Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest Blogger: Annalise

This week starts our guest blogger job in class!  Each week one student will get a chance to write something of their choosing on our class blog and Annalise chose the perfect day to get started - an early release!  :)  Take it away Annalise!  :)

half day off! Everyones exited about early release.

- Annalise

Tonight, have your student write the name of our guest blogger in their planner for an extra bonus tomorrow!  :)

Enjoy your extra time off!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

If your student needs to leave early....

Please, please, PLEASE.... stop by the office and sign them out.  You MUST tell the secretaries that you are taking a student out early (whether that be for an appointment only or for the rest of the day) and they will call down to send the student down. 

There have been some cases at our school where students aren't being signed out properly, which is a liability for our school, and so we as a school are cracking down on this issue. 

If you come down to the room and try to pick up your student early, I have to send you back to the office and have them call down, just to make sure everything is in order.  Sorry if this causes any inconvenience for you but it is for the student's safety in mind.  Thanks for your help in keeping North Beach safe!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Orders due by 5 pm Tuesday! and Announcements

I will be putting through our book orders sometime after 5 Tuesday night.  Get those orders in!

Also, the book fair at North Beach is going on now so come on in and browse for gifts or donations to our classrooms.

Wednesday is a 2 hour early release so students will be dismissed at 1:35 pm.

Thursday night is Curriculum Night from 6 - 8 - can't wait to see you there!

Whew!  Sorry for the quick update - things have been a bit crazy around P4!  :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spelling and MSP Coming Home Today

Spelling homework is coming home with students today.  They will have a yellow piece of paper in the writing section of their notebooks that needs to stay in there all year long.  It explains homework expectations and due dates.

Spelling homework is due every THURSDAY at the beginning of the day.  This is part of their writing grade.  Each week students must choose three activities to complete - one from each row.  No activity can be completed more than once per week.

MSP scores (for those students who were here last year at North Beach) came home in sealed envelopes today with the students.  Everyone was so nervous to find out how they did, and overall everyone did well.  Unfortunately, other than the print off that you're receiving we don't get any more information about why things are scored the way they are, what questions were missed, etc.  That would be helpful but unfortunately we don't get that information!  So if you have questions or concerns about scoring you'll have to go to the website on the back of the report (at the bottom) to get more information.

WANTED: Clear 2-Liter Soda Bottles

Our class needs to collect 60-70 2-liter CLEAR soda bottles for a spring science unit.  In order to collect that many, we need to start getting ready and collecting now.  So, I am offering a reward for any student who brings in the bottles (empty, of course).  Each bottle will be worth $10 in class money so send them in!  We have 2 so far, so we are a LONG way from our need.  Keep us in mind for birthday parties, family gatherings, office parties, and holidays!  :)


Monday, September 17, 2012

Adios to a classmate and Spelling

Well today started off with one of our wonderful classmates leaving for Salmon Bay!  Clara will be DEARLY missed in our classroom.  She had such a sweet presence and was such a wonderful student!  Salmon Bay is lucky to have her.  :)

Spelling words came home today.  Normally, spelling will be given out on Friday, and spelling tests on Thursday but we are just starting this week so we will do our best.

Spelling in P4 is decided by first previewing the words with the students.  This lets me know where they are as spellers.  If they have 3 or more wrong on the preview, they will be studying those words for the week.  If they have fewer than 3 errors on the preview, they will be given a list of additional challenge words to study.  They will be words that have the same "theme" or central idea but are leveled differently for difficulty.  We stress to students that it is important that they are doing their best on the preview so that they can learn the most from their spelling.  Spelling words from the preview list will be words that ALL students will be expected to know both in their spelling test AND in their writing.

Spelling homework will be given tomorrow and is turned in Thursday morning first thing.  It will be important that students complete their spelling homework as a way to practice their spelling words but also practice spelling their words in writing, which is ultimately the most important thing and reason why we are doing spelling.  The spelling homework sheet should be kept in student binders at all times.  If it is lost, it will not be replaced.  (Again, we are stressing responsibility in our 4th graders and with that responsibility comes organization)  The spelling homework that will be turned in is to be done on regular notebook or computer paper, depending on the activity that is chosen.  Students are expected to use their best handwriting.  If it cannot be read, it will not be accepted.  Also, students need to use proper handwriting with their spelling homework, meaning unless otherwise specified, there should NOT be random capital letters thrown into words, which is a common problem in our class (for example, tHey).  On spelling tests, if students write with capitals in their words, it will be marked wrong.

Please help your student by checking their spelling homework and stressing the importance of proper handwriting.  We are building those foundations for the future and we want to make sure ALL students are prepared.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Update

Today the students are helping me write this post so that we can start learning how to blog.  Starting next week we will be having a student post once a week on the blog as their class job!  :)  Here we go!  :)

Lily: We decorated our writing journals

Clara: We learned not to put more than 10 d-cell batteries together because you could hurt yourself

Hayley: Today was really really fun because I paid attention and it was really easy for me

Grant: We learned more about motors, d-cell batteries, and wires

Yumi: We learned all sorts of different ways to make the motor shaft spin

Annalise: When we were decorating our journals I stopped a lot of people and made them give me stickers

Keiana: We did math again and we did a math game with the cards.

