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.


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


December News

The darkness of the approching winter solstice is in keeping with our waiting for the "light of the world." Here we are in the second week of advent, and in religion class we're talking about anticipating the arrival of our Savior on Christmas. We're noticing some of the connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The prophets had been foretelling Jesus' birth for 4,000 years, the manna in the desert is a foreshadowing of the wafers in the Eucharist, the "Great Commandment" is a summation of the 10 commandments Moses received on Mt. Sinai... Your children are curious and interested.


In reading class the students did a stellar job on their book reports. Come and see the projects constructed from a bottle, glue, fabric, and imagination. These "characters" from award-winning books are now on display in the case in the lobby. An added challenge was the students had to deliver a first person monologue as their character. Bravo students! Well done!

In class we read an award-winning story "On the Banks of Plum Creek" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Our next book report will be a selection from the world of fantasy and will be due in mid-January.


In science we've been creating food webs which are overlapping food chains and are studying predators, prey, consumers, producers and several other concepts concerning ecosystems. There will be a vocabulary test on December 9th. It's also time to fill the bird feeders; we'll stroll out some day soon around recess and fill the bird feeders. If you want to see birds, mostly chickadees, you'll have to come early morning.


This month's spelling bee winner is Chloe. Runners-up are Charles and Gavin. Just a reminder about a related language arts subject. Students now have a weekly vocabulary test from words we encounter during the week, usually from literature. This is part of the reading grade.


Wow, in math we have spent a lot of time on multiplication! We've been looking a little bit at the flip side, division, but we're taking a little break from mostly computation, and we'll be working on geometry from now until Christmas for. Our weekly facts quiz will continure, however.


I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Until next year...


Mrs. T


















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

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