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Week 28

Wow, what a week! With Open House and Grandfriend's Day, this week was packed with exciting events. Thank you for coming to open house and for inviting the special Grandfriends today.
 
The class had been preparing for the Writing STAAR test that will take place this Tuesday, March 28th. Please help your student do their best by making sure that they are rested this weekend and ready to come to school motivated!
 
Upcoming Events:

Monday, March 27th, Armstrong Reads readathon begins

Tuesday, March 28th, 4th Grade STAAR Writing.

This week in...

Math: This week, we have been focused on area and perimeter. Although the concept of area and perimeter is not new, this is a topic that can become confusing. The class practiced their use of area and perimeter by writing their names on grid paper and then finding the area and perimeter of each letter. We will continue this unit into next week and wrap next week up with an assessment.

Science: In science, the class learned about water displacement and at the end of the lesson wrote a creative fable including the concept of water displacement.

Writing: As we lead up to the STAAR test, we have been focusing on revising and editing in our writing and recognizing correct grammar usage in passages. I am so proud of the progress the class had made and is continuing to make in their writing. My goal is for each of them to recognize the power of their writing and develop the ability to write effectively. Please check out the Padlet created by the class today: https://padlet.com/wileyg/powerfulwriting

Reading: After completing our historical fiction unit, we have used this week as an opportunity to go back over informational text. The class has enjoyed reading a non-fiction text about mummies. While reading the text, they are taking notes using appropriate formats and using those notes to share their learning with other students.

Social Studies: There has been important learning taking place this week in regards to Texas' independence and creation as a country. The most frequent question I have been receiving is, "how did Texas become a state?". I cannot wait to explore this with the class in our next unit - Annexation.

Thank you so much to the dads who came and read to the class this week! 
 
Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, March 8th, 7:15am: PAWS Meeting

Friday, March 10th Student Holiday

Spring Break, March 13th-March 17th

Thursday, March 23rd 5:00-6:30pm: Open House

Friday, March 24th, 9:00-10:30am: Grandfriends Day

This Week In...

Math: The class continued with our unit of measurement, but focused on the metric system this week! They have also been working with converting units of measurement. 

Writing: Following Writing Camp, we have continued to refine the pieces in our essays this week. The revising process has been continued this week through additional focus on introductions, reasons, transitions, and conclusions. Collaboration with peers has allowed each student to receive even more feedback and expand their ideas further.

Reading: This week, we have wrapped up our reading of Esperanza Rising. Thank you for all your help with acquiring artifacts that represent your student's culture! Today's celebration of our historical fiction unit was so insightful and provided a wonderful end to such a fun unit. 

Science: The class investigated various states of matter and their properties by completing a number of experiments.

Social Studies: On the week of Texas Independence Day, the class continued their learning of the colonization of Texas.

Thank you so much to the dads who came and read to the class this week! 
 
Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, March 8th, 7:15am: PAWS Meeting

Friday, March 10th Student Holiday

Spring Break, March 13th-March 17th

Thursday, March 23rd 5:00-6:30pm: Open House

Friday, March 24th, 9:00-10:30am: Grandfriends Day

This Week In...

Math: The class continued with our unit of measurement, but focused on the metric system this week! They have also been working with converting units of measurement. 

Writing: Following Writing Camp, we have continued to refine the pieces in our essays this week. The revising process has been continued this week through additional focus on introductions, reasons, transitions, and conclusions. Collaboration with peers has allowed each student to receive even more feedback and expand their ideas further.

Reading: This week, we have wrapped up our reading of Esperanza Rising. Thank you for all your help with acquiring artifacts that represent your student's culture! Today's celebration of our historical fiction unit was so insightful and provided a wonderful end to such a fun unit. 

Science: The class investigated various states of matter and their properties by completing a number of experiments.

Social Studies: On the week of Texas Independence Day, the class continued their learning of the colonization of Texas.

Week 25

Monday, February 27: If your child forgot to bring their change jar today for Children’s Hospital please bring it on Monday. There will be a collection bin in the office to deposit the money.

