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Welcome to 4th grade!

Week of May 21, 2018

  • Our field trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science is this Monday, May 21st. Please send a sack lunch with your child on this day. Please only include disposable items packed in a plastic or paper bag.
  • All library books are now past due. Please remind your child to return any library books that are still checked out.

  • Reading - Students will work with their literature groups on a final project to demonstrate understanding of the book they have been reading. Students can be creative in their choice of project. They can do a skit, write a song, create a poster, etc.
  • Language Arts - Students will practice a variety of dictionary skills by going on a "dictionary scavenger hunt". They will also receive their last spelling list of the year this week.

Week of May 14, 2018


  • A reminder that the STAAR Math test will be given this Monday, May 14th and the Reading test on Tuesday, May 15th. Please make sure your child gets a good night's sleep, eats a healthy breakfast, and arrives to school on time.
  • All library books were due last week. Please remind your child to return any library books that are still checked out.
  • A permission slip for our next field trip to the HMNS on May 21st was in last week's Tuesday's folder. Please sign and return if you haven't already.




  • Reading - Students will write a diamante poem for one of the characters in the novel they are reading with their literature group.
  • Language Arts - Students will learn how to correctly punctuate titles. This includes knowing whether to underline a title (books, magazines, newspapers, movies) or put it in quotes (short stories, poems, songs).
  • Social Studies - Students will learn about the three branches of government at both the national and state levels.

Week of May 7, 2018


  • A reminder that the STAAR Math test will be given next Monday, May 14th and the Reading test on Tuesday, May 15th. Please don't make any appointments or plans for child to be away from school on these days.
  • We will be going on a field trip to the Culinary Institute Lenotre this Tuesday, May 8th. Lunch will be provided for the students. Please have your child wear a red Kolter shirt or other red shirt on this day.

  • Please return your intent to return form along with all supporting documents if you have not already done so.

  • A permission slip for our next field trip to the HMNS on May 21st will be in this week's Tuesday's folder. Please sign and return as soon as possible.


  • Reading - We will review STAAR strategies one last time. Students will also meet with their literature groups. They will discuss a 'deleted scene' that could have been part of their book. They will need to justify their idea by connecting it to what has happened in the story and what they know about the characters. They will need to illustrate this scene and describe what is happening.
  • Language Arts - We will work on correctly punctuating dialogue. Students need to know where to put quotation marks and commas in sentences when characters are speaking. A practice quiz can be found here Quotation Marks Quiz
  • Social Studies - We will review the content from the 4th nine weeks of social studies which covers the time period from Reconstruction to the present day.

Week of April 30, 2018


  • Spirit Night is this Wednesday, May 2nd, at McDonald's. No homework will be assigned on this night.

  • Please return your intent to return form along with all supporting documents if you have not already done so.

  • Thank you to all the parents who helped chaperone our trip to Camp for All. Your support makes this trip possible. The kids had a great time!




  • Reading - Students will take the end of year online Universal Screener test this week. There is nothing the students need to do to prepare for this test. The students have taken this test two times previously this year, and it tracks their progress on a variety of reading skills. Students will also meet with their literature groups and write about their thoughts, feelings, and questions related to the day's reading.
  • Language Arts - We will work on prepositions and prepositional phrases this week. A list of common prepositions is found here:http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/prepositions-list.htm. You can click on the links on the page for even more prepositions with sample sentences.
  • Writing - Students will complete an end of year writing sample for their writing portfolio this week. This will be passed on to their fifth grade teacher and will continue to be developed next year.
  • Social Studies - We will read about the six flags that have flown over Texas and the history behind those flags.

Week of April 23, 2018

  • A reminder that our trip to Camp for All is this Friday, April 27th. The bus leaves promptly at 7:00. Please plan to have your child at school at 6:45 on this day. (There will not be early buses running from Godwin Park.) We plan to return at 5:30. Please make arrangements for your child to be picked up at Kolter North at this time. A letter went home in last week's Tuesday folder with additional information about the trip.

  • Due to our field trip, the spelling test will be on Thursday this week.

