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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Aisling - sure - go ahead and cut the top of the bottle off if your plant is overgrowing!  You'll have to remember to water it though once the top is gone.  And sure, you can make your own January reading log on the bottom of the December one for the 1st through the 4th - if you like.

Congrats to Aisling on finishing Tale of Despereaux and to Caroline and Thomas for being almost done :)

Dean, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  You'll have to tell me if it's very different from the movie.

Thomas - and anyone else who is wondering - you don't have to read during the rest of the vacation, but any vacation reading you do should be recorded on the December sheet for extra credit (even if it's January reading).  You'll get the new reading logs on Monday.

Alex,  that's so cool about your plants growing so much. Take a picture if you can.

Michael - Congrats on finishing your book. My daughters have always been fascinated by Titanic stuff. Just yesterday they went to an exhibit in NYC with artifacts from the ship.  I'll give you the link to show your parents in case you're interested.  Titanic: The Artifacts Exhibition

Hi Stephanie!  Congrats on finishing Inkheart. You beat me to it. I'm only half way through - well a little more than halfway.  Did you love it?  Let me know if you get a chance to read Inkspell. If not, I'll bring in a copy for you after the break if you want.

Isabelle, it's great to hear from you!  I posted your comment and an answer to it in the comments section.
Anyone who wants to can answer you here.

Blue Moon

Alex, I posted your answer in the comments section.

Do you know what a blue moon is?

Scientists are predicting we'll have a blue moon on New Year's Eve.

Look it up and send me your answers.  I'll post them here.

Hint - there is one current meaning but the phrase blue moon has had a number of meanings over the years. How many of them can you find?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Enjoying the break

I'm happy to hear from so many of you who are doing some great reading over the break.  Good for you!

Michael - sounds like you're having a great vacation!

To Mike and anyone else wondering about watering your plants - you shouldn't have to if you keep the bottle sealed. The water recycles  - a water cycle. However, if the dirt seems dry (because sometimes the bottles aren't sealed completely tight) or if you've had to open them to let the plants continue to grow, then sure, you can give them some water. Just don't flood them. :)  If you still have the bottle taped together, just unscrew the cap and put water in that way.

I hope everyone's having a great vacation and enjoying the time off from school!

Thomas, SO glad you got your cookies!

Teressa, way cool about your garden growing so much. Can you take a picture of it?

Waves to everyone else who stops by.  I miss seeing you every day so say hello if you drop by.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of the 4-208 families.  I hope you have a blessed and fun-filled holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week of December 21st to 23rd

My cat is Bartholomew. "Bart" for short, Mike.

There is no charge for tomorrow's dress down - it's a Christmas present from Mrs. Bartone.

Yes, Alex. You can write your own melody.

Tuesday homework -

Read the story about the song The Twelve Days of Christmas and write your own Christmas song.

Practice reading your Readers Theater script of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

The packets for test prep over the break went home today with a cover letter of explanation.

Just a note about the gardens - some of them haven't started to visibly grow yet because we planted them on different days.  The ones you see below were some of the first we planted. Some of the others are just beginning to sprout.  The one below is Mike B's and you can really see the new seedling growing from the bean. Also, look at all the roots!  If you look carefully, you can also see the corn growing in the middle against the bottle wall.

Our Three Sisters Gardens are growing -

This one is Dean's.

This one is Stephanie's.

This one shows germination.

Some More Pictures -

I took these two photos in the park this afternoon so you could use them for your observation. Click on them to see them full size.

and another

SPANISH Homework -

Color ten pictures on the sheet. Cut them out and paste them in the boxes. There is a rumor of a test on the sheet so know the ten things you did. You need to know them to play BINGO.

According to Thomas, he has it written in his notebook that there is a test on the words.   Thanks, Thomas for letting me know.

Monday Homework -

Read for 20 minutes and record in log.

Writing - Read the winter poems and write your own winter poem. (Yes you can type it ;)  ) Decorate the paper to suit your poem.

Math - worksheet and DHP book page 102.

Science - Do December Park observation in Science Notebook based on the view we observed from the art room today.

Religion - Take Advent Journal home and make sure you have completed everything up until today.

Science Fair packets go home today.

Mrs. DiDilectis has assigned the following essay:

What Saint Ephrem means to me.  The essay, which must be written neatly or typed, is due January 6, 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowman Cookies

I'm sure we'll have school tomorrow, Amanda.  The roads by my house are very clear. Is it bad by you?

Hope you're all enjoying the snow this morning!  Fenway thinks it's fun!

*waves* to Isabelle in Vermont. I'm glad you got there safely. Sorry about your frozen Three Sisters Garden. It's snowing so hard here that the other gardens may well be frozen too!  Let me know when you get settled in your house and we'll send you more of our seeds to replant your garden!

For anyone who feels like making cookies on a snowy day, here's a picture of the recipe you had for homework the other night.  These are the cookies I made for Isabelle's party.

If you click on the picture, you'll get the full size picture.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Week of December 14th - 18th

Mrs. B. - Yes I did.  I'll take care of it.

So glad to hear you're feeling better, Thomas. Good luck with the game tomorrow!

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in something for Isabelle's going away party.

A note regarding the grab bag presents -

We held a vote to determine whether to do Kris Kringle or Grab Bag. The majority voted for Grab Bag.  To be honest, I have had problems in the past with both methods and unhappy students :( so I almost didn't do it at all. We decided to go with the Grab Bag and allow only those who want to participate to do so.  Please note - you don't have to be a part of it. Anyone who brings in a present will get to choose a present. To make it simple, girls should bring a present for another girl and boys should bring a present for another boy. we will exchange presents at the party on Wednesday.

Yes - another party!  We sure have had a lot of them this month. This one will be pretty early in the morning since it's an early dismissal day. Children can bring in something to share, but they can also bring breakfast if they'd like.

Stephanie - yes you can type it.  See what I added below.

Ms. Jones, I'll send home a note with Brandon tomorrow.

Re the grab bag - It would be great if the children could bring it in by Monday (or Tuesday) so no one forgets it at the last minute, but they can bring it earlier if they wish.  As far as a price limit - it's been so long since I had to buy for this age - Does $10 sound about right or should it be $10 - $15? I'd love some feedback on what you think.

Thursday Homework -
 Reading 20 minutes (in Tale of Despereaux if you haven't finished)

Writing - Write a newspaper report of the Mouse Council meeting that we read aloud in class today. Be sure to really think like a reporter would and make sure to answer the W questions - Who? What? When? Where? Why?  Try to include a lot of details and make the scene come alive!  You can do it however you like - just a report on looseleaf, typed to look like a real newspaper story, etc. Be creative!

Math - p. 45

Spelling - We're going back to read The Train to Somewhere so I'm assigning those spelling words this week.  Do pages 6 and 7.

Aisling -   Yes he can. Tell him to give it to me in the morning.

Not sure who sent me the question about the Despereaux letter, but if you forgot the scroll, do it on looseleaf tonight and you can copy it onto the scroll tomorrow.

Wednesday Homework -

Reading 20 minutes (in Tale of Despereaux if you haven't finished)  You should at least be done with Book 1 ( page 81)

SS -  workbook pages 16 and 17.  Use textbook if you need it.

