Classroom Update

Dear Families,

We are really starting to get settled into a daily routine at school.  Everything seems to be going well and homework completion has almost doubled.


Students took a test today on place value, rounding, multi-digit addition, multi-digit subtraction, and converting yards to feet.  The grades on the test ranged from 91 – 100.


Students are learning how to write paragraphs and use dialogue in their narratives.  The big thing to remember is that every new speaker gets a new paragraph and what the character says goes in quotation marks.


We’ve spent the last few days writing summaries of our reading and paragraphs about our thinking as we are reading. We’ve learned that authors don’t always tell us how characters feel, but show us through the characters words and actions.  Additionally, we’ve made connections, inferences, and notice the author’s craft as we’ve read.

Social Studies/Science:

We started learning about Vermont history this week.  Our first article was about the Native Americans that lived here, before European settlers and the lifestyle they led.


Students have been working on homophones this week and will continue with homophones next week.


I will notify you via email if your child has missed more than 1 unexcused homework assignment this week.  Homework completion went from 11/25 last Tuesday to 19/25 this Tuesday.

Next Week:

I’ll be having some surgery done next week, so I will be out Tuesday through Thursday.  Mrs. Merola will be the substitute.

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney

Homework Update

Dear Families,

14 of 25 students completed their reading homework at least three nights this week.  If your child completed less than 3 reading logs I sent you an email with the number of reading logs they missed.  If you excused your child from a night of reading I did not mark that against them.  Hopefully, you find this information useful.  If you don’t wish to get updates on homework completion, please send me an email stating such.

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney


Dear Families,

I just wanted to go over homework guidelines again.  Monday through Thursday students are expected to read for 20 minutes and fill out a reading log.  The reading log only requires a sentence or two describing the events of what your child read and a sentence or two about a reaction they had: connection, question, or prediction.  Students are also expected to work on DreamBox for 20 minutes per night.  I have heard of a few complaints about logging into DreamBox.  If you’re having a hard time accessing DreamBox try copying this link and pasting it into your browser:   Once there click on Mr. Cheney.  Your child’s username is:  firstname.lastname   Their password is the same as their password, which is a 4-digit code they use everyday.

Although I don’t want parents and students struggling to get homework done, I do want everyone to give their best effort.  This morning only 6 of 25 kids turned in a reading log.  Typically, I will email parents if 2 or more reading logs are missed in a week, unless parents notify me that their child needs to be excused from an assignment.  The easiest way to notify me, that you want your child excused from an assignment, is to write “excused” and your initials on the homework you want excused on your child’s homework log.

The Lighthouse 4th grade has decided to launch a new spelling program this year.  We will focus on homophones, plurals, suffixes, and prefixes the first trimester.

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney


Dear Families,

Homework completion has been outstanding thus far.  Thank you for your support in making sure your child’s homework is completed.  Some of you have expressed frustration with accessing Dreambox.  Hopefully this will help:

On a computer go to:

On an iPad go to: or search for “DreamBox Math” in the App Store.  Download Dreambox Math Green and Dreambox Math Blue to ensure your child has access to the full catalog of DreamBox Learning Math lessons.  When prompted in the app, use this School Code:  5spm/mallettsbs

You may review your student’s academic progress with a DreamBox Parent Account.  Please follow these steps to create your free Parent Account:

  1. Go to
  2. Have your student login to their profile just as they would at school.
  3. Click setup parent access at the bottom of the page.
  4. Follow instructions to create a new login and password.
  5. Read terms of use and privacy policy
  6. click “submit”

Log into your home account after set up:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your email address and password
  3. To see student progress, click the “Family Dashboard” button.

Student Passwords

All students have a password document in their Google drive titled: “Name’s Passwords”.  This document will have all of your child’s usernames and passwords.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at:

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney

September 15, 2017

Dear Families,

We had a very good first full week of school.  We are still getting to know each other, but have started some academic work in math, reading, and writing.  In math we have been working on place value, adding, and rounding.  In reading, we’ve been learning to pick just right books, and in writing we’ve had the opportunity to free write and make up characters.

Next week we will start homework.  Students will be expected to read Monday – Thursday for 20 minutes per day and to fill out a reading log.  They have seen this modeled in class and practiced on their own.  It requires students to complete a summary (1-2 sentences) and response (1-2 sentences) to their reading.  In addition to reading, students will be asked to work on Dreambox for 20 minutes per night.  Dreambox is an online math program.  Students will have logged in and tried this in class, so there shouldn’t be any issues.  Homework can be very stressful, don’t let it be!  Feel free to read with or to your child.  It’s okay for your child to dictate their reading log to you.  Complete the Dreambox activities together.  If homework becomes a struggle, let me know and I’ll make adjustments for you.

I have a twitter handle: @JosephCheney151  I’ve posted classroom pictures to my twitter account and I’m working on linking my twitter account to this blog by the end of next week.

In a previous post I mentioned spelling.  The Lighthouse 4th grade teachers are considering a new approach to spelling that may be more vocabulary based.  We are not yet ready to roll that out, so spelling will not be starting next week.

