Good Afternoon,

As we head off for our Spring Break I wanted to send a quick update to all families.  First, Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Vacation. We have all been very stressed and now is the time to start to wind down.  I know that we still have the big days ahead but the children also have been feeling the pressure.  While we did send home a review packet, please try to avoid overdoing the practice tests, etc.  This is the time to remind the students that they are very well prepared, have the skills necessary to do well, and that they will do well if they take their time and read carefully.

I also wanted to mention that you might want to buy a small protractor (about 4 inches is good) for your child.  We will use them in 4th grade but they will get used later in school too, so it’s something to have at home, just like you have a ruler or a dictionary.

Have a wonderful break and we will see you soon.


p.s.  here’s the letter that was sent home on Tuesday regarding optional vacation review.

March 27,  2018

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

As you know, we have begun preparing for the State English Language Arts Test.  Students have been reading passages and answering questions in a variety of formats as they practice for the upcoming tests.  To that end, we will be assigning a few sections from our preparation materials to be completed during the Spring Break.  We understand that vacations are a time for family and fun.  However, we also recognize that some students will benefit from continued, but limited, practice.

We are asking students to complete the enclosed passages and questions from previous state tests.  Also included are the answer keys for the multiple choice questions and two exemplars for the extended response.  One area to pay attention to is time management.  Although the test is untimed, we have been helping students plan their time by section.  We recommend that passages be read twice: the first time is a quick read for the gist of the story and start thinking about big ideas, the second is a close read when students annotate the text for specific elements of narrative or informational texts.  For the extended response, students should need about 10 minutes to plan and about 20 minutes to write the essay.  You might try to remind students of timing to help build their “internal clocks.”  Short responses might take 10 minutes maximum each.

For math, we have assigned some lessons in the Finish Line book:  Pages 32-39 & 56-59 which will serve as review of already learned subjects.

We do not plan to go over these sessions when we return to class and will continue to work through the materials to best prepare and support students.  Of course, we recognize that some families will choose to not have children do this work during vacation time (or maybe only some of it) and this is your option.  Students will not be penalized.

Thank you for your continued support of your child and Lower Lab School,

Donna and Ms. Courtwright