  • Reading - It's hard to believe, but the STAAR test is only three weeks away! I continue to see students make careless errors because they are not reading questions and answer choices correctly. The students will have four hours to complete a test that is designed to be completed in two hours. They have plenty of time to read and reread to avoid these kinds of mistakes. This week students will continue working with their literature circles and will choose items they think characters in the novel would put in a time capsule. They will need to justify their decisions with text evidence.
  • Language Arts - We will work on comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs this week. The comparative form is used when comparing two things and the superlative form is used when comparing three or more things. Students need to know whether to add -er/-est (ex. small, smaller, smallest), add more or most in front of the adjective (ex. beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful), or if it is an irregular adjective (ex. good, better, best). The same is true for adverbs. An example of some comparative and superlative adjectives can be found here:Comparative and Superlative Adjective Examples
  • Social Studies -We will read about the history of immigration of many cultures to Texas.

Week of April 16, 2018


  • A reminder that our Expo is this Thursday, April 19th. Fourth grade will be on display in the cafeteria 11:20-12:20. I know the students have worked hard on their projects, and I look forward to seeing their finished work!

  • Reading - Students will review adjectives by finding adjectives and the nouns they modify in the novels they are reading with their literature groups. I will also be reviewing poetry terms with the students as they are often mentioned in connection with poetry selections and students need to be familiar with these. You can look at the slide show found here to review some common terminology.
  • Language Arts - We will work on adverbs this week. Students need to understand that adverbs describe verbs. They answer the questions 'how', 'when', or 'where' an action happened. While many adverbs end in 'ly', it is important to remember that not all do. For example, 'after', 'here', and 'always' are examples of adverbs. Students can play adverb battleship here: Adverb Battleship.
  • Social Studies - We will read about technological changes and innovations that had an impact on Texas in the 20th century.

Week of April 9, 2018

  • A reminder that the STAAR Writing test is thisTuesday, April 10th. Please make sure your child gets a good night's sleep, eats a healthy breakfast, and arrives to school on time.

  • Students will have time in class on Wednesday to work on their IIM projects. Please send any needed materials to school on this day. This is the last opportunity your child will have in class to work on the project. A reminder that the Expo is next Thursday, April 19th. Your child will be presenting their finished project at that time.

  • I will not be assigning homework this week. In addition, there will not be a spelling test this week.

  • Reading - Students will take a reading comprehension test on Thursday. There is nothing the students need to study for the test. They will read short passages and answer a variety of reading comprehension questions related to main idea, making inferences, fact/opinion, etc. You can find some online reading comprehension practice here: Reading Comprehension Passages
  • Writing - We will play STAAR Writing Jeopardy and complete one more whole class review of editing and revising strategies on Monday in preparation for Tuesday's test. The students have worked hard and are ready to show what they know!
  • Language Arts - Students will identify adjectives in sentences. They will also identify when an adjective is a proper adjective and needs capitalization. Students can practice finding adjectives in the game Adjective Battleship
  • Social Studies - We will read about the troubles experienced in Texas during the 30's and 40's due to World War II and the Depression.

Week of April 2, 2018

  • This Wednesday, April 4th, is Spirit Night at Beck's Prime. Homework will not be assigned on this night.

  • Students will have time in class on Wednesday to work on their IIM projects. Please send any needed materials to school on this day.

  • A reminder that the STAAR Writing test is next Tuesday, April 10th. Please don't make any appointments for your child on this day.

  • Reading - Students will meet with their literature groups and create a weekly schedule for one of the characters in the novel they are reading. They will use what they know about the character to make inferences regarding how that character would spend his/her week.
  • Writing - The students will complete one more set of practice revising and editing passages this week. The students have worked hard and are ready for the STAAR test next week!
  • Language Arts - We will review pronouns during the week. The students will have a pronouns test on Friday.
  • Social Studies - We will read about the oil boom in Texas and how it affected the lives of those living in the areas where oil was discovered.

Week of March 26, 2018


  • The students will take a Reading STAAR practice on Monday and a Math STAAR practice on Tuesday. These assessments will not be graded but will provide us with information on your child's progress and areas that need strengthening before the STAAR test in May.

  • Due to the STAAR practice on Monday and Tuesday and the school holiday on Friday, there will not be spelling assigned this week. In addition, I will not be assigning homework Monday and Tuesday nights.

  • There is no Extended Day this Wednesday, March 28th. Dismissal will be at 3:15 for everyone. There is no school on Friday, March 30th.

