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!  


September 20-24

Howdy!  As time marches right along, here's what we're up to this coming week.
We are wrapping up the lessons on plot structure, and the kids should be able to explain what it is and how it applies to their realistic fiction texts.  While taking a look at several stories, we'll be sequencing events and justifying why they belong on the "story mountain".  Then we dive into using text evidence to answer questions about those stories.  
Since we've spent some time collecting ideas to write about in our writer's notebooks, it's time to dive into composition.  Using the steps of the writing process, we'll use complete sentences to compose a personal narrative that follows a typical story structure.  Our quest to be authors commences!
Social Studies:  
Our tour with Tumbleweed Tonya of the Texas Regions has come to a close and now it's time to show what we know!  We'll be writing a post card detailing our "visit" to our favorite region, and reviewing for our test on Thursday.  They may use their notes on the test:).  
On the Calendar:
Reading daily grades Wednesday and Thursday
Social Studies test Thursday
Homework due Thursday - passage and reading response
Library Check-out Friday
New homework handed out Friday

Sample Reading Response
Here is a sample of what a reading response should be like.
-complete, thoughtful, complete sentences, uses text evidence, and has been edited for mistakes. 

Week 5 (September 13-17)

Howdy Ho!  It's Tumbleweed Tonya, your friendly tour guide, here to tell ya all about what's going down next week.  
We are beginning a study of the genre of realistic fiction.  One important aspect that we'll spend a good amount of time on is the elements of plot structure, such as setting, problem, and resolution.  
Writing:  As we gather ideas for writing, we'll also be continuing to work on sentence structure, identifying subjects and predicates, and differentiating between good sentences and fragments.  
Social Studies:  
We'll be wrapping up our tour of the regions, writing a postcard, and reviewing for a test next week.  
Important Notes:
*Homework went home Friday and is due Thursday.  I will post it on my page, as well as an example of an appropriate reading response.  Homework includes 20 minutes of daily reading.  
*It's Digital Citizenship Week!. See the Wildcat Wednesday Tales for details!
*Thursday night is Parent Orientation Night.  We have sent out the presentation in case you're not able to make it.  
*Fridays are library days!
*We'll be filming Call to Excellence this week. 

Week 4 Sept. 7-10

I hope you are having a great Labor Day weekend.  After being out all week, I have some catching up to do!
Last week we really worked on character feelings and traits.  We will finish that up this week with a few daily grades before diving in to plot structure.  
Great writers are always collecting ideas that they can use for future pieces, and that's exactly what we'll do.  Sentence structure will also be studied.
Social Studies:
We are off on a tour of the Texas Regions with Tumbleweed Tonya!  We'll be learning the features of each region and taking notes.  A test will follow next week.  
We go to the library on Fridays!

Week 3 August 30-September 3

Happy Friday!
Week 2 is done and we were BUSY!  Fourth grade is a year heavy in deepening understanding and increasing independence.  As time goes on, I try to get the students used to a faster pace so we can fit it all in, which is very difficult.  Your child probably comes home and says how quickly the days go by.  
Often you'll see topics that were supposed to get completed one week get pushed to the next.  It happens!  We do all we can in the 2 hours that we have together.  
As we finish our first read aloud, we are building the habits of thinking and recording in our reader's notebooks.  We will continue that with our second chapter book this coming week and also with their own independent reading.  We will be focusing on character development - noticing how our characters are feeling, changing and interacting and using text evidence to explain and support our own thinking.  We'll also be examining character traits, and citing examples from our books to uphold our inferences.  This is hard work!
I will continue to get independent reading levels and we'll also be taking the Star Renaissance Assessment on the computer this week. 
Our goal is to publish our autobiographies and review the steps of the writing process.  We will have a test (major grade) this week on the process.  They have study pages in their notebooks, and it will be open book.  Afterwards, we'll be collecting ideas in our writer's notebooks for future pieces.  Some time will also be spent on sentence structure. 
Social Studies:  
Poor old social studies gets the short end of the stick, since so much time is spent on the other content areas.  You'll most commonly see ideas roll over here.  We didn't quite get in all of the plans from last week, so we'll continue those this week.  
Other Notes:
  • Wednesday folders come home each week.  Please sign the conduct sheet, even if your child has all 3's.  They get Cat Cash if they return their folder on Thursday and more if it's signed.  
  • Library check out will start after Labor Day.  I do not know our schedule yet.  
  • Expect homework to start after Labor Day. 
  • Remind your child about good health and hygiene.  We wash hands as much as possible to prevent others from getting sick.  
  • We'll be filming Call To Excellence this week. 

Week 2

We made it through the first week, and it was a great one!  I am truly enjoying getting to know each and every one of our students.  
  Each week I will post what we're working on here.  It will also be written on your child's planner.  We are jumping in!  
We are launching our Reader's Workshop, discussing how we reflect on our reading lives, stay focused, and choose good books to read.  
We are reviewing the steps of the writing process as we work on an autobiography.  This will be our first writing grade.  There will be a test on the writing process next week.  They'll need to know what it is, the steps, and what writers do in each step.  They will have study materials in their writer's notebook.  
Social Studies:
We are reviewing some map skills, the continents and oceans, and then zooming in towards Texas, which is where we will spend our time.  
We'll continue to work on procedures and expectations of our classrooms, as well as get to know each other.  
*If your child has any changes to transportation, please send a note with a signature.  I know it's been a bumpy week in that department:/.  
It's going to be a great week!