Writing - using the scroll I gave you, write a letter from Despereaux to Princess Pea telling her all about being trapped in the dungeon. Really try to think like Despereaux  and write the way he would, pouring his heart out to his beloved princess.

Math - if you didn't finish the multiplication/division practice - 1 - 30 on page 172 - finish for homework.

Remember your party stuff.  :)

Parents - the majority decided on a Christmas grab bag so that only those who wished to participate could. Girls should buy girl presents and boys should buy boy presents.

Hi Mike.  Congrats on finishing Tale of Despereaux!  Teressa will have him tomorrow night and Victoria will have him Thursday so you can have him for the weekend.

Isabelle - don't worry about it. I'll explain better tomorrow.

Tuesday Homework

Reading 20 minutes (in Tale of Despereaux if you haven't finished)

Reading sheet (Snowman Cookies)

Math Cooking/Measurement sheet.  If you have trouble with this, just try your best and bring in what you were able to do.

Science - in your Science notebook, write and draw what you expect will happen in your Three Sisters Garden. Base your predictions on what you know about plant growth and on what you have observed in the bottles done so far.

Got your message. Thanks, Mrs. Maguire!

Aisling - you should still be able to order tonight. Let me know if there's a problem.

Alex - As many as you can find.  Themore the better!

Teressa!  Woo Hoooooo.  Soon you can take Despereaux home with you! (And it's not even snowing!  ;)  )

Today was Ms.Michelle's last day with us so it was a bittersweet day. We will miss her A LOT!

Homework -

Reading 20 minutes (in Tale of Despereaux if you haven't finished)
In RRJ - list examples of language Kate DiCamillo uses to show the themes of light and darkness in Tale of Despereaux

Math - sheet (both sides) You don't have to actually measure it if you can figure it out.

SS - sheets comparing your house with Native American houses

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Word Study

Amanda, today's Tale of Despereaux sheet is totally different. This is the double entry journal sheet.

Yes, Nicolas - noun and verb

Amanda - no, don't glue it. The final page will be bigger.

Alex - you cna read as far as you want as long as you're willing to go back and reread certain parts with me when we get to them.

Aisling - they don't have to be any big deal - just language that you like, or a scene you particularly like and why you chose it. We'll continue to add to it as we read.

Thursday homework -

WORD STUDY test is tomorrow. You should know both noun and verb meanings for the words that have both.

Reading - read on in Tale of Despereaux and do Double Entry Journal

Science - Read pages  A 70 - 73 and do questions 1 - 15 on sheet.

Isabelle - sorry I just got your comment. No, if you did the 3 digit, you didn't have to do 2 digit.

Math test - for those who were absent and the others asking, I'll repost what's below about the Math test -

It's the multiplication part of Chapter 4. The information is on pages 138, 140, 142, 146, 148,156. There are sample problems on other pages. It should all be in your notebook too. In addition to those pages, the test will include double digit multiplication which you can do the standard way or with lattice.

Ryan and anyone else who is wondering - on the Math, if the apples are too dark, write the answer beneath or next to it.

Aisling - and anyone else - yes, Alex's question was if you can type the SS letter. Yes, you can but of course you don't have to.

I've gotten a few questions about reading ahead in Tale of Despereaux. I was rereading it on the subway this afternoon and wondering how many of you hated having to stop rather than read on. Please don't read on any more tonight but we can talk about it tomorrow and see if we can find a way to work it out. I know it's HARD to want to read on and not be able to.

Mrs. B - yes, Level 6 would be grade 6

Amanda,  yes you can predict before you read chapter 3. Or if you've already read it, you can predict about chapter 4 or beyond.

Alex, yes you can type the letter.  For the math you have to do the 2 - digit but try the 3 - digit as a challenge.

The word study program that we are working with has a website with review work and vocabulary games that can help you to learn the words and their meanings.

Go to WordlyWise3000 Grade 4 and click on Lesson 1 under Word List or Games.

Homework - Wednesday

Read for 20 minutes (including Chapter 3 of Tale of Despereaux).
Complete sheet for Tale of Despereaux (you can use any information from the first 3 chapters)

Math - sheet and study for test

SS - Read pages 78 - 83. Do questions on page 83 (1 - 5) in notebook. Do the writing link as a letter instead of a short story and do that on looseleaf.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week of December 7th - 11th

Answers to questions - December 8th

Anthony - It's the multiplication part of Chapter 4. The information is on pages 138, 140, 142, 146, 148,156. There are sample problems on other pages. It should all be in your notebook too. In addition to those pages, the test will include double digit multiplication which you can do the standard way or with lattice. 

We will spend time tomorrow reviewing multiples and word problems.

Thomas, that's fine.

Amanda - not really but we can look at the answer tomorrow

Alex - yes, you need to know all the math terms for multiplication.  The word study will be a combination of different types of questions where you will have to be able to identify which vocabulary word goes with which meaning.

Mrs. B - your message worked  :)

December 7th

Homework is light tonight because so many of you will be coming out to meet teachers and because we have three tests to study for.

Tests -

Science (Wed) - food chains (text pages A 48 - 50)
Math(Thurs) - multiplication - properties and double digit multiplication
Word Study (Friday) - words and definitions from Word List 1

Read for 20 minutes and record on December Log

RRJ - write about the play The Bakers Dozen. Summarize the story. What is the morale of the tale? What connections can you make to today's Advent story or anything else?

Religion - you have 2 choices. Either write a paragraph about why we are off tomorrow (What is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?) or write a prayer to Mary.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Week of November 30th - December 6th

Amanda,  for this first word study test I expect you to be able to match a word with a definition - (some matching column, some multiple choice) and to use the word correctly in a sentence.

Yes, Teressa, for now you only decorate your folder with pictures of the animal you picked. You can either draw them or find pictures and cut them out.

Alex - Re the card for Ms. Michelle, no it doesn't have to be in by tomorrow.  Please have them to me by Wednesday at the latest so I have time to put it all together.  Thanks!

Weekend -

Reminder - dismissal is at 11:30 on Monday.

REMEMBER to try to bring in an empty 2 liter soda bottle if you have one to use for our Three Sisters Gardens. We'll start planting them on Thursday if we have enough bottles.

Weekend homework is the card for Ms. Michelle and to decorate your Native American folders with your clan animal. If you need a reminder, click on the link on the side and it will take you to the page we looked at in class today. Isabelle and Anthony, don't worry about that since you don't have a folder or a clan yet. We'll set you up when you get back.  Hope you're feeling better soon!

Ms. Michelle's last day with us will be this Friday.  :-/

 We'll be having a party for her on Friday afternoon so if you'd like to bring in a treat you may but you don't have to.

Yet another reminder - about the three tests for next week.  There are three because the Math and Science should be really easy. You all know everything for these tests. Science is about food chains and Math is multiplication. Just make sure you know the definitions of the parts of a food chain (you can find review information and even some games on this site - food chains).  For math - make sure you know array, product, factors, and the four properties - zero, identity, commutative and associative. And of course you have to know how to multiply. :)

The word study test is on the meanings of the words from Word List 1.


Reminder - please send in the report card conference form if you haven't already done so.  Thanks!

Homework - Thursday

Read for 20 minutes and enter on December Log.

