Weekly Newsletter


Tuesday, November 17, 2015



Here are some important schedule updates:


Tests/Quizzes for This week:

Thursday: Math Quiz (study guide will be sent today)
Wednesday: Explorer report due!
Friday: Spelling Test
                Incomplete/ Complete Metamorphosis Quiz (Study guide will be sent home tomorrow)


Expect a Test over all of the explorers next Tuesday.

-So far we have learned about Columbus, Vespucci, De Soto, and Cartier.  Tomorrow we will do Henry Hudson and Thursday will be Robert De La Salle.  We will review all of them Friday and Monday in class.  I have been asking kids to keep all of their fact sheets in their importance folder as we complete them.  Thursday we will assemble those into books that they can use to help them study.  We have also been working on foldables in class that will be in their SS notebooks to study.

-You should also expect a Math Test Next Monday or Tuesday on Chapter 4.  (Multiplication properties, area models, estimating products, standard algorithm with up to 4 by 1 digit problems)

-Study guides for both Math and Social Studies will be sent home later this week.


Upcoming Due Dates:

-Wednesday November 18th: Explorer Brochure Due
-Wednesday November 18th: Students should have last book project book and project chosen/signed


We are Learning About…
Math: We are practicing multiplying large numbers.  Students are working in Math centers today and tomorrow to gain fluency and understanding of our current math topics.
Science: We are learning about life cycles and incomplete and complete metamorphosis.  We are focusing on comparing the two.  We will be writing comics tomorrow and Thursday in class to demonstrate understanding of these topics.
Social Studies: We will be learning about more famous explorers this week! 
ELA: We are working on identifying cause and effect in informational texts  In writing we will be writing about the causes and effects of the Age of Exploration


Other information:
-Barnes & Noble Night:  University School would like to invite you to our Barnes & Noble Night on Thursday, November 19th, from 4-7:30 p.m., located at 3030 Franklin Terrace, Johnson City.  Musical performances will be provided by University School classes and students!  Come join us for a night of coffee, books, and fun!  Get your holiday shopping done early!  Money raised from this fundraiser will go towards funding teacher's classroom wish-lists.

-Penny Wars!  Second grade won the Penny Wars!  As a school we were able to raise over $1,400 for this cause!  Thank you so much for participating! 
-Playground Sweepstakes: You can enter our school to win a complete playground update at the following link!  You can enter once a day! http://www.togethercounts.com/at-school/win-for-your-school/sweepstakes


I hope you have a great week,


Mrs. Lowery



Monday, November 9, 2015


Here are some important schedule updates:


Tests/Quizzes for This week:

Thursday: Explorers Quiz (Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Reasons for the Age of Exploration) –Study guide will come home tomorrow
                     Math Quiz (multiples of 10, 100, and 1,000, 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication using area models and standard algorithm) –Study Guide will come home tomorrow.

Friday: Science Quiz (Incomplete Metamorphosis) –Study guide will come home on Wed.

                WW 7 Test


Upcoming Due Dates:

-Friday November 13th: Food Web Extra Credit Due
-Monday November 16th: Book Challenge Project Due

-Wednesday November 18th: Explorer Brochure Due


We are Learning About…
Math: We are beginning to multiply larger numbers.
Science: We are learning about life cycles and incomplete and complete metamorphosis.
Social Studies: We will be learning about more famous explorers this week!
ELA: We are working on identifying cause and effect in informational texts


Other information:

-Don’t forget to order you Spirit Gear.  You can check out the website for the options to order.
-Barnes & Noble Night:  University School would like to invite you to our Barnes & Noble Night on Thursday, November 19th, from 4-7:30 p.m., located at 3030 Franklin Terrace, Johnson City.  Musical performances will be provided by University School classes and students!  Come join us for a night of coffee, books, and fun!  Get your holiday shopping done early!  Money raised from this fundraiser will go towards funding teacher's classroom wish-lists.

-Penny Wars!  The fundraiser ends Friday, November 13th. Send your pennies and sabotage this week!  All proceeds will benefit gifts for children at Niswonger Children's Hospital and foster children in Washington County for the holidays! 
-Playground Sweepstakes: You can enter our school to win a complete playground update at the following link!  You can enter once a day! http://www.togethercounts.com/at-school/win-for-your-school/sweepstakes


I hope you have a great week, 

Mrs. Lowery



Thursday, November 5, 2015



I am pushing the due date for the project back to November 18th.   We aren’t as far in this unit as I would have hoped thanks to testing, field trips, and craziness! J


I still want their check in sheets tomorrow so that I can see where they are in the process.  I have communicated this with them.


