Welcome to Room A219! Often in my classroom I carry the same theme through all of the subjects we are currently studying. For example, if we are learning about the history of the Southeast we will be reading a story about slaves escaping from the Southeast on the Underground Railroad, and then looking for examples of irregular verbs in the same story. Then, in math, the children will solve word problems based on slavery, and in science they will talk about constellations, which the slaves used to guide them on their way north. I feel children are more likely to remember their lessons if they are immersed in what they are learning, so that is why I try to tie my subjects together. I also feel writing and reading go hand-in-hand, so many times my students write short stories based on one of the stories we have read in class.
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|student writing samples 3-D Word Projects|
Math Students who will be in my math class should review basic multiplication and division facts to prepare for fourth grade.
Science Students who visit a beach this summer should pay attention to the tides and waves to prepare for fourth grade.
Social Studies Keep track of the interesting sites you visit this summer, particularly if you travel to a different U.S. state.
Spelling Students do not have any spelling homework.
English Students don't have any English homework.
Reading Students should try to read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book over the summer.
Writing Students don't have any writing homework
Reading: The St. Clair School District uses the Reading Street textbook series in grades 1 through 5. This textbook focuses on the new Pennsylvania Core Standards that students will be tested on during the PSSA tests in the spring. In fourth grade, we emphasize figurative language and higher level thinking skills like inferencing, drawing conclusions, and analyzing story elements like characters, setting, and plot. We will still be using some of the novel sets that the district has to supplement the textbook series.
|Bunnicula is a science fiction story about a family that finds a rabbit at a Dracula movie. When their cat and dog meet the newest addition to the family, the cat is convinced that the bunny is a vampire. The students love the funny antics that follow as the cat tries to rid the family of the danger and the dog tries to save his new friend from getting killed and his old friend from being kicked out.||Thank You, Jackie Robinson is a story about a young boy in 1947 who loves the Brooklyn Dodgers and his older, African-American friend, Davy. This historical fiction book introduces students to the people who put an end to the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and the prejudices they had to overcome. Baseball knowledge is optional when reading this story.|
|We will try to coordinate reading Top Secret with science lessons on photosynthesis, because in this story a young boy turn himself into a plant for his science project. That's right, a plant, complete with green skin and aphids. Will his discovery solve the world's hunger problem? Does he ever turn back into a regular food-consuming ten year-old? You'll have to read the story to find out.||Chocolate Fever is very similar to Top Secret in that a boy undergoes mysterious physical changes. This time, though, he turns into a walking chocolate bar! Somehow our chocolate friend, Henry Green, manages to escape from a hospital, foil a robbery, and turn himself back into a regular nine year-old. Students will find out in this comical story, that you actually can have too much of a good thing, even chocolate.|
|Freedom Crossing is another historical fiction novel that exposes children to the plight of slaves trying to escape from their masters. The slave on the run is only twelve years old and the abolitionists who help him are also teenagers, so students get to look at this event through the eyes of children close to their own age. This story is filled with suspense; sometimes I can't get the kids to leave when we're reading it.||I Have a Dream is the biography of Martin Luther King Jr. This book takes students through Martin's first experience with segregation when he was six years old, his discovery of peaceful ways to protest, his leadership role during the Civil Rights Protests in the South, and his assassination in Memphis. While reading the book the kids take part in a discrimination project that gives them some idea of what it was like to be treated unfairly because of who you are.|
|The Titanic Sinks gives the students a taste of nonfiction. The novel introduces the students to the actual crew and passengers on the doomed ship, and takes them through its tragic voyage from start to finish. Although it contains only facts, it is written like a novel. Even though most of the children know the ending, they still find it suspenseful, as they wait to see who survives and who perishes.||Stone Fox is an example of realistic fiction set in the West. A young boy named Willy must somehow find a way to raise enough money to pay the taxes on his grandfather's potato farm or lose his home. He decides to enter a local dogsled race to win the prize money despite the fact he has only his pet, Searchlight, to pull his sled. Students can't wait to find out if Willy and Searchlight can beat Stone Fox and his team of dogs.|
Math: In fourth grade math we are going to concentrate on developing students' problem solving skills, while reinforcing the importance of mastering basic math facts. We will have daily math exercises to start each class to keep our brains in good math condition. We have a brand new math series called Go Math! to help us meet the rigorous requirements of PA Common Core standards. The students will use units in folders and homework papers to practice basic skills, and then they will use real life resources to demonstrate how these math skills are put into practice in everyday life.
Social Studies: Our fourth grade social studies program focuses on the United States. We divide the country into four regions, the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West. Then we study each region's geography, its history, and what life is like in that region today. The students are required to identify each state in the region on a map and name its capital. Students are also required to answer essay questions on each test to reinforce their writing skills. We are also learning about the great state of Pennsylvania. The students have textbooks which focus on the rich history of their home state as well as the landforms and resources Pennsylvania has to offer.
English: The English program in fourth grade covers the basic parts of speech including nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. We also focus on correct punctuation and capitalization when writing. The students will have grammar lessons in conjunction with the new reading series, but they will also practice grammar rules by writing original letters, paragraphs, and short stories. We believe that when you focus on writing, the students think about the rules more carefully than if they were just filling in the blanks of a workbook.
Science: The Science program in fourth grade covers a variety of topics. We will be learning about the solar system, scientific classification, ecosystems, states of matter, photosynthesis, climate, electricity, and much more. We will be using a number of different resources to study these subjects including our textbook, Kids Discover Magazine, and internet resources. Students will be creating various charts and diagrams to show what they've learned.
4-Red Special Subjects' Schedule We will be using a 5-Day Cycle at St. Clair Elementary this year. The first week of school, Monday, August 28, 2017 will be "Day 1" of the cycle, Tuesday will be "Day 2" of the cycle, and so on until Friday, which will be "Day 5". The second week of school, we have Monday off for Labor Day, so when we come back to school on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 it will be "Day 1" of the new cycle. Then Wednesday, September 3rd will be "Day 2" of the new cycle. We will continue with this pattern for the remainder of the year. This cycle will also be printed on the monthly lunch menu.
August 28, 2017 is the first day of school for students. The doors will open at 8:15 a.m.
September 4, 2017 is Labor Day. School will be closed on that day. School resumes on Tuesday, September 5th.
The following are due dates for some of your child's assignments.
Please note that they may be changed if circumstances in school create
a need to extend some of the dates.
This project is currently on hold due to the change in our reading series this year. If this project is assigned this year, a paper with instructions and due dates will be sent home with the students. In the past, each marking period students were required to complete 3-D Word Projects. The projects turned in by students in past years were awesome!  Check out some of these projects on the 3-D Word Projects Page.
Students in Mrs Mickonis's math class will start the year by reviewing place value, comparing numbers, rounding, addition, and subtraction.
Students' first English lessons will involve distinguishing between sentences and fragments and identifying the 4 different types of sentences.
Students have a new science series this year and they will start by learning what scientists do and how they conduct investigations.
Students will start with chapter 1 in the social studies textbook, learning the "Think like a geographer".
Students will start the year in reading by learning the reading signposts for fiction and enjoying an excerpt from the realistic fiction story "Because of Winn Dixie" in our reading books.
These are some sites I use when I am teaching about different
subjects in reading, science, or social studies. These are links, so if you click on one of these words you will leave this page and go to that site.
This is a site I like to visit just for fun.
Link to the St. Clair Elementary/Middle School homepage
Striving for Excellence