Fabulous Fourth!

 

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Important Info:

Wednesday, December 19th: PAWS General Meeting at 7:15am in the Sky Flex Space

Friday, December 21st: Class party 11:30-12 in Mrs. Hollier’s room (216); Early Release @1pm

Book Exchange:

We will be doing a class book exchange during the party, so please have your child bring one wrapped book beginning on Monday.  Please let me know if you need help with this!

This week in…

Math: Next week we are wrapping up our fractions unit. We will have a test on Thursday over comparing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, simplifying, and equivalent fractions.

Writing: The students are wrapped up their second expository essay about their favorite time of year. We have been focusing on our organization and details as well as going all the way through the writing process with this piece. We have also began to look at revising and editing passages as part of our weekly writing. These passages look similar to ones we see in writing, but instead of comprehension questions the students are answering questions about what needs to be changed in the passage. Please look for these to start coming home as homework in the new year.

Reading: We wrapped up our non-fiction research unit and took our post-test test this week.

Science/Social Studies: Moon Phases/Texas Missions

Important Info:

Next Week: PAWS Socks Tree is up! Please donate socks, tights, and diapers. Students can place these under the tree in the cafeteria.

Monday, December 10: Penny Book Project outlines are due; Science Fair forms will be coming home with students.

Wednesday, December 12: PAWS committee meetings for Staff Appreciation, Global Connections, and STEAM committees. 

Math: This week we began looking at fractions. We learned equivalent and simplifying fractions. Next week we will continue this and begin adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators and decomposing fraction. On Monday we will take our Math MAP Test.

Writing: This week we continued writing our second expository essay with a specific prompt in mind. The students are writing about their favorite time of year and explaining why it is special to them. We were hoping to wrap this up today, but now we are hoping to finish by next Friday.

Reading: This week we continued our research on our second natural disaster. We wrote about our research and put our own thoughts and ideas into the information we have in order to grow ideas about our topic. The students are working towards making a book about their disaster today. We will wrap this up next week.

Science: Students compared characteristics of invertebrates and vertebrates.

Social Studies: Missions of Texas

Penny Book Project: Outlines are due on Monday!  We will begin setting up our folders on Google Drive and start researching our world events next week. It is imperative that the outlines are completed and returned so that students can get started with their research in class. Personal events will be completed at home.

Have a great weekend!

Math: We wrapped up out division unit this week and will be moving on moved fractions next week. We will be coming back to division after the new year to get more practice. Please continue to work on multiplication facts at home.

Writing: This week we began our second expository essay with a specific prompt in mind. The students are writing about their favorite time of year and explaining why it is special to them. We are reviewing past expository lessons and learning new ways we can improve our writing. We will wrap this essay up by next Friday.

Reading: This week the students begin researching another natural disaster and present their research findings to the class. Be sure to ask your child about what topic they are researching and what they learned about how good researchers research and their topic and sub-topics! 

Science: Owl Pellets

Social Studies: European Explorers

Math: Last week we worked on division. When we return from Thanksgiving break we will have a review day on Monday and test on Tuesday.

Writing: Students are wrapping up their expository essay and writing their final copy today. I am excited to see all of their hard work!

Reading: We began our second bend of our non-fiction reading unit this week and worked on research. The students began learning how to dive deeper into topics and subtopics as well as how to find information across different types of texts. We also began writing about our research and put our own thoughts and ideas into the information we have in order to grow ideas about or research. This week we had seven groups researching different types of natural disasters. Next week each group will present their findings to the class.

Science: Last week students explored owl pellets!

Social Studies: European Explorers

Hope you all get to enjoy time with your family and friends over Thanksgiving break. We have so much to be thankful for! I am so thankful to have such a loving, sweet class this year. Each student holds a special place in my heart! Happy Thanksgiving!

The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is in full swing this week! Our goal is to deliver 500 meals to Brother Bill’s Helping Hand this holiday season. We ask that each student fill a grocery bag with the following 5 items that will comprise an entire meal for a family:

 1) 1 can of green beans

2) 1 can of sweet potatoes

3) 1 can of pie filling

4) 1 box of stuffing

5) 1 can of fruit

We hope that assembling an entire meal for a family will create a meaningful connection for the students of the importance of giving back to the Dallas community this holiday season. Parents are encouraged to take students grocery shopping and to post videos of their children shopping and assembling the bags on the PTA Facebook page with the hashtags #ArmstrongGives, #SharetheLove, #HolidayLove, #SharingIsCaring. Tag our class on Twitter @MrsHollier4th

Please return the bags by Thursday! 

We have a lot of exciting activities happening at Armstrong over the next week. Please see below:

-Please begin sending in your Thanksgiving meal donations. These are due by Thursday. We will be gathering in the small gym on Friday to assemble Thanksgiving meal bags for Brother Bill’s.