Math - sheet

Word Study - sheet

SS - finish DBQ.  Due Friday

Study for upcoming tests -
Wednesday - Science (food chains)
Thursday - Math (multiplication)
Friday - Word Study (on the List 1 words you've been working on - the ones in your word study folder)

Homework - Wednesday

Read for 20 minutes and enter on December Log. You should have handed in the November Log by now.

Religion - read pages 156 - 157. Do first question only on page 157.

Math - page 41 in DHP book. Do questions 1 and 2 from page 42 on looseleaf. Show all work.

Word Study - sheet

Science - finish park observation

SS - DBQ essay (Due Friday)  Note - DBQ should be handwritten on looseleaf, not typed.


Tomorrow is the Christmas Sale. Our class will go at 10 am.

Homework -  Tuesday

Rosa Parks packet.  Read the Interview with Rosa Parks and the other sheets and answer the questions.

Math - do the even problems on page 54of Daily Homework Practice Book. You can use either the traditional method or the Lattice method but show all your work in your notebook.

If you need some help remembering the Lattice method check this website -  link to lattice math

Tomorrow is the last day to send in money for Econoboards.

In response to the question regarding Econoboards -

The Econoboards are the boards used by the children for their Science Fair Projects.  The Science Fair committee sent home a letter last week  with the ordering information. It costs $3.75 to order one. The paper said that the money was due last Monday but we are still accepting orders.  Although it is early to be thinking about Science Fair projects, the committee wanted to order the boards so the children would have them over Christmas Break to begin working.

GET WELL wishes go out to all who were home sick today. We missed you and hope you're feeling better soon!

Homework - Monday

A couple of important reminders -

1.  Park trip is tomorrow. Remember your permission slip if you haven't already sent it.
2.  Notices to sign up for Parent/Teacher conferences went home today. Please return as soon  as            possible.
3.  December calendars went home today.
4.  It's not too late to send in the money for the Econoboards.  Please send as soon as possible.

Read for 20 minutes. This is the last day of the November reading log so please finish filling it in and bring it in tomorrow.  In your RRJ, write me a letter telling me your thoughts about your November reading.

Math - both sides of sheet. Today's Measurement Monday lesson was linear metric measurement.

Science - write a reflection (on looseleaf) about what you learned in today's Science lab. How did working on the Thanksgiving food chain help you to better understand the role of producers and consumers?

SS - sheet.  For those who prefer to see the photo in color - here's a link. Just click on the image to make it larger.  The title of the image is The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I would like to wish all of our families a Happy Thanksgiving.
As I told the children today, when I count my blessings for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I will be thinking of them and their families because I am so thankful for the joy they bring to my life each day.

A few reminders for next week -

Remember to bring the picture of you (and your family if you can) to use for Ms. Michelle's Science class on Monday.

Remember your permission slip for the McKinley Park trip on Tuesday.

Social Studies brochures are due on Monday.

For those who wanted to do the Writing Extra Credit but didn't get a picture - here is the picture prompt:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

REMINDER - dismissal is at 11:30 tomorrow.

In response to questions -

Isabelle - yes, for the whole day - every subject.

Anthony - you can glue them however you like. That is something we did in class on Friday so I saved one for you. Pretty much everyone took them home so you can do it however you like and keep it at home.

Tuesday Homework

Read for 20 minutes and record on log. Reminder - November logs will be due on Tuesday, December 1st.

In your RRJ, write about the book you are reading and whether it is a "good fit" for you.

Math - Thanksgiving problems (both sheets). Be sure to show your work.

SS - study for test. Be sure to review anything you got wrong on the practice test.

Word Study - Read the words on Word list 1. Use those words/definitions to help you complete both sides of the sheet.  Some of you have asked about the word study test. We won't have a test on those words until after Thanksgiving Break (Thursday, December 3rd).

Reminder - those I spoke to who are going to be busy with the Art show tonight - please make sure you study and do the math. You can catch up on the rest over Thanksgiving Break.


Alex - How was it powered means how did it get the energy to move.  Think about how boats traveled back then.  Hint - look at the boat.  What does it have that it needs to sail?

Monday Homework

Read for 20 minutes and record on log. Reminder - November logs will be due on Tuesday, December 1st.

Math - DHP - page 40.

SS/ELA - Thanksgiving worksheet.

Reminder to study Chapter 1 for SS test on Wednesday. (pages 7 - 37)

Religion - write the things that you are thankful for in the turkey. Color and cut out.

Spelling - words on page 13 - write 3 x each and use each in an original sentence.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week of November 16 - 20

Ryan -  the Landforms of NY paper is supposed to be part of your cover. You cut it out and put it on the construction paper.

Homework - Thursday

Read for 20 minutes and record on log.

Math - Fact Families for 8 times table (in notebook)
Religion - skinny book - pages 7 & 8

Social Studies - p. 36 - Vocabulary and People and Places. Do on Looseleaf. Will be collected and graded.


Lots of questions coming in - here are some answers.

Ryan - I don't know what to tell you about the Thesaurus.  That's for Mrs. DiDilectis. She told everyone they needed to have a Dictionary and Thesaurus.  As for the Religion - you can certainly look up information about  St. Rose Philippine Duchesne on the computer but the thinking part of the answer has to come from you.  Once you know information about her (like what we read in our book) you need to think about how that shows God's love in action.

Teressa - the landform project is due by Friday if you haven't already finished it.

Thomas - Yes about the rose but I don't understand what you mean about the "liberty homework".  Did you mean library?

Homework - Wednesday

Read for 20 minutes and record on log.

Math- DHP page 34

Social Studies - finish landforms booklet if yours isn't done.
Test is next Wednesday.

Religion - today is the feast day of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. We read about how she felt like a failure because she couldn't learn to speak to the Potawatomi  in their own language. Write a Feast Day card or letter to her explaining why she was not a failure but was instead a success because of how she showed the Kingdom of God as love in action. (See page 39 in your book for more info about her life.)
Test on Chapter 2 is on Monday.


 Isabelle, for now you don't need to draw the entire crowd. You can draw some faces or stick figures or just some squiggles and label it "crowd".  Be creative.  ;)

Got your message, Alex.  You'll just have to make it up tomorrow.

Homework - Tuesday

Read for 20 minutes and record on log.

Math- DHP page 38 (except for the people who received worksheets)

SS - workbook page 6

ELA - draw a detailed sketch of your memory #1 on the back of the 5W's sheet.

To the people sending questions about the math -

Yes, try the Spiral Review. I would like to see what strategies you use.

The directions say to estimate and then measure.  You can estimate all of the answers. If there is something that you can't actually measure, then just put your estimate.

SPANISH HW - pages 82 (Act  D) and 83 (Act  E). Study words for test.

Homework - Monday

Read for 20 minutes and record on log.

Math - It's Measurement Monday so the homework  has to do with measurement.  Daily Homework Practice Book page 83.

Science - Read pages A56-61 and do worksheet.

Today is International Day of Tolerance. 
We read the book Listen to the Wind:  The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea.
Read the sheet and write an essay in answer to the question on the bottom. You may draw a picture to go with it or make a collage like the artist did for the book.
If you are having problems remembering the story - click on the link of the title and it will take you to the Amazon page. There's a short video of Dr. Greg talking about his book. You can also see some of the pages that may help remind you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homework - November 12th

Read for 20 minutes and record on log.

