Autumn Johnstone
  • About Mrs. Johnstone

    Welcome to 4th Grade!  This is going to be an exciting year because all 4th graders  have three teachers.  I will teach Math and Science to all 4th grade students.  This is my 21st year teaching, and my fourth year teaching 4th grade at Paxson.   I love being a part of Paxson's dynamic 4th grade team!

    I grew up in Maine and attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  After graduating, I moved to Washington DC to teach Middle School Spanish for three years. Next, I moved to New York City where I taught 5th grade for two years.  My husband and I moved to Helena in 2004.  I taught a 4th/5th grade combination class for 7 years.  Eight years ago, we moved with our three beautiful kids and two energetic dogs to Missoula.  I taught at Garden City Montessori for two years then I moved over to Paxson to teach first grade.  I taught first grade for 3 years before moving up to 4th grade.

    I am so honored to be at here. Paxson is my neighborhood school.  I know it's a great learning community because my own children go here!

    phone number:  728-2400 extension 4578
     
     
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday Schedule:
    8:30-9:15 Specials
    9:15-10:45 Rotation 1
    10:45-11:15 WIN time
    11:15-12:00 Lunch and Recess
    12:00-1:30 Rotation 2
    1:30-2:00 Recess
    2:00-3:30 Rotation 3
     
    Thursday Schedlue:
    8:30-9:15 Specials
    9:15-9:30 Recess
    9:30-10:55 Rotation 1
    10:55-12:20 Rotation 2
    12:20-1:05 Lunch and Recess
     
    1:05-2:30 Rotation 3
    2:30 Early Dismissal
     
     
     

     

     

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    GRADE LEVEL UPDATES AND UPCOMING EVENTS:
     
     
    April 19 Update
     

    Hi Families, 

    Welcome to Week 4 of Paxson’s 4th Grade Virtual Academy!  

    Thank you all for being so supportive and patient as we work together to make our virtual academy the most engaging it can be.  Please continue to provide feedback.  Because we aren’t with your kiddos, we have no idea what is working and what isn’t.  The only way we can improve is with your help. 


    WEEK 4:  Access to Spanish Books and A Virtual Field Trip!


    Accessing Spanish Books through Clever: We have incredible Spanish resources right at our fingertips!  To access Spanish books of different genres and reading levels, go to clever.com and sign in with your school Google account.  Remember you need to include “@student.mcpsmt.org” at the end of your username.   Within Clever, there are two options for finding books:

    1. Go to the ARC Bookshelf.  Books here are organized by reading level.  You can choose books in English or Spanish.
    2. Go to STAR 360.  Log in with your username and password.  You DO NO include the “@student.mcpsmt.org” for this login.  When in the STAR 360 page, click on the My ON icon.  In the search bar, you can enter the type of book you are looking for.  If you want to find books in Spanish, type “Spanish” in the search bar.

    Ms. Doherty, a second grade teacher, made a Clever tutorial if you would like to walk through how to log on and access resources in Clever.


    Wildlife Film Festival Field Trip on Friday:  Thanks to the generosity of the Roxy Theater, we are able to attend this year’s film festival virtually!  We will kick off our field trip by watching a film together in our Homeroom Zooms, and Friday’s Must Do checklist will include links to the 4 movies we would have seen on our in-person field trip.   We will also include a link to all the free movies available for streaming.  

     

    As a thank you to the Roxy for providing free access to these films for all students, please consider donating or purchasing a $5 all access pass.  



    Completing Assignments in iReady: Students have jumped right in and tried our new math program online!  I can see that many students have accessed the instruction.  

    Some students have assignments that are “In Progress.”  This means that they have not gone all the way through the questions that follow the lesson.  After the lesson ends, they need to close out of it and continue onto the questions.  I have created two tutorials for completing an iReady assignment.  One is a doc and one is a video.  

     

    April 13 Update:

    Hi Families, 

    Welcome to Week 3 of Paxson’s 4th Grade Virtual Academy!  

    Thank you for all your patience as we continue to work out glitches in our online program.  Please continue to let us know when you have questions or ideas for how we can improve. This is a group effort!


