Home Students Classroom Pages Grade 4 - Mrs. Ternan

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.


November News

I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep.


Robert  Frost is our poet this month and we'll be saying the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" in the morning after prayer and at Barnes and Noble Night on November 22nd.

Join us tomorrow, November 1st as 4T does the readings for the All Saints Day mass. In religion class we're also studying the four parts of the mass, focusing, in particular, on the liturgy of the word, and the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Ten students have scored 100% on every multiplication quiz in math since the beginning of the year. Hurray! We're going for mastery. We begin chapter 4, and we'll be concentrating on learning properties, factors, multiples, and patterns in multiplication.

The first spelling bee of the year was held, and our spelling champ is Chloe, followed by Michaela, and Ava. The girls remained standing for fifteen rounds.  Bravo, girls.

In science we'll be working on biology for a few more weeks. A vocabulary test is coming up the week of November 7th on chapter 3, and a project will also be assigned about ecosystems.

Nouns is our next topic in English. In literature we read an historical fiction piece about Lewis and Clark narrated by Seaman, a dog. It was fun to compare Seaman and Winn-Dixie, both large dogs who work their way into the readers' hearts. Both were mistaken for bears. We've been studying vocabulary  from words gleaned from our readings, and I have added a vocabulary quiz On Fridays. Maybe you heard your child use pathological" or "ravenous." By the end of the year students will have officially learned about 150 new words.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Remember conferences are November 15th. See you then...


Mrs. T


October News

Something told the wild geese

It was time to go

Though the fields lay golden

Something whispered snow...

by Rachel Field


Glorious October has arrived,  and 4T is combining science with poetry. Instinct, of course, is telling the wild geese to migrate. We've finished discussing scientific methods and have started biology, plants and animals. These are always favorite chapters, and there's also opportunities for extra credit as students can bring in pertinent objects from nature. Tomorrow we'll be drawing and learning the parts of a flower. Tuesday we'll be shaking pine cones to find the seeds inside and looking at the spores on ferns under microscopes.


Math finds us learning the properties of addition:  associative, commutative, and identity. We'll be going through this chapter rather quickly because adding is not a new skill. I'll be injecting some simple decimals into the addition examples to teach new concepts. We'll be doing a little pre-algebra as we search for variables and set up mathematical expressions. I'm trying to develop a strong math sense.


In reading Because of Winn-Dixie is proving to be a popular book with the students. We read it together, students read it silently, they read with a peer and answer questions about the story and the very unique characters. Sometimes they write a piece in their literature-response journal.

Our first book report will be explained this week; it's a traditional report of an historical fiction or realistic fiction chapter book. I've put it off a little because I wanted to really focus on Because of Winn-Dixie. I can  give suggestions for books, as can Mrs. Noon.


In religion we've talked about kinds of sin, free will, and conscience. We're also studying parables, practicing retelling them and discussing the meaning. The Good Samaritan: help others. The Prodigal Son: God always forgives.


In English the students are grappling with parts of speech, direct object, and subject complements. They are learning diagramming, which I hope will help them understand the parts of a sentence. We're still working on personal narratives aiming for clarity and sentence structure. They tell great stories.


First field trip is coming up October 11th to the Little Red Schoolhouse, a fun event. I won't say more and spoil the fun, but the kids always love it, experiencing what it was like in school 100 years ago.


Until next time...

Mrs. T


Welcome to Grade 4T

Welcome to Grade 4T. I hope you had a fun summer, but isn't this fall weather refreshing?  I love to see the kids' curious, expectant faces in September. It should be a happy, productive year, and I have a lot planned. We'll be scientists, mathematicians, writers, readers, and theologians.


In science students have already been making observations and recording data. We've combed the outdoor classroom for signs of living things, we've looked at onion cells and other items under a microscope, and next we'll investigate whether salt dissolves more readily in warm or cold water. Students will be asked to form an hypothesis and control for variables.


We're reviewing place value in math and practicing math facts. The curricululm also will include, fractions, long division, decimals, probability, and geometry as the year progresses. IXL math practice is assigned for homework every Thursday.


Focus and clarity are the buzz words in writing. Students have great imaginations and stories to tell, and we'll  be helping each other to write pieces that are interesting, clear, and grammatically correct. This is an ongoing process for personal narratives, descriptive pieces, and scientific explanations. We have an English book, also, which teaches sentence structure, parts of speech, and even a little diagramming.


We're starting our year in literature by reading "Because of WinnDixie" by Kate DeCamillo as a class book. All students will be given their books this week. It's a story about friendship and acceptance with somewhat unusual, but lovable characters. We'll be reading at school, at home, having class discussions, and completing writing assignments. It should be a fun read for dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike.


Fourth grade religion curriculum is the ten commandments. We start our day by reading the Bible, enjoying the stories of the Old Testament working our way up to Moses on Mt. Sinai. A close look at the Mass is also part of our studies, as well as the Beatitudes, and the precepts of the Church.


Mrs. Donohue, my fourth grade partner, teaches social studies. "States and regions" is the theme this year. It'll be an enjoyable year as the students learn about all fifty states and areas of the country.


This is a great group of children. They've already impressed me with their eagerness to learn and their good manners. Please remember that I'm here for you.  If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Until next time...

Mrs. Ternan


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