Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Please check out our School Wide Improvement Plan

Happy Leap Day 4th Graders!

1. This morning we had a surprise POWER MATH session. My power students worked on rounding numbers to the nearest tens and hundreds.

2. We read about the Minnesota logging industry in the 1830's. We look forward to visiting the History Center this Friday.

3. After lunch we all sat in the library and finished Gary Paulson's Hatchet. We discussed the meaning of prologues and epilogues. We then wrote notes to Gary Paulson suggesting titles for each of the 19 chapters. (It was a great practice for finding the main idea!) Literacy FLEW by. We were all shocked when it was time to pack up our things and go to music with Mrs. Sharp.

4. We played the drums with Mrs. Sharp. We look forward to our concert that is coming up later this spring.

Homework: February Math Calendar DUE TOMORROW. Spelling Evidence-options: paper plane, bubble letters, comic strip, sentences.

Have a lovely evening. I am very proud of all of your hard work today.
-Ms. McCormick

Monday, February 27, 2012

Brimhall Barometer

Our class was featured in the Brimhall Barometer! Check out Ms. Zbacnik's a-z library section.

1. In math we discussed volume. To find the volume of a shape you measure L x W x H.

2. We started a our new health unit, Common Sense in The Great Body Shop.

3. In literacy we used a Venn Diagram to compare contractions and abbreviations. We learned that an abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or name. Most abbreviations start with capital letters and are followed by periods.

4. We ended our day watching the 4th, 5th and 6th grade band/orchestra performance. Way to go M and E. You guys did a great job!

Spelling February 27-March 1st

This week our focus will be abbreviations!


No Excuse: at, be, feel, idea
Challenge: Bldg., Blvd., Corp., Hwy., anniversary, valuable, civilization, passage, historian

Friday, February 24, 2012

1. This morning we had our first POWER MATH session. I worked with a great group of 4th graders on rounding big numbers. What did YOU do in your power math session?

2. We took a "coffee break" and read Scholastic News. It's important to be able to summarize what you have read. People constantly are summarizing the news in real life. We had fun explaining articles to our friends. We also discussed the origin of democrats and republicans.

3. In Phy. Ed we "Jump Roped for Heart!" It was very impressive seeing all of you work so hard!

4. We ended our week with a perimeter and area museum walk. Thanks for such a successful week. I look forward to reading your notes from this morning later tonight.

-Ms. McCormick

Thursday, February 23, 2012

1. In math we discovered a short cut to find the area of ANY triangle. Simply take the base, multiply it by the width and divide by 2! We know this works because ANY triangle is always half of a parallelogram. To find the are of a parallelogram you take its base and multiply it by its height.

2. Mrs. Brown came to teach engineering.

3. We read more of Hatchet. We thought it was brilliant that the character Brian made a fish pond to hang on to fresh fish.

4. In literacy we worked on our acrostic poems. I look forward to publishing some of the poems on the blog tomorrow.

Thanks to all those families that have come to conferences. It has been such a pleasure meeting with you!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1. In math we cut apart parallelograms in order to find their area. We discovered that finding the area of parallelograms is very similar to finding the area of a rectangle.

2. Ms. Tami came to read to us before lunch. We are more than halfway done with The Secret of Zoom!

3.We read chapter 13 together in Hatchet.

4. In literacy, we started our new poetry unit. We studied the history of acrostic poems. Students worked on their own to complete their own acrostic poems about a famous person or thing.

Homework: Area and Perimeter Activity (due tomorrow), two rough drafts of acrostic poems **we will pick our favorites to begin our final copies tomorrow**

Math Journal Math Boxes to page 239 due FRIDAY. This should be easy to complete if you are taking advantage of independent work time in class.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day!

Happy President's Day 4th Graders! 

Enjoy your Monday off, I look forward to seeing many of you with your parents at conferences tomorrow.

-Ms. McCormick

Friday, February 17, 2012

1. In math we did stations with Legos to find area and perimeter of different shapes (thank you to T's family for donating the Legos- we plan on using them A LOT!)

2. In health, we finished the Great Body Shop unit, "Keeping Cool, Staying Clean".

3. In literacy we read more of Hatchet. Can you believe we are already on the 12th chapter?

4. At the end of the day we had art with Mr. Moore.

Have a lovely long weekend. I look forward to conferencing with many of your parents on Tuesday night. See you Wednesday!

     *Conferences next week
     *Field trip $ due next week

Thursday, February 16, 2012

1. In math we learned more about area and perimeter. We used these graphics to help us understand that area measures the amount of space inside of a shape and perimeter measures the rim or the distance around a shape.
 2. Mrs. Brown came to teach us more about engineering in science. When I came back to the room after lunch, it smelt like soap!

3. We had library with Ms. Zbacnik. It was fun seeing the different genres all of you are trying out this February. Good readers read different types of literature.

