News from R4

Greetings from 4th grade! 

We are getting into the swing of things here in R4! We start each morning with either a morning meeting or with independent reading. Today we had a morning meeting, which featured snowball greetings, compliments for each other and ourselves too (positive character traits) a challenge to extend our compliment giving throughout the day, and a really fun game called “say-say-do” which helps forge new neural pathways as students are challenged in rounds to 1) say and do what the leader says 2) say what the leader says, but do the opposite, and 3) say the opposite direction, but do the movement. It’s tricky, fun, and really woke us up this morning! 

Last week was our Disco week with Krissie! We got to hang out in the amazing (and huge) Discovery Center and practice perserverence during multiple design challenges. We used spaghetti and marshmallows, newspaper and masking tape, and legos and balloons to create structures and air powered cars! So much creative thinking and teamwork! Well done 4th grade! 

Revising her car before testing it out!
Balloon powered!

Here’s what we are up to in 4th! (Feel free to use these as talking points when your child tells you school is “fine.”) 

Literature studies: We’re continuing to read Amina’s Voice and learn new literature circle jobs. This week were learning how to be “Word Wizards” identifying vocabulary that’s either new/unknown to us, or vital to the story. This includes some good old fashioned dictionary work! 

Science- we’re finishing up our diagrams of the anatomy of the earth. We learned how to read and highlight important information in an article, then transfer this information to bullet points in our notes, and then finally to make a beautiful, easy to read scientific diagrams. 

Social Studies- we’re using CA Weekly Studies newspapers to dip our toes in to social studies topics. This week we are reading about maps, and going deeper with discussions of hemispheres, and latitude and longitude. These newspapers will also support our studies of the regions of CA and the people who live/d in those regions. 

Partners reading together to get ready to share out what they learned about hemispheres.

Math- our exploration of models for multiplication and division continue. Student are exploring strategies for modeling and will hopefully identify which one/s work best/ most efficiently for them. We’ll be learning to find factors for both prime and composite numbers, and creating visual representations of this in partnerships. 

Writer’s Workshop- we’ve been brainstorming, and recording many ideas for realistic fiction in our writer’s notebooks. Today we worked on character development. This type of planning is new for some of the students, but they are engaging in the process with open minded interest. They are eager to start drafting their stories! 

SEL- we’re putting the finishing touches on our 4th grade community charter with Brianna and Tina’s class. 

STEM- Last Friday we launched our 4th grade STEM with a team building challenge. Partners were given exactly one 9 x 12 sheet of paper, 1 pair of scissors, and 1 glue stick to try to make the longest paper chain possible! Teams of two worked hard, and revised their plans. We’ll be revisiting this challenge next week, to talk about teamwork, planning, and revising, and how all this relates to STEM!

Partners planning paper chains!

And finally, a note from Kirsten in PE: 

Please join us for a special class of fitness and fun in physical education. Participate with your child’s P.E. class and experience how they are learning to lead physically active and healthy lives. Class times are listed below. Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 2nd by emailing Kirsten Mehl directly at or by filling out and returning the BYPTP form sent home with your child. 

4th Brianna: Thursday, October 10th 9:30-10:30am

4th Rachel: Wednesday, October 16th 9:30-10:30am

What to Expect: This is a learn by doing event, so expect to run, jump, have fun, play AND LEARN while participating as a member of your child’s P.E. class. If participation is not possible, please come and observe.

What to Wear:  Wear appropriate clothing for exercise and don’t forget your sneakers!

When to Come: Please arrive a couple of minutes before your child’s scheduled class time indicated above.

Where to Go: We’ll meet on the blacktop near the P.E. classroom. Please be sure to check in at the receptionist desk first for a name tag.

What if it rains?  Some classes may have to be rescheduled. Check your email before coming.

Hope to see you on the field!