Spring has sprung…

and our fourth graders are busy studying Ancient Greece and Animal Adaptations.  Please check out the links for Ancient Greece and Animal Research on the right.  The middle link in the Ancient Greece section is the same link Mrs. Solomon handed out in class this week.  Friday in Science we watched the Scholastic “Study Jam” videos  about  Biomes and Animal Adaptations.   Stay tuned for more information.

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Dear Families,

Thank you for so generously providing us all the boxes of tissues for our runny noses! Hopefully, the cold and flu season will soon be behind us and children won’t need as many tissues, and will be in school every day.  Attendance is important for children to be able to maintain momentum in their learning.

The school year is flying by and the children have worked very hard this trimester.  The ELA MCAS Reading and Long Composition tests are next month, and it is very important that your child gets in as much practice as possible. On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 all fourth grade students in Massachusetts will complete the Long Composition Assessment.

Students have been working hard and are eager to share their exhibition projects on March 11, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30.  Students have transformed into number experts and ancient Egypt cartographers.  We are sure you will be impressed and persuaded to learn something new.

During vacation we still encourage students to keep up with their skills by reading daily and practicing math facts or games.  We look forward to and hope to see you often at school.


The Fourth Grade Team


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Happy Winter

If weather/temperature permits, students will go outside and play in the snow.  Bringing snow pants is great, but snow is frequently getting inside boots and causing some very cold/wet feet…please have kids put an extra pair of socks or two into their backpacks.

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Picture Day Date Change

Picture day has been re-scheduled for Thursday, September 26th.

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Fabulous Fourth Grade

Wow!  We’ve  had a very busy first week in 4th grade!

4th grade Integrated Arts schedule:

Monday:  Music and “Exhibition Workshop”

Tuesday: Art

Wednesday:  Gym and Health/Wellness

Thursday:  Music and CSL (Community Service Learning)

Friday:  Gym and “Exhibition Workshop” (sign language for 1st term)

Please remember to sign the assignment books each night.  It is a very important tool for communication.  You may have noticed that the students are writing the same thing (even if they’ve already done it).  We ask them to do this and check it off if it’s already done.  If they are choosing which assignments to write, they may forget something important.

Friday, September 13th is our all school field trip to Children’s Island.  This is an important day for us all because we are working on teamwork and community building.  Please remember to pack a lunch, extra water and extra sweatshirt/warm clothes.

Parent’s Night (parents only please) is Thursday, September 19th at 6:30.  We hope to see you then.  Picture day is also September 19th.




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Welcome to 4th Grade!

We hope your children had as much fun today as we did! Today we learned about the school, classrooms and routines. We learned names and read stories, met new friends and reconnected with old friends. We had a fabulous pizza lunch and had 3 recesses! It was neat to see 4th graders and 8th graders playing football and soccer together.

Tomorrow we will organize our binders, so please bring all of your supplies to school. We are looking forward to a fantastic year in 4th grade!

Katie Souza, Carol Solomon, Carol McEnaney and Cindie Boccia

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4th Grade Supply List

Please bring your supplies in on the SECOND day of school.

  • One 2-inch three-ring binder (Trapper Keeper is fine)
  • 8 dividers with tabs – no pockets
  • 100 sheets of wide ruled filler paper
  • 1 zippered pencil pouch with holes to fit into the binder
  • plastic pencil box
  • small package of glue sticks
  • 1 box of colored pencils
  • 1 metric-standard clear 12-inch ruler with 3 holes to fit in three-ring binder
  • 1 dozen sharpened #2 pencils
  • 1 hand-held pencil sharpener
  • 2 erasers
  • package of eraseable pens (black ink)
  • 1 Ultra Fine Point Sharpie (black)
  • 4 highlighters
  • 1 – 8 1?2 X 11 sketch book for Art
  • 4 pocket-folders (3-hole punched)
  • 2 jumbo book covers
  • 1 scissors
  • 1 clipboard
  • 1 box of tissues for the classroom
  • 1 independent reading book
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Exhibition 1, 2012

                                                      Communities and Individuals

Exhibition #1:  Monday, November 19, 2012

I.  Early Civilizations:  Survival and Settlement as a Community

For the first exhibition, each student will assume the role of archaeologist “digging up” information about the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.   In teams, students will select a significant topic about this important early civilization.  Components of the project include:

  • Each student will write a factual paragraph describing his/her topic or artifact.
  • Each student will create a unique triorama to show graphics and information about that topic or artifact.
  • In each group, students will combine their trioramas to present what they’ve learned about Mesopotamia.

