Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Show a Rousing Success

Thank you to all the parents who came out for our Christmas show last night, and all the children who performed.

Don't forget our Heritage Breakfast tomorrow.  Students are to bring food to share with other students.  Please bring a food item to share that represents your family's heritage and traditions.

Homework for today:
     1.  Spelling p. 72-73.
     2.  Math Miss W:  Multiplication worksheet.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 345-346.
     3.  Read for half an hour.
     4.  Bring food to share for our Heritage breakfast.
     5.  Get parent initials.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Show Tonight!

Show tonight!  Please come out and celebrate the season at Rio Vista School.  The performance starts at 5:30.

Tonight's homework:
     1.  Come to Christmas show.
     2.  Fluency "Grinning the Bark off a Tree."
     3.  Math Miss W: p. 304
                   Mr. Spaulding: p. 339-340
     4.  Read for half an hour.
     5.  Get parent initials.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Performance Tomorrow

There will be a holiday performance presented by our 4th and 5th grades and the Rio Vista band tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17 at 5:30.  Please arrive at 5:15 in the cafeteria for the evening performance.  We will perform various Christmas songs.

Today's homework:
     1.  Dust Bowl worksheet.
     2.  Math Miss W:  p. 301-302.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 333-334.
     3.  Read for half an hour.
     4.  Get parent initials.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Using a Table to Organize Information

Fourth graders are learning to use a table to organize  information and solve problems.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling practice test.
     2.  Math Miss W: p. 291-292.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 317-318.
     3.  Read for half an hour.
     4.  Study Social Studies Review Sheet
     5.  Get parent initials.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Heritage Breakfast Next Thursday

Dear Parents,

Next week, Thursday December 19th, all  Rio Vista fourth and fifth grade students are invited to have a special Heritage Breakfast.  We are asking students to bring a food item that represents their family's heritage to share with the rest of the class.  This may be some kind of dish, dessert, fruit, drink, or special food item such as eggs, muffins, rice, tamales, casseroles, etc.  Students should bring their item to school on Thursday morning.

Today's homework:
     1.   Math Miss W:  p. 289-290
                    Mr. Spaulding: p. 315-316.
     2.  Study Social Studies Review Sheet.
     3.  Read for half an hour.
     4.  Get parent initials.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Social Studies Test Friday!

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W: p. 283.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 309-310
     2.  Spelling p. 68-69.
     3.  .Study Social Studies Review Sheet
     4.  Read half an hour
     5.  Get parent initials.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Multiplying Two Digit Numbers

Fourth graders are learning how to multiply two digit numbers.  Parents, please help your child practice at home.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling practice test.
     2.  Math Miss W::  Practice test
                   Mr. Spaulding: p. 301-302
    3.  Read for half an hour.
    4.  Get parent initials.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Fourth graders in California learn about missions.  There were twenty-one California missions built between 1769 and 1823.  They were extremely important in the history and development of the state.  Many of the major cities of California grew up around missions.

Homework for today:
     1.  Math Miss W:  p. 266.
                   Mr. Spaulding: p. 303-304.
     2.  Spanish Colonization worksheet.
     3.  Read for half an hour.
     4.  Get parent initials.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reading is Fundamental

The best way to learn to read better is to read a lot.  Fourth graders should be reading every day.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling p. 64-65.
     2.  Math Miss W:  p. 259-260
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 289-290
     3.  Read for half an hour.
     4.  Get parent initials.

Monday, November 25, 2013


This is a short week.  School is only Monday and Tuesday of this week, giving everyone plenty of time to enjoy Thanksgiving.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W:  p. 249.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 283-284.
     2.  Thanksgiving worksheet.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Importance of Art

Art is a participatory sport.  Students should not only be good consumers of art, able to analyze and enjoy a work of art, they should also be actively engaged in producing art.  Here is a great portrait of Georgia O'Keefe by Danae.  It was done on a whiteboard, so this photograph is the only permanent record of her picture.

Today's homework:
     1.  Practice spelling test.
     2.  Math Miss W:  p. 239-240.
                   Mr. Spaulding: p. 267-268.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

California Indians

Fourth grade students are learning about California Indians.

