January 18th

Happy Friday! I hope that those of you who attended Lower School Game Night last night had a fabulous time playing games with your families.

This week during morning community time we discussed the government shutdown; Martin Luther King Jr.'s impact and legacy; the passing and poetry of beloved MA poet, Mary Oliver; individual shares, and more. Students enjoyed playing charades and were visited by special guests, my nephew and sister.

Coming up:

  • Monday, January 21st: No School, MLK Jr. Day
  • Thursday, February 14th: Half Day, Student-Led Conferences
  • Friday, February 15th: No School, Student-Led Conferences
  • Monday, February: No School, Presidents' Day


This week in math we continued to explore tables and graphs, and focused our attention on line graphs. Students identified plots and trends within the line graphs and tracked motion over time, recognizing what ascending and descending lines meant. They paid careful attention to value on x- and y-axes and worked on word problems. They also tackled data & graphs problems individually on IXL.

Social Studies

We began to examine specific events of the Civil Rights Movement this week including litigation, school integration efforts by Ruby Bridges and "The Little Rock 9," Rosa Parks' arrest and the organized efforts of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and sit-in protests like those at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. We also discussed the leadership and efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his approach to change through non-violent protests.

Language Arts

We continued our fiction writing unit this week by focusing on adding sensory details to stories. We examined the book, Owl Moon, for examples of writing about setting using sensory details and students imagined their own "favorite places" for an exercise in seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling what was around them. They also spent time developing their keyboarding, cursive-writing, and spelling skills.

January 11th

Happy 2019 and welcome back!

We had a full, fun, and highly productive week in 4B and celebrated our new year with lots of community time. Students began the week interviewing each other and sharing about their favorite memories from break. They also played games, brought in newspapers and other items to share, made up a new song, and enjoyed skidding on the ice out at recess.

As part of our diversity and inclusion work at school we examined a draft of our diversity statement together in order to inform future edits with student feedback. We discussed what it feels like when we are welcomed and belong and the students shared their thoughts about how to make all members of our community feel seen, heard, and celebrated.

This was also a week full of fresh new curriculum material in each subject. Please read on for highlights from our week.

Language Arts

Writing: After having spent so much time on personal narratives and social studies themed writing in the fall, we switched gears and began a fiction writing unit this week.

Using the books Miss Rumphias, Tar Beach, and Night of the Gargoyles; we examined different types of fiction including fantasy and realistic fiction. Students wrote new story "kernels" each day and have grown a good list of ideas to expand upon in coming weeks.

Reading: Independent book selection; reading

Spelling: Words with r-controlled vowels

Social Studies

Though we are still focusing on the South, we turned our attention to the significant history in the region. To begin to understand the Civil Rights Movement and why it was necessary, we discussed the difficult truths of slavery and examined blocks of our country's timeline. Students were surprised to see that the majority of our time as a nation has been plagued by slavery and segregation. We also examined two famous stories of slave escapes and discussed the complicated network of the Underground Railroad (NOT an actual railroad, as many students believed). We will begin to focus on specific events of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and '60's next week.


We also began a new unit in math on tables & graphs. The kids were excited to explore line graphs, picture graphs, tally charts, bar graphs, and tables. We worked on using keys and determining y-axis intervals to identify value in graphs, on finding missing values in tables, and on solving word problems using information gathered from the graphs and tables. Students were so engrossed in math one day that they didn't notice it was time to start lunch (a time usually watched with hawklike intensity).

Coming up:

  • Thursday, January 17th, 5:00-6:30: Lower School Game Night! 5:00 Pizza; 5:30-6:00 Game 1; 6:00-6:30 Game 2
  • Monday, January 21st: No School, MLK Jr. Day
  • Thursday, February 14th: Half Day, Student-Led Conferences
  • Friday, February 15th: No School, Student-Led Conferences
  • Monday, February: No School, Presidents' Day

Happy Holidays!

Enjoy your break!

December 14th

Dear families,

Excitement is starting to build for our upcoming winter break. Only 5 school days to go! In musical news, your 4th graders had their first Winterfest rehearsal this week and our own Sara was the community performer at All School Meeting. She bravely and beautifully performed a solo rendition of "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music. Way to go, Sara! Our annual Winterfest student concert will be held in the Commons from 10:30 - 12:00 on Friday, December 21st. Dismissal for the winter holidays will follow directly afterward, though after-school care will still be available until 5:30.

