Mrs. Winsett's Blog

October 26 Blog Update

Posted on: October 26, 2014

Dear Parents,

I enjoyed meeting with each of you during conference week.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to discuss your child’s progress.  I am so blessed to teach each of your children every day!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Upcoming Dates:

Friday, October 31– Students are allowed to dress up in their costumes for $2.00 (proceeds to benefit Relay for Life), spelling test, domain specific words test, third Rocket Reader Response due

Tuesday, November 4—Teacher Workday, no school for students

We are diving deep into the Fourth Grade Curriculum!

Content Essential Question: How do I describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Juan Ponce de León, Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson, and Jacques Cartier?  How do I describe examples of cooperation and conflict between Europeans and Native Americans?

The students will be learning about the early explorers. They will be using the internet and our Social Studies text to research the reasons, obstacles, and accomplishments of each of the early explorers.  Our culminating activity will be the creation of explorer trading cards.  Each student will create a trading card (similar to a baseball card) for each explorer.

STEM Essential Question:  How can we use what we know about materials and their properties, our creativity, and the Engineering Design Process to design windmill blades that will catch the wind?

The students are super excited about STEM! Last week, the students used the Engineering Design Process to build, test, and improve sails.  Each student chose materials to construct a sail.  I set up two test tracks for the students to compete against each other.  After the first run, the students were allowed to make improvements and retry their sail.  This week, we will apply our knowledge of wind and sail design by creating a windmill that will move weights.

Reading Essential Question: How do I describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details from the text?

This week, the students will learn about theme. Theme is the message or the lesson that is learned from a text.  We will be reading the book, Encounter, by Jane Yolen.  This is a wonderful book for fourth grade because of its depiction of the interaction between the Native Americans and early explorers.  We finished the book, A Long Walk to Water. It was so good!  The students will be receiving a study guide this week.  Our next read aloud will be The One and Only Ivan.  You are welcome, but not required, to purchase this text for your child to read along in class.

Language Arts Essential Question:  How do I write an expository essay to share information?

We are moving on to procedural or “how to” writing. The students will be creating a pumpkin out of construction paper.  As they make the pumpkin, they will write directions for another student to follow to make the same pumpkin (without being able to see the creation).  On Thursday, we will trade our pumpkin directions for Ms. Steiner’s class directions on how to make a snowman.  The students will follow the directions to create the snowman.  We will meet the following Thursday to compare the end products and see how clear our directions were for creating a pumpkin.    In grammar, we will be discussing subjects and predicates.

Math Essential Question: How do I multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations?  How do I illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models?

We are rolling right along with math! We have finished learning the different strategies to multiply multi-digit numbers.  This week, the students will learn how to multiply a two digit number by a two digit number. The strategies are the same as the one digit by multidigit number multiplication– traditional, partial products, area, and distributive property.  Your child will have notes on each of the properties in his or her math journal.  There are also links on the blog that will illustrate each property.

Volunteer Opportunities:

I look forward to working with your family and like family, the door is always open to come and help. If you are able to help out in the classroom via volunteering in the class, help with materials (cutting out materials, gathering, assembling etc), room parent, or any other means of helping out in or out of the classroom please let me know.

It is my pleasure to serve your child, if you have any questions, please contact me at


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