Ben: We learned 4 or more ways to make a d-cell battery make a motor spin

Bailey: We did our bioglyph and tried to guess who was who.

We will continue to expand on our ideas to get ready for the blog posts starting next week!  :) 

Please make sure your students are starting to take more responsibility for their own homework/backpack/lunch/etc.  I have been flooded with "my mom forgot to put my homework in my backpack" excuses lately and we want to make sure that as fourth graders we are learning to become more independent in our daily lives since it's an important skill for the future.  We will be working on it a LOT this year but some ways you can help at home is to let students pack their own lunches, make sure that students are returning their homework and supplies to their backpack each night (with reminders at first and then natural consequences after that), and helping to make sure students are remembering all of their supplies/homework daily.  With your help we will make sure we have strong and independent fourth graders who are ready for their futures! :)  Thanks for your support!  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not School Related: My puppy, Otto! :)

Well I've had many questions asking to share a picture of my new puppy that I told the kids about on day one so here he is! :)

This is from when he was just 8 weeks old and he's now 4 months old but he sure is a cute little guy!  He loves his spiderman toy the most.  :)

Tuesday Grumbles

Getting back into the swing of school and work is a hard thing for everyone!  I know I had a hard time giving up summer break but the time has come to be back in school and our class is having a hard time getting back into the swing of things.   The grumbles and complaints were out in full force today and that is something we will continue to work on as we get back into "school mode". 

I've been letting the kids know that when they are grumbling from the start of the day, it sets a bad tone for their day from the minute they walk in the door and that's not what we want!  We want HAPPY students who are excited to be here!  I know I am excited, so I want to see that excitement from them!  :)  Things that can help are making sure your student gets a full night's sleep each night and sending students with healthy snacks and lunches that are full of nutrients, like protein, so they stay full.  As growing students I know sometimes food goes super fast, especially for those kiddos who are just growing like weeds!, but that healthy snack will help manage that hunger.  And as a reminder, peanut and nut products are not allowed in our room due to severe allergies.  Thanks!  :)

Science was a LOT of fun today!  Students got to experiment with a D-cell battery and small motor with wires to get the motor shaft to spin!  Every group was successful and it was a great time!  For an extra $10, have your student draw a diagram of one way they connected the battery and motor so that it WOULD spin!  :) 

Math homework came home today so have an eye out for that.

Also, tomorrow during writing we will be decorating our writer's notebooks so I encourage everyone to bring pictures, magazine cutouts, stickers, etc to decorate and personalize those notebooks! 

See you Wednesday!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our First Monday - Notebooks Galore!!

Well we made it through our first Monday of the school year!

We started all of our content areas, including math, science, writing, AND reading.... WHEW!  I'm exhausted with all of the new stuff we went through today.

Our first science kit is circuits and pathways so we will be learning about creating circuit breakers and lighting light bulbs with batteries.  It's going to be SUPER exciting!  I am very excited.

Starting today students have reading homework (starting at 20 minutes per night for September) and math homework will start coming this week (probably tomorrow).  Make sure you check your student's planner to double check their assignments each night.

Tomorrow the work continues with building our reading stamina.  Ask your child what he/she can do to improve their reading stamina tomorrow.  Our goal is to be reading for 25 minutes straight by Friday - we have a long way to go since we started at 2:12 minutes today was our top record!  Let's keep working to get that goal!  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Year and New Room!

WOW!  Back to school time is ALREADY here!!  Time definitely flew by us this summer.  I spent my summer relaxing, hanging out on Pinterest (yes, I'm obsessed too!), and playing with my new puppy, Otto!  He's a mini husky and just super cute - I showed his baby picture to the students so they could see him!  :)

Well the past two days have been great out in P4!  We are really thankful to be in the portables with this sudden heat wave because we have air conditioning!  Thank goodness, otherwise most of us would be sweaty zombies by lunch time. 

We have a TON of supplies we are trying to find room for, so thank you for making sure that your students are prepared for 4th grade!  We have a REALLY busy year ahead of us with math, reading, science (we have 3 science kits this year which are fairly intense), social studies, where we are studying Washington State history, and writing which will be a HUGE emphasis to bump up the level so we are ready for the MSP this spring!  Whew!  I'm tired just thinking about it!

Thanks so much for checking our class blog!  Make sure that you are signing the students' planners nightly.  Planners are also a great way to communicate with me (other than email of course) if you need something quick to chat about.  I will try to check those daily to see any notes that may have been left for me.

Students should have brought home their packet of information from the office today.  That needs to be returned ASAP.  Also, students need to bring in $5 to pay for our class magazine we get monthly which is National Geographic Explorer.

Ask your student about our classroom economy!  We spent a long time deciding on salaries for our class jobs! Ask your student to tell you what their ideal job would be and why.  Write down the name of the job under today's day in the planner and it will be worth $5 in class money!  :)  Let's see who is checking in today!  :)

Have a wonderful night and see you Friday!