters of the 4th and 5th grade programs. The students are also challenged with activities on the "Put on Your Thinking Cap" workbook pages which extends their thinking. Again, there is a reminder for students to practice the basic multiplication and division facts. In addition to IXL.com, the NCTM website, illuminations.nctm.org, has games for fact practice and critical thinking in mathematics.

In January, after completing the multiplication and division units, the 4th grade program tackles making, reading, and interpreting graphs. The 5th grade program has students working with fractions and mixed numbers.

Music & Recorders with T. Mandy

This is a very exciting two months in Music Land. In class, the students are firming up their performances for the December 15th concert. Don't ask any questions: your children are aware that all performance excitement and surprise is to be saved for December 15th!

After the concert the class is going to refocus on folk dancing in preparation for Family Dance Night in January. See you all at the concert!

Physical Education with T. Bob

PE class has the 4th graders participating in Pillow Polo Hockey. It is a great activity to build a student's cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength and flexibility as well as their ability to cooperate with teammates to achieve a common goal. In this unit, students will learn the rules and essential movement skills in order to successfully participate in a game of Pillow Polo Hockey.

The beginning of the new year will find the 4th grade starting their unit on basketball. They will learn the various fundamentals of the game including dribbling, passing, and shooting. They will incorporate these skills playing various activities such as Dribble Flag Tag, Scooter Basketball, and Basketball Shootout.

Science with T. Glenn

In December, fourth grade science students will begin to explore the nature of matter itself, including the difference between mixtures and solutions, and between physical and chemical changes in matter. They’ll also consider the various ways to measure matter, including mass, volume, and density.

In January, fourth graders will begin to study force and motion. They will learn about gravity, friction, and the various forms of energy. Finally, the students will experiment with simple machines and how they make work easier. To test their understanding, the students will use “found” materials to build a compound machine that incorporates several simple machine parts.

Technology with T. Q.

In fourth grade technology class, the students are working on an animal research project that integrates with topics learned in science class (T. Glenn.) They have completed their initial research and are now preparing a rough draft of their findings. The rough draft will lay the groundwork for their final Google Slides presentation. In addition to their presentation, they will be adding a 3-D component to the project.

Visual Art with T. Diane

'Tis the season for selfies and snowflakes.

Look for self-portraits and radial designs from your 4th grade artists in the upcoming months. They will use their recently acquired pencil drawing skills to closely observe themselves in a mirror and draw a realistic self-portrait. In January art lessons will focus on radial design compositions. They will use paper folding techniques in repeated patterns to create a snowflake-like design.

Social Studies with T. Patti

The fourth graders will begin studying European explorers and early settlers of NJ. They will learn about the establishment of the colony of NJ, which was governed by several influential men. They'll discover the origins of local town names, many of which were named after Quakers.

Spanish with T. Sophie

Fourth graders have been sharing about their families in Spanish class. Students used their new knowledge of adjectives to describe the characteristics of various family members. The 4th graders have fostered our FSMH Spanish community by writing books in Spanish for their 1st grade partners and by exchanging pen pal letters with 5th grade friends.

In January, 4th graders will begin their verb study. They will start with asking and answering questions using AR verbs.

Wishing everyone a wonderful winter break!

Teachers Sophie, Diane, Glenn, Bob, Mandy, TQ, and Patti

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