Below you’ll find some things that are happening this April and May...
Thank you to all families who attended Student-Led Conferences! 4th graders did a great job explaining what we’ve been learning. I received some feedback from parents regarding extra reading practice for homework, or additional challenges for math. We will be working on some math “extension” projects in the final quarter of this year. I also have provided additional reading homework for some students. If you think your student should be included in receiving this homework, please let me know.
IB Unit: Sharing the Planet
The next IB unit we’ll be diving into soon is “Sharing the Planet.” We’ll explore the idea that natural resources can create or reduce conflict in our world. Students will study renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, human consumption and pollution’s effects on Earth, and sustainability practices that can help conserve resources.
We will be studying geometry, data, and measurement for the remainder of the year. We are currently working on angles. Students will be expected to measure angles in degrees, draw angles using protractors, as well as join and separate angles. You can support learning by finding and measuring angles in your home, such as the hands on an analog clock.
The Move-A-Thon, formerly known as the Walk-A-Thon, is fast approaching. It will take place on May 5th, and is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. The Move-A-Thon raises money to support athletic programs, teacher supply stipends, field trips, and other needs that arise during the year. Students have already received forms for collecting money. In order to earn a student-designed Move-A-Thon t-shirt, students are asked to raise at least $18 in support of Peirce School.
Below you’ll find some things that are happening this January...
I am very proud of our two spelling bee participants this year: Carlos L. and Rachel Y. Carlos made it through several rounds and Rachel was the grades 3-5 winner! Congratulations, Carlos and Rachel!
IB Unit: How the World Works
Our next IB unit will focus on science and literacy. We will be studying soil, rocks, and landforms. We’ll also study Earth’s changes due to geological forces, such as weathering and erosion. It’s an exciting unit, with lots of hands-on investigations. I’ll be posting photos on Class Dojo along the way of what we get up to.
Math: Factors, Multiples, and Patterns
4th grade is deepening their understanding of multiplication and division through studying multiples, factors, and number patterns before we move on to fractions. Students’ mastery of multiplication and division facts have improved since the beginning of the year, but if your child is still struggling on timed tests, please contact me for suggestions to help them at home.
Parent Portal is a great way to stay informed about your child’s grades in between report cards. Ms. Zaimi will also be moving to paperless communication regarding next year’s classroom assignments. You need a student ID and PIN to sign up, so please contact me or the main office to get started.
Winter is the time when everyone seems to be coming down with something. If your child is contagious, please keep them at home. Please submit a written note or doctor’s form to me or the main office to serve as an excuse for the absence.
Please note the upcoming days students have off of school:
February 3 - School Improvement Day
February 20 - Presidents Day
- Ms. Fane
Below you’ll find some things that are happening this November…
Days Off from School
November is a very short month. The following days we do NOT have school:
Wednesday, November 9 (Conferences)
Friday, November 11 (Veterans Day)
Wed-Fri November 23, 24, 25 (Thanksgiving Break)
This Wednesday is conference day for Peirce. Students lead their own conferences this year, and we’ve been working hard to be prepared. If you have returned a yellow sheet, you have a specific hour to come for conferences. The conference will take about 15 to 30 minutes, and you are welcome to come at any time within the hour you marked. We’re excited for you to see what we’ve been up to!
IB Unit: How We Organize Ourselves
We have begun our second IB unit of the school year. In this unit, students combine skills from social studies, reading, and writing to learn about our US government and other government systems, government’s role in society, why governments are formed, and the rights of people according to their government.
Field Trip - November 22
4th grade is going on a field trip to see Chicago Ballet perform the Nutcracker at Kenwood Academy High School on Tuesday, November 22. We will leave around 9:30am. I already have two chaperones, but feel free to let me know if you would like to chaperone future field trips!
Canned Food Drive
Student Council is sponsoring a canned food drive this month to support Care for Real. Please bring in canned food items or other non-perishable household goods to support families in need in our community.
For the past month or so, we’ve been studying multiplication. We’ve learned several strategies for multiplying multi-digit numbers, as well as ways to check our answers for reasonableness. We are beginning to multiply 2-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers this week. It’s very important as math concepts become more complex that students know their multiplication facts by heart. Please let me know if you’d like some resources to help your student master their times tables at home.