Homework for today:
     1.  Native Americans of California.
     2.  Math Miss W:  p. 237-238
                   Mr. Spaulding p. 265-266.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Anne Frank

This week fourth graders are reading an excerpt from the diary of Anne Frank (pictured above.)  This is the famous story of a young German-Jewish girl and her family who hid from Nazis during World War II.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling p. 60-61.
     2.  Math Miss W:  p. 227-228.
                   Mr. Spaulding: 251-252.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sewed Up His Heart

Fourth graders have been reading about Daniel Hale Williams and one of the first open heart surgeries ever performed.  We read a portion of Dr. Dan's biography, and have been working on a short play based on the story.

Today's homework:

     1.  Math Miss W: p.213-214.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 245-246.
     2.  Practice Spelling Test.  Copy misspelled words correctly  three times each.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elements of Fictions

Fourth graders are learning about the basic elements of fiction: setting, characters, conflict, plot and theme.  Students should be able to define these terms, and also be able to analyze a work of fiction and find these elements in the story.  In addition, fourth grade students should be able to use these concepts to help them write their own original narratives.

Homework for today:
     1.  Fluency " Keeping Cool."
     2.  Math Miss W:  p. 207-208.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  239-240.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Student Art

My ELD group is creating some very interesting artwork.  Above you see a study in black and white of different textures and lines done by Alexis.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W: p. 201-202.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 233-234
     2.  Spelling:  Copy spelling words three times each.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Heart Health

Fourth graders are writing essays on how to keep your heart healthy.  This fits into our unit on health and medicine, and also addresses writing standards.

Homework for today:
     1.  Practice Spelling Test
     2.  Math Miss W:  nohomework
                   Mr. Spaulding:  219-220.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Smarter Balanced

I was out of the classroom yesterday at the Ventura County Schools facility attending a workshop on the new Common Core Standards in general and the Smarter Balanced Consortium in particular.  They are the people helping to design our new state student testing system.  A lot of changes are headed our way in how we assess students.  State testing will be done on line and will be both more interactive and more challenging.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W:  Practice Test 3A
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 213-14.
     2.  "Heart Surgery."

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blood Circulation

Fourth graders are learning how blood circulates in the human body.  This week we will read a story about Daniel Hale Williams, an African-American doctor, who, in 1893, became one of the first doctors to attempt surgery on the human heart.  He sewed up the damaged pericardium of a patient.

Homework for today:
     1.  Math Miss W:  Chapter 3 Practice Test
                  Mr. Spaulding:  p. 201-202
     2.  Spelling p. 48-49, problems 1-8 and 21-30.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

halloween night

We had an exciting Halloween parade today.  Students are very creative with their costumes.

Homework for today:
     1.   Bring a piece of candy for the class candy jar.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Indians of California

Fourth graders are learning about the different Indian tribes of California.  Each student has been assigned a different tribe to research and prepare a report on.  There was great variety among the tribes of California.  Indians of California spoke approximately one hundred different langauges, and lived in many different types of environments, from the desert to the mountains, from the valleys to the seashore.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W: p. 177-178
                   Mr. Spaulding:  No homework.
     2.  Homeopathic Medicine.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Periodic Table

In science lab today we learned about the periodic table of the elements.  Students got to examine different elements and try to identify them.

Homework for today:
     1.  Math Miss W: p.171-172
                   Mr.  Spaulding:  p. 183-184.
     2.  Spelling p. 44.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Shaman's Apprentice

We have been learning about the history of medicine and folk medicine.  In the story The Shaman's Apprentice the Indian boy Kamanya learns folk remedies from his tribe's shaman, or medicine man.

Homework for today:
     1.  Math Miss W:  p. 165-166.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 177-178
     2.  Practice Spelling test.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Regions of California

We had some more technical difficulties yesterday.  The laptop that drives our Smart Board and projector died.  Today I've jury rigged a connection to a different computer.  It is a big help, but we still don't have the interactive features of the Smart Board.  Oh, well...  Technology!

Today we learned about the four major regions of California:  the desert, the coast, the Central Valley, and the mountains.

Yesterday's homework was a Fluency page called "Hic" and a math assignment.

Homework for today:
     1.  Medicinal Plants.
     2.  Math Miss W:  p.157-158
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 171-172

Monday, October 21, 2013

Welcome Back!

Well, we all had a nice break, but here we are back at school.  This week is our Red Ribbon Week.  Tomorrow we have a special assembly, The Ned Show.  Wednesday is Wear Red Day.  Thursday is Sports Day, and Friday is Pajama Day.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling p. 40.
     2.  Math Miss W: 145-146
                   Mr. Spaulding:  157-158.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What A Great Trip!

