Week of March 18 – 22

Week of March 18 – 22

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  We only have 2 weeks left until Spring Break!  As a reminder, spring break will be April 1 – 5.  If you know that your child will be missing any time before the break, please let me know so that I can plan ahead regarding any work that your child will miss. The Friday before spring break is the last day of the nine weeks which means that we might be doing some tests or quizzes that we might want to get in before your child leaves. Thank you so much for your help with this!

*Important Announcements*

 

*Spirit Day:  The SCA’s next spirit day is this Monday, March 18th. The theme will be “Green Day” in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!

*Family Learning Night:  Henrico County will be hosting a Family Learning Night event at Henrico High School on Tuesday, March 19th, from 5:30-8:;30 pm.  Please see the attached flier for more information:    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zrVFdMbXkRbICfYNTF-nbJv8oAGeuddn/view

*Assembly:  Our school will be going to see the 3rd grade’s DRUM assembly on Tuesday afternoon.  It’s going to be fun to watch!

*Recorder Reminders:  Please remember that students should be practicing their recorder at home throughout the week. Your child has the Recorder Karate music in his or her Music Folder and should be practicing the next song in order to earn the next belt. As Mrs. Garcia explained in the letter sent home with recorders, you can record a video of your child performing a song and email it to her so that your child doesn’t have to “test” in music class.  Doing this really helps cut down on the testing line in class, and your child can do it in a much more relaxed environment at home.  Thank you for your support with this!

*MAP Assessments:  As a reminder, students will take the Reading MAP test on Thursday, April 18th and the Math MAP test on Wednesday, April 24th.  The students have been working on their growth skills in class, using both the Reading and Math sections of “My MAP Learning Path” on Study Island.  Thank you for encouraging your child to work on this at home also, if possible.

Below is the link to the NWEA website and their Parent Toolkit:

https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit

*Classroom Prizes:  If you are able to, we could use some new Dollar Store prizes for our “Gotta Get It Card” drawings.  Thank you in advance if you are able to send in some items for our Friday drawings!

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

This week we will review the complex skill of making inferences. We will work with fictional text this week and focus specifically on poetry at the end of the week. Students will complete a comprehension assessment on Friday.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small groups to work on comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency strategies using leveled texts.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing.

We will continue with word study this week. Students will work on the word study sentences on Thursday. Please encourage your child to be working on the meaning of the word study words and how to use them correctly in context. The class will take their word study test on Friday 3/22.

 

*Math:

On Monday we will review what we learned last week on perimeter and area.  Then we will  begin our new unit on geometry.  The topics we will be learning in this unit include:

  • points, line segments, lines, rays
  • types of angles (acute, right, obtuse)
  • types of lines (parallel, intersecting, perpendicular)
  • polygons up to 10 sides and the number of sides, vertices, and angles
  • classifying quadrilaterals (parallelogram, rhombus, rectangle, square, trapezoid)
  • solid (3-d) figures and the number of edges, vertices, and shapes of faces

 

*Social Studies:

We will finish up our Civil War unit this week (VS.7b & c). We will learn about the roles of various groups of Virginians on Monday, and then we will review all of the information from this unit.  The students have really enjoyed learning about this era of Virginia history, and had many good, insightful questions about this difficult subject matter.  The class will take the Civil War VS.7b & c Test on Wednesday, 3/20.  

*Science:

This week we will continue with our Animals & Ecosystems unit (SOL 4.5).  Topics we will learn about will include:

  • the organization of ecosystems and different niches that organisms have
  • consumers, producers, and decomposers
  • types of consumers (herbivores, omnivores, carnivores)
  • food chains and food webs
  • structural and behavioral adaptations

Last week, students made flashcards for the vocabulary in this unit.  We will take the Animals & Ecosystems vocabulary quiz on Friday, 3/22.   The class will take the Animals & Ecosystems Test on Wednesday 3/27.

 

Have a wonderful week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of March 11 – 15

Week of March 11 – 15

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  It was nice to have some pleasant spring-like weather!  I enjoyed being able to see some of you at the Barnes and Noble book fair on Saturday afternoon.  Thank you for supporting our school!  My children, Will and Clara, loved hearing some of the SPES teachers read books!

*Important Announcements*

*Family Learning Night:  Henrico County will be hosting a Family Learning Night event at Henrico High School on Tuesday, March 19th, from 5:30-8:;30 pm.  Please see the attached flier for more information:    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zrVFdMbXkRbICfYNTF-nbJv8oAGeuddn/view

*Virtual Lesson with the Virginia Museum of History & Culture:  On Tuesday of this week we will have our next virtual lesson with the VMHC.