Dr. Seuss Week: If you signed up to read to our class please see the volunteer website to check for the day and time you are coming. Please bring ONE of your favorite Dr. Seuss books to share with our class.

Tuesday, February 28 9:00am: New Student Roundup

This past week, we had a wonderful time during Writing Camp. This week, each student grew and developed so many of their writing skills. One of my favorite parts of the week was hearing from multiple students that this week convinced them that writing is enjoyable! We will continue to work on the pieces from last week, placing a special emphasis on introductions, conclusions, revising, editing, and transitions. 

I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the parents who helped make this week so special for our class - you are much appreciated!

Week 24

Thank you so much to all the parents who helped out with the Valentine's Day party this week! The class had a blast and it was a fun-filled celebration. Please see the end of this email for important information about next week's Writing Camp.
 
Upcoming Events:
Monday, February 20th: Staff Development - No school for students.

Week of February 21st Armstrong Change for Children’s service project

Week of February 21st: 4th Grade Writing Camp 

Friday, February 24th: Change for Children’s service project, collection boxes due

This Week In...

Math: This week, we have been learning about measurement and the different ways items can be measured. After learning about units of length, capacity, and weight, we have been discovering how to convert those units of measurement between one another. 

Writing: In addition to wrapping up our Literary Essays, we have been working on revision and editing skills. On Monday, the class participated in a day of writing based on the STAAR test from last year. As a class, we are now analyzing those papers to come up with 'glows' and 'grows'. With Writing Camp next week, we will be taking a deep dive as writers and challenging each student. As stated in the handout, the only homework we will be having next week is writing. They will be asked to complete their drafts each night. 

Reading: We have been continuing our class book club on Esperanza Rising and noticing themes and perspectives shaped by the book's time period. We have also been taking into account the minor characters and looking deeper into the impact that they can have on the plot. 

Science: This week in science, the class was able to see how weather is measured and predicted. 

Social Studies: We have begun to study about the colonization of Texas and the importance of this era in the forming of Texas as we know it today.

 

Writing Camp Reminders:

Tuesday: "Warm-Up with Writing"

- Wear a warm-up suit or your favorite comfy clothes

Wednesday: "Team Up for Writing"

- Wear your favorite team shirt or jersey

Thursday: "Thinking Cap Thursday"

- Wear a hat or headband of your choice

Friday: "Armstrong Adventure Camp"

- Wear your camping gear

Week 23

Here are some upcoming events for next week:
 

Tue, Feb 14, Valentines Class Parties - Please refer to the email I sent out yesterday for more information on the party.

Wed, Feb 15, 7:15am PAWS Meeting

Fri, Feb 17, change collection boxes distributed for spring service project

This week in...

Math: We finished up our geometry unit after covering symmetry on Monday. After observing that some countries have flags that are symmetrical, the class was able to create their own flags that contained lines of symmetry. We will be moving onto our measurement unit next week!

Writing: We have continued with our literary essay unit this week. The class is almost finished up with their final draft. We have been working on seamlessly integrating the meaningful quotes and micro-stories into our essays.

Reading: After completing Number the Stars, we have started reading Esperanza Rising as a class. Having a whole class book club is proving to be very beneficial with meaningful conversations occurring. Our historical fiction unit has been a great way to dive into history while studying characters and theme.

Science: The class learned about weathering and erosion in the science lab on Wednesday. We also went back to the garden this week for the first time since last semester - how fun! 

Social Studies: The class is learning more about missions and their impact on settlement in the Americas.

Week 21

This week has wonderful and filled with lots of new information. We have finished up our Pie book and had the treat of having the epilogue read to the class by the author, Sarah Weeks. She kindly recorded the end of the book to share with Armstrong students. Please remember that their will be a final celebration Monday after school. If you entered the pie contest, the pies should be taken to the gym on Monday morning at 7:45.
 
Upcoming Events:

Mon, Jan 30th, Pie Contest, participants drop off their pies in the gym before school, join us for a pie social on the lawn after school

Wed, Feb 1st, School Counselor Day

Wed, Feb 1st, 6:30pm PEC Program with Dr. Leonard Sax on Fostering Resilience, at HPUMC

This week in...

