Week 38: 6/5 – 6/9 (LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL)

We made it to the last week!

This week students will be presenting their independent research projects.  The projects I’ve already seen have surpassed my expectations.  The kids really enjoyed researching more about a topic that interested them and finding a way to share that information with their peers.

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday – Field Day at BMS
    • Please remember that students will be spending all day outside on Tuesday.  Sunscreen will be their friend!
    • Please also remember that 4th grade boys should wear a blue shirt, while the 4th grade girls should wear a yellow shirt.  This will greatly assist in keeping track of all students.
    • Students must wear tennis shoes the entire day.
    • Students need to bring a sack lunch to school, unless you have already ordered a lunch for your child.
    • Buses will be leaving Alward at 8:50am.  Please ensure your child is at school, on time, so that they do not get left behind.
  • Wednesday – Egg Drop
    • We will be doing our egg drop at 10:30am on Wednesday.  Please be sure your child brings their vehicle with them to school as there will be no late projects accepted.  If they want to bring it to school early, that is fine.  Just remember…no eggs should be brought to school with students (we will provide them).
  • Friday – Alward Olympics
    • Students will be participating in the Alward Olympics with their Alward Teams on Friday.  Due to construction and space restrictions, we are not able to have family visitors this year.  Again, students should come to school wearing their tennis shoes, and ready for a fun-filled final day of school.
    • Please also remember that it will also be an early release day, with students being dismissed at 12:15.  Sack lunches to bring home will be the only lunch option on the last day of school.

Thank you every one for a wonderful first year at Alward!  I couldn’t have asked for a better group of students or parents to work with.  You have truly made this year one to remember!

Week 36: 5/22 – 5/26

This week…

Math: We will be using math games to review multiplication skills learned in units 2 and 3.

Reading / Writing: We will be exploring hyperboles, idioms, and alliteration use in poetry.  Students will be including these elements in their own poetry as they write cinquains, narrative poems, and tongue twisters.

Science: Students will explore magnetism this week.


  • Students will continue to work on their independent research projects on Thursday in the computer lab.  Students are allowed to work on these at home, but it is not required.  Students will present their projects the final week of school.
  • We are finished with spelling for the school year, so students will have no more lists to study.
  • All Scholastic Book Orders will be submitted this Wednesday, 5/24, to ensure all books arrive before school lets out.  If you would like to place an order for some summer reading books, please use our classroom code: QHP2K.

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, 6/6 – Field Day at BMS (ALL DAY)
  • Friday, 6/9 – Alward Olympics and 1/2 Day (Records Day) – LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

Week 35: 5/15 – 5/19

This week…

Math – We are taking the final math test of the year on Wednesday.  This will be a make up test where where students will be asked to answer any questions they missed on the geometry review test.  Students have the review test, as well as two other reviews, in their possession to study from.

Reading/Writing – We are continuing to read and write poetry.  Our focus will be on figurative language as we study how poets use similes and metaphors to express themselves in their poetry.  Students will then be asked to add similes and metaphors to their own poems.

Science – We will be taking another look at circuits this week as students explore conductors and insulators.  Students will also attempt to add a “switch” to their circuits.  All of this will be done through hands-on group exploration.

Week 34: 5/8 – 5/12

Sorry for the delayed posting…

This week:

Math: We will be reviewing measurement skills Monday and Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s final unit 5 test where students will be asked to complete questions similar to the ones they missed on the review.  We will then do a mini review of geometry before the review test for unit 8 on Friday.  I know it is hard with two math tests in a week, but students were studying two math units prior to M-STEP and we need to assess their understanding.  We will spend the beginning on next week reviewing skills they miss on the geometry review before their final test on Geometry next Wednesday.

Reading / Writing: We are digging into poetry this week.  Students will be reading poetry as well as applying what they’re reading in order to compose their own poetry pieces.  Students already seem very excited for this unit.  Students are encouraged to bring in and share any poetry books they have at home.  As with all writing, the more they read of a particular genre, the better they get at writing within that genre as well.

Science: As we have finished piloting the science unit, we will be covering some of the other 4th grade units that were not covered in our pilot through a condensed format.  We will be looking again at circuits, but not focusing on open vs closed circuits and developing switches to operate our circuits.


Other announcements…

  • Today students will be looking through the book fair and making their wish lists.  Our class will return to the book fair on Thursday to make any purchases.  Remember, this spring book fair is Buy One, Get One Free.  This is a great opportunity to score some great deals on books for summer reading.
  • Students will be using the remaining computer blocks of the school year (each Thursday afternoon) to research a topic of their own choosing.  They will get to present their research to their classmates the last week of school.
  • This Friday, 5/12, is an early release for students.  Students will be sent home at 12:15.


Our Last Scholastic Book Order!

Yesterday the May Scholastic book club order forms were sent home with students, along with a $5 buy one, get one coupon.  If you are interested in making any book purchases, please do so by Friday, 5/26, using our classroom code QHP2K.  This is the last book order we will be doing this year so that we can ensure delivery before the end of the school year.  Remember, every purchase made for your child helps us add to our classroom library.  Thank you to all families who have ordered books this year.  Because of you, we were able to add close to 50 books to our classroom library.  Without you, that would not have been possible.  Thank you!

