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rmoriarty (at) mvyps.org

Mrs. Moriarty's Fourth Grade
Welcome to our class's Website!

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

Thursday, March 23: Our rescheduled second visit to Thimble Farm is in the morning, from 8:30 to 10:30. We're going to build hydroponic planters!

Friday, March 24: PTA Pizza and Bingo Night 6:00-7:30pm in the Cafe 

Tuesday, April 4; Wednesday, April 5; Thursday, April 6: 4th Grade English Language Arts MCAS tests each of these mornings.

 

HOMEWORK:

20 minutes read for pleasure

20 minutes on math worksheets

Study spelling words.

 

Social/Emotional: Last Friday morning, 4M read from Sharon Creech's  Love That Dog, in the form of a Readers' Theater, to 4L and 3K. I mention this in the "social/emotional" section of this newsletter because of the wonderful way your fourth graders worked together, took risks, and reaped the rewards that come from speaking in front of an audience. The class did an amazing job. Truly. I recorded the event and tried saving it to share with you as a MP3 file, but alas. Somehow the file didn't make it through the editing process. I was disappointed.

 

Reading/Writing: We're using practice English Language Arts MCAS tests to acquaint ourselves with this year's test's format and prompts. This means we are reading both narrative and informational text, answering multiple-choice questions, and reviewing what we know about writing narratives and reader responses. The MCAS test allows fourth graders 60 minutes to read an essay, answer a few two-part multiple choice and "short answer" questions about the essay, and plan and type an original narrative (in response to the test's prompt) equal to four hand written pages. Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure count. The test is demanding, to say the least.

 

Math: Our focus on fractions continues this week! For example, which is larger? 4/5 or 6/8? We're also using what we know about multiplication and repeated addition to rename expressions like 1/2 + 1/2 +1/2 as

3 X 1/2 or 3/2 or 1 and 1/2.

 

Science: We will learn more about hydroponics when we visit Thimble Farm on Thursday morning.

 

Social Studies: Students made good progress on their State Reports last week. They'll continue to work on these reports and, hopefully, they'll be done by Friday! This is an "in school" assignment, though students are always welcome to add to their reports at home.

 

As always, I hope you and yours are well. Please let me know if you have any questions of concerns.

Cheers!

Robin

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

- Tuesday, March 14th: NOON DISMISSAL

- Thursday, March 16th: fourth grade field trip to the Chilmark Community Center to learn about making films!

NOTE: Students must bring their own lunch on this field trip!

- Friday, March 24: PTA Pizza and Bingo night, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.

 

HOMEWORK:

20 minutes of reading for pleasure

20 minutes of Zearn Mission 5

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional: We held a Class Meeting last week to solve problems students in Room 211 had on their minds. One theme that surfaced involves fairness. Some students wonder why some teachers let some students work “with their friends,” while other teachers do not. We talked about approaching teachers respectfully to discuss such concerns while pointing out that teachers work hard to help students learn, and that can mean assigning them to partners that are not their best friends.

 

Reading/Writing: We’ll continue to study poems this week. And perhaps your fourth grader has mentioned his/her State Project? Students are reading about natural resources, industry, tourism, national parks, and famous Americans, as these topics relate to the state they’re studying. They’re using Google Slides to write their state reports.

 

Math: The fourth grade math program is heavy on fractions. We’re learning to compare fractions with both like and unlike denominators; to add and subtract fractions with like denominators; to multiply “unit fractions;” and to plot fractions on an open number line.

 

Science/Social Studies: We’re working on rescheduling our second field trip to Thimble Farm to work on hydroponics. In the meantime, we began redesigning a compost bin for our school’s garden using what we learned from our original designs and models to improve this next design/model. In addition to noticing the landforms in the states students are studying, your fourth graders continue to practice memorizing the states’ capitals.

 

Cheers!

Robin

 

March 6, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

- Unless the temperature or wind chill is 27 degrees or below, students go outdoors twice a day. Please send your fourth grader dressed for the weather.

- We are lucky enough to have fruit available to snack on at school. If your fourth grader needs more for breakfast and/or snacks, please send them with snacks from home.

- Thursday, March 9: Come see the amazing Landform Projects students have created!! Room 211 between 8:15am and 8:45am. (We're inviting K-4th graders to view our projects later in the day.)

- Friday, March 10: afternoon field trip to Thimble Farm to study hydroponics.

- Tuesday, March 14: NOON DISMISSAL - Teacher Professional Development

 

HOMEWORK:

·      ReadWorks paper assignments: work for 20 minutes a night

·      Math paper assignments: work for 20 minutes a night

·      Spelling words will be assigned. Students will receive different lists, depending on how well they performed on their last spelling test.

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional: This week we'll step back and revisit our Classroom Constitution. Does it still represent what we want for our classroom? How are we demonstrating our commitment to the values our Constitution describes? We'll have a Class Meeting to discuss ways we can make our classroom even better than it already is.

Reading/Writing: Students will work on practice MCASS reading/writing prompts, read about a state of their choice in preparation for writing a report on that state, and we will read poetry as a class.  

Math: We'll look at the ways division and fractions are similar as we work on a Context for Learning Mathematics (Cathy Fosnot) called, Field Trips and Fund Raisers.

Science and Social Studies: We begin designing a culminating compost bin prototype, combining all of the ideas and lessons we learned from constructing our initial models. We are also going to help build hydroponic growing structures while we're at Thimble Farm on Friday. In Social Studies, we continue to study states and regions of the United States.

 

I hope you and yours are well!

Cheers,

Robin

 

 

 

February 21, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

- Unless the temperature or wind chill is 27 degrees or below, students go outdoors twice a day. Please send your fourth grader dressed for the weather.

- We are lucky enough to have fruit available to snack on at school. If your fourth grader needs more for breakfast and/or snacks, please send them with snacks from home.

- Wednesday, February 22nd: Edgartown School Spelling Bee, 9AM in the gym.

- Friday, February 24th or before: Landforms Project due.

 

HOMEWORK:

·      Complete Landforms Project by Friday, February 24th

·      Read and do online math (Zearn or Dreambox or Xtramath)

·      Re-do Spelling Test for students who got more than 2 wrong on Friday, February 17th test.

 

ACADEMICS:

Reading: As students finish reading Treasure Island, they are starting to read about a state of their choice, in preparation for writing a report in March.  

Writing: I'm creating an ibook/ebook of the opinion essays 4M wrote. Students are completing and editing their letters this week.

Math: After vacation, we begin a major unit on fractions. This week we are reviewing long division, metric conversions, and double-digit multiplication.

Science and Social Studies: I took videos during last Friday's field trip to Thimble Farm so we can revisit what we saw and learned about the technology (systems) the farm uses to raise vegetables and fish. The trip was amazing. We return to Thimble Farm in March to help construct hydroponic systems for schools around the island.

 

Have a lovely February/March School Break!!

Robin

 

 

 

Landforms Project due on or before Friday, February 24th

Create a visual* that includes all of the following:

plateau

delta
bay
canyon

basin

valley
mountains

river
archipelago

plain

Include labels or captions that name each landform and give its definition.

HAVE FUN!

*Your visual may be a 3-d model or a 2-d poster. 

Monday, February 13th, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

Tuesday, February 14th: Optional Valentine exchange in Room 
211. If you choose to bring cards, please bring one for everyone in 
the class.
 Candy can be shared, but students need to bring it home before they can eat it.

Friday, February 17th: 4Moriarty travels to Thimble Farm to 
study a hydroponics system, another STEAM investigation. Please help students dress appropriately.

Monday, February 20th: School closed for Presidents' Day. 


Wednesday, February 22nd: All School Spelling Bee. 9:00 AM in 
the gym. 


Friday, February 24th: Landforms project due.

Monday, February 27th: Winter vacation begins. 


 

HOMEWORK:

Spend 40 minutes a night, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, on homework.

1.    Landforms Project You have 7 school nights to work on this project, so please plan accordingly. (See attached assignment.)

2.    Study you spelling words

3.    Math

4.    Read

 

Social/Emotional:  Throughout the school year, your fourth grader is asked to work with one or more of his/her classmates. Our expectation is that every student in Room 211 can and will work harmoniously with any other student(s) in the class. As you know, this expectation can be challenging for adults, not to mention children! After role-playing and explaining expectations for cooperative group work, students are regularly and randomly assigned to work on science, math, and reading projects together. You'll be happy to know that our fourth graders are REALLY good at working together.