Math: We finished up our fractions unit and have started geometry. The class has been identifying different types of lines as well as learning all about angles. We will continue our inquiry on angles next week.

Reading: This week, we have continued diving deeper into our historical fiction unit. Most of the book clubs have finished their first book and they will be choosing what book they want to begin reading next week. While reading Number the Stars as a class, they have been identifying theme and understanding the importance that small objects can have while reading. 

Writing: This week as we focus on our literary essay unit, the class has been discovering how to incorporate meaningful quotes, micro-stories, and lists into their writing. Yesterday, the class took some time to dive into a literary essay and notice how to better use the strategies that we are learning in the classroom. We will be continuing to work on these skills next week.

Science: The class continued to explore rocks and minerals this week.

Social Studies: We have been learning about missions, their purpose, and what life in the missions looked like.

*Please remember that Penny Book projects are due next Friday, February 3rd.

Week 20

Here are some events coming up this next week:
 

Wednesday, January 25: Science Fair applications due, 3rd and 4th graders

Friday, January 27: Student Early Release at 1:00 pm. Dismissal will occur at the normal location.

This week in...

Math: Students have continued to explore fractions, learning how to add, subtract, and plot their locations on a number line. We will be finishing our unit on fractions at the beginning of next week. Following the fraction unit, we will begin studying lines, planes, and angles.

Writing: We have been working on our Literary Essay unit this week. So far, this unit has been comprised of looking at literature with strong characters and writing a strong thesis that can be defended throughout the story.

Reading: It has been very exciting to have our book clubs going on during our Historical Fiction unit. The class has done a great job at collaborating within their book clubs and making connections across timelines and putting together the pieces of their books. As a class, we have been reading Number the Stars, which allows us to identify the historical aspects of the book and the fictional timeline that is occurring simultaneously.

Science: This week in science, the class looked at different elements and minerals. They were able to identify characteristics of these elements as well as see their purpose.

Social Studies: Students have started their unit on Texas Missions and will continue that next week. The class has also been working on the historical events for their Penny Project.

Week 19

Important Dates Coming Up:

Mon, Jan 16, Student and Teacher Holiday

Wed, Jan 18, 7:15am PAWS Meeting

Thu, Jan 19, 3:30pm Armstrong Spelling Bee

This Week In:

Math: This week in math we were focused on comparing and simplifying fractions. We also learned how to decompose fractions. Next week, we will continue to work on fractions and focus on using them on a number line and how to add them together.

Writing: After wrapping up our expository unit, we have started our Literary Essay unit. The class will be using their reading skills to extract important information from our reading in order to make meaningful connections in our writing.

Reading: This week we have been diving into our new Historical Fiction unit. This is an exciting unit because it allows the reader to be wrapped up in an exciting fictional story that has been intertwined with a historical time period or event. Our class has been divided up into book clubs and they will be reading different historical fiction literature and engaging in conversation within their book clubs. 

Science/Social Studies: In science, the class had the opportunity to look at a variety of minerals and perform tests on each mineral to identify properties within the mineral. Ask your student about some of the interesting minerals they found! In Social Studies, we have started learning about different missions that were established in North America.

*Please remember to be working on the Penny Project at home. We have been working on the world events in class, but the class is supposed to be completing the personal events at home. The Penny Project is due Friday, February 3rd.

Week 18

Welcome Back! I hope everyone had a restful and joyful break. I was so excited to see everyone on Tuesday. We have quickly jumped back into the swing of things and have been making great strides. One School, One Book begins on Monday, so you should expect to see our book, Pie, come home at the beginning of next week. Please be aware of the following dates:
 

Mon, Jan 9 One School One Book Kickoff 

Wed, Jan 11, 9:00am ABPA Kindergarten Readiness Meeting at Bradfield

Mon, Jan 16, Student and Teacher Holiday

Wed, Jan 18, 7:15am PAWS Meeting

Thu, Jan 19, 3:30pm Armstrong Spelling Bee, 3rd and 4th grade class winners in finals in auditorium

This week in...

