Dear Fourth Grade Parents, September 4, 2018                                                                                               

Welcome to fourth grade!  This year, Room 207 is lucky to have a Michigan State intern co-teaching in fourth grade.  Ms. Benvenuti graduated from Michigan State in May and now is fulfilling her teacher preparation credentials at Ray.  Together we look forward to a positive year with strong parent-teacher communication to best serve the needs of your child.


Every Monday, you will receive a Peek at the Week stating the common core standards, activities, and homework pertaining to each subject.  If you have any further questions, email is the best way to contact both teachers. Ms. Wejman’s email address is and Ms. Benvenuti’s email is We will always do our personal best to respond to emails in a timely matter. Additionally, we are able to meet before and after school with a scheduled appointment.


This week, the main objective is to acclimate the fourth graders to the routines of Room 207.  Through the CHAMPS classroom management system, the students will learn the expectation of each activity during the school day.  In CHAMPS, students explicitly learn the expectations in terms of conversation level (C), the appropriate way to ask for help (H), the activity (A), movement (M), and participation (P).  When the students are able to follow through with the expectations, they are able to soar to success (S).

To reinforce positive behaviors throughout the school, PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) will be implemented at Ray.  In addition to learning the expectation of classroom activities, the fourth graders will also be explicitly taught the behaviors that will be expected in our school. Every week a student from each class will be rewarded for positive behavior with a Student of the Week award.


Another PBIS initiative will be monthly positive character trait themes.  September’s character trait is respect. Today the students in Room 207 wrote letters to you about how they plan to be respectful at home and school throughout the month.  We encourage you to write a letter back to your child stating how you plan to support their respectful behavior. Please return the letters to school tomorrow.


Ray School’s social and emotional curriculum is Second Step.  In Room 207, students will be taught the lessons during our class meeting which will be held immediately after lunch.  This week’s theme is empathy.


Throughout the week, we will be practicing good reading behavior during reader’s workshop.  Since guided reading groups will not begin until next week, it is recommended that students bring in an independent book to read.  The student’s book choice will help to give us an idea of the student’s reading interests. Whipping Boy will be our whole class read aloud for the first five weeks of the school year.  The students will practice the reading skill of the week through the read aloud. This week’s reading skill is identifying character trait.  To begin our study on character trait, each fourth grader identified a character trait to describe him or herself. Ask your child to tell you the character trait that he or she picked and the reason why.  Additionally, tell your child a character trait that explains your personality and why it describes who you are. Furthermore, have your child tell you about Whipping Boy and the characters in the book.

Today in math, the students took their first Tuesday Timed Test answering as many subtraction problems that they could in five minutes.  These tests are not graded but intended to be a fun way to practice facts. In fourth grade, math facts should be automatic. If they are not, we encourage students to practice five minutes every day at home.  Throughout the month of September, the students will continue to be tested on subtraction facts. Today, the students also took a beginning of the year assessment in math. This test will not be graded but used to determine each fourth graders’ current skills.


Students will not be assigned homework during the first week of school.  One optional assignment that the students were introduced to today was to bring in a picture of the student on vacation in one of the 50 United States.  Since the social studies curriculum pertains to the regions of the United States, we are going to introduce each other to the regions through places we have already traveled. The pictures will be posted on a bulletin board in the classroom.


This year, the fourth graders in Room 207 will be switching for science, social studies, and writing.  The fourth graders will go to Room 209 for science with Ms. Pfeiffer, Room 206 for social studies with Dr. James, and will begin the day with writing in 207 with Ms. Wejman and Ms. Aron.  We will plan to begin switching classrooms on Thursday. Please consult each individual teacher’s blog for class activities and assignments.


Our first writing genre of the year in writing will be narrative.  We will begin with collecting fun stories of what the fourth graders did this summer.  Throughout the month, the writing mini-lessons will focus on the common core objectives for narrative writing such as dialogue, description, and word choice.  The fourth graders will practice these techniques through writing about an event that happened to him or her. Ask your fourth grader to tell you about his or her writing narrative list of ideas.


Grades will be entered in daily on IMPACT.  The fourth grade team has established a consistent grading system for math and reading.  In both reading and math, assessments will account for 40% of the grade, classwork for 45%, and homework for 15%.  In writing, the completion of daily writing work will be 50% of the grade and final drafts will account for the remaining 50%.  A general rubric will be used to grade homework and classwork. This rubric, will be posted in the classroom, is on our blog, and has been sent home today.


The fourth graders will take their beginning of the year NWEA tests on Wednesday, September 5th and Thursday, September 6th.  The results of these tests will be important for helping with differentiating each child’s specific learning needs.


We look forward to a successful school year!

Kind regards,

Ms. Wejman and Ms. Benvenuti