Weekly Class Newletters


September 16th, 2018

posted Sep 16, 2018, 4:30 PM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated Sep 16, 2018, 4:30 PM ]

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 Welcome to our Grade 4 Class Website.  You will find information about current topics of study, as well as school/class events here each week.  Kindly let me know if there are any other features that you would like for me to add as I am always looking for ways to strengthen home-school communication. 
 
 Let me begin this first newsletter by saying that I am DELIGHTED to have the privilege of teaching your children again this year (For those of you who are new to St. Mary's Elementary, please know that I am very much looking forward to working with you and my new students as well and I know that you will all enjoy being a part of such an awesome school community!).  We have already been VERY busy learning in these first days of school.  Here is a quick summary of what we are doing this week:
 
 First, Mathematics.  Presently we are studying numbers to 10,000.  More specifically, how to write them in expanded notation, read them properly, represent them in numbers, pictures and words and order them on a number line.
 
 Secondly, Language Arts.  We have been studying the novel "Fudge" by Judy Blume.  This is a great book to develop student understanding of characterization as most students enjoy Fudge's mischievous nature and can easily make text-to-self connections using their own life experiences. During this week we will be creating a character web and designing our own book covers for this novel. 
 
 Thirdly, Social Studies.  As we are studying explorers, we have been learning about different places in the world we would like to visit (ex. coral reef) and writing a log about our adventures there.  In this regard, students will be beginning their own logs this week, so if they have pictures and/or other items such as ticket stubs, drawings, etc. that they would like to include in a log about a trip they have taken, they are welcome to bring these to school.
 
 Fourthly, Science. We are studying rocks this term.  More specifically, students are learning to distinguish between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock.  This week, students will be doing an experiment which demonstrates how sedimentary rock is formed.  Students who have a special rock or two at home are also welcome to bring these to school so that we can use our investigative skills to describe each rock and determine its type.
 
 Fifthly, French.  Students have been very enthusiastic about learning school vocabulary, as well as basic phrases describing the weather and date.  We will continue practicing our new vocabulary through songs and games, and begin learning the words for school supplies.
 
 Now, in regards to this week's announcements, I have four quick things.  First, if at all possible, I would appreciate it if students could submit their pizza orders BEFORE Friday each week due to the time it takes to process the order when everyone brings their pizza money on the same day.  Thank you in advance for your support in this matter.  Secondly, I look forward to meeting with you this Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. for our annual Curriculum Night.  In the meantime, feel free to email me at pennypinsent@nlesd.ca or call the school at 753-9892 should you need to speak with me. Please note that it is sometimes difficult to check emails during the day, however, they are checked after school or in the early evening.  Thirdly, if you have not already sent your child's permission slip for the Terry Fox Walk to school, would you kindly do so by the end of this week. Finally, I placed an Early School Closure Form in the agendas on Friday as this information is very important in the event of an unforeseen closure.  If you would kindly complete and return this form A.S.A.P., it would be greatly appreciated.  
 
 See you on Thursday at 7 p.m.!

 Have a wonderful week!

 Ms. Pinsent

 

May 16th, 2018

posted May 17, 2018, 5:18 AM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated May 17, 2018, 5:19 AM ]

Hi everyone,

 

It is hard to believe that six weeks from tomorrow is the last day of school!  While the weather is getting warmer and my wonderful students' thoughts are turning to the summer vacation, there is still much to be done. 

 

First, in Religion, today is the beginning of the month of Ramadan in the Muslim faith. During this religious observance those in the Muslim community will fast from early morning until sunset daily.  Fasting is accompanied by additional time in prayer, and also enables those participating to better understand the struggles of those in need.  In that regard, acts of charity and kindness are also a very important part of Ramadan.

 

As part of our Religious Education curriculum, we learn about and celebrate everyone's faith.  In speaking with my students today, they felt that they would like to give up their Recess on Thursday, May 24th and bring along a food donation for a local food bank instead of a snack.  So, all Grade 4 students who would like to (their choice) may participate in this activity on May 24th.