Students will be assessed on quality of factual information, organized and clear paragraphs, and neat, well-designed appearance of trioramas.

Common Core Standards:  Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language, Reading Informational Texts, History

II. Our Writing Community:  Story Books

            The students will become authors who compose a fully-developed narrative as part of a storybook.   Student stories will evolve from a first to a second draft, through revision and editing, and finally to a published narrative within a self-decorated booklet.

Students will be assessed on the idea development and focus of story ideas, clear organization of story events, strong word choices, and descriptions of characters and setting.   The storybook cover design should enhance the story and be neatly done.

Common Core Standards:  Writing, Language

III.   How are We a Community through Art: Early man cave paintings

Students will learn about some aspects of the lives of early men by looking at caves paintings, and take a virtual tour of the Lascaux cave in France, discussing what materials were used, why, how the paintings were made and for what purpose. Discussions includes how art can tell stories, communicate ideas, and gives us a lot of information about the lives, hopes and beliefs of cultures with no written language.

Students will create a mixed-media drawing that emulates prehistoric cave paintings such as the ones found in the caves of Lascaux and Chauvet in France, and Altamira in Spain. The final drawing will be on crumpled brown paper to represent rocks, using earth tones Cray-Pas and watercolors in a resist technique.

Students will learn how to use various media and techniques to create different visual effects. Students will be developing their observation skills by drawing animals from photographs and other handouts, and their composition skills by deciding how to best place their animals in their work to achieve balance.

Arts standards assessed:

Use of a variety of materials and media in 2D artwork,

Use of a variety of lines in 2D artwork,

Use of visual texture,

Use of shapes in 2D artwork,

Space and composition,



IV.   Bridges Build Communities

Working in Company Construction Teams of three or four, students will assume the jobs of Project Director, Architect, Carpenter, and Accountant as they work together to build a bridge.

  • Each company member (student) will perform only the duties listed for his or her job and will also be responsible for periodically checking the work of other members of their company (for example, the architect designs and draws the plans for the bridge, but will also be responsible for checking the company’s balance sheet maintained by the accountant.)
  • Each student will learn to write checks, balance accounts, and work within a budget.
  • Each student will be required to maintain a task schedule and work with other members of their company to accomplish a common goal.
  • Each student will keep a journal detailing individual and group process and progress.
  • Students will learn and apply concepts such as stress, fulcrum, law of gravity, and strength of different geometric shapes.
  • Students will present their final bridge, highlighting their individual roles and the process of constructing their bridge.

Bridges will be assessed on the accuracy and neatness of the building plans and finished bridge, cost of the bridge as compared to their proposed budget and how well the finished bridge matches the plans.  Bridges will also be judged for strength.  More detailed instructions will be given to students when bridge companies are formed.

Common Core Standards: Math, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Geometry Science, Technology and Engineering



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Energy Labs

Ian and Ryan conduct an energy experiment.

George concentrates on his energy lab results.

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Incoming Fourth Grade Summer Reading



We begin our year studying Native Americans.  What can we learn about these first Americans through fiction and nonfiction?  Please have your new fourth grader read one of the following novels prior to the beginning of school.  A reading comprehension activity is attached and should be completed before coming to school.  (NOTE: the books are listed in the order of increasing reading levels) –


1.        Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac, ISBN 0679890521

In 1838, settlers moving west forced the great Cherokee Nation, and their chief John Ross, to leave their home land and travel 1,200 miles to Oklahoma. An epic story of friendship, war, hope, and betrayal.

2.       Eagle Song by Joseph Bruchac, ISBN 0141301694

It’s a shock for fourth-grader Danny Bigtree to move to Brooklyn from his Mohawk Nation reservation: suddenly he has no friends, and his classmates taunt him, asking him where his war pony is and telling him to go home to his teepee. After his charismatic father makes a class visit to talk about Iroquois culture, his peers begin to warm up to him.

