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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Reading!

Dear Class and Families,
    I hope your first 2 weeks of Summer Vacation are off to a great start!  I just wanted to write to say I finished two really good books!  How to Speak Dolphin by Giny Rorby and ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan.  Both of these books were recommended and passed on to me by Gigi.  That's enough to let you know they are both really good books.  Just a quick gist on each book.  How to Speak Dolphin is book similar to Rules and tells the story of a young girl and her autistic half brother.  ECHO tells 3 stories in one an you must read to find
out what connects all three main characters.  Full of adventure and suspense! The book is thick, but the font is pretty big and you can get through it quick! I hope you have all visited the library and are enjoying some good outside play time!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Reading!

Dear Families, Flipping - Free images on Pixabay

It is hard to believe that fourth grade is almost over. Your children have worked hard this year and have grown in so many ways. As you look ahead to summer, I hope that your calendars are filled with rest, relaxation, and fun. I also hope your summer is filled with reading!

As we close out our school year, the fourth grade will be hosting a book exchange to encourage, excite, and get new titles in the hands of kids. Over the weekend, please help your child look through their shelves to find gently used books that they are no longer interested in, but would be a great book for a friend.  Have them bring them into school by Wednesday, June 14th. On Thursday June 15th, kids will exchange them!  

As an added layer of excitement, we will be helping children create summer book boxes.  In it will be new books acquired from the book swap, a calendar, and a list of 4 titles they would like to read over the summer.  Please send in one empty shoe box ASAP that your child can use for this purpose.  Over the course of the next week we will have book talks to build excitement around new titles.  We hope to get everyone energized and organized about summer reading!  We will even have a visit from Katie, the Pierson Library Librarian!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am looking forward to the exchange and summer reading!


Dates to remember:
ASAP-- a shoe box
Wednesday, June 14 - All books that will be exchanged should be at SCS
Thursday, June 15th- Our book exchange!
Did you know…?
  • The best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer.  And the best predictor of whether a child reads is whether or not he or she has access to books. (Allington, McGill-Franzen, 2003)
  • Children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.  (Kim, 2004)
  • The two largest contributions to reading achievement are access to interesting books and student choice of the books they read. (Guthrie and Humenick 2004)
  • Check out this article!

A few lessons on sound waves! How does sound travel? Can I make a paper cup telephone?

Summer Math Ideas

Summer Math Ideas

Summer Math Ideas for Students:

Youcubed - Look under “ideas and tasks” to find all you need...all summer long!

NCTM Classroom Resources - a collection of online resources from the authority

Illuminations - another collection of resources from NCTM, mainly online apps and games

More ideas from Bridges - summer math fun at home (including a link to Bedtime math)

More from Bridges - parent reading & games

Bedtime Math - a fun problem per day….everyday!

Parenting Ideas To Promote Lifelong Learning:

An article for Parents to read about the feedback we give children:  Growth Mindset Feedback

Here is a Document with research based articles, websites, and videos that support children’s learning.

Math Support for Parents K-5 - parent letters about the math we do with all K-5 students

Questions, comments, ideas for improvement?  Please contact John Madden -

Friday, June 2, 2017

Jog-a-Thon and Scientist Shares

Thank you all for supporting your child with their Scientists Shares.  We learned so much about many different important scientists.  We made a lot of connections, just from listening to the timelines, fun facts and paragraphs.  Many scientists came from Europe, modern scientists are working hard on new ideas, some scientists had tragic deaths, many Noble Prize Winners, and many have families and love playing sports!

We had sunshine while we were jogging and rain while we were picnicking and dancing!  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Community Sailing Center

Thank you so much for supporting me in taking your children to the Community Sailing Center!  We had one of our most memorable experiences together!  My lessons on erosion and weathering and landslides paid off as we noticed the erosion along the lake, the causes of the erosion and the human structures that have been put in place to slow down the erosion!  We saw the engineering that has gone into planning the Burlington Bike Path and Waterfront Park so that water can be spread out, soaked up and slowed down.  These structures keep our lake healthy, make the area beautiful and most importantly slow down erosion along the lake front!  Each of us spent about 30 minutes on a sailboat and had a mini tour of the lake!  We learned important sailing vocabulary like puff and tacking.  We showed our gratitude to Morgan, Dana and Mark by writing thank you notes this afternoon.  We also showed our chaperones gratitude for joining us!  Thank you notes coming home to you! Thank you Sarah, Lisa, Christi, Katie, Heather and Laura! Lastly we wrote memory pages about our trip!  Our illustrations were beautiful and our writing so neat and thoughtful!

