Students read about energy today and explored evidence of energy when sound, heat, and light are produced, and when objects are in motion.  They watched a candle burn (time-lapsed!) and produced their own sound using vibration and melted ice in their hands to see the evidence of heat.
Later this week, students will explore series and parallel circuits and compare the functioning of the components in each circuit. They formulate and justify their predictions, based on their observations of electricity transferring energy to produce light and motion. D-cells and solar cells are used as energy sources. Students also learn about alternative energy sources.

Declamation Day

Declamation Day for grades 4 and 5 is Tuesday, March 28, from 1:30-3:00 in the Parish Center. Students must select and memorize a poem written by a literary poet such as Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Browning, etc.  We do not want children reciting  poems by poets such as Silverstein or Prelutsky.  Poems should be at least 12 lines in length and no longer than 18 lines.  If a student chooses a longer poem, they may recite a portion to meet the requirements.  Students will have limited practice time in the class.  It is suggested that they memorize the poem in chunks such as two or three lines per night.

Students should understand the poem and recite it with the correct feeling, tone, and inflection.  They will be doing their recitation in front of third, fourth, and fifth grade classes.  Parents are invited and encouraged to attend.

Most of the students in 4A have chosen a poem and are encouraged to begin memorization as soon as possible.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Enrollment Contracts

Enrollment contracts are due Wednesday, February 15, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year.  Students will be able to participate in a free dress day for having contracts in by that time.  The date for this will be announced.

Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day.  Students may bring valentines to share in class.  If your child chooses to bring valentines, they must include a valentine for everyone in the class.  There are 14 students in class.  Students may also share with 4B students as long as they include everyone in 4B (14 students).  We will decorate bags for valentines on Monday, February 13.  This is also a relaxed dress day.  Students are encouraged to wear “valentine” colors such as red, pink, purple, etc.

Spanish news!

¿Qué día es hoy? This is just one of the many questions we have been learning to ask about the calendar.  We have also been reviewing the days of the week as well as the months of the year. We are also working with the verb “ir” so we can talk about going to different places.  Next, it is time for a puppet show! Students will be making puppets and producing a show in Spanish!

4A News

Students have been doing research on Arizona in class and should be ready to complete their projects at home.  These projects are due on January 27.  Students have been encouraged to start working on the project soon and not wait until the last minute.

Christopher Lundin will be representing 4A in the Geography Bee on Friday.  Our alternate is Katie Jennings.  Congratulations!

Students have been working on decimal problem solving in math.  Our next unit will be fractions.  We have been reading fables, legends, folktales, and myths.  Students are now writing their own stories to share.

The first weekend of March is the start of the Iditarod!  We will study about Alaska and the Iditarod in February.  Each student will choose a musher to follow during the race.

Book logs are due on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Remember that Friday, January 13 is noon dismissal and Monday, January 16 there is no school.



Science Fair Board & Graphs

Today in computer class we had a crash course on Google Slides and Google Sheets for creating science fair board panels and graphs from data.

Although Google Slides is traditionally used as a digital slideshow presentation tool (just like Powerpoint), when printed, it creates visually appealing panels to attach to the science fair board. There is a sample posted in Google Classroom, and each student began working on their own. They can copy and paste text from other documents into each slide.


Google Sheets is the equivalent of Excel, and each student has one called Science Fair Data. I have a sample chart and graph also posted in Google Classroom. Nobody had their actual data with them today, so very little was accomplished on that front, but they did watch as I showed them how to re-create the chart and graph that I had made about flowers and their growth over time.

On Friday we will have a 30 minute computer class because of a unique half day schedule. It will be very helpful if everyone brings their science fair materials to class that day.



Science Fair

Please refer to the Project Fair Schedule (green packet) and note that student’s Data Collection is due Monday, January 9.

4th grades were reminded about their upcoming due dates this month.  Students were also encouraged to start shopping for 3-panel display boards and start thinking about how they will display their project.  We will be putting the boards together in-class on Monday, January 30 and Wednesday, February 1. We have a half-day on the 1st, but will still have a little bit of science time.  Display boards are officially due on Friday, February 3.

As stated in the Project Fair Schedule packet, I am available to stay after school for helping students on Mondays and Wednesdays; just send an email that your child is coming.


With our short week, we are exploring Mineral Hardness and learning about Moh’s Scale.  Students learn that minerals are the pure substances that make up rocks. Students investigate four unknown minerals, record observations, and learn that color is not enough to identify them. Hardness is introduced as a property that can help identify a mineral. Students perform scratch tests, compare hardness, and identify minerals (calcite, fluorite, quartz, and gypsum).