News from Squad 16 – March 15, 2017

I hope you were able to steal some time in the sun while it was out over the weekend!  Last week’s Women’s Day was an inspiring day of learning and reflection.  Stop by the bulletin board outside Room 16 to see our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Women’s Day art installation. With spring break approaching, we are in finishing mode – finishing our writing unit, finishing a writing work sample, and finishing this stage of our Oregon history unit.

Over the next two weeks, students will be learning about the history of the Klamath River Basin and how people have used water there over time.  We have heard that the fish, Native tribes people, ranchers, farmers, and environmentalists all have different views on who needs the water the most.  Next, students will read about the specific people and moments that have affected the water in the Klamath River Basin.  We will be adding these moments to our timeline.

This week I am sending home the permission slip for our upcoming field trip to the Oregon Historical Society to see the Oregon, My Oregon exhibit on April 4th.  Permission slips and the $1 fee to cover our Trimet pass are due on Friday, March 24th.  I have space for 5 chaperones on a first come, first served basis.  Please ensure that your background check is up to date if you would like to join us.

Our class is in the final stages of the writing cycle for their 5 paragraph essay.  Once completed, students will begin a writing work sample asking them to independently write a 5 paragraph essay on a given topic.  I am looking forward to seeing some impressive growth from these guys on their organization skills!

After spring break, the 4th grade classes will begin building multiplication fact fluency.  Practicing x2, x5, and x10 is a good place to start in preparation.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa



News from Squad 16 – March 8, 2017

This Wednesday is International Women’s Day and we will spend the day learning about girls and women who have made history.  Students will learn about the Women’s Rights Movement, as well as specific women and girls who have accomplished great things.  I hope the interview your child conducted at home was eye-opening and informative.

Our Oregon History Timeline is starting to take form.  Students noticed there were a lot of important moments in the 1800s which led to discussions of Manifest Destiny, Westward Expansion, and Lewis & Clark and the repercussions on Native Americans.  Students were shocked to hear that tribes are still fighting to be Federally Recognized today.

We are rolling out Math Unit 4: Geometry and Measurement.  This unit focuses on measuring angles, surface area, and other shape properties.  We are starting off by looking at the different types of angles and coming up with a mnemonic to remember which kind is which.

In order to dive deeply into the historical texts, we are covering some essential skills for reading non fiction.  Students are learning to preview and make connections, figure out the text’s structure, and tackle the hard parts.

Take care,

Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – March 1, 2017

Here we are, already to March of this year, and I am still catching myself writing 2016 on everything… It’s hard to keep up!  We have been writing, reading, researching, and math…ing away the days.

Students are working in pairs to research and take notes on specific moments in Oregon’s history.  We are currently looking carefully at Native American history in Oregon and studying how the arrival of European settlers affected their ways of life.  Once students complete their research, they create a summary of their time/event to teach their classmates about and place it on our Oregon History Timeline.  This timeline will stay with us for the rest of the year and we will add historical events as we cover them.

In writing, we are beginning to revise and edit our rough drafts of our 5-paragraph essays.  Students will read over their work with a critical eye, checking for dialogue, descriptive language, and complete thoughts.  Many of these are the strongest pieces of writing I have read this year!  It has been exciting to watch these guys throw themselves into their work to make it their absolute best.

We are wrapping up our math unit on fractions this week and we will head into a mini-unit on weight and measurement before rolling into Unit 4 which covers geometry and measuring angles.  Here come the protractors!

There is still a lot of icky sickness floating around out there – I hope you are all staying healthy and happy.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa


News from Squad 16 – February 22, 2017

I hope you had a restful President’s Day weekend.  I know I snuck in some much-needed extra shuteye this weekend and I hope you did, too!  This week we are focusing on bringing out outlines to life, doing some research for out Oregon History Timeline, and looking at new ways to use fractions.

Last week, students chose which outline they were most interested in taking through the writing process.  We wrote our introductions with a strong hook and thesis statement and then began to write our body paragraphs.  Students will continue working through their body paragraphs this week, keeping in mind to add details and descriptors as they go.  It has been fun to watch them strive for their personal best as writers!

This week we are going to start our partner research of Oregon’s native peoples.  Students will be reading articles about specific events, treaties, people, etc. and putting together a short summary card to share with the class and add to our timeline.  Our class has been so passionate about Oregon history thus far, I can’t wait to see that energy roll into this new assignment.

In math, we are beginning to study division with remainders and how it relates to fractions.  Students will see that some division situations make sense for fractional remainders (splitting up a leftover cookie, sharing out the last cup of juice, etc.), while others don’t (leftover T-shirt, extra person in a group, etc.)

Stay dry out there!

-Ms. Elissa