 

Further to the above, we also started a Kindness Calendar for Ramadan today.  Every day students are encouraged to do one kind deed for another person and record it in the calendar block for that day.  This calendar is due on June 15th and will be counted as part of the assessment for this unit in Religion (Kindness activities may be done in school, at home or in the community).

 

Secondly, spelling.  While I completely understand that it is hard to focus on homework when the weather is so beautiful outside, just ten minutes of spelling practice daily makes a big difference.  My goal for my students this Wednesday is that all of them will reach 8/10 on their spelling quiz. New lists will go home tomorrow.  I will also be placing some practice activities in Google Classroom over the weekend that they can use to practice.

 

Thirdly, upcoming events:

 

May 31st - Family Math Games Night (Details TBA)

 

June 12th - Field trip to Holy Heart of Mary High School for a Drama Workshop (all day)

 

June 14th - Public Speaking (p.m.)

 

June 18th - Sports Day (June 20th if it is raining.)

 

June 21st (a.m.) - Field Trip to the Fluvarium for our Light and Sound Science Unit

June 21st (p.m.) - Arts Smarts Open House (All parents are invited) 

 

June 26th (11:45 - 2:35 p.m.) - Grade Four Year End Celebration (Pancake Lunch, Assembly and Student-led Parent Interviews)

 

June 28th - Last day of school 😢

 

Fourthly, public speaking.  On Tuesday I will send home the guidelines for public speaking.  In the meantime, if you and your child could chat about possible topics for this persuasive essay, it would be greatly appreciated.  We will be writing this speech COMPLETELY in school, however, parents are encouraged to work with their child on expression, eye contact, presentation speed, etc.

 

Finally, a gentle reminder.  In our last school newsletter, Ms. Collett provided the website for a school survey.  I know how busy you all are, however, I also know how incredibly supportive the S.M.E. parent community is to those of us privileged to be teaching at our beautiful little school.  So, if you could take just a few minutes between now and Tuesday to click on the link below and complete the survey, it would really help us to identify the areas where we are doing well and others where we need a little more focus.  Thank you in advance for your help.  The link is as follows:

 

https://www.research.net/r/SDFamily1718EN

 

I think that this is all for now.  Enjoy the long weekend and the final weeks of this busy school year. 

 

As always, thank you for the absolute joy of teaching your children. 

 

Ms. Pinsent

February 11th, 2018

posted Feb 11, 2018, 11:21 AM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated Feb 11, 2018, 11:21 AM ]


Hi everyone,

I just wanted to write to keep you updated on our classroom projects and monthly news.

First, Happy Kindness Week everyone! During the next four days students will participate in some special activities which enable them to reflect on the important of treating others with care.  In this regard I have listed the colors that we are asking students to wear each day on our Class Activities page for easy reference.  

Secondly, we are having our very first Spelling test on Monday (tomorrow)! As I said in my email last week, I am VERY pleased with my students' growth in their ideas and organization, however, I feel it is time to increase our focus on the editing part of the writing process.  To this end, the children will each do a written spelling test every Monday and a set of new words will be sent home each Tuesday.  Further, as our Elementary students enjoyed the Spelling Bee immensely, there will be a short Spelling Bee at the end of each month beginning in March.

Thirdly, beginning Monday, students will have an opportunity to work on their Heritage Fair Projects during our Daily 5 Writing Block in Language Arts. So, if you would ensure that they have their research questions or notes ready, that would be greatly appreciated as it will help them to use their time more efficiently.  Tuesday, February 20th will be the last day in which class time is allocated to creating Heritage Fair Projects, however, feel free to contact me if you have any questions after that date when working with your child to complete the project at home.

Fourthly, I am sending along a little reminder about a writing contest which I think that many of my students would enjoy.  It is as follows: http://www.ripplepublishing.ca/kids-write-4-kids-creative-challenge/

Finally, there will be NO school on Friday, February 16th OR Monday, February 19th as it is a scheduled Winter Break for our school district.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful week!

Ms. Pinsent

January 22nd, 2018

posted Jan 22, 2018, 3:39 PM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated Jan 22, 2018, 3:39 PM ]

 Dear Parents,

 It seems that the winter term is going to fly by as quickly as the Fall.  Can you believe it is already the 22nd of January???  Well, there are a lot of exciting things
 to tell you about upcoming events at our school and in our classroom.  I will post under the Class Activities page for easy reference.

