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December 10-14

Upcoming Events:
Friday, December 14th: Class party (see email) & early release (at 1pm)
Please bring a wrapped book to school by Friday for our class book exchange. Books that boys bring will be exchanged between boys and books that girls bring will be exchanged among girls.
This week in...
Math: The class continued to learn more about fractions, including how to compare and add them. We will be wrapping up our fraction unit next week and will test on Thursday. 
Reading & Writing: Students completed their expository essays this week! It was a joy to get to see each piece of the essay come together and get revised and worked on until the final copy was produced. Next week, we will take a break from expository writing and focus on letter writing! The class finished their non-fiction reading unit and completed their post-test. In addition to letter writing, we will be starting our Penny Book world events in class. There will not be a spelling test next week!
Social Studies: The class spent this week learning about missions in Texas and the people that lived within the missions. We will continue our work with this next week.
Science: The class studied the lunar rotation and the different lunar cycles.

December 3-7

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 fractions. 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 will be doing revising and editing at the beginning of next week and should have our final copies completed by mid-week.

Reading: This week we completed our final research project presentations. Students researched their second topic and compared their first topic with their second to create a comprehensive presentation.

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.

November 26-30

Upcoming Events:
Week of December 3-7: Inclusive Schools Week
This week in...
Math: Students spent the week looking back on topics previously learned such as place value, rounding, multiplication and division. On Monday, students will begin the next unit of fractions! As we move into this new unit, I want to encourage each student to continue practicing multiplication facts.
Writing: We started working on a new expository prompt. We learned about introductions and how to organize drafts using a flip book. Students will be using flip books throughout the year to help plan out their drafts. We will continue our work with this expository essay next week.
Reading: There are some extreme weather experts in our midst! After presenting on their first topics before Thanksgiving break, students have been given another weather topic to research and have now been compiling their information into another presentation. This week it has been important for students to use their prior knowledge on weather topics in their new research. The groups will be presenting their learning next week.
Social Studies: We have been learning about more explorers of Texas and mapped each explorer's route.
Science: The class completed their owl pellet dissection and created skeletons using the bones from the owl pellets. These will stay at school for a little while longer!

November 19-20

The past two days have been filled with exploration and learning. I wish you all a peaceful Thanksgiving. I know I am thankful for each of you and am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of each students' life.
Math: We have finished up our long division unit. Next week, we will look at some of the topics we have already covered in order to hone in on some skills and further learning in areas.
Writing: Students have finished their first expository essays! When we return from Thanksgiving, the class will start a new essay.
Reading: The class completed their presentations on their first research project this week. We will continue our non-fiction reading unit by trading research topics for another research project.
Social Studies: We are continuing to learn about the various explorers who discovered Texas along each journey. 
Science: Students continued to work with their dissected owl pellets to create a skeleton structure. They will wrap up their work with the owl pellets next week.

November 5-9

We had a wonderful time on our field trip this week! Thank you to our wonderful chaperones for spending the day learning with us.
Upcoming Events:
Wednesday, November 14th: PAWS Meeting at 7:15
This week in...
Math: We dove into our division unit this week! Students worked on dividing numbers using friendly numbers and will begin learning long division next week! We will wrap up the division unit next Friday with an assessment.
Writing: The class has been working hard on their expository pieces, adding micro-stories and lists to develop their reasons in their writing. We finished the week by finishing the first draft of our expository piece. We will continue our work with expository essays next week and will start the week off by learning about introductions and conclusions. We will have another spelling test next Friday.
Reading: We began our weather research project. Students were put into groups where they are focusing on a specific extreme weather topic. The class is working on organizing their notes based on their topic and structure of the text. 
Social Studies: We are continuing to learn about the explorers in Texas.

