Thursday, October 28, 2021

November News 21-22

 November News

 

Reading Workshop

As we begin the month of November, so too will we embark on a new unit in Reading.  This is a non-fiction unit in which the kids will learn how to effectively read non-fiction.  The reading content will center around extreme weather such as hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, to name just a few.  However, we are not explicitly teaching about extreme weather.  We are teaching the kids how to become strong non-fiction readers by previewing a text before reading it, using text features to enhance their understanding of the text, using context clues to help with tricky words related to the content, how to read hybrid texts (texts that blend fiction and non-fiction), and how to summarize and synthesize the non-fiction information they are reading.  These are only a few of the techniques the kids will learn as we embark on this journey into the world of non-fiction.  This unit will be our focus for the next couple of months.  


You can support your child at home by continuing to encourage and support reading as much as possible and by providing your child with rich text in both the fiction and non-fiction genre. 

 

Writing Workshop

During Writing Workshop in September, the kids will mine through the seed stories they have written in their Writer's Notebook as they select a story idea for their first realistic fiction piece. I will model how to take a story idea for realistic fiction and create a main character who has fully developed internal and external characteristics and one or more conflicts to solve. By doing this, they will see how we use techniques such as figurative language, dialogue, apt word choice, details and description, and paragraphing to create a detailed realistic fiction piece that shows vs tells about the character, his or her struggles and how he/she works to solve those problems. Once the kids have selected their own story idea, they will learn how to create a story arc to develop the plot of the story. They will create scenes for the story arc (all modeled by me first) and then ultimately begin their rough draft using their story arc and planned scenes as a guide. 


Math Workshop

After building a strong conceptual and practical base in multiplication strategies, we are ready to divide one-digit numbers in Math Workshop (Topic 5). We'll focus on how multiplication and division function as inverse operations, and we'll review fact-families. From there, we’ll study remainders and the strategy of using partial quotients to solve division problems.


Science

As we shift into Science, we will begin with a focus on Life Science.  By the end of this unit the kids will be able to construct an argument detailing how plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.  This Science unit will be very hands on and involve many engaging partners and group experiments.  


Important Dates

November 1: No School (Teacher Professional Development Day)

November 22-26: Fall Break 2 (Thanksgiving Break)


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

October 2021 Happenings

 October Newsletter


Reading Workshop


This month in Reading Workshop we will continue to think deeply about our reading, determine if we are truly reading “just right books” at our level that will help us grow as readers, and we will analyze our characters’ traits while providing evidence from the text as support. These are reading strategies we began to cover in September, and we will continue to deepen our use of these strategies throughout October. Students record all of their thinking while they read on post-it notes or directly in their reading response notebooks. This encourages them to hold onto their ideas, look for patterns of behavior, and grow ideas by gathering evidence from the text. 


We will soon move into studying the theme of our class read aloud and independent books. Additionally, we will study how our characters change throughout the story, as well as provide specific evidence from the text that explains the reasons behind this change. Furthermore, the kids are working hard on writing reading responses that provide a detailed description of their character (traits, behaviors, motivations, obstacles). 







Writing About Reading in Reading Workshop 

     

Being able to write about what you read helps to solidify your own understanding of the text. Additionally, students need to be able to respond to specific questions, cite examples from the text to support their ideas, and explain why their evidence supports their theory. Your child will use a student rubric to self-assess, get feedback on their work, and set meaningful goals in order to continue to deepen their own thinking.  


As always, I could really use your support at home. Please encourage your child to read. Volume matters!! As you discuss your child’s book with him or her, ask what kind of person the main character is and how he/she can prove that. This will support what we are doing in class and give your kiddo a chance to show off his/her skills!





Math Workshop


We are currently studying Topic 3, multiplication of whole numbers. In this unit we will multiply multiples of 10, 100, and 1,000 using mental math and place-value strategies. In addition, we will once again use rounding, but this time to estimate products to check if answers are reasonable. We will use arrays and partial products to multiply 2 and 3-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers. We will later transition into 3- and 4-digit numbers multiplied by 1-digit numbers. Throughout this topic, we will circle back to our understanding of place value in order to develop efficient and precise multiplication strategies. 


Here is a look at the partial product strategy we are using to multiply.  The kids are learning a variety of strategies, and they may choose to use the strategy that is the most efficient for them.               


As a reminder, your child will have weekly homework. This will be given on Monday and is due back Friday.              

                    

Writing Workshop   


As October continues, we will conclude our persuasive essay writing unit and shift gears into a new unit shortly after Fall Break.  The kids have grown a tremendous amount as writers of persuasive essays. They began their study of this genre writing personal opinion essays and concluded by writing persuasive pieces that focused on an issue that impacts kids their age or society as a whole.  Their task was to convince others why this is an important issue that we must address.  Their essays have grown with regard to detail, complexity, persuasiveness, and sophistication.  I am so very impressed!

