February 19-22, 2019

Field trip photos

Thank you to parents who came along on our field trip to University of Oregon Museum of Natural History.  Students heard about the geology of Oregon, touched fossils, played a game with the rock cycle, and more.  Here are a few photos of our trip.

Canoe Island (Outdoor School):

For those not familiar with the trip, Canoe Island is our 5th grade outdoor school experience, located in the San Juan Islands in Washington state. There are two meetings scheduled in February and March for planning:

— Thursday, February 21, from 6:00 – 6:30 pm in Room 1. Please come to this meeting if you are interested in volunteering to help organize parts of the trip.  This is not a meeting for potential chaperones.  

— Tuesday, March 19, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Room 1.  Every family is invited to this information session to learn more about costs, expectations, and outcomes for students. Please make every effort to attend — you’ll learn all about the trip!

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with our principal, Mme Courtney, if you have specific questions.

Homework:

Mme Shelli’s Class:  Students will have nightly word study homework.

Mme Jana’s Class:  No homework in French this week. Next week we’ll do vocabulary to coincide with our science unit.

Important Dates: 

Monday, February 18 No School (Presidents Day)

Tuesday-Friday, February 19-22 – OBOB battles during school! With the final round being at an assembly on Friday. (time TBD)

Thursday, February 21 –  Canoe Island Meeting, 6-6:30 pm, Room 1 (see above for more info)

Friday, February 22 – Mardi Gras 5:30 pm

Sunday, February 24 – The Little French School presents French Night Out from 5-8 p.m. Help support the school!  French Night Out

Thursday, March 7 – Science Fair! (after school)

Friday, March 15 – No School  (Professional Development)

Tuesday, March 19 – Canoe Island Meeting, 6-7 pm, Room 1 (see above for more info)

March 25-29 – No School (Spring Break!)

Mme Jana’s News  (kincaid_j@4j.lane.edu) 

FLA (French Language Arts): This photo, which I’ve named Bangladesh, is our current “J’observe…” writing activity. This photo is on the Turag River. We’re spending more time working on detail on this activity.

We still did not do our second dictation, but will squeeze it in this week. We also still need to conjugate special verbs that end in –ir, like finir (to finish) and choisir (to choose). We did reading groups just once this past week because of a number of factors, but will get back to doing it twice a week once our schedule gets back to normal! (That means after OBOB is over.) Your children also took their vocabulary quiz and a two-sentence correcting quiz, which will come home on Tuesday along with last week’s homework.

We had a fun time making and signing Valentine cards, and I hope you got to see your children’s beautiful creations. I have found glitter everywhere since Tuesday. 

Les sciences:  We have still not yet gotten out onto the Charlemagne campus (too cold/snowy/rainy) and selected several soil types, but will do so on the next weather-appropriate days. I understand the science field trip was interesting to most. We worked on understanding physical weathering last week and briefly discussed the three big mountain ranges of the United States: the Sierra Nevada Mountains (les montagnes Sierra Nevada), the Rocky Mountains (les montagnes rocheuses), and the Appalachian Mountains (les montagnes appalaches). We also did a fun experiment where they predicted what would happen when a glass bottle full of water is sealed and put in the freezer overnight. It demonstrates nicely how freezing water expands and, when in the cracks of rocks, adds to physical weathering. This next week, we will begin looking at chemical weathering.

Mme Shelli’s News (hopper_s@4j.lane.edu)

English Language Arts:  We will begin a three unit integrated language arts & social studies unit which continues the story of Oregon history by looking at early European and Americans who explored Oregon.  We will read a biography of Lewis & Clark and listen to a historical fiction narrative from the point of their dog, Seaman.  Students will hopefully enjoy some of the hands-on activities we will do such as learning some Native American sign language and trying our hands at writing with quill pens.

Math: Students will bring home a quiz on unit 6, Decimal Notation.  Overall, students showed a good understanding of the topic.  On the parent signature page, I will highlight skills if your child needs more practice. 

This week, we begin a two week unit that will focus on measurement conversions using the metric system. Students will begin to use their understanding of decimals to convert grams to kilograms or centimeters to meters.

