Friday, September 23, 2016

Reading Theme

Students have been building their vocabulary to describe character traits. After identifying descriptive adjectives that were unfamiliar, they worked together to define the words.

We have read Thank You, Mr. Falker and students have discussed the character traits of Tricia and Mr. Falker to support the theme, lesson learned through characters' traits- words, actions, and feelings. The students have this as a resource to review for their test on Wednesday, Oct.5th. 
The class has also read and corrected The Thirsty Crow and 
A Strong Bond. These should also be reviewed.

Reading Packet- Students have a packet of 4 theme passages. They are to read , then reread using think marks to identify text evidence that support the characters' traits. They should have their journal with them. If not, use the anchor chart above. It is not mandatory to write their answer. However, they should be ready to discuss all the passages on Monday . Theme comprehension test will be on Wednesday.
This counts as their reading challenge! 

Have a safe and relaxing fall break .

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Theme- Character traits

We have begun reading text to identify the theme , lesson, learned through the character's traits.

As we read short narratives, our close reading focus is identifying the theme. Through the character's words,actions, and feeling , we learn a lesson. Our first text was Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon. I asked students to identify text evidence to support Molly's character as we read. This was to model our new close reading focus.
Students then met in groups to discuss how to develop a written response to support her character traits. Here is an example of what that would look like.
          " In the story, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, Molly faced some obstacles (struggles) because she was unusual. Her character modeled perseverance and bravery. For example, when Ronald called her "shrimpo", she ran under him and scored a touchdown. Molly didn't allow Ronald to discourage her. Another example is she stacked pennies on her teeth when Ronald called her "bucky tooth beaver". In the end, Ronald learned the character trait of acceptance because Molly stood up to him."
For those of you wanting to support your child's writing development, here's a suggestion. Have your child reread Amy's Day at the Lake or Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and have him/her identify her character trait. Then practice developing a paragraph that includes text evidence .
                 I hope that you find this helpful.
Only one week until our fall break!
Parent conference forms will be sent home on Thursday.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Close Reading Parent Night

I am holding a close reading parent night this Thursday, September 15th, at 5:30-6:30 pm in my classroom.
Please email me ,, if you plan on attending.
I look forward to meeting with you!

Reading Plot

Our short week was an extremely busy one! We have been focusing on the elements of plot. This standard has been taught through whole group reading of Stone Soup,youtube- listening and discussing of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, partner reading The Mystery in the Backyard and The Escape . Students have been strengthening their sentence structure through developing detailed responses on graphic organizers. As I provide feedback, they revisit their writing and make corrections.
This week , we will read Amy's Day at the Lake and Stranded in Wyoming. These will be teacher lead lessons. On Thursday, the students will have a test on the elements of plot.
I have been meeting with students to discuss their writing scores on the informational writing assessment. They have acknowledged a strength and area to improve upon. This reflection sheet will be kept in their writing notebooks.
We will begin our focus on strengthening opening paragraphs for a narrative story that will grab our reader's attention and clearly convey our purpose for writing. Students will use their goal on the reflection sheet when revising their paragraph.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Current Happenings

This week the students practiced Relative Pronouns Race to prepare for their quiz.

 I met with students in small groups to guide them in writing complete written responses for comprehension questions from their reading homework on Man-Made Features. Complete written responses are what is expected and this will strengthen sentence structure in student's writing .

I should have all 43 writing assessments graded by this coming week. Students will reflect on their grades and develop a writing goal for the domain( ideas, organization, style, and conventions) in which they are the weakest. I will then group the students accordingly for guided writing groups .

Unfortunately due to Monday being a holiday and Tuesday is ALP day, I will not be able to give another reading test before Thursday's progress reports. There will NOT be a spelling test this week!

On Friday we had our introduction to Plot- story elements. This includes exposition (character and setting) ,rising action (leading up to problem) , climax, falling action (leading up to solution) , and resolution. Mrs. Tansill's students were to go online and listen to the end of the story, Stone Soup, and complete their graphic organizer. This was the trade they made to have recess because of super specials changing our Friday's schedule.

I want to thank you for the wonderful communication by emails!! If I don't know an issue, I am unable to address it. Fourth grade requires more independence and responsibilities for students. Let's keeping working together for their success :)

Foundation :  The Foundation Funding Drive has been extended through September 16.  This is the Foundation's largest fundraiser for the year to help continue to keep our Science Lab going as well as provide other enrichment for the students and resources for Addison.  
There will be a classroom competition! The class with the highest % of participation by 9/9 will win an ice cream party! (right now, Mrs. Gillenwater is in 1st place)
 The top two classes participating in the Drive in each grade level will receive an iPad, too!!  A percentage of the funds raised also comes directly into our classroom.
 Don't forget... 
When we hit $20,000, Mrs. Hallmark and Mr. Cohen will spend some time up on the roof for all to see!!!
When we hit $25,000, they will KISS A PIG!!
When we hit $30,000, the kids will get to tape Mrs. Hallmark and Mr. Cohen to the WALL.  
Please support us in this effort! Visit for details.  

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Health Test

We will have a Personal Hygiene health test on Wednesday, Sept. 7 ! Your child has their chapter 2 summary and vocabulary test. Please have him/her correct it by using the key I have provided. Unfortunately we were unable to do this in class as we needed to pass the books along to another 4th grade class.
They will also need to review their Brainpop quizzes.
The test will include multiple choice, matching, and fill in the blank using a word bank.