*Recorder Reminders:  Please remember that students should be practicing their recorder at home throughout the week. Your child has the Recorder Karate music in his or her Music Folder and should be practicing the next song in order to earn the next belt. As Mrs. Garcia explained in the letter sent home with recorders, you can record a video of your child performing a song and email it to her so that your child doesn’t have to “test” in music class.  Doing this really helps cut down on the testing line in class, and your child can do it in a much more relaxed environment at home.  Thank you for your support with this!

*MAP Assessments:  As a reminder, students will take the Reading MAP test on Thursday, April 18th and the Math MAP test on Wednesday, April 24th.  The students have been working on their growth skills in class, using both the Reading and Math sections of “My MAP Learning Path” on Study Island.  Thank you for encouraging your child to work on this at home also, if possible.

Below is the link to the NWEA website and their Parent Toolkit:

https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

This week we will begin a study of poetry.  We will learn about a variety of terms and vocabulary associated with poetry, and how poetry can be organized into stanzas, or verses.  We will also learn how to read poetry to understand the author’s message.  We will also begin a new reading comprehension activity called the “Daily Reading Review.”  Students will read one passage over the course of 2 days and answer about 10 questions each day.  This will allow them to focus on using a variety of comprehension strategies on one passage.  We will do one “D.R.R.” each week in order to help us prepare for the Reading SOL test in May.

During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small groups to work on comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency strategies using leveled texts.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing.

*Math:

The students did a good job on the weight/mass unit last week.  This week we will spend a few days studying capacity/volume using both customary units (cups, pints, quarts, and gallons) and metric units (liters and milliliters).  Students need to know the approximate size of the units and then how to convert between units in US Customary only (not metric). Students will take a short capacity assessment on Thursday 3/14.

Later in the week we will learn about how to find the perimeter and area of shapes and objects.

*Social Studies:

We will continue our Civil War unit this week (VS.7b & c). This week we will learn more about the key battles that took place here in Virginia, including the final event which was the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, VA.  Students will take a short matching quiz on the Civil War leaders and terms on Tuesday 3/12.  

The class will take the Civil War VS.7b & c Test next Wednesday, March 20.  

*Science:

We will begin our next science unit on Monday – Animals & Ecosystems (4.5).  Topics we will learn about will include:

  • the organization of ecosystems and different niches that organisms have
  • consumers, producers, and decomposers
  • types of consumers (herbivores, omnivores, carnivores)
  • food chains and food webs
  • structural and behavioral adaptations

Students will need to make flashcards for the vocabulary in this unit.  The due date will be announced in class and written in your child’s homework agenda.

 

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of March 4 – 8

Week of March 4 – 8

It’s Dr. Seuss week!  Please see below for more information.

 

*Important Announcements This Week*

 

*Dr. Seuss Week March 4 – March 8: 

  • Monday – Wear rainbow colors for My Many Colored Days
  • Tuesday – Wear crazy socks for Fox in Socks
  • Wednesday – Wear pajamas for I’m Not Getting Up Today
  • Thursday – Wear a hat and/or red, black, and white for The Cat in the Hat
  • Friday – Wear your SPES spirit wear and Say “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day”
  • Saturday – SPES Book Fair at the Short Pump Barnes & Noble from 12 – 3

*Assembly:  On Tuesday, March 5 we will attend a Laser Show assembly in the multipurpose room.  This is a new assembly which I have never seen before, and we are all looking forward to seeing it!

*Family Learning Night:  Henrico County will be hosting a Family Learning Night event at Henrico High School on Tuesday, March 19th, from 5:30-8:;30 pm.  Please see the attached flier for more information:    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zrVFdMbXkRbICfYNTF-nbJv8oAGeuddn/view

*Recorder Reminders:  Please remember that students should be practicing their recorder at home throughout the week. Your child has the Recorder Karate music in his or her Music Folder and should be practicing the next song in order to earn the next belt. As Mrs. Garcia explained in the letter sent home with recorders, you can record a video of your child performing a song and email it to her so that your child doesn’t have to “test” in music class.  Doing this really helps cut down on the testing line in class, and your child can do it in a much more relaxed environment at home.  Thank you for your support with this!

