January 2018


Happy New Year!  It has been a roller-coaster ride this year, and January and February will be no exception!  Prepare for several field trips, including our trip to St. Augustine!  Also prepare for our first 4th Grade FSA - Writing!

As we complete 2017, your child should be have completely memorized their multiplication tables, be reading on a 4th grade level (Lexile 635-950), and be capable of writing a 5 paragraph essay, using intro, conclusion, and text evidence.  If you haven't had a chance to join Classdojo, we have LOTS of pictures and videos uploaded for you to copy and enjoy!


Dates to Remember

February 6th St. Augustine Field Trip - Please see special notes                                 February 7th  Third Interim Ends 

February 7th Conferences

February 14th Interims Issued

February 19th  President's Day - No School




November 2017


Happy November!  Welcome to the month that all the kids start understanding what it really means to be a 4th Grader.  Responsibility is the word of the month. Since we are now 12 weeks into the year, your child will be held responsible for remembering necessary materials such as planners, books, homework, etc.  It is a school-wide rule that your child cannot call home to ask for these things, in an effort to increase that responsibility. 

PLEASE encourage your child to pack for school the night before, as part of their homework!


 In MATH, we continue to memorize multiplication tables (please, please, please study with your child!).  We have been hard at work learning multiple digit multiplication.  Ask your student how to multiply across zeroes, or the easiest way to estimate a large number!


Main Idea and Details are the important concepts in Reading.  It is surprising how difficult this concept is....if you want to help your child, ask what the Main Idea is, each time they read!  

In ELA (Language Arts), the focus is on Essay Writing!  We have all accomplished writing a 5 paragraph Essay, so we are working on cleaning them up!  Our focus is using text evidence, correct spelling and punctuation, and understanding the question.  


Social Studies is one of our favorite subjects!  We have been learning about Native American tribes of Florida, and the Spanish Explorers who first settled here.  We will be having a Native Feast day to taste lots of the foods that Native Tribes have eaten for thousands of years!


In Science, we are gearing up for the Science

Fair, so our focus has been doing experiments that use the Scientific Method.  All Science Fair Projects are due to me No Later Than 8am on November 13th!!  Since we have a field trip on the 16th, there can be NO EXCEPTIONS!!!  


Important Notes:  Please ask your child if they still have headphones that work.  Without working headphones, your child will not be able to participate in the computer projects which are not only great instructional opportunities, but are also fun!  Last week, almost half of the class said they have ineffective headphones.  The local dollar store have them on sale for $1.00. 


Important Dates


11/6           Science Fair Packet - Conclusion, Summary, Log Due

11/8           Veteran's Day Ceremony - veterans and active duty

                  Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen invited to                              attend.

11/10          No School - Veteran's Day

11/14          Spellathon Fundraising Money Due Today

11/13          Science Fair Final Project Due by 8am

11/16          Field Trip Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge

                  Sneakers, Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Water, Lunch

11/17          Science Fair

11/20         Science Fair Award Ceremony

11/21          Indian Feast - Native American Rotations

11/22-11/26     Thanksgiving Holiday

11/27          Interims Issued

11/28          Family Math Night 5:30-7:00


Upcoming Field Trips


November 16                   Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

December 12                    Kennedy Space Center

December 19                    Blue Life (in-school field trip)

January 16                        Field Manor Historical Colony

February 6                        St. Augustine and Castillo San Marcos 

March                                TBA

April                                   TBA


September 2017


I am so glad that your children are so resilient, because it has been a wacky and wild school year!  This month, we have been working on learning about Hurricanes, and it came in handy!  In MATH, we continue to memorize multiplication tables (please, please, please study with your child!), and work on Rounding, Estimation, and Word Problems.  Main Idea and Details are the important concepts in Reading.  It is surprising how difficult this concept is....if you want to help your child, ask what the Main Idea is, each time they read!  In ELA (Language Arts), the focus is on Essay Writing!  This is using evidence from the reading to write a 5 paragraph piece.  We are working diligently on the introductory and body paragraphs.  In Science, we are gearing up for the Science Fair, so our focus has been doing experiments that use the Scientific Method.  We have also been working on Life Sciences, including the life cycles of plants and animals.


Please remember the following great news!  

All Challenger 7 students now receive Free Breakfast and Free Lunch!  This is in response to Hurricane Irma, and will last until October 20th!  So, if you are sick of making breakfast, and packing those lunches, have your child go through the cafeteria line, free of charge!


