Welcome to 2017!!!

Welcome back to a new year!  It was a great December, full of celebration and fun! Now, as January chills our bodies, our minds must heat up with lots of new learning!

Math:  We are onto Unit 4, which now combines all four operations (+-x/) in solving story problems.  We are learning beginning algebra and how fun that can be!

Writing:  We continue to write personal essays and we are learning the formal structure that supports writing a good essay.  Literary essays are the final portion of this unit which we are aiming to get to by the end of this month.

Reading:  In combining our unit of informational reading with our social studies unit on government, it makes for some great classroom discussions on how our government works and why we can have faith in it!  We also get to see how informational writing has different structures used to convey information to the reader.

Science:  Mr. Bowen is teaching away on the Sun, Moon, and Earth unit!  Ask your students about what they are learning and let me know if you have any questions!

Keep up that reading every night and MobyMax fluency practice!  We are seeing great gains in all of our students!  Thanks for sending me such a SUPER-DUPER bunch of KIDS!!

A Final Wrap Up Before Christmas!

christmas-cookies Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!  Have a wonderful, safe holiday!

Just a few things:

Unit 3 Math Test will be started tomorrow (12/20).  We are doing the regular division problems on the test in the morning.  The harder story problems will be reviewed and tested after we get back from our Christmas break.

Science Test in Mrs. H’s Class – will be held off until we get back from break. We will review on the Tuesday we get back and take the test on Weds., Jan 4th.  The same is true for Mrs. Huizenga’s class in my classroom.

Christmas Party tomorrow (12/20) at 2:15!  See you there if you are coming to help with the party!  Please park at Baldwin Middle School if our parking lot is full.  Due to the snow, we have lost some parking.

Wednesday 12/21 is PJ and electronics day!! We have earned it!  So students may bring in their favorite electronics item and they will be locked up when we are not using them, as we have before!  Remind your student that they are solely responsible for their electronic on the bus though, and should not take them out of their backpacks until they get home.

We are also showing Finding Dory as a fun celebration for the whole fourth grade that afternoon!  Finding Dory has been approved by the Dove Family Film Foundation.  If you would like to know more about it, the link is here: http://www.dove.org/review/11923-finding-dory/ .  If you are not ok with your student watching this movie, just let me know and they can sit out with another type of activity.

Have a wonderful Christmas!



Fall Update

img_0775Here’s What’s Going On!

First and Very Important:

Study today/tonight for our economics test tomorrow!  Lots of vocabulary terms to know and explain.


Halloween Party is October 31, from 2:20 – 3:20 pm.  

Costumes can be brought to school in a bag.  We will dismiss for recess that day at 2 pm so students may go out for recess and/or get their costumes on for the party.  Parents are welcome to set up for the party at that time. Please, no weapons, clowns, or ultra scarey costumes should be worn at school.  Thanks!

Curriculum Update:

Math: Unit 1 test is done.  Data binders should have come home for parents to peruse.  The goal behind these binders is to help your student self-monitor their growth through the year and feel proud of their accomplishments.  We are on to Unit 2, which is multiplication.  Watch for parent explanation sheets of methods to come home.  Hopefully, we may get a few student explanations filmed for the blog too!

Reading: Q is the level your student is considered proficient at this time of year.  Be sure your student is exercising their reading muscles nightly for at least 20-25 minutes!

Writing: We have turned in a published personal narrative and now we are on to our favorite! Writing realistic fiction! Students are off and running, developing characters and believable plots for their stories.

Science: After our econ test, we start our science unit off with the study of matter! We’ve got lots of great hands on experiments coming up!


Just want our parents to know what a great group of kids we are!  We have been getting “Outstanding” Awards from Mrs. Reagan and other teachers, and lots of compliments too!  Everywhere we go, we want to show that we are “Gentle Giants” – leaders who make good choices without needing a lot of reminders.

Have a great few weeks!


appleWow!  What a great start to the school year!!

First, a big shout out of “THANKS” to our parents for sending in all the great school supplies!  You really make a difference!  Thanks for the support.

Next, what a FANTASTIC bunch of fourth graders I have!  Thank you for sending me such neat kids. Already I can tell these guys are great thinkers filled with great ideas!  It is going to be a fun year of learning and growing together.

