Winter 2013 Newsletter


Math News

Winter 2013


We are so proud of our work this year!  Everywhere you look, there is evidence of our learning.  We hope you’ll walk through the halls and see what we’ve been up to.  




In the fourth grade rooms, we finished up our unit on Geometry.  We worked with polygons and learned about their attributes.  One day we had fun playing restaurant.  At “The Polygon Café” we dined on “food” in the shape of different polygons.  Our “waitress” Mrs. Currier recommended the Equilateral Triangles as a tasty treat.  Her favorite shape is the equilateral triangle.  

Try it: Have fun with polygons at your table.  Cut your food in different shapes.  Describe the shapes and discuss how they are similar and different.



We had an origami party and learned to make a changeable picture.  We discussed angles, symmetry and more as we learned to make it.


Right now we’re working on adding and subtracting large numbers.  We made 1,000 books and use them to explore what happens to numbers when we add and subtract.


We will begin working with fractions next week.  You can work with fractions at home.  Try making this recipe for my favorite Oatmeal cookies.  To make a challenge, have your child make a double batch!  


  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½  cups flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 2  teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½  teaspoon salt 
  • 3  cups oats  (old fashioned, uncooked)

1  cup raisins


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.



Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.


ST Math


We are making progress with our friend Jiji.


We continue to work on our own iPads on the ST Math program.  I am proud to see how the children persevere.  They must figure out what to do and when they can’t get Jiji across the screen, they must figure out what they did and what they need to change.


We have opened up all of the games for playing at home.  We hope you can find time for your child to work on ST Math outside of school.  If you haven’t logged on at home before, the first time you do, you’ll need to enter this access code:



One thing that really helps most students is to draw pictures or make models to figure out problems.  This is a good strategy at home, too.



We are beginning to think about the tests this spring.  As we study new topics, we continue to practice things we learned earlier.  You can help at home by playing board games, talking about math when you’re in the store, practicing with flash cards, etc.



In fifth grade we worked hard on fractions.  (See recipe on the other side of this sheet for a project to do at home).


We worked with plastic fraction pieces, number lines and percents.  We noticed fractions everywhere!  In ads after Christmas, we saw huge sales. Mrs. Currier got sweaters for her dogs that were 90% off.  The sweaters were originally $8.00.  Can your child tell you how much Mrs. Currier actually paid?




Try it: Use ads from the paper, or from flyers from stores.  Find an item with a big discount and figure out what the new price is.


If your child solves a problem from home and brings it to me, I’ll have a  new pencil for him/her!



In Unit 6, we’re working with perimeter and area.  We have looked at what happens to the perimeter when you rearrange the area.  Here’s a problem for you to try at home:


Take any rectangle:


Cut it down the middle and tape the ends together to make a longer rectangle.  What happened to the perimeter?



Do it again, this time making an even longer rectangle.


Now do this again, but this time, add dimensions:




Create a table and keep track of each rectangle’s area and perimeter.  


If you bring in this work and show me, I’ll make you an Origami shrimp or kangaroo!



Math Team  


We are getting excited about the Math Competition on April 20th!  Next month, we’ll take a test and from teams for the competition.  I am so proud of the work we’re doing.  There is nothing better than the sound of excited voices tackling challenging problems!  I’ll be sending home information as the date gets closer.



Problem of the Week

The posters of the problems are lining the hall to the cafeteria.  It is a wall of fame for problem solvers.


This week’s problem was:


A starting number is multiplied by 4.  Then 14 is added to the result.  The new number is 6 times the starting number.  


What is the starting number?


Can you solve it together at home?



Ms. Sarah Currier