May & June Newsletter to Families
May & June Newsletter
ELA (English Language Arts): Students will be using reading comprehension skills for understanding character, setting, plot, and theme. Students will continue learning how to identify nonfiction text structures such as, sequence, problem & solution, and main idea & key details to help them understand the organization of what they read. We will be applying all of the reading strategies learned throughout this year such as, making predictions, asking questions, and visualizing by annotating within the text to monitor usage of comprehension strategies while reading. The fourth graders will also practice using vocabulary strategies to help them understand synonyms/antonyms, homographs, and figurative language. In writing, we will be working on analyzing opinion/persuasive texts in order to apply elements to writing opinion essays.
Math: Eureka - We are learning about fractions and the relationship to decimals (Modules 5 & 6). We will be finishing up the year with Module 4: Lines, Angles and Triangles. The students will continue to have math homework, reviews previous skills taught this year.
******Math RICAS will be Tuesday May 17th & Wednesday May 18th******
Social Studies: They will learn about the midwest, west and southwest regions of the US through video links and map assignments. We will start using census.gov in the classroom to explore populations and demographics in each region. As we explore the geography of these regions, we will be incorporating the science topics that are listed below.
Science: Students are learning about how Earth’s surface changes over time. We will be discussing the forces in nature that slowly cause landforms to change: weathering, erosion, and deposition. They will be exploring the different causes and places where these three processes occur on Earth.
Monthly Themes - Memorial/Flag Day
Family Connections: Additional ELA resources students are able to use at home and over the summer include: Freckle, My-ON, Wonders games (grammar, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension), and Epic. Students know how to access these websites through their Clever accounts. Thank you for all of your support this year!
April Newsletter to Families
ELA (English Language Arts): The fourth graders enjoyed sharing their Trimester 2 sequel stories with each other and helping each other to edit/revise their writing. The writing focus for Trimester 3 is opinion writing. Students will continue to use the “painted essay” format to help them organize their opinion essays. We are starting Unit 5 in Wonders. The big idea of Unit 5 is “What helps you understand the world around you?” The comprehension skills we will be working on are point of view and text structures (sequence, cause & effect, compare & contrast, problem & solution, and main idea/key details). The comprehension strategies that students will work on applying to reading are summarizing and visualizing.
Math: We are working on Module 4 - Geometry. This module focuses on basic geometric symbols and figures, as well as types of angles and triangles. This month, we will also be working in Module 5 - Fractions & Decimals. Students will continue to have nightly math homework Monday - Thursday night. The purpose of this homework is to practice and maintain math concepts that have already been taught in class.
Social Studies: Students are finishing up their “Famous Woman Timeline” project. We have moved on to the southeast region. Current events that will be discussed will include the flooding of the Mississippi River and the upcoming tornado season. Using the states of the southeast, the students will monitor and record monthly temperatures. Then they will create a line plot and plot the data to help make inferences about the effects of location and landforms on weather.
Science: With the start of Trimester 3, we will be beginning a new Bundle in STEMscopes. Students will be learning about changes over time to the Earth's surface and resources. The question we will try to answer is "What types of changes to Earth's surface have occurred over time, and why?"
We are so proud of students for presenting their animal science projects. We were very impressed with their presentations and the way they worked together to practice their presentations with each other. If your child has not already done so, please ask them to share their Google Slides science project with you (located in the science Google Classroom).
These are the steps for viewing your child’s ELA grades once in the ELA Google Classroom: Click on… “classwork, view your work, and returned.” Once under “returned,” you will see a 1 (emerging), 2 (progressing), 3 (meeting), or 4 (exceeding) grade next to each assessment.
Library Field Trip: Mrs. Basso is organizing a walking field trip to the William Hall Library. The fourth graders will visit William Hall Library on Wednesday, April 27th.
Monthly Themes - Autism Awareness; Ramadan; Earth Day: Our school is the newest school in the state to be part of the Get Food Smart, RI program. This program teaches students the importance of composting, recycling and food waste. We have started using this program, which is running with the help of the 5th graders at the last lunch period and plan to incorporate it into all of the lunch periods by the end of the school year.
March Newsletter to Families
ELA (English Language Arts): Our focus this trimester is narrative writing. However, we will continue to work on informational/explanatory writing across content areas. Students are learning the comprehension skill of describing the reasons or events that support a character’s, narrator’s, or an author’s point of view. Students will also practice describing the overall structure of how a text is organized. For example, identifying sequence or cause and effect text structures.