October 29-November 2

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, November 5th: When I Grow Up Pictures
Wednesday, November 6th: PAWS Committee Meetings
Thursday, November 8th: Field Trip to Bunker Sands
This Week In...
Math: The students finished up their multiplication unit, but I would still appreciate fact practice at home! This upcoming week, we will be changing gears and focusing on division.
Writing: We are continuing to write our first expository essay. We have been working on creating a strong thesis statement, reasons that support the thesis statement, and evidence to build upon those reasons. We will have another spelling test on Friday, November 9th. Please find the words below:
- fashion
- decision
- vision
- division
- occasion
- invasion
- erosion
- intrusion
- collision
- conclusion
- explosion
Reading: We are continuing our non-fiction unit. We have been learning more ways to become extraordinary readers. This week, we will be starting a non-fiction weather research project that will be done within class. 
Social Studies: We have started to learn about the different explorers in Texas and will continue that this week.
Science: Students learned about vertebrates and invertebrates.

October 22-26

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, October 30Picture Retakes

Wednesday, October 31: Kindergarten Character Parade

Field Trip: This week I sent home information about our class field trip that will take place on Thursday, November 8th. Please return these permission slips by Monday.

This Week In...

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 x5 facts on Friday.

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. We will have a spelling quiz on Friday, November 2nd. 

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.

October 15-19

Upcoming Events:

Monday, October 22-26: Red Ribbon Week

Friday, October 26: Report Cards Posted to Skyward

                                  Fall Picnic

                                  Early Release 1:00

Tuesday, October 30: Picture Retakes


This Week In...

Math: Students worked on multiplying one digit numbers by multi-digit numbers. We will be moving into two-digit by two-digit multiplication next week. We will also be having a x4 multiplication quiz next Friday, October 26th.

Writing: The class truly began their expository writing this week, focusing on issues and ideas on which they are passionate about. Thank you to the Higginbotham family for the treats today. They were used to inspire students to create a claim, supporting reasons, and begin writing a piece with other fourth grade classes. You will see the spelling test results from this weeks test in the communication folder today. We will have another spelling quiz next Friday, October 26th.

Reading: We began our non-fiction reading unit this week. Students should be reading non-fiction books at school and at home. This week, we focused on making a connection to the text and predicting what the text might be about. We will continue our work in non-fiction next week.

Social Studies: Each student chose a Native American tribe in Texas to write a blog post about.

Science: The class learned about decomposers.


October 9-12

Upcoming Events:
Wednesday, October 17th: Invention Convention Projects Due, 7:40-8am
Wednesday, October 17th: Invention Convention Family Night, 5-6:30pm
Thursday, October 18th: Invention Convention Project Pick-up, 2:30-3:30pm
Friday, October 19th: Bike Rodeo
This Week In...
Math: We wrapped up our first multiplication topic this week and are now focusing on different ways to multiply larger numbers. Students have been solving one-digit by two, three, and four-digit numbers using the traditional algorithm and the expanded algorithm. Please continue working on facts at home. This will be vital as we begin working on two-digit by two-digit multiplication in the next few weeks.
Writing: This week we wrapped up our published pieces for personal narrative writing. We also started our next unit, expository writing. The class brainstormed issues that they felt strongly about and had read about in their books. Once they looked at those issues, they began to write about them. We also studied the qualities of good freewriting. The class also focused on prompts that help lift the level of thinking and writing. They practiced using these prompts with partners. We will continue working on expository writing next week. Today, the class was treated to a surprise that inspired the class to use descriptive language within their writing. Thank you to the Nowak family for providing each student with a fun treat! We will also have a spelling quiz next Friday, October 19th.
Reading: We finished the realistic fiction this week and celebrated all of the learning that has occurred. The class enjoyed the ending of The Tiger Rising as well. Now that we have completed our post-test for realistic fiction, we will be starting on our new unit, non-fiction, next week. Please make sure that students are reading for 30 minutes at least 4 nights a week and logging their reading on the reading log. This log must be initialed by an adult and I check these logs along with their communication cards each Monday.
Social Studies: We continued learning about different Native American tribes in Texas this week along with Native American shelters. Students were surprised to see the various shelters that tribes lived in. They had discussions on the pros and cons of each and which shelter they would most prefer to live in.
Science: The class learned more about animal characteristics by looking and different bird beaks and how they are best suited for different environments and eating habits.

