Room 204! Often in my classroom I carry the same theme through all of the subjects we are currently studying. For example, if we are learning about the history of the Southeast we will be reading a story about slaves escaping from the Southeast on the Underground Railroad, and then looking for examples of irregular verbs in the same story. Then, in math, the children will solve word problems based on slavery, and in science they will talk about constellations, which the slaves used to guide them on their way north. I feel children are more likely to remember their lessons if they are immersed in what they are learning, so that is why I try to tie my subjects together.
I also feel writing and reading go hand-in-hand, so many times my students
write short stories based on one of the stories we have read in class.
Math Students in Mrs. Mickonis's math class don't have any homework.
Science Students don't have any science homework.
Social Studies Students don't have any social studies homework.
Spelling Students don't have any spelling homework.
English Students don't have an English assignment.
Reading Students don't have any reading homework.
Writing Students don't have any writing homework.
Reading: Students do not have
a reading textbook. Instead, the district has classroom sets of novels
for the students to read. They still practice all of the reading skills
they need to know, like comprehension, decoding, sequencing, context clues,
and fact & opinion. They also learn about the authors and illustrators
and how they use story elements to make the story interesting.
Bunnicula is a science fiction story
about a family that finds a rabbit at a Dracula movie. When their
cat and dog meet the newest addition to the family, the cat is convinced
that the bunny is a vampire. The students love the funny antics that follow
as the cat tries to rid the family of the danger and the dog tries to save
his new friend from getting killed and his old friend from being kicked
Thank You, Jackie Robinson is a story
about a young boy in 1947 who loves the Brooklyn Dodgers and his older,
African-American friend, Davy. This historical fiction book introduces
students to the people who put an end to the color barrier in Major League
Baseball, and the prejudices they had to overcome. Baseball knowledge is
optional when reading this story.
We will try to coordinate reading Top
Secret with science lessons on photosynthesis, because
in this story a young boy turn himself into a plant for his science project.
That's right, a plant, complete with green skin and aphids. Will his discovery
solve the world's hunger problem? Does he ever turn back into a regular
food-consuming ten year-old? You'll have to read the story to find out.
Chocolate Fever is very similar to
Secret in that a boy undergoes mysterious physical changes. This
time, though, he turns into a walking chocolate bar! Somehow our chocolate
friend, Henry Green, manages to escape from a hospital, foil a robbery,
and turn himself back into a regular nine year-old. Students will find
out in this comical story, that you actually can have too much of a good
thing, even chocolate.
Freedom Crossing is another historical
fiction novel that exposes children to the plight of slaves trying to escape
from their masters. The slave on the run is only twelve years old and the
abolitionists who help him are also teenagers, so students get to look
at this event through the eyes of children close to their own age. This
story is filled with suspense; sometimes I can't get the kids to leave
when we're reading it.
I Have a Dream is the biography of
Martin Luther King Jr. This book takes students through Martin's first
experience with segregation when he was six years old, his discovery of
peaceful ways to protest, his leadership role during the Civil Rights Protests
in the South, and his assassination in Memphis. While reading the book
the kids take part in a discrimination project that gives them some idea
of what it was like to be treated unfairly because of who you are.
The Titanic Sinks gives the students
a taste of nonfiction. The novel introduces the students to the actual
crew and passengers on the doomed ship, and takes them through its tragic
voyage from start to finish. Although it contains only facts, it
is written like a novel. Even though most of the children know the ending,
they still find it suspenseful, as they wait to see who survives and who
Stone Fox is an example of realistic fiction set in the West. A young boy named Willy must somehow find a way to raise enough money to pay the taxes on his grandfather's potato farm or lose his home. He decides to enter a local dogsled race to win the prize money despite the fact he has only his pet, Searchlight, to pull his sled. Students can't wait to find out if Willy and Searchlight can beat Stone Fox and his team of dogs.
In fourth grade math we are going to concentrate on developing students' problem solving skills, while reinforcing the importance of mastering basic math facts. We will have daily math exercises to start each class to keep our brains in good math condition. The students will use their textbooks and workbooks to practice basic skills, and then they will use real life resources to demonstrate how these math skills are put into practice in everyday life.
Our fourth grade social studies program focuses on the United States. We
divide the country into four regions, the Northeast, the South, the Midwest,
and the West. Then we study each region's geography, its history, and what
life is like in that region today. The students are required to identify
each state in the region on a map and name its capital. Students are also
required to answer essay questions on each test to reinforce their writing
skills. We are also learning about the great state of Pennsylvania.
The students have textbooks which focus on the rich history of their home
state as well as the landforms and resources Pennsylvania has to offer.
English program in fourth grade covers the basic parts of speech including
nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions.
We also focus on correct punctuation and capitalization when writing.
The students have textbooks and workbooks, but they practice grammar
rules by writing original letters, paragraphs, and short stories.
We believe that when you focus on writing, the students think about the
rules more carefully than if they were just filling in the blanks of a
The Science program in fourth grade covers a variety of topics.
We will be learning about the solar system, scientific classification, ecosystems, states of matter, photosynthesis, climate, and much more.
We will be using a number of different resources to study these subjects including our textbook, Kids Discover Magazine, and internet resources. Students will be creating various charts and diagrams to show what they've learned.
4-Red Special Subjects' Schedule We will be switching to a 6-Day Cycle at St. Clair Elementary this year. The first week of school, Monday, August 25, 2008, will be "Day 1" of the cycle, Tuesday will be "Day 2" of the cycle, and so on until Friday, which will be "Day 5". The second week of school, we have Monday off for Labor Day, so when we come back to school on Tuesday, September 2, 2008, it will be "Day 6" of the cycle. Then Wednesday, September 3rd will be "Day 1" of the new cycle. We will continue with this pattern for the remainder of the year. This cycle will also be printed on the monthly lunch menu.
The children in 4-Red will have their "special subjects" on the following days of the cycle:
Day 1 - Gym Class
Day 2 - Computer Class
Day 3 - Health & Spanish Classes
Day 4 - Art Class
Day 5 - Library Class
Day 6 - Music Class
June 1, 2009 was the last day of school at St. Clair Elementary. Check back in August for new dates for the 2009-2010 school year.
The following are due dates for some of your child's assignments.
Please note that they may be changed if circumstances in school create
a need to extend some of the dates.
Each marking period students are required to complete 3-D Word Projects. The projects turned in by students in past years were awesome!  Check out some of these projects on the 3-D
Word Projects Page.
Check back next year.
These are some sites I use when I am teaching about different
subjects in reading or social studies. These are links, so if you click
on one of these words you will leave this page and go to that site.