November Thoughts

Welcome to November! First, I’d like to thank my room parents and others who helped throw our Halloween Party! It was fun!

South Clarkia has finished our Simple Machines unit and have now started our Weather unit! We will be collecting weather data, making weather maps, investigating weather events, exploring our atmosphere, learning about weather measuring tools, creating weather forecasts, and exploring how weather and climate shape our lives. This unit will take us through to Winter Break on December 20th.

Fourth graders are moving well through Bridges Math and exploring many math concepts. Students are showing the benefits of receiving a coherent, flowing math curriculum for the last 3 years. The goal of Bridges is essentially its name: to build the mental bridges between all the elements and operations in math that most of us have “stumbled upon” on our own in a purposeful, planned manner. The only place we could use some outside support is with flash cards. They can be done alone or in pairs and small groups. The key is to keep it fun.

In Reading, South Clarkia have started their “Tower of Books Challenge”! Students have been teamed up and are starting on their lists. The Challenge consists of reading 20 books spread across all the genres: Mystery, Infor/non-fiction, fiction, historical fiction, biography/autobiography, etc, and when they (either teammate) finishes a book, they do a quick report, check it with me, and receive a book spine where they record the book they read and glue it to the “Tower”. Students are encouraged to read together but do not have to, books can be read at home as well – so the “Nightly Reading” expectation can count toward two things if you wish. So far it is going well!

South Clarkia is still very involved with Informational Writing especially as we get deeper into weather. We will move from the “Report” format to more of the Information Narrative style. This is a complex and varied writing, so there is a lot to cover. In addition to the writing styles instruction, we are also hitting grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Please remember, the spelling list and activities that are sent home on Friday are for HOME USE ONLY and DO NOT need to be returned – only the weekly Reading Log is returned. The spelling “Sort” activity asks that the words be cut out and physically placed under the proper heading. They can be glued down, but it may be better to leave them loose that way the activity can be repeated quickly. There is also a “Battleship” game in which only 5 words from their list are used. And finally, we have included a “Scrabble” game where you assign point to letters, create words, and add up the points. We normally have spelling work at school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and have the test on Friday. THIS WEEK, however, we will be giving the TEST ON WEDNESDAY so we can share more information with you at conferences.

Speaking of conferences, I trust all of you have signed up. I know there are a few who cannot, but I look forward to seeing you all this week. Also, this week is our BOOK FAIR!! It will be open through conferences, so come in, browse, buy, and support our library!

Thank you for your support and have a great week!

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