4th Grade Weekly Update Week of February 3rd

We made Super Bowl predictions using mean winning and losing scores from the last ten Super Bowls on Friday. I took pictures of the participants on Friday, and they are on the Shutterfly site. Let’s see who’s closest!

ELA: We will continue our note card research this week. I will still be available to stay on Tuesday afternoon if your student would like to stay until 4:00. I also work afternoon homework help on Thursdays during treehouse until 4:15. If your child wants to stay to work on note cards, but Tuesday doesn’t work, you can make a treehouse reservation, and I will allow them to bring down note cards to work on while I’m there. We will pick up the Word Skills Book again this week, switching to more of a vocabulary focus. We will discuss root words, inflectional endings, possessives, and comparative words. Spelling words this week cover terms used in science, history, and math!

Math: We ware finishing up our chapter 5 division unit this week. On Monday, we will cumulatively review the division skills we’ve covered and test on Tuesday. Our next unit, chapter 6, will cover measurement. The first week will introduce measuring using inches and renaming units of length.

Science: In Investigation Five, students are investigating mechanical energy. They are discovering the effects of gravitational potential energy by using a model car in our experiments. This week, they will have the opportunity to explore how chemical energy can be transformed into mechanical energy as they use a reaction of baking soda and vinegar to generate a burst of gas strong enough to remove a rubber stopper from the reaction vessel! After we conclude this Investigation, we will have a test over Investigation Four and Five. Students should be studying those vocabulary flashcards!

History: We will finish up our United States Constitution unit this week. Our last lesson, lesson 10, will take a couple of days to finish, as it is a longer lesson. It’s all about how the constitution written so long ago still effects us today. We will then review our unit with a study guide and a Jeopardy review before testing the following Monday, February 10th.

Happy Groundhog’s Day

Dear Parents,

We have officially finished meeting all of our Superkids! To celebrate, we had a Superkids party for the class and everyone came dressed as their favorite character! Sal’s and Lily’s were the favorite of the day but we had a Golly, Hot Rod, Cass, Ettabetta, and Frits! Now that we have introduced all of the Superkids, we will start the Superkids Club. This is where the class will focus on blending letters to form new sounds that will help teach us reading skills, as well as segmenting sounds with spelling. We’ll also focus on comprehension with reading and will also work on more detailed writing assignments. There will be a new packet of words and information coming home with each club book, so be sure to check your child’s folder!

January had us working on our addition skills in math and I’m just so proud of these young minds! With each new lesson, we’ve met together as a group to go over each concept and within minutes it is clear that everyone is grasping it. We started out learning horizontal addition then introduced vertical addition and no one skipped a beat! We will move to subtraction soon as well in the upcoming weeks.

In science, we concluded our unit on hibernation! This unit had us learning about all types of animals from penguins, to bears, to ducks. On Wednesday we did an experiment where we had a bag of ice and a bag of blubber (homemade, don’t worry). Each child had an opportunity to put one hand in ice and at the same time, keep their hand in the blubber, while both bags floated in cold water. It was a unanimous vote that blubber definitely keeps our animal friends warm in frigid temperatures! Once the experiment was over, the kiddos wanted to compete against their classmates. They wanted to see who could keep their hand in the ice cold water the longest! Ask them who won 😉

This week in Social Studies, we began our lesson on Mount Rushmore and the Presidents that are displayed on the mountainside. I have to say that social studies seems to be the favorite out of all subjects- the class is so full of questions and stories. They were all in complete amazement when they found out that the noses on the mountain are bigger than a person! They also could not believe it took 14 years to finish the mountain! They were very excited when they found out the white house contains a bowling alley and a movie theater! I think it’s safe to say these kiddos wouldn’t mind taking a trip to view it lol 😉

Our weekly specials have also been keeping us on our toes. In art, the kids finished their cardinals (which you may have seen up around the classroom) and are in the process of working on another masterpiece. Technology class has been keeping our fingers typing and the kids are getting pretty fast. Before you know it, they’ll be typing up their own letters to the editor! Mrs. Goodson is teaching basic tumbling practices in P.E. and this is also teaching the kids patience since they can only go one at a time. We’re still going outside for recess too and the past few weeks both classes have been enjoying playing soccer against one another on the field. It’s so great to see them get out and play, even if it’s a chilly winter’s day!