    WEEK 3:  GROWING OUR PROGRAM (and taking a breath)


    TOP PRIORITY: STAY HEALTHY AND HAPPY:  Our top priority during this school closure is that all of you stay healthy and happy.  We are trying to provide learning opportunities that will keep students engaged and moving through our standards, but we know it’s a strange time and we will be accommodating.  If anything is ever stressful, confusing, exhausting, or just too much, please put it aside.    You can let us know, or not,  and we will totally get it.  


    We are tracking assignment completion for two reasons.  We want to see how we are doing moving through standards, and we want to check on who is engaging with our online instruction. If we don’t hear from your kiddo in a few days, we will reach out in order to check in and see how everything is going.   


    OKAY, SO THE TOP PRIORITY IS MENTAL HEALTH, BUT WHAT IF YOU WANT TO CHECK ON WORK COMPLETION?

    Your kiddos are doing an amazing job participating in this new online program.  We recognize it is a challenge to keep everything straight and stay on top of everything.   There are three ways that you and your kiddo can check to see if assignments have been completed:

    1. Check the Classwork Tab in our Google Classrooms.  Assignments that are blue have not been turned in.  
    2. Sign up to receive a weekly update from Google.  The district sent an email last week with an invitation to get weekly summaries. (If you need to look  for it in your inbox, the subject was, “Get Google Classroom Email Summaries for ____.”) This is a work in progress.  Not all Google Classrooms are represented on the report yet.  
    3. Check Q.  We teachers will update our gradebooks in Q every week.  Again, we are tracking work completion only at this point. You can log on and check to see if your kiddo has any missing assignments.  You can learn how to log into the Q parent connection here:  
      1. Q Parent Portal Help
      2. Q Mobile Portal Help

    GOOGLE IS GREAT, BUT IT HAS SOME QUIRKS:    Kind of a weird thing, but when students are completing an assignment created with Google Forms,  it takes TWO steps to turn work in. 

    1.  SUBMIT THE FORM:  Complete the assignment and click the purple SUBMIT tab in the lower left. 
    2. TURN IN THE ASSIGNMENT:  Go back to Google Classroom, find the assignment, click View Assignment, and then click Mark as Done.  

    TAKING A BREATH:  On Friday, April 17, we will surprise the kids with a free day.  The only MUST DO assignments will be to watch our morning messages and participate in Homeroom Zoom.  While kids can use the time to make up any missed assignments, we hope they will also explore some of the fun optional assignments they didn’t get to do, laugh, play, get outside, and take a deep breath!  



    Deja-vu Section… .  You’ve seen it all before, but it’s worth a looksie to remember how all this works:


    ASSIGNMENTS:    

     Students will have Must Do assignments in two core subjects and a Special everyday, Monday-Thursday.  Each assignment should take 45 minutes or less.  

    We will also post Optional assignments each day.

     

    There are several ways to access the daily assignment checklist:

    1. Go to  Paxson’s Remote Learning Page.  There are tabs for each grade level, Specials, Art, our counselor, and our Resource teachers.  

      • The 4th Grade tab will bring you to a calendar for the week.  When you click on each day, you will open a link to the assignment checklist for that day.  
    1. Go to Mrs. J’s Google Classroom. She posts the daily checklist in her Stream every morning.

    VIRTUAL CLASSES:  Students will  have a 20-minute virtual class with one of us each day.  Our ZOOM sessions will always have the same meeting ids and passwords, which we included in our weekly email.   



    • On Mondays and Fridays, students will “meet” with their homeroom classes from 9:30-9:50. 

    • All students will “meet” with Mrs.Parkey on Tuesday, with Mrs. J on Wednesday, and with Maestra Corona on Thursday.  The times will be on the weekly calendar and daily checklists.

    VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS:  We are also using Zoom to connect with families.  We are holding “Office Hours” for our homerooms on Mondays and Fridays from 10:00-10:30.  This is a time when family members can join a Zoom session to ask questions or let us know if you need anything.  You can also reach us over email. Use the Meeting ID and password above to connect to a session.  




    WE MISS YOU SO MUCH!  Please let us know how we can better support you and your families during this challenging time.  We welcome your feedback as we strive to improve!


    -Mrs. J, Mrs. Parkey, Maestra Corona 

     
     
    iReady Help at Your Fingertips:

    Hello Families,

    Thank you for help trying out iReady this week!  I will assign at least one iReady lesson a week going forward.