- Ms. Fane
Below you’ll find some things that are happening this October…
Here is a message from Peirce regarding Halloween:
Halloween is right around the corner. All students in PK-8th grade are allowed to dress up and will parade around the track at 1:45pm on October 31st. Please note that Halloween is still considered a Healthy Celebration Day - students should not bring in candy, cupcakes, etc. Healthy snacks or small trinkets are acceptable to celebrate Halloween, but NOT required.
208 will have pictures taken the morning of Tuesday, October 18th.
Homework goes home almost every night, and is meant to be extra practice for math concepts learned during the day, and time to build reading skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. However, I understand that situations arise when homework cannot be completed on a given evening. I never want homework to interfere with a child’s well-being. If homework is taking longer than an hour to complete, please contact me. We can arrange that your child do half the problems, or have alternate homework that corresponds with his or her level. I respect that our students are children, and need time to play, spend time with families, and get their sleep!
Science - Energy
You may have noticed that there was no science grade on the progress report. We alternate science and social studies every quarter, so that students have 5 weeks of social studies, and 5 weeks of science. We are studying energy in the first quarter, and will investigate electric currents and circuits, energy transfer, and sources of energy. Check out Class Dojo for photos of our investigations!
Barrel of Monkeys
We will begin an arts partnership with Barrel of Monkeys near the end of October. This program will continue through December, with the final performance taking place in January. Students will work with five teaching artists to create a variety of stories over six 90 minute sessions. The teaching artists use acting and movement to engage the 4th graders and get their creative juices flowing. It’s going to be great fun!
Ms. Rebecca - WITS
Your child may have mentioned Ms. Rebecca, a volunteer who reads with my classroom. Rebecca is a retired teacher who comes in twice a week to read in the hallway with small groups of students. She volunteers through an organization named WITS, or Working in the Schools. WITS provides bags of books to students around winter break and at the end of the year. The kids have been loving the quality reading time with her!
- Ms. Fane
School is fully up and running, and I’m really enjoying getting to know and work with your students this year. Here are a couple things to keep in mind…
Grading and Tests
I try to follow a schedule for tests and quizzes, so that studying can be part of the home routine. Every Friday we have a quiz on the 6 vocabulary words of the week as well as what we are currently studying for grammar. Every Monday we have a spelling test on the previous week’s words. I have students copy down or glue their words into their agendas in the “Things to Study” column. We are also reviewing our times tables. Every three days we do a short timed test on the table of the week. I will inform students (and have them write in agendas) when chapter tests or big projects will be due, usually 3 or more days in advance.
I send home graded papers every Friday in their Friday folders. Please feel free to have your child correct their papers for extra points. At times I write “Please Correct” on a paper. It is strongly suggested that students correct these pages.
IB (International Baccalaureate) Program
The IB program is part of the elementary school curriculum. There are six units of study that occur throughout the year. We are beginning 4h grade with the unit “How We Express Ourselves”, which primarily involves social studies and literacy activities. In this unit, we will explore the value of creation, how creativity communicates ideas, and how ideas form and grow. We also cover the Native American community named the Haudenosaunee, and the unique ways they communicate ideas and work together.
The first chapter of our math curriculum is on place value, rounding, and addition/subtraction up to one million. This first chapter tends to stretch a bit on, as these are foundational skills 4th graders will be called to use all year. Rounding and subtracting with regrouping especially, seem to be challenging each year. Please see me if you’d like extra resources to support your child at home.
Khan Academy, an online adaptive math program (also free!) is a great resource if your child needs extra practice, some tutoring, or a challenge. We will be using the website in class, and students are welcome to use at home. Students can use their CPS emails to sign up and get started. Visit khanacademy.org for more information.
Scholastic Book Orders
I pass out Scholastic book orders once a month. Students usually have about a week to bring in their orders if they choose to purchase something. Parents can also order online. Please use the code LHKBB.
Keep in Touch
My door is always open; I am here to support your student. Feel welcome to send me an email (email@example.com), write a note, or contact me through Class Dojo if you have any questions or concerns. I try my best to respond within 24 hours.
Thanks! Ms. Fane