Social Studies

This week's social studies focus was all about the southern states and capitals. Students chose states to write mystery sheets about, pretending that they were lost in their state while giving clues about their whereabouts and asking for help to identify their location. They had a lot of fun today guessing where each of their classmates had traveled to. They also spent time preparing for today's states & capitals quiz by quizzing each other, playing online quiz game (Kahoot!), finding facts and trivia about each of the 16 states, and practicing with blank maps. Look out! You might see a personalized state surprise next week...


As we wrap up our in-depth unit on multiplication & division, we spent the week focusing on single and multi-step word problems. These have proven to be quite challenging and students worked hard at drawing from their background knowledge of multiple number operations and math facts. They worked in partnerships on Math in Focus problems and individually on a variety of online IXL word problems, where I was able to see their real-time progress and/or need for support.

Language Arts

We continued with our book clubs this week. Students enjoyed assigning and reading their group's chapters, writing summaries and predictions about what they read, and discussing their book. We focused on character development and students searched for and discussed character traits within their books.

We also continued reading and analyzing our read aloud book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

Spelling: ou-, au- patterns

Writing efforts were also focused on creating mystery state descriptions for S.S.

Thanks for reading! -Ms. Pindell


Hello families! Welcome to the first ever student made newsletter! This week's newsletter will be created entirely by the students of fourth grade.

You will get to know about our specials: Language Arts, Social Studies and much much more. We hope you enjoy the first (and hopefully not the last) edition of the 4B Kids Edition Newsletter!

Book Clubs

This week in 4B we started our very exciting… BOOK CLUBS!!!! Ms.Pindell read the descriptions on the back of some books for us to choose from, then we each wrote down on a sticky note what books we wanted to read. Next we each split up into groups. In my group we are reading Number The Stars, but that is just my group, there are many others. So far in my book what's happening is a girl who lives Copenhagen is running home from school with her friend when they turn a corner where there are Nazis, but that’s all I’m going to tell you. In book club discussions we talk about the chapter we just read. Ms.Pindell helped us by writing questions on the board that we could ask. Here are some of the questions: 1. What is happening so far? 2. What do you know about the setting, plot, characters? 3. What questions do you have? 4. What do you notice about the writing? 5. Point out an interesting or puzzling part of the book. Well I hope you enjoyed my summary about our book clubs!

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

In class we are reading Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. So far the book is about a Mouse named Mrs.Frisby whose husband died.The main problem in the book is that her youngest son Timothy, is sick with pneumonia and can’t be moved. But spring is coming and Mr.Fitzgibbon, the owner of the farm is going to plow the field with their winter house in it. So Mrs. Frisby gets advice from an owl and goes to the Rats of NIMH because the owl says that the rats can help move Mrs. Frisby’s house. But there is a cat called Dragon and he roams the farm. They could put sleeping powder in the cat’s food but Mr. Ages, the mouse who puts the sleeping powder in the food broke his leg. So Mrs. Frisby has to put the powder in the food. The Rats are more advanced than other animals because they have electricity. I wonder how they have electricity so far down in the ground? I think that the book is very good so far.

Daily Oral Language

In writing we’ve been working on proofreading sentences. Ms. Pindell will put the incorrect sentences up on the board. Then we write them down in our notebook and then we correct them in the notebook. For example, here’s one incorrect sentence: in august he didnt never learn to swim very good

And now the corrections : capital I, a capital in August, an apostrophe in didn’t, take away never, change very good to very well, and add a period at the end.

So the correct sentence is: In August he didn’t learn to swim very well.


In math class this week we worked on multiplication and division word problems. Here’s one example: Lisa had 1,750 stamps. Minah had 480 fewer stamps than Lisa. Lisa gave some stamps to Minah. Now, Minah has 3 times as many stamps as Lisa. How many stamps did Minah have at first?

To solve it we had to subtract 480 from 1,750 which is 1,270 so we knew that Minah had 1,270 stamps. How many does Lisa have? So we had to add 1,750 and 1,270 together which equals 3,020. Then we had to divide 3,020 by 4 because Minah had one part and Lisa had three parts. 3,020÷4=755 so one part is equal to 755, which means that Lisa has 755 stamps. Math is great!

Social Studies

For Social Studies this week we started our unit on states and capitals of the South. The states in our South unit are Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. We started off by researching each state and looking for three facts about each state. We used a website called Culturegrams to find our information. For example: Thomas Jefferson called Delaware “A jewel among the states.” That is where Delaware gets the nickname The Diamond State. For social studies homework we have to make flashcards for the states and capitals of the South.