Religion - use book to complete key word sheet

Math - Daily Homework Practice Book - page 33.  Do 2 - 14.  EVEN # problems only. Also do 16 and 17.  You need to draw an array that expresses each of these problems.  Do in notebook.

Science - study sheets for test. If using text, it's only lesson 4 on ecosystems.


To the student who just emailed me a question.  I don't have the book that came from home with me, but if you type the sentence into a comment, I'll look at it and try to help you.

edited to add - I got your followup question. If you look on page A48 of your text, the last sentence in the first paragraph, you should see -

"Consumers and decomposers must get food from producers or other consumers."

That should help.

Also, to the person who emailed asking if the test was on all of chapter 1.

I told you that the test was on the material on the 5 worksheets only.  I gave back two corrected ones, I'll give back the other tomorrow, and the last one is the one you have now. 

If you're relying on your text, it is on Lesson 4 only.  That's pages  A 38 - A51 but not including A44 and 45.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week of November 9 - 13

Tomorrow school is closed in honor of Veterans Day. Today we did a class on the meaning and history of Veterans Day and we discussed ways of showing our thanks to all the Veterans from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines who sacrifice and serve to preserve our freedoms and help bring peace to the world. We also discussed the sacrifices made by the families of the veterans when they have to carry on at home.

In appreciation of the service and sacrifice, the students are making thank you cards which will be sent to the Veterans' Hospital.  They are also writing a prayer or poem on a "paper brick" to help build our wall of peace.

At 11 am tomorrow, try to remember the original armistice signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Additional homework -

Read for 20 minutes each day. Respond in your RRJ for one of the days.  If you would like to reread the pages on Veterans Day that we looked at in school, that could count for one of your readings.

Science - worksheet and study for test!

We were watching a video on YouTube about a ladybug invasion of a mountain community. The ladybug population was estimated at over a million!  I included a link to the You Tube video as well as the Memorial Day videos on the right side of the page.


The Thanksgiving Food Drive has begun.  Our class was assigned canned carrots to bring in but Mrs. Bartone said any canned vegetable is fine if you can't find canned carrots.

Homework - Monday -

Read for 20 minutes and record on log.  I'm noticing a lot of people who aren't keeping their logs up to date.

Math - do sheet (both sides) as a review for tomorrow's test. Show your work on the sheet.
Study rounding and estimating for tomorrow's test.

Science - finish worksheets. Remember - they follow along exactly with the headings in the text.
These sheets plus the ones in your Science folder are the ones you should be studying for Friday's test.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thanks to Mrs. Lombardi for letting me know about this author reading/book signing:

Fancy Nancy Author Jane O'Connor & Illustrator Robin Glasser
The BookMark Shoppe 8415 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Tel: 718.833.5115
Fax: 718.680.3680

Friday, November 6, 2009 6:30 p.m.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Week of November 2nd - 6th

REMINDER - tomorrow is Picture Day!

If by any chance you lost your envelope, you can either:

~ put the money in an envelope with the information about which picture you want (if you know)
~ stop by the office in the morning. They have extra papers there.

Thursday November 5th

Read for 15 minutes or more and record in your log.
Math - sheet  Part A (1 - 8)  Remember test next Tuesday
LA - 2 sheets on sentences. Some of us have been getting a bit sloppy about remembering to write in complete sentences so this is a reminder/review.

Science - In your Science notebook (as part of the pumpkin observation) respond to the question Why do pumpkins grow mold?  You can look up information or just write what you think based on what you know or have observed.

I received a question about the vocabulary words so I'll copy over what was posted yesterday:

Word Study - choose the same 10 words you are using for math and write the definitions of the words in your word study notebook. You should already have the list of words in there.

 You can choose ANY ten of the vocabulary words. Remember, you don't have to be able to buy them with your $50 this time. You're just figuring out the value and putting the ten words you chose in order from greatest to least value.

Wednesday November 4th

Read for 15 minutes or more and record in your log.
In your RRJ, write a letter to me telling me your thoughts about the book you are reading.

Science - sheet

Religion - Beatitude paper. In case you forgot, you should fold a piece of construction paper in half like a card. Choose a Beatitude and write it neatly on one side. On the other side draw a picture of you acting in a way that shows the Beatitude in action. Underneath you can explain your picture if you think it needs it. Remember to put your name on the front!

Reminder - Math test next Tuesday on rounding and estimating.  We'll go over it tomorrow in class.


Tuesday  November 3rd   Election Day!

Read for 15 minutes - you should be finishing up The Witches soon if you haven't.

SS - pretend you are either a member of the Lenni Lenape or Henry Hudson's crew and write a letter to someone (a family member back in England, your future children, your wife, another Native American, etc. ) telling them all about the events you witnessed when Henry Hudson and his crew arrived. This is due on Wednesday.

Math - you were working with Miss Michelle to calculate the value of your vocabulary words (according to the key). Make sure you have the value of 10 words and then order them from greatest to least. Do the 2 fun worksheets she gave you.  Due Thursday.

Word Study - choose the same 10 words you are using for math and write the definitions of the words in your word study notebook. You should already have the list of words in there.


Thanks to everyone for the Halloween wishes!

Please note - notices went home today about ordering the school jackets and about school photos.
An important notice went home last week about the Swine Flu vaccine. Please check your child's folder and let me know if you didn't get any of these.

Homework -

Read 15 minutes (The Witches if you haven't yet finished it) and record on November log. You should have handed in the October log today.

Religion - complete the heart for deceased family members we will include in our prayers for the month of November.

Math sheet - this sheet pulls together the ideas about rounding and estimating that we have been working on. The directions should be clear - just read carefully. You round, then add for your estimate.

Today we watched a DVD that was a combination of art and science.  In your ART journal, write a reflection about the art and science you thought about as you watched the DVD or any other thoughts you might have about the art ecosystem.  Parents, if you are interested in seeing more about this, you can find parts of the video at the PBS site - the two clips at the top of the page called Inside Neukom Vivarium and Installing Neukom Vivarium. There is also some more information on that page about the project.

Even though this homework is in your art journal - it is still due to me tomorrow.  Mrs. Bardo will look at it next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


For those who asked -

You will get the new November Reading Log tomorrow.  Today is a free day.  If you want to read today, just add it onto the bottom of your October log.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spanish Homework

The Spanish Homework due 11/3 is:

pages 63 - 64, 65 if not done, 69 Actividad F,
Study Mi Familia
Test on Tuesday - How to change nouns from singular to plural.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Writing Celebration

Thursday's homework is in the post below this one.

Here's the picture of the cake that some of you asked me to post.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Week of October 26 - 30

Thursday Homework -

Today was such a busy day so the homework is light.

Please finish your sketch from the park trip and remember to complete the information about populations and communities you saw in the park ecosystem.   If you don't remember what ecosystems, populations and communities are - thereis some helpful information on this site. The Franklin Institute

Reminder - Saint Projects are due tomorrow. If you aren't sure what those are, look below at the info from last Friday. I included some helpful links there.

Also - some people have asked if they can bring in treats for tomorrow. We will be celebrating Kaylin's birthday, but other treats are welcome as well if you like. It's not necessary to send something, but if you want to, feel free.

NO Thursday NIA this week.

