From the principal

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November, 2013

Mr. Vrydaghs Miss Rohr

Principal Secretary



Hello All,

The days are moving along quickly here at the Home of the Badgers; it’s already…NOVEMBER if you can believe it! Our Burdge students are working harder than ever and learning new concepts, skills, and ideas each day. Thank you to our wonderfully talented teachers and staff and to our families for their support in all things Burdge. This support is critical to our success and generates a powerful learning dynamic for our students.

PARENT NIGHTIS HERE!!!!! Both Superintendent Steve McNeal and technology guru Beth Clarke will be here representing the School District of Beloit to present to our Burdge parents in the gymnasium at our first annual "Parent Night" on Tuesday, November 19, from 5-6 PM.   The Superintendent will speak on the progress of the building referendum and the 4-8 model while Ms. Clarke will speak on the iPad rollout and technology initiatives.  There will be brief Q and A session to follow each presentation, a light dessert table for your culinary pleasure, and child care will be provided for the kids. We hope you can attend and continue to grow in your understanding and support of the great initiatives and accomplishments in our school district. We are certainly, “Beloit Proud!”

As fall moves quickly upon us, please remember to dress your student appropriately for the November chill which will quickly be assaulted by old Jack Frost himself.

Mr. Vrydaghs


School will be closed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,

November 27th, 28th and 29th. Please be sure to mark your calendars.


Per Board Policy 523.6 all visitors are required to check in to the main office to obtain a visitor’s badge. When visitors leave the school building, they must return the badge to the office.

Student fees may be paid in the office. The fee is $25.00 for students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Monthly payments are accepted. Please check with the office to make special arrangements for payment.

Fee consent forms are available in the office to get fees waived or reduced for this year. All fees must be paid by the end of November.


Tuesday, November 12thth will be picture retake day. This will be for students that missed picture day or would like to have their pictures retaken. If your child is having their picture taken on this day, please have them stop in the office to pick up an envelope. Please return pictures for retake or order envelope with money by Monday, November 11th.


Place value, solving addition and subtraction problems in two different ways, and understanding subtraction story problems are just a few math skills the students are practicing in math class. Continue to memorize the basic facts.

In writing class, the students are drafting a realistic fiction story, scene by scene. The students are to show the reader what is happening to the characters in their story by adding action, dialogue, and setting. They are studying mentor texts, to learn the craft of published authors.

In science class, we are learning about conserving our natural resources. Students are also learning about minerals and their uses.


Thanks to all the parents and students who came to conferences. It was wonderful to meet with you! I look forward to our continued partnership in helping your child be successful.

Our class has been working with reading buddies. Their buddies are students from Mrs. Straub’s 5th grade class. Each Friday we get together to read about science and social studies topics. Our class really enjoys this time to meet and read!

In the beginning of November, fourth grade will be hard at work on the WKCE. Make sure to get lots of rest and eat a good breakfast! Our test will begin November 4th and continue through November 14th. Attendance at school is extremely important at this time.

Please continue make sure your child reads each night and practices multiplication facts.

Thank you for coming to conferences as it was nice to meet all of you!!

This month has been filled with learning. We have been preparing for the WKCE test with reading and math practice activities. In Reading we are studying the Titanic and the kids are excited to learn that the ship was found two miles under the ocean. We visited Survive Alive House on October 2 and experienced what a house is like during a fire. Several students did an amazing job calling 911 and reporting a fire. Keep practicing math facts and reading 25 minutes each night.


Mrs. Sweeney’s fourth graders have a wonderful group of parents. It was so nice to meet all of you at conferences. The main focus, that I hope you all took away from the conferences, is that I am truly enjoying working with your child. Also, nightly practice with reading/summarizing verbally or in written form and then practicing math facts are very important!

In the classroom, we are moving into our 5th math unit of Landmarks in the 1,000’s. Many of your children did very well on the pretest so they will be challenged with alternative challenges. Math Club will be available starting Tuesday, October 22nd from 2:50-3:45 for those students that need extra support.

