Saturday, August 30, 2014


The students are practicing picking good fit books in our classroom this year. They are using the I PICK strategy.  I PICK stands for:

I choose the book
Purpose: Why am I reading this book?
Interest: Does it grab my attention?
Comprehend: Do I understand what I am reading?
Know: Do I know most of the words?

As students pick books they are to be thinking about the above items.  If they are not able to comprehend what they are reading or don't know most of the words then it is not a good fit book.

Happenings for August 25-30th:

This week in reading we read the story "Song and Dance Man" by Karen Ackerman. During our read to self and read to someone time we worked on using the comprehensions skills: check for understanding and back up and reread. In order to check for understanding you ask yourself who the main character(s) is, what is happening, and where it is taking place. If you are unable to answer any of the above questions then you need to back up and reread the passage you just finished. 

Our vocabulary words for the week were bizarre, effective, ineffective, sag, creak, and get-up-and-go. We learned about the prefix "in" which means not. We discussed antonyms which are words that are opposites such as effective and ineffective. We reviewed homophones which are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings such as creak and creek.

During writing time we read "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" and "Wizzil" by William Steig. We tried our hand at writing a story that included a magic item such as the ones in our featured stories. We read the poems "I'm Sorry" and "I'm Much too Tired to Play Tonight" by Jack Prelutsky. Then we tried our hand at writing our on I'm ______ or I'm Much too ________ poem.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Student Guest Bloggers!

Students in our class will take turns being guest blogger on our classroom blog.  Guest blogger for the week of  September 1-5 is Mayson Hartley. Emily Jetton will be our guest blogger the week of September 8-12. Skylar Kelley will be our guest blogger the week of September 15-19.   

Check back next week to see what Mayson will be sharing with us!

Happenings in 4S: Quilts

One activity we did to get to know each other better this week was to create a quilt. In the center of the quilt we drew a picture of ourselves. In the quilt blocks surrounding the center we drew our favorite things and activities.  We shared our quilts at community circle time. 

Check our quilts out in the hallway by our room!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Recommendation by Mrs. Sunderman!

Dear Fourth Graders,

This summer I spent sometime reading the Iowa Children's Choice Award nominees. One of my favorite books was The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki.

Genre: Mystery/Suspense 
Description: Neil and Bree, his teenage sister, are spending the summer with their aunts.  The aunts just happen to live near an abandoned, supposedly haunted state hospital called Graylock. When Graylock was operating it specialized in trying to help people with mental illnesses.  
Being typical kids Neil and Bree decide to explore Graylock.  This is where the spooky twists and turns of the novel begin to appear.  

If you enjoy a good spooky story, I highly recommend you this Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee.

Mrs. Sunderman

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Happy "August" Birthday!:

4S Birthdays!

Dear 4S Fourth Graders,
Checkout the pictures below to see when your classmates birthdays are:

Building Stamina

Dear Fourth Graders and Families,

One part of Daily 5 is building stamina. Building stamina means increasing the time we are able to work on a task without getting off task. Last week we were able to read 14 minutes without getting off task. My goal for us is to be able to read for 25 minutes. We also worked on building our stamina for writing and working on math.  

Mrs. Sunderman


If you want a quick and easy way to get reminders about our classroom sign up for Remind. Remind is a service that allows me to e-mail or text you reminders. Click on the image below to sign up. If you have already signed up, thanks!

The Ins and Outs of 4S Part 4: Math Daily 3!

Dear Fourth Graders and Families,

Math Daily 3 is the way our math time will be structured. We will have a short large group lesson and then you will work on your personalized math goals by selecting from three choices. The choices are math by myself, math writing, and math with someone. 

While your work independently on your choice I will be working with small groups as well as one-on-one conferring.  

Mrs. Sunderman

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Ins and Outs of 4S Part 3: Daily 5 and CAFE!