I have attached the electronic copy but please understand that students were assigned a specific explorer so they do not just choose one from the list on the assignment.  I also marked out some of the explorers on the hard copy because I choose the ones that are specifically in our standards.


Thank you, 

Mrs. Lowery



Monday, November 2, 2015

Good afternoon,


I have a few very important updates to share with you!


Test/Quiz Schedule
Thursday: Math Facts Test  (Timed basic facts test)
Friday: Spelling Test


CDs : Last week we visited Dr. Dwyer’s class at ETSU.  The students were recorded reading a book aloud with their college partner.  Today my assistant put the CDs in folders and did not realize that they had specific names on them.  Please check the CD in your child’s folder for a name.  If your child received a CD that is not theirs then please return it tomorrow.


Book Challenge :  Please sign that your child has chosen their 3rd book project and book for this quarter by Wednesday.


Explorer Report :  The check in sheet was sent home today.  The check in sheet is due on Friday 10/6.  Students had the opportunity to practice making a brochure in word today.  Their actual brochure is due on Wednesday November 11th.


Science Extra Credit :  I have decided to offer an extra credit project to the class.  Students that choose to complete it will have the opportunity to earn up to 10 extra credit points in science.  The point of this project is to give students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of food webs.  The test grades were average but I noticed a lot of students missed specific questions that I would have expected most of the students to get correct based on the content that was covered in class.  The extra credit project is due on Friday 10/13.


What are we learning about?

-Math: We are gaining a deeper understanding of more complex multiplication problems.
-Social Studies:  We have been learning about why Explorer’s began conquering the new world and will start learning about specific explorer’s and their journeys this week.

-Science: We are learning about reproduction.  Our focus is on the need for organisms to reproduce so that species do not become extinct.  We do touch on three types of reproduction including: budding, regeneration, and fertilization.  With fertilization we learn that a male cell and a female cell are joined to create offspring.  Our text book uses the terms sperm, egg, and embryo.  We learn that some forms of reproduction only require one parent while others require two parents.  This is setting the building blocks to learn about asexual and sexual reproduction in later grades.  but we do not call it that in fourth grade. J Just wanted to let you know in case your child comes home today and lets you know that a lot of people giggled today when Mrs.  Lowery read the word “sperm.”
-Language Arts: we are focusing on identifying the cause and effect in a text and identifying specific evidence for each.


Thank you,


Mrs. Lowery


Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I just wanted to give you some quick updates.  First of all I just updated grades on powerschool.  I have not graded the science tests or makeup work from Friday yet.  I am sorry it has been awhile since updating powerschool.  I have been dealing with a virus on my computer, getting a new teacher computer, and being out of the classroom for testing last week.  There are several students missing work.  I will be copying any missing work that students are missing tomorrow and sending it home.  They will have until Monday to turn it into me.  I will be taking points off of assignments for turning them in late. 


Math Test:  We do have a Multiplication Math Test tomorrow.  The study guide and pages from our consumable math book that correlate with this test were sent home on Friday.  Students have a math worksheet tonight for homework that will help them practice factors and multiples.  They also have an optional foldable to complete in their math notebooks and they will receive a jolly rancher if they complete it tonight.


There will not be any wordly wise or spelling this week as it is a short week with two field trips.


Skating:  Please send in your skating money and permission forms tomorrow.  We leave school on Thursday at 11:15 to head to the rink.




Mrs. Lowery


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Science quiz has been pushed to Friday. The study guide will come home tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2015



Test/Quiz Schedule:

Friday: Science Test (Food Chains/Food Webs)

Friday: Wordly Wise Test
Early Next Week: Multiplication Test


Bright’s Zoo:

We visit the zoo on Monday 10/26.  Please let me know if you are interested in being a chaperone. The fee is 15.95 for adults.  We are taking this trip with third grade and we were hoping to split students into small groups so they can get the most out of the experience.  We can only split them up if we have enough dedicated chaperones to be there for the entire day.



Our skating celebration is next Thursday, October 29th.


Professional Development:
There is a professional development day on Friday October 30th so children will not have school that day.


Practice Tests:

Today we took the TN Ready ELA practice test.  We will take the social studies and math practice tests tomorrow.  These tests are all on the computer and do not count as part of your child’s grade.  They are mainly to help the teachers and students to become more comfortable with the format of the test and learn how to use the tools.  Between these tests and sharing all of our book challenge projects/ food webs we didn’t have much time for other curriculum activities today and that will be the same for tomorrow.  On Wednesday we will get back on track with our normal learning goals.  See the list below for content information.


