Final Blog Post

We made it to June! I am so proud of this special group of ten. They have made so much progress, learned so much and they managed to have a great time through it all. Here are some pictures from our event filled week:

First, Dave the Animal Man returned to dazzle the third and fourth graders with his snakes, turtles, alligator and lizards. These children are much braver than their teacher.

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We performed out last Readers theater plays of the year. We chose two more Greek myths, one that explains the seasons and one that highlights the importance of trust and faith. Their acting skills have come a long way. Some of them might even need an agent!

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We went on a well deserved field trip to Roger Williams Park to play, observe, write and of course enjoy some popsicles. What a treat to have Peter and the JCDS van at our disposal.


We had a final meeting with our kindergarten buddies. This has been such a special part of the year for both age groups. We will resume these connections in the fall.


One of the highlights of the fourth grade year in Judaics is the performance of Beatle Torah! The show was truly amazing and I was so impressed by them all. They were confident, intelligent, funny, and so talented. I know they felt proud that all of their hard work and dedication paid off.

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As we wrap up this fourth grade year, I just wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful 4th grade parents for your constant kindness and support. I hope you all have a fabulous and restful summer and  please keep in touch! I will leave you with this quote by William Yeats:

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

I hope these ten amazing thinkers will continue to trail blaze during their final year at JCDS and beyond!






Rounding the Corner to June!

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day with your family and friends. We also Celebrated Shavuot this weekend. As we continue to plug through the ABC countdown, please make sure to refer to it each morning to make sure your child has what he/she needs for the day. I have so many fabulous pictures to share from May. We can start with Special Visitor’s Day. It was such a pleasure to have family from nearby and faraway join us for the morning of math stations. The classroom was buzzing with excitement, collaboration and hard work.

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The third and fourth graders have been knee deep in the Rocks and Landforms science unit. We conducted an experiment with different types of rocks and vinegar to figure out the damage to the environment from acid rain. The children discovered that certain rocks were affected more than others.  We also ventured around our own schoolyard to experiment with different soil and various types of rocks. They had to categorize the rocks by shape, color, size and texture. Next week we will conduct tests on soil in stream tables as we examine deposition and we will find out how to detect the hardness of a rock or mineral using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

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We have spent many of our mornings together in open circle. We talked about the fourth graders hopes and dreams for fifth grade and they all wrote five paragraph essays to Mrs. Woods about next year.We discussed ways to be kind and support one another inside and outside the classroom. We also held many discussions about redesigning recess at JCDS.  I asked them  the following question:

“What would the perfect recess look like to you?”


In math we are finishing up the geometry unit as we discuss the area and perimeter of many different shapes. We will be wrapping up the year with symmetry and measurement. I was so impressed with the final Newbery Award book reports and presentations. The students all had to design their own project to accompany the written report. Their personalities and creativity shined through!

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Dates for your calendar:

June 11th=Beatle Torah

June 15th=field Day

June  17th=Graduation and early dismissal

It’s finally May!

I think we can safely say that winter is behind us. We had an amazing STEAM week with a lot of workshops from Brown and RISD students. The highlight of the week for many was a visit by Sam Drazin. He spoke about acceptance and loving ouselves despite  our faults. You could have heard a pin drop when he spoke. He tied a lot of his struggles back to the book Wonder. He lived a life that had many similarities to Auggie’s life. His message was to be kind and that we are all in this together.

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We also celebrated earth day last week. The weather was cooperating and we planted, weeded, raked and watered the soil. The fourth grade plot is ready to grow!

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We continued experimenting with rocks and landforms in science class. We used water and force (shaking rapidly) to physically weather rocks. We also collected rock samples on our own playground and garden. We discussed terms such as acid rain, erosion and humus. The children are all very engaged in these hands on experiments. Next week we will explore chemical weathering.

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Just a gentle reminder that all Newbery book reports are due Monday, May 11th. Have a great week.



Field Trip To Foxborough Regional Charter School

As we relax on our Passover break, I wanted to share some pictures from our field trip last week. The fourth graders visited Foxborough Regional Charter School to partake in their Holocaust stamp project. This project started with a fifth grade class a few years ago and was inspired by the documentary, Paper Clips. Their goal is to collect 6,000,000 stamps to represent the lives lost in the Holocaust. The students turn the collected stamps from all over the world into beautiful mosaics that are displayed around the school. They truly are works of art. The school aspires to create 18 (Chai) mosaics in total.