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

 

*Reading:

We will continue learning about possessive nouns this week. Students did a great job with singular possessive nouns last week, and with understanding the difference between when to use plural nouns and when to use possessive nouns.  On Monday we will take time reviewing the rules for creating plurals, and then throughout the rest of the week we will take those plurals and make plural possessive nouns.  By the end of the week, students will spend time analyzing sentences to determine if the noun needs to be plural, singular possessive, or plural possessive.  Please check your child’s homework throughout the week to make sure that he or she is working through it successfully and using the strategies that we have learned in class.

During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small groups to work on comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency strategies using leveled texts.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing.

We will also continue with word study this week. Please encourage your child to be working carefully on his or her words throughout the week.  The students will take their Word Study test on Friday, 3/8.

*Math:

This week we start our unit on measuring weight and mass. We will work on both US Customary and metric weight during this short unit. Students need to know the approximate size of the units and then how to convert between units in US Customary.  We will focus on converting from ounces to pounds and from pounds to ounces (*16 ounces = 1 pound*).  Students will take the weight and mass assessment on Friday, 3/8.

*Social Studies:

We will continue our Civil War unit this week (VS.7b & c). This week we will learn more about the leaders on both the Union and Confederate sides.  Then we will learn about some of the key battles that took place here in Virginia.

*Science:

On Monday we will learn about the historical contributions of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison in the study of electricity.  Then we will review all of the information in this unit.  The class will take the Electricity and Magnetism test on Wednesday, 3/6.

 

Thank you for all of your support at home.  Have a good week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of February 25 – March 1

Week of February 25 – March 1

Hi everyone!  I’m looking forward to a great week!

*Important Announcements*

*Picture Day:  Information came home last week about our Spring Picture Day which will take place this Wednesday 2/27.  If you would like to purchase a class picture, please return the payment envelope with payment on Wednesday.  All students will also have their individual pictures taken. Those pictures will be sent home at a later date for you to decide if you would like to purchase.

*MAP Goal Setting:  Thank you for returning the signed benchmark assessments paper and the MAP Goal Setting sheet.  I will be sending home a copy of the Goal Setting sheet with your child this week to keep. Students will keep this paper in their English folder so that you all can reference it at home.  As your child works on Study Island “My MAP Learning Path” at home, please refer to the page so that you know which areas to focus on.

*As a reminder, students will take the Reading MAP test on Thursday, April 18th and the Math MAP test on Wednesday, April 24th.

Below is the link to the NWEA website and their Parent Toolkit:

https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit

*Dr. Seuss Week:  The week of March 4 – March 8 we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday!  Below is the schedule for the fun dress-up days that have been planned:

  • Monday – Wear rainbow colors for My Many Colored Days
  • Tuesday – Wear crazy socks for Fox in Socks
  • Wednesday – Wear pajamas for I’m Not Getting Up Today
  • Thursday – Wear a hat and/or red, black, and white for The Cat in the Hat
  • Friday – Wear your SPES spirit wear and Say “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day”
  • Saturday – SPES Book Fair at the Short Pump Barnes & Noble from 12 – 3

*Recorder Reminders:  Please remember that students should be practicing their recorder at home throughout the week. Your child has the Recorder Karate music in his or her Music Folder and should be practicing the next song in order to earn the next belt. As Mrs. Garcia explained in the letter sent home with recorders, you can record your child performing a song and email it to her so that your child doesn’t have to “test” in music class.  Doing this really helps cut down on the testing line in class, and your child can do it in a much more relaxed environment at home.  Thank you for your support with this!

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

This week we will continue working with the comprehension skill of understanding cause and effect. We will move on to look at cause and effect in nonfiction as we read through a text about Mount Everest.  Please encourage your child to look for these cause and effect relationships in a variety of settings, such as in the text that they are reading at home, in the conversations that you have, in events in your lives, and in the tv shows/movies that they watch.

During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing.  I’m very proud of how the students are so excited to read the books on the 4th grade “Book Celebration” list!  Remember, if your child chooses to participate in this reading program, he or she will need to complete 8 books and take a short quiz on each book by Friday, May 24th.

Due to the 2-hour delay last week, which caused a slight change of schedule, I decided to give the students a few additional days to review their word study words we learned last week.  The class will take their Word Study Test on Monday 2/25.  We will then take a week off from word study this week in order to focus on grammar.  We will work on singular possessive nouns and figuring out how to determine if a noun needs to be plural or possessive.  I have noticed this to be a confusing skill for students, and developing a better understanding of this skill will really improve their writing.