Our intervention bands are working very well. We’ve been working on fractions in math and literary circles in reading. Both are challenging, for most, but everyone is working well. We’re continuing to prepare for the WKCE. It’s coming up quickly. We just started our Shared Reading story about the Titanic. Many of the students have shared stories about their extensive background knowledge on this topic. It’s so interesting to hear everyone’s prior knowledge!

In universal math we are learning time, estimates, money and writing numbers out in word form. Your child has been given a list of how to spell each digit to improve their accuracy. Reviewing or practicing at home is always helpful.

I do want to remind parents that your child’s planner should be filled out and signed nightly. Also, reading summary sheets are due every Monday with at least four responses. We will continue to read 100 minutes a week but again, the more they read the more they grow.

Thank you again, to all of the parents that have signed their child’s planner. Your support is very helpful to me.

I hope you’re enjoying this lovely fall weather. The turkeys are out there!



Thank you to all the supportive parents!! We had great student support and it has helped you child to make even more progress academically.

WKCE testing starts soon.

We are excited, and have been reviewing for the test. Please encourage your child to take this review and test seriously.

Reading- We have been doing some in-class reading testing to help with report cards. In addition, all 4th grade teachers are taking advantage of reading intervention. This allows the students to work at their level with extra teachers(creating smaller groups). As always, we continue to work on different reading strategies to become better readers. Students are improving on picking a Just Right books, meaning to look for books that improve their stamina, background knowledge, vocabulary, and fluency.

In math we continue to intervention, breaking into groups to provide students opportunities to work on specific skills. During regular math class we have been working on line-plots and reading data. Many students continue to work on multiplication facts. Remember to work with children on basic adding, subtracting, and multiplication at home if they are not proficient with these facts. This is a necessity for 4th grade.

In social studies we are starting to work on the Northeast Region of the United States. The students have been given a project that will require much of the work to be done at home. This project is very manageable, but not something they can do in one night. Please check with your child and lend support when needed.

Science – still finishing up on erosion and earths land.


Writing class has been a busy and fun time so far this year. The students are writing fantastic stories and are learning all about how to become a great writer. Ask them to share some of their writing with you. We are now just finishing our narrative stories.

Math class is moving along well. We are reviewing our math facts daily and working on some word problems that involve multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. We have just finished unit 1 and are now starting unit 2, Prisms and Pyramids. We will be learning about volume.

In Language Arts class, we are reading stories about nature and the powerful storms, earthquakes and volcanoes that we sometimes witness ourselves. Reading and Math interventions are going well. The 5th grade class as a whole are switching classes quickly and quietly while in the hallway going to the different classrooms.

We are finishing up the unit on the Geography of the United States. The students made 3-d maps of the United States made out of flour, salt and water. They will be painting and bringing them home for you to see.


The students can’t be more excited to have their ipads to investigate and manuever! They are discovering how the curriculum ties in to different apps and programs that are on their ipads. So great to see such enthusiasm from the whole class! Hopefully this tool will take the kids to places they never knew before and motivate them to expand their knowledge to higher levels.

The Cave of the Mounds trip will be a fantastic experience. The students will get a terrific hands on education about caves, rocks, gems, and the earth, and they all will go home with their own bag of gems! Can’t get better than that! Thank you to all the parents that gave up their day to join us on such a valuable educational adventure.

Did you have a chance to come in and see the great physical maps of the U.S. the kids created with homemade dough? That was such a fun project, the kids had such a blast! And what responsible workers, too! It was tough to stay neat and clean with all that flour and water in front of them, but they did!

WKCE is coming to an end. Students really tried their best, now they can relax a little.

Students are performing superbly during their writing class that meets for one hour every day. They are able to convey their thoughts in an interesting creative way, expand their thinking, use their voice, and incorporate feelings within their piece. I am so proud of their efforts!

Have a wonderful month, hope everyone has many things to be thankful for!


It has been an exciting couple of months here in Room 111! We will continue the excitement by studying some more explorers in depth. Your student will be researching these explores and creating a presentation in which to present these explorers. I want to encourage students to continue to read at home so we can reach our monthly goals.

