A Fabulous Finale

Dear Parents,
It’s hard to believe how quickly the end of the year is approaching. Fourth graders will soon be fifth graders, yet there is still much learning to be done before they graduate. Before sharing what we are discussing in class, I would like to ask you all to look around the house for any stray library books. Each year, Mrs. Middleton has to hunt down dozens and dozens of errant books. Your help in locating any hidden ones would be greatly appreciated! Also, don’t forget to participate in the 3rd annual Summer Reading Challenge that begins June 10th. Click here for more information about the Summer Reading Challenge and for levelled book lists!

In Writing, we are writing “fast and fierce” personal essays. We are
• reviewing the basic structure of an essay (Introduction, body, and conclusion)
• developing strategies to generate ideas for an essay
• understanding how to support your claims with a variety of information
• writing angled mini-stories with a closing “unpacking sentence”
• reviewing how to create an effective introduction and conclusion to strongly convey their opinions

In Reading, the class is finishing up their Social Issues Book Groups. We are:
• refining how we use “Talk Strategies” to have effective communication within a group
• how to read fiction and non-fiction through a lens that is specific to their group’s social issue
• tracking our thinking to further our discussions and understanding of different perspectives and multiple problems for a social issue

In Math, we are finished up Chapter 12, with the focus on:
• Identifying and converting customary units of capacity
• Identifying and converting metric units of capacity
• Understanding how to find volume
• Understanding how to find elapsed time

In Social Studies, we are finishing up our Economics of Trade unit. We are
• understanding the difference between needs and wants
• understanding the concept of trade, and why countries trade
• understanding the difference between goods and services
• understanding the concept of supply and demand

Important dates to remember:• June 3rd- Class end-of-year party at 1:30 p.m.
• June 5- 4th-grade strings concert
• June 6- 4th grade movie afternoon and report cards sent home
• June 7- dismissal at 11:00

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As May Flies

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that we now have less than one month left in the school year! As summer break approaches, the students have been busy finishing up several units.

Sadly we have to say good bye to Lena at the end of the year as she moves with her family to Korea. We will miss her smiling face, and we wish her all the best!

It is a busy month in Language Arts as students finish their research report on the topic of their choice and begin new units in both Reading and Writing Workshop.

In reading, we have begun a new unit called Social Issues Book Clubs. Students will:

• Read with a lens to become aware of social issues in texts

• Read to become more aware of issues in the world around them

• Reach beyond their own personal experiences to understand the experiences of others

• Discuss and debate issues within book clubs to better understand and work to solve real world problems

In writing, we will begin a unit on Personal and Persuasive Essay. Students will:

• Observe to find important topics and develop ideas from observations

• Find and craft thesis statements about their topic

• Plan an essay by organizing supporting details

• Craft angled mini-stories to highlight and support ideas in an essay

In math as we will begin Chapter 12 Measure Capacity, Weight and Volume, students will:

• Estimate capacity in customary and metric units

• Convert customary units of capacity

• Estimate weight in customary and metric units

• Estimate and measure volume

• Determine elapsed time

In social studies we have begun a unit on Geography and Economics of Trade. Students will:

• Understand that a country’s natural resources and geography influence trade

• Understand the needs and wants of people influence trade throughout history

• Understand that trade impacts people and culture

Important dates:
May 20-24 PTA Spring Book Fair (Our class attends on Wednesday, May 22)

June 5 Grade 4 Strings Concert

June 7 Last day of school – 11:00 dismissal

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May in the Making

Dear Parents,

An upcoming special event for parents is the Grade 5 Transitional Meeting on May 16th in the Small Theater at 8:15 a.m. Students in grade 5 benefit from several experiences that bridge the lower and middle school. On May 16, an in-depth explanation of the program will be provided, which includes:

  1. The grade five curriculum
  2. Grade five departmentalization of subject areas
  3. One-to-one laptops in class (new)
  4. Extension Math class 5X
  5. Student Council
  6. Character Education (Involvement of grade five students in character education assemblies and service requirements)
  7. Use of school lockers (new)
  8. New location
  9. Grade five Musical (new)

Students are hard at work in Room 3A07 from completing the CTP-4 tests and the WrAP writing test to researching topics of their choice in reading, as well as writing about their topics and subtopics to teach others. We are enjoying a variety of math games that provide application and practice for the math concepts and skills for fractions and decimals. (Your child can easily teach you “Capture the Fraction,” which requires only a deck of cards to play.)  Plus, we are enjoying a new read aloud book titled Wonder, which has led to great discussions in our classroom about empathy.