In music class we are practicing our Winterfest songs which include Imagine, A-Soalin, Kind Hearted Hand, Ripples of kindness, and Ring It In. We also do a warm up called Chester Cheetah.

We don’t have our parts yet in the Winterfest songs but it’s been fun singing them. My favorite one is Imagine because it’s a pretty song. I hope you enjoy hearing it at Winterfest!


This week in PE we have been doing some workouts and “breaking the codes” on our paper (or following numbers for which workout to do) then running to the cone that has that number and doing that workout. For example some of the workouts we have been doing are: Running in place for one minute, jumping jacks, half jacks, burpees, push ups and a couple more. An example for a code is 3,4,2,1,6,4. Also we have played forever tag. Forever tag is a game where everyone is it and if you tag someone at the same time you play rock paper scissors and the person that loses has to sit down. Also on Thursday we did a game where we stand in a circle with our shoes touching each other. Then we had a ball and we had to try to knock it in between each others legs. If someone knocked it through someones legs we had to do the exercise that we were told to do. Everyone except the person who knocked it through had to do the exercise. That’s what we did in PE.


In science we are doing nature journaling. When we do nature journaling we all pick a spot outside and either draw the landscape we see or describe what we see. Some people also write poems. This week I helped my friend Sara make a poem. My other friend Mary also helped. The poem we made was called Together. This is a short part of it Together: “As one in a world of fun sometimes hard and sometimes soft and sometimes in between”. One observation I made was that all the leaves were off of the trees, not a single tree has a single leaf.

In science we also made topo maps and we learned how to read them. Can you read one?


In art this week, we have started to make figures out of wire. We call them our ‘’Future Wire Selves.’’ We haven’t started to build them yet, but when we do, it will be based on what we think we will be doing in the future. First we looked at one of our classmates posing. Then, we made a drawing of that person. This kind of drawing is called a gesture drawing. From the gesture drawing, we thought of a figure we could make out of wire, this will become our wire self. This week, we also finished our monster mugs. You might have seen them in the hall or heard about them. We glazed them and over glazed them. Then we put them in the kiln for the last time. Do you know what clay is called when it is finished?


In tech we are working on copying things from Google and making them our own by designing them on Inkscape. For example this week we copied a dove from the internet and re-copied it our own way with vibrant colors like light blue and bright pink. We have had a very fun time. We are still at work with our dove. It sounds like we are going to do some 3D printing!! There is lots fun to come.

Thank you for reading our first 4B Kids Edition Newsletter!

November 30th

Dear Families,

I hope that everyone had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving. I loved hearing about how each family spent the holiday. Your 4th graders came back energetic and refreshed, ready for a full week of school. These next three weeks are going to be very busy and our next break will be here before you know it! Winter break will begin after Winterfest on Friday, December 21st. Please note: the 21st is a half day of school.

On Monday, we welcomed our new student, Lizzy, to 4B! She was greeted by handmade streamers, welcome signs, and decorated cubbies. It's only been five days but it feels like she's been with us all year. Welcome to Lizzy and her family!

Yesterday, the Learning in Concert program from the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra visited Friends Academy. Their presentation focused on the problem of plastic pollution and the group somehow managed to have the lower schoolers in stitches as they simultaneously learned about music composition and reducing plastic waste. It was a fabulous program. You can read more about it here .

Please find more highlights from our week below.

Language Arts

  • Proofreading sentences for grammatical errors
  • Writing persuasive paragraphs including an opinion statement and transitional phrases
  • Long u spelling pattern
  • New Read Aloud book: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh


  • Review of factors, multiples, place value
  • Long division; 4x1 multiplication
  • Quick facts
  • x / + - puzzles

Social Studies

Our studies of the indigenous people of the Southeast culminated today with a raucous debate. Students were given the task of convincing President Andrew Jackson not to go ahead with the Indian Removal Act by giving reasons why Native Americans of the region had a right to stay on their land. They spent the week researching and recording facts about the Cherokee, Chocktaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes and prepared persuasive paragraphs using evidence from the texts they referenced.

