Room 9 Updates

Monday, June 3, 2019

Hi All,

We have a busy, fun week ahead!

First of all, on Tuesday evening, the Fourth Grade will be singing songs we have been enjoying and practicing for much of the year. This is the first time the entire grade level has participated in this activity, and it's been a lot of fun! Please come from 6-7 on Tuesday, June 4. We will be in the cafeteria.

Secondly, all of the Fourth Grade will be heading to Green Valley Cinema to watch a movie. The kids voted last week, and their choice will be revealed on Wednesday. Thank you to all the people who volunteered to drive or chaperon. We should be in great shape! Thanks, as well, to those of you that sent a few extra dollars to sponsor the chaperons. Any extra money will roll into our supply fund.

I am passing out yearbooks today, so if you purchased one, your child should have it in hand. Otherwise, they are available in the office for $20, or in the park on Wednesday from Beth Catesi.

It's been my great pleasure to work with your kids this year. They are a responsible, hard-working bunch, and learned a lot as a result. It's been a fun year!

Have a wonderful summer, and feel free to stop by next year and say "Hi!"

Take care,

Carroll Mayer

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed the rainy weekend; I know I did! Fortunately, we followed up with a beautiful day here at school.

This week the kids are taking the MAP test. They are not thrilled to be doing another assessment, but are being good sports! When we aren't testing --which is actually most of the time-- the kids are continuing with their California reports, reading in their book club books, doing a hyperdoc about California's "Path to Statehood", learning about rocks,  and refining their standard measurement knowledge and application skills. We are also enjoying Esperanza Rising as our final Read Aloud.

Today (Monday) kids brought home permission slips for the End-of-the-year Party. Please send in permission slips and money this week. We are also looking for volunteer driver/chaperons, and would love to hear from you if you are able to this. Just send me an email!

Finally, the district is doing a tech survey. I have attached the link below. I will be doing it with the kids in class this week, but they'd also like to hear from parents how you think we are doing with tech. This needs to be done this week.

I enjoyed seeing so many of you last week at Open House. It's amazing how quickly the year goes by!

Have a great week,

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hi All,

Thank you, thank you, for all the wonderful treats in honor of Teacher Appreciation and my birthday! It's been such a celebratory week, and I feel very grateful to be a part of a community that is able to support teachers so thoroughly. 💗

This week, we are returning to a "regular" schedule. The kids are reading historical fiction books as part of self-selected book clubs. The book clubs have set up weekly schedules, and your child is responsible for keeping up with the assignments so that he/she can participate thoughtfully in the Friday meetings. They also came up with various ways to respond to the literature (jots, question, character webs, etc.) We are also reading a lot of non-fiction history as kids work to research their final writing topics. They are all working on various subjects in California history-- from Native Americans to the Donner Party to the Golden Gate Bridge. Once again, their topics are self-selected.

In math, we are shifting to a measurement unit, and will also be reviewing a few of the geometry concepts addressed before state testing began. Kids will take one more short geometry quiz. In science we are having a lot of fun on a Mystery Science unit entitled "The Birth of Rocks" and began with learning about the "Ring of Fire" and 2 types of volcanoes.

This Thursday is Open House from 6-7. Please come any time within that window to check out the classroom and your child's work. On Friday, we are "Jogging for the Arts". Information and the sponsor form went home on Monday.

Next week, we have one more round of testing ( MAP) which is mandated by the district and gives more real time data than the state testing that is not reported until late summer. The MAP will not be nearly as time consuming as the CAASP, but still puts the kids on Chromebooks for a couple of hours at a time. Thanks for your support with all of this data collection! In that vein, there is also a survey posted on the school Homepage, and there is a parent version in which you can share your views. The kids will be taking the student version here at school, and I have already completed my teacher form.

I will also be sending home permission slips for our End-of-the-Year party next Monday.  All of 4th Grade will be going to Green Valley Cinema to watch a movie! Each year, the entire 4th Grade class votes on a video (that we bring from our collection) to screen at the theater. Kids also enjoy popcorn and a drink. The theater charges us $7 per kid and $3 per adult chaperon, so we will be asking for contributions to the cost as well as drivers to ferry the kids to the theater. This all happens on the last Wednesday of the school year, from approximately 9:30-12:30. Save the date!

Have a great week,

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dear Parents and Kids,

Thank you so much for all the flowers today! It was fun to see them come in, and combine them to make a beautiful arrangement! It’s the perfect metaphor for our classes each year, and our goal of nurturing each of the individuals, as well as the entire community, and forming a harmonious and complimentary whole.