Teacher Request

Our class has already exhausted it's baby wipes supply!  Your student will tell you how much easier it is to learn when we can write on our desks, tables, floors, and walls!  Please help us to continue to use this technique, by sending in some baby wipes!  It looks like each group will use 1 packet of wipes every 60 days, so if each family sends in only one pack, we will have enough to last until the end of the year. Thank you in advance!



Important Dates:  


9/25     Science Fair Packets Go Home.  For those of you who have never done a BPS

             Science Fair:  Please READ these packets carefully!  There are MANY moving parts!

             ALL of the Science Fair work is done AT HOME, and your child will be required to

             bring in their folder for a grade EACH WEEK.  Science Fair dates:  November 16-17.


9/26     Interims go home - a quick note on this....these are sent home so that families

             are aware of what is going on with their student.  They are NOT permanent grades!

             So, if you see something you don't like, your child has a chance to change things,

             make up work, get extra help, or study at home.  Please be kind to your child if you

             have concerns - it's been a tough start to the year - and let me know if you need to



9/27     Donuts with Dudes 7:30am.  Dads, Grandfathers, Uncles, Brothers, Stepdads, etc

             are welcome to come have donuts with their student.


9/28     Surviving the Science Fair Night 6-7:30pm.  Free Presentation Board for all families

             which attend.  


10/2     All T-shirt money due in.  $5 per t-shirt which will be worn on all 6 field trips 

             planned for the school year.  Since we have such a large class, being able to quickly                and easily identify your child on these outings is so important! 


10/2     All Lagoon Quest $3 Field Trip Money due in today!


10/2     All September Reading Logs due today.  150 minutes per week:  total should be at

             least 600 minutes for the month.


10/17   Field Trip - Lagoon Quest - please re-read the important information that went

             home, and be certain to send your child prepared for an all day, outside event


10/17   Family Math Night 5:30-7pm (More information to come, but please try to put this

             on your calendar now....4th grade Math is challenging, even for parents!)


10/20   Report Cards Issued


10/23   Parent Teacher Conferences (5-7pm) - Conferences are scheduled for 5-7, however,              I know that right after school works better for alot of you.  We also have a large                      class; so I am personally opening up the P/T Conferences to                                                  include:  2:30 - 4:30 and 5:00 - 7:00 (in 15 minute increments).  Please call,                      email, or drop a note to schedule early.  Favorite time slots fill up quickly!



Reading Logs

For those of you requesting a bit of guidance on how to record your student's reading:  Here is a simple example of what to do.  However, you can make it very low tech by simply recording the information below, on a white lined piece of paper!  You can also allow your on-line reading program to track the info, then simply print it off.  Reading Logs are due the first day of each month!



Date Title                            








August 2017

Thank you to all those families who attended our open house.  It was a pleasure getting to see where our kids get their mannerisms from!  As most of you have already noticed, our first assessments have been sent home.  I tried to make it very easy for you to see how your child is doing, by creating a packet which you can look at, sign and return quickly.  If you notice that your student is having a difficult time, please give me a call or email so that we can sort it out before it becomes problematic!  You can also visit Edline to see your child's grades.  Please pop in to the front office to get your Edline user name and password, if you have forgotten yours!


New Information

We have "snack on the fly" each day.  Up to now, I have been providing snack to students who have none, but with 28 students in our class, that is becoming very expensive.  You child IS hungry at 10:15, no matter what they tell you.  They ARE eating my snack.  So, it would be very helpful if you would either send in a quick snack with your child, or provide a box of snacks to share with the class over the next few weeks.  Thank you again for your help~



Reading and ELA-  We have begun to work on Text Evidence.  This will allow your student to read a passage and comprehend on a much higher level.  In order to answer a question, they need to PROVE IT by referring to a phrase or sentence that proves their answer.  It is difficult in the beginning - please give your child time to learn it!  This will help them learn how to write a good solid essay, which is based on the passage and not just opinion.

                 We are also deeply involved in Close Reading.  Each passage your child reads should be read three times.  First, for enjoyment.  Second, to answer who, what, when, why, and where questions.  Third, to look deeply into the reading for Text Evidence to support answers.  This strategy, too, will allow your students to understand what is being read, on a much deeper level.  We often use Social Studies or Science articles to make this exercise more real world.


Math -   Most of August has been spent reviewing 3rd grade Math skills.  These skills are absolutely necessary for the learning of 4th Grade Math.  If your child struggles with addition or subtraction with regrouping, or has not competently mastered their Multiplication Tables, now is the time to spend some time each night reviewing these skills.  Even 5 minutes per night will help!  Without addition, we cannot do 2 digit multiplication, measurement, fractions, decimals, etc.  Same with subtraction, and most definitely Multiplication.  Please help your child be READY to start 4th Grade Mathematics off right!