 

Reading/Writing: Students are polishing their opinion five paragraph essays and have read samples written by the current sixth graders. I am working to compile all of this year's essays into an ebook that you can access through ibooks or as a PowerPoint. In addition to reading a John Henry tall tale, we've been revisiting the "risk takers" students began researching earlier in the year. Last week we found out more about Frederick Douglass. Many students have finished reading Treasure Island! They are working on reader responses to the text. The K-4 wing is dressing up as characters from favorite books on March 31st. We're going as pirates!

 

Math: Last week we began studying factors and their connection to prime and composite numbers. This week we'll extend this study to include multiples. We'll also continue to practice "long division"  (single divisors and multi-digit dividends), multiplication, addition, and subtraction. Our lessons have been including multiplication/division fact practice, too.

 

Science: Students are using what they've learned about angles of incidence, angles of reflection, intensity, and light sources to finalize lighting systems for ancient Egyptian tombs. Believe it or not, this work is related to our Food Waste project: both involve engineering and technology!

 

Social Studies: I'm assigning a two-week long term homework project. It is due on the Friday before our February break, February 24th. I've attached the assignment's particulars. Please contact me with any questions! We've been learning about the regions of the USA. Before long your fourth grader will choose a state to study. We'll study "information" writing next, and students will use what they learn to write a state report. This is a long term project that will be done in school.

 

As always, I hope you and yours are well. Please let me know if you have any questions of concerns.

Cheers!

Robin

 

Landforms Project due on or before Friday, February 24th

 

Create a visual* that includes all of the following:

 

Ö   plateau

Ö   delta

Ö   bay

Ö   canyon

Ö   basin

Ö   valley

Ö   mountains

Ö   river

Ö   archipelago

Ö   plain

 

Include labels or captions that name each landform and give its definition.

 

HAVE FUN!

 

*Your visual may be a 3-d model or a 2-d poster.

 

 

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

There are changes in this week's lunch menu. Please check the school's web site for details.

 

·      Tuesday, February 7th: Report cards go home.

·      Wednesday, February 8th: 4th graders "jump rope for heart" from 9:30 to 10:00 in the gym.

·      Thursday, February 9th: PTA Soup Dinner and K-4 dance. Dinner 5:30-6:30. Dance 6:30-7:30. Families are asked to bring a loaf of bread or a healthy dessert to share.

·      Friday, February 10th: 4Moriarty field trip to Thimble Farm (12:30 - 2:30) to study their systems for curbing food waste, another STEAM project!

·      Tuesday, February 14th: Optional Valentine exchange in Room 211. If you choose to bring cards, please bring one for everyone in the class.

·      Friday, February 17th: 4Moriarty returns to Thimble Farm to study their hydroponics system.

·      Monday, February 20th: School closed for Presidents' Day.

·      Wednesday, February 22nd: All School Spelling Bee. 9:00 AM in the gym.

·      Monday, February 27th: Winter vacation begins.

 

HOMEWORK:

Please be sure to sign your fourth grader's homework log to acknowledge the fact that he/she read for 20 minutes and either worked on Dreambox, Zearn, or Xtramath for 20 minutes. On top of that, students need to study their spelling words for Friday's test.

 

Social/Emotional: Students used a copy of a fourth grade report card to grade themselves. They also wrote their own comment. These will come home on Tuesday, Feb. 7th, along with their official report cards.

 

Reading/Writing: Our ongoing study of Treasure Island gives us opportunities to practice responding to questions about a text, both "right there" questions as well as "inferential" questions, questions that ask students to make an inference and support it with evidence from the text.

Math: We're solving multi-step word problems as a way of practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division simultaneously. We're also practicing the more difficult multiplication facts so that they are truly "automatic."

 

Social Studies: This week we'll begin learning about our country's regions, with a focus on their resources and geographical attributes.

 

STEAM: Both Melinda and Mr. Pattison met with students to discuss the compost bin designs they created: what worked, what didn't, and how might we combine all of our best ideas to make another prototype. This is the engineering design process in action!

Meanwhile, we continue to work on lighting systems for the inside of Egyptian tombs!

 

Have a lovely week!

Cheers,

Robin

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

·      Tuesday, February 7th: Report cards go home.

·      Wednesday, February 8th: 4th graders "jump rope for heart" from 9:30 to 10:00 in the gym.

·      Friday, February 10th: 4Moriarty field trip to Thimble Farm (12:30 - 2:30) to study their systems for curbing food waste, another STEAM project!

·      Thursday, February 9: PTA Soup Dinner and K-4 dance. Dinner 5:30-6:30. Dance 6:30-7:30. Families are asked to bring a loaf of bread or a healthy dessert to share.

·      Friday, February 17th: 4Moriarty returns to Thimble Farm to study their hydroponics system.

·      Monday, February 20th: School closed for Presidents' Day.

·      Wednesday, February 22nd: All School Spelling Bee. 9:00 AM in the gym.

·      Monday, February 27th: Winter vacation begins.

 

HOMEWORK:

Please be sure to sign your fourth grader's homework log to acknowledge the fact that he/she read for 20 minutes and either worked on Dreambox, Zearn, or Xtramath for 20 minutes. On top of that, students need to study their spelling words for Friday's test.

 

READING and WRITING:

In addition to progressing through Treasure Island, we are reading and studying exemplar opinion essays, in preparation for continuing to write our own. Students also read each other's narrative responses to a practice MCAS 2.0 prompt, and they nominated a peer's essay to be awarded the top MCAS grade!

 

MATH: Last week students practiced finding sums, differences, products, and quotients! A lot of calculating was going on, all with the goal of helping students feel confident and at ease when faced with solving higher-level computations. Division is especially new and challenging. We're reviewing multiplication facts, too. I only wish your students had come to fourth grade knowing their facts by heart!

 

STEAM: (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)

Last week we studied the way light reacts to various materials. This week we'll look at how light's intensity varies and how it can be quantified, all in preparation for designing a lighting system to illuminate an Egyptian tomb!

 

We've officially begun the second half of fourth grade.... Fifth grade here we come!!

Cheers,

Robin

 

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

 

REMINDERS:

- Unless the temperature or wind chill is 27 degrees or below, students go outdoors twice a day. Please send your fourth grader dressed for the weather.

- We are lucky enough to have fruit available to snack on at school. If your fourth grader needs more for breakfast and/or snacks, please send them with snacks from home.

- Monday, January 23rd: 4M classroom preliminary School Spelling Bee.

- Wednesday, January 25th: Edgartown School Geography Bee, 9AM in the gym.

- Friday, January 27th: First semester ends.

- Tuesday, February 7th: Report Cards go Home

 

HOMEWORK:

·      20 minutes independent reading.

·      20 minutes Zearn, Xtramath, or Dreambox.

·      Study spelling words. Test on Friday.

 

ACADEMICS:

Reading/Writing: We've been studying quality examples of opinion writing, noticing the attributes that make them so good: strong leads (a question, a surprising fact, or a personal appeal); three or more paragraphs, each stating and explaining a compelling reason for supporting the author's opinion; and concluding paragraph that doesn't simple restate the author's opinion but compels the reader to act on that opinion.

Students in Room 211 are writing letters to various decision makers at our school, hoping to convince them to either: allow a vending machine in our cafeteria; provide a gymnastics class for girls and boys after school; provide an after school video games club; and/or increase the number of minutes we play/work outdoors.

Students are also being assessed to determine mid-year growth in both reading and writing.

Math: We are in the thick of our division unit. Before students are introduced to the "standard long division algorithm," they solve division problems using arrays. When we solve division word problems, students need to interpret any remainders in the context of the problem. For example, splitting a group of 32 children into 6 groups does not mean each group is made up of 5 and 1/3 children. But 32 brownies shared by 6 groups does mean that each group gets 5 and 1/3 brownies.

STEAM: Our study of "light" is embedded in a technology/engineering design project that involves creating a lighting system that allows people to view hieroglyphics in ancient tombs while keeping those same lights from fading the ancient drawings. While designing lighting systems, we'll be learning about and using words like: absorb, reflect, optic, translucent, opaque, transparent, technology, and design. SO SO FUN!

 

Have a great week!!

