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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.


May News

The weeks are galloping by, but there's still lots to learn, several fun activities, and a field trip or two. 4T students continue to be hard workers.


Since this is the month of May, we'll be honoring Mary by studying the mysteries of the rosary and reciting it in religion class. We've had a test on the 10 commandments with stellar results; most of the students had memorized all ten and knew them in the proper order. We'll be studying the marks of the Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, and reviewing all of the concepts covered this year in class.


Decimals are proving to be less challenging than fractions in math. If you line up the decimal points you're all set, and can proceed to add or subtract. After this chapter we'll finish the year with a "hands-on" unit in geometry. I'm happy to report that 4T has mastered 250 math skills on IXL and also has answered a mind-boggling 20,000 math questions. This translates to almost 1,000 per child!


The Earth Day Poetry Slam was inspiring. The two readers from our class were Lindsay and Clare. Lindsay composed a poem which brought to mind the awesomeness of our planet and its "song." Clare's poem was whimsical and made use of several amusing metaphors. Well done, girls. In class we'll be reading and reciting an eclectic selection of poems starting with Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky," always fun.


We have completed the magnetism/electricity chapter in science and now have "big plans" to study the universe and our place in it.  The fourth grades will also be planting the annual flowers in the butterflly garden. We'll choose colorful varieties which will attract both butterflies and humming birds, and hardy specimens which may bloom until October. On Earth Day we hung three bird feeders, a feeding station for woodpeckers, and added another bird house to the ones on the property.


An English test is coming up soon. We're working on verb tenses and irregular verbs.


Keep alert for end of the year activities, although we're still consciensciously working on academics right now.


Remember I'm always here if you have questions or concerns. Untill next time...


Mrs. T



April News



What a fun time was had by all at our VIP book report reception! Neil Armstrong "rubbed elbows" with Sacajaweia. Tom Brady and Julia Child exchanged life stories. Steve Jobs and Laura Ingalls Wilder were able to connect centuries apart. All of the students were impressive and knowledgeable in their roles and had worthwhile advice for present day students. Well done, 4T. Our next book report will be a standard one with title, author, plot...


We were thrilled to see the huge crowd of parents and grandparents for STEM night. As you know, 4T created circuit boards with states and capitals, a happy collaboration between science and social studies. We're continuing in class with static electricity activities, experiments with magnets, and finally constructing working electromagnets.


Math is a continuation of fractions, a big part of fourth grade curriculum. This week least common multiples were introduced. (LCM's) We'll be adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators next. Thank goodness the kids know their times tables.


We just finished reading a story about Tia Lola coming to visit. This is a story that introduces another culture; Tia Lola comes from the Dominican Republic. We'll be writing our own stories of people visiting us soon.


We talked about Easter being the most important holy day in the liturgical year. We walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. We'll be learning what happens after the Resurrection in those 40 days before the Ascension and also continuing our lessons in our book. We're up to the 10th commandment. There will be a test on all ten commandments in a couple of weeks.


We've accomplished a lot this month. Remind your child to read nightly, go on IXL for math, and practice those spelling words on spellingcity.com  The fourth graders are kind kids and hard workers. Until next time...


Mrs. T


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

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