We are finishing up our unit on expressions using “tener”  All of the fourth graders have received a study guide and we will have our matching quiz on these expressions on Thursday, April 26. Our next unit will focus on learning how to tell time in Spanish.  Have a great week!

¡Hasta luego!

Sra. Van Straalen


We have moved on to learning about Light and how it travels.  Students used mirrors to experience reflecting light. They started by using mirrors outdoors to see objects behind them and to reflect a bright image of the Sun onto walls.

In the classroom they determined that a mirror can be used to reflect light. Students then used flashlights, mirrors, and water to observe light in numerous ways, reinforcing the idea that light can reflect and refract. Students build a conceptual model about how light travel.

QUIZ NEXT FRIDAY, APRIL 20.  Study guide was handed out today and we will review next week.  Journals and textbooks can go home for studying.


p.s.  There will be an extra credit question on the test regarding French magician, Robert Houdin and his use of electromagnets to make his tricks work.  Students will be asked how they think he used an electromagnet in a trick.



Did you know that the telegraph that Samuel Morse invented ran on electromagnets?!

Today, students applied their knowledge of circuitry and electromagnetism to build a telegraph. They invented a code and use their telegraphs to send messages to each other.

On Friday, they will take on the long-distance challenge by wiring two telegraph units together using long wires.


March 20 Announcements

Spring Announcements

Please turn in your child’s re-enrollment contract for next year as soon as possible.

Easter Break is 3/29-4/2.  Classes resume April 3

Standardized Testing April 3-6

Progress Reports will come out week of April 9

We need parents for supervision during the lunch times (11:45-12:45).  If you are able to help once a week (or more) please contact Alisa Reed at

Students need to find a poem to recite for Declamation Day.  We will not be researching poems in class.  The poem should be at least 10 and no more than 12 lines long.  The sooner your child chooses a poem, the more time they will have to prepare.  Students who would like to be considered to preform at the Middle School will recite their poems April 4.  All fourth graders need to present their poems by the end of April.



Students have been  working  with magnets and other objects to discover that magnetism acts through air, most metals, and all nonmetals. They also discovered that bringing a magnet close to a piece of iron induces magnetism in the iron. Students learned that these effects are manifestations of the invisible magnetic field that surrounds every magnet.

Students used a balance to measure the force of attraction between magnets. They increased the distance between the magnets with plastic chips and remeasured the force. Students learned that the force of attraction between magnets decreases as the distance between them increases.

Students also went outdoors to find objects in the environment that are attracted to magnets.  They found some outdoor materials to be surprisingly non-magnetic or magnetic!


Students will learn how to use electricity to make an electromagnet. They will explore the variables that influence the strength of the magnetism produced by their electromagnets. Students will also  use all the concepts they have learned to build a simple telegraph system and communicate using a click code.  Just like Samuel Morse!



Declamation Day

Declamation Day is fast approaching.  It is an annual tradition to have 4th and 5th graders memorize and recite a poem of their choice and approved by the teacher.

This is what Declamation Day will look like this year:
• Students in 4A and 4B will only be reciting a poem to their peers.
• Students can choose any poem they wish to memorize and recite, as long as it is between 10 to 12 lines long.
• Students who recite their poems exceptionally well, will have the opportunity and choice  to recite their poem at the Middle School Declamation Day slated for Friday, April 6th in the gym.  Students recite in front of parents and the entire school, at this time.  To reiterate, the  student will have a choice whether to accept or not.
• For those students who would like the opportunity to recite their poem on April 6th, they will need to memorize their work by April 5th.  However, teachers choose students based on their recitation and memorization.
• We would like to have all poems presented by the end of April.
The goal of Declamation Day is for students to develop confidence in public speaking.  Students will be doing this on a smaller scale, and without the anxiety of performing in front of a very large crowd as in previous years.  We have noticed, in the past, that students become overwhelmed and vary anxious when placed in front of many, many people.  This  defeats the purpose of  allowing them to become comfortable with speaking in front of a group.  Performing in front of their peers is far less intimidating.
Students should begin researching poems they wish to memorize and recite as early as possible.  I need to approve your child’s selection.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I will be explaining all of this to the students, as well.

Happy Pi Day!

Today students in fourth grade celebrated Pi Day by measuring and figuring out that Pi is circumference divided by diameter.  They were given several circles and needed to measure diameter with a ruler and circumference with a ribbon.  Many of them were reasonably accurate with measurements! After the activity we celebrated by eating pies!

Science Quiz

There will be a short quiz (8 questions) this Friday, March 16 on what students have learned and explored about magnets.

Review is today in class.


We are starting off the third trimester learning about the weather! We will be looking at various phrases and expressions. The fourth graders will work in groups to present their own weather forecasts in Spanish. Have a great week!

Hasta luego.

Sra. Van Straalen