Omaha Zoo Virtual FieldTrip

On Friday morning we spent 40 minutes in an indoor rainforest with our zoo friends from the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska!  Some of us have just finished reading One Day in the Rainforest by Jean Craighead George and used this opportunity to clarify our thinking or to find answers to our wonderings.  We learned what the word amphibian means.  We learned the layers of the rainforest.  We learned about the difference between monkeys and gorillas.  We saw birds, monkeys and frogs!  Ask your child about it!

Friday Finale!

We celebrated 500 pennies worth of positivity!  Stuffed animals, twins and collections!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pancake breakfast

Come to the pancake breakfast on Sunday the 21st. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fantastic Science Friday!

Dear Families,
 Today was a zig zag day!  We explored volcanoes and mountains!  We used maps and coordinates to discover the Ring of Fire!  We noticed that volcanoes are found in bunches.  They are also mostly along the coast lines of all 7 continents.  Secondly, we did an experiment with sugar cubes.  We were showing how weathering changes the shapes of the rocks that are found at the top of mountains.  We also explored division strategies and learned how to begin using ratio tables and the area model to efficiently solve division problems!  Lastly, we explored many different types of rocks, books about rocks and fossils.  It was a 100 Penny Day!
Happy Mother's Day all!
From, Teryn and Photographer Gigi

Thursday, May 11, 2017

KIndergarten Weather play!

We were a guest chorus in our book buddies weather play!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

VEEP Electricity Workshop

Aaron, from VEEP, joined us yesterday to get us excited about electricity!  Together we visited 6 stations thinking about theses anchoring questions: How is electricity generated?  How can we use energy efficiently?  Ask your child about what they learned?

The Vermont Bucks pay a visit to SCS!

The Vermont Bucks (arena Football team) visited us before vacation.  Coach Wayne and the players let us ask them so many questions!  We were so interested in their answers!  We learned that many of these players have played football their whole lives, they've been to college, they have other jobs, they love a variety of musics, they eat healthy and exercise!  Most importantly, they shared with us that we should always be working towards our dreams, one day at a time!

Thank you Ryder Family for the baby frogs!

Before vacation we went from frog eggs to busy little tadpoles.  The tadpoles traveled back to Sarah's house over vacation and return today!  I wonder how they have changed!  We will have to get our notebooks out and make some careful observations!

Slow It Down, Spread It Out and Soak It Up!

Today Krista from the Lewis Creek Association and the Ahead of the Storm non-profit environmental groups joined us to teach us about the water cycle and its impact on Lake Champlain!  We learned about the pollutants and water that gather around our school property!  We are excited about our continued work with the Lewis Creek in the fall of 2017!  We will be building a rain garden in the front parking circle!  More news to come on that this fall!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Edamame Taste Test, Book Group Conversations and Tia teaches us aboutCosta Rica!

Thanks 4th Graders for supporting Becky in the cafeteria by choosing Edamame for the taste test, prepping it for 752 students to try and making table top fact sheets about Edamame!  All of this while also completing their FINAL SBAC tests!  Yahoo.  We have two friends who are busy with make-ups but the rest of us are done!  We will celebrate with other 4th and 5th Graders on Friday with an extra recess and treat!

Thank you Tia for starting to share about your adventures in Costa Rica and Panama!  We all had so many questions and were so interested in the wildlife and amazing lands!

Our classroom has started Book Clubs!  Students are using the FAB 4 Model to record Predictions, Wonderings,Vocabulary needing Clarifying and Summaries of their reading assignments.  Students are reading one of 3 Jean Craighead George books titled One Day in the Desert, Prairie or Tundra!  One day students complete the reading assignments and the next day the land in their small groups for meaningful conversations.  They then use progressions to reflect on how well they were prepared for their discussions, they types of questions they asked, their safe, responsible, and respectful behavior and lastly their ability to stay engaged and on topic for at least 20 minutes!  The hope is that thru these Book clubs students can learn about a biome, learn how to use the Fab 4 strategy to stay engaged in their reading and how to productively have a conversation about a shared piece of text!  We can all learn from one another and together we are smarter!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We are winners!