Dressed as Andrew Jackson, I appointed representatives to use talking points of "my" position and to speak on my behalf in each small group, where students presented their arguments against the Indian Removal Act. The debate grew heated when we came together as a whole group and the 4th graders came up against the "real" president. Their passion for justice and their fervent arguments were persuasive and commendable. If only they were around to prevent the real removal!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ms. Pindell

November 16th


The annual Book Fair, held this week in the Commons, was another big hit. 4th graders eagerly scanned each shelf in search of new texts that would whisk them into worlds of talking dogs, magical spells, adventure in sci-fi landscapes, and more. The Book Fair also helped to inspire discussions in the classroom about book selections, recommendations, and the group's collective love of all things books. We took some time to explore our own classroom and school libraries, where students selected and shared books that they were interested in reading. A good reminder that we already have access to lots of "new"stories!

We were also joined yesterday by author and illustrator, Matt Tavares, who gave a presentation about his writing process. He shared examples of drawings for one book, Becoming Pedro, that were inspired by a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit Red Sox Pedro Martinez' childhood home. Mr. Tavares also shared about the importance of not taking things personally during the editing phase of writing and that the finished book you see is only the last step of a very involved process.

Social Studies

This week we moved our focus to the southern United States and began by examining the history and culture of the indigenous people of the region, specifically the "5 Civilized Tribes." Students learned about the Indian Removal Act and Trail of Tears and are currently working on developing arguments to persuade the US Government of the time to allow tribes to stay on their ancestral land. They will also be compiling a class book about the Trail of Tears.


In math this week we returned to the online resource, IXL, to support our multiplication and division studies. The 4B'ers completed over 400 practice problems(!) and worked on skills including multi-digit multiplication and long division. In mini-lessons, we worked on breaking down the steps of long division using visual strategies and created resources to add to our math notebooks.

Language Arts

Writing: Students worked on developing opinion pieces in preparation for their opinion writing and debate on the relocation of southern tribes. They generated opinion statements and used reasons with specific examples to support their claims.

We also worked on proofreading sentences together as a class. Students recognized errors with verbs, apostrophes, proper adjectives, proper nouns, pronouns, and capitalization.

Spelling: Long o patterns

Keyboarding: Typing paragraphs and sentences, finding numbers for math sentences, matching games, and more.

Celebrating the impending first snow with "snow" angels

Coming up:

  • Tuesday, November 20th: Annual Turkey Trot from 1:30 to 2:30. Parents are invited to watch the event and may pick up their child at 2:30 from the field after checking in with their teacher. Regular dismissal and after care will still be available.

**Please have your child bring in a white t-shirt to decorate on Monday!

  • W/Th/F, Nov. 21st-23rd: Thanksgiving break, no school

November 9th

Dear families,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at this morning's Whaling Day. Your 4th graders put a lot of thought and energy into their whaling studies and projects and were thrilled to share their work with you today. They all deserve a long, restful weekend as reward for their efforts. I hope you enjoyed yourselves (and learned!) as much as we did.

Coming Up:

  • Monday, November 12th: Veterans Day, no school
  • Tues.-Fri., November 13th-16th- Bookfair/Authorfest
  • Tuesday, November 20th- Turkey Trot, parents may pick students up from the field
  • W/Th/F, Nov. 21st-23rd - Thanksgiving break, no school

Language Arts

Much of our language arts time this week was used to wrap up our whaling studies. Students completed letters written from the perspective of someone aboard a whale ship and had their first real cursive challenge of the year to write full pages in script. We also finished reading both Moby-Dick and Heart of a Samurai! Ask your child to explain highlights and surprises from each book.


In the time we had between game design, cursive writing, reading two books, and more game design, students worked on developing fluency with the standard multiplication algorithm for both 2x1 and 2x2 digit multiplication.

Election Day

We had a surprisingly spirited election day in 4B this week with rich discussions about politics, current issues, and the importance of democracy. Students took part in a mock election in the morning but took it upon themselves at lunchtime to hold a class election with campaigns for Class President, Treasurer, and the School Board (complete with speeches), to name a few. They are amazingly civic-minded. We even figured out when they would be able to cast a vote in their first Presidential election (2028).

It was another delightful week spent with your young people! Please enjoy your long weekends together.

-Ms. Pindell

November 2nd

Happy November! We've had a number of major events this week from Halloween to our Mystic Seaport field trip. Students were deeply engaged with their whaling studies as they prepared for next week's Whaling Day! They are looking forward to sharing their sea shanties, scrimshaw, whaling letters, whaling board games, etchings, and scientific whale drawings with you one week from today.

