Mrs. Nepomuceno's 4th Grade



November 2010


Topic: Realistic Fiction


Students are wrapping up Cycle 1 of Guided Reading. They will take a book assessment.


In preparation for Cycle II of Guided Reading, I will perform an individual running record assessment with your child. Notice of most current instructional (“just right”) reading level will be sent home via December report card.


We continue our reading program in the classroom with a study of realistic fiction. Our whole class novel, The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith, is our mentor text for our work in both the reader and writer’s workshops.


Lessons will include:
*defining realistic fiction & comparing it to other ficion work
*identifying the story elements (setting, character, plot etc.)
*noticing how the author develops a character
*exploring the dimensions of the character(s)
*exploring how the author builds tension through “roadblocks”
*discussion of perspective and point of view
and many more....

Logs & Dear Reader Letters due Fri., Nov. 12th and December 3rd!

*Please remember to read with your child, help them select “just right” books and sign off on the reading log daily.


Topic: Fiction (Short Story)


Our students are in the midst of revising and editing their personal narratives in preparation for publishing. Personal narrative celebrations will take place soon. Students will have a copy of their first piece going home to share with their families. Stay Tuned!


To complement our work in reading workshop, students are learning the ins and outs of writing realistic fiction --short story. By reading our whole class selection, they will learn the techniques for writing fiction from a quality source.


As apprentices of fiction writing students will...

*mine the stories of their lives for an idea on which to grow a short story
*spend several days developing realistic/reasonable troubles &/or problems a character might face
*develop a character that is realistic & that they can relate to
*study traditional story structure and map plot lines for their stories
*build the plot through generating roadblocks for their characters
*aim to write with speed, fluency, complexity, & voice




Words their Way


Students are working with words both in class and at home. They are receiving differentiated sorts and participating in group lessons to practice the spelling patterns of the week.

Word Study tests are given on Friday. Tests are worth 12 points.


*Remember -weekly assignments are due on Fridays (unless otherwise specified-please consult agenda). Students must choose different activities each week to achieve 20 points.


*Please remind your child to reference the sample packet for the format of each activity.





Topic: Measurement (Time) & Multiplication (the basics)

*NOTE: Place Value Large Numbers/Money & Decimals exam will be given on Wednesday, Nov. 3rd!


In the weeks to come, we begin our study of Elapsed Time & Multiplication

Tick! Tock! What time reads the clock?


Students will learn about the passage of time learning how to read clocks, calendars and schedules. We will review the relationship between years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds.


To enhance their skills in the passage of time,
students will engage in a cooperative hands-on project entitled: A Visit to the Aquarium
Ask them about it.




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In the coming weeks, we will launch our study of...



Human Anatomy





skeleton & person

with a show what you know (pre-test). Students will discuss what they already ‘think’ they know about our body & its systems and brainstorm questions they have about the functions of our body.


The essential questions for this unit are:

*What’s inside our body?

*What roles do body systems have in keeping us alive?

*How do some diseases spread?


Current Events


Our next article assignment is due Wednesday, November 3rd. I encourage you to review the sample packet & scoring rubric together with your child. Please be reminded that article assignments will be given approximately 1-2 times per month (not each week as the sample packet states).
Topic: Colonial America


We will be wrapping up our unit of study by engaging in a culminating ‘research’ project.


Through inquiry and investigation, students will:

*use print and online resources to research a prominent figure in colonial times (i.e.: Ben Franklin, John Smith, Pocahontas, William Penn etc.)

*take notes via graphic organizer to categorize the information read & learned

*create a poster to highlight the life & achievement of their assigned colonial figure

*present the information they have learned in research to their peers in the class

Colonial America unit exam will take place on Thursday, Nov. 11th!

Please consult study guide.


farmer holding land


Class Wish List/Donations:

-Box Tops! Pop Tabs!
-Hand sanitizer (pump)
-Gently used picture books (ages 8+)
-old magazines/ or a year subscription to (National Geographic Kids, Highlights, Spider, or Ranger Rick)


Just Rambling:
- Our annual Pizza Hut—Book It! Reading Incentive Program is underway. The goal for November is 520 minutes.
Students should track their minutes read each month on their daily reading log. When they achieve the monthly “minutes” goal they will submit their reading log for confirmation & then receive a free pizza coupon!
The program runs from October through March.

*For other pertinent district and school wide information please visit
and refer to “The Crossing”—Brooks Crossing’s monthly newsletter.


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