-Wednesday, November 14th: PAWS meeting at 7:15am in the Sky Flex Space

-Friday folders are coming home today (Monday) since we did not get them on Friday due to our field trip. Please review all work sent home and sign for last week. Return folders tomorrow.

Last week (and this week) in:

Math: We are on our way to learning everything about division! My goal is to have our test on Friday to show everything we know so far. Students still need to be practicing their multiplication facts at home!

Writing: Last week we continued on with our expository essay unit. The students just chose their own big idea that they want to write about and are coming up with reasons that explain this big idea. This will lead us to our first expository essay. Students have been working on composing an expository essay about their big idea or thesis statement. We have been composing mini-stories and lists that support our thesis and reasons. We discussed that in order to be an essayist, you must have good content and good form.  The analogy we used is that a cake could look beautiful on the outside, but the taste, what’s on the inside, matters just as much. We've looked at mentor texts, exemplars, and checklists to understand what the students have learned in third grade and what they are expected to learn this year. This has been a crucial part of building our writing life! 

Reading: Last week we wrapped up our first bend in our non-fiction reading unit. I must say that the class was a little hesitant (and a little disappointed!) when we began focusing only on non-fiction, but I have seen them do a 180 recently and develop a love for non-fiction. We chose topics of texts that were interesting to each student and also chose some challenging texts that we can grow from. We discussed how to determine text structures, how to figure out unknown words, changing our lenses when reading hybrid texts (non-fiction that may have narrative stories weaved in with expository essays), and how to tackle the hard parts of non-fiction texts. We began our second bend in our non-fiction reading unit last Thursday and have started to dive into research in non-fiction.

Science: Students created a mystery box and explained how a detective could use inferencing skills to solve mystery box evidence. In our yellow folder this week you should see graded writing from science lab come home. There are notes written by Ms. Webb that students will need to review.

Social Studies: European Explorers

Important Dates:

Monday, November 5th: Lockdown Drill at 8:15am

Tuesday, November 6th: What I Want To Be When I Grow Up pictures at 8:15am

Friday, November 9th: Field trip to the wetlands. Please pack a lunch for your child in a gallon size ziplock bag. Students will need to wear long pants, Armstrong shirt, a hat, and rain boots.

This Week In:

Math: Today we wrapped up our multiplication unit and will be moving onto our division unit next week. It is imperative that students continue to practice their multiplication facts at home. These will be necessary for division mastery.

Reading: We are close to wrapping up our first bend in our non-fiction reading unit. I must say that the class was a little hesitant (and a little disappointed!) when we began focusing only on non-fiction, but I have seen them do a 180 recently and develop a love for non-fiction. We chose topics of texts that were interesting to each student and also chose some challenging texts that we can grow from. We discussed how to determine text structures, how to figure out unknown words, changing our lenses when reading hybrid texts (non-fiction that may have narrative stories weaved in with expository essays), and how to tackle the hard parts of non-fiction texts. We will begin our second bend in our non-fiction reading unit next week and dive into research in non-fiction.

Writing:  Students have been working on composing an expository essay about their big idea or thesis statement. We have been composing mini-stories and lists that support our thesis and reasons. We discussed that in order to be an essayist, you must have good content and good form.  The analogy we used is that a cake could look beautiful on the outside, but the taste, what’s on the inside, matters just as much. We've looked at mentor texts, exemplars, and checklists to understand what the students have learned in third grade and what they are expected to learn this year. This has been a crucial part of building our writing life! 

Social Studies: This week we began researching European Explorers that came to Texas.

Science: Vertebrates and Invertebrates

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful weather! Happy weekend!

When I Grow Up Pictures

4th GRADE "WHEN I GROW UP" PICTURES

Pictures for the special 4th Grade section in the yearbook called "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be..." is coming up on Tuesday, November 6th!  Students can dress as who they want to be when they grow up!  They are welcome to bring props as well.  Pictures will be taken in the morning during school. 

TAG Parent Information Meeting- Referrals, Testing, and Waivers

November 1, 2018

9:00 am and 5:30 pm (choose one)

Armstrong Auditorium

Please join Kim Brooks, HPISD TAG Coordinator, for an explanation of the referral, testing, and waiver process for 2018-19. Referrals and HS Waivers open November 2 at 9:00 am and run through December 21st at 5:00 pm. Late referrals and waivers will not be accepted. The information from this meeting is repeated from the September 26th meeting with PCTAG.

 

Field Trip: This week I sent home information about our class field trip that will take place on Friday, November 9th.  Please return these permission slips by Monday.

Math: Students have been learning different strategies for 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication. We will have our unit test on multiplication on Tuesday then move into division.  It is imperative that students know their multiplication facts at this point. Please be sure that practice is happening at home. We will have a quiz over 7’s and 8’s next week.

Writing: This week we continued on with our expository essay unit. The students just chose their own big idea that they want to write about and are coming up with reasons that explain this big idea. This will lead us to our first expository essay.

