End of the Year- Upcoming Test Dates

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Final Testing Dates for the 2017-2018 School Year:

SBAC (remaining tests)- Wednesday, 5/9-Friday, 5/11
Spelling- Friday, 5/11 and Friday, 5/18
Math- Topic 16 (Geometry) Monday, 5/14 and Topic 14 (Measurement) Thursday, 5/24
Social Studies- Unit 3 Tuesday, 5/15 and Unit 4 Friday, 5/25
Science- "The Human Machine" Tuesday, 5/22
Reading- Unit 8 (Earth Changes) Wednesday, 5/23

SBAC Starting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Reminder! SBAC Testing starts on Monday, April 30!

Please make sure that your child is at school on time. We will be testing first thing in the morning. It is important that your child has had plenty of rest and has eaten a nutritious breakfast. This allows them to be fueled and ready to tackle the test!

Students also need to bring headphones/earbuds on all testing days. Most students have brought these already to be used during computer time. However, if they haven’t, please make sure they do on Monday. This allows them to hear any material on the test, without being distracted (or distracting others) with noises during the test. We aim for the most relaxed and positive test-taking environment possible.

SBAC Testing Days
Monday, April 30
Tuesday, May 1
Wednesday, May 9
Thursday, May 10

Science Camp Meeting

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Science Camp Meeting 2018-2019

Dear Future Fifth Grade Students and Parents!

         You may know that Northwood 5th Graders attend science camp early in the school year.  In fact we are Walden West Science Camp's first school visit of the year for them.  Our school attends with Ruskin Elementary.  Next year will be no different. Our school will be going around September 10th.  The cost has gone up this year at science camp.  Accommodations and food costs have risen along with giving living wages to their staff and educators.  Because of this we would like to meet and discuss cost concerns and creative ways to finance your students exceptionally wonderful week at Walden West.  Please join us on April 17th at 6:00 PM in room 501. 

The forms are online for you to see what to bring and read all about science camp they usually do an open house in September. Here is the website:


SBAC Information/Preparedness

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Here is some valuable information of how to prepare your child for the SBAC. This was given at the Parent Workshop provided at school.

Parent Information Handout CAASPP Workshop
Useful Websites

● http://www.smarterbalanced.org/parents/
● https://www.khanacademy.org/resources/parents-mentors-1
● http://www.caaspp.org
● https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/documents/sbparentgde35.pdf
● https://www.illustrativemathematics.org
● https://learnzillion.com/p/
● http://wild.maths.org

Tips for Parents

● Schedule travel and elective medical procedures outside the testing window
● Provide your child a quiet space to study everyday
● Encourage your child to eat a healthy breakfast
● Avoid setting negative consequences for poor performance
● Maintain their routine during testing
● Set a regular bedtime
● Ask your child to explain her reasoning
● Create a positive attitude toward school and school work
● Communicate with your child’s teacher regularly
● Assign chores at home
● Play math games with your child
● Encourage your child to read as much as possible and in various genres
● Encourage them to use online resources to solve problems as well as get used to the test format

3/23/18 Newsletter

Thursday, March 22, 2018

March 23, 2018

Dear families,

Hello! Welcome to the 3rd Trimester of the 2017-2018 school year! I wanted to take a moment to let you know of some classroom happenings and needs.

First, thank you for returning your child’s permission slip and admission donation for our field trip to The Tech Museum promptly. This helped ensure that our trip was secured with the museum. Thank you, as well, to those of you who have volunteered to chaperone our field trip! Please make sure, if you have not done so already, that you submit a current TB test to the front office as soon as possible. We are still in need of one more chaperone for the trip. If you are able to attend our all day trip to The Tech, on Wednesday, April 11, please send me an e-mail at vkearns@busd.net as soon as possible.

Next week we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss, with a weeklong Spirit Week! Dr. Seuss would have turned 114 years old on March 2. He was (and continues to be) such an integral part of children’s love for, and ability to read. Students do not need to participate in the Spirit Week, however, if they don’t, they should adhere to the Common Dress Policy.

Spirit Week:
Monday: Green Eggs and Ham Day *wear green!
Tuesday: Cat in the Hat Day *wear red, white, black, stripes, or a hat!
Wednesday: The Lorax Day *wear yellow, orange, or even a fake mustache!
Thursday: Thing 1 and Thing 2 Day *dress as a Thing or wear red, white, and blue!

Classroom Needs:
We are in desperate need of reams of blank white copy paper. If you could donate some to the class, it would be greatly appreciated! We could also use additional boxes of Kleenex. Thank you!

Best regards,
Ms. Kearns

Report Cards, Conferences, Upcoming Field Trip, and Science Fair Project

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Hello! I wanted to remind everyone that report cards will not be going home until Friday, March 16, whether or not you have a scheduled conference. They will be sent home in your child's Friday Folder. I will also be sending home a list of Extra Credit opportunities that your child may choose to complete. They may only submit one extra credit assignment. These will go towards their final (Trimester 3) report card. Also, please take note: Conference Week starts this Friday, March 9, and runs through next week. Each day will be a 1 p.m. dismissal.