Coming up:

  • Friday, November 9th: Whaling Day! Parent event at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. 9:00-10:30. Students will share culminating work from their whaling studies.
  • Tuesday, November 6th: Election Day. Be sure to vote!
  • Monday, November 12th: Veterans Day - No school

Mystic Seaport

We had a fantastic (albeit chilly!) trip to the Mystic Seaport on Tuesday. The 4th Graders toured a cooperage, where whale oil barrels would have been made; visited the shipsmith's shop and saw red-hot iron being worked; walked above and below decks of the Charles W. Morgan, the only surviving wooden whaling ship in the world; and each took a turn "darting an iron" (throwing a harpoon). The trip provided rich material for the trivia cards they are developing for their whaling-themed board games as well as their historical letters written from the perspective of someone aboard a whale-ship.


Another fun Halloween has come and gone! This year there was no shortage of creative costumes and the 4th graders enjoyed a period of Halloween-themed activities (including pumpkin bowling) following the annual school wide parade.

Language Arts

This week students began writing historical fiction letters or diary entries from aboard a whale-ship in the 1830's. They've had fun imagining a new persona and describing their experiences.

Spelling: long i

Continued reading of Moby-Dick, Heart of a Samurai, and independent-choice books


This week I introduced two options for using a multiplication algorithm . Students tried their hands at the "standard algorithm" where they needed to carry a number to the tens place to solve; AND the "easy" strategy where they multiplied each place value to find a separate product then added them together. For both, we used base ten visuals to match our symbolic multiplication. These are two additional strategies that will help students to build fluency in our unit on whole-number multiplication and division.

Have a wonderful weekend!

-Ms. Pindell

October 25th

Dear families,

It was wonderful seeing most of you at our conferences this week. Your children were bold, sweet, and sincere as they shared their learning strengths, goals, and highlighted work. I am continually impressed by them!

This week we took a field trip to the New England Revolution 4th Grade Fitness Day at Gillette Stadium; prepared for conferences; visited with AJ's grandfather, who shared about creating scrimshaw (something he did to put himself through college); and spent a day with mostly specials while I was out continuing my learning at AISNE's annual diversity conference. Since it was such a short week, please enjoy some photos from Monday's field trip and our special guest's visit. I will resume more regular curricular updates next week.

Coming up:

  • Tuesday, October 30th: Field trip to Mystic Seaport
  • Wednesday, October 31st: Halloween! Make-up pizza day from Tuesday. Students may wear costumes to school but should bring a change of clothes.
  • Friday, November 9th: Whaling Day! Parent event at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. 9:00-10:30. Students will share culminating work from their whaling studies.
  • Monday, November 12th: Veteran's Day - No school.

Have a lovely long weekend!

Ms. Pindell

October 19th

This week saw the 4th graders preparing for conferences, engaging with local history, sharing new stories about themselves, and offering peer feedback. During morning meetings, we heard about a student's favorite trip, discussed climate change and conservation efforts, enjoyed greetings and movement, and continued mindfulness practice. In the above photo, students settled into guided meditation about choosing kindness even when someone frustrates or annoys them. Please read on for other highlights from the week.

Coming up:

  • Saturday, October 20th: Farmers For America Screening and Panel with Local Food Tasting. Click here to learn more and register.
  • Monday, Oct. 22nd: PE Field Trip to Gillette Stadium
  • Next week: Conferences
  • Thurs/Fri, Oct. 25th, 26th: No school

New Bedford Whaling Museum & Historic Park

Today we visited the amazing whaling museum in neighboring New Bedford. Students watched a video on the history of whaling in the city; toured the museum with a docent and examined whale skeletons, scrimshaw and other whale-bone art; learned about the journey of whale ships; and walked aboard the largest model ship in the world. They also participated in a scavenger hunt put on by the National Park Service in New Bedford to explore the old-town blocks surrounding the whaling museum. They gained a sense of what the port of New Bedford might have been like during whaling days and earned a Junior Park Ranger badge to boot. Thank you to Jennifer for chaperoning!

Language Arts

Writing: In writing this week, students worked on peer-editing and revising their personal narrative stories. Using google docs to make comments, students paired up to suggest edits for spelling, punctuation, content (adding detail, clarifying questions), paragraph structure, and adding dialogue.

Reading: Heart of a Samurai, Moby-Dick, book recommendations, independent reading. Reading aloud with expression, anticipating dialogue.