Math: We are finishing up with Module 3 and will be starting Module 4 “Angle Measure and Plane Figures.” The standards that are assessed in this module are Geometric measurement: understand concepts of angles and measure angles; and draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles. Students will continue to practice with computation of multi-digit multiplication and division, as well as interpreting remainders. ****In the math Google classroom, I have posted a video lesson on how we are using a place value chart to divide. However, they are allowed to use any strategy to divide. More videos to come.****
I have started to assign nightly math homework (Mon. - Thurs.). This HW will always be a review of previous skills taught in class. This homework should take no more than 20 minutes. If your child is struggling, have them do the best they can and I will check in with them the following day. Also, if they are working productively and don’t finish the HW in a timely manner, it is okay to stop them. They should bring to school the work they completed.
Social Studies: Students have finished presenting their State Project. It was great to see the hard work and creativity that was put into all of the projects! Students are starting to learn how to take notes independently. These notes will then be used to construct short written responses. We will continue to talk about how climate and natural resources impact the state and federal economy.
Science: The fourth graders enjoyed experimenting with celery by observing the path of water with food coloring through the plant. They learned about the internal and external structures of a plant and their functions. Students are using what they have learned from STEMscopes about “Plant and Animal Parts” and “Sense Receptors” to research an animal. Students will plan and deliver a presentation on the animal they research. This will be an in-school project.
Family Connections: Please visit the Rhodes fourth grade website page for information such as “Wonders Weekly Newsletters,” which are also given to students each week. Students should be reading for at least 20 minutes each school night and completing their reading logs. A variety of texts can be found using the “Freckle Library.” Thank you for helping to support your child’s reading interests and habits at home.
They can also utilize Freckle to work on math skills.
Monthly Themes - Women's History Month: Students are learning about women who have made a difference such as Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, and Susan B. Anthony.
Special Activities: The fourth graders continue to participate in weekly lessons through the “Inspiring Minds” program. This mindfulness-based, social and emotional learning (SEL) program empowers students to manage stress, overcome obstacles, cultivate compassion and thrive through adversity.A YELLOW PERMISSION SLIP WAS SENT HOME ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH. THIS SLIP IS ASKING YOUR PERMISSION FOR YOUR CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN AN OPTIONAL SURVEY FOR THE “INSPIRING MINDS” PROGRAM. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SLIP, PLEASE ASK YOUR CHILD FOR IT.
February Newsletter to Families
ELA (English Language Arts): Second trimester writing focuses on narrative writing. Students will be writing sequels to stories we read in class. They will be practicing their creative writing skills, using precise sensory language, and incorporating dialogue. Text structures such as cause & effect and main idea/key details will be reviewed through the Wonders reading program and STEMscopes science program. Text features such as headings and captions will also be reviewed. Students are learning the comprehension skill of identifying the point of view in a text. Figurative language and theme will be focus skills with our read aloud book, Maniac Magee.
Math: Module 3, “Multiplication and Division.” We continue to work on multiplication and division using place value strategies. At home, students can review their basic multiplication fact families. The link provided contains information about our approach to multiplication and division: Module 3 Parent Tip Sheet
Social Studies: The students have started their 1st research project. This in-school project will focus on researching a northeast state’s landforms, climate, natural resources and economy; designing a Google slides project that reflects their knowledge about the state and strengthening oral communication skills. This project will give them the opportunity to practice and become comfortable speaking publicly about a topic.
Science: The focus this trimester is “Organism Structures and Behavior.” Students will use what they learn from STEMscopes about “Plant and Animal Parts” and “Sense Receptors” to research an animal of their choice. Their animal research project will be done in school.
Family Connections: The fourth graders have been asked to show parents/guardians graded ELA assessments in Google Classroom. When students have ELA assessments that are ready to be viewed by a parent/guardian, they write it on their “yellow assessment logs” and in their planners. Please sign/return the “yellow assessment log” indicating that you have viewed the assessment. Students should show you their graded assessments by going to “classwork,” “view your work,” and clicking on “returned.” The assessments will have a 1,2,3, or 4 grade next to them. The actual test questions/results can be viewed on the Wonders website under “To Do/My Tests.” Students should be reading for at least 20 minutes each school night and completing their reading logs Monday-Thursday. Thank you for your support with checking and signing these logs!
Special Activities - Black History: The fourth graders have been discussing, reading, and writing about civil rights leaders/activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Westley Wallace Law, and Nelson Mandela. We are focusing on answering the question, “How can one person make a difference?”
December & January Newsletter to Families
December & January Newsletter
ELA (English Language Arts): The fourth graders are continuing to work on writing informational essays. Students are using the painted essay format to strengthen their organization of writing informative texts. The big idea of Wonders unit 2 is “What can animals teach us?” Students will be working on the following reading comprehension skills: main idea & key details, cause & effect, theme- central message or lesson, and point of view. They are also practicing using comprehension strategies such as rereading, asking/answering questions, and summarizing what they read. Each week, students are given a “Wonders Weekly Newsletter” to keep in their Rhodes home/school folder. This newsletter gives students and families a preview of the skills, strategies, vocabulary words, and texts for the week. It can also be found on the Rhodes school website fourth grade page.
