Mr. Keins



Greetings Grade 4 Families

Well, fall has clearly arrived. The shorter and colder days are upon us. On the positive side, our classroom communities seem in full bloom and we are well established and working hard. We are  very excited about working with all of you this year to make your child’s fourth grade experience meaningful and memorable.

We must say that these classes have been impressive!  The students are attentive, focused and most of all, respectful, responsible and kind to one another.


In reading and writing, students are learning how to work in the reading and writing workshops. They are developing narrative stories and journal assignments and are learning about how to select appropriate level books and about the different genres. Soon we will begin our study of informational text and features and structures. In reading specifically, we are working in groups and pairs, selecting “Just Right” books and learning about different genres, comprehension strategies, and ways to solve unfamiliar words. Both classes are working on either the mystery genre or Folklore.


Our writing workshop is going well. Students are practicing going through the writing process and learning about proofreading. We are developing the skill of “zooming in “on details to make stories more meaningful and interesting. As you may have heard, there is a Halloween Writing Contest happening in our class in which students have been working towards writing their best story related to Halloween. There will be small awards on Halloween day for the best stories in various categories: Scariest story, Most  Creative story, and Funniest story.  Some of the guidelines for the contest include: no gory or gruesome details, using the writing process, and employing original ideas.


In math, we are continuing our first unit in the new Everyday Math program focusing on place value and methods for solving addition and subtraction problems. .  We will continue to hone skills in multiplication as well. This will often be reflected in the homework that students are assigned. Our next unit will concentrate on geometry and an introduction to multiplication.


Our geography unit is moving along well. Students adopted a state to become experts about that particular state’s symbols, capital, flag etc. There is a state flag display in our hallway.

We are learning the regions of our country and to recognize each state’s location before moving on to our study of Mexico and then Canada as part of the North America social studies curriculum.


We are heading into the third week of lessons for the SAFE fire safety program as you may have noticed from the folders and homework sent home. In the third week students participated in the Trailer exercise in which they practice escaping a room with a simulated fire.

Grade 4 will be presenting Really Bad Halloween Jokes at the October 30 assembly.


At the end of each Friday afternoon, our class has a short period which we call “Recognitions”. At that time, 2-3 students are highlighted for notable personal progress either: socially emotionally, or academically for that week.  This complements the WAVE positive behavior program  our school is using this year.  You may hear from your child that they were selected during a particular week.


We are still working towards a service project for our classes.  We will be supporting an agency that helps refugees from the Mideast.  A number of students are researching this for our class. We’ll keep families updated as we move forward.


Our classroom is in need of snacks. Students seem to enjoy the experience of having snacks together. If you are at all able, please send in a box of pretzels, a bag of apples, rice cakes, or cereal bars. Any donations are much appreciated. 



As always, parents and guardians may reach me at the school (362-1200) or by email ( with concerns, questions, or comments


Important dates:

October 11  School Open House 

October 17  Picture Day 

October 18 Early Dismissal 1:20

October 19 and 20 Early Dismissal 12:00    Family/Teacher Conferences