Cheers,

Robin

 

 

 

 

January 17, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

For those of you who were able to visit our Interactive Immigration Museum last Wednesday, thank you! If you were unable to make it, no problem. We're sending all museum artifacts home.

 

REMINDERS:

- Unless the temperature/wind chill is 27 degrees or below, students go outdoors twice a day. Please send your fourth grader dressed for the weather.

- We are lucky enough to have fruit available to snack on at school. If your fourth grader needs more for breakfast and/or snacks, please send them with snacks from home.

- Monday, January 23rd: 4M classroom preliminary School Spelling Bee.

- Wednesday, January 25th: Edgartown School Geography Bee, 9AM in the gym.

 

HOMEWORK:

·      20 minutes independent reading.

·      20 minutes Zearn, Xtramath, or Dreambox.

·      Study spelling words. Test on Friday.

 

ACADEMICS:

Reading: This week we look at a sample MCAS 2.0, read a story, answer multiple choice questions, and write a narrative response.   

Writing: We're writing a letter to our school's Wellness Committee, asking their advice about adding a vending machine of healthy snacks to our cafeteria.

Math: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division practice, learning to use (and understand) all four "standard algorithms."

Science and Social Studies: Our next science unit, Energy, begins with a look at light and circuits. And in social studies, we'll look at how geography and landforms affect the way people live.

Social/Emotional:

 

Cheers,

Robin

 

 

January 9, 2017

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

- Unless the temperature/windchill is 27 degrees or below, students go outdoors twice a day. Please send your fourth grader dressed for the weather.

- We are lucky enough to have fruit available to snack on at school. If your fourth grader needs more for breakfast and/or snacks, please send them with snacks from home.

- Wednesday, January 11th: Edgartown School's Fourth Grade Immigration Museum is open to the public between 10:30AM and 12:00 NOON.

- Friday, January 13th: Martha's Vineyard schools closed. Staff professional development day.

- Monday, January 16th: Martha's Vineyard schools closed. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

- Wednesday, January 25th: Edgartown School Geography Bee, 9AM in the gym.

- Service Project: Incase you're interested: we're collecting coins so we can send money to a Brazilian desert community in need.

- Please help your fourth grader find something to wear as a costume for Wednesday's Immigration Museum. A single prop or a complete outfit... it doesn't matter. The goal is to allow your fourth grader to represent the immigrant they'll "play" on Wednesday morning.

 

January's GEO BEE and SPELLING BEE:

In hopes of clarifying:

- During January, the Edgartown School's fourth through eighth graders participate in both a geo-bee and a spelling bee, not to be confused with the regular weekly spelling tests we have in class.

In the case of both "bees," each class of fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades will participate in a first-round competition to find both a classroom champion and a runner up. The 10 champions will compete at the all-school "bees."

- Each fourth grade classroom will have their first-round geo-bee this coming Tuesday, January 9th. The all school Geography Bee is scheduled for January 25th.

- Each fourth grade classroom will have their first-round spelling bee sometime during the last week of January. We sent a double sided sheet of 100 total words for students to study in preparation for the spelling bee, if they wish. The date of the all school Spelling Bee hasn't been announced yet.

 

HOMEWORK:

·      20 minutes independent reading.

·      20 minutes Zearn, Xtramath, or Dreambox.

·      Study spelling words. Test on Friday.

 

ACADEMICS:

Reading: We continue to make our way through Treasure Island. There are a lot of similes in the version we're reading, and we're stopping to note how they contribute to the story's meaning.

Writing: In addition to writing reader responses, the fourth graders in room 211 have decided to petition the school for a vending machine in the cafeteria! We'll be looking at sample "petitions" and then will draft our own. Who knows were this will lead?!?

Math: We're learning to compute multi-digit multiplication and division problems. You won't be surprised to hear that your fourth grader is using multiplication and division algorithms and strategies that are different from the ones you used in fourth grade! I've attached a document that explains some of the methods your student is learning to use.

Spelling and Word Work: Beginning this week, your fourth grader will be given a list of spelling words to memorize for a 2017 weekly Friday spelling test. This month we'll focus on homophones. We will also continue to look at spelling patterns that occur when endings like -y, -ed, -s, and -ing are added.

Science and Social Studies: Our next science unit, Energy, begins with a look at light and circuits. And in social studies, we'll look at how geography and landforms affect the way people live.

Social/Emotional: Last Friday, a big group of Edgartown School teachers went to a workshop on student motivation and mindsets. I'm ready to share what I learned about these topics with our class as we engage in some fun and informative activities.

Cheers,

Robin

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year Room 211 Families!!

REMINDERS:

Wednesday, January 11th: Edgartown School's Fourth Grade Immigration Museum is open to the public between 10:30AM and 12:00 NOON.

Friday, January 13th: Martha's Vineyard schools closed. Staff professional development day.

Monday, January 16th: Martha's Vineyard schools closed. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Wednesday, January 25th: Edgartown School Geography Bee, 9AM in the gym.

Service Project: Incase you're interested: we're collecting coins so we can send money to a Brazilian desert community in need.

HOMEWORK:

·      20 minutes independent reading.

·      20 minutes Zearn, Xtramath, or Dreambox.

·      Study spelling words. Test on Friday.

ACADEMICS:

Reading: We're making our way through Treasure Island, stopping along the way to discuss important vocabulary words and character traits. We're also learning to write responses to "beyond the text" questions.

Writing: Once students finish writing the speeches they'll give at our Immigration Museum on Wednesday, January 11th, they will practice writing narrative responses to "MCASS" like prompts.

Math: This week, we'll finish the Teachers' Lounge math exploration we started before vacation. This week's work with division, open arrays, and multi-digit multiplication will segue-way us into our next Eureka math unit: Multi-Digit Multiplication and Division.

Spelling and Word Work: Beginning this week, your fourth grader will be given a list of spelling words to memorize for a 2017 weekly  Friday spelling test. This month we'll focus on homophones. We will also continue to look at spelling patterns that occur when endings like -y, -ed, -s, and -ing are added.

Science and Social Studies: Our Wednesday, January 11th Immigration Museum (open between 10:30 and noon!) will also allow you the opportunity to see the compost bin prototypes Room 211 fourth graders built last month- an engineering and technology project. Our next science unit is all about energy!! And in social studies, we'll explore landforms.

Social/Emotional: Tis the season of indoor recesses and rigorous curricular demands. Both stress fourth graders out. In response, we'll be practicing ways we can take care of ourselves while being kind to others. This means role-plays and practice!

In summary, I'm delighted to spend school days with your fourth graders. They are curious, kind, and funny!

Cheers,

Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

 

Happy Holidays Room 211 Families!!

 

REMINDERS:

Friday, December 23rd: The Jingle Bell Run begins at 9am. Please send students dressed to run outdoors.

Friday, December 23rd: School is dismissed at noon. Brunch is served during the morning.

 

HOMEWORK:

20 minutes work on Immigration Interactive Museum speech on Google Classroom; 20 minutes of math (Xtramath, Zearn, OR Dreambox).

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional: We've been talking about giving and getting gifts: How do you feel when you receive a gift? How do you feel when you give a gift?

Thanks to Victor's family, we are lucky to have a connection with a village in Brazil that needs our help. Victor's mom created a slideshow that introduced us to the people of a small desert village in the mountains of Brazil. We are sending them the handmade cloth bags we made in Art, (Thank you, Ms. Shank!) which will contain toothbrushes and toothpaste. We also want to send the villagers money (which will be in the form of a check), so if your fourth grader asks to bring a few coins to school to contribute to this cause, don't be surprised. And thank you in advance.

 

Reading: In addition to the "just right" books students read throughout the week, we continue to read and study an abbreviated version of Treasure Island as a class.  We discussed the characteristics of  "adventure" stories last week, comparing the adventure story/movie Hugo with Treasure Island. This week, we focus on Treasure Island's plot's twists and turns, the suspense and the drama inherent in this adventure tale.

 

Writing: This week's homework supports our current writing project: speeches students will read during our January (date and time to be announced....) Interactive Immigration Museum. Students have been given a planning template and a sample final product to guide them through this assignment.

 

Math: We started a second Cathy Fosnot Context in Learning Mathematics unit called The Teachers' Lounge last week. Its real world problems and carefully selected numbers engage students in an exploration of division, both partitive and quotative.