Spelling: -ie pattern


  • Factors; common factors; greatest/least common factors
  • Multiples/common multiples
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Partial Products


In preparation of our conferences next week, students worked on identifying skills that are strengths or goals for them in their core subjects and when thinking of their social and work habits. They are looking forward to sharing their goals and examples of their work with you soon.

October 11th

A short but mighty week! Students completed their northeast state travel brochures, began typing stories, shared about a hurricane and rocket launch, made book recommendations, wrestled with factors, refined their cursive writing, practiced mindfulness, and more. Please read on for other highlights.

Coming up:

  • Saturday, October 20th: Farmers For America Screening and Panel with Local Food Tasting. Click here to learn more and register. In addition, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, NOFA, is offering a free gardening workshop, led by FA teacher Steve Walach, on campus prior to this event. You can click here to learn more about their workshop. Contact Steve Walach to register.
  • Friday, October 19th: Field trip to New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Monday, October 22nd: PE Field trip to Gillette Stadium

Language Arts

Writing: We continued work on our personal narratives this week. Students transferred their written stories to Google documents, where they will work to expand, add detail, and edit their work. We also spent time on cursive and keyboarding.

Spelling: Students worked with long-a patterns, completed analogies, examined word structure through syllables, and used context clues to use spelling words.

Reading: Continued adventure on the high seas with Moby-Dick and Heart of a Samurai; independent reading; summarizing and visualizing what was read


Work with factors, prime numbers, multiplication fact families, and building partial products. As we continue to develop more complexity with multiplication concepts, it is important that students know their times-table facts. Try to see if you can fit in regular multiplication practice at home, if at all possible.

Social Studies

We've come to the end of our northeast states & capitals studies. Students enjoyed sharing their state travel brochures with other classrooms today and are preparing for their quiz tomorrow. To learn about the states and capitals, 4th graders explored books, maps; quizzed themselves on IXL; engaged with a Kahoot! quiz; and recorded information. On to landscapes, parks & whaling next week!

October 5th

A new month (arguably the best month) is upon us. The nights are growing colder and the leaves are finally starting to change. Just like squirrels busying themselves to prepare for winter, your 4th graders have been busy learning and growing in their 5th week of school. Please see highlights from our week below.

As you prepare for the long weekend, consider having your child share with you about the holiday we will be celebrating this Monday: Indigenous Peoples' Day. We've discussed the progression from Columbus Day to our current holiday in the classroom and have focused on identifying why the European perspective has unjustly dominated our national history.

Looking for weekend ideas?

Saturday/Sunday, October 6th & 7th: Boston Mini Maker Faire

Monday, October 8th: PRONK- Providence Honk Festival. Brass bands, street parade, artists, makers, and just plain fun.

Saturday, October 20th: Farmers For America Screening and Panel with Local Food Tasting. Click here to learn more and register. In addition, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, NOFA, is offering a free gardening workshop, led by FA teacher Steve Walach, on campus prior to this event. You can click here to learn more about their workshop. Contact Steve Walach to register.

November 3rd, 2-4pm: Life Aboard a Whaling Ship - Falmouth Museums on the Green presents the story of Mary Chipman Lawrence who set sail aboard a whaling ship on a voyage that would last three and a half years.

Language Arts


  • Turning the "seeds" of personal narrative story ideas into longer pieces of writing. Often times, students are better able to get ideas in writing once they have shared them aloud. 7th and 8th graders returned today to serve as audience and writing helpers for the 4th graders as they shared and developed their pieces of writing. Older students helped their buddies to think about introductions that would "hook" their audience, how to include dialogue, and asked them clarifying questions about their stories.
  • Discussion of the writing process and taking their pieces through each stage to publication.


  • Students began reading the abridged version of the classic book, Moby-Dick! We will read this book as a group, in pairs, and individually and will work on responding to the book in writing, through discussion, through reader's theater, and more.
  • Continued reading of Heart of a Samurai, the story of Manjiro Nakahama who was purportedly the first Japanese man in America. This amazing true story takes Manjiro from his beginnings as a young fisherman-castaway rescued by a Yankee whaling ship; to his life in Fairhaven, MA; and eventually back to Japan to influence both the advent of whaling there and the opening of its ports to the outside world.


  • vowel/consonant/e spelling pattern


  • Continued practice on, focusing on home-row and finger placement; typing longer paragraphs.


This week we continued to build understanding of number relationships in multiplication.

