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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.


The wonderful Month of May

Virtue is its own reward. In 4T religion we've finished the ten commandments, and we'll be delving into virtues starting with the three theological ones of faith, hope, and love. We'll be studying the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and learn about holiness. Because it's May, we'll also be saying the rosary in class and examining the significance of the events in Mary's life by a study of the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries.


Let's hope May is good to us, weatherwise. I'm planning to make sundials and study shadows at different times of the day. Lunch on the picnic tables would be fun, also, and of course, we've got our flowers to plant. Have you noticed the colorful tulips around the schoolyard? Those were planted in October. Today we started a new unit in science. I'm impressed by the kids' background knowledge. We talked about exoplanets, the size of the Milky Way galaxy, and why Earth is niknamed the "Goldilocks planet." This is a fun unit, and it'll take us right through May.


In math, a test on fractions is scheduled for Wednesday. Then it's on to decimals and then geometry. Don't forget IXL on Thursday nights. Jacob has logged  the most time recently. Bravo, Jacob! Practice makes perfect for everyone.


My own goal for the month of May in English is teaching a lot of writing, some creative pieces but mostly expository ones starting with persuasive essays. In April we focused on poetry, experimenting with haiku, and also writing poems about the seasons for the poetry slam. Speaking of which the fourth grade winners were... Drum roll please.... Chloe, Emma, Puneet, and Will!!! Well-written and well-read kids! We're proud of you.


Homework will continue through the month of May. A spelling bee is scheduled for this week, so studying and review pages have already been assigned. Students should continue their nightly reading. The book report will be taking on a different format this month. (to be announced and explained later this week)


Thirty one more days to go! Hang in there, students, and let's all go out in a burst of excellence. Until next time...


Mrs. T



April News

April is an exciting month. Daffodils and tulips, that we planted in the fall, are starting to peek through the snow. Next week I'll be restarting the garden club with 4th grade aftercare students who are interested. All of the 4th graders will be out on Earth Day, April 21st, to get the gardens ready for spring and summer.


April is also "Poetry Month," and the annual poetry slam will also be held on April 21st. The theme, this year, is "the seasons." Students will write poems about an event that is unique to a particular season without mentioning the name of the season. Rhymed and unrhymed poems are eligible for submission.


4T will be leading the stations of the cross on April 7th. ( 1p.m. in the church this time)  In the meantime we're studying the stations in religion and discussing the significance of each of them. The next week, starting April 9th, is Holy Week and our studies will involve the Triduum.


Don't you just love rocks?  Pumice floats. Hematite was used in ancient cave paintings. The golden luster and the unique flat, cleavage of mica is intriguing. It's fun to find fossils in sedimentary rocks. Even slate may have imprints of ferns from millions of years ago. Copper and aluminum in their natural states look nothing like the metals we're familiar with. Can you tell that this is my favorite chapter? We'll be finishing up this chapter in science before April vacation. Notes quiz: April 5th. Vocabulary quiz: April 7th.


In math, some kids are still struggling, a little, with reducing and comparing fractions. IXL has some great drills on fractions, and remember all are welcome to my Wednesday morning math clinic.


Until next time...


Mrs T






March News

I hope you all had an exciting and restful vacation. I'm back from an epic trip to Chile ???????? visiting my five grandchildren refreshed and invigorated. Mrs. Riley did a stellar job substituting for me.


In religion Mrs. Riley prepared the children for Lent by teaching about Ash Wednesday and the meaning of the 40 days leading up to Easter. The school will be commemorating this sacred season with the Stations of the Cross on Fridays;  4T will be doing the readings on April 7th.


In math the students have been introduced to equivalent fractions. We'll be reducing fractions, and adding and subtracting them with like and unlike denominators. This is one of the main topics in 4th grade math. Thank goodness the students know their multiplication facts because this knowledge sure comes in handy when finding common multiples.


Our STEM project is completed. We might be tweaking it a little on Wednesday to make sure all the electrical parts are operational, but, parents, you'll have to visit the school on March 9th to get more information and fully enjoy its intricacies. In our regular science class the students will be studying our planet Earth ????, its water, layers, and rocks. Water cycle drawings have been started in class and were to be finished for homework. I'm expecting accuracy, clarity, and a little creativity here.


" Paddle to the Sea" is fictional but contains a lot of geographical information. When we have completed this selection, we'll be reading a non-fiction piece about Machu Pichu in Peru, and then several short readings that highlight the intelligence of horses ???? including one about pony express riders.


In English we're exploring adjectives. Hopefully the kids will acquire some new vocabulary words that they can incorporate into their writing.


The kids continue to work hard, and I enjoy their perky personalities. I hope to see you at the auction on March 11th.


Please remember that I'm here for you. Let me know how I can help.


Mrs. T

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