February - Our Mystery Month

The fourth graders read The Westing Game and do some logic and puzzle activities during February.  We play a mystery Valentine game with some of the adults on campus, and since we are studying rocks and minerals in science, we have a mystery rock each day.  

This picture shows two fourth graders cracking pyrite to see if they get sparks.  They did. 


Each Monday, the fourth graders go to the library and read to the 4 year olds.  On Groundhog day, we invited one of the four year old classes to come to our building, and we read to them a story about Groundhog Day.  


Our campus allows us to do these activities where we can interact with both the pre-schoolers and the adults on campus.  We really do have a family atmosphere.  

Pat Wagy
International Project

The fourth graders do a unit on immigration to The United States of America.   The students choose a country, research it, write paragraphs without plagiarizing, and make a display representing the country they chose.  

Our culminating activity is a fair in which we share what we learned with the rest of the school and our family and friends.

Pat Wagy
Busy Month

Last week, we had Todd Warren, meteorologist for channel 6, KTAL introduce us to forecasting weather.  We’ll be participating in a program that he offers for grades 4 - 8.  It sounds like a fun way to learn.

We also began our unit on rocks and minerals.  We are continuing our unit on research by trying to classify rocks by their attributes.  We introduced the attributes with the book Rocky Road Trip.  It discussed the attributes that scientist use to classify rocks and minerals.    We opened oysters and extracted pearls.  Pearl are a composite of minerals and animal protein, so they don’t fit with any of our other samples.  But, they are a fun way to learn.  We will also look at amber, which doesn’t quite fit with the other samples, because it is from a plant.  Look for our rock collections at Open House and at the grandparents day activities.  


Pat Wagy
December Break

The fourth graders have accomplished a lot of their first of the year goals.  They did 1,000 extra math problems to raise money for the Texarkana Alzheimer Alliance.  At a penny a problem, they raised over $100.  

They set a goal to earn marbles for good behavior in art.  They earned enough that they were allowed out of homework in December.  We worked the spelling and Wordly WIse assignments into group work during the school days.  We decided to give all of our marbles back and start collecting more, so that the other classes wouldn’t feel like they can’t win.  Now, some of the other classes have a head start on us.  We think we can still beat them by the end of the year.

The class did so well in music, that they are going to start learning the jimbe drums.  They had to accomplish a set of lessons before they would be allowed to start, and they did them quickly, correctly, and in a well behaved manner. 

I am very proud of all of their hard work and good behavior.  

We are still working on our “life skill” goals of 1. listening to and / or reading directions carefully; 2. following directions carefully; 3. staying on task; and 4. completing our assignments in a timely fashion.  If they can obtain and maintain these skills, it will make  their lives a lot easier.  

Pictured above : We are working on equivalent fractions.  We play a game that requires students to match equivalent fractions from the board.  Once we get the concept, we will work on speed.  The winner gets some extra credit math points.  

Pat Wagy
The First of December

With only two and half weeks of school in December, and a lot of things to accomplish, the fourth graders have been very busy.  They are presenting at SAU - Magnolia, so they had to have their robots and slide shows ready.  They are singing in Candlelight at the Church, so they had to practice, practice, practice.  We needed to finish our book reports on Treasure Island, so that we could complete reading The Whipping Boy before the holidays started.  We were finishing up our reports for our international project, that we will do in January, and planning our backboards for that activity.  And, of course, all of our daily math, science, language arts and other subjects had to be covered.

Fortunately, we still had time for recess.  Some pediatricians are prescribing walks in a wooded area instead of medication for certain students with hyper-activity attention-disorder, as well as for those with depression.  St. James has a lovely natural setting, so when we walk from class to class or play at recess, we benefit from our surroundings.  That might be one of the reasons the fourth graders love school.  What could be better than learning and playing with your friends in a peaceful setting. 


Pat Wagy