lundi, le 23 janvier 2012!!!


Hello! No homework this week in either class. We have plenty to do finishing up projects, gearing up for a math assessment, dealing with OBOB and getting report cards done. We’ll start right back up next week!


jeudi, le 15 décembre 2011


Hello all! Well, this is probably my last post of the year 2011! I can’t believe how the fall has flown by! We’ve done so much!

Thank you for all the coffees this fall. They are such wonderful surprises!

Thanks very much to the parent help, especially Shannon Tom’s excellent weekly help, Cindy Boettcher’s work on the parties, and Christine Sampley’s help in the library. If I’ve forgotten anyone, I apologize!

See specific pages for more info, and we’ll see you in 2012!!!

lundi, le 28 novembre 2011


Hello all!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and got to spend time with family and friends. I am very thankful for the time and opportunities you give me with your children. They are so full of life.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as I’ve struggled to keep my blog updated. As you may know, my father has been severely ill in the last few weeks. He’s still ill, and I appreciate your support despite the strain this puts on me and my time.

On a happier note, we’re in the three-week stretch before Winter Break! Try to keep healthy at home by eating well, relaxing, laughing and getting plenty of sleep!

Make sure to check the “Important Dates” section of my blog to be in sync with all upcoming events.

Please check, as well, “Homeroom” and “4th grade maths” for updates in those two areas.

Best, Mme. Jana

dimanche, le 16 octobre 2011


Bonjour tous!

I’m new to blogging, so I didn’t realize that I was setting it up more like a website than a blog. Therefore,  I’ll be continuing to make adjustments. While I figure it all out, please just look here for the latest installments. Merci!

Housekeeping: Please keep sending good snacks. I think we forgot to speak about what constitutes a good snack. Please maintain this information in mind when shopping:

It is being eaten by a 9 or 10-yr old (messily) in a classroom full of kids (lots of them) over carpet (foodstuffs on carpet and being smashed into carpet). It is ideal if the snack can be eaten in a five-minute time frame; ginormous apples do not fit into this time frame. Anything that can spill, will spill. Precious time is lost getting a complicated snack. To that end, anything that requires a spoon or a snack that requires opening more than one container, makes it all take longer. Most of you are doing a fantastic job of sending snacks, and believe me, I can deal with a gogurt once in awhile, but 6 of them every day is just more than I can handle. So, healthy snacks please that can be eaten quickly! Thank you, thank you, merci, merci, merci!

School pictures this Friday, October 21. I will be sending home the picture order forms on Monday. Look for several things in your child’s “keep at home/take me out” folder in the next for days. Merci encore.


Well, it will be nice to have a full week of school this coming week!

The kids have been working steadily as we explore multiplication and division and they’re very enthusiastic about multiplying. We’re spending math homework time on word problems and applying logic AND math. Last week it was a Mme. Michele story, and this week it’s about Ellie and cookies. It’s interesting to watch the kids process the information and learn how to do specific steps.

As you have probably seen in your child’s paperwork, we have learned  grid method multiplication and lattice multiplication. This past week, we tackled long multiplication, the old algorithm, and it was fun to see multiplication demystified. This is likely the way you (the parents et al) were taught to multiply. I know this is what I was taught in elementary school.

Lattice multiplication is a big hit. Some kids are just in love with it. I have a template, so a number of students have made up their own lattice multiplication sheet. They make an original and a correcting key, they write, “by State Your Name,” on the original, then I make copies or Heather helps the kids out making their copies sometimes. Then they can solve a math sheet made by a friend. And it’s been great, because the first person to correct her work always finds one or two little errors, and then they fix it together on the key.

A very big thank you to Ellie’s mom, Shannon (Merci Shannon!) She’s been helping us with prep work and copying, which is a lifesaver!

Also, merci for the lattés and mochas. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the sponsor was, so thank you for sending in warm, happy morning treats! The kids are so cute. They have the biggest smiles on their faces when they hand the drink to me.


Social Studies:

We’re working out of a social studies book to compare and contrast the 13 original colonies. We’ve studied the Boston Tea Party and we have discussed “No taxation without representation.”

Our current Read Aloud is The Fighting Ground by Avi. It’s a pretty profound story about a 13-yr old boy in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. It takes place over 2 days in April of 1778. Jonathan, our main character, finds himself in a skirmish with a small group of Patriots against a larger group of Hessians. It’s quite exciting. Currently, the students are drawing what they think a Hessian mercenary wore, according to a description we’re reading from the book.

We’re also looking at maps of the eastern states that were part of the original colonies, so help understand where in our world these events took place. They love maps.

One to two times a week, we’re watching a kid’s cartoon (about 20 min. each episode), called Liberty Kids.  It has introduced the students to information about Phillis Wheatley, the first female African-American poet ever published. They’ve covered the Intolerable Acts, the Stamp Act, the Sugar Tax, and Ben Franklin’s stove, lightning rod, and printing press.


This week, the iPods will be loaded with a new dictée, no. 3, along with its spelling words. Also, they want to start some tongue twisters, so I’ll have them load a few of those. It should still only take about 5 minutes to listen to the whole thing twice, every night, please. So there will be a whole new vocabulary list. Those are the 1/2 sheets of the orangey paper. Dictée packets should generally stay at school. They’re completed in class. We’ve also been working in a couple different kinds of French exercise books.

I still speak a fair amount of French during math, and I provide vocabulary for the other language all the time.


We’ll be starting a new largish project soon, maybe this week.

P.E. & Music:

Well, Mme. Grabowski, Mme. Diedrich and I took one another’s classes in an attempt to get a little bit of prep time once a week. W

e tried it, and it was beneficial for the students but not equal to the stress it caused us. So we’re back to teaching our own P.E. & music. Debbie will still be singing with all the 4th graders, and I will be introducing them to dancing music of the 1770s while I teach them how to do the Virginia Reel. Last week, we played Pickle Tag one day in the gym, and we went for a good walk in the woods right to the East of the school.

As long as the weather holds, I’ll try to take them for a walk at least once a week. To that end, please remember that P.E. takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for my homeroom and appropriate footwear is needed.

Science:   will begin next week 🙂

Thanks for your great kids every day!

le 14 octobre 2011


Well, the big news for my homeroom is that we won first place in the participation contest for the gift wrap fundraiser. That means we get either a pizza or an ice cream party. Thank you so much parents for your support for this important fundraiser. You and your kids are awesome! We will discuss the party and vote at our class meeting on Monday, Oct. 17. Also, one of our homeroom, Avianna Hoffman, won the Hank the Hippo prize as well. It was a big day. (Also it was Julia’s birthday and I won the teacher chapeau drawing.) Plus, we went on a walk in the woods for P.E. and looked for signs of fall & listened to the woods. It was a great day. 🙂

We voted and we’re reading “The Fighting Ground” by Avi right now. We’re drawing Hessians.

More on Sunday!

What’s happening?


Bienvenue les parents!

Welcome to my blog! Check here at least weekly (probably Mondays) to keep up on classroom activities.

Hopefully everyone understands that I teach math to the whole 4th grade, and Mme. Diedrich teaches English Language Arts to all the 4th graders. We see them in the morning, Monday through Thursday. Every afternoon and all day Friday, we spend with our homerooms. So, look here for math updates & then if your child is in my homeroom, go to my Homeroom page. To link to Mme. Diedrich’s blog, go here:

I am giving maths homework Monday through Wednesday only. I give homework to my homeroom only for Thursday nights. The maths homework will always be on a green sheet of paper, no more than 2-sided.