Attendance/Absence Reminder


When a student is absent, parents are requested to call the office at 214-780-3100 or email Registrar/Attendance Clerk Jamie Condon  and/or your student’s teacher as close to 8:00 a.m. as possible to notify the school of the absence.  Feel free to leave a message on the voicemail if you call.  All calls will be logged.


In addition, the student must bring a written excuse for the absence upon returning to school.  The note should contain the student’s full name, date of absences, and reasons for absences.


Parents will receive notification from the school attendance clerk when their child has accumulated ten (10) or more absences.  According to the Texas Education Code, a student in kindergarten through grade four shall not be given credit or promoted to the next grade if he or she has been in attendance fewer than 90% of the days in the school year, unless an attendance committee designated by the Board grants credit because of extenuating circumstances.  The principal has the authority to waive the committee hearing and may grant credit if it is determined that all of the absences were due to extenuating circumstances.  Parents may be asked to provide documentation of personal illness.

October 1 - 5

Upcoming Events:
Monday, October 8th: School Holiday
Tuesday, October 9th: Dad's Club Members hang art from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 10th: PAWS Committee Meeting @ 7:15 - please enter through the cafeteria doors. (This is for any students on the STEAM, Global Connections, or Staff Appreciation committees).
Friday, October 12th: PTA Auction

This Week In...

Math: Students focused on a variety of ways to work out multiplication problems. They started by focusing on how to multiply multiples of ten and then learned the break apart method. It is important to continue working on multiplication facts! We took our x3 multiplication quiz today. You should see that in the Communication Folder this week.

Writing: We have completed the personal narrative writing unit! After finishing final drafts, students shared their drafts with one another and celebrated the progress that has been made! One important item to look for in writing is the use of paragraphs. We have had a lesson on paragraph usage this week and want to make sure that it is being implemented within writing. A copy of the personal narrative final draft will be sent home next week! You will also see the spelling test results in their folder this week.

Reading: Within our realistic fiction unit, we have been really looking at how to build an interpretation or theory. In order to develop deep theories, reading must occur on a deeper level. Students used evidence found throughout their novels to build a theory that is supported by the text and can be considered true throughout the entire story progression. Next week we will wrap up realistic fiction and begin non-fiction! Please remember to sign reading logs!

Social Studies: Each student completed their Texas Region poems this week and we have begun learning all about the different Native American tribes in Texas. 

Science: In lab this week, the class looked at different animal adaptations and how they have aided various species of animals. Eye sockets and skulls were focused on in particular.

September 24-28

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, October 2nd: Garden
Friday, October 5th: Walk to School Day
This Week In...
Math: This past week the class wrapped up our addition and subtraction unit. Grades came home in Friday folders. Our multiplication unit has started. We will have a multiplication quiz over x3 facts this next Friday. Keep studying multiplication facts at home!
Writing: We are almost done with our personal narrative unit! The students have been working on their rough drafts and spending quality time revising and editing their writing looking for details, words, or sentences they need to add, remove, move, or substitute. Next week after we complete our narratives we will begin our expository writing unit.
Reading: In reading, we are working on growing ideas about our characters. Students should be noticing repeated details such as a character’s traits, features, and objects that the character may have. We are learning that the author shows us the details for a reason! You should see your child jotting down these ideas on sticky notes while they are doing their nightly reading at home. These would be some great questions to ask your child about when they are reading: What are some ideas you are forming based off of your characters actions? How has your character changed? How do the characters new actions fit with or change those ideas? What have you noticed about the character that the author repeats?
Social Studies: We have been writing poems about a Texas region this week and will continue this next week!
Science: This week the students are looking at how animals adapt in their environment by using Camouflage as well as their inherited traits.

