Friday, August 27, 2010

First Full Week of School

Whewwww! We made it through our first full week of school with flying colors. What a terrific group of students I have this school year. We have been busy all week continuing to learn the routines of fourth grade and learn a few new things as well.
Today will be the first installment of the 4K Wrap-up. In other words, what we did this week.
Assignment Journal and Reading Log
The assignment journal will come home every night showing what students have worked on in the classroom. If you see HW (homework) in their journal, please expect they have homework. You will notice that I sent home the reading log on the first day of school. Reading at home is absolutely vital to the success of all my students. I realize it may feel forced at first to have them read each night, but as it becomes habit, you will notice you may not have to set the timer anymore. : ) I would like students to read at least 100 minutes a week but more would be great! Please remember to return the log each Monday to school as I keep track of their minutes all year.
We made it through lesson 3 of our new Everyday Math. I hope you have all kept the family letter I sent home as this will be useful when students bring home homework. The homework for Everyday Math is called Study Links. When you see the words, Study Link in their assignment journal, you can be assured they have brought home homework.
This week, we learned about lines, line segments, rays, angles, and vertices (vertex). Everyday Math is very hands on with a variety of manipulatives students use each week. Please ask your child questions about what they have been doing in math.
Reading/Language Arts/Spelling
We spent most of this week reviewing reading strategies and reading the story "The Pumpkin Runner" We have learned 3 of our 5 Daily 5 Routines. We are practicing Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Work on Writing. Next week we will learn Word Works and Listen to Reading. We will practice these routines many times so students are fully aware of the expections during our Daily 5 time.
Students will be receiving a spelling list next week on Monday as well as a homework assignment. Please expect spelling words and a homework assignment to come home almost every Monday.
We will be reading "Heatwave" next week and working on -ed and -ing endings as well as past/present/future tense verbs. Students will also begin working on the 6Traits Writing, IDEAS. We will also continue to work on our Daily 5 Routines.
Students will also be given the Basic Reading Inventory on Monday to show us their rate, accuracy, and comprehension.
Social Studies
We began a unit on Geographic Tools this week and why they are important to learning about our big world. Students have learned new vocabulary and used our big wipe-off maps. We have reviewed oceans and continents. How many of you were surprised there was a 5th ocean? I know I certainly was last year! We finished the week making a 2D Globe to show where the continents and oceans are located. We will continue this unit into next week where we will learn about map legends, cardinal directions, intermediate directions, and recognizing continents and oceans.
We have begun the year with Classification. Students are learning what a cell is and why it is important to all life. We enjoyed a video with Bill Nye on cells and drew our own cell. We will continue to learn about classification and cells as we do an onion lab next week and learn about the animal kingdom.

Thank you again for giving me the pleasure of teaching your child each day. I am excited about things to come! That's all for your 4K WRAP-UP!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School

What a fantastic first day of school we had today! I am so excited to go back tomorrow and do more! I absolutely love the first day of school. Everybody has their new school supplies and are pretty happy to be at school and see their friends.
We reviewed rules today as well as labeling all our stuff. It is great to have a classroom of children that already know many of the expectations and rules for fourth grade and for our school.
We did a few getting to know you activities. Mainly for me to get to know the kids, they seem to know each other pretty well already!
I believe we even got our picture in tonight's newspaper.
It will take about a week to really get aquainted with our schedule and it will be a relief when we are on a regular schedule next week.

Just an FYI for everyone, below is a list of our specials schedule so you know when to bring or wear tennis shoes for P.E.
Tuesdays and Friday we will have P.E. at 8:35 and Music at 9:00
Thursdays we will have art.
We will have Library on Mondays at 8:35
We will have Guidance on Mondays at 9:30 every other week.

Please remember to have your child read every night for at least 15 minutes! It is the key to their success in school.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome Back to School

Welcome 4th grade students and parents! I am so excited to start a new year with the fourth graders. We are in for some changes this year as we become the oldest students in the school. With that brings added responsibility and higher expectations. Other students will be watching the fourth graders and looking up to them.
This year fourth graders will be serving and scraping everyday for lunch and participating in safety patrol. Students will not be required to do these jobs, but Mrs. Hanshaw and Mrs. Kurth's class will be sharing these responsibilities.
We will spend quite a bit of time in these first few weeks establishing everyday routines which will make the rest of the year successful for everyone.
The purpose of this blog is to share with parents what we are up to in the fourth grade. I hope that students will read it as well to review what we have be doing.

I will start with a little bit about myself! This is my 13th year teaching 4th grade and my 17th year of teaching. I am married to Jason Kurth, who is the Director of Technology for our school district. We have 2 children, Emma who is in second grade and Jackson who is in preschool. We also have a yellow lab named, Willie.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read but this will become very evident as the school year progresses. I also like to scrapbook and spend time with my family.

I look forward to learning more about each 4th grader and having the best year possible!
I also look forward to any comments or questions you might post to me on this blog.

Let's get this year started!