 

STEAM: Students need to finish building their "to scale" prototype compost bins this week. So far, so AMAZING! We'll let you know when we're ready to present our projects to family and friends, sometime early 2017.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

See you "next year!"

 

Cheers!

Robin

 

 

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

·      We go outdoors twice a day. PLEASE send your fourth grader with warm outdoor clothing.

·      Homework Club for third and fourth graders meets on Tuesday and Thursdays after school, until 3:40. Snacks provided.

·      Friday, December 16: Red Stocking Bazaar: If students would like to purchase gifts at the bazaar, please have them bring money. I will provide wrapping paper, so, if things go as planned, your fourth grader will bring home wrapped gifts to add to your family's December gift giving celebration.

·      Friday, December 23: Weather permitting.... Annual Jingle Bell Run begins at 9:00 AM! School closes at noon for our Winter Break.

 

HOMEWORK:

·      Read for pleasure, 20 minutes, seven days a week.

·      Work on Xtramath OR Zearn OR Dreambox for 20 minutes.

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional:

            Our year-long focus on self regulation continues this month as we review "expected behaviors." I use interactive modeling to make sure your fourth graders understand what expected behavior look and sound like. I don't expect fourth graders to sit still for more than 20 minutes at a time. That's why I incorporate movement breaks into our school day.

            In addition, I schedule quiet times/rest breaks twice a day... ten minute breaks when fourth graders can rest, relax, and regroup- once in the morning and again after morning recess. In addition to these breaks, our school schedules a 30-minute snack/recess break for fourth graders in the morning and a 40 minute lunch/recess break in the afternoon.  

 

Math:

            Last week we started our long, model focused study of multiplication and division. Fourth graders multiply two-digit by two-digit numbers, and they divide four digit dividends by one-digit divisors. They are expected to model their thinking in drawings, number models, and as statements.  

 

 

Writing:

            Your fourth grader is finalizing exciting writing projects: narrative stories "published" in hard-cover books; "risk taker" reports written as Google Slideshows; and Immigration Museum speeches... (more about that as we are ready to present/share.)

 

Reading:

            We've been using prefixes and root words to help us pronounce and understand multisyllablic words. This week we'll look at  key suffixes that will also help your fourth grader develop his/her vocabulary and spelling skills.

 

Science/Technology/Engineering:

            We were very lucky to have participated in a second Felix Neck Animal Adaptation workshop this past Friday. Our guest Felix Neck educator did an amazing job of engaging us in an inquiry of how local mammals' physical and behavioral adaptations help them survive. In particular, your fourth grader considered how local animals' pelts and teeth (incisors, canines, and molars) help them survive. Your fourth has been making slow and important progress when it come to building his/her compost bin model in class, too. VERY FUN!

 

Social Studies:

            Now that most of the Room 211 fourth graders have shared their Immigration Tri-Folds, we are focused on writing speeches for an upcoming Interactive Immigration Museum that will be open to "the public" (families and third graders) in early January, 2017. Since students are assuming characters from different countries and eras, each of their immigration speeches will be unique.


Cheers,

Robin  

rmoriarty@mvyps.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMINDERS:

·      We go outdoors twice a day. PLEASE send your fourth grader with warm outdoor clothing.

·      Homework Club for third and fourth graders meets on Tuesday and Thursdays after school, until 3:40. Snacks provided.

·      Thursday, December 8. 4th through 8th grade concert begins at 7:30 PM. Please have your fourth grader at school by 7:10 PM that night.

·      Friday, December 10: Red Stocking Bazaar: If students would like to purchase gifts at the bazaar, please have them bring money. I will provide wrapping paper, so, if things go as planned, your fourth grader will bring home wrapped gifts to add to your family's December gift giving celebration.

·      Friday, December 23: Weather permitting.... Annual Jingle Bell Run begins at 9:00 AM! School closes at noon for our Winter Break.

 

HOMEWORK:

·      Complete the "Interactive History Adventure" planning sheet by Friday. (See attached, or go to Google Classroom.) When finished, read for pleasure, 20 minutes.

·      Work on Xtramath OR Zearn OR Dreambox for 20 minutes.

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional: Mr. Butler visited our classroom last week to talk about "unwanted attention" from peers during recess, in class, and/or at lunch. The conversation continued during last Friday's Health class. Our goal is to teach students what they can say and do when a peer assumes they are "best friends" even though the feeling is not mutual.

 

Math: Last week, your fourth grader worked with a partner to solve story-based multiplication and division problems using arrays. This week our "Muffle's Truffles" unit continues as student explore solving more complex multiplication and division problems and modeling their thinking with "open arrays."

 

Writing: Your fourth graders are using their immigration tri-folds to plan for our culminating Immigration Unit event, an interactive Immigration Museum, to open in January 2017! (Date and time to be determined....) The museum will consist of individual students assuming an immigrant's identify as they guide guests through a "choose your own adventure" story of their lives. Simple costumes will be welcome. More information about the particulars to follow. NO stress!

 

Reading: We finished our second all-class read aloud (There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom) on Friday. This week we'll begin a whole-class reading of an abridged version of Treasure Island. Students will learn story-specific vocabulary, and they will practice answering questions about the story by "restating the question" in the first sentence of their answer.

 

Science/Technology/Engineering: Mr. Pattison, our Industrial Arts teacher, has been kind enough to cut pieces of wood your fourth graders will use this week to build scale models of the compost bins they've designed.

 

I hope you are well. As always, thanks for sending such lovely fourth graders to the Edgartown School!


Cheers,

Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

     I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving break. As I told your fourth graders on  the Tuesday before our break, I am very grateful to have such a curious, kind, and cooperative class!

REMINDERS:

·      We go outdoors twice a day. PLEASE send your fourth grader with warm outdoor clothing.

·      Homework Club for third and fourth graders meets on Tuesday and Thursdays after school, until 3:40. Snacks provided.

·      Thursday, December 8, 6:30pm: Winter Concert in our school gym.

·      Friday, December 10: Red Stocking Bazaar: If students would like to purchase gifts at the bazaar, please have them bring money.

·      Friday, December 23: School closes at noon for our Winter Break.

HOMEWORK:

·      ALL immigrant tri-fold projects are due by this coming Friday, Dec. 2.

·      Read for pleasure for 20 minutes.

·      Work on Xtramath OR Zearn OR Dreambox for 20 minutes.

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional: Last week and again this week, we are revisiting a variety of behaviors that contribute to spreading Kindness. In order to establish and refer to important "kind" behaviors, we've been using the definitions on the Kindness Project's posters.

Math: Students will be assessed on math module two, Unit Conversions and Problem Solving with Metric Measurement, early this week, and then we take a break from Eureka Math and participate in a Contexts for Learning Mathematics' Investigating Multiplication and Division math project. Its focus is on learning to use the open array as a model for multiplication and division. Check out a Muffle's Truffles video that presents the context for the investigation.

Writing/Social Studies: Last week, Room 211 fourth graders began sharing their immigration tri-fold reports. The reports are so touching and relevant. We're all learning a lot about the ways each immigrant story is both alike and different. Your fourth graders continue to read, research, and write about "a risk taker" using a Google Slideshow to present their findings. This week we'll begin to organize our next writing project: choose your own adventure immigration stories. Students will work in teams of three to produce stories written and the second person.

Reading: Students will continue to read all kinds of texts to help them understand the immigrant experience, now and during the nineteenth century. Last week they practiced making inferences while reading to answer the question, "Why did this person take the risks involved in pursuing their dreams?" This week we'll read to answer, "Why did this person take the risks involved in immigrating to the US?"

Science: Last Tuesday, fourth graders enjoyed an informative and interactive Felix Neck program about bird adaptations. Ask your fourth grader about using tools to simulate different birds' beaks.  Our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and math) project, constructing a new compost bin, moved from the conceptual drawing phase to the scale drawing phase. Students are drawing different views of their proposed compost bin on centimeter graph paper. I've seen a lot of sharing ideas and of meter sticks!

I hope you are well. As always, thanks for sending such lovely fourth graders to the Edgartown School!