Explorer Project:

I will be sending home information later this week for our Explorer project.  Students will choose a famous explorer and create a travel brochure to identify important information about their explorer.


What are we learning about:

-ELA: Cause and effect
-Social Studies: The Age of Exploration (Why Europeans decided to explore and what was the result)

-Science: Reproduction in plants and animals.  (Watch for another email about this one from me later this week.)

-Math: Factors and Multiples as well as problem solving with multiplication (We will be having a multiplication test at the beginning of next week.)


Have a Great Week!


J Mrs. Lowery



Monday, October 12, 2015



Please read below for important information and updates.


Test/Quiz Schedule

Thursday: Multiplication/Division Quiz (Relating each to addition/subtraction, and properties/rules of each)

                    Social Studies Test (Native Americans in Tennessee)

Friday: Spelling Test


New Spelling Materials:
I am using a different spelling program right now.  I have decided to send home a packet containing the words and several activities to help students study.  These packets are due on Friday and count for a participation/homework grade that will be entered online at the end of the term with the rest of the homework.  Students may turn in the packets early but they must be turned in by Friday.  Students will be tested on the weekly words, review words, and challenge words that are on the list.



Please make sure that you complete your child’s permission form and return it by Wednesday October 14th!  Even if you have decided not to allow your child to participate I would like you to return a note either on the form or another sheet of paper stating that you do not want them to participate.


Bright’s Zoo:

We are going to go to the zoo with 3rd grade on Monday October 26th!  This is a wonderful opportunity for our students because we are currently learning about food chains, food webs, endangered/extinct animals, and animal adaptations.  This field trip will cost $11.00 and students will need to bring a packed lunch.  We would like to take a few chaperones with us.  Please let me know if you are interested in being a chaperone on our trip.


Grades and Graded Work:

I entered some grades today.  I will finish those up and send work home tomorrow. Ms. Layne and Ms. Abbi (Our assistants) are a huge part of making copies, filling folders with homework and graded work, as well as other organizational duties in our classroom.  Their schedules have been a little bit different the last few days so that is part of why I am behind with this.  I will also be sending home study guides for math and social studies tomorrow.



We will be going to Brooks Gym three times a week this week and next week for skating.  Please make sure your child wears socks on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday the next two weeks.  Our skating time is 12:40-1:30 so if you have to pull your child out for the day during this time then you will have to sign them out in the office and walk over to get them.


Thank you, have a great week!

J Mrs. Lowery



Friday, October 9, 2015

Happy Friday, 

Kim Bushore-Maki is a licensed yoga instructor and she has volunteered to come teach our class yoga every other week on Thursday.  Please see the attached permission form for more information.  I am also sending home a permission form in folders today.  Please sign and return the form so your child can participate.  We are planning to start on Thursday October 15th.


Please let me know if you have any questions about this!


J Mrs. Lowery



Picture Retakes will be on Wed. Oct 7th.  Please let me know if your child needs to retake their picture.

 J Mrs. Lowery


Friday, October 2, 2015


I hope you had a fantastic break!  I am excited to be back with your sweet kiddos.


Book Challenge:

Please look over your child’s book challenge this weekend.  It is located in their reader’s journal.  They need to choose their first book and project by Monday.  The first project is due by October 19th.  You will be able to see the remaining project dates for the quarter on the first page of the book challenge project for this quarter.  I did also make a change to the project grading rubric so now each project is worth 25 points instead of 20 points.



A lot of work has been completed on our playground over break.  Several broken pieces of equipment were removed, new mulch has been laid, some areas have been leveled to help contain our mulch better, and a new fence is on the way for the side yard.   Many thanks to ETSU, The University School Foundation, and Dr. Knechtel for the help in making this space safe for children.  Hopefully one day we can add some new equipment to our new safe space.  On that note I came across this and entered this sweepstakes today because this would be wonderful for our school to aide in this cause.  Anyone can enter on behalf of our school and you can enter every day.  There is no limit on how many people enter on behalf of a school so I thought I would share for those willing and interested.  The grand prize is drawn in March and is $30,000 for a playground upgrade. 


Information on the sweepstakes:

Could your school’s playground use and extreme makeover? Each year, the sweepstakes provides the opportunity for you to win big for your school!

Anyone can enter on behalf of your child's school. Enter once a day, every day until March 25, 2016. The more entries your school has, the greater chance it has to win!