*Math:

This week we will complete our unit on measuring length. On Monday we will continue with how to measure to the nearest 1/8 of an inch.  Please encourage your child to count the parts of an inch in eighths and then make sure that they reduce their fractions to simplest form.  For example, when measuring using inches, we don’t say “2/8 of an inch,” we say “1/4 of an inch”; and we don’t say “6/8 of an inch,” we say “3/4 on an inch.”  Please refer to the “Incredible Inch” in your child’s math notebook.  After we work on US Customary measuring, we will take some time practicing how to measure length in centimeters and in millimeters.

Students will take the Length Test on both U.S. Customary and metric systems on Thursday, 2/28.

*Social Studies:

Our class will take the VS.7a Causes of the Civil War Test on Tuesday 2/26.  The class has really enjoyed learning about this time in our history, and has asked some very interesting questions!   Later in the week we will continue this era by learning about the events of the Civil War as we begin our VS.7b & c unit.  This week we will learn about the key leaders on the Union and Confederate sides during the war.

*Science:

On Monday of this week students will do some investigating with batteries, light bulbs, and wires. They will work with a partner to create different examples of circuits and see which types of circuits will create closed circuits and which will create open circuits.  Later in the week we will move on to discuss magnetism and how it relates to electricity.  We will also learn about the impact that Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, and Michael Faraday have made in our understanding of electricity and magnetism.

Students will take the Electricity and Magnetism Vocabulary Quiz on Friday, 3/1.  Students made these flashcards last week, and have been reminded for almost 2 weeks to be studying these terms.  Next week, we will take the Electricity and Magnetism Test on Wednesday, 3/6.

 

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobssen

Week of February 18 – 22

Week of February 18 – 22

I wanted to start off by thanking you all for the thoughtful Valentine’s Day cards and goodies!  I felt very loved and appreciated!

*Important Announcements This Week*

*Benchmarks Assessments:  I will be sending home scores from the benchmark assessments on TUESDAY.  Please remember that we did no preparations for these assessments in school, and we use these assessments to help us determine areas needed for review and remediation. The scores on these benchmark assessment will be recorded as a single classwork grade in reading, math, and social studies.  These assessments were made by Henrico County, and are used as guides to help teachers know which areas students have a strong understanding and which areas might need more instruction and practice.  Please sign and return the benchmark assessment paper by THURSDAY 2/21.

*MAP Assessments: Last week I spent time conferencing with each student about the upcoming spring MAP assessments (MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress). Students will take the Reading MAP and the Math MAP in April (dates to sent home soon). During our conferences, students reviewed their performance on the fall assessments and we discussed their areas of strength and areas that were relative weaknesses. I suggested to students that when given the chance to select an area within the NWEA “MAP Learning Path” on Study Island, that they choose a topic from one of their weaker areas. Students also set a goal for themselves for the Spring MAP test.  A letter will be coming home on Monday with some tips of things that you can do to help your child be successful on the NWEA MAP test, attached to your child’s growth report.  Please sign and return your child’s NWEA Map Growth sheet by Wednesday 2/20.

Below is link to the NWEA website and their Parent Toolkit:

https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit

*Family Fitness Night:  This Thursday evening is our Family Fitness Night.  Mr. Gray has planned a fun evening for families to participate in a variety of activities. Our class is also working on a class poster about the sports of Australia.  Each class selected a country, and students researched the popular sports of the country.  The posters will be on display on Thursday evening.

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

Reading:

This week we will be reviewing the reading skill of cause and effect. We will use a book about Sonia Sotomayor, where students will learn about her life and find cause and effect relationships within the text. At the end of the week, students will create a “recipe” for an event that we are studying in social studies that will highlight the cause and effect that we see in real life as well.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts.  Students will also rotate through their writing and silent reading rotations.

We will continue with word study this week. Please check in with your child this week to make sure that he or she is completing their homework carefully and correctly. Students will complete their word study sentence writing assessment and word study spelling assessment on Friday 2/22. Please be sure that your child is studying the meaning of the word and the word study feature so that they can correctly write sentences that demonstrate the meaning of the word.

*Math:

This week we will begin our next unit in math which will be measuring length. Students will be able to use their knowledge of fractions as they work to measure length to the nearest 1/8 of an inch using a ruler. Students will also learn about common units in US Customary and the metric system, and will need to be able to choose the most appropriate measurements for everyday objects.

Students will also learn how to convert within the US Customary system of measurement. In past years, students were required to memorize the equivalencies in US Customary and metric systems. With the update of our fourth grade math SOLs this year, students no longer have to have this information memorized!  Instead, students will have it provided to them. I will teach students how to convert using multiplication when moving from a large unit to a small unit, and division when moving from a small unit to a large unit. Please check your child’s math notebook to see examples of our converting technique.

