Mr. Keins



Greetings C-4 Families

I would like to once again express my thanks and appreciation for the thoughtful and generous gifts families sent in prior to the holidays. So very thoughtful and kind of you.

As we move into the New Year, we are beginning a number of new projects as well as wrapping up a few old.

We’re mired in what I like to call the “dog days” of winter: cold weather, not much snow, and short days. But spring is coming and of course a day all students look forward to…. Wait for it… Valentine’s Day!

My typical routine for this day is to allow students to bring in valentines (if they choose to) for all the students in the class. That constitutes 20 at this point. They are also welcome to bring treats although it’s certainly optional.   We typically make pouches and during the last hour or so students can go around and deliver their valentines. I will send home a list of names as we get closer to that date.

In reading, students have completed the study of the mystery genre and created movie posters of their books as a final product to demonstrate their understanding of the elements of mysteries. These are displayed in our classroom for families that are able to visit.  In language arts, our class continues to work at wrapping up our informational books. Students are drafting, researching, reading and writing chapters, introductions and text features. We also occasionally wander into other forms of reading and writing including journal entries.   Spelling is part of our weekly work. Students re also receiving lessons and practice in forms of speech: adverbs, adjectives, verb tenses and forms and plural and singular forms of nouns.

Or next unit will be a visit back to fiction – realistic fiction-  with the theme of dogs in which students will create a “dog” shaped book report when done.

Our writing workshop is also progressing well also. Students are regularly  developing compositions through the five paragraph essay format they learned in writing persuasive essays and are applying this to informational essays. Our writing workshop has been wrapping up essay writing and will be moving into the forms and types of poetry. Always a well-received writing unit. We’ll be studying cinquain, diamomte, couplets and free verse poetry as well as a few lesser known forms of Japanese poetry such as Tanka and  Renga.


In math, we have been working pretty intensely on concepts and foundations about factions. Adding, subtracting, and calculating equivalents and converting between fractions has been our focus.   We’ll continue to apply this knowledge to the decimal system in the next few weeks.  



Our rock study in which we were working toward the goal of identifying rock contained minerals and types (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary) through acquired knowledge about the characteristics and using keys has ended.  We will now begin our anatomy study focusing particularly on the digestive system and create body models as we learn abut the functions and processes that occur when we eat.



Our Save The Children  project is still ready to launch. Students created posters and donation boxes to be distributed throughout the school. We will present our project at school assembly on Friday, January 12 at 10:00  to draw attention to our cause.


Mark Your Calendars:

January 15, 22   No School

February 2  Report Cards go home


Our classroom in desperately 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