Congratulations

The following students’ artwork will be displayed at the UO art museum as finalists in the Oregon student art contest.  Come to the museum Feb. 20-April 28 to view these and many other students’ art depicting Oregon.

“Smith Rock” by Annabelle 

“Smith Rock, Oregon” by Lillian

“The Painted Hills” by Adelaide 

“Smith Rock” by Kepri 

“The Wallowas” by Elena 

Feb. 11-15

Canoe Island (Outdoor School):

For those not familiar with the trip, Canoe Island is our 5th grade outdoor school experience, located in the San Juan Islands in Washington State.  We have two meetings scheduled in February and March for planning:

— Thursday, February 21, from 6:00 – 6:30 pm in Room 1.  Please come to this meeting if you are interested in volunteering to help organize parts of the trip.  This is not a meeting for potential chaperones.  

— Tuesday, March 19, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Room 1.  Every family is invited to this information session to learn more about costs, expectations, and outcomes for students.  Please make every effort to attend– we can/t wait to tell you more about the trip!

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Principal Courtney if you have specific questions.

Field Trip February 13:

We will go to the UO Museum of Natural & Cultural history to learn more about the rock cycle. This ties into our science unit.  Blue class: 8:45-10:45am Red Class: 12:30-2:30. UPDATE: Thank you for parents who volunteered. We have enough chaperones.

 

How we handle Valentines in 4th grade:

We have a longstanding tradition in 4th grade that we make our own Valentine cards at school. So, PLEASE, do not send your child to school with Valentines for each student because we don’t include time to hand out individual cards. Here’s what we do: The day or so before Valentine’s Day, each child makes and decorates an 11″ x 17″ piece of construction paper with her name on it. On Valentine’s Day, we open the doors between the two 4th grade rooms, and every child gets to sign every other child’s card, and in turn, each child has his card signed by everyone. It’s always lots of fun both making (Okay, kind of hectic…) and signing the cards. I even get out my hoard of glitter ! 

Congratulations

The following students’ artwork will be displayed at the UO art museum as finalists in the Oregon student art contest.   Come to the museum Feb. 20-April 28 to view these and many other students’ art depicting Oregon.

“Smith Rock” by Annabelle 

“Smith Rock, Oregon” by Lillian

“The Painted Hills” by Adelaide 

“Smith Rock” by Kepri 

“The Wallowas” by Elena 

Homework:

Mme Shelli’s Class:  Students will have nightly math practice for homework.

Mme Jana’s Class:  This week’s vocabulary homework is words that include “e accent grave = è” like la mère, le père, très, etc. Accents are very important in French. Getting the accent wrong can completely change the word. This is a difficult concept for native English speakers, since we have no accents. Here is the homework:  

Important Dates: 

Monday, February 11 – Thursday, February 15 – Artist in residence continues (Making a mural.)

Wednesday, February 13 – 4th grade field trip to UO Museum

Thursday, February 14 – We sign one another’s cards for Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 18 No School (Presidents Day)

Sunday, February 24 – The Little French School presents French Night Out from 5-8 p.m. Help support the school!  French Night Out

Thursday, March 7 – Science Fair! (after school)

Friday, March 15 – No School  (Professional Development)

March 25-29 – No School (Spring Break!)

Mme Jana’s News  (kincaid_j@4j.lane.edu) 

FLA (French Language Arts): Most students finished  the “J’observe…” writing activity, Le petit îlot , so we were able to begin the next“J’observe…” writing activity, which is called Bangladesh.  We learned where Bangladesh is and discussed climate a bit. We also talked about what to say rather than just “a red sail” (une voile rouge). Instead, you can say, “red like a sunset” (rouge comme le coucher du soleil) or “as red as blood” (aussi rouge que le sang) or other ways to make their writing more interesting.

We did not do our second dictation, but will TRY to squeeze it in next week. The artist-in residence activity is taking up more of our schedule that I imagined, plus it takes a bit of time for us to settle into our new PE/music schedule. We also still need to conjugate special verbs that end in –ir, like finir (to finish) and choisir (to choose). We did reading groups just once this week because of a number of factors, but will get back to doing it twice next week. I think we will keep reading and science on the same days.

