Welcome to 4th Grade!

by Ms. Kristina Alger

About Me

Aloha! My name is Ms. Kristina Alger, and I am the 4th grade teacher at St. Mary Star of the Sea! I love being a part of this school community!

I feel very at home in a Catholic school setting, as I have spent most of my life attending and teaching at Catholic schools. I spend preschool through 12th grade at Catholic schools. I earned my Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University and my Master in Education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. I began my teaching career in Hawaii, teaching preschool, then Kindergarten. In the summer of 2014, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to Seoul, South Korea and taught English to elementary school students.

The great Nelson Mandela noted, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Sharing that sentiment, I am honored to be an educator and passionate about education. My role is influenced by a love of traveling, exploring new places, and experiencing new sights! I am a lifelong student and have a love of learning and gaining knowledge! Since moving to Southern California at the end of 2017, I have been thoroughly enjoying becoming acquainted with Oceanside and the surrounding areas in this beautiful part of the world.

With Aloha,

Ms. Kristina Alger

Contact Me: My email is kalger@stmarystars.com

My Class

Fourth grade is an exciting time as students are gaining more and more independence and their curiosity is at an all time high. My job is to make learning as fun as possible while teaching them everything they need to know. Here is a little bit more about each subject:

Religion: We use a text called, Jesus Our Guide, in 4th grade. We learn about the Old Testament and go through each Bible story starting with the story of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses and more! We also perform an annual Last Supper Reenactment with the 5th graders every Holy Thursday. We learn the Peace Prayer and are really good at coming up with our own intentions. 

Reading: We read a lot in 4th grade! We do a class novel and also small group novels. We also still love being read aloud to! Some of the novels we have read together this year are, “Frindle” and “Bridge to Terabithia.” We are currently reading “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” which is one of my favorite books, and I love how it interweaves historical fiction and Karana’s story together. 

Writing: We do a lot of writing including writing personal narratives and biographies! We wrote ‘Fractured Fairytales’ and taught our fellow classmates how to do something in our ‘How-to Essays.’ We wrote a 5-paragraph Catholic Schools Week essay and an 8-paragraph book review on the novel, Holes

Spelling: We utilize the Words Their Way program. We have 4 spelling groups and we have a 15-word test every Friday! We have a Spelling Menu that the students choose from to do their homework. They can choose things such as “Picture It” where they draw a picture of each word or write the words in ABC order just to name a couple!

Math: In Math, we master our multiplication facts 0-12, learn how to master our division with remainders and dive into fractions! We learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and more! 

Grammar: We learn about prepositions, prepositional phrases, and are continuing to review how to write more detailed sentences utilizing descriptive verbs, adjectives, and adverbs!

Science: In Science, one of the units we do is, “Energizing Everything,” which encourages the students to think about the energy that things need to move. Students explored how energy makes things go, from powering vehicles to moving one’s body. Students experimented with rubber band racers to discover the relationship between how much energy is stored in a material and how much is released. They investigated the role that hills play in making roller coasters move and the energy transfer that happens when two objects collide. Students realized that thinking about the world in terms of energy helps them make sense of how and why things speed up and slow down. Hands-on activities focus on engineering, testing hypotheses, and using results to develop their ideas. Taken from the Mystery Science Website: https://mysteryscience.com/energy/energy-motion-electricity#

Social Studies: In Social Studies, we are learning all about California’s rich history from the very first Californians, the Native Peoples, to the Spanish explorers and settlers, and the newcomers through the gold rush! We visit a mission each year and this year we visited Mission San Diego de Alcala! We do a mission project every year and each student picks a mission to research and learn more about! We also visited the San Diego Museum of Man and learned more about the Kumeyaay peoples who inhabited this area long before we did! 

I absolutely love teaching 4th grade, and I hope that you will make the choice to come to our lovely and loving school! Thank you in advance for your support and commitment to your child’s education. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me! I’m happy to talk with you about your child’s educational goals.

Distance Learning Update: 4/27/2020: We are currently using Google Classroom for our distance learning. We are doing lessons in Religion, Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies with optional Art, P.E., Music, and Spanish activities by our wonderful speciality teachers. We use online programs such as Khan Academy, Mystery Science, Padlet, Newela, Zoom, and Prodigy. We meet online via zoom Monday - Friday at 10am to build community, ask questions, have a morning meeting, do a lesson, play games, and more! I provide small group zooms as well for questions, math help, and to do work together. I am so amazed with how quickly my students (and their parents) learned how to navigate Google Classroom and all of the online programs we are utilizing for our learning at this time. 

Mission Projects

The 4th graders completed their mission projects in distance learning, and they really let their creativity shine! Here are some of their projects for you to view! They had a list of choices of what they could do. Here are the ones my featured students chose. One pretended she was Father Serra and wrote a diary of her journey through California. Another decided to make an adobe brick, which is the main building material used for the missions, and even made a handmade wooden frame for them! Another decided to go with making an original power point presentation of his mission, highlighting the parts of the mission, its history and present day use. Hope you enjoy learning about California's rich history!

 

 

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Our 4th graders enjoyed a virtual field trip through the PORTS program to Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park where ...
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