    If you have technical issues, please use the links below to troubleshoot.  If additional questions come up, you can all the Support Team at 1-800-225-0248. I have called them several times this week and they are responsive and helpful.  

     

    i-Ready SYSTEM CHECK:

    https://cdn.i-ready.com/systemcheck/

    i-Ready Technical Support YouTube Channel

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdPYwoTYVh14cfDvo8_szTVKqZ-Bmh58B

    How to login to i-Ready on an iPad with Clever

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aJeXz-h2dY&list=PLdPYwoTYVh14cfDvo8_szTVKqZ-Bmh58B&index=12

     

    RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
    Family FAQs

    Ready Classroom Mathematics Family Guidance

    i-Ready Family Support Page

    Technical and Troubleshooting Guide for Families

    Online Instruction Family Guidance

    Tips for Using i-Ready During School Closures - English

     
     
     
    March 29, Virtual Academy Starts Tomorrow!

    Hi Families! 

    Welcome to Paxson’s 4th Grade Virtual Academy! 

    We have been hard at work figuring out how to stay connected and deliver lessons to you online in the next few weeks.  It’s going to be an adventure.

     

    WEEK 1:

    ASSIGNMENTS:    This is a REVIEW week.  All assignments are intended to review what we were working on before Spring Break.  Remember that if something is causing a lot of stress, stop. Take a break. Try again later, or just skip it.  This week is all about learning how to be a digital learner. Learning new things is stressful and we need to honor our emotions and listen to them.

    Please check out Paxson’s Remote Learning Page.  There are tabs for each grade level, Specials, Art, our counselor, and our Resource teachers.  

      • The 4th Grade tab will bring you to a calendar for the week.  When you click on each day, you will open a link to the assignment checklist for that day.  We have included optional assignments for when students have extra time.  
      • Please also take a moment to go to the Newsela website and log in with your student google account.  

     

    VIRTUAL CLASSES:  We are going to use Zoom to connect virtually with students in real time.  

    Students will  have a 20-minute virtual class with one of us each day. 

    Our ZOOM sessions will always have the same meeting ids and passwords.  Note, many of you did not need to enter a password when we had our trial session.  As an extra security measure, we’ve added password protection to our sessions.


    On Mondays and Fridays, students will “meet” with their homeroom classes from 9:30-9:50.    

    Our first Homeroom Zoom is tomorrow, March 30 at 9:30!  Go to zoom.us and enter your homeroom teacher’s Meeting ID and Password (above).

    All students will “meet” with Mrs.Parkey on Tuesday, with Mrs. J on Wednesday, and with Maestra Corona on Thursday.  The times will be on the weekly calendar and daily checklists.

     

    VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS:  We are also using Zoom to connect with families.  We are holding “Office Hours” for our homerooms on Mondays and Fridays from 10:00-10:30.  This is a time when family members can join a Zoom session to ask questions or let us know if you need anything.  You can also reach us over email. Use the Meeting ID and password above to connect to a session.  


    WE MISS YOU!  WE HOPE YOU ARE STAYING HEALTHY!

    -Mrs. J, Mrs. Parkey, Maestra Corona

     

     
    March 26, Let's ZOOM tomorrow!

    Hi Families! 

    We miss you all so much.  This has been a hard and strange week.  We have been working to wrap our heads around how online learning will look and work, and we want to give you a preview of what you can expect next week.

     

    NEXT WEEK IN A NUTSHELL:

    ASSIGNMENTS:    Starting Monday, there will be a page on Paxson’s website for each grade level.   The 4th grade page will link to a calendar for the week.  We each have a review assignment for your kiddos to complete every day. Starred assignments are required, while non-starred assignments are optional.  The links to these assignments will be embedded in the calendar. 


    VIRTUAL CLASSES:  We are going to use Zoom to connect virtually with students in real time.  Students will have a 20-minute virtual class with one of us each day.  The Meeting ID for each of these sessions will be on the calendar for the week.

    • On Monday and Friday, students will “meet” with their homeroom classes from 9:30-9:50. 
    • All students will “meet” with Mrs.Parkey on Tuesday, with Mrs. J on Wednesday, and with Maestra Corona on Thursday.  The times will be on the calendar for the week.  

    VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS:  We are also using Zoom to connect with families.  We are holding “Office Hours” for our homerooms on Mondays and Fridays from 10:00-10:30.  This is a time when family members can join a Zoom session to ask questions or let us know if you need anything.  You can also reach us over email.  


    TRY A ZOOM SESSION WITH US TOMORROW:

    Zoom is new to all of us.  We want to work out the kinks before meeting for class time on Monday.  We are offering some Zoom Trial Sessions tomorrow. We hope that every student has an opportunity to join one session.


    Please choose the session that works for you. You do not have to stay on for the whole 30 minutes.  We just want to ensure that everyone knows how to participate in the class sessions going forward.   


    HOW DO YOU JOIN A SESSION?  

    Go to zoom.com.  

    Click on “Join a Meeting” at the top of the page. Type in the meeting id number for the session you are joining:  

     


    CAN YOU GET ONTO YOUR GOOGLE CLASSROOM?

    Please make sure your kiddo can log onto their google classroom on their home device.  Mrs. Parkey sent out the directions on how to do this earlier this week.  


    WE MISS YOU!

    We wish we were back in our classes with you.   We look forward to seeing your faces tomorrow. 

    -Mrs. J, Mrs. Parkey, Maestra Corona


     


     
    March 24, loggin into Classroom from Home:
     

    Hello again!

    We have had a couple parents contact us wondering how to access Google Classroom from a home computer.  Thank you so much for reaching out!  Chances are in this move to digital learning, if you are struggling with something, many others are as well.  We are here to help and assist in what ever way we can, and we appreciate you letting us know when you encounter a snag.  

    I put together a document that should walk you through how to get access to Google Classroom from a home.  The link to the document is below. 

    In addition to this, if you go to the mcpsmt.org website and click on the Web Connect, you will see a link in the student section for Clever.  When students click on this link it will prompt them to log in using their google account.  It is the same username and password that they use to log in to Google as directed in the attachment to this email.  

    Clever is the site that will give them access to the IRLA and ENIL books mentioned on the Online Learning website created by our district.

    Hope this helps, and keep those questions coming!  

    The 4th Grade Team

    Logging in from Home

     
    March 24, FROM OUR HOMES:

    Hello Paxson 4th Grade Families,

    We hope you and your family are doing well and staying safe during this unusual time.  It is hard not to be seeing our students face to face, and we recognize it’s hard for you to teach them at home.  We will get through this, working together.  

    We are planning together as a 4th grade team, as a school, and as a district to come up with a blueprint for online learning.   Here is where we are right now: 

    This week, March 24-27, students are asked to participate in online learning using the mcpsmt.org website. Our Teaching and Learning department has provided a daily schedule to keep students’ minds sharp while we await our next steps.  All of the activities are useful and friendly to navigate. Below is how you can access the daily plans:

    1.   Go to mcpsmt.org
    2.   Click on COVID-19 on the bottom of the page.
    3.   Click on Remote Learning on the right side of the page.
    4.   Scroll down to Remote Learning Opportunities. Click on Grades 3-5. 
    5.   This will bring you the daily plans with learning links.

    In addition to the ideas provided by the district, we encourage students to log onto their Google Classroom to make sure they are connected with us.  

    We know you have a lot of questions. Please stay informed through the superintendent’s updates, which he posts on the district website and sends via Blackboard messages, as is the most current information. District level communications will come out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by 3:00 pm. School level communications will come out on Tuesdays and Thursdays by 3:00 pm.  

    You can also email any of us with questions.  We can email you back or set up a time to talk.  

    This is new to all of us.  We are going to be learning together. Thank you for your patience during this time, and we will be in touch regarding our next steps.   We miss you lots and hope you stay well.  

    Sending you all virtual hugs,

    The 4th Grade Team

     
    February 19:

    Hello 4th Grade Families!  

    Next Friday is the end of the second trimester!  The end of the trimester is always a flurry of activity, so we want to be sure you know about all the upcoming events.  