Math: We are finishing Module 2 this week and then starting Module 3- Multiplication and division. Please view the link: Module 3 Parent Tip Sheet. This tip sheet is an overview of what and how we will be working on multiplication and division skills in this module. All students have chosen a multiplication fact family to practice. This can be done both at home and school.
****IMPORTANT**** Please ask your child each week if they have graded assessments that need to be signed and returned to school. Papers will be sent home most Thursdays. Thank You!
Social Studies: Geography of the northeast region. Students will apply their knowledge of the painted essay to construct written responses that are social studies related. They are studying the 11 NE states, capitals and postal abbreviations.
Science: The fourth graders have had a lot of fun experimenting with the battery packs to create a complete closed circuit. Students observed what happens to a light bulb, buzzer, and fan when a circuit is opened or closed. They got very creative with using materials in their desks as conductors or insulators of electrical energy. We will be finishing up our study of physical science by exploring “forces and motion” and “communicating using wave energy.”
Family Connections: Completing assignments at home utilizing Google Classroom will only be for COVID related absences. Otherwise, students only homework is reading for at least 20 minutes and completing their reading logs.
Grades for ELA assessments will be posted in the ELA Google Classroom. The assessment grades will be a 1 emerging, 2 progressing, 3 meeting, or 4 exceeding. Students have been asked to show their assessment grades to a parent/guardian and get their yellow assessment log signed. Directions for viewing the assessment grades are on the back of the “yellow assessment log.” Please review them with your child. It is essential that the students, as well as you the parent/guardian know how they are progressing in school. *If you are unable to access Google Classroom or Wonders(McGraw-Hill) at home, please let Mrs. Bradstreet know, and copies of the digital assessments can be printed.
Monthly Themes -
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - December 7th: In social studies, we will be watching the 80th Commemoration Ceremony, which will aid in our discussion of primary sources and oral histories. Check out the link below from the National Park Service.
MLK Day - January 17, 2022: We will be listening to and discussing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech.
Special Activities: We will be reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens during our read-aloud time. After we finish reading the book, we will be watching the pre-recorded play performance of Trinity Rep’s A Christmas Carol.
November Newsletter to Families
ELA (English Language Arts): The students have been enjoying the read-aloud Holes by Louis Sachar! We have been using this story to study character development, plot structure, and figurative language. In the Wonders ELA program, students are working on sentence structure in grammar. We are reading a variety of genres that explore ideas, actions, and challenges. Students are working on making predictions and rereading text comprehension strategies. They are learning how to identify nonfiction text structures such as, main idea & key details, compare & contrast, and cause & effect. In writing this month, students will be learning to write an informational essay to support a focus point. They will be using the “painted essay” format to help them organize their writing into an introduction paragraph, body paragraph(s), and a conclusion paragraph.
Math: We are about to start Module 2, Metric Measurements. This module is an extension of Module 1, place value and it is an excellent transition to Module 3, which explores multiplication and division. In preparation for Module 3, students should also be studying/reviewing basic multiplication facts. They have been taught some new ways (homemade triangle flash cards & skip-counting lists) to study the “fact families.”
Social Studies: Beginning with the northeast region, we will be starting our “journey” across the US. In addition to learning about the states in this region, students will be learning about the state of Rhode Island. In partnership with our librarian, students will learn how to appropriately and accurately research topics and then apply their knowledge by creating a digital presentation.
Science: Students are participating in activities that allow them to explore energy transfer. This month, they will be working on answering the questions: “How can a battery cause a buzzer to sound? & How can a battery cause a light bulb to light?” We will be using batteries, wires, lightbulbs, and buzzers to make a complete electrical circuit. They’ve enjoyed using battery packs to figure out which materials in our classroom are conductors or insulators of electrical energy.
Family Connections: As a reminder, students should be reading at least 20 minutes a night Monday -Thursday and completing their reading logs. Reading logs are collected on Fridays to be checked by the teacher and returned to students on Mondays. Students’ grades on ELA assessments have been posted in the ELA Google Classroom. The assessment grades will be a 1 emerging, 2 progressing, 3 meeting, or 4 exceeding. Students have been asked to show their assessment grades to a parent/guardian and get their yellow assessment log signed. Please review them with your child. It is essential that the students, as well as you the parent/guardian know how they are progressing in school. Please visit the Rhodes fourth grade website page for more information including “Wonders Weekly Newsletters,” which are also given to students each week. *****Math & social studies***** Graded assessments went home last Thursday to be reviewed and signed, which were then returned to school the following day. In general, expect these assessments to come home on a Thursday approximately every two weeks.
