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Grade 4 - Mrs. Donohue


Welcome to Fourth Grade! If you have any questions or concerns, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

I have been a teacher for over 15 years. I enjoy working with students in the upper elementary grades and my favorite subjects are Social Studies and Reading. I enjoy reading and going to the beach.

November News

WOW!  I can’t believe we are already at the end of 1st quarter.  Where did the time go?  The students in 4D have been very busy learning lots of new things!  They completed their first book report and spent time working on sentence structure and writing a proper paragraph!

The following is some information about our curriculum:

Math:  In Math, we will be starting two minute timed tests focusing on the specific times tables.  We will begin with the 2 times table.  Once a student passes a given times table, they move onto the next one!  Students should practice their facts each night.  During the rest of our Math class we are focusing on Addition and Subtraction.  We are learning to add and subtract larger numbers with regrouping.  We will test on this at the end of the 1st week of the month.  We will move onto Multiplication and Division from here!

English:  In grammar we are learning about Nouns.  We have learned the rules for forming plurals and review those daily.  I would like to see students applying these in there every day work.  In writing we are almost finished our Personal Narratives!  Students are learning about peer editing during this process.  This month we will write a creative story with a Thanksgiving theme!  We will also be working on an acrostic poem for Thanksgiving which will be in the hallway very soon! 

Reading:  In reading, we just finished an historical fiction selection and we are moving on to a trickster tale!  The students will really enjoy this genre!  As we continue to read different stories from different genres, we are exploring new vocabulary and are focusing on comprehension in addition to the basic story elements such as plot, character, and setting.  This month we will also do some reading that relates to the specific holidays this month, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving!

Book Report:  The students have begun to pick books for the next book report which will be Historical Fiction.  This will be assigned this week.  Please check your child’s binder for requirements and due date!

Spelling:  Students continue to do very well with our spelling words in the activities and taking the tests.  I am working on having students apply that knowledge when they use these words outside of the context of a test. 

Religion:  We continue to talk about proper Mass behavior.  We have also been discussing the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.  We have just started taking a closer look at the Ten Commandments by learning about Moses.

Social Studies:  In Social Studies, we are learning all about the region that we live in, the Northeast.  We will end with a test on the states and capitals of that region and a test on things we learned from the text.  Please help your child stud for these tests.  The states and capitals can be tricky!  Next, we are moving on to the Southeast.  They will also become familiar with the varying landforms, climate, economy and people of each region.  We will also focus more on taking notes during Social Studies!


October Happenings

We are off to a great start to our year in 4D.  I can’t believe it is October already!  I am really enjoying this group of 4th graders!   They are a very nice group of kids!  Thanks to everyone who sold raffle tickets!  Our class came in 3rd place and will be having a cookie decorating party!!


The following is some information about our curriculum:

Math: We have many things happening in Math this month.  We will begin doing “Mad Minutes” or as some refer to it, speed math.  We will begin with addition/subtraction facts before moving on to our multiplication facts.  Basic facts are the foundation for most of what we do in 4th grade math.   Students will be taking a mad minute at least 2 times per week.  Addition and subtraction Mad Minutes will be one minute to complete 30 mixed facts and multiplication will be 2 minutes to complete 60 facts beginning with the  2 times tables.  When they pass this they will move onto the 3 times tables and will move up each time they pass.  You can help your child be successful with this by practicing at home.   This practice could come in the form of flashcards, any math fact app, IXL or any other method that works for your child.  During the rest of the Math time, we are focusing on Addition and Subtraction concepts.  We will be introduced to variables and learning some very basic algebra concepts!


English:  In grammar we are busy using the Voyages in English book to learn about the parts of a sentence.  We will be wrapping this unit up at the beginning of the month and will move onto studying nouns.  We are also using this book to learn about different types of writing.  We have been learning how to write a good 4th grade paragraph.  We will apply this knowledge to the first big writing assignment, a personal narrative.  The students have also written “I Am” Poems which are currently displayed outside our classroom!