Our computers were offline (again!) yesterday, so there was no post, but we are back online today.

Yesterday's trip to the Santa Paula Oil Museum was very successful.  Students were well behaved and everyone both had a good time and learned a lot.  We used hand lenses and microscopes to look at and classify different rocks, and we learned about the history and technology of oil production.

Today's homework:
    1.  Math Miss W:  p.118
                  Mr. Spaulding:  p. 145-146.
    2.  Spelling Practice Test.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Field Trip Tomorrow

Our trip to the Santa Paula Oil Museum is tomorrow.  The weather is projected to be cool (50's and 60's) with a chance of showers, so please dress accordingly.

Today's homework:
    1.  Math Miss W:  No homework
                  Mr.Spaulding:  p.127-128
     2.  Fluency "The Scoop on Bandaids."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Germs Make You Sick

Fourth graders have been learning about the history of medicine.  We have been reading a very informative article called "Medicine: Past and Present."

Homework for today:
     1.  Math Miss W: p. 120.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  Chapter 2 Form B Test
     2.  Science True/False quiz
     3.  Practice spelling test.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Santa Paula Oil Museum

We are going on a field trip next Wednesday, October 9th, to the California Oil Museum in Santa Paula.  Here is a link to their website

The development of the oil industry was important in the history of Ventura County and fits in with our social studies focus this year on California History.  We will be sending home field trip permission slips soon.  Please sign and return them right away.  We'll get to the museum by bus.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W:  p. 85-86
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 118
     2.  Study Science Chapter 1 Review Sheet.
     3.  Copy spelling words correctly three times each.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bread Experiment

Today we started our new Language Arts unit "Change Over Time."  As part of this unit we began an experiment with bread slices.

We put a slice of bread in each of four zippered plastic sandwich bags.  We were careful not to touch the first slice.  This slice was labeled "Control."  With the other slices, we coughed on one, touched one with our hands, and rubbed the fourth one on a desk top.  These were labeled "Cough", "Touch", and "Contact" respectively.  We will observe  the slices every day for the next two weeks, noting any changes.

What do you think will happen?  What will they look like?  Will they get moldy?  Will they get equally moldy, or will some slices get moldier than other?  Which ones?  Why?

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W: p. 103-104
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 85-86.
     2.  Study science review sheet
     3.  Get parent initials.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back-to-School Night Tonight

Don't forget to come to Back-to-School Night at 6:00.

Today's Homework:
     1.  Math Miss W: p.  97-98
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p. 101
     2.  Practice spelling test.
     3.  No homework if you come to Back-to-School Night.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Congratulations to all the students running for students body executive board positions.  The speeches were all excellent and we are very proud of you!


Here's another nice "Mrs. Frisby and the Crow" picture.  This one is by Makayla.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math:  p.97-98
     2.  Copy spelling words three times each.
     3.  Get parent initials.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Note Taking

Camila did a very nice job with retelling the "Mrs. Frisby and the Crow" story in three pictures - a beginning, middle and end.

Note  Taking

Fourth grade students should learn how to take effective notes in class:

Today's homework:
     1.  Math p. 92.
     2.  Fluency "Puppy Problems."
     3.  Get parent initials.

Monday, September 23, 2013

When Pigs Fly!

Fourth graders are learning about idioms.  Alexis drew this nice picture to illustrate the saying "When pigs fly!"

                                                   Elections This Week

Three of our homeroom students are running for Student Council.  Brenda and Jose are running for treasurer, and Charles is running for secretary.  All three are hardworking, responsible, and creative students, and would do a great job in Student Council.  Speeches are schedule for this Wednesday at 9:00 A.M.

We are also allowed two students per class to serve as representatives in the Student Council.  The Council will work on special days, like silly hat day or twin day, special projects like starting a recycling program, and fundraising for good causes.

Homework today:
     1.  Math p. 83-84.
     2.  Spelling p. 25.
     3.  Get parent signatures.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Addition Properties

Fourth graders are learning about addition properties.  Learning these properties helps you understand what is really going on in mathematics.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Miss W: p. 69-70
                   Mr.  Spaulding p. 71-72
     2.  Starting a Farm  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Our students will participate in ASB elections.  Fourth grade student are allowed to run for president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.  They may also run for class representative.

