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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.


June News

We're cruising into June, still working, still studying, still learning new things.


In religion we've been studying the hierarchy of the Church, the elections of the popes and how they can be traced back in a line to Peter and then Jesus, himself. And, of course, Pope Francis is the first pope from the Americas/


In math, decimals were found to be easier than fractions, but boy those two and three step word problems can be tricky. Ryan solved a particularly complex one today. On to a taste of geometry, shapes, and measurements for our final week and a half.


How vast our galaxy is! What a surprising number of exoplanets have been found by scientists. In science our discussions tend to be "out of this world." We're finishing up our unit on space. Students drew illustrations of lunar and solar eclipses, and Scarlett and Ava arranged an attractive bulletin board. Our last vocabulary test will be on Friday.


In literature, we read an intriguing nonfiction piece about the Navajo code writers of World War II, and we've been experimenting with codes (including the morse code) for fun.


Two more spelling tests for the year, so keep working on those weekly words. Chloe won our last spelling bee. Maybe we'll be able to fit one more in the last couple of days of school.


Have you noticed the flowers out back? The fourth grade donated and planted them. A big thank you to Mrs. Marget and Mrs. Uong who willingly got down in the dirt to help out.


I thoroughly enjoyed working with this year's batch of fourth graders. Parents you're doing a great job with your children. In the words of my 3 year old Chilean granddaughter, " Ciao, ciao." It's been great knowing you and working with you.


Mrs. T



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





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