  • Please sign and return report cards this week. I will send home a copy of the report card once a signed copy is returned to school.

  • Reading - Students will read with their literature circles and fill out a "report card" for one of the characters in the novel they are reading. They will "grade" the character on a variety of traits and justify the grades assigned with text evidence.
  • Social Studies - We will be reading about the impact the coming of the railroad had on life in Texas. Our focus will be on the effect it had on different groups of people (Native Americans, Chinese immigrants, Texans, etc.).

Week of March 19, 2018

  • Thank you to all the parents who helped make Field Day a success. The students had a great time!

  • The Writing STAAR test is quickly approaching (April 10th). We will be doing a lot of review and preparation in the next three weeks, so please make sure your child is at school every day.

  • Be sure to check the 4th grade page for more information about the 4th grade IIM research project: 4th Grade Wiki

  • Reading - Students will read with their literature circles and create a charm bracelet for one of the characters. They will justify the charms they pick for the character by using text evidence to support their choices.
  • Writing - Students will write an expository composition about a person that is special to them. They will explain what makes this person special. With the STAAR test quickly approaching, the students need to work on their independence and stamina when writing.
  • Language Arts - We are working on possessive pronouns this week. Possessive pronouns include my/mine, your/yours, his, her/hers, our/ours, its, and their/theirs. You can learn more about possessive pronouns here: Khan Academy - Possessive Pronouns
  • Social Studies -We are beginning to read about the rise of the Texas cattle kingdom. Students will learn about the growth, development, and impact of the cattle industry, including contributions made by Charles Goodnight, Richard King, and Lizzie Johnson.

Week of March 5, 2018


  • Wednesday, March 7th, is Spirit Night at Skeeter's. Homework will not be assigned on this night. I will also not be assigning homework on Thursday night due to Field Day on Friday.
  • There will not be spelling assigned this week.
  • A reminder that this Friday, March 9th, is Field Day! My homeroom is representing Peru. Please have your child send in a RED shirt on Thursday. We will be decorating them in class in preparation for Field Day on Friday. You may also want to send a change of clothes on this day in the event your child gets wet or dirty.

  • I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Spring Break!

  • Reading - Students will use their five senses to write a detailed description of one of the settings in the novel they are reading with their literature group.
  • Writing - Students will be writing a "masked procedural" composition this week. This is a type of expository writing similar to a "how-to" composition except that it is not sequential and there is a goal at the end rather than a tangible finished product. For example, students could be asked to write how to be a good brother/sister, how to get good grades in school, how to achieve a goal, etc. The process is exactly the same as what the students have been using for the "inform and tell why" expository writing for STAAR. While we don't anticipate this kind of prompt on the STAAR test, it is a possibility, so we want the students to have exposure to it.
  • Language Arts - We are working on pronouns and antecedents. It is important for students to not only understand what words are pronouns, but also what word(s) the pronoun is replacing (the antecedent). A practice game can be found at: Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement Jeopardy
  • Social Studies - We will review Texas history and geography by playing Texas Bingo.

Week of February 26, 2018

  • A reminder that this Tuesday, February 27th, Mrs. Lidsky and I will be holding a Parent Information Writing Night starting at 6:15. We will be discussing the STAAR Writing test and ways to help your child at home. We hope that you can join us.
  • Information about our April field trip to Camp for All will be in this week's Tuesday folder. Please send in the paperwork and money (for parent chaperones) as soon as possible. Even though the trip isn't until April, a lot of planning goes into this trip, and we need the information as soon as possible. Thank you!

  • There is no Extended Day this Wednesday, February 28th. Dismissal will be at 3:15 for everyone.
  • Reading - Students will watch the movie Ruby Bridges on Tuesday. They will then choose from a list of response questions to answer to demonstrate their understanding of the movie's main events, theme, characters, etc. They will also meet with their literature groups and write a journal entry from the point of view of one of the characters in the novel they are reading.
  • Language Arts - Students will identify different types of pronouns. These include subject, object, demonstrative, and reflexive pronouns.
  • Social Studies - We will review content from the 3rd nine weeks. Students will work alone or with a partner to complete an assignment of their choice (ex. PowerPoint, game, poster, booklet, etc.) to summarize the information covered.