Math: This week we began our fraction unit. The class had had opportunities to manipulate fractions and better understand equivalent fractions. We will be continuing our fraction unit into next week and students will be given even more strategies to better enable them to confidently work with fractions.

Writing: After a mini-lesson on commas, the class is wrapping up our expository unit with an essay about a place that makes them feel at home. They have done a wonderful job at crafting this essay as an expository with clear reasons and powerful thesis statements. Today, we worked on the Penny Project and the class was expected to complete at least two world events. We will be wrapping up our expository essay on Monday. 

Reading: In a partnership with Mrs. Hollier's class, students have been working on researching weather events. They have learned strategies to analyze non-fiction texts and are utilizing those strategies to synthesize what they are learning across a variety of texts. They are presenting their findings as a group to the class on Monday. After our non-fiction unit, we will be transitioning to our historical fiction unit. I will be asking that students read historical fiction books at home to support our learning. 

Science: This week in science, the class did an awesome experiment about different soil types and their ability to hold water. The class used various soils from different regions of Texas to conduct the experiment.

Social Studies: We have been wrapping up our Explorers unit and next week we will begin the Settlements unit. The class has learned about the routes the explorers took and the impact their discoveries had on the world. 

Week 16

Between Inclusive Schools Week, starting our research project, wrapping up our division unit, and diving into another expository essay, this week has been full of exciting learning! Please remember that our Holiday Party is next Friday from 11:15-11:45. *Please send a wrapped book with your student for our book exchange*
 

Wed, Dec 14th, 7:15am PAWS Meeting

Fri, Dec 16th, 11:15-11:45 Class party; 1:00pm Student Early Dismissal

 
Math: This week in math, we finished our division unit and began our unit on variables and input/output tables. We will continue to work on these skills next week.
 
Reading: This week was an exciting one because the class was able to pick topics for our research project on weather. This project will involve them using the strategies they have learned about non-fiction literature as well as a great deal of teamwork. 
 
Writing: The class has been working on a new expository piece about their favorite time of year. While working on this, the class has learned more strategies to use while composing their introductions and conclusions. There have been so many 'light bulb' moments this week as students have really gotten into their expository topics. Next week, we will be publishing our final pieces and working on letter writing.
 
Science: This week in science, the class learned about the lunar cycle through a variety of ways. Ask your child to show you their paper plate moon cycle and their moon ornament!
 
Social Studies: We have moved onto our Explorers Unit. The class has had an opportunity to learn about the various perspectives of the explorers. After researching, the students will choose a project to complete. The project options were announced today in order to give each student the opportunity to think over the weekend about which project they want to complete.

Week 15

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! We have been diving right back into the swing of things this week. The class has been doing a great job deepening their knowledge of long division as well as creating meaningful expository essays. Here are a few important dates coming up the next couple of weeks:

Week of Dec 5th, Inclusive Schools Week

Week of Dec 5th, PAWS Sock Tree

Tue, Dec 6th, 11:00am Principal’s Brown Bag Lunch for Parents on Online Safety

Thu, Dec 8th, 9:20am 4th Grade Geography Bee Finals

Fri, Dec 9th, Auction Teacher of the Day

Wed, Dec 14th, 7:15am PAWS Meeting

Fri, Dec 16th, 1:00pm Student Early Dismissal

Math: This week in math it was exciting to see how much growth and progress was made with long division. When you are working with your child at home, please make sure that they are remembering each step of the long division process. They have remembered the steps with an acronym (DMSB). This stands for divide, multiply, subtract, and bring down. They remember it as Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother. We will be testing on division this coming Tuesday.

Writing: After going through the writing process, the class was able to publish and expository piece. Each student wrote their draft on a Google Doc, which then allowed me to go through each draft with them and make comments through Google. This provided meaningful feedback and conversation between myself and the students. Ask your student to sign into their Google account at home so you can see their writing! The class also began another expository essay this week. We will be looking deeper into introductions, conclusions, and pushing our thinking next week.