Sorry, I printed out a notice to send home today but I got distracted and then found it on my desk after everyone left.

Homework - Wednesday October 28th

Read for at least 15 minutes. (The Witches if you haven't finished or something else if you have)

LA - Write your answer to the question about the Mouse Formula (on the sheet)


Tomorrow is Statue of Liberty Day. What do you know about the Statue of Liberty?

Homework -  Tuesday October 27th

Read The Witches for at least 15 minutes. You can now read as much of it as you'd like beyond the 15 minutes.

LA - Write the final copy of your spooky story.  You can hand write or type it - either is fine.

Math - in your notebook, write a reflection about what you did and what you learned in Math today. Some of you were with me in a small group 1st period; some of you were with me in a larger group 2nd period; some of you were in Title I math. The idea here is for you to think and write about YOUR math experience today.

YES, there is gym class tomorrow.

There will be no NIA on Thursday of this week.  Sorry.


Day one of our Middle State's visit went smoothly. The children behaved SO beautifully. Miss Michelle (our student teacher) and I were so very impressed!

Let's keep it up for day 2 and see how many warm fuzzies we can earn.

We also began a new routine with Measurement Monday. Every Monday we'll be focusing on measurement as part of Math or some other subject in order to develop measurement skills.

Homework -

Read The Witches. I assigned up to page 87 but if it's taking too long, you can stop before that.

Fill out the graphic organizer for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This is very similar to the one we worked on today for The Witches. It's just a different format and you have to ask yourself if there is a resolution to that story.

In response to the question - no, don't cut it out,
but yes, you can color it lightly if you like. You don't have to but you can.

Math - sheet on measurement.

LA - work on spooky story.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Dean Lombardi won first place in the Halloween contest at the St. Ephrems's party as the Headless Horseman!

Congratulations! I'm sure Ichabod is proud of you!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Looking for something to do this weekend??

I saw an ad this week for a one man production of The Legend of Ichabod Crane for children

Here's a link for more information if you're interested.

The Brooklyn Lyceum

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week of October 19th - 23rd

Friday October 23, 2009

First up - HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all our wonderful Math Bee contestants. You've worked so hard and you show so much courage getting up on that stage in front of the audience. I'm SO proud of all of you!!!!!!!!

Next - we were reading two chapters of The Witches today. By Monday you should have finished up to page 64. Please don't read past that. I know it's hard but I want to discuss it with you on Monday before you read what comes next.

If you don't use up your full 15 minutes for your reading log, just go back to reading whatever other book you have.

DUE next Friday -
I just want to give some advance warning about your Saint project that is due on Friday, October 30th.

You are to create a booklet (like the one you did in 3rd grade) for our class saints. Our class has two saints - Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. John Baptiste de la Salle (note - this is not John the Baptist). I assigned Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton to the girls and St. John Baptiste de la Salle to the boys, but if you really prefer to do the other one you may. Just let me know. You can always do both if you need extra credit.

You can find information on each saint by clicking the links below:

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. John Baptiste de la Salle

St. John Baptiste de la Salle

St. John Baptiste de la Salle

Please remember this is to be your own work! Of course you can look up information. (That's called research!) But write it in your own words. Copying someone else's words is wrong. That's called plagiarism!

Finally, our Middle States visit begins with the assembly and 5 o'clock Mass on Sunday. We would love to have as many students as possible join us for Mass. Please wear your uniform if you are attending.


Note to the person who wrote asking what an epitaph is. There is a definition of it on the top of your paper.

Homework Thursday October 22, 2009

Since so many of our classmates are in the Math Bee tomorrow, I'm going light on homework tonight.

Read the next chapter in The Witches and think of any questions, ideas or predictions you might have.

Get Math test signed. If you scored less than 103, write me a note explaining either what your mistake was (if it was just a mistake but you really do know it) or wjat part of the math is confusing to you. (In other words - where are you getting stuck?)

Fill in the epitaph for Ichabod Crane on the headstone. Use your imagination and your knowledge of his character to decide what to write.

GOOD LUCK tomorrow to our Math Bee contestants!!!!! We're so proud of you!

Homework Wednesday October 21, 2009

Dress in red tomorrow for Red Ribbon Week ($2.00)

Read the next chapter in The Witches and complete the chart. Remember to include this on your log. You have to turn the paper over for the remainder of the month.

Science - vocabulary sheet
(If you have not brought in your permission slip - remember it tomorrow!)

Writing complete the sheet about your story.

I sent a notice home about a class directory.

Homework Tuesday October 20, 2009

Today, October 20th, 2009 is the first annual National Day on Writing. As part of our celebration of writing, for homework I want you to write for 15 minutes in your Writer's Notebook about any topic and in any form you would like. That means you can write a story, a poem, comic, letter, email, etc. Just write for at least 15 minutes!

Reading - Read the second chapter of The Witches - pages 12 - 23.

Complete, color and cut out Religion sheet on being a Disciple.

Study for Math test - Place value, ordering numbers, <, >, =

Note - some people had a question - YES you do have gym tomorrow.


Please note there will be no NIA class tomorrow, Tuesday, due to the half day.

Homework Monday October 19, 2009

Bring in Permission slip for this month’s park trip.

Read for 15 minutes and record on log.

Religion – Unit 1 Take Home Test. You may use your book to answer the questions.

Math – do review sheet for test. Be sure to tell me if there is a part you couldn’t understand.

1) On the sheet, draw your favorite scene from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

2) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ends in a mysterious way. Which of the following do you think best explains the ending? On looseleaf, write a paragraph explaining which answer you chose and why you chose it.

a) “Some suspect he was the victim of a cruel prank, and blame his disappearance on Brom Van Brunt.”

b) “Some say he left on his own accord, too embarrassed to face his beloved Katrina.”

c) “It would not surprise me if he had been spirited away by some … headless ghost.”

Remember – Dismissal tomorrow is at 11:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week of October 13th - 16th

Thursday Homework

Reading - On page 50 of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane is having a great night and thinks it can’t get any better, but the author says “In fact, it was about to get much worse.”  In your RRJ, make a prediction about how you think it was about to get worse. What bad things do you think might happen to Ichabod?  Read to find out if your predictions were correct.

By Monday you should have finished this book.

Math – we will be having a test next Wednesday on place value, ordering numbers greatest to least and least to greatest, and using the symbols

Social Studies – workbook pages 3 and 4.

Wednesday Homework -

Reading -  Read chapters 5 and 7 of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If it doesn't take the full 15 minutes, you can read from your regular book. Enter on log.

Writing - In your Writer's Notebook, list 6-12 possible ideas for your spooky story. Remember they should be somehow related to the poster you are doing for art and should involve the Hudson River/Hudson River Valley in some way.

Math - Daily Homework Practice Book - page 5

Tuesday Homework -

Reading - Read chapters 3 and 4 of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If it doesn't take the full 15 minutes, you can read from your regular book. Enter on log.

Response - Do both in RRJ:

1)  Good readers set a purpose for reading. Our purpose in reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is to see how the author used Hudson River landmarks, places etc. to write a spooky story. After you have read chapters 3 and 4, go back to Chapter1 and look at all 4 chapters for examples of how Washington Irving used details about the Hudson River Valley to make his story come alive.  List some of those details (and the page number) in your RRJ.

