4B - Mrs. Jennings

  • We strive to engage each student spiritually and academically
    in a Christ-centered environment
    to prepare them to live as disciples and citizens.
    We listen, we reflect, we respond.


    Mrs. Jennings' Fantastic 4th Graders
    Welcome to our 4B class web site!  As you explore, I hope you will find valuable information that will keep you informed of all the happenings taking place in our classroom.  Click on the links to the left for access to homework and other important data. The information changes often so make sure you visit our web page on a regular basis.

    2019-2020 Announcements

    Lots of New Information Below. Please Read!
    AR - Please visit the SMS Library website for lots of book recommendations and literacy resources. AR Quizzing will be active throughout our break. AR Quizzing will remain open 24/7 to students in grades 1-8. 
    Writing Journal - Just as kids should be reading every day, they need to be doing some form of writing as well. Here is my suggestion:  Each child should find a little notebook to use as a journal. Every day the child should document what life is like as they go through this unusual time in history. They can write their feelings, thoughts, observations, etc. Ideally, it would be great to set aside a special time of day to write... maybe first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I obviously will not be collecting nor reading their journals, but I hope you will support your child in this endeavor. If they save their journals, they might become treasured keepsakes. Who knows? Thank you.
    Easter Recess - This will be our last week of school before Easter Recess. School, meaning online classes, will be closed from Monday, April 6th, through Friday, April 17th. Online classes will reopen on Monday, April 20th. Although I will not be posting or conducting online classes, I will occassionally be checking my email and classrooms. Thank you, and I hope you all have a holy and blessed Easter.
    New Technology Classroom - Here is the code for the new Technology Classroom with Mrs. Nicoletti:  xeq334x  Please join it today!
    Historical Fiction Project - At this time, students are still responsible for completing their historical fiction project. It will not count as a third quarter assessment, but rather as a fourth. For the time being, the components of the project should be CLIPPED into a folder with the child's name on it. Should the school reopen at a later date, I will collect those projects on the first day back. If the school doesn't reopen, we can simply cross that bridge when we get to it. I hope this will work for everyone. If not, let me know. Thank you.
    Speech Services - For those parents of students who are receiving speech and language services, please check your email inbox for a message from Mrs. Zehnbauer. She plans to send activities for your children to practice at home on a weekly basis. If you have not received an email from Mrs. “Z', please feel free to contact her at donnarose3@comcast.net.  
    End of 3Q - Third Quarter grades are now due. Quite a few students still need to submit Current Events. If you know your child has actually submitted their current events, but you still see it as missing, you should really contact me and let me know. I get tons of email every day now. I always stay very current with PowerSchool. All the grades are in. Please check PowerSchool to see if you are missing any work. Have you reached your AR goal? Thank you for your cooperation.
    Spanish Class - Mrs. Bowers just informed me that students need to email her for the code to get into her Spanish Google classroom. You need to do this right away. Her email address is nbowers@stmatthiasnj.org
    More Books! - Parents, please seriously consider the following:  We could be out of school for quite a while, and you need to make sure that your student has PLENTY of books to read. I know the libraries are closed, but many of them are now offering free access to thousands of digital books as long as you have a library card. Please go to your local library's web site to see if this is a possibility for you. Another thing your child can do is to borrow books from an older sibling. One more suggestion would be to see about ordering a bunch of books for your child from Amazon or somewhere else. The important thing is that your child has an ABUNDANCE of books to read from over the next few weeks. Reading is like a muscle in that it must get a workout every day or it will atrophy. 
    Commission Teachers - This info is on my Google classroom, but I thought I would post it here as well. This is info directly from the Education Commission teachers:
    Dear students, I hope this notice finds you well. I am posting this to let you know that we are here to help. I am including our google classroom codes, in case you need help with a particular assignment. If so, contact us on either our ELA or Math google classrooms.
    Stay safe, Mrs. Cameron
    Mrs. Cameron ELA: ​adjmm3x MATH: ​h2jabzi
    Mr. Fox ELA: ​w7tyx4i MATH: ​rrdb4yw
    Mrs. Hila ELA: ​v4xxoln MATH: ​iwvgjm3
    Extra! Extra! - Parent, I added a new class, Extra! Extra!, to my Google classroom. It is where I am placing a lot of learning extensions (reading, read alouds, culinary arts, exercise, academic practice, drawing, games, virtual field trips, podcasts, etc.). There is a LOT of information there, so please be sure to check it out. I think the virtual field trips and the academic practice sites are two things that you should definitely check out. Please know that I check out nearly everything that I place on my classroom. But, as you know, it is impossible for me to check everything. Also, the ads, comments, and data on internet sources are constantly changing. Please be sure to check all sites prior to your child gaining access. Again, I do my very best to only use reputable, kid-friendly sites, but your continued vigilance is certainly appreciated. Additionally, the messaging streams on all the academic classes are private between student and teacher. However, I left the stream open on the Extra! Extra! class. I thought it would be a way for the kids to be able to communicate during this time of separation. If a child posts on this stream, it will be seen by all fourth graders and me. Please review messaging courtesy with your child. They should only post informative, polite, and kind comments and/or questions. Posted comments should be school-related only. We don't want to be talking about birthday parties or sleepovers or things of a personal nature. If I see any inappropriate comments, I will have to email the parents and then close down the stream. I am currently waiting to hear from Ms. Brett as to whether I can keep the stream open or not. If we all behave responsibily, then it shouldn't be a problem. Please support me in this effort. Thank you.
    My Office Hours - My office hours during this time are officially from 8 to 12. However, please know that I may need to adjust them from time to time. With that said, please know that I am pretty much on Google Classroom all the time. 
    March Current Events - Due on or before March 25th. Directions and paper were sent home. Please remember to write in cursive as it will serve as a good form of practice. UPDATE:  You can submit your March Current Events to me via my email account (djennings@stmatthiasnj.org).  Summarize your article into one paragraph and then add a short second paragraph that states your opinion. Due by March 25th. Thank you.
    Memo from Ms. Brett - Please read the attached memo from Ms. Brett.

    Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends of Saint Matthias School Students,

    As we move ahead totally conscious of the need to safeguard the health and well being of our students and the community, I offer some ideas for your review.  The Department of Health is the decision making agency to direct schools/school districts to close in light of the Coronavirus. I have worked closely with the Franklin Township leadership team comprised of Superintendent, Dr. Ravally and the principals and supervisors of Franklin to design a plan of action approved by the Department of Education in the event of possible closure.  St. Matthias School’s plan for continued learning at home is aligned with the approved plan prepared with Franklin Township Schools. As is our procedure in early dismissal closures, delayed openings and school closures in the event of inclement weather, we will continue to use Franklin’s plan for closure in light of the Coronavirus.

    Students in our early learning grades will be guided in their at-home learning plan as directed on the Teacher’s Pages on our website.  The students in grades four through eight will receive their communication using the google platform. It is expected that students spend at least one hour a day engaged in the learning experience outlined on the teacher’s page and/or google.

    I have offered some extended activities that may enhance learning in the home. The learning experiences I have outlined below are not required but rather a way to enhance the learning already planned by individual teachers.  

    My suggestions to enhance learning includes but are not limited to:

    Using books such as Katherine Applegate’s Wishtree as a family read-aloud.  Another suggestion for a family read-aloud would be R.J. Palacio’s book, Wonder.  These particular books are terrific reads for any person from 7 to 70.  Just a few chapters a day followed by some rich discussion is tremendously valuable to any age person.  At the same time we are strengthening our comprehension strategies of character development, vocabulary, visualization, impact of setting and solutions to challenges in life.  Al of these strategies strengthen a students’ ability to comprehend text. Visit Storylineonline.com for some great reads from members of the Screen Actors’ Guild.

    In the area of Religious Development, reference to the following Lenten gospel messages would initiate very rich conversation.  Take time to read, reflect and respond.

    Monday 3/16 Luke 4:24-30

    Tuesday 3/17 Matthew 18:21-35

    Wednesday 3/18 Matthew 5: 17-19

    Thursday 3/19 Luke 11:14-23

    Friday 3/20 Mark 12:28-34

    Monday 3/23 John 4: 43-54

    Tuesday 3/24 John 5:1-16

    Wednesday 3/25 John 5:17-30

    Thursday 3/26 John 5: 31-47

    Friday 3/27 John 7:1-2,10, 25-30

    In the area of math, it is beneficial for all students to have practice time with their math facts.  The students need a general understanding of the four basic operations, but drill will bring efficiency to their more sophisticated tasks in math as they progress.

    I would strongly suggest that the students go to www.firstinmath.com everyday and use the 4 numbers in the four operations to come up with the sum/product of 24.  The mental gymnastics are worthwhile for all students, grades 3-8. Students in 3-8 are also encouraged to do the problem of the week at mathcounts.org. This particular problem could be solved as a family team.

    During the month of April, we will be celebrating Poetry Month.  I would like to celebrate a Poem in My Pocket during the lunch periods in April.  Students are invited to come to the microphone during lunch period and share a poem they had researched or a poem that they crafted themselves.  This learning at home time would be a great jumpstart for this project.

