Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May/June 2013 Newsletter

Dear Families of Room 209 Students,

My how the spring has flown by!  I can’t believe that I can count the weeks of school that are left on less than two hands.  I’ve so enjoyed this class that I can’t believe our time will be coming to end before we know it.  We still have lots of learning to do so please do everything you can to ensure that your child knows that summer vacation doesn’t begin until June 18th.  Read on to learn about what’s in store for May and June. J

Math: For the remainder of the year, we will be working with measurement, graphing, and probability and reviewing to make sure we are solid in our fourth grade skills and ready for fifth grade.  Please check in with your child daily about their math understandings as quick checks for understanding along the way ensure strong understanding and help your child to avoid huge misconceptions about math concepts.  Some students aren’t able to recognize when they don’t understand and then struggle as more learning is added to a shaky foundation.  Thank you for all your support in completing math homework so that it is correct and complete daily.  Please remember to keep math facts going so that they are strong and not forgotten.  This continues to be one of the most important skills fourth grade students need mastered.

Reading: In reading, we will move into more integrated studies for reading as we research about pioneer life and westward movement.  Students will also participate in a book club group where they will read a historical fiction novel that focuses on pioneer and Native American life and have periodic meetings with their classmates to discuss the book.  We will use our synthesizing skills to bring all our learning together from multiple texts.

Writing:  The students did an excellent job with their Cave Stories.  Thank you for your support in getting them typed up.  Our writing for the remainder of the year will be integrated into social studies and science.  In social studies, students will write a CBA essay (read more about this in the social studies section).  Students will also write pioneer journal entries from the viewpoint of a pioneer person.  In science, students will write about their understandings as they learn about magnetism and electricity.

Social Studies:  After MSP testing, students will learn about pioneers and life on the Oregon Trail as we read about that time period through lots of resources.  Students will participate in a Pioneer simulation where they will take on the persona of a pioneer person and endure certain fates that befall them as they move their wagon train (table group) along the trail (a map on the wall in our classroom).  Students will be working on the Social Studies Classroom Based Assessment (CBA) People on the Move.  This assessment has the students complete an essay that they work on in class which will answer these guiding questions with regards to pioneers: 1) Where did this group start?  2) Where was their destination?  3) What route did they take? 4) Why did they leave? 5) Why did they choose that destination? 6) What were the costs of the trip?  7) What were the benefits? 8) How does the movement of this group help us understand why people move today?   Students will also create a map that shows this movement.  We will also be learning about the regions of Washington and why people would want to move to each region in order to create a Washington State Brochure.

Science:  Our science kit this trimester is magnetism and electricity.  Students will learn about how magnets attract and repel one another and why.  Students will also learn about electricity and how it flows in a circuit.  Students will construct an electromagnet, series circuits, and parallel circuits.  Most students find that this is their favorite science kit of the year.  

Important Dates Coming Up:
Early Release for Assessments: Friday, May 17th at 1:15 pm
Oregon Trail Presentation with speakers from the Oregon Trail Museum: May 22nd from 9:45-10:45 am
Track Meet: June 4 at 4:00 pm
Memorial Day: NO SCHOOL- May 27th
Volunteer Tea: May 29th at 11:00 am
Multicultural Night: May 30th 6:00 pm
Recorder Concert: June 6th 7:30 pm
Field Day- June 13th at 9:30 am
Early Release for Teachers to work on Report Cards- Friday, June 14th at 1:15 pm
PTO Carnival- June 15th 5-8 pm
Last day of school: June 18th from 9:15-11:15 am

Thank you so much for taking the time read our newsletter to know what we’re up to.  Thank you for your support.  Please contact me with any comments, concerns, or questions.  I appreciate you,

Karri Allen

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