Cheers,

Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, Novemeber 21, 2016

Hello Room 211 Families,

The island's email system, FirstClass, is still 'down,' which mean I am unable to communicate with you using my FirstClass email address. Until the FirstClass system is up and running, please contact me using my Edgartown School gmail: rmoriarty@edgartownschool. This is a two day week. NO HOMEWORK this week. This Tuesday, the Edgartown fourth graders will welcome educators from Felix Neck who will teach us about bird adaptatons. Wishing you a relaxing and wonderful Thanksgiving Break!!

rmoriarty@edgartownschool.com

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Greetings Room 211 Families!

REMINDERS: HOMEWORK CLUB for third and fourth graders will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:40 to 3:40, snacks provided.

Return over due library books, please.

Dress for the weather. We go outdoors twice a day unless the temp/wind chill is 27 degrees or below, or it's raining.

HOMEWORK:In addition to math homework, I'm assigning an "Immigrant" project to be completed at home. No specific due date, though before Thanksgiving would work well. Anytime your fourth grader works on his/her project for homework, he or she can take that time off of the standing 20 minutes of reading homework. I've attached an explanation of the project, FYI. Questions, comments, concerns always welcome!

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/emotional: Last week, I asked my students to fill out an anonymous questionnaire that included these three questions:

1. Is recess fun for you?  YES   NO

2.  Are there students in our class who are giving you attention that you don't really want?   YES   NO

3.  Are there students in other classes that are giving you attention that you don't really want?  YES   NO

The results show that we need to help our students deal with unwanted attention, so I've asked a Guidance counselor to visit a Morning Meeting in that near future and role play some skills we can learn and apply to recess situations.

Reading: We are reading a variety of informational text, including transcripts of interviews, to help us understand immigrants' experiences.

Writing: Our focus on figurative language continues. We will also review the different affects "point of view" have on a narrative.

Math: We're having fun learning about and using metric measures. We're using conversion tables, number lines, and fluency practice to help us learn.

 

 
   

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

 

Greetings Room 211 Families!

 

REMINDERS:

HOMEWORK CLUB for third and fourth graders will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays (though not this Thursday, due to Friday's holiday) 2:40 to 3:40, snacks provided.

Friday, November 11th: Veterans' Day. No school.

Return over due library books, please.

Dress for the weather. We go outdoors twice a day unless the temp/wind chill is 27 degrees or below, or it's raining.

 

HOMEWORK:

In addition to math homework, I'm assigning an "Immigrant" project to be completed at home. No specific due date, though before Thanksgiving would work well. Anytime your fourth grader works on his/her project for homework, he or she can take that time off of the standing 20 minutes of reading homework. I've attached an explanation of the project, FYI. Questions, comments, concerns always welcome!

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/emotional: We are reviewing respectful, kind behavior: what it looks and sounds like. In response to this week's presidential election, we are also talking about 'tolerance.'

 

Reading: As a class, we are reading a "choose your own adventure" Ellis Island realistic fiction book. In addition to learning a lot about both Europe and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, we are talking about the reasons emigrants left their homelands, then and now.

 

Writing: Students have been sharing and publishing their first realistic fiction stories, and I am thrilled with the results! Now, as we think about writing more narratives, expectations rise! This week we'll look at examples of descriptive language, including metaphors and similes, and then we'll begin "showing instead of telling" our stories.

 

Accountable Talk: Our state standards describe specific speaking and listening skills students of all ages, Pre-K through grade 12, need to develop to become "college and career ready." In fourth grade, we learn to engage in "accountable talk." Instead of sitting back and letting the same few students contribute to class discussions, EVERYONE is expected to "turn and talk:" to listen carefully to each other, respond by building on one another's ideas, paraphrase and seek clarification, disagree respectfully, and be as specific and accurate as possible.

 

Vocabulary: Currently, we're learning academic vocabulary related to immigration (emigrant, immigrant, migrant, steerage, famine, port of entry, manifest) as well as literary terms (protagonist, antagonist, simile, metaphor, point of view, setting, and theme).

 

Math: We're wrapping up our study of place value, rounding, the standard algorithms for addition and subtraction, and tape diagrams as they represent the relationships between numbers in addition and subtraction multi-step word problems.

 

Science: Our worm compost system is up and running. We'll be learning a lot about earthworms, with a special focus on how well they are adapted to their environment.

 

Engineering and Technology: Meanwhile, we're refining drawings for a new school wooden compost been for our garden area. We'll be deciding on a prototype or two, and then we'll build scale models to test with real compost!

 

I hope you have a lovely week and a thoughtful Veterans' Day.

 

Cheers,

Robin

 


 

Monday, October 31, 2016

 

Dear Room 211 Families,

 

REMIDNERS:

-       Vineyard Smiles visits Edgartown School Thursday and Friday of this week, November 3rd and 4th.

-       2AM on Sunday, November 6th: Day Light Savings Ends. Turn your clocks BACK an hour.

-       Friday, November 11th: NO SCHOOL. Veterans' Day.

HOMEWORK:

- NO HOMEWORK ON OCT. 31

-       Twenty minutes of reading for pleasure

-       Twenty minutes of math or project work

 

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional:

With the presidential election close upon us, we will practice "tolerance" and "empathy" as we discuss, at a fourth grade level, the passions and laws that shape a national election for president.

 

Reading:

We've just begun studying/looking for/defining "theme" in our reading. This is a sophisticated and essential skill fourth graders need to develop. The "theme" of a story is VERY different than the theme of a party or amusement park: the theme of a text speaks to a universally accepted truth like, "Telling the truth is better than lying."

 

Writing:

Your 4M fourth grader has either completed, or is close to completing, his/her first narrative story of the year!! They have been encouraged to write and write... to not consider spelling or grammar or punctuation or organization, until they've finished their draft. Volume matters in fourth grade.

 

Math:

We're stopping to make sure 4M students understand what it means to create a number that is "ten times bigger" or "ten times smaller" than a given number. We've also been making sure students understand how to round to different place values and the usefulness of doing so. In addition, we've been practicing adding and subtracting 99 from large numbers, mentally, without using the standard algorithm.

 

Science:

We tried burning off the methane gas we collected from fermenting horse manure and plant matter over the past three weeks. We took our methane factory to the Science Lab on Friday and asked our school's Industrial Arts teacher, Mr. Pattison, to light the methane gas. There was only a shadow of methane gas that ignited. We were disappointed and are already planning a bigger and better methane gas collector for "next time."

 

Technology and Engineering:

In addition to helping us determine the effectiveness of our methane gas collector, Mr. Pattison introduced us to the "technology/design" process. We identified a problem (redesign the existing but ineffective school garden's compost bin), and then Mr. Pattison walked us through the steps engineers and technology scientists use to design, test, and re-design products that are intended to help us do our work more efficiently.

 

Social Studies:

Our "Immigration Unit" is still in its early stages, and it has already captured our attention. This past week we defined and considered the similarities and differences between immigrants, refugees, and migrants. We agreed that all of the above took risks in order to make a better life for themselves and/or their children.

 

As always, please email with any questions or concerns!

4M is having a GREAT year!!

Robin Moriarty    rmoriarty@mvyps.org

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dear Room 211 Families,

REMINDERS:

Tuesday, October 25th: Noon dismissal - Parent Conferences

Thursday, October 27th: Noon dismissal - Parent Conferences

Return over due library books, please.

HOMEWORK:

Please sign your fourth grader's homework log daily (except weekends!) to let me know that you are aware of what your fourth grader did or didn't do for homework.

One-size does not fit all. Depending on your fourth grader and your family's needs, please feel free to adjust homework guidelines to make homework a time for students to relax with a book and play with numbers. I encourage you to talk with your fourth grader about what he or she is reading as well as asking them to show you what they're doing on Dreambox or Zearn. Students are always welcome to work on their writing or research projects using their Google account, too, if they are so inclined.

ACADEMICS:

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL:

We watched another character building series of three videos produced by Stanford and Harvard Universities.  The first set we watched focused on adopting a "growth mindset." The second series focused on using breathing and empathy to deal with feeling overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, or wronged. http://qz.com/791388/meet-mojo-a-monster-stanford-helped-create-to-teach-your-kids-that-effort-matters-more-than-iq/

We've also been role-playing "respectful responses," in general.

WRITING:

I modeled giving a writer compliments and constructive feedback and then assigned pairs of students to do the same, using their narrative stories. We talked about finding "the heart" of their stories, which, in this case, turns out to be the struggle(s) characters are facing.

We will focus on some basic spelling rules these next few weeks, as a review, before we learn more about prefixes and suffixes.

