Monday Messages…Week of October 23 – 27, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome back form Fall Break. I hope it was nice and relaxing for you. We have had a busy day already this morning and we have a busy, but fun couple of weeks ahead of us until the end Term 1. This week is Anti-Bullying Spirit Week. We have many fun plans for the students throughout the entire week. Attached you will find our poster with the list of activities. Please read through it carefully.

Please Click on this link for Anti-Bullying Spirit Week: Anti-Bullying Spirit Week Oct 23

In conjunction with Anti-bullying week, we are also “celebrating” Red Ribbon Week.  The 23rd-31st is Red Ribbon week nationally.  To celebrate this week, all students received a red ribbon to wear throughout the week.  Each ribbon has a number on it, and every day we will call numbers for prizes.  These numbers will be called at the end of the day every day.  f a student has a ribbon with that number on it, they can come down to the office, show their ribbon, and get their prize.  They must have the ribbon with that number on it to receive the prize (so if they lose it on Monday, and their number is called on Tuesday, they are out of luck, and another number will be called.)  This is for all grades, K-9 and for the teachers and teacher’s Aides! Be sure to keep track of your red ribbon so you will have it if you win!

Parents, please be sure you are helping your child re-do any mistakes on Exit Tickets and Tests to bring up Math scores to improve grades. You make check Aspire to see those changes and to keep informed as I try to enter grades at least once per week.

In Eureka Math this week we will be taking our End-of-Module Test for Module 2, and we will move on to Module 3. Today and Tomorrow will be review and the test will be on Wednesday, then we will begin Module 3 on Thursday or Friday, depending on how long it takes the students to get through the test.

We took our Spelling Pre-test for Unit 7 today. The class has written their new words into their L.A. notebooks and they have their new Spelling Contract to work on in class. The Spelling Test will be on Friday, so please help your child study the words at home if need be.

We are diligently working on our Monster Cafe Writing. The class is off to an amazing start! They are working on this writing project daily now and we will present on Halloween (next Tuesday). Parents who are available are welcome to come see their children present. Please look for more information on this topic to come home in the next few days.

This will be our last week for our Rocks, Minerals, and Soils Unit in Science. Next week my class will be rotating to Ms. Cerny’s room for a new Unit on Weather. The Weather Unit is a very fun Unit and the students will come away with the knowledge to help them determine the weather all throughout the remainder of the year. We find that the students enjoy this particular unit over most throughout 4th grade so I am very excited for our class!

Below you will find a link to a letter that will be coming home with your child tomorrow. This letter has been long anticipated by your children. I have a female Russian Tortoise who likes to come and live with us in our classroom during the school year. However, before she can come I must have permission from every parent of the students in my class. Please watch for this letter in the Homework folder of your child’s docket on Tuesday and read, fill out, sign, and return the letter to school by the end of the week. As long as I have everyone’s permission by Friday, Cheeseburger the Tortoise can come to school this coming weekend and be here on Monday to meet the class! If, for some reason your child does not get this letter home to you, you may print it from this page to send back to school.

Click on this link to open/print the permission letter for the class Tortoise: Cheeseburger Letter

Other Important School News:

10/26/17 – Crazy Corn Maze 6 pm – 10 pm

10/31/17 – Happy Halloween – students may dress up in a costume, however no face painting, masks, weapons, blood or gore, and it needs to be modest! Thank you.

11/2/17 – Re-Take Picture Day

Thank you and have a wonderful evening.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Smith

 

 

Monday Monologue…Week of October 9 – 13, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,

I would like to begin this message by explaining a few little things about the Aspire Grade book. I have had many parents sending Emails asking about Assignments with empty slots (no grade in them). The empty slots are not missing work or a missed assignment. If you see an empty slot it is because I am still grading the work and have not entered the grade yet. I can create an assignment that is due at a future time down the road and leave the slots blank until the time the assignment is due. Then once I correct the work I will enter the grade. If a student has a missing assignment the slot will have an “M” in it for missing. If the slot has a “0” it is because the students received a zero on the assignment. If there is an “E” in the slot it is an excused assignment. teachers can choose to excuse an assignment due to absences longer than a few days, or for classwork that cannot be made up. I hope this clears up any confusion you may have. If you still have other questions about grading, please feel free to send another Email.