2) Based on what you read in Chapter 3, draw a picture of wh at you think Ichabod Crane looks like.

Math - sheet  (There are 2 different sheets. You should have the one based on your progress today)

Spelling - test tomorrow

Reader's Theater - practice your script

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Columbus Day Weekend

My apologies about the Spelling Test. I had to leave at 11 on Friday to attend a workshop and we had been so busy working on a Social Studies map project that I completely forgot to give the Spelling test before I left.  So sorry!

I don't want to be unfair to anyone who didn't bring their Spelling book home to review, so I'll make the test on Wednesday. 

The children should be studying their Spanish.

There is no written homework for me this weekend, but as usual, students should be reading each day!

Enjoy the beautiful weather, notice any changes you see in our environment, and have a great Columbus Day off!  See you on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Special Subject Homework (assigned week of 10/5)

Spanish - study pages 48 - 50

Be sure to check in the post further down the page for homework due this week.

Edited - I'm copying the library information from down below since it's for tomorrow.

Library - (due Thursday 10/8)
study new notes - Dictionary
Study sheet on compounds

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week of October 5th - 9th

Thursday October 8th

Read - 15 minutes and record on October log.

Math - p. 4 in your Daily Homework Practice Book. Show any work in your notebook.
Spelling - test tomorrow on words from Ch 1 of Spelling book. The words that go with A Visit With Grandpa.

ELA - Write the essay to answer the prompt from yesterday.  I'll repeat it so you're sure.
Characters often change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story. Choose a character from Fourth Grade Rats and explain how he or she changed during the story. Use examples from the story to support your answer.

Yesterday you completed the chart. Using the information from your chart, write a 5 paragraph essay. Your essay should include an introduction (remember TTQA!), a paragraph each for the beginning, middle and end, and a conclusion which is basically just restating the introduction in a different way to show that you proved your answer.

Wednesday October 7th

Read - 15 minutes and record on October log.

Word Study - Write a sentence for each of the seven words. Do this in your word study notebook. Please create sentences that show you understand the meaning of the word. That will help you build your vocabulary.

Social Studies - Read text book pages 10 - 15. We will be doing a clay map of NY landforms tomorrow so try to really understand the different landforms you are reading about.

Reading/Writing - We are developing the skills to make text-based responses to questions like the following:
Characters often change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story. Choose a character from Fourth Grade Rats and explain how he or she changed during the story. Use examples from the story to support your answer.

For tonight, you are supposed to complete the chart you copied into your Reading/LA notebook. If you don't have it, it should look something like this:

                                            Suds Morton


Tuesday October 6th

Read - 15 minutes and record on October log.

Writer's Notebook - Respond to the prompt from Writing Magic -   A character finds a diamond necklace on the schoolbus seat.  Write for at least 15 straight minutes without stopping.  Remember that you are allowed to change any of the details you want to make it your own creation. You can change the character, change the schoolbus, change the necklace, etc.  - it's yours to make writing magic with.  (In reply to the question - yes - in your Writer's Notebook)

Math - sheet.  This is a review of both reading expanded form and comparing and ordering numbers.

Word Study - copy all of the highlighted definitions of the first seven words into your word study notebook. Be sure to think about the words and their meanings while you copy.

Spelling test on Friday is NOT on these words. It is on the words from Chapter 1 of the Spelling Book.

Monday, October 5th

 Each child received a notice today with information about the NIA program which starts tomorrow.

Read - 15 minutes and record on October log. You should have already handed in the September Log. Please make sure I have it by tomorrow if you have not already done so.

Writer's Notebook - continue writing the piece you were working on today. Write for at least 10 straight minutes without stopping. You're trying to just get the ideas on paper now. You can go back later and make it better.

Math - Daily Homework Practice Book - page 3

Religion - Review and Resource Book  page 4

Study Chapter 1 spelling words - test Friday

Sunday, October 4, 2009


To reply to a question I received -

YES, Terra Nova is over (unless you were absent and have to take a makeup)!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Special Subject Homework assigned week of 9/28

Art -

Finish your sketches if you haven't. Everyone should be ready to paint this week.

Spanish -
Page 37  Act. G

Pages 44, 45  Act. A, B

Library - (due Thursday 10/8)
study new notes - Dictionary
Study sheet on compounds

Monday, September 28, 2009

Week of September 28 - October 2

Happy Weekend!

Terra Nova testing is done except for the people who have makeups. We'll take care of makeup testing this week.

We'll also begin using the two writing books this week so if you did get them, make sure and bring them to class. If you didn't get them, no worries. They were optional.

No homework!

NIA classes start this week - Tuesday and Thursday. Everyone pretty much got the day they asked for, but I'll send a note home on Monday so no one is confused about which day to come.


And another day of testing. Just one more to go.

For tonight I want you to write a revised and edited draft of your pet story. Do it on looseleaf and skip a line at the end of each line you write the way I showed you in class. I will collect them and review them before you do your good copy.

Tomorrow is a Dress Down Day for Breast Cancer awareness. There is no specific color to wear but the day is sponsored by Lee jeans as Denim Day and the color for breast cancer awareness is pink so if you'd like to wear jeans or pink, that would be great!  Donation is $2.00

PIZZA starts tomorrow for those who ordered.

Edited to explain (in answer to comments):

1)  Use the following heading:

Your name                             October 1, 2009
4-208                                     St. Ephrem School

2) For those who were absent and are not clear on what we're doing. You had a draft of your pet story in your Writer's Notebook. You were supposed to have already revised it. Today you are supposed to edit it and then rewrite the piece on looseleaf, skipping lines, and hand it in to me for review before you finish the final draft.
If you were absent and don't understand, do the best you can and we'll figure the rest out when you return.

Wednesday -

Still in Terra Nova mode so homework is light.

Read for 15 minutes and respond in RRJ to the question about Fourth Grade Rats.

In the part of the story we read today, something happened that made Suds snap and begin to act like a really bad rat.  What happened? How do you feel about his behavior? Use examples from the story to support your answer.

Extra - if you'd like, respond to the question Nicolas asked. If you were one of the people who had chosen Suds as the friend you'd prefer, how do you feel about the choice now? How about the people who chose Joey. How do you feel t your choice now?

NOTE:  Quite a few notices went home today including an important letter from Mrs. Bartone and the October calendar.

Tuesday -

We had a long morning of testing today so the homework is light.

Read for 15 minutes and complete the Religion sheet.

Remember to have your sharpened pencils!!


Terra Nova testing begins tomorrow.

Please be sure to get a good sleep, eat breakfast, and bring several sharpened #2 pencils and an eraser.

Please note - if you are not feeling well, it is much better to stay home and rest rather than come in and take the test when you are not thinking clearly. You can take a makeup when you return and the results will likely be much better.

Homework will be lighter for the rest of the week because of testing.

For Monday -

Read 15 minutes and record on log.

Math - practice expanded form.  page 6 in text  # 12 - 19 on looseleaf. I will collect.

Religion - read page 18 and share with your family. Read and complete 19 - 22.

Remember - sleep, breakfast, pencils, eraser and RELAX!!!!!!!!

Also remember - there is Spanish class tomorrow so remember your homework and books.

