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Current Newsletter


1-30-21


 

Hi Fourth Grade Families,


We had a great week of in-person learning. This week, we were able to enjoy our snack indoors due to the cold/wet weather outdoors. When the weather is bad outside, students will eat their snacks in our classrooms. This means student’s masks will be off for a short period of time. Some of the protocols we have in place to keep our kids safe when this happens are that students are not able to talk during their snack time, or be turned around in their seat facing other students. The class did a great job this week when we had our snack indoors. As always, our goal is to be outdoors as much as possible so that students may social distance, and be able to visit while eating their snack. Hopefully, with following these protocols, our class will continue to be safe and healthy during these next few months.


On Thursday, February 11th we will have a Valentine Day celebration. Students will be allowed to pass out valentine cards to everyone in their own class. Students may make a box or bag at home to bring with them to school on Feb. 11th to store their cards. Due to COVID and following the guidelines set by the school, students will open their valentines at home, rather than in class. Similar to Halloween, we are asking that parents volunteer to send in individual bags for each student with a prepackaged snack, small juice box or water, and a craft. A Sign Up Genius will be sent to you this week to sign up for an item to donate if you wish. We will also be sending out a list of the students in our class’ first name to use in addressing individual valentine cards. 


***As a reminder, please help remind your child to charge their Chromebook each night so that it is fully charged and ready for school the next day.


Important Upcoming Dates 

Feb. 9 - Picture Day (Individual and Class)

Feb. 9 - Chick Fil A Spirit Day 11-7 (Enjoy lunch or dinner at Chick Fil A)

Feb. 11 - PTA Meeting (Google Meet)

Feb. 11 - Valentine Day Celebration

Feb. 12 - No School: Optional Conferences (If needed, you will be hearing from your child’s teacher this week)

Feb. 15 - No School (President’s Day)

Feb. 26 - No School (Teacher Development Day)


Social Studies/Science

We have continued learning about Colorado during our social studies time. We have had a lot of learning around the state government as well as the federal government. This week we compared and contrasted the two. On Thursday, students took an end of the unit assessment. Next week, we will be back to science and learning about waves and information technology!


Math

In math this week, we started our measurement unit! Students learned about the metric system units to measure distance, volume, and mass. We ended the week learning about how we measure elapsed time. Students measured elapsed time on analog clocks and with word problems.


Reading/Writing

This week we started a new unit called,” Research Inquiry and Design: Open-Ended Research.” We started off our first research project learning about a state of our choice. We checked out books from the Douglas County Public Library, so that students would have text that they could use to research from. Students were each given 1-4 books for their own personal use during this week’s research. Mrs. Darting has been modeling how to research using her home state of Nebraska, and Mrs. Nardi has been modeling how to research using her home state of Illinois. Students shared out their reasons for choosing the state that they did as well. Some of the reasons they mentioned were: they had a relative that lived in that state, it is a state they’ve always wanted to visit etc. Some of the topics students researched about their state this week were: where is the state located in the United States, what city is their state capital, what are their state symbols (mammal, tree, flower, etc), what is their state motto, what does their state flag look like, what does the state seal look like, what is the population of their state, what other states or bodies of water border their state, what is the highest and lowest point in their state, what is their state’s nickname, just to name a few. Students also went deeper with their learning by researching what the meaning behind the state symbols are and how the state symbols were chosen etc. On Thursday, we learned about how to cite the books/search engines we were using and the importance of giving credit where credit is due. This coming up week, students will take all of their learning and write a multi-paragraph paper about their state. Parents, you can check in with your child this weekend to have them share with you what they’ve learned about their state!


Conferences

The spring conferences will be held Friday, February 12th. We will be sending out a link this week to sign up if we need to meet with your family to review an educational plan. To see student progress on classwork, we suggest checking their assignments in Google Classroom and Think Central. We will also be sending home each student’s most recent MAP math and reading scores, along with their personal goals, and a MAP Family Report that will help explain what the numbers mean and a predicted “likely” score for the state CMAS test, per the data. Here are the answers to the questions from the MAP Family Report that you may find helpful:

  • What types of strategies are the teachers using that I may be able to reinforce at home?

    • We recommend practicing multiplication facts, long division, and continuing to read and/or journal nightly. Think aloud and make everyday a learning experience. In each daily Google Slideshow lesson, there are helpful practice sites and prompts at the end of each subject for students to practice too. Encourage lifelong learning and create incentives/rewards for goals reached.

  • Does my child need extra help in any specific areas?

    • Some students may need long-term solutions with an educational plan, and others may just need a quick 1:1 or small group review. We are progress monitoring and using scaffolded instruction daily to ensure students are getting what they need. 

  • How can I help my child’s academic growth at home?

    • Make learning a priority. Check assignments in Google Classroom and Think Central and help your child fix up any work that is incorrect or below standard. Have high standards for work, but also realize they are learning and mistakes are normal. We can learn from mistakes and make them a positive using a growth mindset

  • How do you measure my child’s learning in your classroom?

    • We use daily progress monitoring with informal formative assessments (1:1, small group, and whole group), cumulative summative assessments, rubrics, collaborative group discussions, assignments, and more to track growth toward state standards.

  • When will my child’s progress be measured again, and when can I get an update on my child’s academic growth?

    • Students may take the annual CMAS assessment in March and April of this year. They will be assessed on MAP again in May. Their RIT score number goals are for that end-of-the-year assessment. We will send their MAP growth scores home again at the end of the year. To track their daily work, check their daily assignments in Google Classroom or Think Central. Mid-year report cards will come out towards the beginning of March. 

  • How is my child doing in comparison to grade-level expectations?

    • Students who are performing at grade level and have mastery in a standard receive 3s on classwork. Below a 3 means they are working toward the 4th grade standard (1 meaning there is not adequate growth). Above a 3 means they are working above grade level standards. See scores on assignments and assessments to track your child’s growth throughout the year.

  • What will my child be working on to continue growing or grow towards a mastery of grade-level standards?

    • Students will be working on assignments and assessments that have been developed using a backwards design toward our state 4th grade standards to ensure they receive the instruction needed to reach the unit standards by the end of each unit. 


We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and upcoming week. We continue to appreciate your support and all that you do for us as educators. Happy February!


Sincerely,


Mrs. Vallory Darting, M.Ed.

Mrs. Katie Nardi, M. Ed.

4th Grade Blue Heron Teachers