Science -  As promised, we have been doing LOTS of Science!  Our focus has been on the Scientific Methodology as we explore the State Standards.  This should help YOU, when Science Fair time comes! The favorite experiments so far have been:  Coke and Mentos, Trees and Pinecones, Balloon Jets, and Snowball Fight.  


Social Studies -  We have just begun our foray into all things Florida!  Over the year, we will learn all about our history, our geography, waterways, businesses, and government.  SHHHHH- Challenge:  Ask your child what is one of our State Symbols.  If they come to tell me that symbol on Monday, they will win a prize!





First Week of School

We have lots going on the first week of school; dealing with waking up early, meeting new friends, getting used to new teachers, and learning that Fourth Grade is a whole new experience from lower elementary school.  Higher expectations, more responsibility, and new ways of doing things  can be challenging, but we will learn them together.  


Some things we will be covering in the first few days of school:


1.  STARR student expectations:  please refer to the parent handbook and calendar if you are new to the school, and have no idea what this is!

2.  Supplies:  The supply list is available on both the Challenger 7 and BPS websites.

Two notes:  a.)  there are NEVER enough glue sticks!  b.)  personal headphones prevent lice infestations - this is one supply to be SURE to send with your child - in a ziplock, with your child's name clearly written on the bag!

3.  Collaboration and Cooperation - or- How to Work and Learn in a Group of People

4.  Introduction of New Subjects - Especially the Writing aspect of our FSA.

5.  Clubs:  Most clubs will begin in October and fourth graders have the chance to join nearly all of them!  Some notable clubs they are now eligible for: Technology Club, Astronomy Club, Juggling Club, Pokemon Club, Spanish Club, Mileage Club, Art Club, Chorus, Strings Ensemble, Odyssey of the Mind, etc.  Please watch for announcements going home and join early, they fill up quickly!   I will be having a Solar Eclipse Event on August 21st, as part of the Astronomy Club.  However, if your child is in my class, and wishes to view the eclipse safely, they are welcome to attend, whether they are part of the club or not!

6.  Jobs;  responsibility is encouraged in our classroom, so each week your child will be assigned a task, by random draw.  They may be chosen as "techy", "teacher's assistant", "peer tutor" etc.  Sometimes they love them, sometimes they hate them, but this is an essential part of teaching that in the real world, there will be parts of our work experiences that we love, and some not so much....but it is always important to do our best!

7.  Field Trips:  I believe that real world experiences clarify what we are learning in the classroom, so we will have lots of opportunities!  We have four field trips planned for the year (including our big one to St. Augustine), and many in-school and virtual field trips (including the perennial favorite Native American day, Aqua Blue, Skype Classroom to Africa, etc.).  It is VERY important that if you would like to volunteer for ANY field trip, that you get cleared, via fingerprinting, on the Brevard County Website.  It takes many weeks to get approved, so please do this early in the year!  Also, please try very hard to return field trip permission slips as soon as you get them - you can always pay later!

8.  Information:  Please be certain to send in all registration and emergency response paperwork as soon possible.  Please be certain we have a good phone number and email for you! Please add any notes that may be very important for me to know, such as religious obligations during the day, food allergies, medications and medical conditions, eyeglasses and hearing aid requirements, etc.  Some of the papers you file may not trickle down to me for several days, or even feel free to send in a personal note, if you think it might be important!!




As most of you already know, I LOVE my parents, grandparents, and family members!  So, I have an open door policy in effect for before and after school.

I also have some volunteer opportunities for those of you wishing to help out!


Here are just some of the "roles":


Parent Liaison:  Coordination of volunteers and projects

Chaperones:  Field Trips, Special Events, and Virtual Field Trips

Social Studies Chairperson:  Preparing Social Studies supplies; we have new books!

Mad Scientist:  To help with hands-on exploration of STEM materials - experiments!

Movement Master: 30 segments of instruction on a sport, practice, health, or dance.

                             Ideally, several people who could teach yoga, dance, juggling, a

                             sport, etc during our new "movement" curriculum time!

Reading Guru:  Practice reading with a student who needs some alone time with an

                        adult, needs extra help, or is advanced.  (ps Grandparents are great

                        at this, if they would like to spend some time in our classroom!).

Friday Folders:  Some organized soul who would like to come in and file student                                information into their files, organize all the information going home                          on Fridays, and distribute into mailboxes.  For the truly organized                              individual!



Lunch With your Child


First week of school can be hard!

Feel free to come have lunch with your child!

Our lunch starts at 11:27!