Homework for today:
     1.  Math Miss W:  p 65-66.
                   Mr. Spaulding:  p 63.
     2.  Fluency Practice:  "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg."

Monday, September 16, 2013


This week's reading selection is an excerpt from Charlotte's Web called "Escape."  The goose encourages Wilbur the pig to escape and run around outside the barn; but the poor pig gets frightened and confused, and is happy when Mr. Zuckerman leads him back to the safety and comfort of his pen.

Today's homework:
     1.  Math Mr. Spaulding's group:  p. 56
                   Miss W:  no homework
     2.  Spelling p. 20.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We Are Back Online!

Our reading selection this week is "Two Tickets to Freedom: The True Story of William and Ellen Craft, Fugitive Slaves.  That's them in the picture above.

Since our school computers have been offline for the past two days, I didn't post the homework.  Here are the assignments from Tuesday and Wednesday:

     1.  Math p. 39 and 41
     2.  Study science review sheet.  Note:  number three of the review sheet is wrong.  Omnivores eat both plants and animals.

Here's today's homework:

     1.  Math p. 45.
     3.  Study science review sheet.

Remember:  you are supposed to get parent initials in your homework log everyday.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Art and Literature

Today we looked at some great art work related to our theme of risks and consequences.  In Hokusai's famous print above, the fisherman looks like he might fall in the water.

Homework today:
     1.  Spelling:  write sentences for the next five spelling words:  midday, claim, sailed, brave, plains.
     2.  Spelling:  Take a practice test.  Copy misspelled words correctly three times each.
     3.  Math:  p. 31.
     4.  Get parent initials.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Food Chains

We are learning about food chains in class.  Solar energy from the sun powers the process of photosynthesis.  Plants use photosynthesis to produce food.  Plants are also called producers.  Animals eat the plants.  Plant eating animals are called primary consumers.  Then, other animals eat them.  These animals are called secondary consumers.  When animals die, their bodies are broken down by decomposers, and nutrients are returned to the soil.  Plants use these nutrients to grow, and the cycle continues.

Homework for today:
    1.  Spelling sentences for the next five words:  grain, trail, bacon, basement, chamber.
    2.  Math p. 27.
    3.  Get parent initials.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Paragraph Structure

Fourth graders are learning how to structure their writing.  We have been writing essays related to our first language arts theme Risks and Consequences.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling:  Write sentences for the next five spelling words:  stray, erase, female, male, state.
     2.  Math p. 19
     3.  Get parent initials.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Band Starts Tomorrow

The picture above shows Mrs. Frisby flying on the back of Jeremy the crow, a scene from our story book.

Today's homework:
     1.  Spelling sentences for the first five words of this week's list:  neighbor, weigh, eighth, crayon, sway
     2.  Math p. 16

Thursday, August 22, 2013


As the school year is getting underway we are adding more daily homework.

Homework for today:
     1.  Math p. 13-14.
     2.  Spelling sentences for words 16-20.
     3.  Practice spelling test.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Place Value

Our students are learning important place value concepts in mathematics.  We have an excellent new math series this year - McGraw-Hill's My Math.  It is based on the best of current research and uses the new Common Core State Standards, which emphasize deeper understanding of math concepts.

Today's homework:
     1.  Write sentences for the next five spelling words:  contact, rustic, windmill, traffic, tablet.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Band Assembly Today

Ms. Resor, our band teacher, presented an assembly on band this afternoon for fourth and fifth grade students.  Playing in elementary school band is fun and interesting - and it makes you smarter!

Yesterday's homework was to write interesting, exciting, detailed sentences using the first five words of this weeks spelling list on short vowel sounds: cactus, lettuce, doctor, punish, principle.

For your homework, always write your first and last name in the upper right hand corner.  Write today's date under your name.  Include a title.  (In this case, Spelling Sentences.)  Write neatly. Check your grammar and spelling.  For today's assignment, number your sentences, underline the spelling words.

Today's homework:
     1.  Write one interesting sentence for each of the next five spelling words:  cockpit, minimum, solid, billion, hundred.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of School

This is the first day at our new school site!  Everyone is excited to be in our beautiful brand new school.  Our students are polite, enthusiastic, and positive.  This is going to be a good year!

Homework for today is simple:
     1.  Copy over our class rules in your neatest printing.
     2.  Discuss the rules with your parents.
     3.  Have a parent sign the rules you copied.