    The Scholastic Publishing Company has designed some terrific at-home learning modules for this particular time.  Visit www.scholastic.com/learnathome  to find most appropriate materials for all grade levels.

    Spelling and Vocab Tests - Any spelling or vocab tests that may have been in the works will now be canceled. We will start fresh once school reopens. In the meantime, hopefully you are getting lots of exposure to various spelling and vocab words simply by doing daily reading. If you come across a word you don't know, please use a real or online dictionary. It's a great way to practice your reference skills. In the meantime, I will see if I can create a Quizlet Vocab for us. I will keep you posted.
    UPDATE!  Historical Fiction Project - We will have to make some changes to the Historical Fiction Project. Obviously, the due date has been changed. The final project will no longer count toward our third marking period grades. It will now become a fourth marking period grade. So, please continue to work on, and finish, your project. Put your name on all assignments. CLIP everything into a folder with your name on it. I will collect all historical fiction project folders on the first day that school reopens. If you made a digital piece for this project, please don't send it to me now because it will get lost in the flood of daily emails that I now get. Instead, you may electronically send it to me on the night before, or the day of, that school reopens. Let me know if you have any concerns about this. Thank you.
    Call for HSA Board Members - SMS has filled the Co-President, VP & Recording Secretary for next year. We are still looking for a Co-Treasurer. Thank you to all who have stepped up to volunteer your time! We will have a formal announcement when all openings are full. If you have any questions regarding any of these positions, please feel free to contact either Melissa Miller-Rizzo @ melissamillerrizzo@gmail.com or Lisa Negvesky @ lisanegvesky@gmail.com
    We can direct you to the appropriate person depending on what position you are interested in. Thank you so much for considering dedicating your time to SMS and our children.
    Library - Please remember to go to Teacher Pages and visit Mrs. Lanzalotto's web site. There you will find lots of information about books and free sites to use during this time of remote learning.
    Coronavirus - Parents, Brainpop has posted a child-friendly video that explains the coronavirus. If interested in sharing this with your child, the login for our school account to Brainpop is smsteachers2020 and the password is gomustangs20. The link is here:
    UPDATE:  4th grade will now be using Google Classroom should the school close for health reasons. All the kids have been access codes to our classes. So, if the school closes, the children should go to the 4th grade Google classrooms every day for their assignments. Thank you.
    Music Code - The Google Classroom Code for the 4th grade music class is dx7j5sy. The students have all been taught how to get onto Google classroom. See Mrs. Jean Nicoletti's web site for info on Google classroom if needed.
    Opinion Essay Writing - Due by Monday, 3/16. Electronic copy is below.
    Yearbook Order Forms - Yearbook order forms were sent home this week with the youngest child in the family. You MUST fill and return the yearbook order form whether you are purchasing one or not. The forms are due back by March 19th. Please note that this is your only opportunity to purchase a book. We normally do not have any extras in May/June. Thank you.
    4B Needs Tissues! - We are down to our last box of tissues. I know the kids will be using a lot of tissues as we go through the rest of winter. Spring will then bring us allergy season. Ugh! If you could possibly donate a box, it would be greatly appreciated! 
    New Vocab Words -  Immense, imperceptibly, indication, inscription, instinctive. Test Friday.
    SMS Presents Guys and Dolls - The middle school will once again be putting on another amazing play. The information can be found in the links below. Get your tickets before they're gone!
    Yearbook Photos - If you have taken random SMS photos or pictures from various school events, feel free to submit them for possible use in this year's yearbook. Sharing is easy. Check out the link below. You only have until March 25th to share! Thank you.
    Family Movie Night - Friday, May 1st. More information will be provided when available.
    Celebration of The Arts - Tuesday, May 5th.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. for gallery walk of student art. The concert performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the church. I believe an informational sheet will go home at some point. More information to follow.
    No School - School will be closed on Friday, May 15th, as this is a Teacher Professional Development Day.
    School Mass - Thursday, May 21st, at 9 a.m. HSA Officer Installation will take place during this Mass. All are welcome.
    Historical Fiction Reading Project - Students should be reading an historical fiction book that falls within their reading ranges. Their reading project for this genre, which has been discussed in class, is due by Monday, 3/23 (or sooner, if preferred). The link for this reading project is here.
    Snow Day Give Backs - The SMS Calendar has 3 Snow Days to use. If we don't use them, then the following dates could be holidays:  Monday, March 23, Tuesday, May 26, Friday, May 22 with Thursday, May 21 as an early dismissal.
    AR Reading Goals - About a week ago, the students were given their 2Q reading ranges and goals on their new recording card. The ranges have stayed the same, but the goals for everyone have slightly gone down. This is due to the fact that there are fewer days in the second marking period. Updated labels were also placed in the back of their Student Planners. Students should be working toward meeting their 2Q AR goals. If you need any assistance, please let me know. 4th graders should be reading between one and four chapter books a week. 
    Graded Papers - As a courtesy, please hang onto any "graded papers, assignments, and projects" until you are certain they have been logged into PowerSchool. This will help eliminate any potential issues. Also, I think I will be passing out student work as soon as I have reviewed them and/or graded them, instead of saving, stapling, and distributing on Mondays. Thank you.
    AR Goals - All fourth grade students have been given their reading goals for the first marking period. Students need to meet their goal two days before the marking period ends. If they do so, they will earn a full 10 points. If they only meet a percentage of their goal, then the student will earn the equivalent in points (80% of goal met = 8 points). Students should be striving to read two novels/chapter books a week. Students are given lots of opportunity to take AR assessments (homeroom, independent reading time, independent working time, etc.). 
    Workbooks - Just a friendly notice... When workbooks go home for homework, please only do the assigned pages. Do not work ahead as that just leads to confusion. Thank you for your help with this.
    Monthly Mass - 4th Grade will be attending Mass on the first Tuesday of every month starting in October. 
    Specials - The 4B Special for this year will be:
    Monday:  Spanish
    Tuesday:  Computers
    Wednesday:  Gym (Remember to wear gym uniform and sneakers)
    Thursday:  Library. Art. (Remember to return library books every Thursday.)
    Friday:  Music.
    Allergies - If your child has allergies, please send me an email or written note informing me of everything that I need to know. You should also inform the school nurse of any allergies or medical conditions. 
    Renaissance Connect - Parents are able to view their child's AR progress via a home connection. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or Mrs. Lanzalotto. 
    Reading - Students should be reading at least 30 minutes a day. They should also be reading various types of materials (books, magazines, comics, letters, cereal boxes, etc.) and genres (fiction, nonfiction, biographies, adventure, etc.). Please make sure your child also brings two or three reading books to school as soon as possible to keep in his/her Book Boxes. The students may bring the books home when they are done reading them and bring in new ones to replace them. We should always have reading material in our Book Boxes.