Week of February 19, 2018


  • On Monday the students will be taking a full length practice STAAR Writing test. This is to help build stamina and give them the experience of what the actual test will be like. It will not be graded but will give me valuable data on the students' strengths and weaknesses.
  • A reminder that this Wednesday, February 21st, is our field trip to Taste of Texas. We will be leaving at 8:30 and returning to Kolter around noon. Please make sure your child arrives to school on time. If your child can't eat chicken strips and french fries for dietary or religious reasons, please send them with a sack lunch.
  • Due to the district Town Hall meeting on February 22nd, the Parent Writing Night has been changed to Tuesday, February 27th. The time is still 6:15-7:15.
  • Reading - Students will meet with their literature groups and discuss what they are reading. They will also select a reading response question to answer in order to demonstrate their understanding of the material.
  • Language Arts - Students will work on singular and plural pronouns. They need to be able to identify pronouns in sentences as well as select the correct pronouns to replace nouns in sentences.
  • Social Studies - We will finish reading about Texas's involvement in the Civil War and begin looking at the Reconstruction of the United States after the war with a focus on the effect this had on Texas.

Week of February 12, 2018

  • A reminder that this Wednesday, February 14th, is Valentine's Day/Academic Field Day. Students may come to school dressed in their pajamas on this day. They may also bring Valentines for their homeroom class. Remember that students must have a valentine for each student in the class in order to avoid hurt feelings. If you choose to send individual pieces/bags of candy, please do not send gum or any products containing nuts. Also, I will not be assigning homework this night. (Tuesday night's homework will not be checked until Thursday.)
  • On Friday the students will be taking a test on verbs. I sent out an email with more detailed information.
  • Reading - We will review last week's reading benchmark and students will reflect on their individual strengths and weaknesses.
  • Writing - Students will write an expository composition about a favorite place they enjoy spending time. They will go through all the steps they have learned (sun web, I-plan, rough draft, editing/revising, and final draft).
  • Social Studies - This week we will be reading about Texas's involvement in the Civil War. Students will write journal entries from the point of view of someone moving to Texas during this time in history.

Week of February 5, 2018


  • Wednesday, Februrary 7, is Spirit Night at Chick-Fil-A. Homework will not be assigned on this night.
  • On Wednesday the students will be taking a district benchmark reading test. This is not something they need to study for, and a grade will not be taken from the test. I will use the information to guide my instruction and focus my small group teaching.
  • Reading - Our focus this week will be on making predictions. Students will need to think about what has happened so far in their novels as well as any foreshadowing provided by the author to predict what will happen next. Students will also summarize events by creating a comic strip to represent the most important event from the reading. On Friday, students will be given a reading test where they will read several short passages and answer a variety of comprehension questions. They will be expected to show text evidence to support their answers.
  • Language Arts - Students will correctly spell regular and past tense verbs. They will be given spelling rules to apply when adding -s/-es to present tense verbs and -ed to past tense verbs.
  • Social Studies - We will read about the events that led to the U.S.-Mexican War. Students will create a timeline of these events.

Week of January 29, 2018

  • Progress Reports will be sent home in this week's Tuesday folder. Please sign and return your child's progress report.
  • On Thursday I will be taking both classes to the Book Fair. If you would like your child to shop, please send money with them. The Book Fair will also be open after school until 8:00 for you to shop with your child.
  • Reading - Our focus this week will be on making inferences about characters based on what the author tells us. The students will create T-shirts they think a character in the novel they are reading would wear and justify their decision.
  • Language Arts - Students will review irregular verbs. A good reference list of these can be found at http://www.englishpage.com/irregularverbs/irregularverbs.html.Students will also have a Daily Edit test on Friday. This is something we practice as a warm-up every morning. Students will edit sentences for errors in capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar. You can find practice paragraphs for editing at http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/edit.shtml (Click on the PDF files for your child to practice.)
  • Writing - Students will be writing an expository composition this week about what they want to be when they grow up. They will follow the steps they have been taught starting with brainstorming using a sun web and developing ideas on an I-plan.
  • Social Studies - We will read about Texas's annexation to the United States. We will focus on the disagreements that arose over this issue and the reasons each side had for their opinion over whether or not Texas should join the United States.