  • Developed strategies for approaching complicated multiplication problems: Building arrays, partial products
  • 2x1, 2x2, and 3x2-digit multiplication problems
  • Multiplication tables and puzzles/games
  • Continued IXL diagnostic
  • Introduction to factors

Social Studies

We're on to States & Capitals! This week, students explored states of the northeast by building their own study guides, completing regional maps, reading state books, and exploring maps of individual states in the region. We began our first Mix-it-Up groupings of the year where students from each of the 4th grade classroom mix for Social Studies content and projects. Their first task in these new groupings is to become an expert on one state in the northeast and to create a travel brochure for that state.


This week we built community through our daily Morning Meetings. Each morning, we gather to greet each other and share about ourselves and the greater community or world. The sequence of our meetings is as follows: Chime to begin mindfulness exercise, chime to begin meeting, greeting each member of the classroom, calendar person shares about our schedule, reporter shares something from outside of school, sharer tells about themselves and their lives, we discuss the morning message and day's events, and end with an activity. This is all done with the knowledge that the greatest learning occurs in a safe, warm, and welcoming space where every student's voice matters. I will be sharing more about each part of our morning routine in following weeks.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

-Ms. Pindell

September 28th

Dear families,

We've made it to the end of our first full 5-day school week! It's hard to believe since it feels like we've already been here for some time. Our classroom routines are solidifying and the community we are building in 4B is really something special. The above scene from today's National Hug a Vegetarian Day is a prime example 😊

Coming up:

Saturday, October 20th: Farmers For America Screening and Panel with Local Food Tasting. Click here to learn more and register. In addition, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, NOFA, is offering a free gardening workshop, led by FA teacher Steve Walach, on campus prior to this event. You can click here to learn more about their workshop. Contact Steve Walach to register.

Please read on for highlights from our week.

Social Studies

We had a great field trip to the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum this Tuesday where 4th graders experienced a traditional dwelling and heard stories from our Wampanoag guide. Students learned about the rich cultural heritage of the Wampanoag and handled artifacts showing the traditional harmonious way of the tribe. One fact they learned was that indigenous people of our region never felled trees for firewood but collected all the wood they needed for firewood, homes, and other projects from what had fallen naturally. There is a tale that the forest was so thick that a squirrel could run from Cape Cod to Maine without ever having to touch the ground.

Back in the classroom, we continued to explore texts about Native Americans of the northeast while students recorded and shared facts about traditional food, clothing, shelter, roles, and other interesting facts. They took a fun and interactive Kahoot! quiz to test their knowledge. We were even able to make a direct connection to our studies and current events: the Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod filed a federal lawsuit yesterday challenging the current administration's decision not to uphold protections of their reservation land.

Language Arts

Spelling: We got into our spelling rhythm this week with our first spelling pattern, set of words, activities, and Friday assessment. Students worked with short vowel patterns.

Reading: Students set up their reader's notebooks with sections for independent reading, class books, and strategies. We discussed choosing books, updating our 4th grade reading lists, and book genres in addition to writing about our first class book, Heart of a Samurai.

Writing: 4th graders continued to build their writing stamina this week by writing true stories from their lives, reflecting on our field trip, free-writing, and developing stories from memories. They also wrote quite a bit about our current social studies topic: the original people of the northeast.


Math this week focused on multiplication strategies, building math facts, and assessing a range of skills. IXL, our online program where students worked to complete a diagnostic, has allowed me to see data from each child's understanding of math concepts and skills so that I can both pinpoint instruction and challenge students appropriately. It is a fantastic tool that also makes suggestions for each student to build skills on their own.


In our classroom, community time is always important. This week, students connected through mindfulness, meetings, movement, and meals. We refined some of our classroom jobs to include themed book recommendations from our librarian, reports from happenings in the world (like a seal hitting a kayaker with an octopus in New Zealand) from our Reporter, and more in-depth shares from our Sharer.

September 21st

Dear families,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Lower School Parents' Night last night. Thank you for taking the time to tour your child's classroom(s) and to learn a bit about what our year together will look like. I look forward to connecting again at our first student-led conferences, if not before.

Despite it being a shorter week, we've managed to make some good curricular headway in the classroom. Please read on for highlights from week 3 of Grade 4.

Outside the Classroom Day

On Monday we spent the entire day outside on our beautiful campus. Students engaged with team-building challenges on the lower field in the morning and low-ropes course elements in the afternoon. It was a day to focus on creating new friendships, strengthening bonds, and understanding the importance of positive and effective communication. It was also a lot of fun!