Last week, our focus was on state testing, and most kids were able to complete the ELA portion of the assessment working approximately 2 hours a day. This week we will be working on math testing, and then there will be a period of “finishing up” for those kids that need a bit more time on one portion or another. When there are only a few kids with testing to complete, they will shift to another work space, under Mrs. Davis or Reading Specialist supervision, and the rest of the class will return to our regular work full time.

During non-testing portions of the day, we have been concluding our reading about various sustainable forms of energy (nuclear, solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower), and will wrap up with a Grand Conversation about these fossil fuel alternatives. Kids have begun research projects on various topics in CA. history, and are also working on a hyperdoc about California between the mission period and the Gold Rush. Finally, kids formed book clubs this week and have reading assignments based on their book. I am encouraging kids to bring their book club book to and from school, as there may not be a lot of in class reading time —especially this week. Most have about 30-40 pages to read by Friday, when their clubs meet again.

May is a busy month, so pace yourself and have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Friday, April 26, 2019

Hi All,

It's that time again!  Fourth Graders will be starting state testing on Monday, April 29th. Please make sure your child comes to school ready to focus and show all that he/she knows! (That means they've had a good night's sleep, a healthy breakfast, and arrive on time.) Kids will be spending a couple of hours per day on the tests, and they are very challenging for most. The rest of the day will be following a typical routine, and our testing schedule has been built so that kids will still participate in PE and Art.

This week we began a Mystery Science unit entitled: The Birth of Rocks. The first lesson was about volcanoes, and I posted a student link on the Google classroom for those kids who missed it or would like to review it. We are almost done with our Geometry unit, and have 2 more chapters in our class read aloud, By the Great Horn Spoon. We began a new hyperdoc in California history, on the period between the missions and California statehood. Kids are also beginning to think about their California research reports, which will be our final writing unit. In reading, kids have been researching various alternative energy forms. We should wrap up this unit in the next week or so, and will then have a round of Historical Fiction Book Clubs. It's a busy, but fun, time of year. The kids are full of energy and excitement, but they also know a lot about how students work!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Hi Parents,

It’s exciting to be contemplating Spring Break, but we are still working hard!

This week, our class will continue working on poetry during writing time. We are using templates to experiment with different forms of poetry. After that, we will type up our favorites. In reading, our focus is reading informational text, and we will soon be researching various renewable sources of energy, as well as fossil fuels.

We will be taking a short math test on Friday on fractions. There is a “study guide” attached to the homework, describing the sorts of problems kids will have on the test. We will also be practicing in class. When we return from break, we will make the shift into Geometry.

I have signed the class up for a Moby Max contest. It lasts 2 weeks: this week and Spring Break week. The top 3 point-earning classes at Rio del Mar get a prize. Kids can work on any area of Moby Max, but I recommend Math, Language, and Reading.

We are still working on the Social Studies hyperdoc about California explorers! My goal is to wrap up Lesson 2 this week, so that the class can work together on Lessons 3 and 4. Kids will also be eager to get to work on the Google My Map activity on the California missions. If your child is feeling behind, encourage them to put some time into this. They are always welcome to bring home the Reflections textbook.

Finally, I am attaching a letter from Mrs. Green with an opportunity for 4th Graders.

Hi Fourth Grade Families,
As you know April 19th is an professional development day for teachers and a no school day for students. Many PVUSD teachers will be here at Rio del Mar deepening their Reader's and Writer's Workshop practices. We are hoping to have 4th graders come out once again in order to support our teachers in learning. If your child is available from 10:30-12:00 on Friday, April 19th please let me or your classroom teacher know and we will add them to our student list.

Have a great week!

One last thing for our 4th Graders. Spring Break would be a great time to use this!
National Park Pass

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hi All,
Sorry to be late on this post! These have been busy days.

Tomorrow we are off to our third field trip in 3 weeks!  The kids are excited to see the SC Symphony, especially after having such a great presentation last week from a couple of representatives.

In reading, we are working on a short “Theme Bootcamp”. Kids are practicing finding theme in short stories, and supporting the themes they find with evidence. They should also be applying their ideas to longer books. In addition, we started a new unit in writing: poetry. The kids are learning attributes of poems, and will have some time to write several different forms during class.

We are still hard at work studying fractions, but will wrap up this content in the next couple of weeks. After Fractions, we will focus on Geometry. Kids were told this week that they should work on the hyperdoc in Social Studies at home, if they haven’t gotten through the Lesson 1 activities. Access is through the Google classroom.

Report cards go home this Friday. As always, this is a good time to reflect and set goals with your child. This class is a bright, fun, and kind-hearted group, so their report cards were a pleasure to write!

Finally, raffle tickets to sell are coming home on Monday. This is a great way for people unable to attend the auction to still give support—and get in on the fun! Be on the lookout for the tickets.

Have a good read of your week!

Carroll Mayer