Follow the link to enter:



Morning Mile:

Dr. Knechtel is initiating the new Morning Mile Program on Monday.  He is inviting students and families to come out at 7:30 am to run or walk to begin the day.  This program allows for 20 minutes of running or walking before school.  Dr. Knechtel will be out front Monday to get names on cards.  Then at 7:30 students begin.  They will stop at 7:50.  Every 5 laps around the sidewalk is a mile.  After they have completed 5 miles they get a chain and a foot pendent.  This program will happen on days when weather permits.  Here is some info on the Morning Mile program: http://morningmile.com/about/


Dr. Knechtel has also loaded a new newsletter for parents on the school website homepage at: http://www.etsu.edu/coe/uschool/


Thank you,

J Mrs. Lowery




Thursday, October 1, 2015

To: Parents

Subject: fundraising order issues

From: Kelly Foster ( )


Hi Parents,

Over the next week we need to be collecting all the remaining monies from the fundraiser. Please send your child to school with any money but they may have collected in an envelope that is sealed with your child's first and last name on it. Please have your child give it directly to their teacher who will then make sure it gets to the foundation. There have been several things turned in with no name on them. That makes it exceptionally difficult to figure out who to credit so please make sure that your child's name is on anything that you send in.


Now, about orders. There have been a few emails about missing or incorrect cookie dough orders and missing, broken, or incorrect gift orders. If any of these situations apply to you then please do the following:

First, send me an email that lets me know what the issue is. In the subject line please identify whether it's a missing broken or incorrect item. Also if you could please give me as much information as possible on the email that would be helpful. Second, bring the incorrect or broken item if that is the case back to school to the front office. Please, please, please make sure that your name is on the item so that I know who it is from.


I am out of town for the remainder of this week but I will gather everything as soon as I get back in and will correct missing items and send back any broken items.


I apologize for any inconvenience to anyone with regards to incorrect orders or missing or broken items. I will work as fast as possible to get everything taken care of. Thanks to all the parents for supporting the University School and for helping out our fundraisers!



2015 Fundraising Chair

Kelly N. Foster, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Director, Applied Social Research Laboratory

O 423.439.4374<tel:423.439.4374>
C 706.540.0449<tel:706.540.0449>
< >


Thursday, September 10, 2015

I just wanted to let you know that you can go on Powerschool to view your child’s grades.  I have entered everything and will be finalizing grades tomorrow afternoon. 
I sent home a packet of student work with a flyer on top.  I have attached the flyer about book challenge and math bonus points just in case it didn’t make it into your hands! J
I hope you all have a wonderful break!
J Mrs. Lowery

Hi parents! If you have not picked up your fundraising items please come to the gym today (Wednesday, September 9th) between the hours of 2 PM to 4 PM. We have quite a few students and parents who have not picked up their fundraising items. We really need to get these cleaned out before fall break so that nothing is sitting there and we don't have to worry about refrigerating or freezing cookie dough and things like that! If you have any problems or concerns please contact Kelly Foster by calling or texting 706-540-0448




Printable August 25, 2015 Newsletter   Update!



Great news! All 4th graders and their families get free admission to all National Parks



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We have been working on rounding numbers  and doing mental math with large numbers in fourth grade.  Now we are combining those skills by estimating sums.  Today we did a very interactive lesson to practice this.  We also learned a song.  I am attaching the you tube link to the song.  I thought it would be helpful to have common language if you are helping your child at home with the rounding skills.  Although my ultimate goal for my students is to have a enough number sense to be able to reason which way to round a number, that can be very difficult for fourth graders with very large numbers.  Having the steps help them support their thinking and check their answers.


“Find the place” (underline it)

“Look next Door” (draw an arrow)           (Motions)

“Five or above raise the score”                  Point up to the sky

“Four or less let it rest”                                  Point down to the ground

“Look to the right”                                           Point to the right

“Put Zeros in sight”                                         Make zeroes with hands and put them together to look through them like a telescope


Listen at home with the link below!  J




Have a great evening,


Mrs. Lowery



Printable August 25, 2015 Newsletter



Dear University School Families,


If you currently use an after school daycare provider or are thinking of using one, we may have an alternative for you to consider but we need your help.


University School and the Child Study Center are working together to investigate the need and feasibility in offering an afterschool child care for children in grades K-5th on site.  As we would like to have this up and running as soon as possible (if it we are able to do so) your timely response in taking the survey would be very helpful in moving this project forward. With that in mind, we would appreciate you completing this survey by September 4, 2015. 


Please follow the following link to participate in a survey.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/afterschoolUS


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Beverly Wiginton via email at or by phone 423.439.4887. 


Thanks for your input!