We (the 4th grade team) are looking at doing a field trip to The Tech Museum, on Wednesday, April 11. We will need volunteers to chaperone and lead groups that day. If you are able to join us and have a current TB test on file with the front office (or can get one soon), please let me know. I will be sending permission slips home within the next week or so. Chaperones will be selected on a first come, first serve basis.

Science Fair packets are coming home on Friday. Please review this with your child, and discuss possible project ideas. They will have to complete an experiment, a written report, and a display board. I strongly encourage students to pick a topic that truly interests them. Once they have decided on a possible topic, they should submit the approval form to me. This is due on Friday, March 16. (It can be turned in early.) If approved, I will hand it back, and they can begin the process for their project. All due dates are listed on the front page of the packet.

Have a wonderful week!

Progress Reports- Coming home Friday, 2/2

Monday, January 29, 2018
Progress Report Information

***Study Skill Tips***
Here are some ways to help your child build strong study skills.
1.     Encourage communication with the teacher. Students should ask for help when they are having difficulty with a concept. Parents should communicate and questions or concerns they might have.
2.     Find the study technique that best works for your child. Some children need to work in silence. Some need a dedicate study space. Others might work well at the local library. Some children benefit from creating checklists and crossing things off as they finish them.
3.     Review homework nightly with your child. Check for completeness. Help clarify unknown concepts. Encourage them to return to school the next day and ask for help on anything giving them trouble.

Please keep in mind that we are using a brand new Reading Curriculum. Therefore, it is understandable that students may be scoring on the lower end in that area. However, we should be seeing improvement in the test scores as we navigate through the curriculum. If your child is not showing improvement, there are some things you can do to support them in this area.
·      Review the monthly calendar that is sent home with the Text for Close Reading booklet at the end of every unit. Although I won’t be assigning this, the assignments on the calendar are meant to reinforce the material learned in each unit. Skills taught in each unit spiral to the next unit. Working on the calendar assignments at home will help your child with the upcoming units.
·      Check Reading Journal homework assignments. Make sure that your child is accurately responding to the question selected from the choice lists in their journals. These assignments help with students reading comprehension and writing skills.
Spelling Tests are every Friday unless assigned otherwise at the beginning of the week. Students should be studying their spelling words throughout the week, in order to have a successful test on Friday. Here are some ways you can assist your child in preparing for the test.
·      Check Spelling Notebook Homework assignments. Make sure that your child has selected a new menu assignment each night. Practice test assignments should be saved for later in the week. (They shouldn’t be taking a practice test on Monday or Tuesday, when they are less familiar with the words.) Spelling words should be spelled correctly in the spelling homework.
·      Review the words with your child nightly. Quiz them on words throughout the week. Even if they choose a different assignment on Thursday, it may be beneficial to take a practice test as well.
The math skills we are working on and learning in the class, build upon one another. It is important that students have a strong foundation in multiplication. At this point, students should have all of their basic multiplication facts memorized.  Math tests are much more complex than in years prior, and require a student to not only perform the basic computation, but be able to explain their thinking. How did they decide on the procedure? How can they support their answer in more than one way? (Pictures/models, additional equations, explain in writing, etc.) It is not only about the solution, but how they arrived at the solution. Here are some ways you can help your child be successful in math and on math tests.
·      Help your child study. They know when all upcoming tests are, and should have tests written in their student planners. Upcoming test dates are also available on our class website. We always have a review the day before the test. They can use this review, as well as their math textbook and math journal, to study for the test. Textbooks can go home one week prior to the test, but must be brought back to school daily.
·      Review tests sent home with your child. Most tests, I require students to make corrections, and return to me the following Monday. They should work through the problems they missed, on a separate sheet of paper, and staple it to back of the test.
·      Use flash cards to study and memorize multiplication facts. Make this some sort of game with your child (memory game, beat the clock, etc.)
Science/Social Studies:
There have been fewer opportunities for grades in these subject areas, since chapters/units are longer. These grades do not reflect the most recent Science test and do not include the Mission Report, as well as the upcoming Social Studies test for Unit 2. With that in mind, it is highly possible that come report card time, your child will have shown improvement in these areas. Here are some ways to support your child in Science and Social Studies:
·      Help them study for upcoming tests. They know when all upcoming tests are, and should have tests written in their student planners. Upcoming test dates are also available on our class website. They should be using the study guide as an outline of what to study for the test. Textbooks can go home one week prior to the test, but must be brought back to school daily.

·      If given the opportunity to create a notecard, students should utilize it. Encourage them to do so, and to use the study guide as an outline of what to include on the notecard.