Today two middle schoolers came in to tell us the poster winners for kick butts week. Many people made posters for tobacco prevention and we had four hard working winners. All of the posters were amazing and they really showed lots of hard work. Way to go class!

Friday, April 7, 2017

So much to say...

Endeavor 4th Grade has not skipped a beat!  Students this week began SBAC testing and persevered and persisted through computer glitches and long testing windows!  We finished with smiles and even shared about the parts that were fun and interesting facts that we learned from the reading passages!

During math class we strived for accuracy and precision with subtraction problems.  We are using a variety of strategies to solve 4 digit and larger problems.  We are using our 6th sense-our Number Sense to find out which strategy is best for each problem. We have to really look at the numbers and think about the strategy that will be efficient for finding the difference.  Ask your child about constant difference, standard algorithm and number line.

Thanks to Ella and Elena we had a little fun science activity!  Using household products Ella and Elena made SLIME with each child in our class!  So food coloring stained hands and a tupperware with brightly colored slime coming your way!  Thank you Ella and Elena for bringing in all the supplies, running the station and cleaning up!  We loved the M&M's too and will enjoy them throughout our testing! Keep the slime at home and use it as a relaxation tool!

A long overdue thank you...I absolutely loved meeting with all of my Endeavor families last week. Your children are amazing and have grown so much this school year!  Thanks for sharing them with me!

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

VT! We have been studying Vermont's history and so this month our project was making Vermont maps. On these wonderful maps we included rivers, lakes, towns, and mountain ranges. In this picture you may see green sheets, these are our scoring sheets. We use a basic check list and  positive and critical comments to help us learn. I thought that all the maps were creative and unique. I hope our class is proud of all there work because they did great! Written by Teryn

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Making Falafel

Today we got a special treat! We got to help Becky make the falafel taste test. We had different jobs! One job was cutting the uncooked falafel paddy into fourths. The second station was separating the cup cake cups from the little stacks. The third station was placing the small fragile falafel bits into the carefully separated cake cups. The last job was placing the yummy falafel onto the tray to be cooked. To do these jobs our class split into groups of four. After all the trays were stuffed full of falafel we ended up making 12 trays enough four all four lunches to try a yummy bit of falafel. We had a great morning and a successful one too!    

Friday, March 10, 2017

Vermont History Comes Alive in Vasanthi's Class

Here we are reading about Vermont's topograpahy!  These packets came home to aide us on our Map Projects!

This afternoon our classroom turned into a one room school house!  Ask your child about it!

Here we are reading using the FAB 4 to read informational text on Vermont's history!  We made predictions, recording our wonderments, asked clarifying questions about events or words and lastly we summarized what we read!  We worked with partners to deepen our understanding and to find answers to some of our wonderings!  

We still have 5 bowls left!  Can we raise 15 more dollars for HFV??

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Vermont Map Project coming home today!

Here are some samples of past Vermont Map Projects!  Your child is bringing home a packet with clear directions, resources for important information about Vermont's topography, a detailed work plan and calendar, materials list and abundance of creativity!  All maps will be due on 3/21!  Please let me know if your child needs any support!

Thursday, February 23, 2017


This months project is a big map of VT! All of us got a road map the other day and today we started a scavenger hunt and so far we are doing pretty good on it. Another thing we  are doing is studying Vermont's History. I will keep you updated on all the VT fun!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Differences Awareness Day 1-Visual Impairments and Blindness!

We began our day reading and writing about blindness and visual impairments.  We wrote about our assumptions, wonderings/questions and the ways in which we could help!  
We participated in a puppet show/workshop with Puppets in Education today!  Paul and Karen taught us so much and answered so many of our questions.  Once again we were responsible and respectful during the show as participants.  We were most excited by the learning that took place during the show and by meeting Paul.  Paul has been blind since birth and bravely told us all about his strengths and weaknesses!  We left the workshop feeling more empathetic towards one another!  We all have differences yet we all want to belong, have friends and feel success!  Keep the conversation going at home, please!  Tomorrow we will continue with our Differences Awareness Panel of Speakers and Simulations!

