Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April is Poetry Month...

I love poetry. The freedom of interpretation and expression found in poetry is one of the purest delights any reader and writer can have. As we delve into poetry together this month, we will be exploring, reading, and writing poetry. Take some time to read different poets and explore your own tastes. Write on your own. Be creative - investigate craft and messaging.

Below are some links to poems you might find interesting.

Poems Kids Like
Ralph Fletcher Poems
Poems for Children
School Poems

Monday, April 9, 2018

We are so excited for our new mystery reading unit! 4Robert detectives will focus on the elements of this thrilling genre to solve the mysteries in their books...

When you post, please remember to include your name, hashtag, and page #.

The Detective Baseball Fashion Bombers
On The Run: Chasing the Falconers
Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger

The Secret Stuff Agency (SSA)
Attack of the Tagger

The Chicken Detectives
Viking it and Liking it

The Crime Solvers
The Yellow House Mystery
The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken

The Pointless Detectives
The Secret Identity
The Lemonade Crime

The Amazing Detective Agency
The Bell Bandit
Shredderman: Secret Identity

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow Day and Conference Day Activities: 3/21 & 3/22

Here are some activities for you to enjoy during our snow and conference days!

*Lines of Symmetry Video

*Brainpop Video:

*Make a hexaflexagon!

*Make a popsicle boat!

Think about some of these activities...
*Can you make a symmetrical shape with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 lines of symmetry?
*Can you write a snow day poem?
*Can you make something out of folded paper?
*Can you make another object out of pop sticks?

Bring one of your creations in to school on Friday for a gold coin!!!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Colonial Non-Fiction Writing

Our students are so excited to be working on their colonial information books. Their investment in this process is evident from the research and note taking they have done, to the planning and writing they are currently doing. They have been engaged in every task from the beginning, and it has been so motivating to see their growth as they learn to revise and grow ideas through the process.

These photos reflect the different stages of the writing process our authors utilized. 


These students are researching independently selected topics. They have ownership over their research and are motivated by interest.


Students collected and organized their research by topic and text structure.

Checking in on our progress. Where are we thriving? Where are we striving?


Students planning how their writing will go. This is an important part of thinking through and visualizing their work. It's also an opportunity to make changes and see where more research is needed.

Our work continues....

Monday, January 8, 2018

New Year Grab Bag Party!

To celebrate the arrival of 2018, the Heathcote fourth grade will be having a grab bag party for the recess cabinet on Friday, January 12th. Students are asked to bring gently used games and puzzles that have all their pieces to be donated to the fourth grade wing for indoor recess during the winter months. These games should be wrapped, so that everyone who participates by bringing in a game will get to open a game “present”. Then, the children will end the afternoon by testing out their new recess games.
It should be a lot of fun and will help keep the wing a fun and happy place during indoor lunch recess!

Best Wishes for the New Year!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome to 2018! Happy New Year!

As we look to get into the swing of a new year and new week of school, our class will spend some time reviewing reading goals and strategies. We will be having individual reading conferences to reassess reading strengths and to identify areas where students might benefit from further instruction.

As always, our goal continues to be an improvement in every facet of student learning, and there is no better way than to address critical English language arts skills in the curriculum. As I did in September, I will meet with every student to inform my instruction and identify appropriate levels of text using Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessments.

Based on these assessments, each child will be receiving suggestions for just-right books at independent reading levels. Selecting and reading some books from those suggestions will allow students to practice skills introduced during the reading workshop effectively, and at the appropriate level. Over the next several weeks, please encourage your child to select independent reading books from those suggested or assigned. These choices include a wide variety of topics and genres. There is truly something for everybody, and of course, a varied reading diet allows for growth and development.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy November!

As we launch into our new non-fiction reading unit, I am so excited by how motivated students are to immerse themselves in the work of learning. Our discussions on "coding" non-fiction texts and understanding the difference between narrative and expository pieces during ELA instruction really calls on them to use everything they ever learned about the art of reading.
Knowing that narrative non-fiction has the characteristics of "stories", while maintaining factual understanding can be challenging for kids. While expository fiction requires students to find ways of learning and retaining information on groups of things often housed under one topic. It can be a demanding, yet stimulating endeavor.
Not only must students read and comprehend the information, they must also find ways of retaining what they are learning. To do this, they must identify the text structure and select an appropriate organizer to help them hold on to new ideas.
These are skills that will be valuable to them as learners throughout their academic careers, and it is thrilling for me to be a part of this process with your child.
Below, please find some links that I think you will find interesting. They will help you have a deeper understanding of some of the work we are doing, and how to be an informed part of the learning going on in our classroom.

Best -

Understanding Text Structure I
The Importance of Teaching Text Structure