 First, on Wednesday, the Grade 4 students will do a CLASSROOM Spelling Bee using the Can Spell List I sent home on January 8th, 2018.  The four students
 who are the closest to 40/40 in each of the Elementary grades will compete in the school Spelling Bee on Friday afternoon (January 26th) at 1:00 p.m.  The two 
 students who spell the most words correctly in the school Spelling Bee will compete in the Regional competition at Holy Heart High School later next month.

 As this is the first experience that most, if not all students in Grade Four, have had with a spelling competition, I am encouraging them all to use it as a goal-
 setting opportunity.  Presently, they are setting goals in their reading and writing.  Using the Can Spell results, they can set a realistic goal about the number of 
 new words they wish to learn each month.  I know that you, like me, will be proud of each and every one of them for doing their best.

 Secondly, on February 1st, a letter will go home about this year's Heritage Fair.  While most of the work will be done at school, the final copies will be done at
 home.  More information to follow in two weeks.

 Thirdly, on March 15th, the students will be doing their own parent interviews.  Parents will sign up for a thirty minute session between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. that 
 evening, so that your child can present his/her portfolio to you.  During that time you will see what goals your son/daughter chose in math, reading and writing,
 and how they measured their progress.  While I will be available to answer any additional questions you may have, students will take the lead in these 
 conferences as research shows that students who set their own learning goals achieve better results (They are more engaged in their learning).  

 Fourthly, on Wednesday, April 25th (Time to be announced.), the Grade Four students will present their annual Earth Day Assembly. This will include musical
 selections in French and in English.

 I will update you on any additional special events as they are announced.  In the meantime, kindly check the class website several times weekly as they
 will also be posted on the daily homework page.

 Thank you for your ongoing support and for the privilege of teaching your children.  They are truly "leaders in training" and I am so proud of each of them.\\
 
 Have a wonderful week!

 Ms. Pinsent


 

November 14th, 2017

posted Nov 13, 2017, 4:05 PM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 4:06 PM ]

 Dear Parents.

 I hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday today and that your children are looking forward to another fantastic week of learning adventures at S.M.E.  It is hard 
 to believe that in just over two weeks we will be meeting to discuss the wonderful progress which the Grade Fours have made this term.  Time flew while they
 grew!

 During this week we will continue to build our reading and writing skills by studying text features in informational writing (ex. diagrams, pictures, italics, subtitles)
 so that we can apply these characteristics to our own writing and use our understanding of topic sentences to help us understand nonfiction texts better. We are
 also looking at the use of voice and word choice in fictional stories so that we can incorporate these tools in our writing too. We are also continuing to work on
 our conversational skills; reflecting on the speaker's points, supporting the conversation, turn-taking, etc. 

 In Mathematics we are concluding our study of addition and subtraction but will continue reviewing these concepts throughout the year through our Daily 3 
 Math Centers. Presently, we are looking at number patterns and problems such as _____ + 35 = 49.  We will also begin using the Dreambox Math program 
 on the iPads this week.

 In Science, we have been enjoying the experiments in the Rocks and Minerals unit.  Presently, we are discovering how rocks and minerals are used today and 
 how to prevent erosion.

 In Health this week we will design posters which explain how each food group contributes to our overall health.

 In French, we will begin using our new French words for school locations and school supplies to play a French game.

 Finally, in Social Studies students will present their reports about an explorer of their choice and discuss the importance of point of view when reading about 
 explorations.

 Have a wonderful week!  Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions!

 Yours in literacy!

 Ms. Pinsent

  


October 16th-19th, 2017

posted Oct 16, 2017, 4:11 PM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated Oct 17, 2017, 5:20 PM ]

WOW!  It is hard to believe that it has been six weeks since we began this school year.  Time is flying by and your children are learning and growing more everyday.  The following is just a brief summary of what we are doing in Grade Four this week:

In Language Arts and Social Studies, my students have been learning to create and present their own stories through their work in Arts Smarts with storyteller Catherine Wright.  They are currently concluding their research projects on explorers and have eagerly moved into creative writing.  I have been so proud of their comments during Writers Group sessions; they are really learning to give specific feedback to one another.  

