PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

4th Grade HW Help

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe we are entering the month of December. As the year progresses so do the expectations for our class.   I am very pleased with the work they are doing in their Humanities NB.  It is neat, dated and most of the NB’s looked really well cared for.  Going forward I would like to lift the level of the writing as well as the inference work the are doing in reading.  To that end, here are my current expectations.  This will go in effect next Wednesday.

November-February Writing goals for HW

  • Push your writing to 200 words.  (150 minimum)
  • Write with more detail and elaboration.
  • Write with what I call “4th grade ideas” not “2nd grade ideas.”   *See Henry’s writing.
  • Play with ideas and be creative.  *See Stella’s writing.
  • Change up the kind of entries.  (A lot of their writing seems “diary like.”)  Have variety.  Poems, letters, graphic stories, entries of questions, close observations, opinions about the world, reaction to world events etc.

Click on these links for sample writing.

Stella writers nb

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Henry racism

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November-February goals for reading responses for HW

  • Write about bigger ideas.  Using fiction write about themes, connections outside the world, symbols in books, power lines, etc.

Click on the link to find sample reading responses.


Thinking BEYOND a text

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Determining Theme

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Asking important questions


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  • Some of you are wondering how you might support your child at home writing commentary (opinion essays.) Here are some tips. 1.  Go over vocabulary for transitional words.  *for example, in addition, consequently, however, in conclusion, in other words, therefore, in contrast, in comparison, finally etc.  2.  Have your child research statistics and facts around the subject matter.  Just remember this is NOT a research project or an article.  3.  Practice structure in their writer’s NB.  Paragraphs matter and so does organization.  If they are writing about a chess tournament, demand paragraphs.  4.  Keep their writer’s NB with them at all times.  Look and observe.  Find places that show an example of littering for example.  Have them stop and write their observations.
  • MoMath is coming on Thursday for in an in house presentation!