Reading:  In reading, we have been reading stories from our Reading Street book.  We are currently working on a selection from our book titled Lewis and Clark and Me.  We have spent some time talking about the way to answer comprehension questions and will apply this knowledge to questions about this story.  Our next story is a selection from On the Banks of Plum Creek.  We will then read The Horned Toad Prince.  We begin each story by learning new vocabulary for the story.  Next, students do a Preread of the story, independently focusing on literary elements such as characters, setting and plot.  After the Preread, we read together and discuss.  Finally, I give the students a chance to show what they know with a comprehension activity.


Book Report:  Students have been assigned their first book report of the year.  They should be reading a realistic fiction book.  Students were given a sheet explaining the requirements of the book report.  This can be found in t their FROG binder. Students will write a traditional book report.  Other reports throughout the year will be different types of book projects.  This book report should either be typed or in their best cursive skipping lines.  The book report is due on October 20, 2015.


Spelling:  Our Spelling units come from the Reading Street Series.  We are finishing up Unit 4 this week.  We have one more unit before moving onto the 5 unit review.  The review week includes a review packet, a Spelling Bee, and a 50 word spelling test!  Each week focuses on different spelling patterns that students should apply to their daily work.


Religion:  We are currently working on Chapter 3 where we have been talking a lot about the types of sins that people commit, how to avoid these sins, and what to do when we do sin.  In Chapter 4 we will be examining our conscience and learning what that means in terms of our relationship with God.  We have also been discussing proper Mass behavior.


Social Studies:  We have just finished with the introductory chapters in our Social Studies book and are preparing to begin learning about the Northeast Region!  Students will receive the vocabulary list and the states and capitals for this region soon.  Students should be studying their flash cards a few nights a week in order to be prepared at the end of the unit.  Students will have a states and capitals test in addition to the chapter test at the end of each Region.  For the Northeast region only, students will also be expected to know where these states are on the map along with the capitals.  The rest of the states can be studied throughout the year for the 50/50 test at the end of the year.


Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!


I am so excited to be back at school!  Thank you to everyone for all the supplies you brought in for our classroom!  We are well stocked and ready to rock and roll!  The first few days of school have been great getting to know my new 4th graders!  They are really great and seem eager to learn new things!  I have so much in store for them this year!  The following is a preview of what is to come in 4th grade!

Religion:  This year the 4th graders will be learning about each of the 10 Commandments and how they relate to everyday life.  We will also discuss parts of the Mass and proper Mass behavior.  4D will present the Stations of the Cross during Lent (March 5) and will present the first Friday Mass in June.

English:  In English, we will learn about the 4 parts of speech, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs.  We will also learn about pronouns.  In addition to the parts of speech, we will learn about the structure of a sentence and a paragraph.  We will learn sentence types, punctuation and capitalization and much more!  We will do different types of writing assignments such as responding to shorter prompts as well as longer pieces.

Reading:  Our reading series is “Reading Street” by Scott Foresman. We enjoy many different types of stories from this series.  We work on vocabulary and comprehension as well as various literary elements.  We will have several book reports throughout the year as well.

Math:  In Math we will focus on the 4 basic operations, fractions, geometry, problem solving and more!  Students will be revisiting their addition math facts and will be spending more time learning their multiplication facts.  We will be using IXL regularly.  Students will receive their username and password soon.  Students will be asked to use IXL for homework every Monday.

Social Studies:  4th grade Social Studies is the study of the US Regions.  We will learn the landforms, climate, resources and activities of each region.  We will make maps of the regions and will learn the states and capitals.  We will focus on study skills for tests that include making vocabulary and states and capitals flash cards for each region.  At the end of the year, students will be tested on all the states and capitals for a chance to be part of the 50/50 club!  We will end the year learning about the state of New Hampshire.

Science: Science is taught by Mrs. Ternan.  Students will learn about the scientific process, rocks and minerals, magnets, circuits and so much more!

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