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.


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


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

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