Week of January 22, 2018


  • Tuesday folders did not go home last week due to the days of school that were cancelled. They will be sent home this week as normal. Please remember to review the work each week with your child and spend extra time reviewing any skills he/she struggled with.
  • Reading - The students will be looking at how figurative language is used in stories and poetry. This includes metaphors, similes, alliteration, onomatopoeia, personification, and idioms. The students need to be able to identify and give an example of each type of figurative language. Examples and definitions of these (as well as some others) can be found here: Figurative Language Examples
    Students will also read with their literature groups and create a "paper doll" representing one of the characters in the novel they are reading. The "paper doll" must include four character traits that describe their character along with text evidence to support these choices.
  • Writing - Students will be writing an expository composition this week about what they want to be when they grow up. They will follow the steps they have been taught starting with brainstorming using a sun web and developing ideas on an I-plan.
  • Social Studies - Students will begin reading about Texas becoming an independent republic and the opportunities and challenges that came along with this.

Week of January 15, 2018

  • A reminder to sign and return report cards this week.
  • Congratulations to Lulu and Max M. (AM block) and Halle J. and Brandon (PM block) who participated in the school spelling bee. They all did a great job!
  • Reading - We will focus on cause and effect this week. It is important for students to understand that the cause is why something happens and the effect is what happens. A variety of links to practice exercises can be found on this page: Cause and Effect Practice
  • Language Arts - Students will review subject-verb agreement. Students need to be able to find errors in sentences related to subject-verb agreement. This will be tested as part of the STAAR writing test. Students can practice by playing battleship at Subject-Verb Agreement Battleship
  • Social Studies - Students will read about battles of the Texas Revolution. They will complete a study guide to summarize the information.

Week of January 8, 2018


  • Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make our holiday party a success. The students had a great time!
  • Report cards will be sent home on Friday. Please sign and return the report card next week.
  • Our class Spelling Bee will be held on Tuesday. The school Spelling Bee will be on Thursday.




  • Reading - The students will take a Reading DLA (District Level Assessment) test on Wednesday. This test will not be graded but will provide me with information on your child's progress and areas that need strengthening before the STAAR test in May.
  • Language Arts - This week we will work on main and helping verbs. A helping verb works with the main verb to tell about an action. Common helping verbs are forms are the verbs be, have, and do. For example, in the sentence "He was watching TV." was is the helping verb and watching is the main verb. Another example: "I have finished my homework." The helping verb is "have" and the main verb is "finished".
  • STAAR - With the STAAR tests looming in the near future (writing in April, reading in May), I am working with the students on strategies to use when taking the tests. Most weeks they will have a short practice passage for each subject so they are well prepared come testing time. It is important for the students to use the strategies they are taught and take the time to go back and look in the passage when answering the questions.
  • Social Studies - Students will read about the Battle of the Alamo and write about key figures involved in the battle.

Week of December 18, 2017

  • I will not be assigning homework this week. In addition, there will not be a spelling test this week.
  • Our holiday party is on Thursday starting at 1:15. We love to have volunteers to help out, but remember that you must have VIPS clearance, and this has to be updated every year.
  • I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Winter Break!

  • Reading - Students will take a reading comprehension test on Monday. The students will read several short passages and answer questions about what they read. There is nothing the students need to study in preparation for this test.
  • Language Arts - We will work on action and linking verbs this week. Linking verbs are sometimes referred to as 'being' verbs. Common linking verbs include appear, smell, look, be, become, sound, remain, taste, smell, and seem (as well as all their related forms). Some verbs can act as either an action or linking verb depending on their use in the sentence. For example, in the sentence "The man smelled the food cooking.", smelled is an action verb because it is something the man is actively doing. However, in the sentence "The flower smelled nice.", smelled is a linking verb because it describes a quality of the flower rather than something the flower is doing.
  • Writing - The students will write a five senses poem about winter.
  • Social Studies - Students will review content from the second nine weeks from European exploration of Texas to events leading to the Texas Revolution.

Week of December 11, 2017


  • The students will have a test on nouns (common/proper, plurals, and singular/plural possessives) on Friday. I will be sending an e-mail with more detailed information.