Fabulous Fun Friday was amazing since we were able to come to school in our pajamas! I mean, who doesn’t love that?! We celebrated Groundhog’s Day and surveyed the class to see who wants more winter! It was an 8 to 1 vote that these kiddos want the warm weather to come fast!

Look out for information about what to bring for Valentine’s Day. 

Please make sure you send your child to school with an old shoe box wrapped in white paper before February 7th as we will be decorating them as a class. 

Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up the week of February 17th as well and I look forward to chatting with you all face to face! Please be sure to sign up on our sign up genius account.

The word of the week is: hibernation

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Kathie

January 31, 2020

Hello All! We had a fun day today with it being “Mitten Day”, counting, sorting and measuring. The kiddos love when their family comes in for anything! The event was wrapped up with a story called “The Mitten” along with chocolate milk and cookies…YUM!

Our week highlights:
* All things starting with the letter “U”
* Math – started learning about measuring; using words like taller, shorter, about the same.
* PE – still working on gymnastics
* Art – finished the snowy owls that are now hanging up in classroom.
* Almost forgot…100th day was on Thursday.
Have a relaxing weekend!

Mrs. Staggs & Mrs. Tallman

Why have a purposeful play program in private pre-k?

The trend in private pre-k has been to add more academic content and require children to learn skills that may not be developmentally appropriate.  Over time the pendulum is swinging back to the realization that the skills our youngest students need must also include those developed through unstructured play interactions with their peers. Daniel Goleman says it well in his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ,“School success is not predicted by a child’s fund of facts or a precocious ability to read so much as by emotional social measure; being self-assured and interested: knowing what kind of behaviour is expected and how to rein in impulse to misbehave; being able to wait, to follow directions, and to turn to adults and peers for help; expressing needs whilst getting along with other children. “    

In the Wood Acres private pre-k programs, children are given the time they need to purposefully play. Our students find their way out of challenging situations on their own over and over again and develop essential skills like resiliency, problem solving, cooperation, and a more broad vocabulary.  This enables them to confidently ask for what they want or need on a daily basis.

Wood Acres early learners celebrate the joy of childhood and play as well as the joy of exploring and learning actual concepts and knowledge acquisition.  Wood Acres is the place to be for excellence in private pre-k Early School education.

What is purposeful play?

As children begin to move through their first early school experiences, it is easy to focus on the tangible skills that we observe in private pre-k.  What is harder to observe are the important skills that are developed through everyday play interactions. Purposeful play is sometimes an afterthought as we tick off the list of academic achievements such as shapes, colors, letters, and numbers that are more easily measured.  

 At Wood Acres private pre-k, we provide numerous purposeful play opportunities.  When children are engaged with their peers, a teacher’s role becomes that of an observer and guide rather than instructor.  Students relish these opportunities and any observer will see that the student’s natural curiosity and energy drives the learning.  Opportunities that organically occur are the best at developing the skills that will allow students to rise up and move through difficult situations, whether they be physical, social, or academic in nature. Purposeful play that is both fun and interesting promotes a love of school and learning that benefits children. 

Providing a balanced approach to academic and play opportunities for students is crucial to developing children that are passionate learners whose curiosity leads them to  seek deeper understanding. Children enrolled in the Wood Acres private pre-k classes learn with their head, heart, and all of their senses.

Will The Groundhog See His Shadow?

Dear Wood Acres parents,

What fun we had last week as we learned about animals that hibernate and made bear caves out of graham crackers, teddy bears and icing. Yum Yum!

This week, we will introduce the letters d and e and as well as the beginning sound of these letters. During group discussion, we will discuss words that begin with d and e and play Doggie Doggie Where’s My Bone. For creative art, we will create Dash the Dalmatian dog, and use dot markers to seek out the letter d. We will also read “Dinosaurs Love Underpants” and “How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food”. For the letter e, we will create Elmo and for physical movement, we will play the bowling game. (let’s knock down the letter e pins) The theme for this week is Groundhog’s day and shadows. We will discuss what it means if the groundhog sees his shadow or not. For creative art, we will create a pop-up groundhog and a silhouette of our body.

