All year we have learned skills. Now we are beginning to really apply those skills in real world situations and solve word problems. Starting in March, we will begin the rigorous task of training for TCAP. Therefore, students will have to take many practice tests and will be asked to constantly jump from one skill to another. This can be difficult for many students. In addition, many of the problems will require students to combine skills with multiple steps. Practice is the key to confidence, so we will be working hard and talking through problems together to break them down and develop a "plan of attack". Please don't let your child get discouraged (I will cheer them on as much as I can during the day). Some students grades may falter a bit as the rigor of questions increases, but I am certain that every student will ultimately be ready to conquer TCAP in April. The students have the tools; now they just need to learn how to apply them. Thanks for all your support as we begin to prepare for the "Superbowl of tests." Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.
Thursday, August 11 at 6:00, Centennial's fourth grade teachers will be hosting a parent meeting where you will get to "walk through" your child's day and get important information to help you and your child get through this hectic school year. Each of the teachers will answer whatever questions you may have formed throughout the past two weeks and will explain certain procedures that are specific to their class. This should really help get everyone on the same page (since most of the informational notes we send don't actually get to the parents but get sucked into the vortex that we call student folders). Therefore, please write down any questions you have and please come join us at parent meeting. Can't wait to see you there!!
Today is Centennial Elementary's Open House from 2-4. I am very excited to meet all my new students and their parents. I know this is going to be a great year with lots of learning. The fourth grade teachers know the first week of school tends to be overwhelming for many people, so we have decided to hold a parent meeting on August 11 at 6:00 called "A Day in the Life of Your Fourth Grader!" During this meeting we will outline procedures and expectations for each subject area and answer any questions you may have. I REALLY HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!! It is really a beneficial question and answer time (even if you don't have any specific questions, you may get information that will be valuable to you and your fourth grader as the year progresses). I wish everyone a great first week of school and hope to see lots of families at the parent meeting on the 11th!!
First, let me say that I truly believe Centennial has some of the best, hardest working parents in the world. I appreciate your involvement more than I can say and know most everyone is doing their part to help their child succeed in fourth grade math (which is not an easy task because quite frankly...it's hard). Thank you so much for all your help. I just want to give everyone a bit of information and let you know what is going on in math at this point. Report cards and PLP papers are going home on Monday, January 10th. I want to explain a bit about both.
For the report card, I dropped a lowest test grade but not a lowest homework grade. Therefore, some students grades are lower than in previous quarters. As I have said before, homework grades make up a significant portion of your child's overall math grade. Please check your child's homework nightly and let me know if there is a specific skill your child is struggling with. The videos on this site can be very helpful and have practice pages your child can use. As far as homework goes, often students do not spend quality time on their homework and make simple addition, subtraction, or multiplication errors which cause them to lose valuable points. Checking for these mistakes can help tremendously.
PLP papers are also going home and will be a focus throughout the quarter. PLP stands for Personal Learning Plan. These plans are developed to target which skills your child has not yet mastered in Language Arts and Math based on the Thinklink test we took in December. I will use these results during PLB (Power Learning Block) time each week, and we will work together to conquer any skills not yet mastered. There were some skills on the Thinklink that we have not yet covered in class, so some of the skills will simply need to be addressed in our daily lessons. For all others, your child will work in small groups and with remediation sheets to practice and/ or relearn the skill. There are suggestions that you can do at home to help your child succeed on the back of the PLP as well. If we all do our part, there is no reason why every child cannot master the necessary skills. A PLP does not mean your child is necessarily struggling in math. It just means certain areas need work. In short, a PLP is nothing to panic about but a tool that can be used to make your child more successful :)
Snow days are going to cause some issues this nine weeks, I'm afraid. There are still a lot of skills we need to cover before Spring Break. Although I love snow days as much as anyone, they do put us behind. We will be covering material as quickly as possible this nine weeks so that we can cover everything and fit in review time before TCAP. Please try to have your child in school at every opportunity so that we can make the most out of the days we are given for instruction. Playing catch-up is hard enough without unnecessary absences. However, if your child is sick (which happens to everyone at some point), please request work from me and check the website for ways your child can get caught up.
