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posted Jun 2, 2017, 1:36 PM by Diane McFarland   [ updated Jun 2, 2017, 1:37 PM ]

                                                                                                                                                Dear Dear Parents,

June – Although it’s already June, we still have a ways to go before our summer vacation starts. We will continue with our daily routine until the last week of school. The kids do better with some semblance of structure and there’s certainly more to learn. We’ll be doing some end of year assessments. I’m excited to see how the kids have grown. I will be sharing some of the results with you.


Science Fair – WOW! Your children are amazing!  They were so enthused and proud to share their projects. Everyone knew so much about their topic. They were pleased to be able to do things they don’t typically get to do, and they enjoyed learning about each other’s topics. Thanks for your help and guidance at home. They got a lot out of the project. It was definitely a hit!


Swimming – I can’t believe how much the kids have improved in only 4 short weeks of lessons. It’s really something. We encourage more swimming lessons so the kids get stronger and more confident in the water. Have fun this summer! Thanks for remembering to pack their suits and towels and for drying them out each week.


Mapping – We’re working on mapping skills - continents, oceans, a bit about countries. We’ve been working hard on learning where the states are and what the capitals are. I have given lots of tricks. We’re learning a USA song that has all the states in order. There’s a couple of youtube links that might be fun to watch at home:  and  They sing the songs we’ve been singing. There are also a few apps that are good for learning the states and capitals. One is stack the states which they like. They LOVE the game Scrambled States of America!!! I need to get another game for next year!

As we end the year, the kids will choose a country to research. They’ll fill their facts in on a poster that I have and share with their friends. They’ll research using books and the computer.  We’ll also do a bit with landforms.


Reading – The kids LOVE to read. They are always disappointed when reading time is over. It’s awesome! They have come far in terms of where they started in September. They’re better at using decoding strategies, reading to remember, and participating in discussions. Most are still working on being more complete in their written answers.  They also love read aloud. We’ve been reading the second story of the The Land of Stories books where fairy tales characters are involved solving a mystery in a large chapter book.


Writing – The students are so much better about writing in paragraphs, and most are including more details in their sentences with expanders. Some are still choosing not to include capitals and periods in their work. This is a first grade skill and 4th grade teachers will definitely not be happy if the kids don’t have the punctuation where they belong. This is a must!


We’ll be ending the year with a piece that includes facts about their researched country, a piece about any topic of their choice with lots of details and some poetry writing.


Missing Books – Several kids have borrowed classroom books that haven’t been returned yet.  Please look around at home for any books that belong to us.  The paperback classroom books have my name (Hughes or McFarland) or NES in the corner of the first page and a piece of colored tape on the spine.  Would you mind helping your child look for school books?


Summer Assignments – The students have made wonderful progress this year.  To prevent regression over the summer months, they need to continue to practice their skills. Some parents have asked me to make an assignment because there's more “clout” when coming from the teacher.


  • Read -  I’m assigning each student to read at least 3 chapter books this summer. In the past, our school has also organized a summer reading program for the kids to participate in. Barnes & Noble also has a summer reading program. Listening to and reading books are so important. Enjoy!


  • Math Facts - Students who have not yet memorized their addition facts and subtraction facts (0-20) and multiplication facts (0-10) need to. Students need to be solid in adding and subtraction without using fingers. Memorization is work, but it needs to be done.  Try flashcards, ladders (oral and written), internet websites, games… Fourth grade will be so much more fun if they know the facts. Kids have come back thanking me for making them learn them because the math was then so much easier.


  • Math – Opportunities to add and subtract multi-digit numbers involving regrouping (borrowing and carrying) would be great practice, as would multiplication problems. We don’t want them to forget all the goodies they’ve learned.  Involving your children in daily life math with word problems (time, measurement, word problems…) would be great too.


  • Spelling – I will be sending home copies of your child’s spelling inventory for third grade once they're finished. The same words were given in September, January, and June. You can see their progress and which sight words or spelling patterns they still need to work on. There will be a new list next year.


  • We’ll be doing lots of cleaning in our last week. Wipes are best because we’re not allowed to use any kind of spray in school. We could use a bunch of wipes for the class, if you feel so inclined.

                                                                                                                Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                       Diane McFarland