When we arrived, we had a tour of the school and then the children received stamps to cut, glue and put on a new mosaic. It was exciting to be part of such a special and meaningful project, especially after reading the novel, Number the Stars and listening to Holocaust survivor, Alice Goldstein. This is a powerful unit which I hope has touched all of the fourth graders in some shape or form.

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Ring in Spring

We began last week with a spring activity with our kindergarten buddies. We listened to The Lorax, by Dr. Suess, and then collaborated to create paper mache pictures of trees and flowers. Even a little snow on the ground can’t stop our spring thoughts! As always, we cherish the time spent with our special little friends.

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We are deep into our next two class novels. Blown Away is a historical fiction story about the 1935 hurricane in the Florida Keys. The Magic Half is a story of Miri, a middle child caught in between two sets of twins (Hello Mrs. Davis). We are also beginning our new class read aloud, Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper. We are practicing book talks and literature circles with the children facilitating the discussion by themselves. Different roles include discussion director, passage picker, connector and word finder.




In social studies, the third and fourth graders are working in cooperative groups to research and design a travel brochure about a city in the USA. They were assigned a region and they had to narrow down the state and city. We are learning about New York City, Denver, Cape Cod and Philadelphia just to name a few. They are conducting research using the library, Ipads and the computer lab.  They will be presenting and sharing their information with their peers.

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We finally finished our fourth grade picture books, the largest writing assignment of  the year. The children are so excited to show off their finished work to their classmates tomorrow. We have drafted, edited, typed and illustrated these masterpieces.


Our next writing unit involves all aspects of Greek Mythology. We are reading myths and finding common traits of the heroes and the Gods. We created our very own Greek monsters which are proudly displayed on the class bulletin board. We are performing Greek myths in our upcoming readers theater and we will be working on writing our very own Greek myth in a few weeks. This is such a high interest and creative unit and the kids are enthralled!


Upcoming Events:

April 1=Field trip to Foxboro School for Holocaust Project

April 2-10=Passover Break

April 15=Conferences

April 22=Wonder guest speaker Sam Drezin

May 7th=Zimriyah

May 8th=Special visitors Day




Alice Goldstein Visits Fourth Grade

Dear Parents,


Were were so lucky to have Alice Goldstein visit our classroom last week. She told her unbelievable account of surviving the Holocaust in Germany. We taped most of her conversation and a viewing link is provided below. She truly is a gem and I hope you all will watch her amazing story.


Bowling Pin Extravaganza

Fourth graders were so proud to share their bowling pin creations with classmates, parents, and teachers. I was so impressed with the beautiful scrapbooks and the artistic bowling pin figures. Characters such as Mia Hamm,  Jim Henson and Jackie Robinson lined the classroom. The fourth graders shared all of their knowledge along with their projects to the students in grades 2-5.

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We finished the novel, Number The Stars. The children where saddened that the Jews had to give up everything and flee their homeland. They were also inspired by the courage of the Danish people, including the courageous king. We listened to the amazing story of Holocaust survivor, Alice Goldstein. She talked about her family’s escape from War torn Germany right before the Word War broke out. Her conversation was videotaped and will be made available on the blog very soon. Her story is worth watching! The kids also watched the incredible documentary, Paper Clips. They wanted to start a project of their own. We will be visiting a local charter school in Foxboro in early April. This school has been collecting almost 5,000,000 stamps over the past few years to represent lives lost during the Holocaust.

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The fourth graders performed a readers theater to their second grade friends across the hall. The Legend of Lightning Larry is a lighthearted country western play. Jonah played the lead role of lightning Larry. All of the characters came to life with very charming southern accents and wild dramatization.

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We wrapped up the fraction unit last week with a big test on the last few chapters of Singapore Math. I am thrilled to report that everyone aced it. We are moving on to workbook B this week with a focus on decimals, geometry and symmetry. We always try to end most math lessons with a game to help solidify the math skill and to have fun at the same time.



Thursday will be an all day Purim celebration with a visit to a local Jewish nursing home. Please remind your children that reading logs are due on Fridays with a parent signature and two literature responses. Have a wonderful week!

