Friday, May 25, 2012


We have let students know that for the remainder of the school year all mechanical pencils, pencil sharpeners, and pens need to be left at home. You wouldn't believe the problems that these tiny items can cause! We provide the students with all necessary materials. While this may bring back memories of the previous pencil fee, this is a genuine request!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Saw this and wanted to share....

Living History Weekend Fundraiser



Saturday, May 26 through Sunday, May 27
Presented by
Historic Latta Plantation

Experience 19th century life as you see living history demonstrations that include open hearth cooking, weaving, woodworking, blacksmithing, and more. Children can make crafts, dance around the maypole, and visit the farm animals. Stay all day and enjoy a hot meal, listen to live music, and enjoy spring on the plantation. $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, ages 5 and under free.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

READ-O Party!

We will be having our READ-O celebration this Friday afternoon! Students who have filled out their entire READ-O card showing that they have read books in the historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, teacher choice, biography, and adventure genres are invited! 

Please have your reader come to school on Friday with a blanket or towel. We will have Readers' Workshop outside and then finish off the day with an ice cream sundae party. 

The teachers will provide the ice cream, and your generous children have offered to bring in the toppings for the sundae bar. If your child offered to bring in an item and this doesn't suit you, please just let us know. Otherwise, we appreciate your help!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Math Student Handbook

Remember these? Please have your child return his/her
Math Student Handbook to our classroom by June 1st

Bill of Rights

Take a look at the Bill of Rights Institute website. Under the resources tab, look for the Bill of Rights game and Madison's notes are Missing.  The two games are really wonderful and timely as we are discovering the parts of the government and how the constitution was written.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Latta Plantation

Mr. Merritt travels back in time !

Sophie's Birthday Book

Liza's Birthday Book


Here are some fun memories from our Colonial Boston Storypath. We loved the beautiful frieze of Boston that our class created in the hallway just outside our door. When the British ships invaded our harbor, we asked the students what had happened. One student wryly shared, "Mrs. Rencher, you xeroxed some boats and stapled them to the bulletin board." Gotta love 4th grade!

Sam Adams (who looks an awful lot like Coach Martin) showed up in our classroom one afternoon to have a meeting with the colonists.   After sharing that Governor Hutchinson refused to make the British ship leave our port, Sam Adams proclaimed, "This meeting can do nothing further to save the country." Later that evening the famous Boston Tea Party took place which led us to the Revolutionary War. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Final Read Aloud (sniff...sniff...)


From School Library Journal

In the only Newbery Honor book to make my list, the weighty issues and historical perspectives don't get in the way of a very funny family. Byron plays some awful tricks on his younger brother Kenny, but readers can't help but laugh at some of his less harmful teasing. He tells a convincing story to little sister Joey about how garbage trucks scoop up frozen Southern folks who don't dress warmly enough, and half-fools Kenny with his tall tale. While the boys supply many of the laughs, it's clear that they get their sense of humor from their dad. His gentle teasing and tongue-in-cheek exaggerations can be hilarious. Laughter and Tears Award: More than any other book on my list, the humor in The Watsons shifts to near tragedy and many thought-provoking developments. The serious stuff succeeds in part because readers grow so close to this family through the humor that comes earlier in the book.

From Booklist by Hazel Rochman

In a voice that's both smart and naive, strong and scared, fourth-grader Kenny Watson tells about his African American family in Flint, Michigan, in 1963. We get to know his strict, loving parents and his tough older brother, who gets into so much trouble his parents decide to take him back "home" to Birmingham, Alabama, where maybe his strong grandmother will teach him some sense. Several of the family stories are a bit self-conscious (we keep being told we're going to laugh as Dad puts on a show and acts the fool), but the relationships aren't idealized. Racism and the civil rights movement are like a soft rumble in the background, especially as the Watsons drive south. Then Kenny's cute little sister is in a Birmingham church when a bomb goes off. She escapes (Curtis doesn't exploit the horror), but we're with Kenny as he dreads that she's part of the rubble. In this compelling first novel, form and content are one: in the last few chapters, the affectionate situation comedy is suddenly transformed, and we see how racist terror can invade the shelter of home.

Mathematizing Project

Ask your child about the work he/she accomplished in class this work on his/her math project. We are collectively off to a great start! Students are measuring, converting fractions to decimals, conducting surveys, using triple beam balances, and doing all kinds of other great math thinking. I know you will enjoy seeing all of their work at the Learning Celebration. In the meantime, ask your student questions about their progress and discuss ideas for multiple ways to "mathematize" his/her chosen object!

Save the Date!

Join the 4th Grade for a
Learning Celebration!

June 5, 2012
Ten o’clock
TED Room

Please plan to visit our classrooms following the
“Unite or Die” play to view the students’ work.

Ron Rash

Ask your 4th grader about the author who visited our class today! Ron Rash, a friend of Lisa Bryant's, came to speak with us, and it was a treasured time. He writes poetry, short stories and novels. I can't wait to read his work! Ron Rash shared about the writing process, how he gets ideas for his stories, how much time it takes him to write, and how much important work goes into the revision process. The 4th grade students were enthralled with his gentle spirit and magical words. He also shared with us that his novel Serena is being made into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.