This week is our first round of Parent/Teacher Conferences. I think the majority of the class is now signed up and I am looking forward to sitting down with each individual student and their parents and making some goals and getting some things squared away for the end of Term 1 coming up on October 27, 2017. Please also remember, we have Fall Break coming up next week from October 16th to the 20th, so if your child has any missing work they will need to really buckle down and possibly even do some extra Homework to get caught up before the 27th.

This week, due to Parent/Teacher Conferences, we have three Early Out Days, beginning on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 and running through Friday, October 13, 2017. School will be out at 12:35 each day. On Wednesday the conferences will begin at 2:00 p.m. and will continue every 20 minutes until 6:00 p.m. On Thursday the appointments begin a bit earlier at 1:20 p.m., but still run every 20 minutes until 7:00 p.m. I also have a few appointments right after school on Friday, so please, if you have not signed up yet, click on this link  to sign up now:   http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4faaad2fabfb6-october1

Remember, our awesome Scholastic Book Fair begins tomorrow and will be open the rest of the week all during the hours of parent/Teacher Conferences! Reading is so fundamental in a child’s education and this is a great opportunity to pick up some great books for your child or children to enjoy throughout the year!

Friday, October 13, 2017 is our Ascent Family Skate Night at Classic Skating in Sandy. Join your friends and classmates and come have a fantastic night skating!

For Spelling this week the students are on List 6. It is a review list of various words from Lessons one through five. The class wrote all of their words in their L.A. Notebooks today and they should now be in the back of their dockets if you would like to begin studying for the Test on Friday! They can also be found on the Spelling Page of the Blog and Any list will work, because they are all the same this week.

If you have other questions or comments, please feel free to send an Email at any time. Have a wonderful week.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Smith

 

Tuesday Talk…Week of October 2 – 6, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,
October is upon us and we will be adding a few new and exciting pieces to our curriculum. The first is the monthly Book Reports. I will send home the documents for the book reports tomorrow. I have also attached them to the Weekly Email (sent previously today) and uploaded them to the Blog. So you may print them if they become lost or if you just need to read through them to understand how they work. The actual Projects to choose from are all in a pink book inside my classroom. Every month when I hand out the new Book report Form, each student should go to the pink book and choose their project for the month.You will find the assigned Genres for each month on the Directions form. I cannot wait for this to get underway. The Reading Homework is my favorite, by far of anything the students do throughout the year as it really lets their creativity shine through. One thing that really helps is for parents to check in with their child periodically throughout each month to be sure they are on track to finish their book and the report by the end of the month as this project is worth a total of 30 points each month, which can be a huge part of their reading grade. Look for the forms to come home by the end of the week along with a new Reading Calendar for the month of October.
Today we finished our End-of-Module 2 Test in Eureka Math and we will be moving on to Module 2 beginning tomorrow with Lesson #1. There are only a total of 5 lessons in this small module, so we should complete it by the end of next week. There is also only and End-of-Module Test for this module and no Mid-Module-Test, so by week after next we should be moving right along to Module 3. Many of the parents have sent their children to me or written Emails to me letting me know that the Math seems to easy for their children. I know for some students it seems really easy right now, but at least the first 20, and even to a point, the first 30 lessons of the school year are a lot of review. As the year progresses, so will the lessons. In fact, the math gets much harder in 4th grade as the year moves on, so please bear with me as all of Module One was basically review. Please give it a bit more time to see those challenges come for your child. Another aspect of Eureka Math that perhaps you do not know is that Eureka breaks down the problems and concepts into smaller parts than when we adults were their age and learning to do math. Eureka Math is also Unique because it teaches to each individual child by giving a variety of way to solve a problem instead of just teaching one way. This is very beneficial as one child may not learn the same as the next. Eureka Math shows us that any child with any learning style can do math.
The students took their Spelling Pre-tests yesterday and wrote their lists inside their L.A. Notebooks, which should be in the backs of their Dockets. If you feel your child needs to study at home throughout the week to get 100% on their test on Friday, that is where you will find the words. You can also find the word lists on the Blog, of coarse! Spelling contracts are called, “Spin it to Win it!” this week and will be worked on each day in class. On Thursday, if this contract has not been finished, your child will bring it home for homework. Please do not work on the contract at home until Thursday night!
****Parent/Teacher Conferences are on Wednesday, October 11, Thursday, October 12, and Friday, October 13, 2017. Please sign up for a time to meet with me on Wednesday or Thursday. If neither of these days will work for you, please Email me separately to set up a time that will work for you on Friday, October 13, 2017. The Sign-Up Form went home in a previous Email today, but if for some reason you did not receive it, here is the link again:               http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4faaad2fabfb6-october1                Please click on the link provided and sign up. Also, please note, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Please remember if you have any questions or concerns I have not addresses, you may Email me at any time. I try to answer my Emails as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Thank you and have a Wonderful Evening.
Mrs. Richelle Smith BSED
4th Grade Teacher
Ascent Academies of Utah
West Jordan, Utah Campus