Reading: This non-fiction unit has been a wonderful way for the class to discover enjoyment in reading factual texts. Readers were able to experience what it means to look at a text through a narrative lens and an non-fiction lens. At home, you should notice your child writing meaningful sticky notes that indicates the information they are learning, bursts of curiosity, new vocabulary, or an observation of the text structure. 

Social Studies: This week we have started our unit on the explorers. Our prior unit on Native Americans has made this jump to explorers much more natural. They will be learning about the reasons behind the explorations, various explorers, and the impact the explorers had on the land and people around them.

Science: In science lab, the class learned about the difference between precipitation and evaporation.

Week 13

This week was special because the school and our class came together to give back to our community through the food drive. Thank you for all of your generous donations! Please note the following dates and events:
 

Thu, Dec 1st, 9:20am 4th Grade Geography Bee preliminary round

Week of Dec 5th Inclusive Schools Week

Week of Dec 5th PAWS Sock Tree

Tue, Dec 6th, 11:00am Principal’s Brown Bag Lunch, discussing Online Safety with Chad Pinson

Thu, Dec 8th, 9:20am 4th Grade Geography Bee final round

Fri, Dec 9th, Teacher of the Day

This week in...

Math: The class has finished up our multiplication unit and we have now started our division unit. Yesterday, long division was introduced for the first time and we will continue working on long division in the coming weeks. Please make sure that your students are still practicing their multiplication facts at home. Fact fluency has a huge impact on their success and will help them as they continue diving into long division.

Writing: This week, we have been developing deeper thesis statements with our expository writing. We have also been focusing on making sure that our supporting reasons and evidence match up with our thesis. It has been fun to see how each student is an 'expert' of different topics.

Reading: As we move through our non-fiction unit, it has been important fort the students to make a connection to their text. This week we have also been learning about different text structures and how to identify those different structures in our own books. Yesterday, we discussed difficulties that we may come across while reading non-fiction text and learned strategies for how to tackle these common problems.

Social Studies: It has been so much fun to see all the creativity that has been put on display with the Native American dioramas. The class has a learned a lot about their various Native American tribes and have learned from one another as we have shared the wonderful projects.

Science: The students used the bones they had dissected from an owl's pellet to create a skeleton of the vertebrate. 

Week 12

The students in Room 214 are making incredible strides on their journeys to become great learners this week! Today your student will be coming home with a bag for the Thanksgiving food drive. Here are a few important dates coming up in the next couple of weeks:
 

Week of November 14th Thanksgiving Meal Collection

Wednesday, November 15th, 5:30pm School Board Meeting

Wednesday, November 16th, 7:15am PAWS Meeting

Friday, November 18th, 8:30am 1st Grade Musical Program

Friday, November 18th, Thanksgiving Meal Assembly

November 23-25th, Thanksgiving Holiday

This Week In:

Math: The class has been working hard on their multi-digit multiplication. We will be moving onto our division unit next week. Please continue practicing multiplication facts at home!

Science: We dissected owl pellets in science lab this week. The class then identified the different bones they found in their pellets. They will continue working with the pellets next week.

Writing: I have seen some great gains being made in writing this week! The class has come up with meaningful thesis statements and have been able to expand their expository writing.

Reading: We have jumped right into our non-fiction reading unit. The class has identified non-fiction text in the classroom and in our homes. Next week, I will be asking the students to be reading non-fiction in the classroom and at home. The class has been making meaningful connections to non-fiction text, which has allowed them to become more interested in what they are reading.

Social Studies: This has been a big week in Social Studies! The class has finished their Native American dioramas and papers about their selected tribe. We have been presenting these excellent projects to the class and will finish doing this on Monday.

Week 11

Our field trip was a wonderful way to end the week. We visited Bunker Sands and were able to learn about the importance of the wetlands in creating safe water for us to drink. The class began the day by collecting organisms in the wetlands and examining the macro-vertebrates that were found. Then, the students went bird watching. It was amazing to see how many different species of birds were identified in such a brief amount of time! This field trip was a great experience for the entire class and it was exciting to explore the wetlands.