Check out what is going on in A-6!

  • A Couple of Things:

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 3/2/2016 5:40:00 PM

    Morning Work:

    As many of you know A-6 students work on their spelling during our morning work time during arrival.  Starting this week students are now asked to do independent reading when they finish their spelling rather than play one of the variety of word games we have in the classroom. Many students have become quite efficient at doing their spelling, however they have not been using their game time wisely. So, that, combined with need to practice responding to their reading, the fourth grade team decide to build in more time for students to read books of their choice and respond to their chosen books in writing.  I am asking A-6 students to complete one paragraph about their books by recess on Friday.  They can work on this any day they choose and they may also work on it during quiet time if all of their other work is caught up. As a class we have talked about how spelling should generally take no more than 10 minutes to complete and thus if a student arrives at school at 8:10 he/she would still have about 10 minutes to read and/or do their response.  The intention of this assignment is to provide students with more opportunity to practice writing about their reading in an organized and specific way.  As always I understand that life gets busy and I am more than happy to chat with a student if they know in advance they don't think they will be able to finish their assignment on time (or if something unexpected should arise).  Another benefit to this additional assignment is that helps students develop time management skills.  If you have an questions, please let me know!


    Book Clubs:

    Students will be starting their historical fiction book clubs on Monday.  There is a lot of interest around these groups and books.  As your child about the book he or she will be reading about!


    Dates to Note:

    March 10: Julius Caesar @ The Town Hall Theater (We will be having an early lunch and walking to the theater after recess.)

    March 11: Inservice Day - No School

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  • Coming Soon: Historical Fiction Book Clubs!

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 2/24/2016 9:00:00 PM

    Over the next week or so students are going to be preparing to be a part of a historical fiction book club.  As part of this preparation students are exploring what respectful discussions look like and sound like by talking about different topics.  Yesterday they read this short article:


    They then used these discussion cards to help guide their discussion:


    Students did a great job of discussing the hot topic of cursive writing!

    group   group

     Check out these links too!       A Group Discussion                         Another Group Discussion

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  • Maternity Leave Update

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 2/23/2016 8:50:00 PM

    Below, please find a copy of a quick note I sent home today regarding my maternity leave.


    February 23, 2016

    Dear Families,

    I am just writing to let you know that I am currently planning to start my maternity leave on March 21 thus making my last day Friday, March 18. Mrs. Giles will be starting on Monday, March 21st. Of course, these are “best laid plans” and the dates are subject to change J. If Baby Thacker decides to come earlier, then Mrs. Giles is prepared to start sooner.

    Although I will be on maternity leave, I will still be attending a few meetings at school and have promised the class I will come visit. It has been wonderful to watch this class grow and mature over the past (almost) two years. I have truly enjoyed working with everyone!

    As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me (382-1462 or )!



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  • Things to come :)

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 2/21/2016 12:15:00 PM

    Hi Families! I hope your child (and you!) have been enjoying February Break!  It feels like it has been awhile since I have written, but between being sick for several days and the week off, time has flown by.  Below are a few things to note for the coming week:

    • A-6 Students will participate in their second day of skating on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the Memorial Sports Center.
    • As part of Black History Month for Grades 4-6 from Mary Hogan will go to the Town Hall Theater to see excerpts from Christal Brown "The Opulence of Integrity" . Christal will be in residence with her company at THT February 22-27. Fourth graders will have some pre-teaching experiences prior to the show. For more information about "The Opulence of Integrity" check out this link: http://
    • We will also continue working on our Historical Fiction and Native American Units.
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  • 4th Grade Round Up!

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 2/4/2016 9:25:00 PM

    It has been a busy week in A-6!!  Below are a few things of which to take note:

    • Skating - A-6 students will be skating Wednesday, February 10 and February 24. Kids who don't have skates at home were fitted for skates at school.  If your child has skates please check in with him/her as to whether they were planning to bring his/her skates to school or if they were going to wear the ones that belong to the school.  If your child is planning to bring his/her skates from home then he/she needs to make sure he/she has them on 2/10 and 2/24.
    • Valentine's Day - We will have a small Valentine's party on the afternoon of Friday, 2/12.  Students are welcome to bring in Valentines for the class, however, we ask that if your child brings in Valentine's he/she brings in one for everyone.  
    • Positive Statements - In honor of Valentine's Day A-6 students will be writing one positive statement for each classmate and passing them out at our party on Friday. Students brought home the form for this activity today (along with a class list) and need to return it to me by Wednesday, 2/10.  They may type these statements on Google Docs if they would like, however I asked them to only share the document with me (and not their peers).
    • Martin Luther King Jr. - As I mentioned on Monday, we went to see a play about Martin Luther King Jr. on Tuesday.  It was a cool performance done by only two people!  The class was a respectful and polite audience!  Ask your child about his/her favorite part!
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  • Author Visit and a Field Trip

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 2/1/2016 7:50:00 PM

    My apologies for not posting sooner!  I was sick last week and missed two days of school. Thus, I am feeling a little behind!

