Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Homework for Wednesday March 25th

1) Complete West Region Map with proper capitalization and spelling
2) Measure your bike trail and have the proper calculation for 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 points along your trail
3) Write a short opinion essay to Mr. B about why you should get the West region tourist location of your choice on your blog or doc.
(For example: "I should get to pick Disneyland as my tourist location because....")

Monday, March 23, 2015

Homework for Tuesday March 24th

1) Complete Aleks Homework
2) Finish polishing your papers! They are now on public display. How embarrassing will it be if you didn't capitalize properly!

Today's Art Presentation

Today, Mr. Davis came to our class and did an amazing job teaching the students about Marc Chagall. We had a fabulous discussion, but did not get through the entire presentation, so I posted it here.

Report Cards being sent home today

Dear 4B families, 

This trimester, NSSD112 is sending home report cards prior to conferences, so that parents may review their student's progress before meeting with their student's teacher. This is one of many new changes to the report card system, so I wanted to address some questions you may have as you look over the report card. I will also have copies of the report card at your conference.

1) The report card's standards are skills that should be met by the END of the year.
To "meet" a standard, a student should be able to consistently demonstrate the skill independently.

2) EXCEED (E) is not possible in many standards.
For instance, if a standard states that a student "should be able to round a number to any place value", it is not possible for a student to exceed that standard.

3) PROGRESS (P) is ok!
This means that a student is on pace to meet the standard by the end of the year. If a student received a "P" in the 1st trimester and a "P" in the 2nd trimester, it does NOT mean the student hasn't grown during the 2nd trimester, it means that the student has continued to progress on a path that will lead toward meeting the goal by the end of the year. In many cases, the student is close to meeting the goal, but is still learning to demonstrate the skill independently, or has not shown complete proficiency in a variety of assessments.

4) If there are serious issues pertaining to your student's growth, I would have already contacted you about the matter. Nothing in the report card is meant to be a surprise.

If you have any questions you would like addressed before the conference, or any specific issues you would like to discuss at the conference, please feel free to email me ( so that I can address your questions and have all relevant data and work samples ready at the conference.

Thank you for your continued support,
Mr. Brandstrader

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Homework for Monday March 23rd

1) Read and log
2) Complete Rough Draft of Bike Trail
3) Complete Final Edit of Research Paper

Friday, March 20, 2015

Example for the Trail Project

Blaze your own Trail
Whether you are walking, running, biking, hiking, or riding horseback, it is helpful to use a marked trail. Trails often lead to interesting places. Design a trail for a community that you are familiar with. It could be your neighborhood in Highland Park, somewhere in Chicago, or a fictional town.
  1. Decide where to put your trail. 
  2. Your trail must have at least 5 stops, and the distance to each stop.
  3. Decide how long your trail should be and how much time it should take to ride it
  4. Think about how to show distance on your map.
  5. Draw your bicycle trail on a sheet of plain, white paper or graph paper.
  6. Label your map.  Include the total distance and the distance for each part of the trail.Mark points that are ¼, ½, and ¾ of the total distance along your trail.
  7. Include places of interest along your trail.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Homework of Friday March 20th

1) Complete ALEKS homework
2) Read and Log
3) Look at Paper Checklist and see if your paper has all of the items listed
4) Finish Thursday Spelling Work

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Homework for Thursday March 19th

  1. All research papers should have all 5 necessary paragraphs at this point (Introduction, Childhood, Main Accomplishment, Legacy, and Conclusion). Make sure that your paper has proper:
    1. Capitalization of Names, Places, and Events
    2. Commas for Dates and Names of Places
    3. Dialogue Punctuation
    4. Sentences (Hint - They should be complete sentences, not fragments!)
    5. Periods (There is no IXL section for periods because you should know how to use them by now!)
  2. Read and Log

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Homework for Wednesday March 18th

1) Complete Aleks Homework
2) Read and Log
3) Complete Main Ideas Worksheet for Research Paper
4) Complete Idiom Mini-Poster (if you haven't yet)
5) Complete edits for research paper (if you didn't in class)

*** Research Papers are due on FRIDAY. We will work on the papers in class over the rest of the week but all students should have a first draft with five paragraphs that is close to a page long at this point.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Homework for Tuesday March 17th

1) Complete Aleks homework
2) Read and log
3) Finish first draft of research paper.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Great job 4B!

I am very proud of the cool, calm demeanor our class showed during this first inaugural week of PARCC Testing. We have one more day of testing on Monday, so there will be no homework over the weekend and the chrome books will stay at school. 

However, I am very excited to share our big achievement !!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

PARCC tests begin tomorrow

1) Make sure to get a good night's rest!
2) Please bring your charger to school tomorrow if you haven't already.
3) Please make sure you have your headphones.
4) If you have a mouse available to use, I think it does make navigation easier. However, it is not a requirement.
5) Relax. This is the first administration of the test, so there may be glitches and some questions may be super hard. Do your best, it will all work out in the end.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Important Information!!!

1) Conference confirmations were sent home today. A large majority of requests were made for Wednesday and Thursday night. I did my best to make sure all families receive one of their requested times. If there is an issue, please email me ( and we can work out a solution. And two other notes: student attendance at the conference is essential, and Report Cards are being sent home prior to conferences (this is a new change).

2) Next week is PARCC testing. Students should bring their chargers to school on Monday and expect to leave their chromebooks at school all week to ensure they are updated, charged and ready to go when we are testing. If this is a problem, please let me know. However, if there is an issue where a student is unable to test at their assigned time, this could be very problematic and we are trying to avoid all complications as this is a new test with many variables to deal with already.

3) There will be no ASSIGNED homework this weekend and next week, including reading logs. However, I strongly encourage students to keep reading nightly and practicing math if they are able.

4) Lastly, one of our students, Aron, is heading down to Springfield to compete in the State Chess Tournament this weekend. Wish him luck! Break a leg Aron!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Homework for Friday March 6th

1) Complete Word Poster
2) Study for Spelling Test
3) Read and Log
4) Complete all research for your research paper, as we will be working on creating our first draft tomorrow.

PARCC Tech Check

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Homework for Thursday March 5th

1) Complete Aleks Homework
2) Complete Wednesday's Spelling Work
3) Look over "Notes for Research Paper" and edit your introduction if necessary
4) Read and Log

PARCC Test Schedule Next Week

4th Grade will be testing from 10:20 - 11:50 on the following days:

Tuesday, March 10th Math 1

Wednesday, March 11th Math 2
Thursday, March 12th ELA 1
Friday, March 13th ELA 2

Monday, March 16th ELA 3
March 17th - March 19th MAKE UPS

There will be no homework during this time. Also, students need headphones and it would be very helpful if they had a mouse for the test. The mouse is not a requirement, but I think it is much easier to navigate with than the trackpad.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Homework for Wednesday March 4th

1) Complete Aleks Homework
2) Write the first draft of your introduction paragraph for your research paper
3) Read and log

REMEMBER: Charge your computer!! We have had far too many students arriving to school with "dead" chromebooks!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Homework for Tuesday March 3rd

1) Complete Aleks Homework
2) Polish Tourist Script (we are shooting tomorrow)
3) Pick three of your favorite idioms (you will be making a poster of one of them)
4) Read and Log