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Cheney

Thanks for a Great First Week

September 1, 2017

Dear Families,

     We’ve had a great week to start the year.  It has been nice to get to know your children.  They all seem very eager to learn and excited to be at school.  I hope their enthusiasm continues throughout the year.  We played several games to get to know each other and I learned some very interesting things about your children.  I look forward to learning more about your children in the coming weeks and working with them throughout the year.  

Dates to Remember:

September 4 ~ No school (Labor Day)

September 14 ~ School Picture Day

September 21 ~ Open House


     The first two weeks are full of assessments, so don’t expect to see too much homework.  Homework will start the week of September 11.  Students will be expected to complete a reading log Monday through Thursday.  When students complete a reading log they need to read for fifteen to twenty minutes and fill out the reading log form, which they will all have in their homework folders.  Students should write two or more sentences summarizing what they have read, and two or more sentences responding to what the read – questioning, predicting, or making connections.  

Spelling will start on September 18, and I will give you more information on spelling homework when it starts.  

Math homework will consist of occasional homework/study links and daily practice for 10-15 minutes on Dreambox (a school purchased math website).

Please don’t ever have your kids work to the point of frustration on homework!  If homework becomes a struggle, let me know and I’ll make some adjustments.

Contacting Me:

You can reach me through email or handwritten notes.  My email address is  If you choose to write a note please put it in a sealed envelope for confidentiality.  I usually will get back to you within 24 hours.


Mr. Cheney


Welcome 4th Graders

Dear Families,

We had a great first day in 4th grade. Students did a great job of being safe, respectful, and responsible. We spent the day getting to know each other a little bit, going over school rules, and making sure everyone knew how they were getting home. Students also created a homework/Friday folder, which should be in your child’s backpack and is filled with beginning of the year forms.

Unified Arts Schedule:

Every day from 8:50 – 9:35

Monday:  Music (1 + 3 quarters),  Art (2 + 4 quarters)

Tuesday:  Library (1 + 3 quarters),  Guidance (2 + 4 quarters)

Wednesday:  P.E.

Thursday:  Music (1 + 3 quarters),  Art (2 + 4 quarters)

Friday:  P.E.

Open House:

Thursday, September 21 starting at 6:30


Thank you for sending in such well-prepared children today.  If you have questions or comments you may leave them as a reply to this blog, or you may email me at: 

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney



Wonderful Year

Dear Families,

Thank you for such a wonderful year! I truly enjoyed coming to work every day this year. The students were always in a good mood and eager to learn. It’s been awhile since I’ve had an entire class where everyone gets along, and this year they really all did get along. On the rare occasions they disagreed they were always willing to listen to whomever they disagreed with and work out their differences. Enjoy the summer with your kids they are fabulous!

Mr. Cheney

Shelburne Museum Tomorrow

We will be visiting the Shelburne Museum tomorrow. I have the following people on my chaperone list: Talen’s mom, Lily’s grandma, Zoe’s mom, Addison’s mom, Devin’s mom, and Juliana’s mom. I also hear that we may have some grandparents from out of state. Those of you chaperoning please meet us at school at 8:30 or at the Shelburne Museum and 9:15. Buses will be pretty full, so unless you need to ride the bus, please plan on driving. I will meet with chaperones and give you instructions as soon as we get off the buses. If you are able to stop by for lunch, we are planning on eating at 11:30 in front of the restaurant.

Mr. Cheney

Last Week Updates

Dear Families,

It’s hard to believe that there is only one more week of school. We had step-up day today and every student got to meet their 5th grade teacher. I of course stayed in my room and met next year’s class. When my current 4th grade class returned I realized how much these kids have grown this year. All of this year’s kids are fabulous. They were really easy to get to know, well-behaved, and came to school every day with smiles on their faces, ready to learn.

We will be going to the Shelburne Museum. If you volunteered to be a chaperone, you have two choices. You may either meet us at school at 8:30, or at the museum at 9:15. We have 7 classes going on 3 buses, so unless it’s absolutely necessary we’re going to ask parents to drive to the museum. If you can’t attend the field trip, but work near the museum, we will be eating around 11:30 in the picnic area, feel free to join us for lunch.

Our Bayside day is Wednesday, June 14. We will be walking down to Bayside Park around 10:15. We usually start on the baseball/softball fields with some relays and tag games. After that we have a super-soaker fight and a water balloon toss. If there is a parent volunteer willing to fill water balloons Monday night, please leave a comment (we need about 200). After the water balloon toss we will eat lunch in the park, before going swimming around 12:30. We will come back to school around 2:20.

Students need to bring a bathing suit, towel, lunch, sunscreen, and a super-soaker if they want to participate in a super-soaker fight. I will bring some extras. We could also use some parent volunteers to bring over a few coolers full of water. If you’d be willing to help please leave a comment.

Thursday is our clean-up, movie day, and barbeque day. Students will get to watch a Roald Dahl movie that goes along with a book they read in class. The movies are: The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If you have an objection to any of these movies please leave a comment. (We may end up starting one of these movies on Monday afternoon if all of our academic work is done.) If you are joining us for lunch, our scheduled lunch time is 12:05. Unfortunately, I will be out on Thursday for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation.

Friday is a half day of school. Students will get to watch the 5th grade talent show, have lunch, and say good bye.