Les sciences:  We have not yet gone out onto the Charlemagne campus (too cold/snowy/rainy) and selected several soil types to determine what kind of soils we have in our little corner of the world, but we will do it on the next weather-appropriate days. Mme Shelli and Victor are taking the kids on the field trip visit to the museum to explore rocks and support our science unit. I elected to stay here so that the kids will get French that day. (Okay, plus I hate field trips, and Shelli is really nice.)

Mme Shelli’s News (hopper_s@4j.lane.edu)

English Language Arts:  We’re going to “dig in” to reading this week.  Early in the week we’ll be reading about rocks & soil to prepare for our field trip.  Then on Thursday & Friday students will choose a non-fiction text about other things people have “dug up.” Texts about dinosaurs, Pompeii & Tutankhamen will surely be interesting for students to read about.

Math: We will continue to work on decimal notation in Unit 6.  Here’s a sample of one lesson. Students will be converting fractions with ten or hundred in the denominator to  decimals through the hundreds place.  They will solve a variety of complex problems such as this one. 

February 4 to 8, 2019

Field Trip February 13:

We will go to the UO Museum of Natural & Cultural history to learn more about the rock cycle. This ties into our science unit.  Blue class: 8:45-10:45am Red Class: 12:30-2:30. UPDATE: Thank you for parents who volunteered.  We have enough chaperones.

 

How we handle Valentines in 4th grade:

We have a longstanding tradition in 4th grade that we make our own Valentine cards at school. So, PLEASE, do not send your child to school with Valentines for each student because we don’t include time to hand out individual cards. Here’s what we do: The day or so before Valentine’s Day, each child makes and decorates an 11″ x 17″ piece of construction paper with her name on it. On Valentine’s Day, we open the doors between the two 4th grade rooms, and every child gets to sign every other child’s card, and in turn, each child has his card signed by everyone. It’s always lots of fun both making (Okay, kind of hectic…) and signing the cards. I even get out my hoard of glitter ! 

PE/Weather:

Our PE days are now on Monday and Wednesday for the rest of the year, so please make sure your child comes to school, those days particularly, wearing the proper footwear. Also, please send your kids to school with the right outerwear (coats, raincoats, sweatshirts, proper shoes, etc.), as we have outdoor recess unless it’s really raining pretty hard.

Homework:

Mme Shelli’s Class:  Students will practice months of the year and writing dates for homework.  Please verify that your child knows the months in order in English.  If they do, ask them to tell you in French. They should since they worked on these a lot the last few weeks on the French side.

Mme Jana’s Class:  We will be doing our French vocabulary quiz on Monday this week, and there will be no homework in French. We will continue to work on last week’s expressions with avoir and next week’s words that include “e accent grave = è” like la mère, le père, très, etc.

Important Dates: 

Monday, February 4 – Artist in residence this week and next (Making a mural.)

Wednesday, February 13 – 4th grade field trip to UO Museum

Thursday, February 14 – We sign one another’s cards for Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 18 No School (Presidents Day)

Sunday, February 24 – The Little French School presents French Night Out from 5-8 p.m. Help support the school!  French Night Out

Thursday, March 7 – Science Fair! (after school)

Friday, March 15 – No School  (Professional Development)

March 25-29 – No School (Spring Break!)

Mme Jana’s News  (kincaid_j@4j.lane.edu) 

FLA (French Language Arts):  We will hopefully finish the latest “J’observe…” writing activity, Le petit îlot , but will not begin a new one until everyone is caught up. (We will be a bit time crunched with the group mural project, but it promises to be worthwhile.)

We did not do our second dictation, but will squeeze it in this week. We will conjugate special verbs that end in –ir, like finir (to finish) and choisir (to choose), which are conjugated differently than venir (to come) and tenir (to hold). Many kids seem like they’re ready to handle another verb tense, so we may add “passé composé” pretty soon, one of the many, many French verb tenses. We have to be forgiving with verbs because verb conjugating in French is pretty complicated, and it takes a significant amount of practice to master it. So, we’ll keep working at verbs, and so will every other French teacher your child will ever have. 

