Saturday, August 17, 2019

September Blog


Math
We started our new math program, enVision, with Topic 1 (Generalize Place Value Understanding) mid-August.  In this topic students will work with numbers through one million, place value relationships, compare whole numbers, round whole numbers, and construct arguments.  We will continue with Topic 2   (Fluently Add and Subtract Multi-Digit Whole Numbers).  This topic addresses finding sums and differences, estimate sums and differences, add whole numbers, add greater numbers, subtract whole numbers, subtract greater numbers, subtract across zeros and reasoning.  As a reminder, your child will have weekly homework.  This will be given on Monday and due back Friday.


























Reading
In the month of August, during Reading Workshop, students began to learn and practice how to think deeply about their reading, determine if they are truly reading “just right books” at their level that will help them grow as readers, and analyze characters’ traits while providing evidence from the text as support. During reading workshop, the students were reading books at their independent level.  I was and will continue conferring independently with readers as well as working with kiddos in a small group format as I focus on the aforementioned skills. They will use sticky notes, graphic organizers, and record their thinking in their Reader's Journal as they annotate their text.  Our reading focus in September will be on Interpreting Characters:  The Heart of the story. Students will focus on several strategies including finding a book you want to read, read as if you are in the book, figure out confusing parts, note important things to talk about, do the work the book is requesting, finding the flow of the book, and make movies in your mind.  Through our learning students will be able to address inferring character traits and other story elements with text evidence, character response and change, analyzing parts of a story in relation to the whole story, and determining themes and cohesion.  I could really use your support at home….please encourage your child to read. Volume matters!!
Science
We are now fully into our exploration of ecosystems. Thus far the kids have studied biotic and abiotic factors that exist in ecosystems.  As September begins, we will dive deeper into the unit by studying the five characteristics of all living things, how biotic and abiotic factors impact each other, how plants and animals adapt to their environment, food webs and chains, and explore a variety of physical and behavioral adaptations. As we do so, we will study the different ecosystems that exist in our world and how human behavior impacts those ecosystems and the animals and plants that live there. Toward the very end of the month, the kids will each choose an endangered species to study.  They will research its habitat, diet, adaptations, its place in the food chain, the reasons it is endangered, and then they will craft a call to action with ideas on how to save the species. This information will turn into a brochure that the kids will create and share with one another.
Writing
During Writing Workshop in September, the kids will mine through the seed stories they have written in their Writer's Notebook as they select a story idea for their first realistic fiction piece. I will model how to take a story idea for realistic fiction and create a main character who has fully developed internal and external characteristics and one or more conflicts to solve. By doing this, they will see how we use techniques such as figurative language, dialogue, apt word choice, details and description, and paragraphing to create a detailed realistic fiction piece that shows vs tells about the character, his or her struggles and how he/she works to solve those problems. Once the kids have selected their own story idea, they will learn how to create a story arc to develop the plot of the story. They will create scenes for the story arc (all modeled by me first) and then ultimately begin their rough draft using their story arc and planned scenes as a guide.  
Buddy Time
Our class has meet with Ms. Wilson’s first grade class this month week. The kids learned a bit about their buddy during this time. Students are very excited!

Upcoming Dates:
Aug. 27th - Assessment Day
Sept. 2nd - No School
Sept. 27th - Digger Dash
October 11th - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Field Trip (more information to come)
October 25th -29th - Fall Break




Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Welcome to 4th Grade!


            
Dear Parents and Student ~
            I would like to introduce myself, and welcome your child to 4th grade!  My name is Kathryn Kramer, and I will be your child’s 4th grade teacher.  I am looking forward to our year together with great anticipation and excitement!
         I have been teaching for the past twenty-six years and have a Master’s degree from Regis University.   I have taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades here in Douglas County, as well as in Littleton Public Schools.  It is a pleasure to be a part of Gold Rush Elementary School.
         Teaching is my passion!  I am excited to come to work each day, teach all curricular areas, and help students make connections with what they are learning in the classroom and in their daily lives.  I hope the enthusiasm and love of learning that I bring to our classroom carries over to my students each day.
        My husband, Tom, and I moved to Parker twenty-one years ago.  We absolutely love the Parker community. Tom and I have two children.  Logan is 18 and pursuing a hockey career.  Jeffrey is 14 and entering high school.  We have a German Shorthaired Pointer whose name is Otis. Our family enjoys hockey, swimming, bicycling, water skiing, snow skiing, and camping.  We love spending time together as a family.
         As we embark on our year long journey together, it is my goal to create an environment that is safe, nurturing, and kind.  In addition, I want students to believe in themselves and reach their true potential.   I will encourage your child to take risks, advocate for themselves, do their best, and to be a life long learner.  Fourth grade is a year of tremendous growth, increased responsibility, and an opportunity for your child to think critically.  Open communication is extremely important as we will be working as a team.  My door is always open.  If at any time you have questions or concerns, please let me know.  I am excited to be working along side your family to provide opportunities for your child to grow and flourish academically, emotionally, and socially.  I am looking forward to a wonderful year.



Fondly,
Kathryn Kramer

Monday, April 29, 2019

May Blog

What is happening in May!  

Reading Workshop
Throughout May, students will be use their mystery chapter book to envision, predict, monitor for sense (fitting the pieces together), and retelling, summarizing and synthesizing information in the text.  Students will continue to write deeply about their reading while using textual evidence. As mentioned previously, these are strong reading skills that our 4th grade readers will be able to apply across any fiction text that they pick up and read.

Students are also working through the complexity of group work. Groups are building problem solving and self-reflection skills through their daily communications with one another. Students are refining their own ability to relay and exchange information about their reading in a way where groups can dive more deeply into the big ideas being presented by the author of their text. 
  