                                                             

Our next unit will focus on the genre of narrative writing.  In this unit, the students will learn how to craft a descriptive narrative with a believable character.  We will begin by drafting seed stories based on our own lives.  This will help inspire the kids with ideas for future narratives modeled off of themselves.  Ultimately, the kids will mine through the seed stories they have written in their Writer's Notebook as they select a story idea for their first realistic fiction piece. I will model how to take a story idea for realistic fiction and create a main character who has fully developed internal and external characteristics and one or more conflicts to solve.  We will begin  workshop each day by working on a class story that I will model and the kids and I will craft together.  By doing this, they will see how we use techniques such as figurative language, dialogue, apt word choice, details and description, and paragraphing to create a detailed realistic fiction piece that shows vs tells about the character, his or her struggles and how he/she works to solve those problems. Once the kids have selected their own story idea, they will learn how to create a story arc to develop the plot of the story. They will create scenes for the story arc (all modeled by me first) and then ultimately begin their rough draft using their story arc and planned scenes as a guide. 

 

Social Studies/Science

 

Shortly after Fall Break we will shift gears from Social Studies and begin our first Science unit.  Our Social Studies unit has focused on Colorado History, and we have studied the many groups who shaped Colorado as well as how people impact the land and how the land impacts the people.  After learning about many different groups who helped shape Colorado, the kids had the opportunity to persuade others which group they feel had the greatest impact.  This gave us the opportunity to apply our persuasive writing skills to our study of history.  

 

As we shift into Science, we will begin with a focus on Life Science.  By the end of this unit the kids will be able to construct an argument detailing how plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.  This Science unit will be very hands on and involve many engaging partners and group experiments.  

 


Upcoming Dates

October 18-22: Fall Break

October 29: Halloween Parade

November 1: No School, Teacher PD Day


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

September Happenings

 September Newsletter

Math

We are currently studying Topic 2 in Math entitled “Fluently Add and Subtract Multi-Digit Whole Numbers”.  This topic addresses finding sums and differences, estimating sums and differences, adding whole numbers, adding greater numbers, subtracting whole numbers, subtracting greater numbers, subtracting across zeros and reasoning.  As a reminder, your child will have weekly homework.  This will be given on Monday and is due the following Monday.



Reading

During Reading Workshop in the month of August, students began to learn and practice how to think deeply about their reading, determine if they are truly reading “just right books” at their level that will help them grow as readers, and analyze characters’ traits while providing evidence from the text as support.  This month during reading workshop, the students were reading books at their independent level.  I was and will continue conferring independently with readers as well as working with kiddos in a small group format as I focus on the aforementioned skills. They will use sticky notes, graphic organizers, and record their thinking in their Reader's Journal as they annotate their text. 


Our reading focus in September will be on interpreting characters.  Students will focus on several strategies including finding a book they want to read, reading as if they are in the book, figuring out confusing parts, noting important things to talk about, doing the work the book is requesting, finding the flow of the book, and making movies in their mind.  All of these are strategies used to read intensely.  Throughout this unit the kids will learn how to make inferences about character traits, how to discuss the importance of story elements, evaluate characters’ responses and change, analyze parts of a story in relation to the whole story, and determining themes and cohesion.  I could really use your support at home….please encourage your child to read.  Volume matters!!



Social Studies

We are currently studying Colorado History.  We began this unit by studying the geography of Colorado and how the geography of the land impacts the people/how people impact the land.  As we continue, we will study the early Native American tribes that occupied our state as well as the Europeans who later settled here and positively/negatively impacted the Native Americans.  Our study of Colorado truly focuses on how people impact the land and how the land impacts the people.  

 

 

Writing

We are learning about the genre of opinion writing. Students are learning how to create a strong thesis statement (claim), support that statement with powerful reasons and a multitude of examples, and provide a strong concluding paragraph. So far, we are practicing our skills by writing opinion essays about important topics relating to us (for example, favorite type of ice cream, favorite genres of music, favorite restaurants, favorite type of animal, etc.). Students will be learning to be persuasive in their writing and convince others to believe in their thesis statement. As we further develop our skills in opinion writing, we will broaden our topics and begin to craft thesis statements based on bigger ideas that impact larger groups such as our community, country, our world. 




Important Dates

No School Friday, September 24th

Digger Dash Friday, October 1st from 10:15-10:45 (fourth grade only)


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Welcome to the 21-22 School Year!

 Dear Families,


            Welcome to fourth grade at Gold Rush Elementary.  My name is Jennifer Poli, and I will be your child’s teacher.  I am excited for the journey of a new year to begin and to experience it with all of the children and you!  I look forward to getting to know you and your child as we embark on this journey together.  I truly look at my role as your child’s teacher not only as an educator with regard to the fourth grade curriculum, but as someone who will be a part of his/her growth as an individual (academically, socially, emotionally).  I teach with both my “educator hat” and my “mom hat” at all times, and I will do all I can to challenge and support your child as we grow together throughout the year. 

