Dear 4-243 Families,

Here’s an update on what’s happening in 243.  It’s that time of year when we start to think about the State Tests. This year, as I’m sure you know, the tests have been reduced to 2 days each for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.  We will be doing practice tests and beginning to do more formal “test prep” in the coming days, but I want to reiterate that all of the work children do in Reading, Writing, and Math should be considered preparation for these tests.  If children are able to read a text, formulate an idea, and support that idea, in writing, by including examples and details, then they are well on their way to success on the ELA test. Of course we will do more focused work during the coming weeks so that students feel confident and ready.

In Math, we are moving into our study of fractions.  Students will work on determining fractions, comparing fractions with like and unlike denominators and doing some operations with them.  Please refrain from teaching your child “tricks” or “shortcuts” as we launch this unit. If you are interested in the State Requirements, feel free to research NY Common Core Standards for Math.  We will also continue to review multiplication and division throughout.  Math test prep will begin in a few weeks.

Our Social Studies unit is well into the Colonial Period and will transition to the Revolutionary War in a few weeks.  We will be reading and learning a lot about this important period in our history.  Additionally, our book clubs are focused on this time period so that children may further their understanding through reading historical fiction.  Students are still expected to jot in their reading notebooks and also to come to meetings prepared to have a thoughtful book talk with peers.

Our writing work is centered on essays.  We started with personal essays, are currently writing historical persuasive essay ( quite a challenge), and then we’ll be fully into literary essays. This will further support the ELA test.

Word Study, Grammar, CML, and other routines continue throughout this time so please help support your child by checking in on homework and organization, as things ramp up in the second half of 4th grade.

If you feel that your child is struggling, please do not hesitate to contact me directly so that we may come up with solutions and strategies for success.

Best regards,

Donna