Writing Workshop
 During the month of May, students will be working on an informational book.  Students have picked a historical event and are in the beginning stages of reading articles, picking sub-topics, and starting to research.  Students will be using note taking skills (short words/phrases) to write a historical book.  Their book will need to include:  a table of contents, an introduction, at least three sub-topics with a minimum of two paragraphs each and at least one text feature, a micro-story, conclusion, glossary, and a bibliography page. Students are excited to begin the process in writing their book.

Science
As we conclude our Sun, Moon, and Stars unit; students are gearing up for magnetism and electricity.  This unit is very hands-on.  Students will be using the scientific method (asking a question, writing a hypothesis, stating their results, and writing a conclusion) while conducting many experiments.  They will begin by learning the properties of magnets and their interactions with various objects (iron, attract vs. repel, push vs. pull).  In addition, students will build simple circuits in order to light a bulb, make a motor run, and find conductors and insulators.  Other learning and experiments include: building series circuits, parallel circuits, electromagnets, and finally reinventing the Telegraph in order to send messages long-distance.

Math
During the month May, we will continue learning about fractions and decimals.  Students are currently comparing fractions and decimals, and fractions and decimals on a number line. They will also be adding/subtracting fractions and decimals, and computing with rational numbers. Learning will be differentiated through small group instruction as well as extension activities that will challenge all students.  

Before our year comes to an end, we will have the opportunity to begin Unit 7 (How Many Packages and Groups?).  This unit involves: multiplication with 2-digit numbers, strategies for multiplication, and solving division problems.

**As always, you and your kiddo can log on to the Pearson Realize website for access to teaching videos, math games, and the HW pages connected to this unit.

Unit 6:  Useful Links for Fractions and Decimals

Tenths and Hundredths

Upcoming Dates to Remember for May:
  • May 22nd - Field Day (morning)
  • May 24th - 4th Grade Picnic Lunch in the Bus Loop from 12:40 - 1:05 (recess following on front playground)
  • May 24th - Last Day of School
  • Enjoy Your Summer!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

April Blog

What is happening in April?


Reading Workshop
Throughout April, students will continue to use their historical fiction text to complete character analysis, determine theme/themes, infer, compare and contrast, synthesize, and write deeply about their reading while using textual evidence. As mentioned previously, these are strong reading skills that our 4th grade readers will be able to apply across any fiction text that they pick up and read regardless of whether or not it is historical.

Students are also working through the complexity of group work. Groups are building problem solving and self-reflection skills through their daily communications with one another. Students are refining their own ability to relay and exchange information about their reading in a way where groups can dive more deeply into the big ideas being presented by the author of their text.

We will also be incorporating several of Stephanie Harvey's lessons pertaining to inferring and summarizing/synthesizing, as well as using Read Works.  Previously taught skills and written response expectations will continue to be embedded in current lessons taught for fiction and non-fiction texts.  
  
Writing Workshop
 During the month of April, students will extend their skills as writers of literary essays.  Students are invested in the process of growing big ideas about the short stories that they are analyzing each day. Students continue working on thesis statements that they generate about the texts they are reading or have read because they must support their thesis with strong textual evidence. Students are being challenged to lift the level of their essays through their thesis statements, writing about ideas that are more complex and interpretive, and supporting those ideas with textual evidence. Students will also learn to analyze author’s craft and use this to support their ideas. Finally, students will move from writing about one text to crafting compare and contrast essays about two pieces of literature.  Following this unit, students will begin informational writing.

Science
As Young AmeriTowne lessons come to a close, we will switch gears and focus on Science for the remainder of the year.  Our next unit of study will be Sun, Moon, and Stars.  Key questions we would like students to be able to answer include:  What are the patterns of movement for the Sun and Moon across the sky?  How does Earth compare to other objects orbiting the Sun? and How do we study the solar system?  

As we embark on this unit, students will study the path of the sun and its various positions in the sky as well as how and why shadows are formed.  We will also gather and analyze shadow data to develop logical conclusions about the sun's position. Finally, we will study the various phases of the moon as well as constellations.

Math
During the month April, we will be learning about fractions and decimals. In this unit, students will learn parts of rectangles (1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/3, 1/6), equivalent fractions, identifying and representing decimals, comparing fractions and decimals, and fractions and decimals on a number line. They will also be adding/subtracting fractions and decimals, and computing with rational numbers. Learning will be differentiated through small group instruction as well as extension activities that will challenge all students.

**As always, you and your kiddo can log on to the Pearson Realize website for access to teaching videos, math games, and the HW pages connected to this unit.

Unit 6:  Useful Links for Fractions and Decimals



 Gold Rush CMAS Schedule 2019
April


8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
3rd  Grade
8:45-10:30
 English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 1
 English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 2
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 3
Math Unit 1
Math Unit 2
5th Grade
10:45-12:30
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 1
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 2
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 3
Math Unit 1
Math Unit 2
4th Grade
1:15-3:00
 English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 1
 English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 2
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 3
Math Unit 1
Math Unit 2

April

15th
16th

17th

18th

19th

3rd Grade
9:00-10:30
Math Unit 3





5th Grade
10:45 - 12:15
Math Unit 3

 Science Unit 1
Science Unit 2
Science Unit 3
4th Grade
1:30-3:15
Math Unit 3
ELA  3 Units @ 90 min
Math 3 Units @ 65 min


Science 3 Units @ 80 min


Upcoming Dates to Remember for April :
  • Colorado Connections Concert - Wednesday, March 27th @ 9:50 in the Music Room
  • Conferences Rescheduled - March 28th
  • Field Trip to Young AmeriTowne - March 29th
  • CMAS Testing Schedule - April 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 15th                                
  • No School - April 19th