Despite the many interruptions to our learning as a result of snow and ice days, we're making good progress on our learning as fourth graders! Aside from lots of mid-year testing (Discovery Math & Reading and Inquizit Math), here's a bit of what we've been working on and what is to come...
Out on Monday
I'm going to be out of the building on Monday. My youngest daughter, Chloe, is having her 3 month scans at the DeVos Children's Hospital. For those who don't know, Chloe was diagnosed with a stage III Wilm's Tumor, a rare childhood kidney cancer, when she was four years old. She went through a couple of surgeries and six months of chemotherapy, and is now doing well. She has to go in for tests every three months to make sure that all is well.
We will be having our first ticket auction of the year on Tuesday afternoon to reward those who have been earning and keeping our class bonus tickets. At each auction, students have the opportunity to bring in 1 or 2 items that they may be interested in auctioning off to the class. They will get to keep the tickets that the purchasing student pays for the item(s). Please limit the items to simple little toys, stuffed animals, etc. No electronics or anything that requires batteries. I will also have a variety of items that I have purchased to auction off.
No Assigned Homework over Thanksgiving Break
This year I’m not assigning any homework over Thanksgiving Break. It would be great if students still read something on their own each day (and will need to if submitting this month’s BookIt! Calendar), but they will not need to respond.
Swimming starts on Monday, Dec. 1st
Don’t forget to add it to the family calendar! Pathfinders will be swimming each day starting Monday, Dec. 1st at 10:00am. Please make sure your son or daughter has a separate bag (plastic grocery bag is fine) with a swimsuit, towel, and comb/brush.
Two quick notes on this snowy Monday morning.
First, we are starting unit 3 (division concepts) in math this week. I am giving students the option choosing to have paper notes as we've been completing for units 1 and 2 or a digital copy. We have been using an app called Notability on our iPads to annotate (take notes) on PDFs. Many students have been enjoying this new method, plus there isn't the issue of lost notes.
If students (or parents) find that after a couple of lessons that their selection isn't working for them, they will be welcome to choose the other option.
Second, we will hopefully be wrapping up our life science unit this week. In the past I've passed our critters (Dwarf African Frogs, pond snails, and guppies) on to another classroom in ZPS, but they don't want them this year. If your family would like to have some/all of the critters, let me know. You would need to have:
Shop Online: scholastic.com/readingclub
One-Time Class Activation Code: GNG4M
Good news! This month's Scholastic Reading Club flyers are ready for you to explore with your child. Children read more when they choose their own books, so I encourage you to look at the flyers together. Each flyer is filled with grade-specific, affordable titles and Storia eBooks.
Place your order online at scholastic.com/readingclub or return the order form and payment to me. Ordering online is the easiest way to ensure I get your order on time. Also, there are more books to choose from as well as teacher recommendations.
Remember, for every book you order, our class earns FREE Books and supplies...and we have our eye on some new additions.
Thank you for your support!
PS: Books make wonderful gifts! Please let me know if your order includes a gift, and I will contact you when it arrives.
If This Is Your First Time Ordering Online:
- VISIT scholastic.com/readingclub
- ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code (top of this letter)
- SHOP from a carefully curated selection of the best books, value packs, and Storia eBooks
- SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classroom
- All book orders will be shipped to our classroom so we can celebrate the joy of reading together!
October has been a busy month for the Pathfinders! Here's a bit about what we've been working on (as told by the class):
We have working on improving our reading responses, including our stretched thinking, making it visible, and supporting it with evidence from the text. (We've also been experimenting with a digital reading response notebook.) We have also been setting personal reading goals each week focusing on items that help us to become better readers. You can read some of our weekly "best thinking letters" (and personal narrative pieces from some of us) on our KidBlog site: http://kidblog.org/PathfinderTeam-3
We have been focusing on editing on personal narrative pieces, getting them ready for publication. We have also been learning how to correctly include dialog with quotation marks. Also, we have been learning how to paragraph and separate information in our personal narratives. (We have also been making sure to include correct punctuation and capitalization in our pieces!) Since we use a "digital writing workshop," writing in Google Drive we have been trying to remember to use the home row.
In word study we have been doing many things including learning how to read larger words by paying attention to prefixes and suffixes, new spelling patterns and making sure we know long and short vowel sounds, and identifying subjects and predicates.
In Math we have been working on multiplying 3 digit by 1 digit numbers. Mostly we have been using the area model, but we've also been introduces to many other models! We get to choose which one works best for us. Recently we looked at word problems with too much or too little information. It is super important to know our multiplication facts. It makes class work a lot easier!
