2019/2020 School Year, Off to a Great Start!

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year and to the fourth grade! This page is where you will find information about our current and upcoming events in the classroom. You will receive an email from me with a link to our page when an update has been posted.

The first week back we spent a lot of our time setting up classroom expectations and routines. We got together with Rachel’s class to start working on our grade level charter. The charter is a document that the students write altogether and outlines how they’d like to feel at school, actions they can take to feel this way, and steps to take if conflict should arise.We also started a project that we’ll be wrapping up this week in which we used metaphors to describe what Gateway means to us.

During our second week of school, we had Disco lab. Students worked with Krissie to complete challenges like building a tower from pasta noodles and tape that would support the weight of a marshmallow or a boat made from recycled plastic containers that would float and even propel through water.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be getting to know your children even better as learners through baseline assessments in math, writing, reading, and spelling. These will help me identify areas of strength and room for growth. This week, we’ve started our first lessons in the Bridges math curriculum, Writer’s Workshop, and a novel study of Amina’s Voice.

Below I have some basic beginning of the year information and upcoming learning:

  • Upcoming events:
    • Back to School Night will be next Tuesday September 10 at 7:00 PM. Specialists (art, music, etc.) will also have a presentation at 6:30 PM in which they will go over their curriculum. Childcare is available, please sign up in advance at the office.
    • First Friday- this Friday September 9/6 will be our first, first Friday.
    • No school for staff inservice Monday 9/16
    • Picture day: our class will be taking our pictures Thursday 9/26 9:00-9:30 AM.
    • Bring Your Parent to PE Day Thursday, October 10th 9:30-10:30
  • Homework:
    • reading: our expectation this year is that students are reading at least 20 minutes a night at home in a book of their choice. I will encourage students to mix up their reading practice by choosing books from different genres and also to finish books once they start. I also hope that students will pick books that are “just right” for them, at their level. Usually, a good test to see whether a book is a good fit for students is to have them read a random page in the book and count the number of times they get stuck on vocabulary. If they reach 5 on a single page, the book is too hard. These are not hard and fast rules for picking out books, rather they are guidelines. What is most important to me is that students to enjoy the act of reading and choose books that hold their interest. I will also be sending home literature circle work in which students will need to complete a short response about what we’ve read in the novel we’re reading in class. Around two of these assignments will go home per week while we’re reading a novel.
    • Math: our math program this year includes around 1-2 homework assignments per week. As some of you may have experienced last year, many of the strategies students are learning are very different from how we adults learned in school. I’ll be doing a lot of work in class to set students up for success at home so they can complete their homework more or less independently. We’ll go over the work in class the following day so I can check in with students who were confused on their assignment the night before.
  • Birthdays and celebrations: Celebrations in our classroom are a fairly low key event. We usually sing to them and if they so choose, they may share a healthy treat with their classmates. As of right now, I don’t know of any food allergies in our classroom.
  • Upcoming learning:
    • Math: Unit 1 in Bridges- multiplicative thinking. Students will be learning practicing different multiplication and division strategies to solve problems within 100. A lot of the time parents ask if students should be fluent in their math facts at this point in the year. For simple addition and subtraction- yes, but we’ll be learning multiplication and division strategies all year long! See the emailed parent newsletter for more detailed information.
    • Reading: Amina’s Voice novel study. Students will read the novel whole class and then create short reading responses. Most of this work will be done in class.
    • Writing: personal narrative
    • Social Studies: California regions
    • Science: anatomy of the Earth
    • STEAM: team building and 3D models of the Earth