Investigator Club

Physical Awareness: Let’s go Investigate .
Objective is to explore and discover the things around us.

Literacy: Brown Bear Brown Bear
Objective is to listen and follow through the store.

Social and Emotional: My space
Objective is to understand that we all have our own space.

Mark your calendar;

Fun Friday is: Wear Your Favorite Color to school.

We would like to welcome Mr. Patton (Jaxson’s father) as our mystery reader. We look forward to having him as part of our Fun Friday and as well as listening to some of Jaxsonr’s favorite books.

Valentine’s Day party will be held on February 14th. We would like to exchange Valentine cards with each other. If you would like to be a part of it please bring in Valentine cards for your child to exchange that day. Thank you.

The Wood Acres school will be closed February 17th in honor of President day.

Parent teacher conferences will be held on February 18th and 19th. (No school or TreeHouse these days) Look for more info to come regarding your (scheduled) day and time. If you are unable to make your scheduled time, I would be more than happy to work out another time for you. I am looking forward to meeting with you again.

Lee Bryan “That Puppet Guy” will present Trevelin’ Tales on February 25th.

Reenrollment packets were sent home. If you have not done so, please fill out the paperwork and return it to the office to secure your child’s spot for the next school year.

Have a great week,

Mrs. Leagan’s update

Hello and Happy Saturday!

Well, my Saturday has been consumed with grading, planning, prepping, and working towards a great week for our 2nd graders. As look at the amount of material your student is learning throughout the week, I must admit that I am quite proud of their determination, hard work and their cute spirit that comes to school every day. I feel so lucky to be around them each day because I get to watch them grow and learn with each lesson, assignment, and project. Thank you for letting me spend my days with all of my great students.

Speaking of projects, don’t forget that our next book report presentation and project is due this Friday, January 31. I can’t wait to see the book characters that walk through the door. Our classroom is waiting for new reading material to be displayed, so everybody can read and enjoy them.

We are making progress with our cursive, but I must admit that our days are so busy with other material that cursive is squeezed out of our day. I will do my best to get back on track and teach cursive again to everybody.

Now that our local stores are stocked and ready for Valentine’s Day, I guess it’s time to start thinking about love, friendship, and sweet treats. We do not have a party, but we will exchange valentines with both classes and our book buddies. Please look around your home for an empty shoebox that will be turned into a mailbox for all of the goodies your student will receive from their friends. More details to come as this fun day gets closer.

Academically, we are moving along in all subject areas. This week in Reading, we will read a biography My Name is Gabriela. The concepts we will learn are suffixes –y and –ful, Understanding Characters and Author’s Word Choice, and Long e sound.

In Math, we are nearing the end of Chapter 5 on subtraction. I am still mapping out our assessments, but they will be later this week and a little bit into next week. More information as we continue to work on each lesson regarding regrouping, estimation, and order of operations.

In History, our students have learned a lot about the gold rush and the first men who found gold in a California river. Next week, we will explore more of how pioneers continued to move west with a discussion on the development of cities and ghost towns.

Finally in Science, we are learning some big words in science such as infiltration, absorption, and percolation. We will meet with our beaker buddies this week, so we have a few more hands, eyes, and words to help our young scientists understand these concepts.

One last item, please stop by Wood Acres tomorrow, Sunday, January 26 from 2:00-4:00 for our Open House! I’ll be there and so will all of the other staff members that make up our fabulous school. Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about what’s to come next year and beyond for you and your student. I have been a part of this amazing school for almost 20 years and I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. I love everything about Wood Acres and I hope do too.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, an I’ll see you tomorrow.

Yours truly,
Cheryl Leagan
2nd grade teacher
The Wood Acres School

January 25, 2020 Newsletter

One of my favorite units is hibernation and what some animals do to prepare for Winter.
I was so proud of the way the boys and girls made the hibernating bear in the cave. For this craft, they had to color, cut, glue. What an awesome project! I read “The Bear Snores On,” about a hibernating bear who sleeps through a party made by forest friends until something wakes him up. Ask your child what woke up the bear in the story.