BOOK ORDERS (online or paper forms) are due tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Special Subject Homework week of 9/21 - 9/25

Art - bring in a picture of a Hudson River landmark to use in your Halloween poster.
According to Mrs. Bardo, the students are supposed to research a landmark or part of the Hudson they want to focus on (any time period) and do thumbnail sketches of their ideas. They are to bring in their research (reference/picture) along with their sketches.

Spanish - pages 31 - 35 in your Spanish book

Gym - study the Gym rules

Library - Index cards

Please note - because of Terra Nova testing, there will be limited special subject classes from Tuesday - Friday next week.
*****You will have Art and Computer on Monday and Spanish on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week of September 21 - 25

Homework -
Thursday - 9/24

Tomorrow is the Walk-a-Thon. Students should wear their gym uniforms.

Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

Math - sheet

Reading Practice Book - page 3

Science - finish your observations from the park.  Be sure to include the weather conditions, what the sky looked like, what you observed about the ground, etc. Color your sketches if you like.

Also, list the things you observed in two columns - one for living things and one for non-living.

Wednesday - 9/23

Reminder - Students should wear their gym uniforms tomorrow because of our trip to the park.

Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

RRJ - 2 options:
In the chapter we read today, Suds began to describe what his family and life is like. Either make text to self connections between his family and your family or make a list of your favorite treasures like Suds did.

Word Study - Finish glossary definitions for the words if you didn't finish them in class. Study the words and their meanings.

Reading Practice Book - page 2 (it's about the same vocabulary words).

Math - study the word forms of the numbers one to one hundred on the sheet I gave you. You should be able to spell them all correctly. Be especially careful to include the hyphen in numbers like twenty-three.  Quiz on the numbers on Monday.

9/22 NOTE:

I received a very good question in the comments section about whether or not you have to describe the room you draw.

I know we did that in class today, but no.  For homework you only have to draw and color the room. You can start thinking about what things in the room are living and what are non-living. We'll be discussing that tomorrow.

Homework -

Tuesday - 9/22

Reminder - Walkathon envelopes are due tomorrow. Also, please send in the Science trip permission slip if you haven't already.

Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

RRJ - respond to the question in your RRJ.  From the story Fourth Grade Rats, who would you prefer to have as a friend, Joey (the rat) or Suds (the angel)?  Explain your choice.

Math - sheet on expanded form.  NOTE:  The sheet says expanded notation. That's the same as what our book calls expanded form.  I filled in some of the blanks for you as an example. You should fill in the rest.

Science - In your Science notebook (on page 2) sketch a detailed drawing of a room in your house.

Homework -

Monday - 9/21

Remember the Home School Association Meeting and Meet the Teachers Night is Monday, September 21st. The Walk-a-Thon is Friday September 25th.

Because of the HSA Meeting tonight, the only homework is:

Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

Write a prayer for peace.

In answer to the question someone posted, yes, the prayer should be on looseleaf unless you prefer to type it on your computer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Special Subjects Homework for week of September 14 - 18

Please note - homework will be added in here as I receive it from the Special Subject teachers. If you have any questions, please let me know right away and I'll try to check it out with the teachers before it is due.

Art - please read and sign the letter from Mrs. Bardo and return by 9/21.

Spanish - due Tuesday 9/22
1. Sign note and keep in folder for the whole year.
2. Cover book
3. Get supplies listed on note
4. Study for test next week on pages 26, 27, 28.
5. Copy words in notebook.

Library - due Thursday 9/24
1. Study Glossary words 1 - 3
2. Review Library Rules
3. Parents read all notes
4. Library Card form due Thursday

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week of September 14 - 18


Friday 9/18

Reading -  Read for 15 minutes each day and record on Log.

Monday, September 21st is International Peace Day. I've asked the children to think about what they can do to help create peace in their small corner of the world.  Some of the children asked if they could make posters about it and I think that's a wonderful idea. Anyone who makes a poster can bring it to school on Monday for extra credit.

Thursday 9/17

Reading -  Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

RRJ - Would you recommend your book? Explain why you would or wouldn't and who might like to read it.

Math - Millions sheet

SS - Image sheet.  Look at each image and complete the sheet by writing in what you observe in the picture, what you think about it, and anything you may wonder about it. I'm looking forward to hearing all the things you wonder about.

*** 3 notices went home today - a reminder about the home school meeting for Monday, a correction about the Walk-a-Thon, and a yellow bowling paper.

Wednesday 9/16

Reading -  Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

RRJ - Write about your favorite (or least favorite) part of your reading tonight. Tell why it is your favorite (or least favorite) part.

Math - DHP (Daily Homework Practice Book) p. 2

SS - Imagine what Henry Hudson saw when he arrived here on September 11, 1609 and draw it.
Ship captains kept logs (which are similar to diary entries) that tell about their journeys. Write a log entry to go along with your picture describing what you think his reaction would be to what he saw.
REMEMBER - this is not a research project. You are supposed to draw what you imagine it was like. Tomorrow we will look at images and read his real log entries.


Tuesday 9/15

Reading Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.
There is no RRJ homework for those who did their RRJ last night. Those who did not do it last night need to make it up tonight.
Writing - 
1)  Draw a pumpkin on the last page of your Writer's Notebook and fill in at least 10 "seed ideas". You may use some of the ones we discussed in class if they are topics you would enjoy writing about.
2) Begin a draft of your pet writing piece. Remember it can be a story, a poem, an article, a persuasive essay - whatever seems to fit for you and your pet (or your wish to have or not have a pet).
Math - Daily Homework Practice Book (DHP) p. 1 numbers 1 and 2 only.
Social Studies - Read the fact sheet about Henry Hudson. Complete the chart in your NB by filling in 3 or more facts you learned about Hudson and his journey and 3 or more questions you have about him or what happened.

Monday 9/14

Reading -  Read for 15 minutes and record on Log.

RRJ - Respond in RRJ. Try to make connections between what you are reading and something in your life (text-self) or another book you've read or movie you've seen (text-text) or anything happening around you in the world (text-world).  Choose whichever connection works best with what you are reading.

Math - 1) Place Value sheet
             2) Think about what the word million means to you. In your notebook write down your thoughts when you hear the word million.

Religion - look through your new book. Read pages 12 - 15. Share with a family member.

Note - there were a lot of new notices today. Please especially look for the one from Mrs. Bardo about what is expected from the students for art. The paper needs to be signed and returned next Monday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

First week notes

Dear parents,

Happy weekend!

I'll fill you in on all the policies and procedures at our meeting on September 21st, but there are a few things I thought might be helpful for you to know before then.

~  Schedule for Special Subjects

Monday - Art* and Computer
Tuesday - Sr. Rosela and Spanish
Wednesday - Gym
Thursday - Music and Library
Friday - Mass and Olweus (anti-bully program) meeting

*This week we have a school Mass on Monday so the 4th grade will miss Art.
Mrs. Bardo will be letting them know what they need for art class but they will not need art boxes.
Also, we will generally attend 8:45 Mass with the 5th grade on Fridays. However, this week we have the school Mass on Monday instead.

~ Reading Logs

The reading log policy is for the students to read every night (including weekends) for 15 minutes (increasing as the year goes along). However, they are allowed 4 FREE nights per month so if there is a night you have obligations or too much else to do, simply enter FREE in that date on the reading log.
There was some confusion amongst the children about the difference between having to do the RRJ and the Reading Log.  The Log is every night - the RRJ response is only when I assign it as part of the written homework. If I don't write Respond in RRJ, then they just read and fill out the log. Of course they can always write in the RRJ is they choose.