Due to testing periods, several lessons reappear in our current 10-day cycle.

In Language Arts students will continue to research the topic of their choice for both Reading and Writing Workshop. Students will:

  • Understand that information is presented from different perspectives, or slants, and not all resources are as reliable
  • Synthesize the information collected by making comparisons, inferences and judgments
  • Develop thesis statements or topic sentences with supporting details organized into an expository essay
  • Use a variety of text features, such as sidebars, glossaries and diagrams, to inform readers about their topic and subtopics
  • Experiment with a variety of introductions, such as a lead with a scene, a feeling or a question

As students finish chapter 14 and complete assigned lessons in Chapter 15 in Math, students will:DSC02148

  • Find fraction and decimal equivalents
  • Compare and order decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers
  • Round decimals to the nearest whole number
  • Identify problems that can be solved by working backwards

DSC02154In Science students will:

  • Investigate show organisms depend on each other
  • Observe and hatch brine shrimp eggs
  • Set up a controlled experiment
  • Identify organisms in a food chain


Important dates:

May 9                          Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM) presentation 8:30 – 9:45AM in the Small Theater

May 16                        Grade 5 transitional meeting for parents of returning grade 4 students in the Small Theater from 8:15 to 9:30AM

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Memorable Moments From Camp

Many photos and even some video clips were taken of our experiences at Camp Taiwan. They will be shared at the end of the year in a class video made up of pictures from the entire year. In the meantime, here are few photos to enjoy!

DSC00382 DSC00386 DSC00392 DSC00409 DSC00410 DSC00413 DSC00416 DSC01878 DSC01910 DSC01911 DSC01914 DSC01925 DSC01938 DSC01941 DSC01965 DSC01970 DSC01998 DSC02103 DSC02113 DSC02133 DSC01886

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Dear Grade 4 Parents,

The final classes have returned from an exciting adventure at Camp Taiwan. Many students challenged themselves and were very brave to participate in many physical activities: climbing a wall, swinging on giant swing, and hiking up a river over many rocks. These activities encouraged individuals to take risks and work as a team. Students also had many opportunities to try at least a couple bites of new foods (at every meal), set the tables for meals, serve each other food, and clean up after themselves in the dining hall as well as in their tents. You may want to continue some of these responsible behaviors at home.

Next week we will begin the CTP-4 testing. Please make sure your child gets 10 hours of sleep as well as a healthy breakfast so they are working at their best. There are no make-up tests if your child is absent during the week.

Next week is also GEO week and Earth Day celebrations. The Green Team has asked students to dress in certain colors for each day of the week.
Monday= white
Friday= Geo week t-shirt or t-shirt with environmental theme

Here is what will be happening in the next 10-day cycle:

In Language Arts students will be researching a topic of their choice related to our Environments unit in Science. Students will:
• Use a variety of note-taking techniques to keep track of facts as they research
• Revise our notes to add new ideas and facts gathered from a variety of resources
• Use all that we know about summarizing, comparing and contrasting, and prioritizing information to help them learn about their research topics
• Look for patterns and themes that link the information collected
• Understand that information is presented from different perspectives, or slants, and not all resources are as reliable
• Synthesize the information collected by making comparisons, inferences and judgments
• Use a variety of transition words to connect our ideas in informational writing
• Based on the new content they are learning during reading workshop, students will compose a research report that explains and presents information and ideas in a manner that demonstrates their understanding of the topic, so that they can write to teach others.

