Mrs. Burke's 4th Grade

Burke’s Bulletin

April 23rd -27th, 2018


“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.”

                                                        -Alfred Adler


April is Autism Awareness Month! We will be educating ourselves about autism as well as hosting Spirit days each Friday. Please look at the dates below for more information.

Last week we completed our school wide reading/writing assessments and math problem solving assessments. These tests are the exact same test; questions, articles, and format as the test the students took at the beginning of the year. Each student worked hard to show the growth they have made.  I can’t wait to look deeper into the assessments to see just how much each child has grown!

May will be an exciting, yet busy month for our 4th graders. The M-Step Test will take place through the first 4 weeks of May. Our class will test the week of May 7th and May 24th. Please try to avoid checking your child out and/or scheduling appointments during this time. Currently, our specific testing days will be May 7,8,24, and 25th. Please keep in mind that these days may change. If you are concerned that your child may need to be out during testing days, please contact me 😊

I want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every student. I have seen such a boost in motivation and work ethic! Thank you for all of your support at home.

We are always in need of donations for our classroom treasure box. If you have any trinkets or small toys that you may be considering throwing away or donating, please consider donating them to our class. We will also take donations of suckers (dumb dumbs). Thank you!

If you are not following our Twitter page, please consider joining. I try to post photographs each day of our students working.  I will also post questions to guide family discussion about our learning. Please find us: @LaurisaBurke


Ask your child: 

Reading/Writing/Social Studies/Science

Narrative Genres

This week we will continue studying different genres of fiction text. We are going to look at the structure, theme, and word choice used in a Greek myth called, “Icarus and Daedalus.”

Greek Myth: A Greek Myth is a story used to teach about the ideas and beliefs of the ancient Greeks. It often is focused on Greek gods and heroes.  

In this myth: the architect, Daedalus, builds for King Minos a special maze, the Labyrinth. But the King is easily angered, and he imprisons Daedalus and his son, Icarus, on King Mino’s Island. Yet Daedalus invents an ingenious means of escape. Will Daedalus and Icarus succeed?  (Ask your child)


This week we will continue to investigate and answer the question:

How is energy converted and transferred from one object to another?

This will be our focus for the next several weeks. We will be reading, performing experiments, watching videos, and having other experiences to help us answer this question.

This week we will investigate Renewable and Nonrenewable sources of energy.  Some include; biomass, coal, oil, natural gas, geothermal, wind, hydro/water, and solar. We will read and research where these sources are found, how people use them, if they can be replaced, and the advantages/disadvantages of them. For videos and examples, please have your child share our Google classroom page with you.


What is energy?

Energy is being able to do work. It doesn’t matter who is doing the work, energy is being used. Machines, the Sun, living things; including us! Energy cannot be made or destroyed. It is always the same amount but may CHANGE FORM. It may start as motion and may turn to heat. Energy can be found in many forms. It can be heat, light, motion, etc. ALL energy belongs to 2 groups. First, there is kinetic energy, and second there is potential energy.

The Northeast

We will begin to study the northeast region of the United States. The students will conclude this region by planning a trip.


This week in math we will be focusing on: 

Unit 5 focuses very heavily on division. Multiplication and division are part of the same fact family. So if your child is confident in their multiplication facts, division will come much more easily. For example: 4 x 8 = 32, 8 x 4=32, 32/8=4, 32/4=8.  The numbers 4,8, and 32 all belong to an important fact family. We will be working daily on our multiplication facts through songs and timed practice. We have started times 0, times 1, 2,4, 5,6,7,8,9, 10 and times 11 facts. Next week we will work on times 12 facts.  Please, please create or purchase multiplication flash cards and practice them weekly! I have index cards, fact sheets, and time to help your child prepare these items. If he or she needs help, please have them come to me!

This week we will continue to work on strategies for division (partial quotient), solve multistep problems that include division, expressing/interpreting remainders, and measuring angles.

Growth Mindset

Please speak openly about our brains at home. Remind your child that our brains are malleable. Our brains can grow more connections as we encounter work and activities that are challenging. Also, remind your child that you are not only happy with the result, but with their perseverance. You are celebrating the journey and work put into achieving a goal/outcome/grade.




This month is all about EMPATHY! Empathy is trying to understand what another person is feeling. It is seeing the world through another’s eyes. It helps people get along better and feel better. Empathy is very important, especially when we try to solve problems or arguments between one another.

This week we will read books with characters who teach us about empathy.


Genius Hour

Thank you to those of you who have been sending in items for us to use. Our next project will be to make Rube Goldberg machines. These are contraptions designed to complete a simple task, like flipping a switch in a ridiculously complicated way. Some specific items we need for this are carboard squares (18 by 18 inches), shoeboxes, paper cups, string, and wooden spools.  

We are working on replenishing our Genius Hour project resources. Each week we will turn our classroom into a place that facilitates students to be creative problem solvers, thinkers, and doers. Students will be able to pick a topic that interests them, ask a question about that topic, investigate it, and finally present the answer to the question. Some activities will ask students to create real world places/building, rooms, out of Legos or craft materials.  Other activities will allow students to work with technology.  Still other activities will allow the students to take part in creative exploration.  To make this possible, we will need your help!


***If you are able to send the following items throughout the year, we would greatly appreciate it. Many items will need replenishing

Please send in:

Paper towel/ toilette paper tubes

Empty tissue boxes

Paper Bags (Big or small)

Shoe boxes

A bag of LEGO pieces

Pipe Cleaners

Cotton Balls

Popsicle Sticks

Liquid Glue

Scrap cardboard

Scrap Paper


Important Information

April 27th: Autism Awareness Spirit Day-Super Hero Day($1)

April 28th: School Habitat and Grounds Beautification Day! 9-12PM Bring Tools

May 3rd: 4th Graders Visit Riley

May 3rd: Art Show and Ice Cream Social

May 4th: Fitness Friday and Skate Night