  • Reading - Students will begin working with their literature groups this week. Students have been placed into groups based on their reading levels. Each group has been assigned a different novel to read. They will meet with their groups weekly to read and engage in discussions about the material read. They will also be given assignments to demonstrate their understanding of the material.
  • Language Arts - We will review nouns this week in preparation for Friday's test. This includes recognizing the need to capitalize proper nouns, the rules involved in making nouns plural, and how to correctly write singular and plural possessive nouns.
  • Writing - Students will learn different transition words and phrases they can use to connect ideas in their expository writing. These include additive words such as "in addition" (when you want to give more information), oppositional words such as "on the other hand" (when you are stating a fact that contradicts what you just said), emphasizing words such as "most importantly" when you want to stress something, and sequential words such as "finally" used to put ideas in order.
  • Social Studies - Students will read about events that led to the Texas Revolution.

Week of December 4, 2017

  • Progress reports were sent home in last week's Tuesday folder. Please sign and return your child's progress report if you have not already done so.

  • Reading - We will finish reading A Paradise Called Texas this week. Our focus will be on author's purpose. We are focusing on the three main purposes of to inform, to entertain, and to persuade. When given a short passage, students should be able to identify the purpose of the passage. They should also know what types of writing fall under each purpose (ex. an advertisement is to persuade, an expository passage is to inform, a fairy tale is to entertain, etc.).
  • Language Arts - We will review plural possessive nouns this week. It is important that students can differentiate between a plural noun, singular possessive noun, and plural possessive noun. I see many errors made when writing these words.
  • Writing - Students will use the I-plan they created last week to write an expository composition about their favorite time of year.
  • Social Studies - The students will read about Mission San Saba and the massacre that happened there.

Week of November 27, 2017


  • I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving break. Only four more weeks until Winter Break (and the end of the third nine weeks)! We have a lot of work to do in the next four weeks, so please do your best to have your child here every day.



  • Reading - Students will continue reading A Paradise Called Texas this week. I have also begun working with students in small groups on leveled literature books based on their independent reading levels. I will soon have the students meeting in literature circles and I will be moving from group to group to facilitate the group discussions and activities. Students will also reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses by reviewing the reading snapshot test they took before the break.
  • Language Arts - Students will review singular possessive nouns. I frequently see students incorrectly add an apostrophe to plural nouns. It is important that they understand the correct use of apostrophes to show possession.
  • Writing - Students will put together everything they have learned to plan an expository composition using an I-plan. This includes having a strong introduction and conclusion and developing ideas using the How and Why CAFE.
  • Social Studies - The students will learn about why the Spanish established settlements and missions in Texas.

Week of November 13, 2017


  • The students will be having an Author Visit on Monday during Enrichment Lab. Due to this, I will not be assigning homework on Monday.

  • I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Break. I will see you back at school on November 27th!


  • Reading - Students will take a district reading snapshot this week. A grade will not be taken from this test. I will use the information to help me know how the students are progressing and to guide my instruction.
  • Language Arts - Students will review spelling irregular plural nouns. These are nouns that do not follow any rule when changing from their singular to plural form. Examples include child/children, mouse/mice, sheep/sheep.
  • Writing - Students will continue practicing using the "How and Why CAFE" strategies to develop their ideas when doing expository writing.
  • Social Studies - We will continue to look at European exploration to Texas this week and the motivations these explorers had when they came to Texas. We will spend some time focusing on LaSalle and his explorations.

Week of November 6, 2017




  • The spelling test that would have been given Friday, 11/3, will now be given on Monday, 11/6. The week 6 spelling list will be sent home on Tuesday, 11/7, and tested on Friday, 11/10.

  • Report cards will be sent home this Monday, November 6th. Please sign and return report cards on Tuesday. I will send home a copy of the report card once its returned.




  • Reading - This week we will focus on fact and opinion. Students need to be able to both write fact and opinion statements and identify given statements as facts or opinions. They should be able to explain why a given statement is a fact or opinion. In an opinion statement, what are the key words that make it an opinion?
  • Language Arts - Students will review rules used to spell plural nouns. This week we will focus on 1) adding -es to words ending in s, ss, x, ch, and sh; 2) changing y to i before adding -es to words ending in a consonant and a 'y'; and 3) changing f to v before adding -s to words ending with 'fe'.
  • Writing - I will introduce the students to the "How and Why CAFE" this week. This is a "menu" of strategies to help students develop their ideas when working on expository writing.
  • Social Studies - We will be begin looking at European exploration to Texas this week and the motivations these explorers had when they came to Texas. (lesson postponed from Friday)

Week of October 30, 2017


  • A reminder that this Tuesday, October 31st, is our Book Character Parade. Students may dress up as a favorite book character.

