Dads with Drills

Dear Families,

Calling all dads, granddads, uncles, aunts, grandmas, or moms that would like to help us with craft projects on Friday, December 15, from 11:00 – 12:25 and/or 1:15 – 2:00.  Volunteers will need a cordless drill, small drill bits, 12 foot extension cord (longer is fine), tin snips, a piece of scrap wood (a 2X4 a foot long or so), and patience, plenty of patience.  Students will be making decorative sleds out of popsicle sticks and will learn how to use drill, tin snips, rulers, and hot glue guns.

If you’d like to volunteer please email me or leave a comment attached to this post.


Mr. Cheney


Odds and Ends

Dear Families,

Students have been terrific this week.  Everyone was on task over 80% of the time, which is an extremely high success rate for 9 and 10 year olds.  I would be beyond impressed if we can keep this up through our winter break, especially with all of the upcoming holiday excitement.


We will have a few different school wide celebrations December 20 & 21.  There will be a puppet show on December 20 and a movie at the high school on December 21 (I’m not sure of which movie).  On Friday afternoon, December 22, we will watch a movie in the classroom, if the class has earned it (they will) and some popcorn.

I understand many students have the desire to bring me a Christmas gift.  Although I think it’s important for students to learn to give, instead of bringing me a gift, make a donation to the PTO or some other charitable organization.  I do however really like getting cards, especially the ones with family pictures on them.

Save the Date

On Friday, January 12, the Lighthouse will be presenting Greek plays to other 4th grade classes and parents.  The presentation is scheduled for 1:15, please join us if you can.

Mr. Cheney

Sugary Snacks


Dear Families,

I’ve noticed some students are coming to school with sugary snacks.  One student today had a snack that consisted of chocolate milk, Oreos, frosted animal crackers, and sugar wafer cookies.  The total sugar intake on that snack would have been 215 grams.  The American Heart Association recommends less than 25 grams of sugar/day for children up to 18 years of age.

To learn more about sugar intake for your child click here.

Inline image 1

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney


Dear Families,

Conference sign ups end today at 4:00.  If you haven’t already done so, please schedule a conference on the MBS website.

If you have specific questions or concerns you’d like to discuss at your conference, please email me at:


Mr. Cheney

Room 151 News

Dear Families,

Today we spent our morning at the Flynn watching a show about the Abenaki.  It was an interesting show, but a little too long for the average 9 year old.  Shows at the Flynn typically last an hour, this show lasted two hours.  Despite the extended stay at the Flynn, student behavior was exceptional.  In fact since last Wednesday, students have really turned it around and behavior has been great.


We just starting working on fractions.  We will be learning to identify fractions, compare fractions, order them, and find fractions of wholes.  For example 3/5 of 60 =36


Students have been working on writing short stories.  They did a great job of being creative, but need to work on the conventions of writing (proper capitalization, usage, punctuation, and spelling).


The beginning of the year until New Year’s break is on literary elements; plot, setting, character, conflict, and theme.  After Thanksgiving we will be reading some Greek Myths.


We just started using Hot Wheels to learn about energy, force and motion.  We’ve talked a little bit about friction.  Potential energy and kinetic energy are next on the list.


I’ve tried to put pictures of students on my twitter account.  I’m not sure if my blog emails you when I update my twitter account, but if you haven’t done so in awhile, look at the pictures on my twitter account: JosephCheney151

Parent Conferences

If you haven’t already done so, please go to the MBS website and sign up for a conference time.  Additionally, if you have any questions/issues you want to discuss please send me an email and I’ll have a response ready for you at your conference.

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney

You can email me any time at:

Homework Tonight

Dear Families,

We struggled to get along with our peers and work quietly today.  Only 10 students were well enough behaved throughout the day to participate in our Hot Wheels energy lesson at the end of the day.  Since we struggled so much today, I’ve given students the extra homework of deciding what we can do as individuals and as a group to make sure we all get our work done.  Please brainstorm with your child some ways they can keep themselves focused and have them prepared to discuss the importance of staying focused at school on Thursday.  Tomorrow morning we will discuss those ideas and hopefully be well-behaved enough that we all get to participate in the Hot Wheels energy, force and motion lesson at the end of the day.

Thank you,

Mr. Cheney

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