*Social Studies:

We will continue our unit on the Civil War this week (VS.7a). We will finish learning about important abolitionists who were against slavery. Then we will learn about the start of the Civil War at Ft. Sumter in South Carolina. Students will also learn about why Virginia was split and West Virginia was created in 1863.  At the end of the week we will review all of the VS.7a information in preparation for the VS.7a Test on Tuesday, 2/26. Please encourage your child to study a little bit each night in preparation for this assessment.

*Science:

This week we will continue learning about electricity. We will discuss static electricity and current electricity, including the difference between open and closed circuits and series and parallel circuits.

Students have been working on making the vocabulary flashcards for the Electricity unit.  These flashcards are due on Thursday 2/21.  

On Tuesday of this week we will also have a lesson with the Math Science Innovation Center. Last month we traveled to the center for a field trip, and this week an instructor will come to our classroom for an interesting lesson about how nature inspires inventions!

 

Have a wonderful week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of February 11 – 15

Week of February 11 – 15

Happy Valentine’s Day week!  I hope that everyone stays healthy during this time of year!

*Important Announcements This Week*

*Report Cards:  Report cards will be sent home on Monday, February 11.  I’m sure many of you have already seen your child’s progress for the 2nd quarter on Power School, but the paper copy is for you to keep.  Please keep the report card and return the signed envelope the next day on Tuesday 2/12.  Thank you for your help with this.

*Benchmarks Assessments:  I will also be sending home scores from the benchmark assessments this week. Please remember that we did no preparations for these assessments in school, and we use these assessments to help us determine areas needed for review and remediation. The scores on these benchmark assessment will be recorded as a single classwork grade in reading, math, and social studies.

*MAP Assessments: I will also spend some time conferencing with students this week about the upcoming spring MAP assessments (MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress). Students will take the Reading MAP test on April 11th and the Math Math test on April 17th. During our conference, students will review their performance on the fall assessments and we will discuss their areas of strength and areas that were relative weaknesses. I will suggest to students that when given the chance to select an area within the NWEA MAP Path on Study Island, that they choose a topic from one of their weaker areas. Students will also set a goal for themselves for the Spring MAP test.  A letter will be coming home soon with some tips of things that you can do at home to help your child be successful on the NWEA MAP test.

*Valentine’s Day:  Valentine’s Day is this Thursday 2/14. Last week I sent home a list of students’ names in our class.  We will be exchanging Valentines this year, if students want to participate. It is completely optional. The rule is that if students would like to participate, they must create a Valentine for everyone in our class. Also, since we have many allergies in our school, please make sure that the Valentines that your child chooses does not include any candy/food.  Small treats like stickers, pencils, erasers, or any other non-food items are fine if they come with the Valentine. We will be doing an engineering activity during the week of Valentine’s Day to create a container to hold our Valentines. Then on Valentine’s Day children will distribute and open the Valentines from their classmates. Our room parents sent out a sign-up on the “My School Anywhere” website asking for supplies to make our containers. Thank you to those of you able to donate items!

*Assembly:  This week we will go to a very fun assembly!  We will get to see the “Robert Jospe World Beat” program on Tuesday 2/12.

*Virtual Lesson:  We will have our next virtual lesson with the Virginia Museum of History and Culture on Tuesday 2/12.

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

*Reading:

This week we will use some of our whole group reading time to have one-on-one conferences about NWEA MAP assessments. With me, students will review their fall performance and set goals for their spring assessments in April.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in our reading groups and we will continue practicing comprehension strategies using leveled texts.  While not with me, students will read to self and work on their writing.

We will continue with word study this week. Please check in with your child this week to make sure that he or she is completing their homework carefully and correctly. Students will complete their word study sentence assessment on Thursday. Please be sure that your child is studying the meaning of the word and the word study feature so that they can correctly write sentences that demonstrate the meaning of the word. Students will take their word study test on Friday 2/15.

*Math:

This week we will finish our Fraction unit. The last concept we are learning about is how to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators. As we practiced this skill in class on Friday, we learned that we have to find the common denominator for both fractions, then make new equivalent fractions before we can add or subtract them.  As we have discussed in class, the biggest mistakes that students make is not paying attention to the sign and forgetting to reduce their answer to simplest form.  Please check in with your child on Monday night to see how they are doing with their homework.  If they are getting stuck, remind them to open up their math notebook and look at the examples we completed in school.