Monthly Themes - Indigenous People; Veterans Day: The fourth graders worked diligently on making cards for veterans. They showed their gratitude by writing thoughtful letters, and students were able to express their creativity through their drawings. Students learned about Veterans Day from videos watched in class and by listening to each other tell about a veteran they know.
Special Activities: During our weekly Inspiring Minds lessons, students are learning about how their minds and bodies are connected. They are learning about recognizing physical signs that may occur when experiencing certain emotions. They learned how to make a glitter jar!
October Newsletter to Families
ELA (English Language Arts): Trimester 1’s writing genre is informative writing, so our focus will be writing constructed responses to various forms of text. Students are learning to write paragraphs using the F.A.C.E.S. writing strategy. The F.A.C.E.S. acronym stands for Flip the question, Answer the question, Cite text evidence, Explain the evidence, and Sum it up. In the Wonders reading program, the students are learning how to identify plot structure (characters, setting, main events, problem and solution). The big idea of Unit 1 is “How can a challenge bring out our best?” Students are also practicing spelling words with short and long vowel sounds. In grammar, students are working on writing complete sentences and using correct punctuation such as ending punctuation and commas.
Math: We are strengthening our foundation in number sense, with a focus on place value relationships and the “power of 10.” This work includes review of place value, how to express numbers in various forms, the “Read Draw Write” strategy of problem solving, and addition computation using the standard algorithm. To strengthen fact fluency, students can review basic multiplication and division facts using the fact family cards that were made in class.
Social Studies:This year, we will be learning about the US; specifically its geography, climate, natural resources and economy. As we study the 5 regions of the US throughout the year, students will also be learning the 50 states and their capitals. In our first unit of study, we have started learning about the location of the US and its landforms. The students will be asked to demonstrate their comprehension of social studies through constructed responses utilizing the F.A.C.E.S. writing strategy.
Science: Our trimester 1 unit of study in STEMscopes is “Using Energy Transformations.” The first subtopic that we will investigate is energy transfer and electric currents.
Family Connections: Please check in with your child nightly to see what book they are reading and initial their reading log. Students should be reading a minimum of 20 minutes per school day Monday-Thursday. However, reading over the weekend is always encouraged! Please also check your child’s planner and Rhodes home/school folder nightly.
Special Activities: The fourth graders are participating in the Inspiring Minds SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Program this year. We are very fortunate to be able to participate in these weekly lessons with a teacher from Inspiring Minds.
We are pleased with all of the students’ transition to 4th grade!
September Letter to Families
Dear 4th grade families, 9/2/2021
We hope you all have had an enjoyable summer. As with the beginning of each new school year, there are many questions that parents/guardians and students have about what to expect in the classroom. This year, we are providing the necessary school supplies that the school has purchased for all students. We are spending a great deal of time the first week of school reviewing the schedule and our expectations. This time will be invaluable in making the rest of 4th grade run as smoothly as possible. The 4th graders are very grateful for being able to use the playground, eat lunch in the cafeteria, see their friends, along with doing other things they may have missed last year. So far, we are off to a great start!
We recognize the importance of working as a team both in the classroom and in the real world. Our team teaching model has been and will continue to be an essential component of the 4th grade experience here at Rhodes.Your child has two teachers in 4th grade; Stephanie Pearson teaches math and social studies; Jenna Bradstreet (maiden name Caprarelli) teaches ELA and science. Although there are two teachers and two classrooms, WE operate as one whole grade together.
In order for our team to function efficiently, effective communication is essential! Please email us, call the school, or write a note to us anytime you have a question or concern. When emailing, we ask that you email both of us, since we will both be teaching and getting to know your child this year.
Rhodes Home/School Folders and Planners:
Please put any notes in your child’s Rhodes folder and check folders nightly for notices. In addition, check your child's planner nightly. Your child’s Rhodes folder and planner will go back and forth between home and school each day.
Students have a “working snack” in our 4th grade classrooms. Due to allergies, the entire school building is nut-free for snacks and lunches. We allow students to have water bottles in the classroom, and ask that they only contain water. However, other drinks are allowed at lunch. Thank you in advance for your support in keeping all of our students safe.
Please make sure any person picking up your child is listed on the Emergency Care Card and has a photo ID to show for verification. Because there may be days when someone other than your child’s homeroom teacher is dismissing, an ID is required to release your child. So it is necessary that everyone has a photo ID with them each day at dismissal. This is for student safety. Please send in a “change of dismissal” form or a note when there is a change for the day.
We are looking forward to a great school year!
Stephanie Pearson (math & social studies) Jenna Bradstreet (ELA & science)