Friday Finale!

We started our Friday morning learning about the Spectrum Sleep Out from Teryn and Jonan!  We are excited about the many 4th graders who are interested in this next community service activity!  Hopefully, you all read the email with more information about Spectrum Sleep Out!  The organization meeting is tomorrow from 2-4 PM in Devon Morril's classroom.  Please let us know with a note that you are attending!

We had a blast sledding with our Kindergarten Buddies!  We could not have asked for a more perfect afternoon, temperature, sunshine and smiles!  Thanks for sharing all of your sleds and thanks for taking such great care of our buddies!  You should be proud of your 4th grader!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Empty Bowls thank you!

Hello Vasanthi and fourth grade students at Shelburne Community School,
Wow!  You all raised a lot of money for Hunger Free Vermont's programs to help hungry Vermonters and we greatly appreciate it.  I just counted the money from the sale of your beautiful bowls and am happy to report that you raised $283 to support our work. Thank you very much for caring about Vermonters who are having trouble getting the healthy food they need to be happy and healthy and productive members of the community.
We are proud to call you part of the Hunger Free Vermont team!

Best regards,

Thursday, February 16, 2017


FYI - this is what Allan sent to all 4th / 5th grade parents via our Blackboard program tonight:

I'm writing to let all of our 4th and 5th grade parents know about a special afterschool activity time that is going to take place on Friday March 10 from 3-5 PM.    Each trimester our 8th grade students are challenged to independently demonstrate how they can achieve our mission statement value of "contributing positively to their community."    We have two girls who have chosen to organize this activity afternoon for two purposes - one to offer our 4th / 5th graders a chance for a special fun afternoon of food and games, while at the same time having this be a fundraiser for an organization that supports providing educational opportunities for young girls in third world countries.    Funds will be raised from a small entrance fee as well as concessions that will be sold.   

There will be more information coming next week including a permission slip / participation form - but for now just wanted to be sure that you knew about this potentially fun event to put on your son or daughter's calendar.     You may have heard about this since the girls had originally hoped to organize it for this week - but in order to be sure that it is well planned have chosen to postpone and do a bit more work over the next few weeks.  There will be nothing special afterschool this Friday - have to wait a few more weeks until March 10 :-)      

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions - Allan Miller, SCS Middle School CoPrincipal  (

Empty Bowls

Thanks 4th Grade families!  We raised $278 for Hunger Free Vermont!  There are still 22 bowls left to purchase as a donation to Hunger Free Vermont!  So, if you didn't get one, you still can!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Empty Bowls Raised Over $100 for Hunger Free Vermont!

Happy Valentine's Day!

We hope you all enjoyed the snow day on Monday!  Thank you so much for sending your child to school with sweet valentine cards and boxes!  We passed out our cards, enjoyed some sweet treats, and complimented one another on the the things we think make one another special!  We took the time to read our cards and show gratitude to one another!  
We heard two of the 4 shares we needed to get through!  We heard some "WOW" facts about George H. Bush and John Adams!  Thanks again for your efforts on this quick and fun project!
Lastly, we had Mix-It Up time with Mrs. Elia's class!  Together with a Kindergarten buddy we created a butterfly that showcased our similarities and differences, like a venn diagram!  These butterflies are covered in words, designs and color!  They will be hung in swarms around the school to showcase the community of learners PK-8 at Shelburne Community School!
Thank you also for sending students with all of their winter gear!  I know they had a blast playing with all of the white fluffy snow on the playground!
Looking forward to seeing many of you today or tomorrow to purchase your bowl from our snowed in Empty Bowls Night!  3-4 PM Endeavor Kiva, $3 a bowl!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Vermont writes day

Today was Vermont writes day. In honor of this day we wrote most of the morning. Another thing we did in honor of this day is we shared our free write work with the class. Then the people who would like there work to be seen by the public are giving there work to Mrs. Bushy and she is going to hang it up some where in the school or the town, I am not sure which one. As you can see we did a lot to celebrate this day and let me tell you our class has some pretty amazing writers.     
This is the heartwarming book we read today My Brother Charlie.