Students will take a short fractions quiz on Tuesday 2/12. Then we will review all concepts in preparation for their Fractions Test on Friday 2/15.

*Social Studies:

This week we will begin our new unit on the causes of the Civil War (VS.7a).  Even though we just completed our new nation unit, we will be jumping forward in history to the era of the Civil War. On Wednesday this week we will learn about the major differences between the north and the south. On Friday we will learn about some famous abolitionists who were trying to end slavery.  It is important to understand the causes of the war before we even learn about any of the events during the war.

*Science:

This week we will complete an engineering challenge to create a container for their Valentines following specific criteria. I look forward to seeing how students handle the challenge!

We will also begin our next unit in science this week – Electricity. To begin this unit, we will begin learning about the structure of an atom – electrons, protons, and neutrons. This will help us learn about static electricity, insulators and conductors.

 

Have a fabulous week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of February 4 – 8

Week of February 4 – 8

Hi everyone!  I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  It was so nice to have some warmer weather!

*Important Announcements This Week*

*Benchmark Assessments:  We will take our last benchmark test this week.  Students will take the Virginia Studies benchmark test on Tuesday, 2/5.  We will not be reviewing in class for this benchmark as we did not review for any of the benchmarks, so that we can truly see what the students have learned and remember from the first semester of the year.

*Valentine’s Day:  Valentine’s Day is next Thursday 2/14.  This week I will send home a list of students’ names in our class so that students can begin working on Valentines. We will be exchanging Valentines this year, if students want to participate. It is completely optional. The rule is that if students would like to participate, they must create a Valentine for everyone in our class. Also, since we have many allergies in our school, please make sure that the Valentines that your child chooses does not include any candy/food.  Small treats like stickers, pencils, erasers, or any other non-food items are fine if they come with the Valentine. We will be doing an engineering activity during the week of Valentine’s Day to create a container to hold our Valentines. Then on Valentine’s Day children will distribute and open the Valentines from their classmates. Our room parents sent out a sign-up on the “My School Anywhere” website asking for supplies to make our containers. Thank you in advance if you are able to donate items!

*Report Cards:  Report cards will be sent home on Monday, February 11.  I’m sure many of you have already seen your child’s progress for the 2nd quarter on PowerSchool, but the paper copy is for you to keep.  Please keep the report card and return the signed envelope the next day on Tuesday 2/12.  Thank you for your help with this.

*Assembly:  Next week we will go to a very fun assembly!  We will get to see the “Robert Jospe World Beat” program on Tuesday 2/12. This is one of my favorite assemblies that Short Pump has been able to do over the years, and I have a feeling the students will really enjoy it!

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

During our whole group lessons this week we will work with multiple meaning words.  Students will analyze dictionary entries and try to determine which dictionary definition was used in a given sentence.  It is important that students read carefully for the context of the word to be able to identify the correct definition in the dictionary entry.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts, while also rotating through “read to self” and “work on writing.”

We will start back up with word study this week. Please check in with your child this week to make sure that he or she is completing their homework carefully and correctly. Students will complete their word study sentence assessment on Thursday. Please be sure that your child is studying the meaning of the word and the word study feature so that they can correctly write sentences that demonstrate the meaning of the word. Students will take their word study test on Friday 2/8.  

*Math:

This week we will continue with our fractions computation unit. On Friday, we learned how to find the greatest common factor (GCF).  On Monday we will use the GCF to learn how to reduce/simplify fractions. On Tuesday we will continue our unit by learning how to find the least common multiple (LCM). Please make sure that your child is understanding the difference between these two concepts of GCF and LCM, because it is very common to mix them up.

Students will take a quiz on all fraction concepts on Wednesday 2/6. Please encourage your child to use their notebook to review in preparation for this quiz.  On Thursday and Friday we will learn how to add and subtract fractions that have like (same) denominators. It will be important that students remember to always reduce their answer to simplest form!  I do not expect parents to remember how to do all of the fraction concepts that we are working on this year. I tell the students each day to make sure that their notes are legible so that you all can read them at home.

*Social Studies:

We will review for the new nation test a little bit in class on Monday.  Students will take the VS.6 New Nation Test on Wednesday, 2/6.

*Science:

This week we wtill complete a lab in class called “Ball on a Roll.”  We will investigate how the height of a ramp affects the potential energy of a ping pong ball. Please ask your child about the lab and see if they can tell you what the independent variable (height of the ramp) and the dependent variable (distance the ball rolled) were in the experiment. Students will take a short lab quiz on this experiment on Thursday 2/7.  

