Last week’s STAR Student was Isabella. We are all so glad she chose to join the fourth grade class this year!


The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10, 2017) and to encourage computer programming by students throughout the world. Our participation included fourth graders experimenting with drawing and coloring using the JavaScript language.


Our first stop this week in the Southeast region was the J.F.K. Space Center in Florida where students learned the SpaceX Dragon will launch a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Students are hoping to watch the live launch tomorrow. Another stop was Jamestown, Virginia, site of the first permanent English colony in the Americas. Then we traveled to the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, for a virtual tour of the museum. We learned that visitors can taste over 100 flavors of Coca-Cola at the museum!


We’ll continue our Force and Motion unit after winter break with students building their own small-scale model roller coasters using tubes and marbles. If you have empty wrapping paper tubes during the holidays, please send them to school when we return in January.

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Fourth graders were thrilled to Skype with the class of students from Argentina they had connected with during the Global Read Aloud project. Students had previously exchanged postcards and shared comments on a Padlet site, but it was especially thrilling to ‘meet’ their penpals face-to-face. Our new friends are beginning their summer vacation today!


A reminder that our December book club will meet next Tuesday to discuss The Unwanteds. The January selection has been announced. Cadence and Tristan have chosen Wonder by R. J. Palacio.


Today we had our second Mystery Reader. Mrs. Walker read Mr. Peabody’s Apples written by Madonna. The book, inspired by a 300-year old story, is about the power of words and how we must choose them carefully to avoid causing harm to others.  It was a lovely story with a very good message.


We have started our study of the Southeast Region of the United States. Students learned it is a region of both lowlands and highlands.The upper part includes the Appalachian Mountains with peaks more than 6,000 feet high. The lower part is known for its sandy beaches and wetland areas. Our first ‘stop’ in this region was the Everglades. Did you know this national park will celebrate its 70th birthday on December 6? We thought the Everglades was the largest swamp in North America, but found out the largest is the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. Our first quiz to locate the states of the Southeast Region and identify their capital cities will be on Wednesday, December 6. 

Our unit on Force and Motion began with students learning that a force can be a contact force, which physically touches the object, or a non-contact force which does not touch the object like gravity or magnetism. Students used their Science journals to give examples and illustrations of these forces.

Students will be working with fractions until our winter break which includes making equivalent fractions, changing improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa, adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators, and regrouping mixed numbers when adding and subtracting fractions.

This week’s word study was the Greek/Latin root cred meaning to believe. Students worked with words such as credible, accreditation, credential, incredulous, discredit, and creditor. We also look at prefixes and suffixes in words to use as clues to help remember the meanings.

Grayson and Hudson led this month’s book club discussion. Their book choice, Holes, by Louis Sachar, was a hit with almost every student. Good job, boys!


December’s selection, The Unwanteds  (Book 1), by Lisa McMann was chosen by Madison. Join us at noon on December 19 for our book club discussion.



Via Global Read Aloud

There was lots of excitement when a package of postcards arrived from Argentina! Each student received a postcard which they read and shared with the class. Then students shared their responses to the following question on Padlet (online bulletin board):

Did you notice any similarities between yourself and the student from Argentina that sent you a postcard?

One of the goals of the Global Read Aloud project is to support students in collaborating with others beyond their own classroom and country. The responses were so much more than I imagined.

Leah: I have noticed that the people in Argentina do a lot of the same things as us. They like and don’t like similar things as us even though they live on a different continent in a different hemisphere. I love tennis, I am good at math, I like listening to music.I can’t wait to get in touch with them and send more letters. For their age group they are phenomenally advanced in English. I love being able to find out how much we have in common. And a special thanks to Santi BFI and Feline for sending me such awesome postcards.

Atia: I noticed that they are describing where they live actually pretty well! They describe things like the food they eat or what their town looks like really well! 😀

Grayson: I have noticed that they have and do a lot things like us which is not what I thought. I thought they would be so different from us but really they’re the same in some ways.  They have lots of similarities with us and share lots. Some things they do in common include sports such as hockey, football, and rugby.