    PROGRESS REPORTS AND CONFERENCES

    • Today we are sending out the last progress report before report cards.  Please look over these with your kiddos and celebrate their hard work! If there are missing assignments, students have until Friday, February 28 to turn them in.
    • Tomorrow, we will send out an email invitation to sign up for Spring Conferences.  Please sign up for 1 thirty minute spot. At Paxson, Spring conferences are Student-led.  Your kiddo will share some work and talk to you about their experiences as a 4th grader. We three teachers will circulate, chime in, and answer questions.  

     

    HELP WANTED!  “CELEBRATE MONTANA” SCRIPT REVISION:

    In keeping with our 4th grade Social Studies and Indian Education for All standards, we have a tradition of putting on a Montana History musical in May.  This play is a work in progress in an ongoing quest to make it as representative, accurate, and educational as possible. Every year, we re-work the script with a few members of our community who volunteer their time to help us.  

    This year, we would like to extend the invitation to all 4th grade families.  Are you interested in helping us make the MT History script the best it can be?  Do you have an interest/expertise in Montana history? Or would you just like to preview the script and  offer any feedback before we perform it?  Please join us at our Script Revision Session on  April 2 at 2:30 in Mrs. J’s room.  

     

    UPCOMING EVENTS:  

    • February 25: Family Fun Night at Paxson.  Free! Fun! Family!  
    • February 28:  End of trimester.
    • March 9, 10, 11, 12: Student-led conferences
    • March 10-13:  Book Fair in the Library (stop in during conferences!)
    • March 12: 4th Grade Poetry Reading
      •  11:35 dismissal
    • March 13: no school 
    • March 16-20: Spring Break

    Please let us know if you have questions after looking over the progress reports this evening. Have a great day!

    -The 4th Grade Team

     


     
    February 12:

    Happy Wednesday!

    Quick reminder that we will be doing a short but sweet Valentine's Day celebration on Friday for the last 30 minutes of school.  Students will be in their homeroom (Rotation 1) classes and will deliver Valentines to each other and socialize.  

    Class lists went home in agendas last week.  Please let me know if you need another list.

    Have a wonderful rest of your week!

    Autumn Johnstone

     

    January 9:

    Happy New Year, 4th Grade Families, 

    We hope you had a restful break.  It’s been great to be back with your kiddos!  

     

    CLASS UPDATES:  

     

    Mrs. Johnstone’s Class:  

    • We are getting into our Division unit.  Students will learn many ways to solve division problems, including the traditional algorithm.  
    • Our goal is for all students to have their multiplication facts (0-10) memorized in the next few weeks.  Knowing the facts quickly will help them immensely when working through upcoming long division problems.  We have started working on a fact fluency program called XtraMath.  I will send home an XtraMath report next week so you can help your kiddos at home.    

    Maestra Corona’s class: 

    • We are finishing “Region Medio Oeste.”  we looked at states, capitals, resources, animals, and created a map that shows the resources of this area.
    • We will start “Region Suroeste.”
    • We are practicing sentence’s structure, nouns, adjectives, and verbs in the past tense.

     

    Mrs. Parkey’s class:

    • We are continuing to work on opinion writing.  Students are separating introductions and conclusions away from body paragraphs and using direct quotes from texts to support their opinions.
    • We will be taking the STAR test next week to measure our reading progress so far this year.
    • We have been learning about Indigenous cultures of North America though a fictional story.  Our next texts will continue this learning.  We will read nonfiction texts about four different indigenous cultures in North America.
    • We have begun learning and using Greek and Latin root words to help students with both spelling and vocabulary acquisition.
    • We continue to practice and learn proper conventions and grammar.  We are focusing on punctuating dialogue correctly, as our next writing standard will be narrative writing.
    • We have begun discussing figurative language and using words as an artform.  We will continue this investigation as we start our 6 week poetry unit at the end of January!  

     

    UPCOMING EVENTS:  

    • Friday, January 10:  Progress Reports go home.  Please check on missing assignments!

     

    • January 13-24 ELA, SLA, and Math STAR testing window.

     

    • January 15: Paxson’s  Around the World Cultural Night (This is a fun evening where students get to learn about some of the diverse cultures represented at Paxson!)

     

    • January 20: NO SCHOOL for Martin Luther King Day

     

    • January 22:  Mid-term reports go home 

     

    • February 7: MCPS 4th Grade Youth Symphony Field Trip

     

    Have a great afternoon!

    -The 4th Grade Team