READING:

Our read-aloud is There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, by Louis Sachar. It's antagonist turned protagonist is a "real character," which allows us to mine the novel for the metaphors and similes Sachar uses to develop his protagonist and antagonist so vividly. Meanwhile, partners and small reading groups are meeting to read aloud to one another, stopping to discuss character development along the way.

SCIENCE:

Melinda Defeo, our Garden Teacher, gave us a tour of our school's composting systems. She has one worm farm going already, and we're going to build and maintain a second worm farm in our classroom! We'll have to read up about worms as we continue to discuss the differences between aerobic and nonaerobic composting. Speaking of nonaerobic composting, after consulting with David Faber, our seventh-eighth grade science teacher, I think we're ready to move the methane gas our food waste/manure system has been producing, into a second 2-liter bottle, which will allow us to light it!

MATH:

This week we will continue to use standard addition and subtraction algorithms to solve word problems. We "read, draw, and write" in response to each word problem, and the "draw" step can be challenging since it requires students, at this point, to use tape diagrams to represent the relationships between numbers in a word problem. 

I love parent conferences! It's such a pleasure to work with you to make your fourth grader's year a success!    -- Cheers! Robin

 

 

Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

Dear Room 211 Families,

REMINDERS:

Wednesday, October 19th: NOON dismissal. We will have Library class, so please remind students to bring books from home that need to be returned or renewed.

4MORIARTY HOMEWORK 2. 0:

My goal is to make homework a positive experience for you and your fourth grader. Therefore, since "one size" does NOT fit all, I am asking for your help in tailoring your fourth grader's homework experiences.

I propose:

4Moriarty fourth graders read for at least 20 minutes out of school each day of the week. Ideally, you and your fourth grader enjoy talking about what he/she is reading, too. Do you remember some of your favorite books from fourth grade?

In addition to reading, your fourth grader may choose to spend another 15-20 minutes engaged in one of the following:

·      Dreambox

·      Zearn

·      Xtramath

·      Free Writing

·      Project of his/her choice

If you would like me to send paper math practice sheets home for homework, please let me know.

From day to day, your fourth grader may or may not have time to do homework. Either way, I'd like you to sign a new homework log (coming home with students on Monday, Oct. 17th), each Monday through Thursday, to let me know that you're aware of whether or not your fourth grader did homework.

Homework "Project" ideas:

·      Create a slideshow about something that interests you. Share it with the class.

·      Create a "book report" poster. Share it with the class.

·      Write a play, story, or comic. Share it with the class.

·      Do a science experiment. Share it with the class.

·      Etc.

 

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL:

The first six weeks of school are behind us! WOW. Our school is a Responsive Classroom school, so we all spend these first six weeks setting up routines and expectations that become the foundation of our classroom communities. In 4M, we've talked a lot about 'the growth mindset," self-regulation, and respect. Currently, we're using the Mojo videos to help us name and deal with feeling overwhelmed. Our bi-monthly Yoga classes help use develop calming skills, too. Finally, in terms of social/emotional skill building, we planned and hosted the first Community Meeting of the school year on Friday. It was a big success, and your fourth graders felt great about it! Our planning involved pairs of 4M students visiting each of the K-3 classrooms, and working with them so they understood what to expect from Friday's event.

MATH:

We will be adding and subtracting large numbers using "standard algorithms." Today's standard algorithms probably look different from what you used in fourth grade:

And we will diagram addition and subtraction problems using "bars:" 

WRITING:

Last week we used Criteria Checklists to determine which aspects of our realistic fiction stories meet fourth grade expectations, and which do not. This week we'll practice writing descriptions of settings to add to our stories.

READING:

We will practice asking questions as we read. Fourth graders receive reading instruction from a team of teachers (more about that at conferences!). 4Moriarty students who read with me will be introduced to "book clubs." Students choose from a handful of book choices, meet in small groups and, over time, learn to generate questions and discuss them, siting evidence from their books, to support their insights. For example, IF we were studying Jack and the Beanstalk, you might ask, "Why did Jack climb back up the beanstalk the third time?"

SCIENCE:

Perhaps you heard about Friday afternoon's event: mixing food waste with horse manure? We are trying to duplicate an experiment that involves creating a nonaerobic environment that allows food waste to grow bacteria and, after that bacteria uses up the available oxygen in the closed system, produces methane gas. Over time, we hope to collect enough methane gas to produce a flame! We're helping the bacteria do its work by keeping our food waste/manure mixture in a warm environment.  Meanwhile, Melinda visits us on Friday to explain aerobic composting, using worms, an aerobic composting option.

Finally, look for the document we wrote on Friday summarizing our food waste study, so far, in this web site's file cabinet.

Have a great week, and as always, please email or phone with questions for comments!

Cheers,

Robin

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dear Room 211 Families,

REMINDERS:

Wednesday, October 19th: Noon dismissal - Parent Conferences

Tuesday, October 25th: Noon dismissal - Parent Conferences

Thursday, October 27th: Noon dismissal - Parent Conferences

HOMEWORK:

One-size does not fit all. Depending on your fourth grader and your family's needs, please feel free to adjust homework guidelines to make homework a time for students to relax with a book and play with numbers. I encourage you to talk with your fourth grader about what he or she is reading as well as asking them to showyou what they're doing on Dreambox or Zearn. Students are always welcome to work on their writing or research projects using their google account, too, if they are so inclined.

ACADEMICS:

This is Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month! Our class is going to host this week's Community Meeting, and we plan to honor the Latino teachers and students in our school who add so much to our school community.

Pairs of students from our class will visit each of the K, first, second, and third grade classrooms to prepare them for Friday's Community Meeting. These pairs practiced what they will say and do during their visit.  We also invited Ms. Tamara Morillo to teach us a Latin dance move this morning. We plan on teaching the move to everyone at Friday's Community Meeting!!!  This class is AWESOME!!

WRITING:

The letters we wrote to students in Nepal, our pen pals, are finished, and they are lovely!! We only wish mail could travel faster between our two schools. We're going to send our letters to Nepal with Adrian or Sweta (They visited our class and showed us slides of Nepal, before and after their g earthquake.), and since they'll be flying to Nepal later this month, we're hoping our pen pals will receive our letters sooner than later!

We are also continuing to work on our narrative stories. Learning to revise, re-work, and persevere through that work is a key focus of this year's writing curriculum.

 

READING:

We're almost finished reading, Save Me A Seat. One of the main characters is a recent immigrant, and his experiences as a new fifth grader at his new American school are giving us lots to talk about!

We continue to look at suffixes as a way of building our vocabulary and improving our spelling. Today we thought about "com," as in community, which means "with; together."

SCIENCE:

It's amazing how much science there is in food waste management! When we visited the High School's compost system this morning, we learned that veggies and fruits by themselves do not magically rot and turn into compost. Good compost combines rotting organic matter with paper or dry leaves. And compost that is not buried doesn't produce much methane gas.  Speaking of methane gas, we're going to build our methane-gas-trapping contraption this week!! It will take a while for the rotting food we trap inside a 2-liter bottle to produce methane, but when it does, we'll trap that methane and, in time, burn it!

 

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016

 

 

 

NO school for students tomorrow... Have a great 4 day weekend!!!!

We are taking a field trip to the High School on Tuesday morning to learn about their composting system. 

We had two wonderful guests speak to our class this week about food waste: Jamie O' Gorman and Noli Taylor. We are learning a lot! Next week we'll put together everything we've learned so far into some kind of document we can share with you all.

We've collected most of the materials we need to do a food waste experiment: we're going to try to produce and then burn methane gas from some of our own food waste. It turns out that biogas is used in Nepal to fuel gas burners for cooking!

Here are links to some great mindset videos your fourth graders have watched. They are helping us welcome challenges, especially in math.

The first link requires you register with an email address, but if you're comfortable with that, it's worth it! 

The second link is free, and fun!

https://www.youcubed.org/four-boosting-math-messages-from-jo-and-her-students/ 

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIChyVOpASG3UTHeoU-z6GuwyAFIFfpFj 

Also, if you're at school anytime in the near future, look for our class's display of base ten blocks in the front lobby!

 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dear 4M Families!

REMINDERS:

Wednesday, Oct. 5:

·      Walk or Bike to School Day!

·      Picture Day! Students need to have their order forms, unless you submitted your order online.