3.        Pocahontas by George Sullivan, ISBN 0439165857

Famous for saving the life of Captain John Smith in 1608, Pocahontas grew up as the favorite daughter of the Native American chief of the Powhatans. Pocahontas¹s rescue of Smith made her famous not only in colonial America, but across the ocean in England as well. This is her story.

4.        The Sign of the Beaver by  Elizabeth George Speare, ISBN 0440479002

Twelve-year old Matt is trying his best to survive on his own until his father returns to their cabin in the Maine wilderness with the rest of the family. Matt develops a deep friendship with a Native American boy. Matt must decide if he should continue waiting for his family or begin a new life with his friend.

5.        Guests by Michael Dorris, ISBN  0786813563

Moss’s father extends his hospitality to a group of strangers who speak an entirely different language and who make the boy “uncomfortable with their oddness.” When his efforts to convince his parents that the guests should not participate in his people’s harvest feast are rebuked, Moss runs away into the nearby forest.

6.        The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich, ISBN 0786814543

The sole survivor of a smallpox epidemic on Spirit Island, Omakayas, then only a baby girl, was rescued by a fearless woman named Tallow and welcomed into an Ojibwa family on Lake Superior’s Madeline Island, the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. We follow Omakayas and her adopted family through a cycle of four seasons in 1847.

Please remind your child to bring the book to school this fall.  Sharing will be a great way to start the year!


Take a look at these great books!

Benton, Jim. Lunch Walks Among Us. Franny K. Stein is a mad scientist who prefers all things spooky and creepy, but when she has trouble making friends at her new school she experiments with fitting in–which works until a monster erupts from the trashcan. The story continues with Attack of the 50 ft. Cupid, Invisible Fran, The Fran that Time Forgot and Frantastic Voyage, Fran with Four Brains.

Catling, Patrick Skene. The Chocolate Touch. Everything John touches turns to chocolate.

Dahl, Roald. The Witches. A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches’ plot to destroy the world’s children by turning them into mice.

DiTerlizzi, Tony. The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles) When the Grace children go to stay at their Great Aunt Lucinda’s worn Victorian house, they discover a field guide to fairies and other creatures and begin to have some unusual experiences. Books included in this series are, Seeing Stone, Lucinda’s Secret, The Ironwood Tree and The Wrath of Mulgrath.

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody Gets Famous! When a third grade classmate gets her picture in the paper for winning a spelling bee, Judy is determined to find a way to become famous herself.

Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine . Features hilarious stories about the irrepressible eight year old Clementine. There are 3 books in this series.

Stewart, Paul. Beyond the Deepwoods. Thirteen-year-old Twig, having always looked and felt different from his wood troll family, learns that he is adopted and travels out of his Deepwoods home to find the place where he belongs. This is the first book in the Edge Chronicles, which continues with Stormchaser, Midnight over Sanctaphrax, etc.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Secret Identity. (Shredderman   Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity–Shredderman!

Winkler, Henry. Niagra Falls, or Does It? Fourth-graders Hank, Ashley, and Frankie are excitedly preparing for a magic show at the Rock ‘N Bowl when Hank’s creative alternative to an English essay lands him in detention and grounded the week of the show. Hank Zipzer is a new series that continues with I Got a “D” in Salami, Day of the Iguana, Zippety Zinger, The Night I Flunked My Field Trip, Holy Enchilada, etc.

Sage, Angie.  Araminta Spookie 1:  My Haunted House Nerdy sixth-grader Simon Bloom finds a book that enables him to control the laws of physics, but when two thugs come after him, he needs the formulas in the book to save himself.

Vogel Frederick, Heather.  Spy Mice:  Goldwhiskers During a London vacation, Oz Levinson must deal with the bullying Priscilla Winterbottom, while mouse spy Glory Goldenleaf tracks the whereabouts of a valuable jewel, missing orphaned mouselings, and two evil ministers of rats.

James, Charlie.  Billy the Fish After eating Dad’s experimental fish food, Ned’s little brother turns into a cod and finds himself sharing an aquarium tank with Kylie the killer whale.

Korman, Gordon.  Swindle After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino’s heavily guarded store and steal the card back, planning to use the money to finance his father’s failing invention, the SmartPick fruit picker.

Jonell, Lynne. Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat When Emmy discovers that she and her formerly loving parents are being drugged by their evil nanny with rodent potions that can change people in frightening ways, she and some new friends must try everything possible to return things to normal.

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