4. In Phy Ed we were surprised with a DROP EVERYTHING AND READ session. What a treat it was to read in the gym!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1. In math we worked on scale.

2. Our math was interrupted by a sudden Drop Everything And Read.

3. Ms. Tami came to read to us before lunch.

4. We had music with Mrs. Liadova- what a treat!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

1. In math we looked at perimeter and area. We each were given a hexagon, 3 triangles, 3 rhombuses and 3 trapezoids. We had to figure out how to make the smallest perimeter. We did this by putting the long sides together first. We then tried to make the largest perimeter. We did this by putting the shortest sides together first.

2. We studied engineering in science with Mrs. Brown.

3. In honor of "I love to Read!" month, we had surprise Drop-Everything-And-Read time. It was so neat that all Brimhall students were reading at the same time. We look forward to more DEAR time later this week. Remember, you should have a book with you at all times :)

4. We worked on our angry verbs. A verb is an action word. Check out our fantastic art! Parents, you'll be able to see this outside our classroom door at conferences next week.

Homework: Study Link 8.2, Spelling Sentences (due tomorrow), final copy of door decoration (due Thursday).

Thanks for such a fantastic day 4th graders!
-Ms. McCormick

Monday, February 13, 2012

1. In the morning we met up with our 6th grade buddies in Mr. Kolden's class to hear their superhero stories.

2. In math we started Unit 8, Perimeter and Area. By the end of this unit, 4th graders will know how to find the perimeters and areas of a variety of shapes.

3. After lunch we studied the prefixes re- and pre-. Prefixes are a group of letters that change the meaning of a root word. The prefix re- means "again". If you were to redo your spelling homework, it means you would do your spelling homework again. The prefix pre- means "before". Many of you attended preschool before attending Brimhall. This is the school you attended before elementary school.

4. We started to prepare for our student-led conferences that are taking place on February 21st and 23rd. We look forward to sharing all of our 4th grade accomplishments with our families.

HOMEWORK: StudyLink 8.1 (remember, it's in your new math packet). Spelling sentences due on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spelling February 13-17

WOAH! Check out all of these contractions!


No Excuse: face, from, I, or
Challenge: could've, mustn't, there'd, who'd

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fun Friday

1. In math we started preparing for the MCA's that are coming up this spring. Students were given challenge mixed number problems to work on in pairs.

2. We had engineering with Mrs. Brown.

3. We went to library and watched several book trailers with Ms. Z. Afterwards boys and girls split up to attend different health lessons with Mr. Engel, Mrs. Yaglowski, Mrs. Brown and myself.

4. At the end of the day we said goodbye to M. We are really going to miss you M!

Have a fantastic weekend. Read, read, READ!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

1. We took our Unit 6 Test in math.

2. Before lunch we read The Secret Bully. We discussed different types of bullying at Brimhall and what we can to do to stop bullying.

3. After lunch we had a popcorn party and had literacy with Mrs. Morrisette and Mrs. Sateren.

4. We welcomed new student E. We are very excited to have him in our class!

Have a great night- read A LOT!

Group Work

Working in groups cooperatively is a WONDERFUL thing.

Check out the group work in 4M!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scale Drawing

Check out S's drawing of our classroom. Notice how everything is drawn to scale. Very impressive work S!

Monday, February 6, 2012

1. In math we worked on adding fractions. I hope to test in math on Wednesday.

2. We discussed the important physical features of Minnesota.

3. In library we all got to try out the new iPads. Students had fun trying out several different apps. What a fantastic resource- we are very fortunate!

4. We read-to-self and Mrs. Sateren and I met with several groups to teach metaphors.

I LOVE to Read Month

Check out Brimhall's plans for  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spelling February 6-10


No Excuse: bring, little, people, which
Challenge: precaution, president, reappear, reunite, presentation, analyze

Thursday, February 2, 2012

1. This morning we played around with probability. Students completed lesson 7.12 in their math book.

2. We enjoyed the 6th graders musical performance this morning. What a talented group of kids! We also had our first engineering lesson with Mrs. Brown.

3. After lunch we read to Chapter 4 in Hatchet. Students are having a great time discussing possible names for the different chapters. We also had some time to work on our biome research projects. Tomorrow you will have the chance to present your biome to the class.

4. In literacy I had the chance to meet with several groups. One group is working on a creative writing piece that tells the moral "Don't judge a book by its cover." Students will be presenting their stories next week. The Joey Pigza group celebrated Jack Gantos' 2012 Newbery medal and worked on using context clues to decide the meaning of new words. Hurricane at the Zoo reviewed important vocabulary words and discussed all of the things you would have to protect animals from a hurricane.

Homework: RAZ Kids (if you have an account), StudyLinks 7.12, and READ for 30 minutes.