Mrs. Winsett's Blog

November 7th Update

Posted on: November 7, 2014

Dear Parents,

It has been a fabulous week in fourth grade! I can’t believe it is almost time for progress reports to be sent home. On Wednesday, November 19th, your child will come home with his or her progress report. The report will share the most current grades. The students will have four more weeks to maintain or bring up any averages. Please check with your child to see if they have turned in their Rocket Reader Responses. The students should be turning in one response each Friday.   They have five total responses that will be due for the months of November or December.  The due date is the Friday before we leave for winter holidays.  Thank you for your support!

Important Dates:

Tuesday, November 11– Teal Tuesday (Students may dress down for a donation to RFL of $2.00.)

Friday, November 14– Movie night (fifth grade fundraiser)

Wednesday, November 19– 4 ½ week progress reports sent home

Thursday, November 20– Thanksgiving lunch

Monday, November 22 – Friday, November 28– Thanksgiving holidays

Tuesday, December 9– Teal Tuesday

Thursday, December 11– Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 18– Winter Party (Details coming soon!)

Friday, December 19– Fourth Grade Wax Museum (Details coming soon!)

Monday, December 22 – Friday, January 2– Winter Holidays

Monday, January 5– Teacher workday, no school for students

Tuesday, January 6– Students return!


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?

What are the six simple machines?

We are finishing up our early explorers unit this week. The students have learned where the explorers explored, their motivations, obstacles, and accomplishments. Next week we will learn all about the six simple machines: level, screw, fulcrum, pulley, incline plane, and wheel & axle.


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 will use the engineering design process to create a marshmallow catapult. The students will learn about the six simple machines throughout engineering design process. We will test the catapults to see which one can propel the giant marshmallow the farthest distance. The students will be given time to improve their design and retest their catapult.

Reading Essential Question: How do I describe the theme 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. Our current read aloud is 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?

On Thursday we traded our pumpkin directions for Ms. Steiner’s class directions on how to make a snowman. The students were able to see how important it is to give clear, detailed directions. Next week, we will begin our unit on opinion writing. The students will take on the personality of a turkey to persuade their audience to find another alternative for their holiday dinners. In grammar, we will be discussing subjects and predicates.

Math Essential Question: How do I divide a multi-digit dividend by a one digit divisor?

We will begin our unit on dazzling division this week! Please work with your child to help them become fluent with their multiplication facts. A strong knowledge of multiplication will give your child a firm foundation for division.

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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