Dear Parents,
Welcome to 4S! This will be a year filled with many new experiences for your child. Each day we will be actively engaged in learning.
We have just begun our Daily 5 and CAFE adventure! This is the reading and writing program implemented in my classroom.
Daily 5 is the structure we will use to plan our morning. Children will be busy completing meaningful literacy tasks. The choices will be:
  • Read to self
  • Work on writing
  • Word Work
  • Read to Someone
Right now, we are focusing on increasing our stamina to work independently during Read to Self. Within the next few months, the other choices will be introduced. While the students are completing their literacy tasks, I will be meeting with small groups and conferencing with individual students.Daily 5 is how we schedule our language block. CAFE is what we study during this time. CAFE is an acronym for the four major components of reading. They are:
  • C for Comprehension
  • A for Accuracy
  • F for Fluency
  • E for Expanding Vocabulary
The children will learn reading strategies within each category. These strategies will become tools for the children to use to help themselves become better readers and writers. I will keep you informed when new strategies are introduced to the whole class through weekly posts on Happenings in 4S (our class blog) and your child's individual strategies through Parent Pipelines. Both of these communications will give you clear directions as to how to reinforce these concepts when you read with your child at home.

                Mrs. Sunderman

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Ins and Outs of 4S Part 2: Planners!

Dear Fourth Graders and Families:
        Welcome to our classroom! This post is about one thing I think you might want to know about fourth grade. Make sure you contact me at 542-4510 or with any questions you have.
         Today I am sharing information about your planners. They are similar to the Star Sheets you used last year.  They will help you to keep organized and let your parents know what you have been doing at school.  Please take time to neatly, carefully, and completely fill them out, so your parents can understand what you wrote! If you have homework, you are to write an H and circle it next to the assignment that is homework.  There is a place for your parents to sign. We are asking you to take home the planner daily and have your parent(s) sign the current day. The next morning you will show me your completed homework and signed planner. If your homework is completed and your planner is signed I will initial yesterday's section of your planner. If your planner is not signed you will owe 5 minutes of recess.
         Parents, please take a minute to ask your child if he/she has homework, look over completed assignments, and sign the current day. This is a great place to writes notes about dismissal changes or other items I need to know.

   Mrs. Sunderman

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet Mrs. Sunderman!

In my free time I enjoy reading, writing, running and riding my bicycle. I love reading mysteries, suspense, and historical fiction. I also love reading about running! It is a good thing that I enjoy running and biking because I am addicted to chocolate! I haven't met a chocolate bar that I don't like!

I grew up in College Springs and attended South Page. I have an older and younger sister. 

Mr. Sunderman and I have two beautiful children. Colin is a freshman at ISU this fall. Hannah is a sophomore at CHS. 

The Ins and Outs of 4S Part 1: Grades!

Dear Fourth Graders and Families:
        Welcome to our classroom! This post is about one thing I think you might want to know about in fourth grade. Make sure you contact me at 542-4510 or with any questions you have.
         First item that might interest is grades. You will be receiving letter grades for reading, English, math, science, social studies, and spelling.  A copy of the grading scale can be found in the front of your planner.  You will receive O for Outstanding, S for satisfactory, and N for Needs Improvement in Handwriting.

        Mrs. Sunderman

Monday, August 11, 2014

Almost Time!

I was so ecstatic to return from our family weekend in Branson and retrieve our class list out of my mailbox.  Here is a sneak peek at who is in our class.  


I can't wait to meet each of you at "Meet the Teacher Night" on Mon., Aug. 18th from 6-7 pm. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Work in Progress

Dear Soon-to-Be Fourth Graders,

I have been working away in our classroom.  Here are few sneak peaks of how it is looking:

My first view of our classroom:

Very excited that we got new carpet. Here it is!:  

Newly covered bulletin boards:

Newly painted shelves.

Enjoy the rest of your summer! I am looking forward to meeting you.
Mrs. S.

Fast Approaching

Dear Soon-to-Be-Fifth Graders:

I hope you have had a terrific summer. Just a reminder that registration is August 6-7 from 12-6.  

Make sure you stop in and say hi!

Mrs. S.