Week 33: 5/1 – 5/5

It’s testing week!

Starting tomorrow, all fourth graders will be taking the M-STEP between 9 and noon each day.  Please ensure your child is ready for the test by:

  • Getting a full night’s rest each night
  • Eating breakfast before coming to school
  • Arriving to school on time
  • Reminding them to try their best, even if they find some of the questions difficult
  • Trying the sample questions that are posted on the blog under M-STEP Prep (many have been completed in class)

This week:

  • M-STEP Testing
    • Monday – No Testing
    • Tuesday – ELA
    • Wednesday – Math
    • Thursday – Math Performance Task
    • Friday – Science
  • Math: Finishing Unit 8 (Geometry) – Sorting Polygons and Exploring Lines of Symmetry
  • ELA: Answering text dependent questions as well as questions that require inferences
  • Science: Wrapping up our discussions around energy
  • Spelling: No spelling again this week – we want the focus to be on testing

Looking ahead:

  • Monday, 5/8 – Friday, 5/12 Spring Book Fair
  • Friday, 5/12 – Lock Down Drill in the morning
  • Friday, 5/12 – 1/2 Day Early Release for Students
  • Tuesday, 5/16 – Jet’s Pizza Night
  • Tuesday, 5/16 – PTC Meeting in the Library 7pm – 8pm
  • CANCELED – Friday, 5/26 – Memorial Day Music Program 10am-11am – CANCELED!!
  • Tuesday, 6/6 – 4th/5th Grade Field Day at BMS
  • Wednesday, 6/7 – Rain Date for 4th/5th Grade Field Day at BMS

Week 32: 4/24 – 4/28

How have we reached the end of April already?


This week…

Morning Math: We will be wrapping up unit 5 skills this week as we finish up with area and perimeter, and then work on some real world measurement problems.

ELA M-Step Review Skills: We will continue working on responding to texts in writing using the RACES strategy and reviewing making inferences.

Science: Students will be completing their end of unit performance task this week by designing a turbine to transfer and convert wind to electricity.  This performance task will span multiple days and will ask students to apply all skills learned throughout the unit.  This performance task will be completed in place of a more formal test.

Afternoon Math: We will be working on parallel and perpendicular lines, classifying quadrilaterals and polygons, as well as decomposing quadrilaterals and triangles.


Dates to remember…

  • Thursday and Friday this week are Volunteer Appreciation days.  Volunteers are encouraged to pop in 9am-11am either day to enjoy some refreshments as our way of saying thank you for all that you do!
  • This Friday is also Popcorn Friday.


Next week…

4th grade will be M-STEP testing next week, Tuesday – Friday in the mornings.  Please help ensure that your child is at school each day, and that they arrive on time.  Please remember that students may visit the M-STEP page on my blog for links to sample problems that they may practice at home in preparation for the state test.


Week 31: 4/17 – 4/21

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter weekend!

This week…

Morning Math: We are working on measurement in the morning for math.  We will be working on Customary and Metric units of measuring length and liquid volume, as well as units of time.

ELA: We will continue to work on close reading of passages and using the RACE strategy in response to reading.  (R – Restate the question, A – Answer the question, C – Cite evidence to support your answer, and E – Explain/Extend the evidence)  We will also continue using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words within a text.

Science: We will be researching difference energy sources and determining which is the best option.

Afternoon Math: We will continue to work on geometry during afternoon math.  This week’s focus will be on angles within circles, triangles, and composing and decomposing angles.


Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday, 4/18 – Jets Pizza Night
  • Tuesday, 4/18 – Fire Drill at 2:50pm
  • Friday, 4/21 – Boy’s Puberty Video (Rescheduled) at 3:00pm
  • Friday, 4/28 – Popcorn Friday
  • Tuesday, 5/2 – M-STEP Starts for 4th Grade

Week 30: 4/10 – 4/14

Welcome back from break!

Our schedule is going to be a little wacky this month as we prepare for the M-STEP state testing the first week of May.  We will be doubling up on our math so that students are exposed to all content before the testing begins.

This week…

Morning Math: We will be wrapping up fractions and decimals this week.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be our review test, we will reteach concepts on Thursday, and will take our final make-up test on Friday.

ELA: We will be working on reviewing ELA skills in preparation for M-STEP.  This week’s focus will be on reviewing genres and beginning to use the RACE strategy in response to a close reading of a passage.

ScienceWe will continue to pilot our unit on energy as we explore the effects mining has on natural resources.

Afternoon Math: We are beginning geometry this week, focusing on angles.


Important Dates…

  • Wednesday, April 12 – Field Trip to the Symphony (9:30am – 2:00pm)
  • Thursday, April 13 – ELA M-STEP Practice during our computer lab time
  • Friday, April 14 – Early Release for Students at 12:15pm
  • Tuesday, April 18 – Jet’s Pizza Night and Fire Drill 2:50pm-3:00pm
  • Friday, April 28 – Popcorn Friday