Important Info

Welcome to Fourth Grade!
 
We are so excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year with our new Wildcats, Class of 2030!  This is a year full of fun, growth, and memory-making as students transition out of elementary school into intermediate.  (We say that with a lump in our throats, since we have fourth graders, too.)  Our students are the leaders of the school, and they are expected to behave as such.  We hope to instill in them a greater sense of independence, responsibility, and self-reliance.  
 
Here are a few things you should know:
*Lunch is at 1:00, and we have a morning snack time each day.  Snacks need to be food that helps our kids learn and focus and food that doesn't make a mess.  They'll be expected to eat while working. 
*Bring a reusable water bottle labeled with your child's name. 
*Tennis shoes are best.  We have PE Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as well as outdoor recess every day that weather permits.  
* We will use our planners!  Check planners each Monday to see what we're working on that week and for upcoming assignments and tests.  We'll probably start this the second week. 
* We will have homework.  Homework is an opportunity to practice skills and responsibility.  It also gives us parents a chance to see where our kids need extra help.  That will begin a few weeks in.  
*Students will be responsible for their own supplies.  Most things will be kept in their backpacks, so neatness will matter.  Please do not allow your child to bring extra things that will distract them in class and clutter up their backpack.  Those will be taken up.  
*Sometimes our classes are cold.  Pack a lightweight hoodie or shirt just in case.  
 
We are always happy and available to address any questions or concerns you have.  Email us anytime and we'll be happy to get back with you.  It's going to be a great year together!  
 

Posts

May 2-6

It is May.  Wow.  We are getting down to the wire around here, and so much is going on!  Here's the plan for this week.
 
Reading:
Students should be finishing up their book club books and moving on to the next phase.  The next steps include taking an AR (comprehension) test over their book and beginning their book report project, which will be a major grade.  The have several options, which include a cereal box book report - so save those boxes, a paper grocery bag report, a clothes hanger report, or a Google Slide presentation.  I will be providing details and examples of each and will load those into Schoology in their reading course.  Those projects are due on or before May 11 and may be completed at school and at home.  
 
We will also begin our STAAR review in the form of...Camp Read-A-Lot!  We will be setting up camp in class to fine tune those reading skills in preparation to put the STAAR test to bed!  If you'd like to help, we'll be needing plastic table cloths from the dollars store (about 20), graham crackers, big Hershey bars, and large marshmallows.  What is camping without S'mores??
 
Writing:  
I'm going a little light this week to make room for reading.  We never did get to the sentence work I wanted to do last week, so that remains on the agenda this week.  
 
Social Studies:
This week we are exploring some events of the Civil War and then move past to cattle drives and cowboys.  YeeHaw!  Friday is our in-school field trip with Texian Time Machine!  

April 25-29

Happy Friday!  I don't know about you, but I'll need a weekend after my weekend.  It's such a busy time of year, and our class is no exception.  We are feverishly trying to get it all in, but some days it just doesn't happen, so we do what we can do!  Here's the plan for next week.  We do have a few "must do" items this week that will take priority over others.  
Reading:
Book clubs are still on the agenda, and I think the kids are really enjoying their books and the collaboration with their classmates.  Our "must dos" this week are taking the Star Renaissance reading assessment online and our reading test, which will be Wednesday.  This one should be a great predictor of how the kids will do on STAAR.  We are giving it on paper because the kiddos typically do better, and you'll have it to review at home afterwards.  This one will be a major grade.  I am also in the middle of assessing independent reading levels for the end of the year. I'll be giving a daily grade on that progress.  
Writing:
With our biographies finished, we'll be easing up a little bit in this arena to make room for the other content areas.  We still need to tackle sentence types and will be working on compound and complex sentences over the next few weeks.
Social Studies:
  Ah...another "must do" item.  Our district gives a benchmark that we must take for data purposes, and it is a doozy.  It will likely not be for a grade because of its difficulty, but I would not be doing my due diligence by not preparing them for the many topics we have not covered that are on this test.  We'll give it the old college try in preparation.  

April 18-22

Happy Easter!  I hope everyone enjoyed a long day celebrating with family.  We're on the final stretch to the end of the year, so hang on tight.  Here we go!
 
Reading:
Book Clubs!  The students will be finding out what book club they've been placed in Monday, after our "Book Tasting" Friday.  They'll be setting a discussion and reading calendar with their groups to make sure they finish the book with enough time left to complete their project before May 11.  We still have a quiz and a passage test coming up, but I don't want to passage them to death.  My hope is that we are prepared for STAAR and that we can spend some time reading authentically.  Because we are in the home stretch, it's time for me to assess end of year reading levels and to give the Star Renaissance computer test one last time as well.  
 
