Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Force has awaken in room 14!

Greetings young padawans and families!

Our last day before winter break was epic. I can not begin to describe all the fun we had building tie fighters or playing the Star Wars Games. My favorite part was watching you engineer and design your droids. I am looking forward to you finishing your designs the next two weeks. I hope to post a few of them on our website to share. For those of you who saw The Force Awakens over the break, I appreciate you not sharing any spoilers with your classmates. We will find a day and time when we can get together to share our theories. I just finished reading the book and there is so much more to the story that is in the book but not the movie.

You will be excited to know that this month's book order has several Star Wars books that we can add to our classroom collection or you can buy for yourself at home. It is super bonus point month, so we will get extra bonus points for every order we place in class. In addition, every student that orders gets a Star Wars bookmarks. You can order in class or directly from the scholastic website. Checks need to be made out to Scholastic Reading Club. Our class code is GMY2N and the link to order is scholastic.com/readingclub. The order will come home tomorrow and the last day to order will be next Friday, January 15th. 

One big change we are making in class in the new year is a change to our math and reading blocks. We have extended each block by a few minutes to give us extra time for rotating through our reading and math groups. The morning block is from 8:10-9:25 and the afternoon block is from 11:55-1:15. Please plan accordingly when scheduling medical appointments. The best time to pull students out is during their specials block from 10:00-11:05. 

In Science, we have started learning about the dust bowl and wind erosion. Students will be taking their first district science assessment with wind erosion next week. It is really important students are here because the assessment is based on the hands on learning in the lab. Our science days are Monday (2-3) and Wednesday(12-1:15). I encouraged students to speak with older relatives that might still be around and experienced this time period. Our students live in such a modern world that it is difficult for them to imagine what life was like back in the 1930s. We are building background knowledge in class by reading books and articles about the event and watching some recordings about the dust storms. We will use our study of wind erosion as a launching point into our natural disaster research. The kids are really excited to be studying this, so I hope they share some of their experiences with you at home.

We are also taking our district math assessments. In morning math, we are designing candy boxes using volume and surface area. In afternoon math, we will be using area and perimeter to design a backyard. The goal of both assessments is to provide students the opportunity to apply skills they are learning through real life simulations. After we finish the assessments, students will be finishing off their place value lessons and working towards proficiency of long multiplication and division skills. Please make sure your child uses Reflex during the week to get their basic facts mastered. It makes the process of doing long multiplication and division so much easier. 

As you can see, there is a lot happening in our classroom the next few weeks. We also have our classroom field trip to the Science Center to look forward to on January 20th. Remember to plan ahead for your child's arrival and departure. Students will need to be at school and ready to board by 7:15AM and will return later around 4PM for parent pickup. Chaperones, I will be sending home more information for you this week via your child. 

Have a wonderful week and may the force be with you!

Master Jedi Moricz :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Open House, Freaky Friday, Colonial Day

Hi All,

This is just a reminder that students will be conducting their conferences on Monday, October 12th from 1-2 PM in our classrooms. This is an opportunity for your student to share their progress and goals they are going to work on. Our students are creating slideshows to guide their conference with you. They will have samples of their classwork to share with you. If you are unable to attend, they will be able to share their slideshow with you at home through their Google Drive after the Open House. If you are not going to be in school next week, we ask that you let the front office know you will be out of town. If you are scheduled for an additional conference, please check in PTCfast for your date and time. 

We are going to do a Freaky Friday Day for our Fall Celebration. During the day, our classes will rotate through each 4th grade class. In one rotation we will do Math, another will be Science/STEM, Language Arts, and Social Studies. We will need one chaperone to move with the class for each rotation. We will end in our homeroom class. For the morning snack, we want to do the Halloween Goldfish with water. The goldfish needs to be in their own sealed bags. They have them on sale right now at Target, Walmart, and Sprouts. I have also seen Annie's goldfish packs for class sets which is also ok. We need 28 students bags and waters. For afternoon snack, I would like to do Halloween Oreos and Capri Suns. We will need three packages of Oreos and 3 cases of Capri Suns. If you can assist, please sign up on our sign up list.

Also, Colonial Day is quickly approaching. This event allows our students to experience some parts of daily life during Colonial Times. There will be 13 colonial groups that travel through the centers. This year the kids will experience pie, soap making, games, minuet dancing, silhouette portraits, and candles (weather permitting). Colonial Day will be November 4th from 8:00-11:25 AM. We are in need of volunteers to run the centers (directions and materials provided) and donations of supplies to make this event possible for our students. We also need some volunteers that come early or stay afterwards to help with set up and clean up. If you are unable to work the whole time, sign up under additional volunteers and put the time you are available in the comment slot. We need all volunteer slots need to be signed up for by Wednesday, October 28th so we can get information to you about the center you are helping with. Some centers will have teachers assisting with the start up and others can be started with just volunteers. We are asking that craft and non perishable supplies be sent in by Friday, October 30th. Food supplies should be sent in on Monday and Tuesday, Novemeber 1st and 2nd. The link to sign up can be found below or by clicking on the page on our classroom website: 4th Grade Treasure Hunters.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks for all your help and support....we greatly appreciate it!

Captain Moricz

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Hello Treasure Hunters and Families,

What an amazing class we have and what an amazing week we just finished in 4th grade! For most 4th graders, turning 10 is a big thing in 4th grade. While we always take time to celebrate each other's special day, last week we got to help create a surprise for one student in our class. I don't know if your child shared the story with you, but one of our classmates has a brother who is in the Navy. The number one request for her birthday was to have her brother come home. However, he had told her he couldn't get leave. Secretly a plan went into place to get him here. On Thursday, after a short stop at home to change into his uniform, he stopped by our class to surprise his younger sister. It was an amazing moment to share as a class and the students really enjoyed getting to ask him questions about his role in the Navy. It is such a wonderful reminder that we need to treasure all of our veterans and active military personnel, especially on the day before Patriot Day. My husband served in the Air Force, my dad worked with the Navy Seals as a diver during the Vietnam war, and my grandfather was a pilot stationed at Pearl Harbor. 

I am excited to report that Edmodo is up and running. Parents....please create your accounts. You will need the parent code which can be found on the home page when your child logs into his or her account. If you already have an Edmodo account, you can just add the code to your account. If not, you can register and create a new one. This is the best way for you to keep informed about learning happening both inside and outside the classroom. I was so impressed with the number of kids who were logging on this weekend to share what we are doing with their families. Keep up the great work!

This week we will be continuing to grow as Scientist and Engineers as we begin working with concepts in the water cycle. Over the next several weeks, students will conduct hands on investigation and use inquiry strategies to explore each step in the cycle. I will post information on Edmodo, but kids will also be using their journals in class to keep track of terms and important concepts. 

In Math, we are exploring factors, prime, and composite numbers. We learned how to represent numbers visually last week, but this week we will practice using divisibility rules to determine if larger numbers are prime or composite. All of this will help us to explore properties of algebra and order of operations. 

This is also a very special week for Pirates!!!! On Friday, we will celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day. We will share our pirate stories we have been working on in class. We will complete a special pirate STEM challenge on Thursday and we will even test out some pirate language during the process. In math, we will work with coordinate grids on Friday to simulate a pirate battle. In honor of our special day, students will be permitted to dress up like pirates. The costumes created should be school appropriate. Students may not wear makeup or bring weapons to school. If you don't have a costume or something appropriate to wear, you can still support our class by wearing combinations of red, white, and black. 

We arrrgghhh going to have a great week! Please make sure to ask your child about their day.