Homework and Math

This week, we begin full throttle into our fourth grade curriculum.  Your student should be bringing home a nightly folder that has daily mail in it.  This year we are going to try something new for homework.  On Monday, a sheet will come home for the week that’s entitled “Weekly Homework Sheet“.  On this sheet, you will see each day of the week on a grid.  Under each day will be 3 math problems.  These will be problems that relate to the current day’s math lesson.  It will be important for your student to practice what we’ve learned at home.  Please have a daily conversation with your student to see if they understand the math for the day and check over their problems with them.  Sometimes, hearing a concept explained to them by more than one person, can help them learn the skill at a deeper level.  Thanks in advance, for helping me out with this.  If your child is struggling with a concept, jot a note on the grid and we will tackle it in the classroom again one on one. Another resource you can use to help your child understand a concept are some of the videos I have posted by math operation under “Classroom Tutoring” at the bottom of the blog. These may be helpful in explaining a concept that is hard to get.  You can also email me if you have questions or need further explanations.

Homework and Reading

On the Weekly Homework Sheet mentioned above, there is also a square on the grid to have your student write the title of the book they are reading at home and the number of minutes that they have read per night.  This will count as their Reading Log.  Fourth graders are expected to read at least 20-30 minutes per night in a chapter book at their guided reading level. Research has proven that children become better readers when reading at least 90 minutes per day. We are working on increasing our reading minutes here at school, as well as, reading nightly at home.

Homework and MobyMax

Finally, there will be one last square on the grid to check off for fluency math practice on MobyMax.  Your 4th grader will be expected to be fluent in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.  One great way to practice this is online with MobyMax.  Your student will have a log in and password and should be practicing at least 5 minutes nightly.

So altogether, your student should really only have 30-40 minutes of homework a night.  He or she should be keeping track of it him/herself as we are promoting responsibility and independence strongly in 4th grade. I hope this explanation helps to know what’s expected and let me know if you have any questions!  Thanks!

-Mrs. Q

One More Week of M-Step!

Thank you for working so hard this last week fourth graders! You can be proud of your stamina and your abilities to think through a long testing process.  This week we conquer math on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Get your sleep both Monday and Tuesday nights and eat a good breakfast! Don’t forget our drum line chant from the Link Up Concert! “Yo! Focus! Con-Cen-Tra-Tion!!”

Fab Fact Phenoms!!

IMG_5619So far 18 students have made our “Fab Fact Phenom” board in the classroom!!  To be a “Fab Fact Phenom”, you must pass the four divisions of fact fluency on MobyMax!! WAY TO GO YOU PHENOMS!!  Once we all get there, we will have a pizza party to celebrate!! Keep on practicing those facts even after you are on the board!  Do not lose those facts! Keep them fresh in your minds!  🙂

Happy January!

winter2Hope everyone is enjoying the winter wonderland we live in! I haven’t posted in a while, so I thought I’d better catch up!

We have been hard at work writing personal essays and now we are learning to write “literary” essays. This is a skill that can be challenging for fourth graders! They are learning to determine the “big idea” of a piece of literature, and then to defend their thinking by providing “evidence” from within the writing. Everyone is doing a great job and soon they will be turning in their final essay.

In math, we are now moving on to a unit of story problems involving all operations. These are important because they involve everyday, “real-world” math situations, in which they have to determine the math operations (often more than one!) to use to solve the problem.  Again, as with their writing, this involves a lot of critical thinking skills! The students are learning to talk about how they are thinking with each other.  This inspires each thinker to see things in ways they might not have seen before!

Tuesday, January 26th is the date set for the science test on matter! Students will be coming home with flashcards today to practice.  Watch for a review sheet tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 22) to start working with your student studying for the test.  Next week, students will be switching classrooms for their next science unit! Students love getting to know the other fourth grade teachers and WE love getting to know them!

Two last dates to know are the next spelling quiz is on January 29th, and our Valentine’s Party will be February 12th at 2:30 pm.  Students will be making their own valentine’s boxes for a contest if they choose (completely optional to be a part of the contest!!!!).  Otherwise, I will provide a bag for them to decorate and put their valentines in.  So start searching online for that cute valentine’s box to make if you choose!

Stay warm!!!  -Love, Mrs. Q