Writing:
We are publishing our biographies this week and will be working on comparative and superlative adjectives.  
 
Social Studies:
We never got around to the annexation of Texas last week, so that's happening this week!
 
Upcoming Dates and Events to Know:
Homework Due Thursday
Library Friday
May 3rd- 4th grade program 6:30pm, students have to arrive at 6:00pm, have them wear their 4th grade t-shirt and jeans. 
May 13th- 4th grade Field trip (Educational movie and lunch at the park) permission slips sent last Wednesday
May 17th- STAAR Reading
May 18th- STAAR Math
May 24th- 4th grade Flea Market- this is for students only, but this is the day each student needs to have their items brought to school to sell. A 2nd flyer came home in folders.
May 25th 4th grade Parade/Step up Party (More info. to come!)
May 26th 4th Grade Awards/Early Release/Last Day of school! 

April 11-14

Next week is a short week - no school Friday, but we're definitely not short on things to do!
 
Reading:  We are starting book clubs!  I am so excited about these because it allows student choice and the enjoyment of reading - that's not centered around testing!  There's a catch though...it requires self-discipline and time management, especially since there is a project (major grade) at the end and their group is depending on them.  We will still have reading quizzes and a test coming up, but my hope and expectation is that we've covered it this year, and they should be ready to fly.  
 
Writing:  That biography project is still in the works.  My plan is to have it finished next week.  We will also be focusing on adjectives that compare.  
 
Social Studies:  Our Texas Tombstone project took a bit longer than I expected.  Now that it should be completed and turned it, we'll move on to the annexation of Texas. 
 
Reminders:
Fine Arts Festival tomorrow!
Homework due Thursday
Library checkout next week - just keep books in backpack, ready to turn in. 
FIELD TRIP info coming home in Wednesday folders!!

April 4-8

It's April!  How did that happen?  Seems like it was January yesterday.  Nevertheless, here we are, and we're pressing onward.  Here's what's in the works for next week.  
 
Reading
Biographies are still the focus.  Most of our time this past week has been spent reading and taking notes.  Hopefully, we are just about done with our research and we're ready to start drafting our report.  Please check in with your child to see if they'll be ready for this step as we won't be having much more research time this coming week.  Along with composing our report, we will be reading biographies and answering questions using text evidence.  There will be a quiz this week after we practice a few days, which will be a daily grade.  Another daily grade will be taken based on their completion and quality of their notes.  
 
Writing:
Most of this time will be spent drafting our report from our notes.  I'll model how to sequence what we've written down and turn it into complete sentences using our own words.  We will also be doing some revising and editing with biographies.  
 
Social Studies:  
As a major grade, we will be creating a tombstone for a famous Texan leader of our choice.  The students will have to write adjectives to describe the person on their tombstone, as well as compose factual and opinionated statements.  Then we'll begin studying the annexation of Texas.  
 
Reminders:
Book Fair is next week.  I will send students that have money to purchase books during our designated time slots on Monday and Thursday.  
Homework is due Thursday
Grades for Progress Report 1 due Friday

March 29-April 1

Run Wild at the Creek was a raging success!  A huge shout out goes to our amazing volunteers, supporters, and visitors.  It was a fun Friday, indeed.  
 
Next week, here's what will be taking place:
Reading:
We going deep into biographies.  All students should have checked out a book about a person.  We'll be reading during class as well as taking notes, learning all about the person we've chosen.  The following week, we'll be turning all of our notes into paragraphs, sharing all we've discovered.  A reading quiz on biographical text will be coming up as well.  
 
Writing:  
The grammar topic will continue to be pronouns.  This week, we've defined them and practiced using them.  Next week we'll be using word referents to avoid repeating ideas in compositions.  We'll have a quiz on pronouns as well.  
Groups 2 and 3 have their spelling tests this week.  
 
Social Studies:
We are learning all about the Republic of Texas!  We'll be comparing and contrasting early leaders of the Texas republic and adding to our booklet, before going into the annexation of Texas into the U.S. 
 
Reminders:
Homework is due Thursday
Library is Friday
 
 
 

March 22-25

Welcome to the home stretch!  I hope everyone enjoyed a nice spring break:).  Here's what's going on this week.  
 
