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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

Ah! What wonderful weather! We ate our lunch outdoors at the picnic tables and under the trees today. Then it was so deliciously delightful that we decided to do reading outside too. "Stuart Little" by E.B. White was doubly enjoyable. This award winning book is the 4th grade selection for both classes. We'll discuss plot, characterization, fantasy and even learn some nautical terms as Stuart enters a sailing race and finds himself in quite a predicament.

In religion we're finishing up the ten commandments. The test next Friday, May 15th, will require knowing them all word for word and in order.  On another part of our religion curriculum, 4T made pipe cleaner flowers. These small bouquets were sent to the residents of Langdon Place.

In math we're drawing quadrilaterals and triangles. Soon the students will be finding perimeters and areas using mathematical formulas.

In science the students are exploring conductors and insulators as we experiment with series and parallel circuits. Lots of hands-on activities here, although vocabulary comprehension is equally important.

The poetry slam was fantastic. Maryfei and Noah represented our class. Maryfei wrote a poem about music and how it makes her feel, and Noah penned a poem about playing hide and seek with his little brother, JoJo. 4T was proud that these two poets represented us.

The spelling bee winner this month was Colin. Last month Jamie was the champ.

In reading, students read and then wrote myths sharing them in reading circles. Great imagination here! Ask your child to read his/her myth for you. On to persuasive and expository writing as we finish up our year's program. I've noticed a marked improvement in sentence structure and word usage over the course of the year. Kudos to the students and their consistent effort.

Look for us, on these sunny days, in the butterfly garden or measuring the perimeter of the backyard or playground. I'm hoping to plant strawberries in terraces on the hill  and also replace several blueberry bushes near the bird bath. There are five more weeks of pretty intense school work, and then we'll be relaxing with a trip to the Robert Frost Farm, a day at the Silver Knights ballgame, and a day at Sargent Avenue Park for 3rd and 4th grades. I'll be looking for chaperones, so please feel free to volunteer.

It's been a great year, but we still have lots to do.

Mrs. T


April News

Happy spring! What a wonderful time we all had at the St. Chris auction!

Religion: We've now started the most sacred week of the liturgical year, Holy Week. We'll be rereading and discussing the Passion and learning about the Triduum. On Thursday we'll be going to Church for a paraliturgy.

Language Arts: April is poetry month. The students have been reciting a "poem of the month" all school year. This month they are being asked to memorize one and say it for the class. At the end of the month,  on April 24th, the school will hold its 12th annual poetry slam. The theme this year is "something that makes the world a better place."

Bobby Canaway was this month's spelling bee winner. Kudos to you, Bobby.

In literature we're leaving the world of non-fiction and immersing ourselves in fables, Aesop's. of course, but also more modern fables from around the world.

Math: Chapter 9, the second chapter about fractions, will be concluding with a test on Thursday. The students have been adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, doing a little probability and finding fractions of a whole. (Example: 5/8 of 24 students buy hot lunch. How many students is that?

Science: An added enrichment to our science program is Fit Kids. Mrs. K comes in every Wednesday and talks about keeping healthy as she teaches about the various body systems. Last week the students constructed "lungs." This week the topic will be digestion.

The kids are great learners with an inborn curiosity. I continue to enjoy working with them.

Until next time...

Mrs. T


March News

Hello Parents and Friends,

I had a great trip to Chile and was able to communicate with the school while I was away. AH, the miracle of modern technology. Happy March!  Can spring be far behind?  We'll be ready by starting plantings indoors. More information will be coming up soon.

We're remembering Lent with the weekly Stations of the Cross. In class we're still working through the 10 Commandments. Many of the students can say them by heart. Father John made a visit to the 4th grades in his Franciscan robes and told the students about the significance of his habit, and the three knots in his cincture.

The STEM Fair is almost here. 4T has been busy investigating the careers of material engineers and archaeologists in a high interest unit which culminates in the creation of petroglyph replicas. We're taking photos as we go along and are investigating rocks and other raw materials as they are processed to make useful items. We started this lesson with a fictional story about twin girls in Russia which introduced the scientific concepts involved.

The chapter 8 math test was today, and I was pleased with the results. The students exhibit a good  understanding of fractions, finding greatest common factors, and reducing to simplest terms. On to adding fractions and finding least common multiples. Knowing the times tables sure helps.

Here's a little silliness for our long winter: Lewis Carroll's poem, "The Walrus and the Carpenter." It's a nonsense poem on one level and a real, although fantastical, story on another. It'll be fun to illustrate, and it offers us some great vocabulary words: dismal, beseech, sympathize, sulkily, briny...

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Until next time...

Mrs. T

P.S. Don't forget the book report this month is a biography. This is a dress-up event and a VIP reception will be held in 4T for the students on March 18th. Each student will pretend that they are really their character from history or famous living sports figure.

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