A Long, but VERY Important Monday Monologue…Week of September 25 – 29, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,

Last week we had the opportunity to use a Rocks and Minerals Toolkit from the Natural History Museum of Utah during our lessons in Science. I also have a variety of Rocks and Minerals in our classroom and in our Science Closet here at the school. It has been fun learning about Rocks, Minerals, and Soil so far. Today we learned how the Rock Cycle works and if you go to the Science page you will find picture of some of the rocks and minerals we were able to work with.

Now, for an important message. I know it is long, but please read to the end. 

For some of us, it’s just our nature to talk a blue streak; other more silent types mull things over in their head. I know I am a talker and it seems that many of the students in the class are as well. Girls and boys have different levels of chattiness and in our class we have a few chatty girls and and abundance of chatty boys!

I have read that non-stop talking can sometimes be a child’s way to ask for an audience. Children who feel they aren’t being noticed will find a way to get noticed and talking incessantly is one way. However, there is a time and a place for talking and during a lesson is not the time or the place. I wanted to share some of the ways I am trying to help our class be less talkative and more productive. My hope in sharing is that you will praise your children at home for a job well done if they have a great day, but that you will also lend a hand in reminding your children of the importance of listening and trying to keep our chattiness in check on our off days.

One thing I ask is how one thinks it might feel for someone who was really excited to share something, but didn’t ever get a turn to talk. I think every child can relate to this. I also post our daily schedule so students can see just what our day looks like. I explain that time dominos. I use actual dominos to demonstrate. I set them up and then I ask what happens to them when I push the first one over. The students respond by telling me that one falling over causes the next and then the next to fall until all of them have fallen down. I then explain that time is just like this. If we push our first allotment of time into our second and then into our third and so on, then eventually we just run out of time.

I want to give all of the children a voice and I respect their opinions — I want to hear them, so I try not to squelch that intellect and excitement to share as much as possible. The problem is that sometimes it’s too hard to sit for a time when all the children want to do is tell me, or their neighbor things, but there are times when  everyone has to sit and be quiet so our time doesn’t domino. If our Math time dominos into our Specials, then we must finish our Math during a time when I would like to give the children a break. I don’t feel that taking their Brain break (and therefore their morning snack from them is helpful, so instead I would like to ask them, “What would help you?” And then problem-solve. Perhaps if the children can help to come up with the solution, it’s more likely to be successful.

Please remind your children to talk less so they can learn and earn more.

Math: Today we did Lesson 14 in Eureka Math. This week we are using our understanding of the Place Value System to decompose multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. We will complete lessons 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in class this week.

Spelling: Today the class took their pre-test for Spelling and wrote their words in their L.A. notebooks. The new word lists are also on the Blog. Please help your child study their words at home if they need the extra practice throughout the week. Some students received a lower score on their Spelling Test last week and I believe they may just need a bit of extra practice. We will do our Spelling Contract throughout the week in class. Please remember, you will find the Language Arts notebook in the back of your child’s Docket behind all of the folders. We will have a Spelling Test on Friday.

Science: We are working on our Rocks, Minerals, and Soils Unit. Please see the Science Page for more information.

***Please remember to send back the snack size baggie with a non-perishable snack and a family picture in it for your child to put in our emergency pack, if you have not done it already. We are still missing a good amount and want to ensure that your child has a bit of comfort and something to eat in the event of an emergency at the school. It is always good to plan ahead.***

Have a wonderful week and please do not hesitate to Email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you so much,

Mrs. Smith

Monday Messages…Week of September 18 – 22, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,

Math: Today we did Lesson 11 in Eureka Math. We are using our understanding of the Place Value System to add multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. The class seems to be understanding it well. This week we will complete lessons 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. We will also take some time to review and correct anything the students may have missed on their Mid-Module Assessment.