Science Materials


We are beginning to learn about the interactions that take place in ecosystems and the effects of those interactions.  Tomorrow students will be organizing an experiment to create an ecosystem to monitor for a week.   I will be getting the materials for them to complete their experiments but thought I would check with you to see if any of you had any of the items at home or would be interested in sending them in for us.  We will need them by Thursday 8/20, because we will be assembling our ecosystems that day.


Here is a list of things that we need.  If you have something to send please let me know by tomorrow afternoon because I will be going to get any other needed materials after school.


-Potting Soil (1 bag should be enough)
-Small plants (any type that will fit into a small container).  We will need 8 of them.
-Clear plastic containers that are about 8-10 inches wide and 8-10 in. tall. (8 of them)


We will be collecting the rest of our biotic and abiotic factors at school.



 J Mrs. Lowery





Printable August 17, 2015 Newsletter




Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I am moving our Math Test to Monday

Friday 8/14: WW and Plant/Animal Cells Quiz

Monday 8/17: Math Chapter 1 Test


Mrs. Lowery


Monday, August 10, 2015



We painted cell models today and I was so impressed with your kiddos!  They did a phenomenal job!  They will be bringing home their models later this week after we finish comparing plant and animal cells. Thank you so much for all of your help making this happen!

Tests and Quizzes for this Week:

Thursday: Chapter 1 Math Test (Study guide will be sent home tomorrow)

Friday: WW 3 Test and Plant and Animal Cell Quiz (Study guide for science quiz will come home by Wed.)


Cookie Dough:  If you forgot to bring me your order forms today, please bring them tomorrow!

Book Challenge:  Your child needs to choose their 3rd book and project for the quarter!  This project will be due on 8/24.

Book orders:  I sent forms home today.  Please send them back by September 8th if you would like to order!  You can also order online by going to Scholastic.com/reading club.  This is a great way for us to earn free books for our classroom just by you purchasing books for your home!


Thank you,

J Mrs. Lowery



Friday, August 7, 2015


Good afternoon,

Today was great!  I know that some of the challenges were scary for some students but I was so proud of the way that they gave it their best. 

The second book challenge projects are due on Monday!!!!

Cookie Dough orders are due Monday!!!!  Please see message below!

Have a great weekend,

J Mrs. Lowery


Hi parents! The cookie dough sales and gift fundraising sales will go through this weekend. Your child's order forms are due back at the school on Monday morning. So enjoy the weekend and sell as much as you can!! The website for cookie dough orders will stay open through Monday of next week.  

Also, just as an FYI, all children in the K - 8 grades will be able to attend the mega party. I heard that some children were worried that they would not sell enough items to participate but the University School makes it so that all children can participate regardless of what they sell.

Thank you for all you do to support the University School!

- Kelly Foster

University foundation 2015 fundraising chair




Printable   Newsletter August 3, 2015


Thursday, July 30, 2015

There were two very important forms in your child's folder today!  We have the opportunity to visit the Greenwood Challenge Ropes Course next week!  We will take this trip on Friday August 7th!  Please read over the letter and forms and submit them as soon as possible.  I really would like to have them all in by Tuesday.  We are so lucky that the foundation is completely funding the cost of the bus as well as admission!  I am so excited for the fourth grade class to get to complete this activity together.  I truly believe it will be a wonderful opportunity for them to grow as peers, students, and for me to grow as a teacher too. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you,

Mrs. Lowery


Tuesday, July 28, 2015


We will be making models of cells next week.  I have created a volunteer spot that shows the items we need to complete this lab.  If you would like to send in materials for our lab please visit the following link and sign up for what you would like to send: http://vols.pt/KCAVUi

We need all of the materials by Monday 8/3.  We will also need cardboard squares for the models.  This will be what the model is sitting on and they need to be about 6 inches by 6 inches in size.  If you have cardboard boxes that you would be willing to send in we can work on cutting them to the appropriate size.  We will need 24 6x6 cardboard squares. 

Thanks so much for your help with this,

Andrea Lowery



Printable   Newsletter July 28, 2015


Printable   Newsletter July 20, 2015


Printable   Newsletter for July 11, 2015  



Parent Communication

Each week I will upload a parent letter to our website.  I will also send the letter to parents via email each week.  This letter will contain information about curriculum and upcoming events.  I will send home paper copies of the newsletter until the e-mail distribution list is complete.

I typically primarily use e-mail as a communication device with parents.  Please make sure that you have included the correct e-mail on the attached sheet in order to ensure that communication is not an issue.  I am also happy to meet with you at anytime throughout the term, I just ask that you arrange an appointment either through e-mail or by calling the office and leaving a message.



Printable Fourth Grade School Supply List