·      Curriculum Night, K-4!

       - Fourth grade parents/guardians (adults only) meet at 6:00   PM in Room 211 for a 30+ minute presentation by the fourth grade teacher team.

       - After the fourth grade presentation, parents/guardians are invited to meet our amazing Art, ELL, Special Education, Music, P.E., Guidance, Library, and Spanish, and Health   teachers!

Friday, Oct. 7: NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS due to a teachers' professional development day.

HOMEWORK:Students will be given a blank notebook to use as their "Home-School" communication/homework log. A parent/guardian needs to initial the log each night there's homework. If your fourth grader is unable to do 20 minutes of reading and 20 minutes of either Dreambox or Zearn on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights this week, please add a note to the homework log so your student will be released from that night's assignment(s). Thank you!

ACADEMICS:

Social/Emotional: We finished watching a video about managing anxiety. It was created by Lynn Lyons and gave us a common approach to living with anxiety: talk back to that worry voice!!  We continue to use interactive modeling to expand our social and academic skills. For example, I modeled the "turn and talk" routine with a student, and then a pair of students modeled for the class, and finally, the entire class modeled the procedure.

ReadingMost of us have finished reading our first whole-class shared text, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. We began to, and will continue to, discuss the characters' traits by answering questions like, "Hugo called the old man a thief and he called Hugo a thief. In your opinion, who's the bigger thief? Why?" This week we will discuss more, and then we'll put our thoughts down on paper!

WritingStudents have been working hard on developing and writing stories about students their age who deal with some kind of struggle. We started using the official Lucy Calkins Narrative Rubric to help us evaluate and improve our stories' themes.

MathWe reviewed "rounding" to the nearest thousand, ten thousand, and hundred thousand using a vertical number line to model problems. This coming week, we will apply our rounding skills to multi-step word problems.

Science: Thanks to Polly Hill, students explored plant structures both in the classroom, using collections of leaves from the Polly Hill campus, and in the field, at Polly Hill. This week we look at biogas use in Nepal and make salsa with Melinda, our Garden teacher!

Social StudiesWe learned some things about Nepal and have arranged to become pen pals with a village school a couple hours bus ride from Kathmandu. We're also choosing and researching well known "risk takers."

Cheers!

Robin Moriarty  rmoriarty@mvyps.org

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Dear 4Moriarty Families,

REMINDERS:                                                    

 

Monday, Sept. 26th: Johnson String Instrument Distribution Event & Beginner Orientation Sessions 2:40-5:30pm, at Edgartown School. 

Thursday, Sept. 29th: Edgartown Fourth Graders’ field trip to Polly Hill. We begin our study of plant structures.

Wednesday, October 5th: WALK to SCHOOL DAY!

Curriculum Night, adults only: 6:00 - 7:30pm.

Friday, October 7th: NO SCHOOL for students: teachers’ professional development day.

Monday, October 10th: NO SCHOOL. Columbus Day holiday.

 

HOMEWORK:

20 minutes of reading for pleasure. 20 minutes of Dreambox or Zearn or math worksheets.

 

ACADEMICS:

Writing:  Your fourth graders are working on realistic fiction stories. They've created protagonists who are around their own age. Each protagonist struggles with a worry. And each story explores how these fictional characters deal with their struggles. The stories are amazing and powerful. This week I'll introduce Lucy Calkin's writing rubric for narrative writing so students know what makes a great narrative, fourth grade style.

Reading:  Our Reading RTI program begins this week. Four times a week, for a half hour or more, a small group of students will receive reading/writing support from our upper school reading specialist, Bridget Mello. While she meets with her group, I will run an enrichment reading group. We'll begin by reading the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Math:  This week students review and then extend their understanding of rounding to the nearest 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 using a vertical number line to model their thinking.

Science:  Polly Hill educators visit us on Wednesday to introduce us to different biomes. We then visit them on Thursday to explore the biomes we have here on our island. Students focus most especially on plant structures and how those structures help them survive and reproduce. We also watched the first in a NOVA series called "The Making of North America." The video introduced us to the key fourth grade earth science focus on our earth's dynamic geological history. When plates collide, earthquakes and mountains develop. Think California, Hawaii, Chile, Japan, Nepal...

Social Studies:  On Wednesday, we have scheduled a visit from a teacher in Nepal who will introduce us to our Nepalese pen pals! On Friday the 23rd, we hosted two visitors from Nepal. They showed us photos of the country and answered our many and thougttful questions!

Social/Emotional: We've been viewing videos about Mindsets. The topic dovetails nicely into our big focus on "risk takers."

https://www.youcubed.org/students/

and

https://ideas.classdojo.com/i/growth-mindset-1

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Dear 4Moriarty Families,

REMINDERS:                                                    

 

Monday, Sept. 26th: Johnson String Instrument Distribution Event & Beginner Orientation Sessions 2:40-5:30pm, at Edgartown School. 

Thursday, Sept. 29th: Edgartown Fourth Graders’ field trip to Polly Hill. We begin our study of plant structures.

Wednesday, October 5th: WALK to SCHOOL DAY!

Curriculum Night, adults only: 6:00 - 7:30pm.

Friday, October 7th: NO SCHOOL for students: teachers’ professional development day.

Monday, October 10th: NO SCHOOL. Columbus Day holiday.

 

HOMEWORK:

20 minutes of reading for pleasure. 20 minutes of Dreambox or Zearn or math worksheets.

 

ACADEMICS:

Writing:  Your fourth graders are working on realistic fiction stories. They've created protagonists who are around their own age. Each protagonist struggles with a worry. And each story explores how these fictional characters deal with their struggles. The stories are amazing and powerful. This week I'll introduce Lucy Calkin's writing rubric for narrative writing so students know what makes a great narrative, fourth grade style.

Reading:  Our Reading RTI program begins this week. Four times a week, for a half hour or more, a small group of students will receive reading/writing support from our upper school reading specialist, Bridget Mello. While she meets with her group, I will run an enrichment reading group. We'll begin by reading the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Math:  This week students review and then extend their understanding of rounding to the nearest 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 using a vertical number line to model their thinking.

Science:  Polly Hill educators visit us on Wednesday to introduce us to different biomes. We then visit them on Thursday to explore the biomes we have here on our island. Students focus most especially on plant structures and how those structures help them survive and reproduce. We also watched the first in a NOVA series called "The Making of North America." The video introduced us to the key fourth grade earth science focus on our earth's dynamic geological history. When plates collide, earthquakes and mountains develop. Think California, Hawaii, Chile, Japan, Nepal...

Social Studies:  On Wednesday, we have scheduled a visit from a teacher in Nepal who will introduce us to our Nepalese pen pals! On Friday the 23rd, we hosted two visitors from Nepal. They showed us photos of the country and answered our many and thougttful questions!

Social/Emotional: We've been viewing videos about Mindsets. The topic dovetails nicely into our big focus on "risk takes."

https://www.youcubed.org/students/

and

https://ideas.classdojo.com/i/growth-mindset-1

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dear 4Moriarty Families,

REMINDERS:                                                                              

Monday, Sept. 19th: 4M visits the Book Fair to browse. The Book Fair is open all this week. Students may purchase items before and after school, or during our snack/recess block: 10:00 - 10:30.

Wednesday, Sept. 21st: Edgartown School Open House!                                                     6:00 - 7:00 PM: Health Fair, Garden Celebration!                                                             Burgers and Hot Dogs are provided. You bring a dish to share!                                                   7:00 - 8:00 PM: Visit Classrooms.                                                                                               No homework for 4M students who attend the Open House!

Monday, Sept. 26th: Johnson String Instrument Distribution Event & Beginner Orientation Sessions 2:40-5:30pm, at Edgartown School. 

Thursday, Sept. 29th: Edgartown Fourth Graders' field trip to Polly Hill. We will study plant structures.

Wednesday, October 5th: WALK to SCHOOL DAY!                                                       Curriculum Night, adults only: 6:00 - 7:30pm.

Friday, October 7th: NO SCHOOL for students: teachers' professional development day.

Monday, October 10th: NO SCHOOL. Columbus Day holiday.

HOMEWORK:                                                                                                                          4M students need to read for at least 20 minutes a day/night out of school. Until further notice, they also need to work on math for 20 minutes, Monday through Thursday. We typically give students a choice for their math homework: Dreambox, Zearn, or a worksheet. I'm trying to make homework work for you and your fourth grader.