  • Report cards will be sent home this Friday, November 3rd. Please sign and return report cards on Monday. I will send home a copy of the report card once its returned.


  • Reading - We will continue reading A Paradise Called Texas. The students will work on making inferences this week. When making an inference, a student should think about their personal knowledge (schema) and 'clues' from the text to figure out information that isn't explicitly stated by the author. For example, you could infer the mood of a character based on his/her actions or the setting of a scene based on given descriptions/actions that are taking place.
  • Language Arts - We will be reviewing common and proper nouns this week. It is important that students recognize proper nouns and remember to capitalize them in their writing. Conversely, it is important that they do not capitalize common nouns. Some examples of proper versus common nouns can be found here: Proper Noun Capitalization Rules.
  • Writing - I will show the students how to use a sun web to brainstorm ideas for their expository compositions. I will then show them how to edit/organize their ideas using "OCTO surgery". Your child should be able to explain this to you by the end of the week. Ask them to show you their writer's notebook for more information.
  • Social Studies - We will be begin looking at European exploration to Texas this week and the motivations these explorers had when they came to Texas.

Week of October 23, 2017

Red_Ribbon_Week.gif
Monday
Be All In
Dress in red from head to toe.
Tuesday
Follow Your Dreams
Dress in pajamas.
Wednesday
Teamwork Rules
Dress in your favorite team's gear.
Thursday
Be a Superhero
Dress like a superhero.
Friday
Kolter Kids Rock
Dress in red, white, and blue.

  • Reading - We will continue reading A Paradise Called Texas this week. Students will pick character traits that best describe a character from the novel. They will have to justify their choices using text evidence. This can be character dialogue or actions or what other characters say about him/her.
  • Language Arts - Students will be tested on the different types of sentences we have learned the first few weeks of school. This includes declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative, compound, and complex sentences. A good website that contains worksheets and links to games to practice differentiating between the first 4 types of sentences can be found here: Types of Sentences Information about compound and complex sentences can be found here: Compound and Complex Sentences It is important for students to remember that compound sentences always need a comma, and complex sentences need a comma only when the dependent clause comes first.
  • Writing - Students will be introduced to expository writing this week. While a personal narrative tells a story, expository writing gives information. I will teach the students three good ways to start expository writing: funnel (beginning with a broad idea and then narrowing to the one idea being focused on), quotation (using a quote to hook the reader, which supports the topic), and turnabout (mentions one idea, and then turns the attention around to the idea the essay will focus on).
  • Social Studies - This week, we are focusing on some of the early Native American groups that settled in Texas. We will begin by reading about the Caddo, Karankawa, Jumano, and Coahuiltecan tribes. Students will be applying the reading skill of compare and contrast to tell how the various tribes are alike and different. Then students will read about the Comanche, their enemies (the Lipan Apache and Tonkawa), and their allies (the Wichita and Kiowa). Students will compare two of the tribes by creating either a T-chart or a Venn diagram.

Week of October 16, 2017

A reminder that a spelling test will be given each Friday. There will be 15 words from the current week's list and 5 review words from any previous list.



  • Reading - This week, the students will be introduced to the literature circle role of 'Word Wizard'. This role involves finding two challenging, interesting, or useful words in their novel and using a dictionary to define them based on the context of the sentence. The students will also take a literature circle roles test. The students have been introduced to the five main literature circle roles: Connector, Discussion Director, Summarizer, Illustrator, and Word Wizard. After reading a chapter of the book A Paradise Called Texas, the students will complete a brief activity where they will assume each of these roles. (We will review the roles before the test.)
  • Language Arts - Students will identify and write complex sentences. Complex sentences are formed when a dependent clause (a phrase/incomplete sentence) and independent clause (complete sentence) are joined together with a conjunction. It is important for students to understand that a comma is necessary only when the dependent clause comes first. For example, in the sentence "Before I play, I have to do my homework.", the dependent clause is "Before I play". This can't be written by itself as a sentence. However, when the independent clause ("I have to do my homework"), comes first: "I have to do my homework before I play", no comma is necessary.
  • Writing - Students will write a personal narrative this week. Focus will be on having a strong introduction and conclusion, using show me, don't tell me descriptive language, staying narrowly focused on one topic, being well organized, and trying to "pump up" vocabulary.
  • Social Studies - We will continue to read about the first American Indian groups in Texas and how archaeologists learned about these groups of people.