We have learning about adaptations for plants and animals. We shared our learning through presenting a short Haiku Deck to the class about an animal we chose to research.
In Social Studies we have been studying the U.S. and its regions. We are also working on learning about the landforms found in the U.S. We have been using geography skills and a variety of special purpose maps as we study the U.S.
On the horizon....
- Halloween Party next Friday. Look for a note coming home today.
- Parent-Teacher Conferences are a couple of weeks away.
Note from Mr. H-A
The Pathfinder Team has every reason to be proud of themselves as learners. They have been learning a lot of new things every day and taking risks sharing their thinking in public - both to our class and using technology. As in all learning, it isn't perfect each and every day, but the important thing is to grow. There has been a lot of growth!
I'm looking forward to seeing each of you at parent-teacher conferences in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
P.S. If you send me an email (email@example.com) letting me know that you read this your son or daughter will get 10 tickets. :>)
Shop Online: scholastic.com/readingclub
One-Time Class Activation Code: GNG4M
Encouraging reading is one of the most important things we can do to help your child succeed. It can be tough finding the right books to keep them interested, which is why I am so excited that our class will be participating in Scholastic Reading Club this school year.
With Scholastic Reading Club:
• Every book you buy earns FREE Books for our classroom library
• You can choose from handpicked, grade- and reading-level-specific books for your child
• You'll find the best values on a variety of formats, including eBooks
Each month, your child will bring home Reading Club flyers. Together you can choose from books hand-selected by teachers and experts, and then order online or by returning your order form and payment to me.
I'd also love some help growing our classroom Reading Club. If you'd like to help out, please let me know! I'm excited to get our class reading!
Thank you for your support,
“Life is either a daring adventure… or nothing at all.” - Helen Keller
Welcome to a new school year! It was great to meet most of you at Open House and during the first few days of school. I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Kip Holland-Anderson, but my students call me “Mr. H-A.” This school year will be my nineteenth year as a teacher (WOW! Where do the years go?).
I was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and graduated from North Park College in Chicago, IL where I student taught in a 4th grade classroom. Upon graduating I was offered a position working with 8th grade students. After my wife and I moved to Holland, MI, I continued teaching 8th graders at Creekside Middle School where I taught for nine years. In 2006 I requested a transfer to 4th grade and this year will be my eighth year at Roosevelt. My wife teaches 4th grade part-time at East K-7 in Holland Public Schools where our three kids attend school.
I chose the theme of the Pathfinder Team for our classroom because I believe that learning is a journey and an adventure. As the quote above states, life is a “daring adventure.” I like to extend that to education and learning as well. Learning is a daring adventure in that sometimes it is picturesque, easy-going, and feels great. Other times the journey is difficult, challenging, and possibly frustrating. Sometimes it will take risks to step out and try new things. Yet, as with all great adventures I believe that when we reach the end of the school year we will look back and be amazed at how far we’ve traveled together and how much we’ve learned.
If you ever have a question or comment, please feel free to contact me either by phone, e-mail, or by sending in a note (contact info. is at the bottom of the page). I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able!
Odds and Ends
Here's a quick look at what the fourth grade Pathfinders are working on and will be working on in the coming month:
We're continuing to read nonfiction text. This is often students least favorite genre as it is often more challenging to comprehend. Yet, as with all things, the more we practice the better we become at it.
Students have been writing informational pieces on topics of their choice. Along the way, we've had to learn how to research both in books and online (looking for reliable information), take notes, organize our information, and then write it in a way that is interesting to our readers. Their pieces are coming along nicely and we'll be sharing them soon.
We spent a couple extra days on our measurement unit this week. It was a challenging unit - made more so due to teaching the unit in the weeks before Spring Break. We're now moving into a unit on fractions.
We've wrapped up our unit on energy and, as you most likely have heard due to our Moon Logs, we're studying the movements of the Earth, Moon and Sun. We'll continue to watch the moon over the next week to see how it changes from being a full moon as seen a few days ago.
We're studying economics in Social Studies. Students are finding it interesting as so much of it relates to daily life. When you're out shopping together, ask your son or daughter about how prices are determined or how businesses decide what products to make.
Plans are getting set for our May 6th field trip to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. Next week we'll begin reading about many of the people, places, and ideas from history that we'll see during our visit. Check out the museum's website for more information. http://www.thehenryford.org/
Students who ordered yearbooks received them earlier in the week. I was asked to pass along the following website link for anyone who may be interested in ordering a copy: www.geskusphoto.com/yearbookorders/
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for the continued support,