    SMS Spirit Wear - SMS spirit wear can now be ordered all year long. Simply go to the following link:   http://cobrapromotionsgroup.com/sms/

    Word of The Day - Many students asked me to put the link up for "Word of The Day". So, here it is, kids! I'm super happy you want to build your vocab skills! https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

    Chapter Books - All 4A and 4B students should keep 1 to 2 books to read in their backpacks at all times effective immediately. We want to spend a lot of time reading rich, authentic, and varied text. The chapter books may also be kept in the student's Book Box. When a book has been finished, please have your child add a new book right away. Thank you for your support.

    Kid-Friendly Search Engines - There are a few kid-friendly search engines out there. Here are three of them. If you know any more, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

    • duckster.com
    • kidrex.org
    • safesearchkids.com
    • WebPath Express (You can get there by going to the SMS library homepage, clicking on "My Links", and then "Destiny" and then "WebPath Express".)



    Reading: Historical Fiction; Setting; Mood (the atmosphere; how the author makes a reader feel); Tone (the author's attitude about a subject or toward the reader); Protagonist and Antagonist; Plot Structure, includes five elements (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). We also learned about "inciting action," which triggers the rising action. Symbolism. Flashback. Flashforward. Repetition in literature (it must be important!). Passage of time. Character grows and changes. Foreshadowing. Juxtaposition (the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.  In Sounder - the street had pretty painted houses with curtained windows followed by plain unpainted cabins with curtainless windows.)

    Writing:  Using commas in a series. Using imagery when writing (descriptive writing that appeals to the five senses).  Verb Tense (tense must be consistent).

    Word Study Words for Week of 3/2:  

    Vocabulary Words for the week of 2/24: Immense, Imperceptibly, Indication, Inscription, Instinctive

    Grammar: Action Verbs. Helping Verbs (forms of "to be" and "to have"; am, is, are, was, were, have, had, has. They "help" the main verb.). Linking verbs (connects the subject to more information. The linking verb is usually a "to be" verb. Ex:  "I am hungry."). Homophones.

    Social Studies:  Bill of Rights. Three branches and levels of government.

    Religion:  Lent. Holy Week. Easter. Chapter 9

    Good News (Students practice public speaking skills by sharing good news with the class.)



    Mustang Merits



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