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School Year 2016/17

Ms. Castro 


Scholastic class code NNH4X

This link is on our helpful links page


Great deal for 4th graders! Free parks pass all year.


November Newsletter

  Thank you all for packing healthy snacks. Our lunch time is at 12:30 so having a snack is really helpful.

  You should be seeing a Math Problem of the Week on Mondays for homework. This problem should include showing any math necessary to solve it and an explanation of the thinking used as well. Since students are only being given one problem, we want to emphasize that a quality answer will be expected. I will mix this up with logic problems. Not all of our POW’s will include math.

Students should be reading regularly at home as well as doing the Problem of the Week. Be sure to encourage them to select books at a “just right” level for them.

  Learning reflection notebooks should be coming home Monday through Thursday evenings. They should include learning targets and 5 good sentences. They should come back to school signed each day.

  Our first ROAR   assembly will be Friday September 30th at 2:30.

 If you have not paid for school supplies yet, please see Mrs. Paskett in the office. She will issue you a receipt. Also, the PTSA is putting together Emergency kits as a fundraiser if you do not want to put together one yourself. All students should have a kit here at school just in case of an emergency.

  Pictures will be taken on September 27th. Be sure you send in money or pay online if you would like to purchase school pictures.

  Have you turned in a Walking Field Trip Permission slip?  Please get it in!!!

Thank you all who signed up for conferences. Please let me know if you are having trouble working with the days offered.


J 9/30: ROAR Assembly/Free Dress Friday

J 10/5: National Bike or Walk to School Day

J 10/14: Movie Night 6:30


J 10/28: ROAR Assembly/Free Dress Friday & Masquerade Ball 6:30-8:30pm




September 8, 201

This has been a great start to the school year. Your children have been working hard to learn the routines of the day. Next week we hit the ground running. Expect to see reflection journals come home Monday through Thursday evenings requiring parent signatures. These journals allow students to recall the day and share their learning with you.

I have been assessing your students on their basic math facts. Some of them are a little “rusty.” I will send letters home with those students who need to do some practice at home. If your student is a third grader, this won’t happen until we complete the multiplication and division units mid-November. However, all students must be fluent in addition and subtraction of single digits. Those students who have mastered all of their basic math facts will move on at a quicker pace.

Project planning is underway and fieldtrips are getting on the schedule. I will have volunteer signup sheets available at Open House on September 14th.

We have been practicing mindfulness here at school. There is a link on the school website under “classroom websites.” Click on the “mindfulness” page if you are interested in learning more about our program.


Thank you all for all you do!




Homework Policy 2016-2017


We will be trying something new this year.  Students will be working very hard at school and we want to encourage them to engage in important activities at home such as outdoor adventures, sports, music, dance, clubs, family activities, pleasurable reading and PLAY.  All of these activities take time, so we are taking traditional homework activities off your plates to encourage learning in other ways.

 Students need to engage in reading at home each night (20-30+ minutes), but we will be tracking this in a different way with goals and 1:1 conferring instead of traditional reading logs.  We will often give a problem of the week (POW) to students to puzzle over.  Our school projects may require some home thinking or tinkering, so expect to see current PBL work to show up once in a while.   As students become more and more engaged in project based learning, our hope is that they begin projects on their own at home.

There may be skills that your child needs help on such as math computation or writing.  We encourage you to take time to work on that together and we are here as support with ideas to help.  Students may have a few math problems to work through in the evenings so they are able to share and justify their thinking.

Our shift in policy is a result of research and much discussion about what is best for the whole child.  Included are some links that may be helpful to you.  Please feel free to bring any questions or concerns to me about this change.







Your 3-4 GATE teacher,

Dechelle Watson