Welcome to Fourth Grade!

  • Teacher: Mrs. LoPiccolo








    MARCH 2019

    Hello, Parents, Guardians, Grandparents, and Students,

    Wasn’t it just the start of the new year?  Time really does fly. Lent begins the first week of the month.  SPRING arrives on March 20!!!  A new issue of the BULLDOG TIMES will be published by St. Patrick’s Day. The Third Quarter ends March 22 but report cards will not come until April.  Weather did interfere with our Catholic Schools Week, so our dear Mrs. Lytton has been coming up with things to brighten up the gray days of February and March. The children had a Hawaiian Day during the last week of February, and on Fat Tuesday, we will have an hour of Bingo which the students really love. 

    On Monday, March 4, the 4th, 5th, and 6th Grades go on the Lyric Opera student backstage tour.  As an introduction to the art form, nothing captures the imagination more than a tour of a working opera house.    “Student Backstage Tours are led by guides whose training centers on teaching through engagement — questioning, discussion, and problem solving — and tapping into the unique qualities of each student group. 
          As students journey through the various production areas, they learn about the myriad elements that combine to create a grand opera performance and the vast array of professional skills involved. They see places and things that most Lyric patrons only dream of seeing, and they leave the tour with lasting insider knowledge about the world of opera.”

    Then, on March 29, Grades 2 through 4 attend a 45-minute concert at the Chicago Symphony.  The program includes selections from the well known Anton Dvorak and Hector Berlioz as well as an American woman composer, Florence B. Price who became the first African-American woman to have a symphony performed by a major U.S. orchestra. To prepare the students and help them to more enjoy the symphony, time will be taken to preview the music and learn a little bit about the composers’ backgrounds.

    A look at the agenda for this month.

    RELIGION. The emphasis this month is obviously Lent.  We will review the Stations of the Cross and the children will be introduced to Easter Triduum which begins on Holy Thursday evening and ends on the evening of Easter Sunday. We will also be reading one of the Passions and listen to music written by J.S. Bach, "The Passion of Christ" based either on St. Matthew or St. John. The Bible readings during Lent will be from the New Testament: the journey with Jesus to Calvary. If time permits, this will be accompanied by paintings of the Masters, depicting the steps of Christ’s Passion.

    Also, there is an emphasis on the importance of listening, responding, and singing during Holy Mass. Many people move by rote, not paying attention to the Readings and the homily are really not preparing themselves to take Holy Communion.

    VOCABULARY. This month the new units will be 7 and 8; review units will be 4 and 1.  After Unit 8, there is a review of Units 5-8 and a cumulative review of Units 1-8.  Students will do review exercises in class; this will be a good time to start definition review with your child; the cumulative test will not be until the very end of March.

    ENGLISH. The class has taken extra time with direct objects and indirect objects; we are well into verbs and hope to push on to adjectives. Developing correctly written and well written sentences is an on-going practice. In conjunction with reading, the students have been working on finding the just-right word for a character’s traits, which introduced adjectives as descriptive words.

    Section focus:


    • Irregular verbs
    • Simple present and past tenses


    • Descriptive adjectives
    • Proper adjectives
    • Articles
    • Demonstrative adjectives
    • Adjectives that tell how many
    • Adjectives as subject complements

     Please remember that transference of skills from one academic area to another is necessary and shows the student's understanding of a concept. The use of correct English expression and spelling is expected in all subjects.

    READING. Selections this month will include a folktale, “The Secret Message” by Mina Javaherbin, based on an ancient Persian poem; narrative non-fiction, “The Buffalo Are Back” by Jean Craighead George; mystery fiction, “The Moonlight Concert Mystery” –no author listed.  Fourth graders have read several fables by Aesop [which they loved] in February and are going to write their own fable; they have already been considering the problem and characters.

    Comprehension Skills and Strategies:

    • Identify theme
    • Main idea/supporting details
    • Context clues
    • Prefixes
    • Root/base words
    • Point of view

    MATH. Students are nearly finished with Unit 6.  The enjoyed measuring and constructing angles using a protractor. Four more lessons remain and onto Unit 7 in which students will begin multiplication of fractions by a whole number and by another fraction.

    Content to be covered:

    From Unit 6-

    • Word problems with fractions and mixed numbers
    • Adding up the angles

    From Unit 7—

    • Converting liquid measures
    • Fraction multiplication
    • Multiplying fractions by whole numbers
    • Multiplying mixed numbers by whole numbers
    • Division measurement word problems
    • Multistep fraction word problems
    • Decimals

     SCIENCE.  We must finish the circulatory and respiratory systems. Due to the emphasis on literacy this past month, students spent more time with the reading/literature books and too little time on Science, much to their and my regret!!!


    In honor of St. Patrick, this Irish blessing upon you and all your dear ones:

    May you live a long life

    Full of gladness and health,

    With a pocket full of gold

    As the least of your wealth.

    May the dreams you hold dearest,

    Be those which come true,

    The kindness you spread,

    Keep returning to you.


    With best wishes,

    Mrs. LoPiccolo