December Newsletter


May Your Days be Merry and Bright.....


As we enter the month of December we find ourselves as busy as ever. The students have been working on many different types of writing, independent as well as whole group creative pieces. We completed a festive holiday writing to Santa when we found out to our ASTONISHMENT that we were all on the NAUGHTY list! How could he?!? Doesn’t he know all the good deeds we have done? The students decided it was in their best interests to write a persuasive piece, trying to convince Santa that they deserved to be put back on the NICE list. Some even resorted to bribing him with mom’s freshly baked cookies and milk if all else failed! Our letters can be found hanging in the hallway for all to enjoy.


The class has also begun summarizing articles found in Kids National Geographic. Together we worked on reading through and deciding what was important and what wasn’t. We discussed how to summarize those important details in order to support the main idea of the article. This is a difficult, but necessary, task that is important in many aspects of our curriculum, and mastering this task is extremely important in distinguishing our levels of reading as well.


We are progressing through the Envisions math program and the students are engaging in double digit multiplication. This is a difficult thing to do. Please remember that basic multiplication facts are the foundation for all we do at the 4th grade level. Simple mistakes made with basic multiplication facts will have lingering effects on your child’s abilities as well as diminish his or her confidence level. Please take a few minutes to practice these facts each day. Driving from daily activities is the perfect time to practice!


Our whole group read is Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord. Lucy’s family has just moved into an old house on a lake in New Hampshire and her dad, who is a famous photographer, is leaving on another new adventure, to take more pictures in another new place. Lucy finds out about a contest that her dad is involved in and decides to set out on an adventure of her own. Secretly. We go on this adventure with Lucy through the chapters of the book as well as the characters in the story. We will also cross content areas and use this text in our study of NH, the regions, and wildlife.


Science and Social Studies are the fan favorite in our classroom for activity and enjoyment! We have begun our study of NH with the creation of topographical maps. Many of us have travelled to the mountain ranges but few of us knew how far away they were. Did you know we have a Presidential Range of mountains in our state? Did you know you can kayak for NH into Vermont on the Saco? Do you know what the Kancamagus is? We are busy learning about the phenomenal places there are to explore in NH. We will begin an in depth study of NH and create an ABC book about all the information we can gather and share. This will be an ongoing project culminating in a class book created by the students in Room 104! While we find ourselves in the lovely state of NH, we will study rocks and minerals and why the Granite State is called the Granite State, and while I’m at it, just what is Granite anyway? All these questions and more will be answered as we become more engaged and experiment with the different types of rock: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.


As the holidays grow near, I would like to take a moment to thank you for all you do for the students, our class and our school! I am sure you were all on the NICE list and hope you find something special under your tree. Have a wonderful holiday! Happy New Year and Best Wishes for All! Gina Udice

Welcome to November in Mrs. Udice’s Class


We continue to be as busy as ever as we enter the month of November. The class has been busy developing their writing skills as we put finishing touches on narrative pieces and give poetry a try. The class has read The Word Collector, our community read for this year and tried our hand at 6 WORD MEMOIRS. What I had anticipated being a difficult task, proved to be fun filled and enjoyed by the students. They literally and figuratively wrote their hearts out! Poem after poem after poem, they continued to write into the afternoon. They loved it!


This week we will begin writing a narrative piece based on all the reasons we should be thankful. We will discuss what is happening in our families and what is happening in the world and how there are people in the world less fortunate. We will use graphic organizers to details our ideas and events and the comparisons between the fortunate and less fortunate.


In Math we continue to work with mental math to add and subtract as well as multiply. Estimations plays a larger role in topics 5 and 6 and rounding proves to be a difficult task for most students. We have used the terms “ ground ball” and Home run” to help us decipher between what numbers are rounded up or rounded down. Topic 6 concentrates on arrays and expanded algorithms as we begin to work on multiplying by 1, 2, 3,and 4 digit numbers. As we progress through the envisions program, multiplication is becoming progressively more difficult for students who are not fluent with their multiplication facts. Please remind your child to practice their fluency facts either using cards or technology, 15 minutes a night will be a big help.


We have begun our study of New Hampshire. In our text NH is our Home, we have worked with map skills and will begin a topographical map of our state. We will identify bodies of water, streams, and rivers along with mountain ranges and natural borders. We will study the people who settled here and why, and why they moved west. Was it their needs or wants or both that forced people west?


Last week the students worked on a STEM project that tasked them with building a web that held a message in it. They were given paper plates, yarn, pipe cleaners and nothing more. They had to decide what type of web they wanted to build and how the message was going to be placed inside it. This wasn’t an easy task and many were unable to complete the project in the time allotted. STEM is all about the process and while some may not have finished, the thought process behind every choice they made was where the learning process began and ended. Even an unsuccessful project was a success because the students were able to communicate why they were unsuccessful.


November is a short month and once the holidays begin, time slips away from us and the year begins to fly by. We have a lot to accomplish but together we can get there. I thank you for all you do to help make us as successful as we are.   


Gina Udice

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September 17, 2018


This week we continue to read Because of Winn Dixie, utilizing the story to work with vocabulary skills and comprehension. We were introduced to two new characters and will use them as an opportunity to review what character traits are and aren’t.  The students will utilize an anchor chart depicting the traits, and   as we read further into the book and the characters begin to develop, we will see if there are any traits we can add to our chart.  We will work with plot and discover all the elements to a story that create those roller coaster feelings authors want us to feel while reading their written words. An example of the roller coaster ride of a story would be rising action. Because of Winn Dixie provides many opportunities for us to look at the ways writers create opportunities that evoke feelings.


Last week we began a narrative writing piece that had your child think about the influences in his or her life. They were asked to examine what influences shaped they way they think as India Opal does in the story. It isn’t until Gloria Dump points out that maybe her mama gave her more than a green thumb. This is a challenging task for many as I am sure it would be for all of you. We are taking our time discussing the people in our lives and the things that we do that could possibly make us who we are. 


We have completed Topic 1 in Envisions math as it was a review of multiplication from 3rd grade. We read riddles by Greg Tang who has taught us that finding groups of 10 will be he best things we can do for ourselves when using mental math and achieving fluency. This has also helped us to introduce patterns and look for them in all things. This also gives us a jumpstart on Topic 2 as that is the main focus along with an introduction to geometry. 


In Science we completed an experiment based on the types of volcanoes that explode and the ones that don’t, We discussed the ring of fire, where it can be located and the possibility of a volcano popping up in our neighborhood. We watched footage of a volcano that erupts daily in Hawaii which brought up CURRENT EVENTS and the volcano happenings occurring in Hawaii recently. 


This week begins STAR assessment. We will do our STAR READING on the specialist day we have computer lab. Please refer to the notice sent home that displays the day and corresponding specialist as well as refer to your child’s homework assignment notebook to reference the day of the week.


Curriculum Night is Thursday Night. Hope to see you there. Have a great week! 

Gina Udice

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