Thursday, May 2, 2019


April was a busy month! It included taking the ELA State Test, attending the Book Fair, observing Lent and celebrating Easter.  This month we also celebrated a birthday and congratulated another Pen Award recipient.  We can't believe the end of 4th grade is fast approaching.

Happy Birthday!

In Reading Workshop we continued to read non-fiction and are working in teams to create an informational presentation on an extreme weather event that each team will present to the class. Each student also wrote a research report independently on a biography of a woman, and is presenting a summary of what they learned to the class.  It's been so much fun learning about all that women in history have accomplished.  In writing workshop each student is working on an informational essay focused on how a specific technology has impacted society.
Students summarizing partners using 2 different sources

We made Poetry pockets to celebrate Poetry Month!

 Personal Narrative presentation

Presenting information on Laurie Hernandez, the gymnast 

Presenting on Malala Yousafzai, the activist.

Presenting on Betsy Ross

Presenting on J.K. Rowling, the author.

Presenting on Jane Goodall, the scientist.

Presenting on Karen Chen, the ice skater.

Presenting on Maria Mitchell, the astronomer.

This month we completed the geometry unit.  Students learned to calculate area and perimeter, measured and drew angles using protractors and learned to identify triangles and quadrilaterals.  They also learned about symmetry lines and used that knowledge to create symmetrical butterflies that we used to decorate for spring.

In science we completed Unit 6 - Matter, which included learning the properties of Matter, classifying Matter and changes of Matter.  We especially focused on how water is special because it is the only Matter that can exist in 3 states: solid, liquid and gas.  This unit has prepared us to explore water more, with our upcoming STEM Project focused on solving the Earth's problem of lack of clean water for its population.

Social Studies
The students finished learning all about a New York colonist's life, including how the colony population grew, the contributions of African American colonists, how colonists made a living and their daily life.  As an end of unit project, the girls are creating Broadsides (colonial newspapers) which include vocabulary and information that they have encountered during the unit.

Thursday, April 4, 2019


The month of March was bitter cold outside, but the fourth grade kept busy in the classroom learning many new things and celebrating Women's History Month, St. Patrick's Day and the start of spring.  Also, congratulations to Nina for getting her Pen Award!

This month the fourth grade focused on reading non-fiction.  All the students selected a biography of a woman to read, and to write a report about, that they will present to the class in April.  They also worked on their presentation skills by presenting their completed personal narratives to the class, as well as their trimester 2 Book Advertisement Projects.  Each student selected a book they read during trimester 2 and presented why they would recommend that book to the class.  In addition, to celebrate Women's History Month we watched BrainPop videos on historical women and wrote reflections on why those women are role models. The fourth grade also spent this month writing short and extended literary responses, including compare and contrast essays to ensure they have these skills for middle school in a few months.

Personal Narrative

Students present their Book Advertisements

We also got a special visit from the 6th grade where all the girls read their short studies to the fourth grade class.

The students kept very busy in math class learning about fractions and how to add, subtract, and multiply fractions.  They also learned how to calculate perimeter and area of squares and rectangles.

The girls were very busy in science this month.  They completed Unit 5 - Earth, which focuses on the weather, water cycle, erosion, extreme natural events, and the earth, moon, and the sun.  In addition, the students conducted a number of science lab activities, such as measuring with rulers, measuring mass in grams using a pan balance, and testing whether objects are attracted to a magnet.

Student illustrations of the water cycle

Measuring mass

Testing magnetism 

Testing conductivity

Social Studies
In social studies we are continuing to learn about the colonies.  This month the girls learned about how the New York Colony's population grew; where were the New York colonist from, and their cultures; how African American colonist came to New York and how they contributed to the growing colony; how colonist made a living; and their daily life in general.  Students incorporated their math skills in social studies by creating graphs that show the population boom in the 1700s.

In religion we continued to learn about the Ten Commandments.  We discussed the great commandment, and prayed together to continue to receive God's love, as well as love others and ourselves.  The class had a great time creating God's Love posters!

Sunday, February 24, 2019


The fourth grade started the new year by writing about their New Year's Resolutions.  We set out all kinds of personal and academic goals for 2019!

In Reading the girls ended "The Tiger Rising" unit by creating book marks.  We discussed how when you finish a book you are forever connected to those characters ant their life lessons.  The book marks were created using take-aways from books that the students read over the last year that they felt they learned important lessons from.

We also began out Literature Circle Unit reading "The Sign of the Beaver" by Elizabeth George Speare.  In this unit each student reads the book assignments independently and then they discuss the book as part of a group.  Each member of the group is responsible for a specific role in the conversation.  The roles are:  Facilitator, who leads the conversation; Summarizer, the person responsible for summarizing the assigned chapters; Connector, who is responsible for discussing a number of connections they made to the book during the portion of the assigned reading; Word Wizard, the person responsible for finding difficult vocabulary and defining it for the group; and the Art Wizard, who illustrates a scene from the reading for the group.  The students were very enthusiastic about doing this type of sophisticated work in literature.

In writing the students began working on writing a Personal Narrative.  The class began by reading a number of memoirs and personal narratives that they could use as models to make their Personal Narrative better.  Then we focused on a number of skills to focus on to include in the writing of a narrative, such as details, dialogue, writing using sensory information and showing the reader what happened versus just telling them in writing.

In Science class we began the year by continuing to learn about different Life Cycles such as the Frog Life Cycle and the Butterfly Life Cycle.

The class also learned about different things humans need to do stay healthy and the girls partnered up to create Healthy Kids Cafe Menus.  Each partnership had to create a menu for their cafe which included all kinds of healthy food and drinks.  In February we began learning about Food Chains and Food Webs and the girls each created their own food chains using different color construction paper.

We also had a very special visitor, Aurora Santagelo.  Aurora is a Visitation Academy alumnae and is currently a senior at William and Mary College majoring in Physics.  Aurora spoke to the fourth grade about studying science and a special project that she is working with a team from school on for NASA.  The project is focused on how to get certain materials to Mars.  The girls were ecstatic about speaking to Aurora and had many questions for her, as well as one or two suggestions to help her with her group's challenges.

Social Studies
In social studies the fourth grade presented their Longhouses and what they learned about the Native Americans to both their parents and some of the classes in the lower school.

We also learned about the European Explorers and the girls each made an Explorers flip book with information about the different explorers we studied.