NOTE: If you are interested in enrolling your student at Pacific School, please complete the appropriate Interest Form. More information about our enrollment procedures is Here.
Ms. Hettenhausen ("Ms. Hett") teaches fourth grade. and is assisted by classroom aides Kim Sakellis ("Kim") and Jennifer Konicke ("Miss Jennifer"). The class meets from 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., except on Wednesdays, when students are dismissed at 1:10 p.m. Independent study students attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays only, while five-day students attend Mondays through Fridays. After School Recreation is available Monday-Friday.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
I strive to create a nurturing learning environment where everyone feels safe and valued while providing challenging, child-centered activities. Students are active participants in their own learning by engaging in hands-on-minds-on experiences, reflecting on the learning process, and setting personal goals. Art, music, and movement will be integrated throughout the curriculum to help bridge connections and honor learning styles and interests. Students explore, investigate, connect, reason, analyze, communicate, justify, and support each other in our quest to learn about the world around us.
Family participation is encouraged! Participation opportunities range from volunteering in the class to supporting your child at home. Weekly class notes and monthly newsletters allow families to to stay connected with at-school learning.
Life Lab: Learning comes to life outdoors in our Life Lab garden where students work and study. Students study earth and life science while maintaining and harvesting the garden for use in the school cafeteria.
Reading Buddies: Students improve reading fluency and self-confidence while reading with our younger school partners.
Computer Literacy: Through weekly instruction with media/technology instructor Wendy Milette, students develop their knowledge of technology and how to use it safely while using problem-solving skills to accomplish tasks.
Science and Engineering: Students investigate science through FOSS (Full Option Science System). As scientists, students observe phenomena, think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical ways, generate explanations based on evidence, then ask more questions. Students will put their innovative thinking to the test as they research and develop solutions to their own problems, then present them at our school science and engineering fair.
Music: Fourth graders receive a weekly lesson with Music Teacher Kristin Allen-Farmer, culminating in two evening performances per year.
Theater: Students connect subject area content of the California Gold Rush to theater in our very own class rendition of Gold Dust or Bust play.
Every year, students are encouraged to make a short film for Pacific School's annual Student Film Festival.
GATE (Gifted and Talented Education): All fourth graders are assessed for placement in Pacific School's GATE program, run by Wendy Milette. In addition, when appropriate, advanced math students have the option to study math with an above-grade level math group.
Math is taught at the same time in first through sixth grade. Students who are accelerated in math are evaluated and placed in leveled math groups as appropriate.
Fourth-grade homework will consist of reading 20+ minutes each night for enjoyment. The amount of “time in text” has positive effects on brain development! Optional skill practice work will also be available for families who would like to help their child with fourth-grade content at home. The purpose of the optional homework is to provide families with material to work with and give children an opportunity to build executive functioning skills (working memory, planning, time management, organization). Additionally, there will be a few class projects students will complete at home throughout the year. Examples of projects may include memorizing lines to a class play or completing the final parts of a science project.
Bridging home and school activities is a great way to make a measurable impact on student learning. A newsletter will go home frequently. The newsletter aims at keeping your family in the loop about what our class is working on so you can enrich school learning at home. Also, good communication between families and school staff are key to student success. Please feel free to reach out to me any time about your enrolled student*.
Emails: mhettenhausen @ pacificesd.org
ksakellis @ pacificesd.org | jenniferkonicke @ pacificesd.org
*To allow teachers to focus on the education of their current students, prospective families are asked to direct all questions to the office, not to teachers.