Home Students Classroom Pages Grade 4 - Mrs. Donohue

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!  They have been adding, subtracting, estimating and working with money!  They read Because of Winn Dixie and practiced reading a map!  What a great first quarter.  There is still so much more to come!

On a personal note, my C-section is scheduled for December 11th.  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I plan for my last day to be December 8th.  Mrs. Barry will take over as of December 11th.  I will be in contact with her throughout my leave and will check my e-mail when I can, but any immediate concerns should be sent to Mrs. Barry.  You are welcome to e-mail Mrs. Ternan and she can pass along any necessary information.  I hope to be back at school at the beginning of February but will keep you posted as the time approaches.

The following is some information about our curriculum:


Math:  We will soon 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 move onto Multiplication and Division from here!


English:  In grammar we have finished our exploration of sentences and will begin learning about Nouns.   I would like to see students applying the things we have learned in their everyday work.  In writing, we will finally finish our Personal Narratives!!  Students are learning about the writing process during this in class project.  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 on display in the hallway when you come in for conferences!


Reading:  In reading, we are working on a historical fiction selection about Lewis and Clark.  We will read another historical fiction selection before 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 will begin to pick books for the next book report which will be a Fantasy book.  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 just started taking a closer look at the Ten Commandments by learning about Moses.  We will start learning about each commandment one by one.  We will also be taking charge of the Thanksgiving Prayer Service on November 21, 2017 at 11:30.  Please join us if you can!


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 this region and a test on things we learned from the text.  Although the dates are still TBD as we are just starting the chapter, it is important that you help your child study for these tests.  The states and capitals can be tricky!  For this region only, students will also need to label a map with the names of the states.  Students will receive a map of the region to keep in their binder as a study guide.


Parent/Teacher Conferences:  Reminders will be going home soon for conferences on November 16th.  If you have not scheduled a conference yet, please e-mail me.  We can also set something up before school if the 16th does not work for you.


October Happenings

We have had a great time getting to know each other in 4D.  The children are settling into the classroom routine and are learning lots every day!

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 do a mix of addition, subtraction and multiplication each week.  Basic facts are the foundation for most of what we do in 4th grade math. For the addition and subtraction Mad Minutes, students will have one minute to complete 30 mixed facts and multiplication will be 2 minutes to complete 60 facts beginning with the 2 times tables.   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 are a little more than half way through this unit.  Once we wrap this up, we 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 responded to many writing prompts.

Reading:  In reading, we started with our class novel, Because of Winn Dixie.  We are well on our way to learning more about Opal and Winn Dixie’s summer adventures.  There are many colorful characters in this story!  We have spent some time talking about the way to answer comprehension questions and have been applying this knowledge to questions about this story.  You will notice 2 grades on comprehension questions this year.  One grade is a comprehension grades that looks at how well the students understand the story.  The other grade is a mechanics grade.  This looks at how they answer the question, including restating the question, proper use of pronouns, spelling, punctuation, etc.  When we finish Because of Winn Dixie, we will move on to reading from our Reading Street book.  We will begin with Lewis and Clark and Me.  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 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 27, 2017.

Spelling:  Our Spelling units come from the Reading Street Series.  We will begin the month with Unit 5.  This is the last 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.  All spelling lists can be found on Spelling City by searching for Mrs. Ternan’s name.

Religion:  We are currently working on Chapter 4.  We are learning what it means to examine our conscience and what that means in terms of our relationship with God.  We have also been discussing proper Mass behavior.

Social Studies:  We are finishing our introductory chapters in our Social Studies book with a test on October 6th.  All students have been given a study guide for this test.  After this test, we will begin our Regions exploration with the Northeast!  We will begin with the vocabulary list and the states and capitals for this region.  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.

Important Dates

10/1 Hot Lunch Ordering Begins

10/6 Social Studies Test

10/6 Unit 5 Spelling Test

10/6 Quarter 1 Progress Reports

10/9-No School-Columbus Day

10/13 Early Release

10/18 Picture Day

10/24-Vocation Day

10/27 Book Report due

10/31 Halloween Free Dress


September in 4D

We are off to a great start in 4D.  I have enjoyed getting to know each of the students during the first weeks of school.  We spent time talking about classroom rules and expectations.  We also learned about the classroom routine.  We are ready to face the curriculum head on!

Our special schedule is as follows:

Monday-Library/Computer and Music



Thursday-Physical Education

In 4th grade this year, I will be teaching Social Studies and Mrs. T will be teaching Science.  We will switch for 30 minutes each day with the exception of Thursday.  If you have any questions regarding Science, please direct those to Mrs. T.

Here is what you can expect to see in the coming weeks as we journey into the 4th grade curriculum.

Math-We will be working on place value concepts including place value up to the millions, rounding, and comparing numbers.  We will also begin working on our multiplication facts.

Language Arts-We will explore many grammar concepts using the Voyages in English book.  We will begin with Sentences.  This is the book we will use to explore various writing concepts beginning with Personal Narrative.  We will use our reading series, Reading Street, to focus on reading comprehension and other reading skills.  This year we will begin by reading a class novel together.  The novel we will read is Because of Winn Dixie.

Social Studies-We have started the year review some Social Studies concepts such as the continents and the oceans.  We will next move into our exploration of the Regions of the United States starting with the Northeast.  Throughout the year, the students will be learning their states and capitals and will also be learning where the states are on a map.

Religion-We will be reminding ourselves about the role Jesus plays in our lives before moving into a more in depth study of the Ten Commandments.

I look forward to seeing you all again at the Parent Information Night.  If you have any questions before then, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

More Articles...