In Mathematics, we are continuing to work on organizing numbers to 10, 000 on a number line and to add from right to left as well as left to right.  We are also learning how rounding numbers can help us to better estimate an answer.

Our class has also been learning to label school supplies and the classroom environment, days of the week, months of the year and numbers to 30 in French. 

In Health, we are continuing to focus on nutrition and how each food group contributes to our health.

In Science, we have worked on different activities which enable us to understand how sedimentary rock is formed.  This week we will be working on activities which focus on how fossils are made.

Now in other news, I wanted to let you know that we have officially received the list of schools with which we have been grouped for the Canadian Postcard Challenge.  As students conclude their Halloween stories, we are going to begin creating our own postcards to introduce St. John's to our friends in other provinces.  In that regard, if parents would kindly send along a stamp at your earliest convenience, I would very much appreciate it.  Also, you might like to discuss the special things about our community with your child to help him/her begin to form ideas about his/her postcard message. 

Finally, there are a number of important events in the near future that you might like to note on your calendars.  They are as follows:

Wednesday, October 17th - Recycling Day!
Friday, October 20th - Jamarama Day in support of the Janeway Children's Hospital
Tuesday, October 24th - School closed for a Teacher Professional Learning Day
Wednesday, October 24th - Meet at Bishop Meaden Manor at 8:15 a.m. for our annual Walk to School event (Parents are welcome!)
Tuesday, October 31st - Halloween Fair at 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Children may change into their costumes at 12:10 p.m.)
Friday, November 3rd - Last day to donate to Coats for Kids at school
Friday, November 10th and Monday, November 13th - School closed for Remembrance Day and School District Holiday
Friday, December 22nd - Last day of school before Christmas

Have a wonderful week!

Yours in literacy!

Ms. Pinsent




September 25th - 29th, 2017

posted Sep 24, 2017, 5:25 PM by Penny Pinsent   [ updated Sep 25, 2017, 5:58 AM ]

Dear Parents,

It was a delight to meet with many of you on Thursday evening to review the curriculum, classroom routines and upcoming events.  The presentation is posted below so that those who were unable to attend may review it when you have a few spare moments.  

As we discussed on Thursday, each Monday I will post a newsletter to keep you posted on the learning experiences planned for each week.  In that regard, should any of you have specific expertise in one of the identified topics (ex. Geology, NL explorers, etc.), I would certainly be happy to hear from you.

In Language Arts and Social Studies this week my students will be learning to write an Exploration Log where they will share details of some of their past explorations.  They will also choose an explorer and begin doing the research for a report.

In Mathematics, students will use their understanding of benchmarks to 1000 to create their own group posters which visually represent what 10 000 means to them.  They will also continue to build and draw numbers to 10, 000 and write these numbers in digits and words.

Our focus in Science is on rocks and minerals.  During this week students are encouraged to bring in rocks that they have already collected or that they collect in their neighborhood.  We will continue to classify these rocks on the basis of physical properties such as color, size and texture.  Students will also participate in an experiment which models the formation of sedimentary rock.

In Health, we will discuss the connection between nutrition and our well-being.

During French, we will create books, play games and learn songs which focus on school-related vocabulary.

As part of Art this week, we will be discussing what Art means to different people and we will sketch our hands.

In addition to the above, we are also participating in a very special Arts Smarts Launch at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning.  During this time all S.M.E. students will sing a very special song which they learned during Arts Smarts last year under the guidance of our two teachers from the Native Friendship Center.  This will be aired on the news that evening so be sure to tune in.

Finally, a few housekeeping items:
    1) Please look in your child's book bag today for an important note regarding emergency closures.   
    2) The yellow folder with completed work will go home this Friday.  Please review the work with your child and then return the empty folder on Tuesday.
    3) There is no school on Monday, October 2nd as teachers have a Professional Development Day.

Have a wonderful week!

Yours in literacy!

Ms. Pinsent


Curriculum Night Presentation

posted Sep 21, 2017, 4:41 PM by Sam Denimsty   [ updated Sep 21, 2017, 4:43 PM ]


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