Have a Wonderful Winter Break

With so many Monday snow days and Tuesday delayed openings, I feel like February was extremely short. Here are just a few highlights to share before we all venture to different parts of the globe on vacation:

  • We continued with our mathematical unit on fractions and learned about mixed numbers and improper fractions.
  • We used our multiplication and division skills to find a common denominator and to reduce a fraction to simplest form.
  • We solidified our speedy multiplication skills with a partner dice game.
  • Third and fourth collaborated to design health posters about smoking, exercise, healthy eating, seatbelt safety, texting and driving and drugs.
  • We researched online about our topic and synthesized and presented the information to our classmates.
  • We began rehearsing a western readers theater titled, Lightning Larry.
  • We wrapped up our electricity unit by designing, building and fully wiring a house to light up using a battery, bulbs and wires.
  • We finished reading chapters 10- 15 in our suspenseful Holocaust novel, Number the Stars.
  • We continued typing our fantasy/dialogue stories in the computer lab.
  • We began sharing our amazing bowling pin biography projects.

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Important Dates

  • Tuesday February 24th from 8:15-8:45= Biography bowling pin presentation in 4th grade classroom
  • Tuesday, February 24th at 10:00=Alice Goldstein, Holocaust survivor, speaks to grade four
  • Friday, February 27th=no school for children

Have a wonderful, relaxing, safe and warm week. I will see you all on February 23rd!

Wrapping up January

Hello everyone,


I have been sending out most updates through email, so I decided it was time to return to the blog. Parents, please be sure to subscribe to the new blog so that you  receive all of the fourth grade news and updates. Here are a few highlights:

  • The fourth graders practiced and recited a MLK reader’s theater for their third grade classmates
  • They continued to draft and edit their creative picture books with dialogue
  • They  constructed wooden houses in the design lab with Peter for science. These included measuring, cutting, nailing and decorating.
  • They decorated and wired the wooden houses using batteries, wires, bulbs and parallel and series circuits
  • They used batteries and bulbs to get mystery circuits to light during our electricity unit
  • They finished the novels City of Ember and One and Only Ivan 
  • They began a new class novel about the Holocaust titled Number The Stars
  • They worked in cooperative groups to read the fat, sugar, protein and calories in nutritional food labels
  • They created advertisement promoting a healthy lifestyle
  • They used a map to find Denmark and Germany and to read lines of latitude and longitude
  • They wrapped up a math probability unit and began to learn about simplifying fractions to simplest form
  • They chose biographies to read during library and began the research for their biography bowling pin project
  • They wrote and edited letters for literature to be entered in a national 4th grade writing contest
  • They began a design challenge about “How Might we” choose healthier foods to eat during the school year
  • They met with their buddies to collaborate on a winter snowman activity
  • They enjoyed the story Blizzard,  and completed a written retell winter assessment
  • They spent time bonding with the new class Guinea Pig!

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The bowling pin project is due on Wednesday, February 11th. If your child needs the February break to complete the project, just let me know that week and I can extend the due date. All reading logs are due every Friday with 4 title entries and 2 short responses. Please help your child to return these to school. Alice Goldstein, a Holocaust survivor, will be speaking to the class in February (More details to follow). I will also be starting current events every other week after the February break. Thanks so much and have a great weekend.

4th Grade GS Update

Hello Parents,

Here is a quick recap of the week. It is important that you scroll down to the bottom of the post and hit the subscribe button. Thank you!

Language Arts

  • We started the two new class novels, City of Ember and The One and Only Ivan
  • We drafted and starting typing our letters to an author in the state wide Letters for Literature Contest.  http://ribook.org/letters-about-literature/
  • We continued to explore text, make world connections and compare and contrast characters and genres of novels
  • We learned how to write a conversation between characters using quotation marks and proper punctuation
  • We practiced cursive writing


  • We learned how to solve long division problems
  • We used bar modeling to solve complex multi-step word problems
  • We practiced finding the mode, range, median and mean of a set of numbers
  • We reviewed our multiplication and division facts by playing several math games throughout the month

Science and Social Studies

  • We started a new health unit by making a class KWL chart
  • We discovered where a magnet was hiding inside a mystery box by using iron chips, a compass and a magnet
  • We used washers and spacers to discover the force of magnets
  • We will be beginning current events after the winter break
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As usual, we had another heartwarming session with our kindergarten buddies. We read a Thanksgiving story together and then they shared holiday memories and created pictures with their buddies.

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I hope that everyone enjoys the winter break and I am looking forward to seeing you all in 2015:)