1/22/20 Updates in 4th

Happy New Year! We’re off to an amazing start of 2020 here in 4th grade!

A couple weeks ago our CAIS visiting team was here to pour over our self study document and check in with students, teachers, board members and parents. On Thursday, they read out the findings of the report and I felt so overcome with pride at being part of this school community. They recognized the heart and soul of GWS, and had glowing things to say about what we are doing here, from the quality of the academic program to the quality of relationships the witnessed in the community! Of course, the report comes not only with commendations, but with recommendations too. None of their recommendations were unexpected, and all were things that are in process on on a to-do list for us anyhow, from some work to be completed on our “new” campus to curriculum and program updates. All in all, the experience was wonderfully affirming, and we all have much to be proud of!

Progress reports and assessment:

Our window for winter assessment is closed, and I’ve had a chance to work one on one with each 4th grader to listen to them read. We’ve checked in on spelling patterns, and done a battery of Bridges math assessments. Over the next week, I’ll be completing the mid year progress report for your child. This will be available mid February. At this point in the year, it’s expected that most students are “developing” in most areas, unless we’ve completely finished teaching a skill and it’s possible the skill has been “mastered.” These reports are not typically accompanied by a face to face meeting, but please reach out if you’d like to schedule a time to talk about the report. We’ll also have a chance to check in during the student led goal setting conferences March 13th and 16th.

Literature Circles

We’ve launched our small group literature circles in 4th grade last week. Groups of 3-4 students met before break to choose from a short list of novels the book that they’ll dive into over the next 2 months. From here out, they rotate through jobs that help them analyze the book, discuss their work and the reading, as well as take turns facilitating their small group. We’ll aim for 2 reading assignments (accompanied by 2 written assignments) each week. We will give between 30 and 40 minutes to read, but some days students may need to finish their reading and assignment for homework. I’m excited for the students get to know their characters and these compelling books over the next couple months.

First Friday- on the 2nd Thursday!

Bravo 4th graders! Earlier this month, the 4th graders announced their service learning project and invited the GWS community to their February Beach Clean up. They’ve really designed this project themselves, and led the charge in almost every way. Brianna and I have provided support and scaffolding (and deadlines!) but this is truly theirs! We hope you can join us on February 1st to “sweep the beaches” clean from Mitchell’s Cove to Main Beach. Thank you to those families who have helped provide donations for our prize giveaways!

A reading resource:

Your kiddos have a voracious appetite for new books (which I appreciate and identify with!) I try to infuse the classroom with a reasonable and steady supply of new reading material, and I realize that I can’t just buy ALL the books! It turns out the library not only checks out physical books, but they also have great digital download/ rental programs through a few different partner apps. Click here to access their page. This is a great way to access reading material for trips, or when your child needs fresh material and it’s not time for another Bookshop SC trip! It’s also a great way to utilize and suppport our public libraries!

Current Learning:

Math: students will be working with a variety of tools to model, read, write, compare, order, compose and decompose fractions and decimals.

Writing: informational (nonfiction) writing. Students will be learning the skills needed to write an article on a topic of their choice.

Reading: students are working through their novels in literature groups.

Science: students will continue their service learning project and later start to explore the kelp forest ecosystem.

Social Studies: we’ve started learning about different native people’s of California. Students are working in groups to research the lifestyles of people living in certain regions of California. Eventually, they’ll be presenting what they’ve learned to their classmates.

Dates, dates, dates!

Saturday 2/1 9:00-11:00 AM: Beach Clean Up with Save Our Shores

Thursday 2/6 5:30-6:30 PM: Coloma information night – details to follow! Kurt will join us to support us and answer questions!

Friday 2/7: First Friday event

Thursday 2/13: 4th grade Love Lunch. We’ll be celebrating our friendships here at Gateway by providing a special lunch for someone else. Details to follow!

Saturday 2/1 9:00-11:00 AM: Beach Clean Up with Save Our Shores

Thursday 2/6 5:30-6:30 PM: Coloma information night – details to follow! Kurt will join us to support us and answer questions!

Friday 2/7: First Friday event

Wednesday 2/12: Spirit Day- crazy everything day

Thursday 2/13: 4th grade Love Lunch. We’ll be celebrating our friendships here at Gateway by providing a special lunch for someone else. Details to follow!

Friday 2/14 and Monday 2/17: No School

Brianna