We also began working with our iPads to become 21st Century Learners. Please ask your child what he or she discovered today because every day it feels like we are discovering more and more. Our brains will be exploding by the end of the year!

As always, feel free to email or call me with comments and concerns. It was a pleasure to get to meet all of you at conferences and I hope that we can continue to work together for the success of your student. Have a happy November!


BOOM! POP!! SIZZLE!!! Volcanoes have been a “blast” to read about and create! During our Shared Reading classes we have been sharing facts about volcanoes. We developed V-O-L-C-A-N-O acronym artwork to display in the 5th Grade hallway. During our Science Connection, we explored the chemical reactions of volcanoes. Thank you for the many donations of water bottles for this activity! Our study of the processes of the Earth will conclude on November 1st with an incredible fieldtrip to Cave of the Mounds to tour a real cave!

We celebrated our completed Personal Narrative Writing during our first Publishing Party of the year. It was awesome to see the progress of our writing from a “little seed” moment to a “fruitful” narrative full of elaboration and emotion. The cake was a very special surprise----a “watermelon cake” (of course)!

Remember to keep reading and working on your own personal learning goal!


Fourth grade music classes are focusing on Rhythm. We are adding sixteenth notes and dotted half notes to our repertoire of notes and rests that we know, use and read. We're working hard at using our pizza notes to compose measures.

Fifth grade music classes are also focusing on Rhythm. We've reviewed our notes from years past and are now learning about single eighth notes, eighth rests and dotted quarter notes. Fifth grade will also start preparing for the Winter Sing. It will be Monday, December 9th at 1:30pm and 6:00 pm in the Burdge Elementary Gym. All 5th grade students are expected to be at both performances unless their parents have contacted their student's music or classroom teacher.

I was excited to meet many parents at parent-teacher conferences last week! I talked to many of you about helping your students read. Speaking Spanish at home helps children learn English better at school, and this is also true for reading. If your son or daughter speaks Spanish at home, helping them learn to read in Spanish will help them read in English. Reading in Spanish can also help your students feel more connected to their culture. Visit the Beloit Public Library on 605 Eclipse Blvd to find Spanish or bilingual books!


Burdge families...with the trees changing color it "falls" right into line with our month of art projects. COLOR!!! Color theory to be exact. Primary colors, secondary colors, warm and cool colors and complimentary colors. Your child will take a pre-test on color theory appropriate to their grade level and then in the spring we will take the test again to celebrate our improvement. Thanks for nurturing your children and allowing us to do so also. Peace from Mrs. Condon and Mrs. Weaver



During Media classes we have been reviewing the Dewey Decimal System … the organizing system for our non-fiction, informational books. Students were given a bookmark listing the ten major categories. We have also learned the parts of a book including the Table of Contents, copyright page, title page, index, and glossary. We will be learning about the various resource materials available including thesaurus, dictionary, encyclopedias, atlas and almanac.

Please help your student remember to return their library books on time so that they can make new selections. As always, students may stop after school to exchange books. Also please help your student find a safe place for storing library materials while at home. Younger siblings and pets can create a lot of damage in a short amount of time.


Mrs. Griffin and Mrs. Michels
Student Council Representatives for fourth grade are the following: Kaleb Daniels, Rosario Escalera, Jesus Hernandez, Andrew Kleinschmidt, and Essynce Washington. The alternates for fourth grade are the following students: Kaylee Miranda, Abby Torres, Jannely Fercano-Antonio, Anna Olson, and Trevor Moore.

Trever Clark, Ka’leah Banks, Teylor Carter, Dulce Torres, and Chaya Ames are the fifth grade Representatives for Student Council. The alternates for fifth grade are Erick Lopez, Victoria Allen, Emily Richter, Jennifer Mendoza-Bonilla and Tyler Woodruff.

Congratulations to the fourth and fifth grade representatives and alternates. We look forward to putting your great ideas into action!

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