September 10-14

Upcoming Events:
September 17-21 - Pledges
Tuesday, September 18 - Garden
Thursday, September 20 - PAWS Meeting at 7:15
Friday, September 21 - Early Release at 1:00. We will dismiss at our normal location.
This week in...
Math: This week, we continued our work with place value but added in decimal place value as well. As fourth graders, they are responsible for knowing how to write, order, compare, add, and subtract numbers that have a place value to the hundredths place. Today, we took a test over this learning. You will see the results of that test in the Communication Folders next Friday. The class also took their first multiplication check and that is in their folders this week. We will begin looking at addition and subtraction of whole numbers next week. 
Writing: We have been working on getting our ideas for writing down on paper and also practicing our writing fluency by doing quick writes. Today we completed our first flash draft from a seed idea. We will begin working with our drafts next week to make improvements.
Reading: This week we have been focusing on reading intensely, reading books that are just right for us, and making movies in our minds. Students should be able to open up to the middle of their novel and read a page without missing more than three words. If they miss more than that then the book is most likely too hard. We have also been working on summarization and knowing the difference between synthesizing and chronological summaries. Also, you should see your child coming home with their novel every night (we are reading realistic fiction novels for now). They should be reading the same book at home that they are reading at school and recording their minutes on their reading log.
Social Studies: We have been working on learning about the different regions of Texas!

September 4-7

I enjoyed seeing those who were able to make it last night! I will be sending out the presentation as well as the remaining conference times on Monday via email.
Upcoming Events:
Wednesday, September 12th: Individual Picture Day. This date differs from the date sent out in the school newsletter. Your student will be taking home picture order forms on either Monday or Tuesday.
This week in...
Math: We focused on place value, but more specifically, we compared numbers and worked on rounding. The class was also introduced to decimals  This morning, the class did an exemplar and solved an in-depth problem. Next week, we will continue our work on decimals and the class will learn how decimals and fractions relate to one another. Next Friday, we will have our first multiplication quiz. We will be starting out with x2 facts. The quiz will not be timed.
Writing: As we get more into our writing, it is important for students to be able to generate ideas for narrative writing. The class has been doing that by thinking of people, places, and experiences that are important to them. Once they do that, they can focus on a small moment to write about. It has been a joy to see the excitement they get from expressing themselves through writing. 
Reading: We have been focusing on how to read intensely and with a purpose. I can already tell that we have some voracious readers in our class! We also discussed how to find a book that is a good fit. The class had some great ideas on what it looks like to have a book that is just right. Please remember that students need to be reading for 20 minutes 4 nights a week. I will be asking them to increase their reading to 30 minutes next week. I will be checking their reading logs on Monday morning.
Social Studies: Our class finished up their Texas Scavenger Hunt this week and will begin Texas regions next week!
Science: In lab, the class received firsthand experience working with a compass.

August 27 - August 31

Please note the following change: The first PAWS general meeting has been moved from Wednesday, September 19 to Thursday, September 20th at 7:15am. I will update you on the location when it is determined.

Monday, September 3rd: Holiday

Thursday, September 6th: Curriculum Night - There will be two identical sessions, one from 5-6 and the second from 6-7.


This week in...

Math: Students began exploring place value this week. We compared numbers and worked on rounding. You will be getting some work back in the yellow communication folder this week. Next week, we will continue learning more about place value. We will also be taking the MAP Math Test. 

Writing: The writing has begun! This week, students looked at the differences between narrative and expository writing. The class has worked on generating ideas for narrative writing by thinking of important life events and people close to them. We will be continuing our narrative work next week.

Reading: As we get into our realistic fiction genre, students learned all about how they can best read their books in order to grow powerful thoughts and ideas. Just a reminder, the reading log will be due on Tuesday. This needs to be filled out by each student and signed by a parent. At this point in the year, students should be reading for 20 minutes at least four times a week. 

Social Studies: The students learned fun facts about Texas through a Texas Scavenger Hunt. 

Science: The class had their first lab and focused on the Scientific Method!