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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

Happy March! This month has come in like a lamb; let's hope it goes out like a lamb too. I noticed a few of the daffodils have started to sprout, and although they can withstand some cold they don't like super frigid temperatures.

 

Today in religion we started to talk about the 8th commandment and why it's important to tell the truth, to keep our word and promises. Lying destroys trust. Also... This Friday 4T will lead the Stations of the Cross.

 

Math finds us reducing fractions to lowest terms. Fortunately the students have learned  the times tables which makes it easier to master this new skill. We'll be adding and subtracting fractions next and finding common denominators.

 

In science we'll finish the chapter about water by drawing and defining the terms involved in the water cycle. Today we watched an entertaining video with Jerry, the water molecule, surviving from the time of the dinosaurs. We also sidetracked a bit to talk about the reason for leap year. Brody knew and told us that the Earth takes 365 days and about 6 hours to orbit the sun. Those six hours add up to one extra day every four years. On to finish our project for the STEM fair: electricity. Yikes! We're busy.

 

I hope your child is a bookworm. Reading comprehension is important in all subjects. This month's book report is a biography. We'll be having a VIP reception later in the month as the students role play the subject of their biography by dressing in costume and taking on the persona of that individual.

 

Some of each week's spelling words are difficult. Please have your child begin studying early in the week, and remember they can go on spellingcity.com for more practice. We write the words twice each on Monday, Tuesday a lesson is assigned in the workbook using the words, and a second page is assigned on Wednesday.

 

In English we've begun a chapter on persuasive writing. We'll be working on capitalization and punctuation in the process. First drafts indicate that students are pro school uniforms, but are not too crazy about homework. Oh no! I must admit that they do it anyway. Remember twenty minutes of nightly reading is part of 4T's curriculum.

 

It was great to see the kids today after our week off. They were enthusiastic, although a bit drowsy learners. Keep in touch.

 

Mrs. T




 

February News

30 days hath September

April, June and November

all the rest have thirty-one...no,wait!

February has only 28!

Except in Leap year, that's the time

When February's days are 29!

 

 

It is February, isn't it?  As I was walking in the side door this morning, I noticed that the "bishop's cloak" thinks it's spring and has started to sprout. Maybe we need some snow to act as an insulating blanket.

 

Today starts one of the most exciting weeks of the year: Catholic Schools Week. Senora Bichrest did a fantastic job organizing the first Spanish rosary recitation. What a creative teacher she is! Senora even had every student in the school construct a colorful, one decade rosary. And those Spanish accents are really coming along!

 

The 4th grade was also treated to a visit from Father John, a Franciscan priest  from Blessed Sacrament in Manchester who talked to the students about his order and then administered the sacrament of the Annointing of the Sick to Mrs. Donohue who will be undergoing surgery next week. We learned about the oils used and the benefits of this sacrament. What a moving and memorable experience for the kids, and the teachers, too!

 

Tomorrow we'll get together with our second grade buddies to watch a movie and munch on popcorn. Thursday it's off to Conway Skating Rink for grades four through six.

 

Even with all of these activities we're still working hard. In math we've completed the division chapter, and we've reasoned our way through some tricky word problems interpreting remainders. On to fractions.

 

We're reading several non-fiction selections in literature. "Adelina's Whales" brought us to Baja California to study the migratory habits of the grey whale with an interesting first person essay complete with photos. Our next selection will be about pink dolphins. We write about our reading in our literature-response journal combining reading comprehension skills and grammatical structure. The students start with a main idea sentence and write details.

 

Our planet Earth is a dynamic place. New topics in science include tectonic plates, fault lines, and earthquakes and volcanoes.  Landforms can take millions of years to change or change dramatically in the blink of an eye.

 

Our review spelling bee had many finalists. Hailey emerged as winner, followed by Gahelle. Kudos to both of you girls and all of the students who made it to the challenge round.

 

Remember reading logs are due on Thursdays and Thursday night is also IXL math night. The kids in 4T are approaching 20,000 examples solved. Keep up the good work.

 

I'll be gone the week of February 15th for my yearly trek to Chile to spend some time with my four grandchildren in Buin. Don't worry, the class will be left in the capable hands of Mrs. Riley. I've already chatted with her and have started working on my lesson plans, so there will be no interruption in the class's progress.

 

Until next time...

 

Mrs. T



 

January News

To my dear parents and students: Thank you for the generous Christmas gifts. I am touched. Happy New Year to all of you! May 2016 bring you peace, contentment, and good health. New year, new topics, and new adventures in learning! We start our month with the feast of the "Three Kings" on January 6th with a mass. In class we'll discuss the meaning of the kings' gifts: gold because Jesus was a king, frankincense because he was God, and myrrh because he was a man. What an arduous journey these ancient travelers must have endured!

 

In religion we're up to the second group of commandments, numbers 4 through 10 which reflect our relationship with our neighbors. This is the second half of the great commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

 

The poem for this month is the whimsical, "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll. We recite our poem every morning with 4D. Mrs. Donohue has coined a new word, "poeming".

 

Please encourage your child to read every night. Some are very faithful, others not so much. The book report this month will be historical fiction. We studied Laura Ingalls Wilder a little bit. Maybe your child would like to explore life on the prairie a little more. It happens to coincide with social studies as does a selection we'll be reading together in class. "Paddle to the Sea" is a fun journey of a toy canoe traveling from Canada, through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. We'll investigate how that can be done.

 

In English we'll continue with adjectives. We barely got started with them in December. Hopefully, working with adjectives will enhance students' writing and produce lively, descriptive paragraphs.

 

Science will introduce students to rocks and minerals, the history of our planet Earth as gleaned from landforms, and the all-important water cycle. No new projects, but I will offer an extra credit assignment on producers and consumers from chapter 4 so the kids can get more practice classifying living organisms.The food webs constructed in class were excellent.

 

A day without math is a day without sunshine, of course. Students sailed through the charts and graphs chapter, enjoyed probability, and will now learn the magical steps for dividing the long way: divide, multiply, subtract, bring down. "Dumb monkeys smell bananas." This is a brand new chapter.

 

Lindsay won our spelling bee last month. Hurray for you, Lindsay, and all the finalists who stayed standing many rounds.

 

Please remember in your prayers Jackie Bouley and her girls. We will add her and her family to our morning intentions. Our hearts go out to them.

 

And finally, I'm here if you have any questions or concerns.  Until next time...

 

Mrs. T



 


 
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