    FYI - Tomorrow (2/2/16) the fourth grade classes will be walking to the arts center at the college to see a performance about Martin Luther King Jr. (There was no permission slip as it is a walking field trip.)  Again, I meant to give you the heads up last week - sorry!

    Last Monday author Terry Lynn Johnson spoke with 4th-6th graders about her books Dogsled Dreams and Ice Dogs.  She was a dynamic and engaging presenter!  Below I have included some pictures and a short video from her presentation.

    tlj   tlj      tlj


    Here is the link to video mentioned above.  This is the first time I have uploaded a video like this.  Please let me know if you have trouble viewing it and I can email it to you.

    Fourth Grade Dog Race!


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  • You're Invited!

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 1/21/2016 9:40:00 PM

    You are invited to come see A-6 students' biography presentations on Thursday, January 28 at 2:00.  These presentations will follow an open house format.  Each student has created a presentation using Google Presentation and will have a laptop at their desk ready to use to share information about their subject.  We hope that you will be able to come and learn about many different famous and/or historic people!

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  • Biography Projects

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 1/19/2016 12:30:00 PM

    Last week fourth graders in A-6 were busy working on their biography presentations.  Students are using Google Presentation to create slides about a biography subject they have read about.  The plan is to present these to parents and guests in the next couple of weeks.  More information to follow in the coming days!


    bio   bio  bio  

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  • New! Extra Homework Assignment!

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 1/13/2016

    Today A-6 students are coming home with a new "extra" homework assignment.  This week's assignment is to write an entry for Green Up Vermont's writing contest.  I am willing to mail in a student's writing piece if he/she would like it submitted.  For more information about this assignment look for the yellow direction sheet coming home with your child today. This assignment is due Wednesday, January 20 (as always it can be turned in ahead of time).  Just like the others, this assignment is completely optional.  However, if a student completes the assignment they will earn a homework pass good for one night off from homework on the night of his/her choosing.

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  • Highlights from the week of January 4th!

    Posted by Elizabeth Thacker on 1/10/2016 6:00:00 PM


    This week we started an introduction to decimals and looked at their relationship to fractions.



    We also explored adding fractions with different denominators as well as studied different equivalent fractions.

    Possible family activity: Brainstorm as many equivalent fractions for different unit fractions (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/12 etc.) as you can.


    Movie Afternoon!

    The entire fourth grade worked hard during the read-a-thon and read A LOT!  We had such a high number of students participating that our grade earned a movie afternoon at the Ilsely Library.  On Friday we all walked over to the library, ate lunch and watched WALL-E!  It was a fun way to recognize student participation in the read-a-thon and wrap up our first week back at school!  :)



    A New Read Aloud

    This week A-6 started reading Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson.  It promises to be an exciting adventure story!  Plus - Ms. Johnson will be visiting Mary Hogan on January 25! To learn more about her and the books she has written check out her website. http://

    Please check out our calendar link for other upcoming dates! 

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  • Fourth Grade Four!

    This week A-6 fourth graders started the Fourth Grade Four.  The Fourth Grade Four is a half sheet of paper that each student will fill out at the end of the week listing four different things he/she learned about over the course of the week.  This activity gives students the opportunity to reflect on their learning and to share that information with their family. Students did a great job completing this activity today and I highly recommend checking out what they wrote!

  • What would you do if you could switch places with someone from the past?

     We are currently reading the book Time for Andrew by Mary Downing Hahn. A DCF award winner, this book has ghosts, time travel, adventure and lots of characters!  As a class we decided we to make a family tree to help us keep track of the different characters and their relationships to one another. 

    Time for Andrew

    If you like ghost stories then consider some of Mary Downing Hahn's other books including Wait Till Helen Comes!



    Soils, Rocks, and Landforms!

    A-6 fourth graders are currently learning about soil, rocks, and landforms during science.  This unit is made up of many different investigations that provide students the opportunity to study what makes up soil and rocks as well as how both of these things change over time.  Currently we have been studying different soils, guessing where these soils originated from as well as learning about the process of physical weathering of rocks and minerals. 

    Check out our soil samples after we added water!




    Sample 4

    Ask your child about the experiments we have done so far!


    Firefighters Visit!

    Last week volunteers from the Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department visited Mary Hogan.  Students learned about the gear firefighters wear and about the equipment the fire trucks carry.  Students also had the opportunity to go into a simulated home and look for fire hazards as well as discuss fire safety in the home with the fire chief and other firemen.


    Trying on the gear!