Reading:  We are going to be spending a little time on biographies.  First we'll explore features and organization of the genre.  Then the students will select their own biography book, take notes, and complete a research project sharing all they learned about their person.  
 
Writing:  As we ease back in to writing, first we'll start off on the grammar skill of pronouns.  Once we read our biographies and take our notes, we'll set our sights on composing our report.  
 
Social Studies:  This week we'll be focusing on the Texas Republic and important people involved in it, and how they changed Texas forever.  
 
Important Notes:
No HW this week
Field Day and Fun Run is on Friday, so keep those pledges coming.  Our time is 9:00-10:30.  
Library check out is also Friday
 
Over the break, our school received new desks.  These desks do not allow for two students to store their belongings and aren't exactly conducive to sharing materials the way we were before.  Please keep backpacks clean and stocked with supplies, as we'll likely be storing some class items in the backpack.  Some of those will need to stay in the backpacks.  We are very low on pencils, erasers, and Kleenex in the class as well.  

March 7-11

Last week before Spring Break!  There's quite a bit going on this week.  Here's a quick run-down. 
Reading:  Our nonfiction unit will be coming to a close as we complete our study of text structures.  This week we take the summative assessment given by the district, which will be on the computer.  We will be reviewing for that and practicing test taking strategies for online tests.  This assessment will be our last daily grade for the grading period. 
Writing: With our expository essay being published, we'll be taking a look at some grammar skills, as well as practicing some revising and editing.  There is a revising and editing portion on our district assessment as well. 
Social Studies:  We continue our journey through the Texas Revolution.  The kids are loving it!  
 
Next week is Dr. Seuss week.  A flyer was sent home in Wednesday folders with the dress up options for nest week.  Check our the Wildcat Wednesday Tales for details.  
Friday is our field day and Fun Run.  Hopefully you've created an account for your child and had a pledge or two to raise money for our school.  Our time outside is from 9-10:30.  Details can be found on the links below. 
Homework is due Thursday and we'll also go to the library Thursday instead of Friday. 
Have a great weekend and week!

February 28-March 4

Can you believe it's March!?  It's hard to believe, for sure.  Here's what's happening this week.
Reading:
Text structure:  Each day we're examining a different organization that we can find in nonfiction texts.  Those structures are description, chronological, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and problem/solution.  
Writing:
We are in the middle of composing an expository/informational essay.  We'll be taking this all the way to publishing this week.  We will also be doing some revising and editing practice this week.
Social Studies:
We will be working on the events of the Texas Revolution all week long:). 
 
Reminders:
Picture day is Wednesday - spring portraits and class pictures
Homework due Thursday
Parent meeting regarding Step Up party - Thursday
Library Friday
Dr. Seuss Week next week
Run Wild March 11
 

February 22-25

Good Evening,
  I hope you enjoyed the long weekend.  Here's what's on the books for this coming week.
Reading:  We're wrapping up nonfiction and will have a test on paired passages and nonfiction texts.  This one will be longer to build up stamina for STAAR.  
Writing:  Expository essays - We're writing an essay that includes a thesis statement and supporting paragraphs that explain and support it. 
Social Studies: Test on Tuesday over Missions and colonization.  (a review sheet was filled out in class and sent home Thursday).  We will also review before the test. 
Texas Revolution
 
Reminders:  
Don'f forget to create an account at www.mybooster.com for our school fundraiser.  Each student has a goal of raising $50 to make WCES even better!
It's Spelling test week for groups 2 and 3.  
HW due Thursday
Library Friday
 
Have a great week!

Feb. 14-17

Happy Valentine's weekend!  
  First of all, Monday is Valentine's Day and we will be spreading some friendly cheer by having a quick Valentine exchange and snack at the end of the day.  Please bring Valentines or a treat for each classmate.  We have 21 students in our class.  Also bring a bag or box to keep the treats in.  
 
NO SCHOOL FRIDAY the 18th OR MONDAY the 22nd.  
 
Next week's academic goals are:
Reading:  
Nonfiction - fact/opinion, determining importance, summarizing, and making inferences and drawing conclusions
Writing:
Personal narratives should be published and submitted.  We'll be starting expository writing, composing informational/persuasive pieces. 
Social Studies:
We are still making our way through colonization, but have hopes to finish!
 
Important info in Wednesday Folders!  We are sending home a report that explains how your child performed on their interim assessments that we took in January.  It gives probabilities of them approaching, meeting, and mastering STAAR assessments in May.  The report also lets you know which areas still need growth.  
Have a great weekend!

