Quarterly Newsletter

October 27, 2014

Dear Parents/Guardians:

            Welcome to the second quarter of the school year.  Last quarter we had some rough patches starting out the year, but I believe we are on our way to learning.   

             I enjoy working with this group of students. They are enthusiastic, positive, full of energy, and excited about learning. I hope they share the many wonderful stories and experiences with you at home. In order for students to understand and experience science fully, we had many wonderful adventures in the classroom. We studied Monarch butterflies up close. We named our friends Mr. Baxter(Science teacher at the high school), Mr. Bates, Mr. Jacobs(a retired teacher and a motivation to me), Baby Juniper(she found it in the yard). Thank goodness the males turned out to be what they are. The children took care of caterpillars and saw critters crawling up close on the TV screen or crawl on their skin.The children were mesmerized when they observed one of the larva emerged out of its chrysalis one early morning. It was quite a magical sight! Luckily, I was able to capture the three stages of the Monarch and they are available on Youtube. Students saw an egg hatching, a larva turning into a chrysalis, and a chrysalis turning into a butterfly. All of these stages were captured on document camera. We also have several plants to allow students to observe and understand that plants are living things that need water, soil/minerals and sun light. They are producers as well. Students had the opportunity to look at onion cells under the microscopes.

            We had our first fieldtrip to the Orpheum this past Friday to see Magic Science. Wow! I’ll let the children share their experience with you.

            In Language Arts, I hope students share the many fabulous learning experiences in Centers Work. There are five centers: WS Sentences/Story, Reading skills on Google Classroom, Word Study Pictures, Writers’ Workshop, and Math on Mobymax. Believe me, it’s been a hubbub of engaged learning. I can’t believe it myself.

In Social Studies, students had the opportunity to listen to my personal experiences as an immigrant to this country. I hope by now they understand the difference between primary and secondary sources. In Journal Writing, students are working hard on planning, composing, and revising. We are very blessed to have some amazing parent volunteers in the classroom-Mrs. Schulz(retired math teacher), Mrs. Debbe(retired reading specialist), and Maya’s mom. These parent volunteers help our students with math, fluency reading, locating informational text, and journal writing.

            This sort of positive engaged learning could not have taken place without the support and enthusiasm on the part of the students and parents. I want to thank the parents/grandparents/guardians for supporting your child’s learning. Please continue to make sure that your child gets enough sleep at night and does a thorough job on his/her homework. If the assignment is overwhelming, let me know and I will try my best to help your child.

            Here’s what’s happening next on our schedule:

·        Our parent/teacher conferences are this week starting Tuesday, October 28th, Wednesday, October 29th, and Thursday, October 30th.   

·        Mrs Stockman will give a short presentation on PARCC assessment in the library on Tuesday and Thursday during Parent/Teacher Conference 3:45-6:15PM.

·        No School on Friday, October 31st  and Nov. 11.

·        Halloween Parade will be Thursday, October 30th. School dismisses at 12:00 for lunch. Students return at 1:00PM for parade and room party.

·        School musical for 4th grade will be Tuesday, November 25th at 2PM and parents at 6:30 PM

If you have Internet access at home, you may get into Spellingcity.com so that your child may practice Word Study on there. I also want to mention that my website is up and running for the class. Go to Silas Willard website. Click on Staff and scroll down to my name. I have listed homework, announcements, 9 Weeks Plan on there, and mobymax.com.

Last but not least, there will be two projects/products this quarter.  Students will learn the elements to short story writing and they will compose a short story for the Illinois Young Authors program. Students will also be learning and writing poems. Each student will be constructing his/her own poetry book. Readermania will also begin in November.

            As always, I welcome any comments, concerns or questions.                                                                                                                          Ms. Hua



Proposed 9 Weeks Plan—Ms. Hua (2nd 9 weeks) Subject to adjustments


Social Objectives: Students will learn to work independently and to work cooperatively with their peers. They will also work on not blurting out in class.


Language Arts:

  • Reading: Encourage students to read a variety of literature materials.  Intensified reading program for those below grade level.  We will finish the Witches by Roald Dahl. Short story: Nancy by Elizabeth Enright. This story illustrates some examples of settings, character, and plot which will be helpful for students in writing their own stories for the Illinois Young Author’s book.
  • Independent reading: 20 minutes of free reading four days a week, 1 minute drill CBM and 3 minutes Maze Comprehension for those who need them.
  • A unit on Poetry: Students will learn to read and write a motley sample of poetry.  Students will collate a poetry book.
  • Writer’s Workshop/ Journals: Reflective writing, topic will be given weekly: Students will learn the four types of writing: Descriptive, persuasive, process, and narrative. This quarter, we will be focusing on Illinois Young Author’s book.
  • Word study Program: Weekly intensive word study program. I will do cross curriculum word study. I may draw many words from the science and social studies text books.
  • Reading Strategies Groups: Students will be going to three different classes for 30 minutes a day for intensive reading strategy skills.
  • Reading skills: informational texts, sequence, analysis, question/answer, primary and secondary sources, compare/contrast, and analogies.
  • Proofreading/Grammar: Analogies packet and Proofreading on one or two skills for mastery. We started the year with finding spelling mistakes. Now, we are working on locating punctuation marks and capitalization.
  • Products: Illinois Young Author and poetry book


Social Studies: We will complete a unit on US Government and will begin with The Northeast.  We will end with the Midwest.

  • Resources: Super States! By Cindy Barden
  • CNNSTUDENTNEWS.COM-The students seem to enjoy this segment of motley sample of news around the world.    
  • Technology: Internet map study skills on states and capitals
  • National Geographic Magazine
  • Skills: primary/secondary sources


Mathematics: We will work on Multiplication, division, Multi-step Word Problems with variables, area and perimeter, and telling time.   

·         Students will energize and strengthen their mental muscles with brainteasers.

·         Resources: Connections by Heath, Math Stories by Dan Greenberg, Real-life Math Problem Solving by Mark Illingworth, Giant Book of Games by Games Magazine.  Tables and Graphs by Elaine Murphy, Charts, Tables and Graphs by Michael Priestley, Word Problems by Bob Olenych, Time and Money through Learning Horizons, and Every Day Counts by Gillespie and Kanter

·         2-5 minute drills on multiplication facts



·         factors & mulitiplication 4B.OA.4


·         patterns w/multiplication 4A.OA.1

  • mult. & commut. Property4A.OA.3
  • add. subt mult division NBT.5
  • 4 digits x 1, 4 dig x 2 dig

·           Multiplication matrix

·         Technologies: Students will use funbrain.com and flashcards to hone up on addition, subtraction, and multiplication skills.


Science: We will start a unit on Weather and Climate.

  • Students will learn to make predictions and observations, as well as test hypotheses. 
  • Technologies: About Weather, the Weather Channel, Video clips on tornadoes, violent storms, earthquakes. Scavenger worksheets on weather.
  • Discussions on Weather and Climate
  • Computer: topics on the water cycle and Weather, Studyisland.com


Study Skills:   1. Organization of individual binder/notebook

                        2. Weekly desk and binder check

                        3. Using reference materials

                        4. Highlighting and locating relevant information in informational texts

                        5. Oral presentation( focus on voice, tonation and clarity)