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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.


March News

I hope you all had an exciting and restful vacation. I'm back from an epic trip to Chile ???????? visiting my five grandchildren refreshed and invigorated. Mrs. Riley did a stellar job substituting for me.


In religion Mrs. Riley prepared the children for Lent by teaching about Ash Wednesday and the meaning of the 40 days leading up to Easter. The school will be commemorating this sacred season with the Stations of the Cross on Fridays;  4T will be doing the readings on April 7th.


In math the students have been introduced to equivalent fractions. We'll be reducing fractions, and adding and subtracting them with like and unlike denominators. This is one of the main topics in 4th grade math. Thank goodness the students know their multiplication facts because this knowledge sure comes in handy when finding common multiples.


Our STEM project is completed. We might be tweaking it a little on Wednesday to make sure all the electrical parts are operational, but, parents, you'll have to visit the school on March 9th to get more information and fully enjoy its intricacies. In our regular science class the students will be studying our planet Earth ????, its water, layers, and rocks. Water cycle drawings have been started in class and were to be finished for homework. I'm expecting accuracy, clarity, and a little creativity here.


" Paddle to the Sea" is fictional but contains a lot of geographical information. When we have completed this selection, we'll be reading a non-fiction piece about Machu Pichu in Peru, and then several short readings that highlight the intelligence of horses ???? including one about pony express riders.


In English we're exploring adjectives. Hopefully the kids will acquire some new vocabulary words that they can incorporate into their writing.


The kids continue to work hard, and I enjoy their perky personalities. I hope to see you at the auction on March 11th.


Please remember that I'm here for you. Let me know how I can help.


Mrs. T


February News

Hello 4T Familes, the days don't seem long enough to fit in all of our academic endeavors and activities.

Our auction project becomes a learning experience as we study the writings of Lewis Carroll and have chosen the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" for our monthly poetry recitation and analysis.This week's vocabulary words are all from the poem. Colorful words: "dismal," "beseech," "sympathize..." Lewis Carroll was a mathematician and we'll be looking for some mathematical references in "Alice in Wonderland."


Speaking of math the students are still practicing long division, have learned how to find averages, and will be introduced to "order of operations" next week. Please continue encouraging your children to practice math on IXL on Thursday nights, or anytime. Some are logging on for hours each week. Bravo to them.


Today we built simple circuits in science. We'll relate electricity to magnetism and go on to explore electromagnetism. Our STEM project will involve electrical circuits.


"Paddle to the Sea" is our present literary selection. We've been doing a close reading of this story whose main theme is how the Great Lakes are connected to the Atlantic Ocean. This fits in with social studies as the 4th graders are studying the Midwest with Mrs. Donohue.


It's been a wonderful Catholic Schools Week. We started out with Mass on Monday, and we'll finish tomorrow with bowling and a movie with our second grade buddies. Back to our regular routine next week.


Feel free to contact me at any time. Until next time...





January News

Happy New Year to all our St. Chris families. Thank you, again, for the wonderful Christmas wishes and gifts. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are very appreciated.There's lots to accomplish in 2017, and we're all raring to go. (I hope.) January will be a curriculum- rich month, culminating with Catholic Schools' Week, always a favorite time with everyone. 


In religion we've been talking about the feast of the Epiphany and looking forward to Bishop Libasci's mass on Friday. In our Bible readings we've read about the flight to Egypt wondering if the gold, one of the gift's from the wisemen, helped to finance the Holy Family's escape. Straddling both the old and new testaments, the fifth commandment is our topic this week in our textbook. I have been emphasizing the Great Commandment (love of God and love of neighbor) given to us by Jesus, himself, and is a perfect summation of both parts of the Bible.


The students enjoy probability in math, and drawing charts to record data. But.. we're on to more substantial material. Later this week I will introduce dividing with remainders and the process of long division. The kids are progressing very nicely with the "speed math." I find this class really knows their math facts, but we'll be practicing all year to keep this skill sharp. In IXL please proceed to division facts with your child. That's standard Thursday night homework.


It's been fun looking at fossils in science.  I have a trilobite which is estimated to be 400 million years old which I found on a hike in the Chilean Andes, and two specimens of amonites which are estimated to be 200 million years old. Incredible! This represents the final pages in Chapter 4, ecosytems. The final test will be on January 13th, and it's a Friday. (ha!) A study sheet was sent home.


I'm looking forward to the fantasy dioramas which are due January 11th. For reading this week I'm combining literature with science, and we'll be reading a selection about the La Brea Tar Bits in Los Angeles from which thousands of fossils were found of prehistoric animals such as the saber-toothed tiger and the ground sloth.


Please remember that along with the spelling test on Fridays, there is also a vocabulary test of words that we encountered during the week.


We've been spending time diagramming in English. I find it helps the students decipher parts of speech as every part of the sentence has a specific place on the diagram. We start with the verb in the middle, then the subject and then words that describe the subject, and then on to the direct object or subject complement.


I'm always available if you have a question or concern. The children are conscientious and hard-working. Parents, you're doing a great job with them.


Until next time...

Mrs. T

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