Again, thanks for even coming to this website. I really appreciate it your interest in math class and your child's education. You make my job easier by simply caring. Thanks so much. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns :)
I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!
Well, this will be an incredibly short week, so I will not be sending any spiraling homework. I decided that we need to really get moving on objectives, however, so we will begin multi-digit multiplication this week. I teach this skill the traditional way, so the videos are not really necessary yet. I will post the videos for two digit times two digit multiplication this weekend in preparation for next week, though, because I teach that skill a bit differently. I'm sorry if things seem to be moving quickly, but I will not get everything taught if I don't move on from place value. We will continue to review the place value skills throughout the upcoming weeks in class and on the spiraling homework.
Mid-quarter grades are going home Wednesday, and I will be sending a note home explaining the breakdown of the grades with the report. The main point is that I will eventually be dropping the lowest test and lowest homework grades before report cards go out at the end of the nine weeks. However, these grades have not been dropped for the mid-quarter reports because I want you to really understand how your child's grades are looking for me. Some of you should be very proud of the hard work that is being shown in my class. Unfortunately, I think some other students need to take homework a bit more seriously. Just don't forget to check your child's work every night as more than half of their math grades can be improved by simply going over homework. More on this topic in the note I'm sending home. I know many of you are working hard with them at home, and I really appreciate your help and support. Let me know if you need anything from me :)
Well, I wanted to get the new videos for representing decimals in pictures, comparing decimals, and decimals as fractions loaded before the test on Friday. Unfortunately, it has been a busy week. I am so sorry. Since I didn't get them loaded as promised, I will not have any of those skills on the test this week. Instead, I will put them on next week's test and focus on written form, expanded form, place and value (review and mastery of prior skills). I will try to stay more on top of things from now on. Sorry for any inconvenience :)
The first three weeks have really flown by! When I look at the county's pacing guide, I start to get a nervous feeling in my stomach. There is a great deal to teach in a small amount of time (20+ skills in 9 weeks). I will have to start combining skills if I am going to get all my required objectives taught on time. Fortunately, most of the skills for the first nine weeks combine nicely, like a big pot of stew. I will just keep adding the ingredients and stirring the pot. It will be fast paced, but we will practice so often that students will have no trouble picking up the necessary skills. They are proving themselves to be eager, intelligent, well-prepared students, and I am very excited to teach them.
I was absent last Friday due to illness, so I will be playing a bit of catch-up myself this weekend. I will try to have the week's video lessons posted as soon as possible (definitely before the test on Friday). I am also going to grade as much as I can, but all graded papers may not come back this week. Some may carry over to next Monday. I'm sorry for any inconvenience. This is one of the struggles of having 120 students. However, the rewards more than make up for long weekends of grading, I assure you. Thanks for your support and understanding. Please contact me if you have any questions :)
Tonight the fourth grade teachers will be hosting a parent meeting in the school's cafeteria from 6:00 to 6:30. Please plan to attend! Each teacher will be explaining specific information about her subject area that you will not want to miss. Though at times it is unavoidable, we ask that parents or guardians only come to the meeting, but, again, we realize that sometimes it cannot be helped. Please enter through the back cafeteria entrance (there will be signs). We will be handing out door prizes throughout the night, so make sure you sign in. Thanks so much! I hope to see you tonight!
School is starting soon! I am so excited about the upcoming year! We will start working through the curriculum as soon as possible, so please make sure your children know their multiplication facts from thrid grade. Everyone forgets things from time to time; so even if your child knew them last year, he or she may need some reminding.
Please check the school supply list and make sure to bring in four black dry erase markers for your child to use in math. The kids have so much more fun working problems on white boards than they do on notebook paper.
I hope to meet each of you face-to-face soon and would love to hear any feedback you have about the website or upcoming year. Thanks for stoping by!