The Force, Motion, & Energy Energy Test will be on Friday 2/8.

 

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

 

Week of January 28 – February 1

Week of January 28 – February 1

I hope the class had a nice 3-day weekend!  We are officially halfway through the year!  It’s hard to believe that we are beginning the 3rd quarter of 4th grade.  Keep up all of the great work, everyone!

*Important Announcements*

*Kindness Week:  This week is Kindness Week at SPES.  A letter went home last week from Ms. Walker explaining the different spirit days for the week and activities that your child will be taking part in.  Below is a reminder of the spirit days for the week:

  • Tuesday – Wear red and/or pink
  • Wednesday – Wear yellow and black
  • Thursday – Wear bright colors
  • Friday – Wear jerseys

*Benchmark Assessments:  Students will take their next benchmark test this week on math.  They will take part 1 of the math benchmark on Wednesday, 1/30 and part 2 on Thursday, 1/31.  We will not be reviewing for the benchmark in school in order to get an accurate view of what students have truly mastered during the first semester of 4th grade.  Students will take the Social Studies benchmark test on Tuesday, 2/5.  Thank you in advance for helping your child get a good night’s rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive to school on time.

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

During our whole group lessons this week we will analyze dialogue in fiction text.  Students will make inferences based on the “dialogue tags” that the author chose to use.  Dialog tags are things such as:  … he said, … she exclaimed, …Sarah whispered, and  …Mr. Smith shouted.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts to practice fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing.

We will do any new word study features this week due to our benchmark testing in the morning.

*Math:

This week we will study a new unit on probability.  Students will use what they learned about fractions to determine the likelihood, or the chance, of a given event.  Students will learn to use words (impossibly, unlikely, equally likely, likely, and certain) and ratios to describe probability.  This is not a very long unit, but requires students to take their time and think carefully when determining the probability of an event.  Students will complete a short probability classwork grade on Thursday, 1/31.

On Friday we will begin our next unit which will continue our work on fractions.  This unit will focus on the computation of fractions.  We will begin by learning about greatest common factor.  Please help your child with this very important process of determining the greatest common factor because we will use it throughout the fraction unit.

*Social Studies:

This week we will continue our New Nation VS.6 unit.  We will learn about 2 important documents that were written by famous Virginians, and were the basis for the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution (VS.6b).  These 2 documents can be challenging for students to remember and understand, so please encourage your child to review them at home.  Then we will learn about westward migration (VS.6c), and learn how geography influenced migration in Virginia.  Students will take the VS.6 New Nation Test on Tuesday, 2/5.

*Science:

We will continue our unit on Force, Motion, & Energy this week.  We will learn about the following concepts:

  • energy (potential and kinetic) and work
  • Energy, Force, and Motion Vocabulary Quiz on Friday 2/1 
  • Next week we will complete a scientific investigation in class
  • Force, Motion, & Energy Test on Thursday, 2/7

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of January 21 – 25

Week of January 21 – 25

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend, and that many of you were able to reflect on the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr.  We also had a cool lunar eclipse take place on Sunday evening!

*Important Announcements*

*Virtual Lesson with Virginia Museum:  On Tuesday, we will have our next virtual lesson with the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.  Be sure to ask your child what he/she discussed with the museum instructor and what primary sources we analyzed during the lesson.

*End of Quarter / Buzzy Bash:  This Friday, 1/25 is the last day of the 2nd quarter.  We will also have our next “Buzzy Bash” that afternoon to celebrate our many accomplishments, especially with showing ownership!

*Teacher Workday Monday 1/28:  This is just a reminder that next Monday, 1/28, is a teacher workday and there will be no school for students.

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

This week we will continue working on formulating questions as our reading skill.  This week we will focus on formulating questions while reading fiction text.  Students will learn about 3 different levels of questions, from explicit (“green” level) to inferential (“red” questions).  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts.  When not with me, students will read-to-self and work on their writing.

We will also continue with our word study units from last week. Students have a detailed description of word study homework expectations in the front of their word study notebook.  Students will need to learn the word study feature and the meaning of the words. Please note that students will have 2 assessment during the week. First, they will be given 10 of their word study words to write sentences for, where they will need to use the words correctly and show the meaning of the word.  Students will take their Word Study Test on Wednesday 1/23.

*Math:

We are continuing with our fractions unit this week.  There are many different concepts in our fraction unit and it will be important that students complete homework nightly and work carefully in order to master the concepts. Please check in with your child each evening and see how they are doing.