            Allow me to tell you a little about myself as I will be spending a great deal of time with you and your child.  I earned my undergraduate degree in psychology from William Paterson University in northern New Jersey.  My teaching degree is from Rutgers University, and I earned my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Temple University in Pennsylvania. I have been teaching for seventeen years, and I have had the privilege of teaching here at Gold Rush for the past eight years. My daughter also attends Gold Rush, and to us, it is home. 


            Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family.  I have two children; Brayden is twelve and will be entering seventh grade this year.  My youngest, Brynn, is ten.  She will be in fifth grade this year.  In my spare time I enjoy cooking/baking, reading, hiking, physical fitness, and cheering on my children at their many sporting events.  You can often find me on the football, soccer, softball field, or basketball court when I am not in the classroom.  Kids sure do keep you busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!


        

 

Here are a few important reminders for the start of the upcoming school year. 

 

 

  • Please send your child to school with a water bottle and healthy snacks for snack time.  

  • The composition book with grids on the supply list, is also called a graph composition book . This will help the kids organize their math computations.

  • It would be wonderful if your child could come to school with at least 3 books of his/her choice.  The books can be fiction chapter books or nonfiction (a mix of both is great too).  We do have a classroom library the kids can borrow from.  We will also be going to the school library, but having a few books to start as we work on building the foundations for reading workshop will be a really big help! The books can be from your home or from the Parker library.  If this is not possible, please know that I will give your child time to select books from the classroom library. 

  • Lastly, on Meet the Teacher Day on August 6th, the kids will have the chance to drop off and unpack their school supplies. To save time, you may have your child label all of his/her folders/notebooks with his/her name. Feel free to label pencil boxes/bags and anything else you choose to label. We will take care of writing the various subjects on the notebooks so don't worry about that part. Some kids like to set their pencil boxes up ahead of time as well.



Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to seeing you soon!


Sincerely,


Ms. Jennifer Poli

Friday, May 15, 2020

Learning for 5/15

Good Morning Students and Parents!
As you know, we have a few important dates coming up next week so please be sure to check Mrs. Brown's email from May 8th for specific details. Here is a list of some of the important dates:
  • May 18 - Virtual Field day
  • May 19, 20, 21 - Curbside pick up of student belongings and drop off of books, technology, etc.
  • May 21 - End of Year Class Zoom (I will send you the link that morning.)
  • May 22 - Last Day of School/Neighborhood Staff Car Parade
** I will send you an email Monday morning giving you end of year activities you can do during the week.  You will also be writing a letter to your 5th grade teacher introducing yourself.  I will send you all of that information on Monday.  Monday is virtual field day so you will not work on the letter until Tuesday, unless you want to.
**Check out Reading Google Classroom for the link to sign up for an optional end of year meeting.  

Here are your learning opportunities for today.

Language Arts:

  • Please continue working on your iReady reading diagnostic. You have until this afternoon to finish it. Remember to do the work on your own, try your best, and take breaks when you need it. (I see most of you have finished this which is wonderful!!).
  • 45 min of independent reading
  • You may also choose to go on iReady "My Path" reading since many of you are finished with the diagnostic.
  • FLIPGRID - I also added two fun new Flipgrid topics that I hope you will enjoy!
Math:
  • Your fourth grade teachers are not assigning new iReady or Math Practice Buddy this week so you can focus on your reading diagnostic.  If you would like extra math practice, you may go on "My Path" on iReady.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Learning for 5/14

Good Morning Students and Parents!

Here are your learning opportunities for today.

Language Arts:

  • Please continue working on your iReady reading diagnostic. You have until Friday afternoon to finish it. Remember to do the work on your own, try your best, and take breaks when you need it. (I see most of you have finished this which is wonderful!!).
  • 45 min of independent reading
  • You may also choose to go on iReady "My Path" reading since many of you are finished with the diagnostic.
  • FLIPGRID - I also added two fun new Flipgrid topics that I hope you will enjoy!
Math:
  • Your fourth grade teachers are not assigning new iReady or Math Practice Buddy this week so you can focus on your reading diagnostic.  If you would like extra math practice, you may go on "My Path" on iReady.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Learning for 5/13

Good Morning Students and Parents!

Here are your learning opportunities for today.

Language Arts:

  • Please continue working on your iReady reading diagnostic. You have until Friday afternoon to finish it. Remember to do the work on your own, try your best, and take breaks when you need it.
  • 45 min of independent reading
Math:
  • Your fourth grade teachers are not assigning new iReady or Math Practice Buddy this week so you can focus on your reading diagnostic.  If you would like extra math practice, you may go on "My Path" on iReady.