Summer Learning

One of the great things about TJ is our desire to have our students become lifelong learners. We strive to have our kids learn about things no matter where they are! This summer is no different.
In the next couple of days be on the look out for summer websites and activities that I’ll be posting for you and your child to use this summer!


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reading cartoon

reading cartoon

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Whoa, is it really the middle of May?

Wow! What a wicked fast few weeks we’ve had!

These past few weeks we have been working on one of our most creative planners ever! The kids finished up their music program with Mrs. Harbison at the end of the third quarter. They then jumped in to the creative process of picking their artwork for the Art Show! In class we worked on creating original poems, writing a persuasive essay on why EVERYONE should visit one of the planets in our solar system (besides Earth that is) and just this week we wrote some messages offering words of encouragement to our juniors and seniors as they get ready for the Prom and Graduation.

Next week! SOL tests in the morning and finishing up projects that we just couldn’t get finished because we needed to do some SOL reviews!

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March Mayhem PTA Fundraiser

Are class is creating a Raffle Basket for the March Mayhem PTA Fundraiser on March 23rd.
We decided to create a Sports Themed Basket as our class basket. We are in DESPERATE need of items! Currently, as far as I can tell, we have a hula-hoop, a soccer ball and two ping-pong paddles! Please send in either items or money so that we may make our basket more enticing!

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Moon Phase Log

I just sent an email out to the parents about this but thought I’d post it here too!


Tonight the 4th graders start their Moon Phase log. It should only take a few minutes to do each day… And the goal is to do it each day, including weekends—to really try to find the Moon in the sky and observe its shape/phase. This can be such a powerful/memorable activity if students are able to follow through… Any support that you can give will be much appreciated.

Most of us actually did our first observation in class—we had to lean quite a bit to spot the Moon out our windows. I’m attaching the directions to this email. The directions include a Moonrise/Moonset chart so that students can plan when to do their observations. We looked carefully at the chart and pinpointed those days that might be somewhat problematic because of sleep:

March 9: The Moon will rise at 8:05pm and set at 6:47am.
March 10: The Moon will rise at 9:18pm and set at 7:23am.
Starting on March 11th, students should do their Moon observations in the morning before school, rather than after.

The toughest part about understanding the phases of the Moon is realizing that half of the Moon is always lit up (the half that is pointed towards the Sun)… When there’s a new Moon the half that is lit is pointed away from us. When there’s a full Moon we can see the whole illuminated side… All the other phases result because we’re only seeing part of the lit up half from our perspective on Earth. That’s what the Moon’s Orbit diagram (“How the Moon Works”) is all about. I’ve already plugged in 2/28 and 2/29 so that the students can see how to mark the orbit diagram… It’s just an approximate placement and now that I study it closer, I’m realizing that I’ve probably got the 28th way too close to the 29th—so the students and I will learn how best to place the dates on the Moon’s together 

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

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So, we are in the middle of our fourth grade year. Traditionally, this year has been a big year of transition for many, if not most, fourth graders.
To keep my students up with their math computation skills, I’ve enrolled us in an online practice math website called XtraMath.

There is a flyer in your child’s Friday Folder that will help you get started with this website from your home computer. We will be using XtraMath in our classroom from time to time but I strongly encourage you to have your child continue practicing his/her computation at home as well.

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For the Love of Reading

For the Love of Reading Week

February 13-17, 2012

Look for the
Red and Pink Boxes
At Thomas Jefferson School

Sponsored by the Greater Washington Reading Council

New and gently used books for children and adults are being collected for shelters in the area.

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