Below is the schedule of what we will work on this week:

  • Tuesday 1/22 – Fractions Quiz #1 (on concepts covered so far); Then begin ordering fractions using 0, 1/2 and 1 as benchmarks for reasoning
  • Wednesday 1/23 – Continue ordering fractions
  • Thursday 1/24 – review fraction concepts
  • Friday 1/25 – Fractions Test (SOL 4.2)

*Please note that this unit on fractions will be our first unit that we do on fractions — SOL 4.2 only.  Later we will have another unit on computing with fractions.

*Social Studies:

This week we will begin our next unit on the New Nation (VS.6).  We will begin with VS.6a, where we will learn about the forming of the United States and the Constitution. We will learn about two of our “founding fathers,” George Washington and James Madison, and their contributions during this time period.

*Science:

This week we will start a new science unit.  The new unit will be on Energy, Force, and Motion.  The timing of this unit is great because it goes well with the field trip that we just took to the Math Science Innovation Center.  Some of the topics we will learn about this week are position, motion, speed, force, friction, and inertia.  Some of these concepts can be rather abstract for students to understand, so thank you for encouraging your child to review their notes at home.

 

Have a fantastic week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of January 14 – 18

Week of January 14 – 18

Happy Snow Day!  I hope that everyone is staying safe and warm on this cold, icy day!  As I told the students on Friday, if we were not in school on Monday, then we would need to push things to Tuesday.  Due to our field trip on Friday, we didn’t get a chance to take our Word Study Test or our short quiz on prefixes and suffixes.  We will do those in class on Tuesday.

We had a wonderful trip to the Math Science Innovation Center on Friday!  The class enjoyed participating in our “Kicking it With Newton” lesson, and had fun performing experiments about force, motion, and energy.  Thank you to Mrs. Davis for joining us on our trip!

*Important Announcements*

*Parent Survey:  SPES needs your help!  Please take a 10-minute survey to share your input: http://tiny.cc/spesfamilysurvey  (Please submit by Friday, January 18th)

*Classroom Prizes:  Our class is running low on raffle prizes, and we could use some new Dollar Store prizes for our “Gotta Get It Card” drawings.  Thank you in advance if you are able to send in some items!

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

*Reading:

This week we will be working on the reading strategy of formulating questions. Students will learn about 3 different levels of questions, ranging from explicit questions to inferential questions.  We will use nonfiction text to practice writing questions and answering them using the text.  Students will complete a comprehension assessment on Friday 1/18.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts.  Students will also do independent rotations of read to self and writing.

As explained to the students on Friday, we will need to take our Word Study Test on Monday this week (we didn’t have time to take it in class on Friday, due to our field trip).  If we have a snow day, we will take our test on Tuesday.  As a reminder, 5 of the words I ask on the test will be words that are not on their analogy chart.  Students will need to apply their understanding of the feature to spell these words.  Students will also write 10 sentences using their words, to show they understand the meaning of their words.

We will also need to take our Prefix & Suffix quiz in class because we didn’t have time to do it on Friday.

*Math:

Students did a great job finishing up our division unit last week!  This week we will move on to our new unit on fractions.  There are many different concepts in our fraction unit and it will be important that students complete homework nightly and work carefully in order to master the concepts.  Many of these concepts build on each other, so understanding the early concepts is very important.

This week we will learn:

  • Monday – Fraction of a whole and fraction of a set using pictures & models; Fractions are a division statement (example:  5/9 means “5 divided by 9”)
  • Tuesday – Equivalent fractions: what they are, and how to use multiplication and division to solve for missing numerators or denominators
  • Wednesday – Comparing Fractions
  • Thursday – ordering fractions using 0, 1/2, and 1 as benchmarks to help us
  • Friday – review of the concepts we have learned this week

*Social Studies:

This week we will finish up our VS.5 unit on the American Revolution.  We will learn about some important event during the Revolution (VS.5c):

  • Battles of Lexington & Concord
  • Battle of Great Bridge
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Jack Jouett’s Ride
  • Battle of Yorktown/Surrender of British/American victory
  • The class will take the VS.5 American Revolution Test on Friday, 1/18.

Please check in with your child to make sure that he or she is reviewing their notes a little bit each night.

*Science:

The students have really enjoyed learning about the Earth and how it relates to the moon and the sun!  They especially have loved learning about the moon and the Apollo missions.  We will check the Earth, Moon, & Sun Study Guide in class to review.  Students will take the Earth, Moon, & Sun Test on Wednesday, 1/16.   

 

Have a good week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen