Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Update

Hello Room 21 Families!

March has been a busy, productive month.  Several science activities and demonstrations have been some of the highlights of the month!  Mr. Musselman came and led students through a hands on stream model demonstration to learn how rivers shape the earth's surface.  This was a wonderful introduction to the new weather and erosion unit. Also, you MIGHT have heard that we are hatching chicks?  Yes, eggs were delivered on Monday, and so far we have hatched six chicks! Below, enjoy some photos from the stream table demonstration and the chick hatching presentation by Ms. Pavlicek.  As well as a few first glimpses of our baby chicks!

Stream Model Demonstration:

Chick Hatching Presentation:

 Our eggs before hatching...

 Taking a peak...

They're Hatching!!!

-Mrs. Hevey

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Classroom Updates and Photos

Hello Room 21 Families,

So much has been happening in the classroom throughout these last few months!  I'd like to offer a few links with some slideshows and pictures for you to enjoy.  I hope they make you smile!  I'd also like to give a few updates on our curriculum and school happenings.  

Back in January, we wrapped up our Bridges program, and it was a wonderful experience for all involved!  Here is a slideshow of the fun we had.  We will see our Bridges Buddies again later in the year for a reunion.

Bridges Slideshow

Topic 8 assessments will be going home soon.  We are focusing on fractions!  Look for a topic 9 letter in your child's folder this week. 

Nonfiction writing projects are well underway.  Ask your child what he or she has learned about either Canada or Mexico!  This project has layers of skills involved: researching using a variety of sources, note-taking, writing nonfiction text from notes, and a final product too!

Fun Photos from the Past Few Months:

The Kindness Committee of the Fifth Grade Student Council is starting a fund raising campaign to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation. The money supports research to treat the disease and find a cure. The committee has several fund raisers planned for the spring. The first is a coin drive that begins Monday, March 6. We have donation bins placed in each pod and one in the school lobby, as well. Today, two of our students made a school-wide announcement about the campaign. We hope you will talk with your child about this worthy cause. Please consider sending your child to school with loose change or a dollar bill to contribute to our fund raiser. 

Erin Hevey

Friday, November 18, 2016

November News - Part 2

Happy Friday Room 21 Families,

November has been full of fun and learning!  Check out the two slideshow videos below to see all of the fun from Rocket Day, and from the Immigration program that came to our school from the Tsongas Industrial History Center.

Rocket Day Slideshow

Immigration Program Slideshow

Also, our class enjoyed a couple of rewards today!  A school-wide reward was recently earned and the children enjoyed some fun music during lunch.  Our class had also earned a class reward, and pajama day was a success.  Here are a few pictures from their cozy free time:

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend with your families.  I look forward to seeing you soon at conferences.
-Erin Hevey

Friday, November 4, 2016

November News - Part 1

Hello Room 21 Families!
Many exciting events have been happening over the past few weeks and will continue as we move into November.  Read on to find out more about our current news!

One of the most exciting parts of being a fourth grader here in Burlington, is that we get to build our own rockets and launch them at a special event we call ROCKET DAY!  The rockets are almost finished and will be launched on Wednesday, November 9th at 1:00-2:30.  Please join us outside for this great event! Thank you to Mr. Musselman, one of our wonderful Science Center teachers, for helping us build the rockets.  And a very BIG thank you to our parent volunteers for helping the rocket building process go smoothly: Mrs. Andriolo, Mrs. Brown, Mr. Fine, Mr. Jappe, Mrs. Herrera, Mr. Nguyen, and Mrs. Robbins.

Holiday Food Drive: 
The fifth grade student council is asking for donations to support Burlington families who may need a little help during the December holidays.  Fourth graders are asked to donate peanut butter and jelly.  A box will be in pod 3 to collect our donations.  Thank you for your compassion and generosity!

Immigration Speaker:
On Monday, we are excited to participate in an in-school program offered through the Tsongas Industrial History Center called Exploring the Immigrant Experience.  Our students will examine the experiences of many of the ethnic groups that settled in Lowell using oral histories and artifacts.  This experience ties in so nicely with our social studies immigration curriculum.

October Students of the Month:
Congratulations to Aadi Dash and Cassandra Herrera for earning the October Student of the Month award.  They are two hard workers who always put forth their best effort while being kind, respectful, and responsible classmates.

December Conferences:
Many of you signed up for a December 1st conference at Back to School night.  Next week, I will be sending out a Google doc with your time indicated on it.  If you haven't signed up for a conference, please fill in your name at an available time slot.

November Book Orders:
November book orders were sent home this week.  Thanks to your October orders, we were able to get a whopping 17 FREE BOOKS for our classroom!  I just love getting new books into the hands of our students.  If you are thinking about ordering any books for holiday gifts, just let me know and I will gladly hold on to them so your child doesn't see them.  On a side note, if you know a Harry Potter fan, I will say that the new hardcover illustrated editions are absolutely stunning!  I have ordered a couple as gifts and they truly are beautiful.

You may have heard that we have a new classmate.  Angel is our pet hamster, and the students chose to get her as a class reward.  We are able to do this through Burlington's incredible Science Center.  Angel is adored by our class, and we have enjoyed having her with us!
Ms. P. teaching us how to take care of Angel


Bridges 2017:
Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together is a wonderful program that our fourth graders will be participating in come January.  It is an inter-generational program that promotes mutual respect, understanding, and friendships between elementary school students and older adults in our community.  Adult senior volunteers from the community visit us once a week for six weeks and we work together, share life experiences, and learn so much from each other.  I love this program and it is such a wonderful thing to witness.  The program needs senior volunteers!!!  I am sending home an informational flyer on Monday (and I will attach a link here as well).  Please share it with grandparents and older family friends.  It is fun and so rewarding for all!
Bridges Information

Vocabulary Parade:
The Vocabulary Parade is coming back to Fox Hill!  Each student will select a word that will become a costume and we will have a parade on the half day of Wednesday, November 23rd.  Information and a suggested word list went home today.  Thank you for your help in making this a success.  Last year, it was a lot of fun!

We wrapped up Topic 3: Using Properties and Strategies to Multiply by 1-digit Numbers this week!  Your child's assessment will go home on Monday.  We will continue our work on multiplication in Topic 4 with multiplying by 2-digit numbers.  Thank you for making sure your child continues to practice math facts using Reflex and other methods of review.  It sure does make this work easier for your child when they know their basic facts!

Our first personal narratives are (mostly) complete!  We will begin work on a second narrative soon.  Ask your child what his/her story was about.  Maybe even start thinking about some memories that might make a good story for personal narrative #2!

Thank you for reading!  Have a great weekend and enjoy the short week with your children next week!
-Erin Hevey

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week of 10/11-10/14 Update

Hello Room 21 Families,

A couple of items I'd like to share with you...

  • Topic 2 math assessments are going home today.  You may see a note attached along with some completed Problem Solving Recording Sheets.  In most cases, the trouble students had on this assessment was due to the difficult nature of the multi-step word problems.  If that was the case with your child, we went over the problems together today, and there will be many more opportunities to work on these skills throughout the year. Please sign and return the form so I know that you saw my note.  
  • Students were given a Reflex math update sheet today.  This indicates your child's current fluency as well as any alerts if your child hasn't been logging in the required 3x per week.  Students who have reached 100% fluency may reduce their requirement to once a week.  This practice is incredibly important as we begin Topic 3 which is all about multiplication!
  • We will not have a new grammar lesson (or quiz) this week.  In general, I will only teach grammar on 5 day weeks.  This will allow us more time to work on continuing our personal narrative writing this week.
  • I would like to move up the Scholastic book order date to this Friday, October 14th.  This way, books will arrive in plenty of time before Halloween and I can take advantage of some extra bonus point deals.  Last month, our class was able to get 19 free books with all our points!!! 
  • Our first social studies test is coming up next week.  A Map Skills study guide will go home tomorrow, and there is a link on my blog to the study guide in case it gets misplaced.  The test will be on October 19th.
Thank you!  
-Erin Hevey

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Welcome October!

October is my favorite month of the year.  I love the colors, the cooler temperatures, and fun fall activities. (Not the rain though....)  In school, it's also a great month because we are now fully ready to delve into our fourth grade curriculum.  The students are excited to begin writing their first personal narrative.  We've explored several mentor texts, and I'll also be sharing a few stories of my own.  In math, we'll be testing out a few new features of our new math program, including an online homework assignment called "study buddy".  Look for some directions going home this week about accessing Study Buddy. And we are cruising along through Topic 2: Addition and Subtraction skills!  Over the next few weeks, we'll be wrapping up our Map Skills unit in social studies and moving into the topic of Immigration.  I'm excited about all of the personal connections we'll be able to make with our culturally diverse classroom community! 

A Few More Things...
  • Wednesday is picture day!  Bring your picture forms and your  smiles  :)
  • Upcoming religious holidays:  This year Rosh HaShana begins at sundown on Sunday, October 2nd and continues through either sundown on Monday, October 3rd (Reform) or Tuesday, October 4th (Orthodox).  Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Tuesday, October 11th and concludes at sundown on October 12th.  This holiday involves fasting and families will be celebrating on the evening of October 12th.
    • If your family is celebrating any of these holidays, please enjoy this time together and do not worry about completing homework or assignments on those evenings.
  • Congratulations to our September Students of the Month: Megan Molloy and Victor Kibuuka.  Both students have put forth great effort into their work, displayed excellent behavior, and have shown kindness to others, among many other great qualities.
  • Thank you to Mrs. Herrera, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Fine for volunteering to help with recess duties!  We are still looking for recess volunteers for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  If you attended one of Mrs. Johnson's volunteer training sessions and would like to help, please let me know.  Another training day has been added; Oct. 5th at 9:30 am.  It's a fun way to interact with students, watch them socialize, and the extra minutes of prep time for the teachers is greatly appreciated! (One of the fourth grade teachers will always be outside with you!)

Photos from the Week:
One fun privilege of being in fourth grade, is that we get to be Book Buddies with first graders!  Each Friday morning we visit Mrs. Sawyer's class and read with our buddies.  Here are some photos of our fourth graders with their adorable younger buddies:

Have a wonderful weekend!