Academically::                                                                                                                             Our reading/writing work continues to focus on realistic fiction (narratives), with an emphasis on identifying and creating characters that take risks as a result of confronting problems in their lives that they would like to act on. Your fourth graders were re-introduced to the "turn and talk" strategy they practiced last year... a strategy they will continue to use through graduate school! We will also continue to use "the sequence map" as a thinking tool to help us plan our stories.

Our math work will continue to focus on place value, with a special emphasis on multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100. Students will evisit the Place Value Chart as a tool for multiplying and dividing, and they will solve word problems to apply their understandings, skills, and tools. 

Our project work is taking off! We will read articles about food waste as we decide how we want to make an impact on this issue. We are creating informative and inspirational posters to hang around the school that will, hopefully, raise our community's awareness about food waste and its impact on our environment. The first of many experts on the subject, guests we invited to our classroom through a letter writing assignment, will meet and speak with us this Wednesday.

In science, we will begin looking at our dynamic earth. Our new twenty-first century science standards ask fourth graders to consider all of the ways their planet is changing, even as we speak!

Our social and emotional lessons have been, and will continue to focus on developing a "growth mindset." Ask your fourth grader about the metaphor: your brain is a muscle.

I welcome questions or concerns! rmoriarty@mvyps.org

Cheers,                                                                                                                                         Robin

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

 

 

 

Dear 4M Families,

      Mr. Jacob and I are so lucky to have your children in our class. We are having so much fun getting to know them!

       As you know, our school has adopted the Responsive Classroom approach, which means we honor and meld social and academic learning and instruction. Our class will spend the year practicing self-control as we learn critical academic skills. It's a powerful combination.

HOMEWORK:

4M's homework policy reflects the school's homework policy: 10 minutes for each grade you're in, so fourth graders do 40 minutes of homework, four nights a week.

This week:

Monday: Scholastic News questions on the last page. Spend the remaining time on reading for pleasure.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 20 minutes on math worksheet, 20 minutes on reading for pleasure.

REMINDERS:

Our class has Gym on Mondays and Thursdays. Students need to wear or bring sneakers on those days.

Wednesday, Sept. 21st: Edgartown School Open House!

6:00 - 7:00 PM: Health Fair, Garden Celebration, Burgers and Hot Dogs, and you bring a dish to share!

7:00 - 8:00 PM: Visit Classrooms. No homework for 4M students!

Thursday, Sept. 29th: Edgartown Fourth Graders' field trip to Polly Hill to study plant structures.

This week:

As readers, we will explore stories whose themes are about taking risks. Last week we read The Old Woman Who Named Things. This week we'll read about Jackie Robinson and Amelia Earhart and ask, "What made them take such important risks?"

As writers, we begin a unit on writing narratives. Last week we studied and wrote about a short film called Owl and Mouse. This week we will use what we learned to write about the parachute activities we've done as a class, to build community.

As mathematicians, we are focusing on place value. Last week we engaged in some fun place value activities created by Kathy Richardson. This week we begin the fourth grade Eureka Math Curriculum, and its first unit is all about place value!

As social and physical scientists, we are exploring food waste. Your fourth graders took an anonymous online survey to help the class determine how much interest they have in pursuing a "food waste project." Turns out, they are very interested in helping our school waste less food! We will: study food waste statistics; read about other food waste efforts around the country; write to local experts, inviting them to our class; and meet with younger Edgartown School students to help our school waste less food.

As always, please email me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Cheers,

Robin Moriarty

rmoriarty@mvyps.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, Check out these great parent resources:
http://bealearninghero.org/super5/?utm_source=PARCC+Updates+9-10-16&utm_campaign=PARCCOnline.org&utm_medium=email
http://www.greatschools.org/gk/grades/4th-grade/

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We had a wonderful first day of school! Ask your fourth grader about: The Marshmallow Test, why bumble bees buzz, the book Ish, the handshake math problem, making a sequence map, using the worry jar, and drafting a Classroom Constitution. 

Tonight's homework: Read the Scholastic News and answer questions on the back. If you don't have space to write your answers on the magazine, write them on another piece of paper.... NO PROBLEM!

Also: 

Open House is on Wednesday, September 21

     Health Fair, 6-7pm

     Garden Celebration, 6-7pm

     Pot Luck Dinner, 6-7pm in the cafe.  Come join us!  We provide the burgers and dogs...parents bring a dish to pass.

     Open House, 7-8pm.  This is a meet and greet the teachers event.

 

K-4 Curriculum Night and Specials Presentations on Wednesday, October 5, 6-7:30pm.

 

PD Day on Friday, October 7: NO SCHOOL.

 

  • Johnson String Instrument Distribution Event & Beginner Orientation Sessions

  • Monday, September 26th

  • 2:40-5:30pm 

  • Edgartown School Music rooms

Cheers!

Robin Moriarty

 

 

 

 

 

WELCOME:

Pedro Alves, Arianna Bonner, Caroline Conover, Aedan Coogan, Jonas De Oliveira,     Chimari Dockery, Emily Gilley, Kyle Levy, Sania Magaraci, Seamus McKeon, Madison Mello, Nolan Murphy, Nicholas Rabeni, Agata Rodrigues, Robbie Seaton, Victor Valentim, and Jameson Whitmarsh!!!

Below are two letters I've written to 4M 2016-17 families. The first letter is meant for parents/gaurdians. The second letter is a copy of the one I sent to students' homes. Can't wait for September 6th!!

 

Dear Incoming 4Moriarty Families,

HI! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you and your child during the 2016-2017 school year.  I have been an elementary classroom teacher for twenty years and am about to begin my third year at the Edgartown School.  I feel very lucky to be involved in such a special community and look forward to developing a nurturing classroom community for your child. It will be a fantastic year!   

Here are some supplies that you can get for your child for the start of school. Please don't send more than these supplies: our desks aren't that big and they get filled with books!

  • 24 sharp pencils with erasers
  • 4 erasers, the kind that you would use to erase some math or writing you would like to change
  • 3 glue sticks
  • an old sock to be used as a white board eraser
  • 4 black expo white board markers
  • 4 pocket folders (one to be used for homework)
  • a pack of 12 markers for drawing

Throughout the year I will be utilizing a class web page on the Student and Parent section of the Edgartown School Website (http://www.edgartownschool.org) to share information weekly.  In addition, I will be sending home information (email and notes) to inform you of classroom activities, projects, and any upcoming class trips.  I will send home a parent information sheet the first week of school to get your email address as well as input about your child.

If you have any questions before the start of school, please feel free to contact me by email at rmoriarty@mvyps.org

Enjoy the last few days of summer vacation and I look forward to meeting you all in person.

All my best,

Robin Moriarty

rmoriarty@mvyps.org

 

 

August, 2016

To my students,

        I can't wait to get to know you: what's important to you; who's important to you; how you like to spend your recesses, both outdoor and indoor; what you want to learn; how you like to learn; and lots more!

      We're going to start the school year with a project on food waste: How we can help people waste less food? I don't know the answer, so we're going to tackle it together.

      Unless things change, we are scheduled to have gym on Mondays and Thursdays. We have art on Thursdays, too. Our music classes are scheduled for Wednesdays and Fridays. We'll go to the library on Wednesdays and the computer lab on Tuesdays. You'll have a 45 minute Spanish class on Tuesdays, too.

      Just like you did in Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade, we'll be spending the first weeks of school s-l-o-w-l-y practicing routines. I suspect you'll remember what's expected so we won't have to spend too much time practicing :)

     If you have any questions that you'd like me to answer before school starts on Tuesday, September 6th, please email me at:

rmoriarty@mvyps.org.

 Have a wonderful rest of your summer vacation! See you on Tuesday, September 6th in room 211. Please bring a healthy snack and a water bottle, too. 

                                             Cheers,

                                             Mrs. Moriarty

 

Newsletter Weekly Newsletters

File Cabinet File Cabinet for Mrs. Moriarty's Class

October 16, 2016
Food Waste Project Oct. 14.pdf

Click here to download.

October 12, 2016
Edgartown School Fourth Grade Syllabus.pdf

Click here to download.

October 12, 2016
Fourth Grade Curriculum Overview.pdf

Click here to download.





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