Spelling: Today the class took their pre-test for Spelling and wrote their words in their L.A. notebooks. The new word lists are also on the Blog. Please help your child study their words at home id they need the extra practice throughout the week. We will do our Spelling classwork and activities in class throughout the week. Please remember, you will find the Language Arts notebook in the back of their Docket behind all of the folders. We will have a Spelling Test on Friday.

Reading: This week we will continue reading and studying the informational article entitled “Remember September”. This is a passage that teaches about all of the seasonal changes and all of the Patriotic Holidays throughout September. We are still going over close reading, text structure, and Key Ideas and Details. This week we may also begin to learn about Integration of knowledge and Structure when reading.

Science: We have begun our new unit on Rocks, Minerals, and Soil. We are fortunate to have a Rocks and minerals tool kit from the Natural history Museum of Utah at our disposal this week.  We are very excited for the benefits it will give the students in their learning journey.

***Please remember to send back the snack size baggie with a non-perishable snack and a family picture in it for your child to put in our emergency pack, if you have not done it already. We have had quite a few, but are still missing a good amount and we want to ensure that your child has a bit of comfort and something to eat in the event of an emergency at the school. It is always good to plan ahead.***

Have a wonderful week and please do not hesitate to Email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Mrs. Smith

Monday Monologue…Week of September 11 – 15, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,

Today began with a lot of excitement over the things that are happening in the world. The students had a hard time sitting still and keeping quiet as we watched CNN10 and Heard more about the hurricanes and a huge earthquake that struck Mexico over the weekend.

Of coarse we also began to learn all about Patriot Day (September 11, 2001). We will continue talking about it all throughout this week. I had the privilege of attending a Special Professional Development called The Medal of Honor, The War on Terror couple years ago at Valley Forge, Pa. While I was there, learning many good ways to teach about 9/11 and the War on Terror, I was able to meet an amazing Man named Leroy Petry, an Army Master Sergeant who won the Medal of Honor in May of 2008. During the war in Afghanistan, even while he was shot through both legs, he saved his fellow Rangers by picking up and throwing an enemy grenade, thus resulting in his hand having to be amputated.

     

Also, while we were there, one day we were taken by bus into New York City to visit the New World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I have many pictures from that day of my walk through the museum. I also have magazines (from the time) and many books with stories to share. We should really be able to learn a lot and I hope I can make a positive impact about this tragic event in our history with your children. If your families have artifacts from that day or if you have a story you would like to share throughout the week I would love to have you bring them in and share with the class. Just send me an Email and we can set aside a good time.

Math: Today we finished Lesson 9 in Eureka Math. We are still learning about the Place Value System and we have been learning to round to the nearest thousand, ten-thousand, and hundred-thousand. Today’s lesson objective was to round to any given number. The class seems to be understanding it well. This week we will complete lessons 9 and 10 and we will have a review day on Wednesday. Then Thursday and Friday we will take the Mid-Module Assessment for Module 1.

Spelling: Today the class took their pre-test for Spelling. We were not able to write our words in our notebooks, but they are on the Blog so feel free to have your child write them at home in their L.A. notebooks. They will be able to tell you what list they are on for the week. Those who do not write them tonight will do them as a part of their morning work tomorrow. We will do our Spelling classwork and activities in class throughout the week. They keep their Language Arts notebook in the back of their Docket so remember to help your child study for the test at home if they need to. We will have a Spelling Test on Friday.

Reading: We have begun Guided Reading. This week we will continue reading and studying the informational article entitled “Remember September”. This is a passage that teaches about all of the seasonal changes and all of the Patriotic Holidays throughout September. We are also learning about close reading, text structure, and our big focus this week is the Key Ideas and Details of the article.

Science: I know it seems we just began to learn about the Water Cycle, but we are hoping to wrap it up this week and begin our Science rotations with the other 4th grade classes. Our rotations consist of 5-6 week rotations including pretest, review and post test. Science is taught 4 times a week on M-Th. Each teacher will teach 1 Unit for 5-6 weeks, and then classes will rotate to the next teacher. Weather is taught by Miss Cerny, Rocks and Minerals is taught by Mrs. Smith, and Utah Biomes is taught by Mrs. Cox. We are very excited for the rotations as we have seen how much it benefits the students in the past. I am sure the students will love it!

***Please remember to send back the snack size baggie with a non-perishable snack and a family picture in it for your child to put in our emergency pack, if you have not done it already. We have had quite a few, but are still missing a good amount and we want to ensure that your child has a bit of comfort and something to eat in the event of an emergency at the school. It is always good to plan ahead.***

Please do not hesitate to Email me if you have any questions or concerns. Have a very pleasant evening.

