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!!

Student Blogs Coming Soon!!

kidsSoon you will see a new feature attached to our classroom blog: individual student blogs!  The purpose of this activity is to promote connective reading and writing, cooperative learning, and responsible digital citizenship.   Our students are excited to have a platform in which to share their learning, talents, and abilities with other students.

Parent Permission & Guidelines

A letter was sent home yesterday explaining our new student blogs.  In order for your student to participate, please read through the letter, as well as, the student rules for blogging.  Be sure to discuss with your student why these rules are important.  Please read both copies, sign them, and send them back in to school.  We can’t wait to get started!!

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


2015 Just Write Celebration!

TN_pencil_24Greetings Parents,

On Monday, June 1st, our students will be celebrating their writing for the year. We are extending a formal invitation to all parents, or a special adult, to attend our Open House at 11:00 am in our classroom. Each student will have a writing piece or two to share, and will take their adult on a tour of the school to see other’s writing. We would love to see as many parents as possible on Monday, June 1 at 11:00 am in our classroom for this special time!

Non fiction writing

quetzalThere have been many interesting topics for non fiction writing that have been written in this classroom. Some of the topics are polar bears, spider monkeys, skiing, tigers, bears,and many more. They are due today (Wednesday) and some people are bringing them home for homework today and some people brought them home yesterday. Most people are done and they all have turned out great!

By: Mary and Ava.

Brrr! It’s Cold Outside!!


IMG_4637 (Photos from a Christmas activity with our bus-buddies!)
Hi Everyone!
Just a quick update since we have returned from holiday break. We had a great day yesterday with our technology/game day! Students did such a good job following our game time parameters and they really took good care of their expensive devices that they were allowed to bring to school. Thanks parents for trusting your fourth graders. They were very responsible.

We are currently working on writing personal/persuasive essays. Your student may be coming home with topics that are fresh and interesting to them. I have been using some debate prompts that make them think about what they think and feel about these subjects. They are being encouraged here to write their opinions about them. Please encourage them to talk with you about some of these topics (they will know what they are hopefully!) to get your opinion as well.

In math we are working on story problems and determining what operation to use when solving them. Now, we are using all four operations (+,-,/,x) and it can be tricky to decide what the problem is asking you to do to solve it. Please have a look at your student’s homework when they are finished to see how they are doing. Often reading the story problem out loud to them and discussing it, helps to determine what operation to use.

I also want to remind students (and parents too) that they should be reading for at least 15-20 minutes every night out of a chapter book or nonfiction book and recording it on their book log. I took a look at those (book logs) recently and found that many students were not recording their books and/or their times any more. Some students have 0 books recorded. Please encourage your readers to stay organized and focused on keeping track of their reading.

Finally, our Valentine’s Party will be Friday, February 13th, from 2-3 pm. Remember, if you are helping with the party, you may attend. Someone should be contacting you soon with what to bring or help with. If you did not put your name on the party sign-up sheet on Open House night and want to help, let me know and I will put you in touch with the Mom who is our lead parent for the party.

Thanks for a great bunch of kids and for all you do to keep our classroom going!








Spelling Words!

abc applesHi Parents!

Coming home today, you will see your child’s first list of spelling words.  They look like this:

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 4.23.04 PM  Please do not throw this out!  🙂  Put this somewhere that will remind your student to look over and study these words before our Friday quiz!  We will be doing short little quizzes to take a formative check to see how your child is developing in spelling.  Your child will be held accountable for spelling these words correctly in all of their writing.  Sometimes these words will be in sentences for the quizzes, and sometimes they will be in the form of a close passage (fill in the blank).  Sometimes, I may use a piece of their writing to check to see how they’re doing!  Please encourage your child to grow their spelling!!  Thanks!

Writing Celebrations!!


I am so proud of your children and their writing abilities!!  You would not believe how much they are improving!  So we had a “toast” to celebrate how much we’ve grown and how we hope to continue becoming the best writers we can!  This is what our top picture is about – our toast!  We have also invited the first graders to our “All About Museum” where we shared our All About Books with them.  We are now studying different authors to see what they do in their writing and to see what we can learn from them to implement it in our writing.  We are now going to try to live “writerly lives”!

Please enjoy our pictures below!!

Third Grade Writing Coaches!

Last Friday, just as we were getting ready to finish up our All About writing books, Miss Van Arkel’s third graders came over to lend us a helping hand!  The third graders came over to help us edit and revise our writing.  Each second grader had a third grade writing partner and together they came up with ideas for how to make the writing better, as well as, checking for spelling errors, capital letters, and punctuation errors.  The third graders were a HUGE help!  Here are a few pictures of the second and third grade students in action!

Mrs. Q’s Update – 1/12/11

TN_31-08-07_04Hi Everyone!  Hope this post finds everyone in good health and good spirits!  It is good to be back in school.  Routine is good for all of us!  Last week the kids were sleepy.  This week — not so much!  🙂  We’re back to our normal energy levels!  Whew!  I wish I could bottle it!!  🙂

We have started our “How To” writings! Watch for your student’s story to come home because I would love for them to present the idea that they are writing on.  For example, one student is writing on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I would love it if she could bring some supplies to demonstrate her writing.  More will be coming home on this idea for next week.

We are also beginning a unit on telling time next week.  Your student will need to be able to tell time up to five and one minute intervals on an analog clock (non-digital).  Another math item to help with is working with your student on adding and subtracting fluently. In other words, being able to add and subtract quickly without using their fingers.  Using fingers occasionally is not a bad thing, but I am seeing students use fingers to add 9 + 1!  Grabbing some flashcards to practice daily for a while would surely help!

One more thing!  You may have heard your child mention “Chapter Book Club“!  As a fun way to really get into chapter book reading, every time your student reads a chapter book, he/she will get punches on their “Chapter Book Club Card”.  When he/she gets 10 punches, we’ll have lunch together and I’ll serve brownies!!  So all Mrs. Q’s Book Buddies, Keep On Reading!!

Have a great rest of your week!  Love – Mrs. Q