Week of October 9, 2017

  • Information can be found at the bottom of this page regarding Scholastic book orders. You can place a book order for your child at any time during the year. I will submit orders approximately once a month or when a large number of orders have been submitted.


  • Reading - This week, the students will be introduced to the literature circle role of 'Illustrator'. This role involves drawing a detailed picture of a scene from the novel. Students will share their illustrations with others and explain what is happening in their picture and why they chose that part of the novel to illustrate. The students will also be introduced to the literature circle role of 'Summarizer'. I want them to focus on retelling the key events in order while making sure to include items from the beginning, middle, and end of the portion of the story that they read.
  • Language Arts - Students will identify and write compound sentences. Compound sentences are formed by joining two complete sentences with a conjunction. I use the term FANBOYS to help students remember the list of conjunctions that can be used to join sentences. They are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. It is important for students to remember that there has to be a comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence. Some examples of compound sentences are: I was going to play baseball, but it started to rain. She had a lot of homework to do, so she couldn't play with her friend.
  • Writing - Students will work on using "show me, don't tell me" language to describe emotion. For example, instead of writing "I felt angry.", it is more effective to write "I slammed the door shut, flung my backpack on the ground, and stomped upstairs to my room."
  • Social Studies - This week we will learn about the first American Indian groups in Texas. We will also read about archeologists and the discovery of the Horn Shelter.

Week of October 2, 2017

  • Thank you for returning the first week packets so quickly. I appreciate your help with this. If you still have not returned the packet, please do so as soon as possible.
  • Homework - A reminder that, through December, students will be given time to complete homework during the last hour of the day. This should be enough time to complete the work assigned. (Students may still need to study for tests at home.)
  • Spirit Night is Monday, October 2nd at Escalantes.





  • Reading - In a few weeks, students will be placed in literature groups based on their individual reading levels. In the meantime, I am establishing guidelines and procedures for independent and group reading activities. Our focus this week is on learning two of the literature circle roles. Students will be expected to engage in meaningful discussions about what they are reading when they meet with their reading group. Literature circle roles gives the students structure for these discussions. The first role students will learn is "Connector". When students are assigned this role, it is their job to make connections to what they are reading. They can make connections to their own life, another book they have read, or events in the world. Students will also be introduced to the literature circle role of "Discussion Director" this week. The discussion director comes up with open ended questions related to events in the novel. Examples of questions that could be asked include "How did you feel when...?", "How would the story be different if...?", "What would you have done if you were in the same situation as...?", etc. I will also be working with the students on the importance of finding text evidence to support their answers when answering reading comprehension questions. We will practice these roles by reading the novel A Paradise Called Texas. This will be connected with our social studies content which focuses on Texas history.
  • Language Arts - Students will identify and write 4 kinds of sentences: declarative (statements), interrogative (questions), imperative (commands), and exclamatory (exclamations). You can find more information and practice here:4 Types of Sentences
  • Spelling - Spelling begins this week. Students were assessed on their spelling last week. They have been put in spelling groups and given lists at a level that will help each individual student improve their spelling skills. A list for the week will be sent home with students each Monday.
  • Social Studies - The students are learning about the 4 regions of Texas. They are reading brief articles about each region and using this information to answer questions about the region. Our focus is on the characteristics of each region and how they are similar to and different from each other.

Week of September 25, 2017


  • I enjoyed having the opportunity to see many of you at Open House. I look forward to the exciting school year ahead!
  • At Open House (or Monday if you were unable to attend), you received your child's "first day" packet with all the annual forms that need to be filled out. It is essential that every student returns the signed materials by Friday, September 29th. (A reminder that we need 100% of parents to return the yellow lunch application. If you are not applying, you can write "Do not wish to apply" across the form, fill out your child's name at the top, sign, and return.) As a former Kolter parent as well as a teacher, I know it is a time consuming process but a very important one as well. Thank you for your cooperation with this.