Sunday, December 1, 2019

December Blog



What’s Happening in December?

Reading Workshop

In December, we will continue our study of non-fiction.   Your child will continue to learn how to effectively read non-fiction texts.  The reading content will center around extreme weather such as hurricanes, droughts, and tornadoes, to name just a few                   



However, we are not explicitly teaching about extreme weather.  We are teaching the kids how to become strong non-fiction readers by previewing a text before reading it, using text features to enhance their understanding of the text, using context clues to help with tricky words related to the content, how to read hybrid texts (texts that blend fiction and non-fiction), and how to summarize and synthesize the non-fiction information they are reading. These are only a few of the techniques the kids will learn as we embark on this journey into the world of non-fictionAt the end of this month, students will form collaborative teams and research an extreme weather form!


You can support your child at home by carving out time for reading as much as possible, and by providing your child with rich texts in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. 




Writing Workshop
Let the debates begin as we start opinion/persuasive writingWe are now about to begin a unit on the genre of opinion writing. The kids will learn how to create a strong thesis statement (claim), support that statement with powerful reasons and a multitude of examples, and provide a strong concluding paragraph. They will be writing five-paragraph essays in order to best state and strongly support their opinions. We will begin by writing opinion essays about important topics related to us that we know well -- favorite types of ice cream, favorite genres of music, favorite restaurants, favorite types of animals, etc. 

The kids will learn to be persuasive in their writing and convince others to believe in their thesis statement. As we further develop our skills in opinion writing, we will broaden our topics and begin to craft thesis statements based on bigger ideas that impact larger groups such as our community, country, and our world.  Students will craft five-paragraph essays that include a strong thesis statement (claim), powerful reasons that support that claim, and a conclusion. 











Math Workshop
After building a strong conceptual and practical base in multiplication strategies, we are ready to begin a study of how to divide one-digit numbers. We will begin with a focus on how multiplication and division are inverse operations, and their fact-families (if 9 x 7 = 63, and 7 x 9 = 63, then 7 = 63 divided by 9, and 63 divided by 7 = 9). From there, we’ll study remainders and the strategy of using partial quotients to solve division problems.
                             









As math concepts become increasingly more difficult, your child may need support at home. As your child solves their math problems, they should show their work and explain (using words) when the problem asks.  I have encouraged your child to ask questions and work through problems with your support if they are having difficulty.  


Basic facts for addition, subtraction, and multiplication are essential for math success as the kid’s progress.  You can support your child at home by taking some time each night, even 5 minutes, to practice basic facts.  Multiplication and division flashcards would help greatly with this unit and with all future math.  Please let me know if there are any questions.  




Social Studies
December marks the start of a much-anticipated unit on Financial Literacy and Economics. Supply and demand, making wise financial choices and decisions, banking, writing a deposit slip/check, completing a job application, and how to interview will be some of the many topics we’ll discuss. On January 31, students will visit Young AmeriTowne. An e-mail with more information and volunteer opportunities will soon follow!

Upcoming Dates:
  • December 19th:  Winter Celebration (Hot Chocolate Bar...more information to come) 
  • December 20th -January 6th:  Winter Break

Thursday, October 31, 2019

November Blog


Reading Workshop

As we begin the month of November, we will embark on a new unit in reading -- a non-fiction unit in which the kids will learn how to effectively read non-fiction texts.  The reading content will center around extreme weather such as hurricanes, droughts, and tornadoes, to name just a few. 

However, we are not explicitly teaching about extreme weather.  We are teaching the kids how to become strong non-fiction readers by previewing a text before reading it, using text features to enhance their understanding of the text, using context clues to help with tricky words related to the content, how to read hybrid texts (texts that blend fiction and non-fiction), and how to summarize and synthesize the non-fiction information they are reading. These are only a few of the techniques the kids will learn as we embark on this journey into the world of non-fiction. This unit will be our focus for the next couple of months.  

You can support your child at home by carving out time for reading as much as possible, and by providing your child with rich texts in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. 

Writing Workshop

During the first week of November, we will be concluding our unit on the writing genre of realistic fiction. The kids have worked diligently to apply a variety of crafting techniques to raise the quality of their writing, make it more descriptive, show how their character deals with his/her problem throughout the story, and how the character reflects on the experience.  

We are now about to begin a unit on the genre of opinion writing. The kids will learn how to create a strong thesis statement (claim), support that statement with powerful reasons and a multitude of examples, and provide a strong concluding paragraph. They will be writing five-paragraph essays in order to best state and strongly support their opinions. We will begin by writing opinion essays about important topics related to us that we know well -- favorite types of ice cream, favorite genres of music, favorite restaurants, favorite types of animals, etc. 

The kids will learn to be persuasive in their writing and convince others to believe in their thesis statement. As we further develop our skills in opinion writing, we will broaden our topics and begin to craft thesis statements based on bigger ideas that impact larger groups such as our community, country, and our world.  

Math Workshop

Throughout this month, we will continue to focus on the content in Topic 3 entitled, “Use Strategies and Properties to Multiply by 1-Digit Numbers”.  This unit began by focusing on how basic facts and place value patterns can be used to find products when working with multiples of 10, 100, and 1,000.  As we build on this concept, the kids will learn how rounding can be used to estimate products and how it can be used to check to see if an answer is reasonable.  Additionally, the multiplication strategies of finding partial products and applying standard algorithm will be taught throughout this unit.

Basic facts for addition, subtraction, and multiplication are essential for math success as the kid’s progress.  You can support your child at home by taking some time each night, even 5 minutes, to practice basic facts.  Multiplication flashcards would help greatly with this unit and with all future math.  

Social Studies

Now that we have come to the end of our unit on ecosystems, we will switch gears from Science to Social Studies.  Colorado History is a huge fourth grade standard as is Financial Literacy.  In order to best prepare the kids for their spring trip, on January 31, 2020, and the culminating activity at Young AmeriTowne (details to follow in the months to come), we have decided to change our plan for the year and split Colorado History into two parts.  

We will begin now by studying the geography of Colorado (We will resume our study of Colorado History after our unit on financial literacy.)  Once this small geography unit concludes, we will begin our study of financial literacy.  In this unit, the kids will learn about free enterprise and economics.  Over the next few months the kids will learn how to make wise financial choices and decisions, they will study the relationship of supply and demand, they will learn about banking, checking accounts, how government works, how to write a deposit slip/check, how to fill out a job application, and how to interview.  These are just some of the concepts we will explore, as this is a large and exciting unit!

Upcoming Dates:
  •  Monday, November 11th: There is no school for the kids as this is a teacher learning day.
  •  Wednesday, November 20th: Thanksgiving Feast during lunch and Celebration of Learning in your child’s classroom thirty minutes prior to lunch.  (Details will be sent home from the front office about this day.) 
  •  Monday, November 25th to Friday, November 29th: No School - Thanksgiving Break 

 Our annual canned food drive has begun, and will run from now until November 22nd.  All donations will benefit the Parker Task Force as they work to help and support those in need within our own community. 

As Always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Fondly ~
Kathryn Kramer