Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 2, 2015

Upcoming Dates
March 12 - 4th Grade Spring Performance
March 12 - Spring Pictures
March 16-20 Spring Break
March 30-31 STAAR Writing Test

We finished Decimals and have started our Geometry unit. We have been learning vocabulary such as point, line, line segment, and angles.  The students have learned how to use a protractor to measure angles by comparing them to a right angle of 90 degrees and discovering acute and obtuse angles based on types of measurement.  We  have also used a protractor to draw angles with specific degrees. Example: draw an angle with a measure of 74 degrees.

Social Studies
We have been reading about the history of the Texas Revolution and the fight against Santa Anna.  The Texans fought 2 small battles in the beginning named Goliad and Gonzales. We won both of those battles. Then, the Texans fought in the Alamo, and we read about all of the important people involved in this battle.  The students have learned that many people from other U.S. states helped the Texans fight at the Alamo, but unfortunately, we lost that battle.  Then, the Battle of San Jacinto was the culminating battle of the Revolution. We won that battle. Texas received its independence during the Texas Revolution, but the men fighting did not learn this information until later.

We finished out last narrative paper. In these last weeks leading up to the STAAR test, we will be working with the kids to help them improve their grammar skills, such as making compound sentences, using quotation marks correctly, and correct capitalization.  These are skills that our kids will need to make sure they know for any kind of writing in life, not just a test. So, we will review different editing skills and apply them to written pieces.

We are working with Media Literacy. How do we interpret pictures, commercials, advertisements, and any other kind of media in reading?  How does this media impact us in our daily lives? Our class has talked about how these things can also impact us as consumers, and the messages the people behind the media are trying to get across to us. For example, commercials on Saturday mornings have items in them that are geared towards kids who may be watching cartoons.  The creators of the commercials are hoping the kids will see the commercial for the toy during the cartoon and run to you all to beg you to buy it. The students have done well with learning how to use the images, word choice, music, and graphics to see how to read media.

We have been reviewing the parts of the Water Cycle: Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, Run Off, Groundwater. Another term we learned was transpiration which is the process of excess water that a plant does not absorb and gives off through its pores into the atmosphere. The students learned about rainforests, their locations, and why they always have a wet atmosphere. We are now moving into studying patterns of Earth and learning about the impact of the seasons, tides, and how the moon affects the tides.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

December 1, 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with good food and time spent with family and friends.

Upcoming Dates
Dec. 4 - 4th Grade Choir Performances
Evening 4th Grade Choir Performance - 6PM - Check with your child to find out the arrival time will be that night.

Friday, Dec. 5 - Spelling Test

Tuesday, Dec. 9 - Southeast, Southwest, and West States Test - Same format as our previous states tests.

Friday, Dec. 12 - Unit 3 Vocabulary Test

Last week we took a break from long division. We worked with input/output tables using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  The students had to find the pattern in the table and then continue it to complete the table.

We will continue our study of division this week. So far, we have worked a little with dividing 2 digits by 1 digit divisors and a little  more will continue with that.  Then we will move into 3 digit dividends divided by 1digit divisors and then 4 digit dividends with 1 digit divisors.

Please make sure that your child is still studying his/her math facts 10 minutes every night.  

Social Studies
We are studying Explorers. Christopher Columbus was our first one to learn about, and we definitely learned some new information about him.  The explorers we will continue to study will be:

Cabeza de Vaca, Marccos de Niza, Fransisco Vasquez de Coronado, and La Salle.
We will learn the country they represent, why they came to Texas, and lots of other interesting facts.
The students will take notes while we study these people.
We have finished our final drafts of our expository papers.  I am excited to read the final copies to see how well they all turned out. This paper will also be put into each child's writing portfolio. 
We did some fun Thanksgiving creative writing also.
Ask your child to tell you how he/she continued the story about Tom Turkey jumping into Farmer Sue's truck that was still running......
Coming up, we will continue to work with Expository papers and this go around, the students will be doing every part on their own. Of course,  I will be there for guidance as needed. I want to see how they are able to work mostly on their own starting from a given prompt to a chosen idea about the prompt. Then moving into prewriting, to a first draft, revising and editing and taking it to a final paper.
We will be focusing on commas this week, and learning all of the times in writing that we need to use them correctly.
We finished our poetry and figurative language unit.  Each student recited his/her poem well for us.
 We will be moving into learning characteristics of nonfiction.  We will look at some flipcharts that will show characteristics such as tables, charts, pictures with captions, and much more. The student will understand the fact that nonfiction is all real information.
 We are learning about slow changes that happen to our Earth's surface. The students have been introduced to weathering, erosion, and deposition. These things can happen over time because of water, wind, and ice. We have watched some Brainpop videos and taken notes, and we have learned about the definitions of these changes to our Earth.  The students will participate in some hands on activities to be able to see examples of these.  Of course over time, the changes in our Earth's surface happen slowly, but hopefully these activities will give the students a good idea of how they happen.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014