Isabella: I have noticed  that they talk about the food in Argentina and the sports and how old they are they say their name   

Cadence: I have noticed that they all  do lots of things that we do every day.  They play sports love animals, have houses. Nachi who wrote to me loved dogs, and had one of her own. It reminded me of Waffles (my dog). Also Juan de la Crue ( also wrote to me) wants to live in Disney World in the U.S.A. Honestly I wouldn’t blame him. It’s a really cool place. Really, they do some things differently but really we are the same.

Will: I have noticed that the kids from Argentina  have told us mostly about their favorite things about school and what they like to do with free time like one of the people who wrote to me likes it when their teacher gives them extra break time. Another person who wrote to me said they like to play rugby and soccer.

Levi: I’ve noticed that they seem to be telling us about where they live and what it’s like rather than the book, because we did the same thing.  I noticed that they are advanced in English for their age and seem to be just as interested in this as us.  They haven’t gone into very deep detail about themselves but I hope that they can keep writing back and forth, and eventually see us (over the internet)  I have been having fun with this and hopefully they are too. I wonder what they’re learning about in school right now.  I can’t wait to send and receive more cards.  I wonder what they’re like in person.  This has also been a good time to practice Spanish and learn about Argentina.

Tristan: I have noticed that they talk about what they like, what foods they eat how old they are what their name is (of course) and they ask if you like what they like. He said that he likes music, and I like music too. He also said he likes dogs and I like dogs too. I really like talking to people in Argentina. It’s really fun.

Emily: I’ve noticed that the students in Argentina have a lot in common with us. Also they have told us where they live and things about themselves, like their favorite food, what some of there hobbies are, and where they go to school.  They have more in common with me than I thought they would, like one person loves to read and their favorite book series is Harry Potter. Also I didn’t know they would speak English so well. I think it’s really cool that they sent postcards to us.

Sydney: I have noticed that most of the kids in that class have a lot in common with us. Like one of the postcard said that their favorite color was turquoise and so is mine. I thought that we would have a lot of different interest because they were from  where else, but I guess I was wrong. They  told us what their favorite foods were, where they went to school at, what their favorite colors were, ect. I also thought that they did a really good job writing in English. One other thing that I realized that their names were a lot different from ours.

Evelyn: After reading our postcards from Argentina; I’ve noticed that they do the same things as us. For example: Francosca (my postcard correspondent) likes to listen to music,do art, and play with Legos. She even has one dog just like me!

Madison: I have noticed that some of them like to play hockey. I also noticed that my postcard friend likes to do crafts. I do too.

Hudson: Ariana and Priscila have a lot in in common to my family for example, Arana like gyms so do I.  Priscila like cucumbers, My Family loves them.  

Adeline: They seem to talk a lot about their home and what their hobbies are. Sofia has a dog named Coco and I have a dog named Chy!(and yes it is spelled like that) Luadalena (sorry if I spelled that wrong) she has three siblings like I do.


Students are bringing home a Greg Tang Thanksgiving Math Challenge to complete over break. The challenge includes a game board for students to complete at as well as a Tangy Tuesday Puzzle Pack.  The packets should be returned to school on Monday, November 27.

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We had a delicious breakfast today with foods from the NorthEast region. Thank you to everyone that provided us with plates, cups, knives, maple syrup, blueberries, apples, grapes, and cranberry juice.


We’ll begin our study of the Southeast region when we return to school after Thanksgiving break. We’ll learn about the physical features, climate, products and natural resources, landmarks, and the different cultures that settled this area. Additionally, students will learn the capital city and location of each state.


Cadence was this week’s STAR Student! She brought lots of pictures to share and her mom had lunch with her on Thursday. Our next STAR is Isabella!