~ Gym Health Forms

Please return the Gym health forms as soon as possible. Ms. D. had asked for them back for today and most people brought them in. If you haven't please try to have it by Monday.

~ Books

If you're wondering about books, I'll be giving them out over the course of next week as I introduce them to the students.

~ Work

Finally, fourth grade work is substantially different for the students from what they've done before in that they are asked to look at things in a different way than they may be used to. I am working with them on focusing their thoughts on how they are working and what they are thinking. These skills will be crucial for them to do well on the NYS exams. So, if they (or you) seem confused at all now, please don't be concerned. Everything starts to gel pretty quickly and soon it will all become natural to them.
But, if you're concerned or confused by anything, please let me know and I'll be happy to talk with you.

Notes about weekend reading HW are posted below.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Something to do on a rainy weekend

The weather report for this weekend isn't too promising if you love the sun
but if you're looking for something interesting to do on a rainy weekend, The Museum of the City of New York has an exhibit called Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson. I took a workshop there over the summer in preparation for our fourth grade unit of study on the Dutch in New York and I was really impressed by the museum.  They have an extraordinary collection of artifacts, old maps, paintings, seafaring tools, etc.
There's no written homework tonight since it's Friday, but there is reading homework. See above for the Reading Log policy.
Have a great, soggy weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The First Week of School

Homework - Thursday 9/10/09

Since this is the first week of school, homework this week is most an introduction to the types of work that we'll be doing. Real homework will start next week.

Tonight's homework is to read for 15 minutes or longer, complete the entry for 9/10 on your reading log, and do one entry in your RRJ.  For your entry, please write today's date, the title and author of your book. Your entry can be about any of the things we discussed on the RRJ sheet. Some examples might be to make a prediction about what will happen next in your story,  write down some questions you would like to ask the author or one of the characters, draw an illustration of what you imagine the scene in the book looks like, write down any vocabulary words you didn't know, describe your favorite part of the book, explain whether you like or dislike any of the characters.

If you're still confused, don't worry. This will become much more clear as you get used to working on your journal.

Also - you don't have to do all of the thigns I listed. Just choose one or two that seem to fit with what you're reading.

Don't forget to glue or staple the RRJ sheet onto the first page of your RRJ.


Welcome back!  It was so wonderful to meet everyone this morning. I think we're going to have a fabulous year together.

Homework - Wednesday 09/09/09

Reading - the homework for reading is going to be to read for at least 15 minutes every night. The time will increase as the year goes on, but we start at 15 minutes. Of course you're welcome to read much much more. :)

Reading for tonight is optional as I know the first night can be pretty hectic. I'll hand out and explain reading logs tomorrow.

Math - the math homework tonight is very simple. Figure out how many toes there are in your family. Parents, please don't be concerned about the simplicity of the problem. The purpose of this problem is to focus on all the different strategies people might use to figure out the answer. We'll be discussing those various strategies in class tomorrow. So, for this problem (as with many in 4th grade) HOW you solved the problem is as important as what your answer is.

THINK about Henry Hudson and the anniversary of his arrival in NYC 400 years ago this week. If you find any information or see anything in books or newspapers, please bring it in to share.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival

Fourth grade Social Studies focuses on the geography and history of New York. One of the units is all about Henry Hudson and his explorations and the subsequent Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam (later to become NY).

This coming week marks the 400th anniversary of Hudson's arrival and discovery of the river later to be named after him. There are many celebrations going on that offer us excellent learning opportunities. One such celebration that begins this weekend sounds like a fun family activity.

A model colonial Dutch village has been created in Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan and will be open from September 4th to 14th. The village is made of 12 traditional houses, a windmill and a greenhouse. There will also be workshops, craft lessons (such as making wooden shoes) and Dutch food available for sampling. Admission is FREE. 

You can find out more about the entire NY400 celebration and events at the NY 400 Site.

Editing in an opinion here on Sunday 09/06/09
My family and I went to visit this today and it wasn't quite what I expected. The houses are really only wooden facades/booths. The windmill was pretty cool and each "booth" features something like glassblowing, wooden shoes being carved. tulip bulbs. There's a booth selling what seem like mini-pancakes with butter and sugar and another one selling various kinds of herring and salmon sandwiches.  The greenhouse, a tribute to modern Amsterdam's ecology-mindedness, did have a fascinating display of bees inside a plexiglass case. I took lots of pictures!

Overall, it's a nice part of a day spent in Battery Park, but not enough of a destination by itself.

We did go on to walk through the Irish Hunger Memorial. If you've never been, it's a simple yet very touching tribute to those who fled Ireland during the Great Famine. It's built around a tumbledown stone cottage that was brought over from Ireland.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcome back!

Dear Caroline, Dean, Alexandra, Jason, Isabelle, Anthony, Ryan, Stephanie, Michael, Isabella, Michael, Kaylin, Gabriella, Charlie, Victoria, Joseph, Brandon, Amanda, Sabrina, Patrick, Thomas, Nicolas, Bobby, Teressa, and Aisling,

I've been re-reading the letters you wrote to me last June and I thought I'd try to answer some of your questions and address some of your worries.

First of all, I can't wait to meet you! I've been in school all this week getting our classroom ready and planning some of the things we'll do next week. I've got some wonderful books to read with you and some exciting projects for us to work on. I have a feeling we're going to have a really great year together!

Quite a few of you mentioned being worried about how hard the work in 4th grade might be. I'll be honest with you - we work very hard. But - we have fun doing it and we learn a lot. No one should be at all worried; I can tell just from reading your letters that you are ALL up to meeting the challenge of 4th grade.

We do have some changes. In the past, the NYS tests that you've probably heard so much about have been in January (ELA), March (Math), and April-May (Science). This year NY has changed the schedule so that ELA will be at the end of April, Math will be the beginning of May, and Science the end of May. That gives us plenty of time to be sure you're well prepared.

Several of you mentioned your pets. For most of my life I never had any pets except for fish, but last year we got a puppy (Fenway) and a kitten (Bart). I've spent a lot of time playing with them this summer. I'll show you pictures when you come to school. If you have a pet, please bring in your picture so we can share. If you don't have a pet, is there something else that's special to you? I'd love to see a picture or hear about that too.

It sounds like many of you had great vacations planned. I can't wait to hear about them. I went to Maine at the end of the school year for my daughter's graduation from college but I spent most of the summer in Brooklyn. with my dog and cat. Remind me to tell you about my dog's adventure at camp!

You told me lots about your families - some of you are only children, some are oldest, and some are youngest. I was the oldest girl and I had three younger sisters but no brothers. I always wanted a brother. Now I have a husband and two daughters, but the kitten and dog are boys!

I hope you've all been reading this summer. Reading is one of my most favorite things to do. I love talking about books too. I'm really looking forward to hearing about what books are your favorites. I have a bulletin board ready for us to post about books that we recommend, so start thinking about what books you read this summer that you might like to recommend to others.

Enjoy your last weekend of summer! I'll see you all on Wednesday morning.

Mrs. Curry