Reading: This week we began our non-fiction unit. As we tackle nonfiction text, it is important to understand that in order to learn from nonfiction, we first make connections with prior knowledge, then we preview the text, and as we start reading we understand the text structure which helps us understand what we are reading. Nonfiction reading shouldn’t be "sit in the dentist office and flip through a magazine" type reading, but it is reading to learn. At home you should see your children reading non-fiction books for their 30 minutes of nightly reading and recording on their reading logs.

Upcoming Dates: 

Week of October 22nd: Red Ribbon Week

Fri, Oct 26th, Founders Day Picnic

Fri, Oct 26th, 1:00pm Early Release for Students

This Week In...

Math: This week we wrapped up learning multiplication strategies for three digit and four digit by one digit multiplication. Next week we will begin looking at strategies for two digit by two digit multiplication. Please continue studying multiplication facts at home! 

Writing: This week we continued on with our expository essay unit. The students just chose their own big idea that they want to write about and are coming up with reasons that explain this big idea. This will lead us to our first expository essay.

Reading: Last week we wrapped up our unit on interpreting characters. I am amazed at how much growth I am seeing in their reading and the connections they are making with the characters and other literary elements in their novels. Hopefully you all have seen the sticky notes that your child has (should have) in their book about what they are noticing as they read. This shows their deep thinking!

Social Studies: We have been continuing adding to our flipbook on Native Americans.

Science: This week the students compared consumers, producers, and decomposers.

 

Important Dates

Wednesday, October 17th: PAWS Meeting @7:15am in the Sky Flex Space

Week of October 22nd: Red Ribbon Week

Fri, Oct 26th, Founders Day Picnic-Turn in order forms!

Fri, Oct 26th, 1:00pm Early Release for Students

Reading:

We had a short, but busy week! Here is a quick update of our week and what to expect in the week ahead.

Math: This week we have been diving deep into multiplication with 2 digit by 1 digit and 3 digit by 1 digit problems. We have explored this using partial products along with standard algorithm. One big thing I have noticed with my class is that the students know how to do the operations but are struggling with their multiplication facts. This is something that was a big focus in third grade last year and students worked towards mastery of facts through 12. Since this was a major focus last year, we do not spend much time in class working on fact practice. I stressed to students today that they need to be practicing their facts at home. This can be done with flash cards or phone or iPad apps-to make it a little more fun. Next week we will begin exploring 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication. 

Writing: This week began looking into expository essays. Students came up with issues that we have found in books that we have read or even in our own writing pieces. Issues such as peer pressure, gossiping, moving to a new house or city, loneliness, sibling troubles, etc. We did some free writing about these issues and will carry them forward into our writing next week.  

Reading: This week we discussed how readers can have different viewpoints or opinions on a character or an idea. We came up with a disputable idea on our class novel, Tiger Rising, and students chose one of two competing claims. They had to decide on their position then gather text evidence to prove their claim. We then had a class debate! It was amazing to see that they could prove their point with text evidence and firmly take their stance. Please ask you child about our class debates. I would love for them to tell you about this and how they can come up with debatable ideas about their own novel! Next week we will wrap up our first unit of reading and move onto our non-fiction unit. 

Science: This week the students explored inherited traits.

Important Upcoming Dates:

October 5              Walk to School Day

October 12            Armstrong Auction-Hope to see you all there!

October 17            Invention Convention; Mrs. Hollier out 1/2 day in the                                        afternoon 

October 19            Bike Rodeo (More info to come!) 

Oct. 22 - 26           Red Ribbon Week (More info to come!)

October 26            Fall Picnic (Please see form coming home today!)

Weekly Update:

Math: We are finally up and running with multiplication! This week we practiced a multiplication strategy called “breaking apart”. See the following link to find out how we do this! Today we took a test over this strategy and using rounding to estimate. Students really need to be working on their multiplication facts at home. We are getting to a point to where math is going to become complicated if they do not know their multiplication facts. Practicing is the best way to get these down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMCXpt8kEmY

Writing: This week we wrapped up publishing our first personal narrative. Today the students had the opportunity to share their writing with a small group and we celebrated all of the effort they put forth into writing this first piece. Next week we will begin exploring expository writing.

Reading: This week we continued to grow ideas about our characters. We only have a few of weeks left for this nine weeks period!  I will be collecting reading logs each week to make sure that students have been recording their reading minutes at home. Students will be receiving a grade on their report cards under “Reads independently for sustained periods of time and produces evidence” that reflects the minutes that were logged.

Social Studies: Yesterday we wrapped up our research and poems over the Regions of Texas. Next week we will begin learning about the Native American tribes in Texas and their ways of life and the students will choose a tribe that they would like to research. They are going to become experts on this tribe and learn all about their way of life. 

Science: In science lab, students explored what adaptation clues a skull can provide.

I hope you have a great extended weekend! See you all on Tuesday.