I’m not yet sure if we’ll continue to do Reading groups on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Since our music/PE schedule switches to Monday and Wednesday this week, changing not only the days of the week, but also the times we have music and PE, I want to let it all shake down before I finalize science and reading group days. I will  likely know by the end of this week or next, and I will keep you posted. Certainly, we will have reading groups twice a week, and we will have sciences twice a week.

Les sciences:  We began the science unit with describing what we can SEE (not what we assume) with four different soil types (les sols). On Thursday, we added water to those soil samples and agitated the vials, so we will have nicely settled soil samples by Monday. Students will draw the layers the materials separate into, and will learn the names of  the components of soils: hummus (l’humus), sand (le sable),  clay (l’argile), silt (le limon), small rocks (les cailloux) and begin to learn about them all. We will also go out onto the Charlemagne campus and select several soil types to determine what kind of soils we have in our little corner of the world.

Mme Shelli’s News (hopper_s@4j.lane.edu)

English Language Arts:  Look for your child’s science fiction narrative to come home on Monday.  Ask your child to read it to you.  It is our first narrative writing project this year, so it may not be perfect, but students have been working on paragraphing, writing dialog correctly and adding descriptive words.

Math: Please look for your child’s Unit 5 Assessment on Understanding Fraction Equivalence and Comparison. Students should now be able to find common denominators and apply other strategies to compare and add/ subtract fractions. Here’s a sample of some the reasoning and thinking that is happening in class. 

Next, students will use their understanding of fractions to understand decimal notation in Unit 6.  Here’s a sample of one lesson.

January 28 – 31, 2019

Homework:

Mme Shelli’s Class:  There is math review homework each evening this week. We correct and discuss it daily, so students should bring it everyday.

Mme Jana’s Class:  This week’s French homework is expressions using the verb avoir (to have). In French, you “have hunger” (J’ai faim.), you “have thirst” (J’ai soif.), and you have your age (J’ai dix ans.) Even though the kids have heard all of these expressions, they have a hard time incorporating them correctly, so we’re going to work on them. I’ve also included some negation, i.e. in French, to say, “I don’t know,” we say “Je ne sais pas.” The word sais is the verb and you put the ne and the pas on each side of the verb. Here is the homework:  avoir faim 2018 Vocab

Important Dates: 

Friday, February 1 –  Grading Day – No School

Monday, February 4 – Artist in residence this week and next (Making a mural.)

Monday, February 18 – No School (Presidents Day)

Sunday, February 24 – The Little French School presents French Night Out from 5-8 p.m. Help support the school!  French Night Out

Friday, March 15 – No School  (Professional Development)

March 25-29 – No School (Spring Break!)

Mme Jana’s News  (kincaid_j@4j.lane.edu) 

FLA (French Language Arts):  French language  tri-annual assessments are essentially complete, and I’ve completed grading and recording them. Now I just have to see what the results tell us!

We began a new “J’observe…” writing activity, Le petit îlot . The photo is of a tiny island between some cliffs with a little red house on it. It’s a gorgeous photo and the kids find the idea intriguing. In one of the sentences, they are meant to guess where the photo was taken. I’ve told them it’s not in the United States, and I’m reading some pretty funny guesses. So, if you know where it is, don’t tell them! I will tell them once everyone has guessed. Also, your lovely children’s writing is really beginning to develop and sound individual, so it’s more fun to write and more fun to read!

We also redid  the first dictation. Some students did much better, and, surprisingly, some students did worse! We will add a new dictation this week, and we’ll see how they do. It’s the kind of activity at which they will improve the more we do them. I know that Mme Anou did dictations with them last year, but this year, they are longer and more complicated, plus they don’t get to hear the dictation before they do it. We are developing our listening skills as well as applying grammar lessons.

We’ll be doing Reading groups on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Our music/PE schedule will switch to Monday and Wednesday beginning the second term, (February 4), so we may have to make some adjustments to what days we do reading and science, but I will keep you posted.

We conjugated three verbs with similar endings, voir (to see), boire (to drink) and croire (to believe). When I instruct about conjugating, I’m always pointing out patterns to help the kids retain general information about conjugating. We write the conjugations in our French journals, and we record them in the table of contents. I’m starting to see kids using the table of contents to look up conjugations and other subjects we’ve recorded. I want the kids to use their resources!