Another funny book is ,”The Silly, Snowy Day,” about a turtle who doesn’t want to hibernate. We covered our turtle with leaves just like in the story.

On Wednesday, the children had a blast acting out animals in Winter. They all had a turn to act out four animals. They had a chance to be a bear in a cave, a bird in the nest, a bunny in the snow and a bat in a cave. Enjoy the photos below that we took of all the “animals.”

Because of the school holiday on Monday, the class was introduced to the letter C only. We made delicious looking “cupcakes” with shaving cream and glue topping. They will be part of our bulletin board display. If you visit our room tomorrow for Open House, you can see this and the beautiful Winter houses on display the boys and girls made in Art class.

I hope you will take advantage of Open House tomorrow!! This is your opportunity to check out our fabulous 4yr. Old Program!! Meet the teachers, hear about the curriculum and visit the rooms. It’s Open House so come by any time between 2 & 4. It’s well worth the trip and don’t forget to stop by our room to say “hello.”

In my newsletter last week, I mentioned that the class will write letters in different materials. Yesterday, I helped them to write A,B & C in shaving foam! For some of the kids, this was there first time exploring the feel of shaving cream! How awesome!!

Thank you to Donise Green for reading to our class as the Mystery Reader.

Parent-Teacher conferences will be Tues Feb. 18 & Wed. Feb. 19. If you have a preference of a day and time, please email me.

Mrs. Roussarie and Mrs. Alger

4th Grade Weekly Update Week of January 27th

Check out our Shutterfly Account for pictures from Book Buddies on Friday! We had such fun making “hibernation caves” out of graham crackers, icing, and Teddy Grahams. It was messy, but such a fun way to tie in their unit of study with a Book Buddy visit! I’m always so proud of my fourth graders’ behavior. They are such great role models for the little ones!

ELA: This week, we will continue researching our states for our research paper. I will still offer extra time on Tuesday afternoon until 4:00. Please let me know by Tuesday morning via email or directly at drop off if your student wants to stay for the extra hour. To keep our reading comprehension skills sharp during this heavy writing time stretch, we are also going to incorporate some short passage practice that utilizes various strategies to help make inferences, identify sequence, find context clues, and search for the main idea with supporting details. Students will be introduced to a specific skill on Mondays and will then practice throughout the week with homework assignments. This week, we’ll work on identifying the main idea in higher leveled reading passages.

Math: We will finish up our division unit this week! On Monday, we will revisit order of operations that was introduced on Friday. This is a tough concept to learn and additional practice will be beneficial! We will also learn how to find the mean of a list of numbers, and practice more division word problems. Students will use some of the strategies we’ve used before, such as working backwards, but also learn several new strategies that are more efficient to use with division.

History: We will continue our Constitution unit this week. We will learn about the Virginia Plan and the decision making process of of why the convention voted to write a new constitution rather than revise the Articles of Confederation. Students will also gain basic understanding of our federal system, define separation of powers and checks and balances. We’ll learn about the Great Compromise, the Three-Fifths Compromise, and the compromise on the slave trade. Once we’ve understood the basics to form the constitution, we’ll look at how it all came together and was ratified.

Science: In Friday Folders, you should have received the Forms of Energy Investigation 1-3 test. You also should have received the study guide and summary sheets with a note attached letting you know that they can be thrown away. In lab, we are currently learning about chemical energy. Students are learning that endothermic reactions absorb heat energy into the reaction. On Friday, I led a teaching demo where students observed the caramelization of sugar, which is an example of an endothermic reaction. Next week, students will experiment with exothermic reactions and learn that heat energy is released in these types of reactions.

This Matters At Wood Acres.

  • High Expectations For Teaching And Learning

  • Strong Instructional Leadership

  • Safe Learning Environment For Everyone

  • Positive And Welcoming School Climate

  • Valuing Time On Task For Mastery

  • Close Home School Partnerships