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Grade 4 - Mrs. Ternan

Claire TernanWelcome to Fourth Grade! Hands-on activities are an integral part of the program. I think the best part of teaching at St. Chris is the students; they are enthusiastic, curious, and eager to learn. 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 teaching at St. Christopher School for over thirty years, mostly in the 4th grade. I am certified in elementary education and English. Although I have my Masters in Writing and Literature, my greatest love is the teaching of science. I have a grown son and daughter, both of whom graduated from St. Chris, and four grandchildren, one in Brookline, MA and three in Santiago, Chile.


January MMVIII

Happy New Year! May you all be blessed with health and happiness, and may your children love learning. There's a lot going on in January. We're looking forward to Catholic Schools Week at the end of the month, and we'll be starting our STEM project.


The title of this page gives a clue to our topic this week in math: Roman numerals. These are fun and handy to know. This is really a mini lesson because our unit this month is dividing large numbers and interpreting  remainders. We've practiced a little in 2017, but now we hope to master this skill.


In reading the January book report has been assigned, and  maybe some of the students got a head start on it during the snow days. This month, students are to read a fantasy book and construct a diorama of an important scene. The "bottle people" in November were fantastic, so I'm expecting an equal amount of creativity and pizzazz. Also don't forget to have your child read at least five nights a week. I'm happy to report that most of the fourth graders are very faithful with their reading logs.


We're finishing Unit 4 and ecosystems in science and are reviewing facts together in class. The test is Tuesday, January 8th. Then we will begin a rather long unit on sound using a kit from the Boston Science Museum that has plenty of activities. This will lead into our STEM presentation on acoustical engineering.


In English we'll be working on descriptive paragraphs, and the students will be urged to use strong adjectives and verbs in their writing pieces. We'll be able to use thesauruses on the i-pads to give us some suggestions for word usage.  We always share our writing pieces in class with reading/writing circles which the kids seem to like.


In religion we're studying the parts of the Mass which will make it more meaningful for the students. We'll have a mini tour of the church, read next Sunday's gospel, study the liturgy of the word, and delve into the most sacred part of the Mass, the Eucharist.


Our poem this month will be "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll, a little nonsense to get us through these frigid winter days.


Please note that I'm always available to you. I am grateful for your help and support.  Until next time...

Mrs. T



December News

...I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep.

( a quote by Robert Frost from our December poem)


We wish you a Merry Christmas! We wish you a Merry Christmas! 4T is in the Christmas spirit. We're preparing ourselves for the big event by talking about Advent, changing our bulletin boards recognizing Jesus' birth and practicing our songs for the Christmas pageant. Our classroom party will be on the 19th.


Of course, we're still working hard in our regular subjects. A peek at what we're doing: In math we're working on multiplying by two digits. There's still a quiz on times tables every Friday, and I've included division facts, so students need to master the "whole family".

Ecosystems is the topic in science. Students have illustrated relevant vocabulary words, showing the difference, for example, between a population and a community from a scientific point of view. Currently the kids are working on food webs with partners in class.


Possessive nouns is the challenge in English. Yikes! I've been seeing apostrophes everywhere, even for regular plurals. But pratice makes perfect.


The students did a stellar job with the November book reports in reading. I wish you could have all been here to listen to their monologues. The projects were excellent, also. Come and view these interesting characters in the display case in the lobby. The next book report will be due in January.


What a wonderful and busy time of year this is!  I'm wishing you and your family a grace filled new year with peace, love, and plenty of family time.  Your kids are amazing.


Until next time,

Mrs. T


November News

Happy November!   I am grateful for my crop of students in 4T. They did a great job with the readings at today's All Saints Day Mass. We'll be doing another celebration in December with our buddies in 2R as we'll be joining together for the Christmas prayer service. In religion we have been studying the liturgical year and have noted that we're near the end of ordinary time and we'll soon be into Advent. OOps, I guess I'm rushing the seasons a bit?!?


In math most of the students have mastered the times tables from 2 to 9 which will come in handy as we segue into chapter 4 and multiplication. Please remember to have your child work on IXL multiplication on Thursday nights. Kelsey, Connor, and Sam have logged an impressive number of minutes. Bravo! Practice makes perfect, of course, and it just doesn't work to count on your fingers for two and three digit multipliers.


Adaptations allow plants and animals to survive. A fun activity in science was experimenting with different bird beaks (clothes pins, tweezers, toothpicks, chopsticks) and discovering what beaks were best suited for what kinds of foods. (seeds, berries, worms, and insects) Our next lesson involves Gregor Mendel and his study of genetics. A vocab test on this unit is coming up soon.


Irregular plurals in English can be confusing, so we've been doing a lot of drill with these nouns. We'll be coming back to subjects and direct objects again as we see the roles of nouns in sentences. More diagramming is involved.


We've finished Because of Winn-Dixie and the students did a character study in their literature response journal. I feel that they have an in-depth understanding of the dual themes of friendship and loneliness. In literature we'll be reading an historical fiction piece about Lewis and Clark and their dog, Seaman, in our Reading Street Series. Another dog story! How fun!

Please come to Barnes and Noble next Tuesday and hear the fourth graders say a poem in unison. I hope you'll be impressed.


Until next time...


Mrs. T

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