Les sciences:  The science kits arrived on Tuesday (Yay!), so we were able to begin discussing the new unit on Thursday. We will regularly do science on Mondays and Thursdays. Again, our new unit is  Soils, Rocks and Landforms. I learned from the pre-test that these 4th graders have only a vague idea of what soil is made of, and I’m sure they will be fascinated with what they learn. I’ve asked Victor to teach science this term, but I have taught this unit before, so I am here for support.

Mme Shelli’s News (hopper_s@4j.lane.edu)

English Language Arts:  This week students will revise and edit their science fiction narratives about how they met an alien. They will work on editing their organized stories to include paragraphs, correct punctuation & spelling, and precise, interesting words. 

In English reading, students will read a fictional text called Me and Uncle Romie (Journeys Les. 8) which features an artist who lived during the Harlem Renaissance period and his nephew.  Our discussions about the text will emphasize analyzing plot and identifying figurative language such as similes and metaphors. We will discuss both visual and performing arts in literature over the next few weeks which ties well into hosting our artist in residence starting next week who will help us make a school mural!

Math: We wrap up a unit on Understanding Fraction Equivalence and Comparison. Students will continue finding common denominators to compare and add/ subtract fractions this week.They will also be making sense and reasoning with fraction.  Here’s a sample of some the reasoning and thinking that is happening in class. It is amazing to hear students in our class explaining their reasoning (similar to those in the video) as they compare fractions! Again, the goal of the unit is for students to have a real sense of fractions, not just to apply a random rules without making mathematical sense of what they are doing.

Dreambox Math provides additional, leveled math practice at home and in class. There are also several other math resources for kids to try at home under the math tab on this site. 

January 22-25

Homework:

Mme Shelli’s Class:  Math Madness packets are due this week.  New homework this week is word study.  Words have “ie” and “ei” patterns.

Mme Jana’s Class:  There is no French homework this week. We will continue to work on the vocabulary about months, days and seasons in class.

Important Dates: 

Monday, January 21 –  Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School

Friday, February 1 –  Grading Day – No School

Monday, February 4 – Artist in residence this week and next (Making a mural.)

Mme Jana’s News  (kincaid_j@4j.lane.edu) 

FLA (French Language Arts):  We have completed most assessments. A few students who missed some days will have to make up their assessments, and we are still working to complete the speaking assessments, which occur one student at a time. We are also continuing to work on a packet about the origins of the names of the months of the year and the days of the week.

Most students finished all of their “J’observe…” writing activities, so we will likely begin a new one next week. We’ll also do another dictation, probably a repeat of the first one, and we’ll try another quiz on sentence correcting. For now, we’ll be doing Reading groups on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Our music/PE schedule will switch to Monday and Wednesday beginning the second term, so we may have to make some adjustments to what days we do reading and science.

I think it’s clear to all the parents that students may only speak French in my classroom. Most students are doing really, really well with it. I was just telling Victor yesterday how lovely it is to hear kids come into the classroom and chatter to one another in French on topics that are not academic. Of course they have more experience speaking French on academic topics, but to just find ways to say what they have in their minds when it’s about what they did over the weekend or something that happened in the breezeway, it’s very encouraging to hear.

I have been informed that our science kits will arrive on Tuesday (Yay!), so we should be able to begin science on Thursday. After that we’ll do science on Mondays and Thursdays. Again, our new unit is  Soils, Rocks and Landforms.

Mme Shelli’s News (hopper_s@4j.lane.edu)

English Language Arts:  This week we will continue reading non-fiction articles about  inventions such as telephones, radios, and television as well as an exploration of various forms of performance arts. As an extension of our science fiction reading, will also be writing a short, fictional narrative about an alien. They will work on writing organized stories with paragraphs, correct punctuation & spelling, and precise, interesting words.  

Math: We are a third of the way through our unit Understanding Fraction Equivalence and Comparison. Students will continue be finding equivalent fractions using various strategies and will be finding common denominators to compare and add/ subtract fractions this week. Here’s a sample of one of the lessons.  

Dreambox Math provides additional, leveled math practice at home and in class. There are also several other math resources for kids to try at home under the math tab on this site.