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Fourth graders invited their parents to school to share what they are learning about oceans at our first trimester celebration on Monday. Our classroom was turned into an ocean with jellyfish and life-size models of sea animals. Students displayed the replicas of coral reefs and ocean floors they made working with a partner.  Each student had a research paper to share and a presentation in the form of a slide show that was showing on our classroom television. In Spanish, students did drawings and learned the Spanish names of sea animals. Those also were on display. In Art class, students are also working on a coral reef using oil pastel, watercolor, and metal tooling. I am so sorry that we forgot to include these in our celebration.

The day after the parent celebration, we invited students from Beginners through 3rd grade to tour our ocean.



Summit fourth and fifth graders are participating in the Americanism Elementary School Poster Contest sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution (SARS). Today, we were visited by two SARS, minuteman Dan McMurray and British soldier Howard Fisk. This year’s theme is Revolutionary War Events. Mr. Fisk explained to students the difference between a Revolutionary War person, place, and event. He also gave students some examples of events they might depict in their posters.


We need empty, clear plastic water bottles. If you have any, please send to school before Thursday.  Thank you!

This is straight off of Facebook, but I thought it had some great conversation starters for the ride home from school. I would love for you to share some of the responses you receive (especially #41🙂)!

50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day”

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the Latin/Greek root this week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?
  11. What was the best thing that happened today?
  12. Did you help anyone today?
  13. Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
  14. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  15. What made you laugh?
  16. Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
  17. Who inspired you today?
  18. What was the peak and the pit?
  19. What was your least favorite part of the day?
  20. Was anyone in your class gone today?
  21. Did you ever feel unsafe?
  22. What is something you heard that surprised you?
  23. What is something you saw that made you think?
  24. Who did you play with today?
  25. Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
  26. What is something that challenged you?
  27. How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
  28. Did you like your lunch?
  29. Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
  30. Did anyone get in trouble today?
  31. How were you brave today?
  32. What questions did you ask at school today?
  33. Tell me your top two things from the day.
  34. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  35. What are you reading?
  36. What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  37. Teach me something I don’t know.
  38. If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
  39. (For older kids):  Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
  40. Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
  41. What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
  42. What kind of person were you today?
  43. What made you feel happy?
  44. What made you feel proud?
  45. What made you feel loved?
  46. Did you learn any new words today?
  47. What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
  48. If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
  49. What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
  50. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?



Students have completed their first fourth grade research project! After researching an ocean animal of their own choosing, each student wrote a paper and created a visual to accompany their presentation to the class. Students are now working on paper models of their animal to put in the ocean environment our classroom will become. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with parents at our first trimester celebration. The date for our celebration will be announced soon!


This week’s STAR Student is Levi. Cadence will be our next STAR                              during the week of November 13.

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Yesterday, fourth graders attended Springfield Little Theater’s production of The Miracle Worker. Since the students had read several books and articles about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, they were very familiar with the story. The show lasted about 70 minutes and the students were completely engaged the entire time. Today, our class received a compliment from one of the cast members (Mr. Keller played by Andy Bryan) about their exemplary behavior during the show! As a teacher, it’s always nice to have others recognize what I see everyday in our Summit students. Students are working on a media review of the play and some of those will be submitted to next spring’s LAD Fair.

Some of the students’ comments:

Levi: I really liked it.

Hudson: I thought it was really good. I liked how Helen learned many new words.

Leah: I thought it was good. It was very emotional.

Isabella: I thought it was pretty good. I thought Annie’s acting was the best.

Atia: I thought it was kind of sad, but it was the best play I’ve ever seen.

Adeline: It wasn’t the best play I’ve seen, but it was up there.

Cadence: I thought Helen did a great job playing her part. She really acted like she was blind and deaf.

Will: I thought it was pretty good. Viney was my favorite character because she was on the side but played an important part.

Tristan: I really liked the play. I thought they did a good job acting it out.

Sydney: I liked all of it except Helen’s tantrums.

Evelyn: I thought the character playing Helen was too old.

Emily: I really liked how the actress playing Helen Keller acted like she was really deaf and blind.

Madison: I think the acting was good, but I think they could have done a better job on the transitions.

Grayson: I liked the sets on the stage. i thought Annie did a really good job of teaching Helen.