In math students will begin working on chapter 14 to:
• Identify, read, write tenths and hundredth as decimals
• Relate mixed numbers as decimals
• Locate fractions and decimals on a number line
• Find fraction and decimal equivalents
• Compare and order decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers

In science students will:
• Observe and compare a variety of organisms
• Identify living and nonliving components that make up terrestrial environments
• Observe a terrarium over time
• Investigate show organisms depend on each other
• Observe and hatch brine shrimp eggs
• Set up a controlled experiment
• Identify organisms in a food chain

Important dates:
Saturday, April 20 PTA Spring Fair
April 22-26 CTP-4 testing
May 2-3 WrAP testing
May 9 Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM) presentation 8:30 – 9:45AM in the Small Theater
May 16 Grade 5 transitional meeting for parents of returning grade 4 students in the Small Theater from 8:15 to 9:30AM

Have a good weekend!

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DSC01826Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure to meet with you last week at conferences to discuss your child’s accomplishments thus far and establish our end of the year goals. While we can celebrate individual achievements, we know that it would not be possible without the support of one another, including parents! We thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet with us!

A new quarter means news learning! We will begin several new units after our return from Camp Taiwan. Until then, here are the upcoming learning objectives:

In Language Arts the students will be wrapping the Test Prep Unit. In reading, test-takers will:
• Predict what the answer is before they even see the answer choices.
• Determine the genre they are reading.
• Think, “What from the passage is important in my answer?”
• Can read paragraph by paragraph to find the main idea.
• Confirm their predictions about a passage.
• Determine the question type before they answer
• Will use process of elimination to select the best answer
• Learn to differentiate between common answer formats

In writing the students will learn that test takers:
• Understand a given prompt before writing about it
• Generate ideas for a given prompt.
• Understand that stories begin with a plan.
• Understand that stories have structure.
• Include a balance of action, dialogue, and thoughts in their stories
• Show details instead of telling
• Craft strong leads and endings
• Edit for conventions, including capitals, end punctuation and paragraphs
• Use a variety of complete sentences to construct a story
• Use a dictionary and thesaurus for spelling and word choice

In Science the students will:
• Investigate erosion and deposition in a stream table.
• Learn about processes that cause rapid changes to Earth’s surface—earthquakes, volcanism, landslides, and floods

In Math the students continue work on chapter 13: Describe and Compare Fractions. In this unit students will explore fractions using models to:
• Identify, write and read fractions for parts of a whole and a set
• Solve problems by drawing a picture
• Identify equivalent fractions
• Compare and order simple fractions
• Write mixed and improper fractions
• Apply problem-solving strategies to complex word problems

Important Dates
• March 28 and 29 – Professional Development / No School
• April 1-5 – Spring Break / No School
• April 22-26: CPT4 Testing
• April 8-10: Fox and Jones go to Camp Taiwan
• April 10-12: Sandler and Borgen go to Camp Taiwan
• April 15-17: Hudson, Boepple and Rhoades go to Camp Taiwan

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Marching On!

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

It was such a special treat to have Linda Sue Park visit Taipei American School last week. For the children to hear her ideas about her books and learn how long some of her revisions have taken, validates the writing process and the support we provide our young writers.

We continue to explore so many other areas as we approach the student-led conferences. I look forward to meeting with you to share your child’s progress and recent work.

In Language Arts the students will:
• Learn how to prepare for taking tests in reading and writing.
• Learn how to answer different types of questions.
• Reflect upon independent reading both orally and in writing
• Understand the kinds of relationships found between words in analogies
• Practice writing to a prompt to apply the writing process and time management strategies reviewed

In Science the students will:
• Learn about the methods of how rocks are formed (the rock cycle)
• Learn about weathering and erosion
• Learn about various landforms and how they are formed

In Math the students will:
• Apply measurement skills to math games
• Solve problems by applying solve a simpler problem strategy
• Measure temperatures on a thermometer and calculate changes
• Review chapter 11 for the mat test on Friday
• Create our own fraction kits in preparation for Chapter 13 on fractions

Important dates to remember:
• Camp Taiwan Informational Meeting – March 19th at 2:50 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room
• March 21-22 – Lower School Student-Led Conferences
• Spring Break (No School) March 28-April 7
• Camp Taiwan for Ms. Sandler and Ms. Borgen’s classes – April 10-12

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