Welcome to Fourth Grade!
Hello Parents and Guardians,
I look forward to seeing and meeting you on the Parent-Teacher Night ---Sept. 19. Some of you I already know as I have taught older brothers, sisters, and cousins of your Fourth grader. It is wonderful to stay at the same place so that one gets to know well the families and to watch the children grow.
This year will be a very challenging and exciting year due to the fact that at this level much new material in all academic areas will be introduced. I always enter my students in various writing/poetry contests throughout the year. Last year some of my students won in poetry competitions and in prior years, students have had their poems published in anthologies which they could buy.
We will be attending an opera next month so time will be spent on listening to excerpts of operas and classical music written by various composers.
First of all, I would like to talk about a few things in general. I would appreciate if your child always has sufficient supplies, especially paper. To avoid mix-ups, please make sure that items such as pencil bags and lunch containers have your child's name on them in permanent marker. It is also a good idea to mark uniform sweaters and gym clothes as these often get left behind and end up in the lost-and- found.
At the end of every day, I go through all of the homework assignments, reminding the students about textbooks, worksheets, or any special supplies that are necessary. If they have not copied down the assignment when it was given and written of the board, there is ample time at this point. I thank you in advance for your help and cooperation.
Fourth Grade begins the middle school years; students will take on more responsibility for their work: listening carefully to instruction and directions; taking notes [we work on this together]; and accurately writing down homework assignments. Parents, of course, will be looking over homework, pointing out errors; but the main part of the work should be left to the students to do.
That said, here is what we hope to accomplish this month:
RELIGION. Chapter 1: Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus was sent to show us the way God the Father wants us to live. Chapter 2: Jesus Leads Us to Happiness. Students take notes in their spiral notebook; these are written on the board and they copy; they also write definitions for all word written in red. These notes and definitions must be studied and learned; so sometimes the homework will be to study notes. This note-taking will help them in determining important facts and help prepare for the upper grades when they will have to make their own notes.
READING. We have a new reading series and the students, after perusing the text, said they liked it. We have read the first story which was humorous and well-written. There is also the Reading/Writing Workshop text which works in tandem with the reader. Student outcomes include:
- Close reading of complex text
- Cite relevant evidence from text
- Determine theme
- Literary elements
- Write to sources
- Draw evidence from literature
- Write narrative text
- Writing responses to selections
- Language development
- Speaking and Listening
- Foundational skills: phonics, spelling, fluency
Each story will be read and discussed thoroughly before any test is given. Study guides for literature will always be: What are the literary element? What is the main idea? These will be discussed in class, worksheets completed—to provide a study guide would be to give a copy of the test.
MATH. This month we shall cover Unit 1. The concepts that will be studied are:
- Review of addition and subtraction facts
- Solving number stories
- Traditional addition
- Traditional subtraction
- S. Customary units of length
- Points, line segments, lines, and rays
- Angles, triangles, and quadrilaterals
- Finding perimeters of squares and rectangles
Please understand that some of the lessons take more than one day to cover. Also, students will be doing additional computation to hone skills.
Tests [Progress Check] will be given at the end of the unit. Students are notified several days ahead; plus, we do plenty of practice. Quizzes in computation are given in addition to the unit test. These are based on the classwork and homework the students will do—homework sheets are the study guides.
VOCABULARY. Usually two units a month are covered. In order for the words to become part of an active vocabulary, time must be spent with them—not an assembly line philosophy. Exercises in books, games using the words, students writing sentences that show they understand the meaning and usage. After this comes a test; SO it will not be the neat 4 days study and Friday test. Students are informed several days before the test. They will be tested on the spelling and then on the definitions—two separate tests on one unit of words, on the same day. After the first test, there will be review words from a given former unit. At the beginning of the new unit, students will be told which will be the review unit. The study guide? The words and definitions of the given units.
ENGLISH. The use of correct English is expected in all subjects, both oral and written. If we study something in English, it is to be correctly used in the other subjects. This is part of the English grade.
This month we will focus on:
- Sentences [declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory]
- Subjects and predicates
- Compound subjects and compound predicates
- Direct objects
- Subject complements
SCIENCE. Students are very excited because we will be dissecting with eighth grade; nearly every year that I have fourth grade, the 7th or 8th graders have dissected a frog with the 4th grade assistants. The students always enjoy this. In preparation for this, Science will start out with Chapter 5: Systems of the Human Body, 137-168. Students will have plenty of notes, worksheets, and drawings that will ensure learning if accompanied with study. In Science, it is absolutely necessary to read and study assigned pages. And, yes, if an assignment is to read, there will probably be a quiz the next day or session.
Students will begin with the skeletal and muscular systems.
Let's work together for a wonderful and successful school year for your child!
- Close reading of complex text