Sincerely,  Mrs. Smith

Tuesday Talk…Week of September 4 – 8, 2017

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope you all had an amazing Labor Day weekend. I know I got some much needed rest and down time. I am happy to be back in school today and ready to go!!! We have learned so much throughout the first two weeks of school about classroom procedures and school rules. We also made up our own class rules to use and follow throughout the year. We have also got a new classroom behavior plan in place. Of course, we follow the PEAKS School Rules as we are out and about within the halls and on the playground of our school.

One important issue that I am trying to help the students understand is that I need as much help as possible from them to keep quiet and listen carefully throughout the day. On the first day of school I let the students pick their own seats in the classroom. I told them as long as they were following directions and not talking out or laughing, etc, they could remain seated in the place chosen by them, next to their friends. I also let them know that if they were not following directions and they were noisy I would move them. Today is the 1st day of week three of the school year and I have already had to move the majority of the class. I have begun to realize this is a very talkative group! I am hoping to have parent support at home by reiterating to students how important it is to follow directions in class, to listen, and not to talk out. Thank you in advance for your help with this.

This week we are on Lesson 6 in Eureka Math. In the past few weeks we have been learning about the Place Value System and 10 times as many. Today’s lesson objective moved us a bit further on by helping us find 1, 10, and 100 thousand more and less than a given number. This week we will complete lessons 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Today the class took a pre-test for Spelling to place each student on the correct weekly Spelling list. Students wrote their new Spelling words in their Language Arts notebook to study and use for Spelling activities in class throughout the week. They keep their Language Arts notebook in the back of their Docket so if they ever need to study for the test at home that is where their list can be found. The lists can also be found on the Blog under the Spelling tab. We will have a Spelling Test each Friday and a new pre-test each Monday in class.

We will begin Guided Reading Units this month. This week we will Read an informational passage entitled “Remember September”. This is a passage that teaches about all of the seasonal changes and all of the Patriotic Holidays throughout September while also learning about close reading and text structure.

Our first Science Unit of the year is the Water Cycle. We are also learning about the Scientific Method. Students created fantastic portraits of “What a Scientist Looks Like”. They have also been working on some very amazing diagrams of the Water Cycle! These portraits and diagrams will be hanging out in the hall and inside our classroom so watch for them.

Our first Unit in Social Studies is a Geography Unit. This unit is helping us understand where Utah is located within our Nation and in relation to other parts of the world such as Africa and Japan. We are also learning about the first inhabitants of Utah. So far we have learned about the Neanderthals and their earliest pets, a wolf/dog, that is a breed not related to the dogs of today.

As you can see, we have had a wonderful, but busy beginning to our year. I believe it is only going to get better! Please remember to send back the snack size baggie with a non-perishable snack and a family picture in it for our emergency pack. This will ensure that your child has a bit of comfort and something to eat in the event of an emergency at the school. It is always good to plan ahead.

Thank you and have a wonderful evening.

Mrs. Smith

Thursday Theory…Week of August 22 – 25, 2017

Welcome back to the first week of school! I am so excited to be your child’s 4th Grade teacher this year and we are off to a running start! This week is and has been all about getting to know each other, the curriculum, and the daily rules and procedures. So far we are doing an amazing job and having a wonderful time.

Below you will find a copy of my 4th Grade disclosure. This disclosure was passed out at Back-to-School Night for those who attended. If you didn’t make it, the document was sent home with your child on the first day of school. I have attached it again here just in the case that your child’s did not make it home. Please take a look at it as it explains all of the class expectations and policies.
Back-to-School Disclosure Brochure

One item that I am very excited to share with you this year is that my Homework policy has changed. Each child must read for enjoyment for 20 – 30 minutes each week night in a book of their choice. At the end of every month a Book Report will be due. This is the only required homework for 4th grade this year!!! All other homework (including Math) will only be anything your child does not finish in class that day! I think this will be a good change for both the students and the teachers. The Book reports will begin in the month of September and your child will also receive a monthly Reading Calendar to keep track of minutes. Required minutes for each month will be 400. Instructions for the Book Reports will also come home in September.

Once again, I am so happy to be teaching your child this year and I can already tell it is going to be a terrific year. Feel free to Email me with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

Have a wonderful evening!