February 7-11

NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!  Enjoy your cold day and stay warm and safe.  
 
Because school was unexpectedly canceled, I do not have homework copied for next week just yet.  You can expect that Monday, though it will still be due Thursday.  Spelling tests that were scheduled to be tomorrow will be on Monday.  We will also have our Colonization Vocabulary quiz Monday.  Students can study this week on Schoology.  
 
Next week we are working on main idea and supporting details in nonfiction, which will lead us smoothly in summarizing.  
 
In writing, we will revise, edit, and publish our personal narratives, as well as work on some revising and editing skills.  
 
In social studies, we will learn about people who brought settlers to Texas and prepare for our missions and colonization test.  

Jan. 31-Feb. 4

Greetings from our busy class!
Here's what we have planned for next week...
Reading: 
Nonfiction - we have a project on text features that the students will be working on independently with a library book they've check out.  It will be for a daily grade.  We will also be reading non-fiction together, discuss the author's purpose, main idea and details, fact and opinion, and determining importance.  
Writing: 
We finally made it into the drafting portion of our personal narrative.  We will be writing FAST - with feeling, action, setting, and thought, and including each of those elements into our "scenes".  This will be a major grade when all said and done. 
Social Studies:
Texas Colonization - we'll be talking about important people in Texas history, such as Stephen F. Austin, and how they impacted Texas and moved it toward independence. We will have a vocabulary quiz.  There is a study stack activity that they can practice on in Schoology.  A review sheet will also be sent home to review for the missions and colonization test that will follow. 
 
Dates to know:
Homework due Thursday
Library Friday
Counselor lessons Friday
 
Order your class shirt here:
 
 

January 24-28

Happy Frigid Friday!
  Another week, come and gone, and here's the plan for the next busy week.
 
Monday and Tuesday will be largely taken up by Interim testing, which will greatly mimic STAAR testing days.  This test is a good predictor of how the students will perform on the STAAR test.  It's important that your child is here and on time.  We will start the test right after specials at 10:00.  We've been meeting and double checking that students who receive accommodations by way of SIT, 504, or IEP to make sure they have what they need for the tests.  Reading is on Monday and math is on Tuesday.  If your child wears glasses (even blue light glasses), make sure they have them.  Same goes for headphones, if your child has accommodations for parts of the test to be read aloud.  Send along a healthy and simple snack that doesn't make a mess.  Granola bars or a piece of fruit, like a banana or grapes, are great.  Steer away from chips and cookies, etc.  
 
Reading: Nonfiction text and text features will be the focus.  We need to know the author's purpose for writing, the main idea and details, fact and opinion, be able to make inferences, and summarize important information.
Writing:  We'll be composing personal narratives with organization, transitions, lots of details, plot structure, and sprinkle in dialogue.  
Social Studies:  We'll be studying the colonization of Texas.  
 
Homework is due Thursday (no reading response)
Library Day is Friday
We have snack every day - many have been forgetting and ask for food;). 
Have a great weekend!

January 18-21

Ready for the long weekend?  Your kids are!  I am, too!  We've had a pretty busy week this week and although we have a shorter week next week, there's still plenty to do, so here goes!
Reading: 
  I am finished reading individually with all students and have gotten reading levels assessed.  You'll be getting a small sheet home with that level and a grade based on where fourth grade students should be this time of year.  We also completed our Star Renaissance assessment this week, and I'm proud to say that the majority of students are making excellent progress.  
  We will still be working with paired passages this week and will have a quiz on Thursday or Friday.  
Writing:
  We've been practicing using dialogue correctly, with it's many rules and fun uses.  As we begin writing a personal narrative, students will be expected to put their knowledge of dialogue to good use.  Our writing should be taking a good leap forward as we continue to incorporate craft moves into our compositions.  
  Spelling continues, with group 1's first test of the semester on Friday.  Groups 2 and 3 will follow the next week.  All words and dates should be recorded in their planners. 
Social Studies:
 The study of Spanish missions is coming to a close as we begin our unit on colonization of Texas.  We will have vocabulary to study posted in Schoology and take notes on Texas's first colonizers, such as Moses and Stephen Austin.  
 
Other Notes:
*Make sure your child has their Wednesday folders so you can track their performance in school.  Please sign and return Thursday.
*Reading homework is due on Thursday - no additional reader's response required
*Library day is Friday
*If you haven't ordered your child's class shirt, the link is below.