Upcoming Dates
Spelling Test - Friday, October 24
Southwest and West States Test - Tuesday, Oct. 28
Vocabulary Test Unit 2 - Friday, Oct. 31

We have moved into multiplication. We have looked at vocabulary of factors and products, and we have represented multiplication with a picture, an array, and a number line.  We are multiplying 2 digit factors x 1 digit factors and 3 digit factors x 1 digit factors. Then we will move into 4 digit factors x 1 digit factors. Division will come next, and we will discuss the relationship between the two skills. We will learn division vocabulary and work with long division. We are continuing to learn the Why before the How, so that the students make a true connection with these skills. They will also be learning the algorithm with these large number problems.

Social Studies
We are studying the Native Americans of Texas.  We will use our Texas Studies Weekly Newspaper to read about them.  Each student has received an account for themselves, which allows them to have their own newspaper to read for this subject on their own device or a device in the classroom.  I also have the actual newspaper too, to use in class, if the kids don't want to be online with it. So, the students know to bring their devices to school if they desire to do so. The students will also complete a project about a chosen group and then create a tri-o-rama that shows information about them.  It is a creative way for the kids to show what has been learned about their group.

We are learning about Expository writing.  This is a type of writing where the student explains an idea of a topic with details to back up what they think about it. Ex: Give your opinion about this statement: Vegetables are a good food that helps kids grow stronger.  So, it is not a story, like they wrote last nine weeks.  It is using facts to explain their thoughts about a topic.

We will continue to read biographies, and we have talked about main idea with the books. We discussed that the details of the book have to back up a main idea.
Each student has been reading their biography book and looking for certain information to respond to such as: Date born, date died, family, why the person is important, hobbies, What would you want to ask the person? What information from the book makes you want to ask this?

We are learning about electricity.  The students are learning about conductors, insulators, closed circuits, open circuits, and electromagnets.  We will learn vocabulary, read and take notes from our Stemscopedia book and work with some hands on experiments.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

Welcome to our class blog!  I will be posting about things the kids are learning, upcoming tests, and important dates.

Upcoming Dates
October 1 - Vocabulary Test - Flocabulary Unit 1
October 13 -Student and Staff Holiday

If you have questions, my email is

We have been estimating sums and differences. The students were given addition and subtraction problems and they were solving to find an exact answer.  Then, they used estimation as a tool to see if their exact answer is reasonable, or makes sense. When I said the word reasonable, the kids shouted "makes sense".  I have become a cheerleader for our class to help us remember some of this important vocabulary and what it means.
Estimating products and quotients have also been a part of our Estimation Unit. We used rounding to work with estimating products.  We used related multiplication facts to estimate quotients.  If you know your child does not know his/her facts, please make sure he/she is studying at home.  This will also be very helpful as we have many timed tests this year.  There is also a reminder on homework each night.

Social Studies
We learned about the Regions of Texas.  The information our class learned has been about the location, climate, ways of life, plants,and animals.  We will be working on a project soon as a culminating activity for this unit.

The students brainstormed ideas about themselves and their experiences in hopes to use one of them as a topic for a personal narrative.  Each student chose a topic and completed a prewriting activity using the Kernel method. The students answered questions about his/her chosen topic and then that prewriting was then used to launch into drafting a personal narrative. We will work with revising and editing to bring it to a final copy.

We have started a read aloud titled Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo about a squirrel that gets vacuumed up into a high powered vacuum cleaner. Ask your child to tell you about it.
We are studying the genre of historical fiction. The students are learning the traits of this type of book. These are books that are based on a real historical event and the author has included some fiction information to go along with the topic which makes it historical fiction.

We are learning about mixtures and solutions.  We have learned the attributes of each and how some solutions, which are special mixtures can be separated by using evaporation. We dissolved 3 substances into 3 different cups of water: salt, sugar, and raw sugar. Each object dissolved into the cup of water it was in.  Which substance will be left in the cup after the water evaporates? We will be watching our cups to find out.