Language Arts

7th and 8th grade volunteers joined us today to support the 4th graders in idea generation for our unit on personal narratives. They discussed questions like, "What is one of your earliest memories?," "What is a time or place that you were perfectly happy?" The 4th graders were able to write more by speaking about their memories before writing them. It also helped to have their older classmates interested in and encouraging them!


In math this week we continued to review place value and multiplication strategies. Students were challenged to estimate (by rounding) their answers to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems to be sure that their answers were reasonable. Building this number sense will be crucial for their mathematic thinking in the years ahead.

Social Studies

We introduced the scope of our year in Social Studies this week by describing the 4 regions and 4 pillars of each region we will be covering. If you missed the Parents' Night presentation, students will be studying 4 pillars, or throughlines, for each region: 1)Who lived in the region before it became the United States? 2)What are the states & capitals of the region? 3)What national parks/monuments and landscapes are in the region?(and why is it important to protect them?) 4)What significant events happened in the region?

Students also took the same Blank Map Challenge given out last night. They were given a blank map of the United States and asked to fill in as many states as they could (with mixed results!). They had fun looking at our classroom map after the challenge to find the states that stumped them.


Mr. Felix introduced the app, Inner Balance, on iPads this week. Students connected sensors to their earlobes and used the app to follow their heart rhythms. They were coached to breathe deeply and slowly, finding that they could stay in the "green" by doing so. Mr. Felix then introduced pressure situations like urgently asking for the answers to difficult math problems in order to show the kids how they can use their breath to regulate their body's reactions to stress.

Tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox. Happy fall!

September 14th

Dear families,

The beginning of the school year is full of so much discovery and joy. I still have lots to learn about each of your children but have loved seeing their personalities and stories slowly start to emerge. We are still settling in to the routines of the year but have begun to engage with our curriculum content this week. I think that by next week we'll be able to fly.

Coming up:

  • Lower School Outside-The-Classroom Week will be next week. 4th graders will participate in team building activities on Monday morning and will experience the low ropes course on Thursday afternoon. On both days, please pack a water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat (if you'd like).
  • A reminder that this coming Thursday, September 20th, is Parents’ Night. There will be a brief introduction in the Commons at 6:30 followed by our fourth grade presentation in my classroom.

Please read on for a few curriculum highlights from our week. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

-Ms. Pindell


Social & Emotional learning is a big component of our classroom and you will hear about the ways in which we build community throughout the year.

Morning meeting is a time that allows us to greet one another, share important news, engage in a team building activity, and hear about the day ahead. We also will use this time to discuss topics that are important to the social and academic growth of the children. This past week we discussed Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset and I shared part of the video embedded below.

This week, students also learned about the advantages of taking body breaks throughout the school day to allow for movement-supported brain development and discussed movement tools for supporting self-regulation. They spent time in morning meetings building a mindfulness practice, sharing, and playing community-building games.

This afternoon, the whole 4th grade enjoyed a long walk through our trail system where they encountered wild grapes, toads, and lots of overgrown summer foliage. An extra surprise came by way of a closed trail, making our walk twice as long!

Researcher, Carol Dweck, speaking about Growth Vs. Fixed Mindset

Language Arts

Students have started to learn the reading and writing routines used in fourth grade and have been engaging with ample independent reading time to build stamina and interest. The 4B'ers worked as a group to go through our entire classroom library, placing books aside that they are interested in reading and making book recommendations.

During Writer’s Workshop, fourth graders have been introduced to the Writer’s Notebook. This is a place where students will write stories or share ideas over the course of the year. Each student has brainstormed different topics that are meaningful and close to their heart and added them to a Heart Map. We also began our first writing unit - Personal Narratives - by using their summer photos as inspiration for writing true stories. They've also been building a habit of daily writing by responding to prompts each morning.

Our first keyboarding session of the year was a big hit today. Students worked on keeping fingers on the Home Row.


Fourth graders have spent the first few days of school reviewing their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. This is has been done through independent practice, class review, and partner or whole group games. The math games are a wonderful way to support and extend math concepts. We have also been reviewing place value to the one-hundred thousands place.

Along with a Math in Focus math journal, each fourth grader will be building a math notebook. This notebook will be a place where students can record their thinking, store math vocabulary and examples of concepts introduced, and can be used as a resource over the course of the year.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!