Curriculum Overview

Welcome to fourth grade. This is a very exciting and challenging year for your child. The fourth graders are now an integral part of the intermediate school where the focus is on high academics, having more responsibility, and becoming independent workers. It is a year of growth and challenge and as their teacher; I look forward to being an important part of your child’s learning along with you. Thank you in advance for all of your support in emphasizing the importance of learning and always doing your best.

Philosophy: Each child entering our classroom is a unique and special individual with their own talents and qualities. All students have a right to a good learning environment. My job as their fourth grade teacher is to ensure that class is conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect. When one person is speaking, others are quiet and listening. We laugh with and not at others. I expect the children to do their best at following directions, being prepared, trying hard in all academic areas, and respecting school property and the property of others. Following our class rules will enable us to all have a great successful year. Religion:
Christian values are integrated throughout the day.
The new edition, Blest are We and Steps to Respect are the texts used in
fourth grade focusing on:
• The Goodness of God
• Jesus is the Son of God
• The Holy Spirit
• The Church & Her Sacraments
• Social Justice
• The Beatitudes
• The Rosary & a Variety of Prayer Experiences
• Conflict and Resolution, Socialization Skills
• Anti-Bullying Program
• Mass
• Scripture Study
• Community Services
Religion is also integrated throughout our day, with morning
prayers, scripture readings, intentions, meal blessings, closing
prayers, as well as it is integrated within other subject areas. An
example of this is in Handwriting, when we write scripture verses in
our best cursive penmanship.
The Zaner-Bloser program is used along with words that will be
integrated throughout the curriculum. The list of spelling words will be
obtained from the fourth grade high frequency list and vocabulary from
different subject areas.
Shifting from “Learning to read” to “Reading to Learn”
The fourth graders use Literature books that provide a rich exposure to
language and vocabulary that will help influence their writing ability. In
Reading, the focus is to read with comprehension, read and following
direction, discriminate from fact and opinion, recognize story elements
such as character, plot, and setting, and evaluate the author’s purpose
and point of view. Students will also be able to make predictions and
inferences as well as, use logical sequencing to retell stories. We work
very hard on using back up from the book to support our answers.
Students will start the year reading the same chapter book, My Father’s
Dragon. We will also read Shiloh, and Bud, Not Buddy as a whole group.
The following are a list of other chosen books for fourth grade literature.
• Chocolate Fever
• Chocolate Touch
• Freckle Juice
• Frindle
• The Castle in the Attic
• Battle for the Castle
• Stone Fox
• The Whipping Boy
• The Hundred Dresses
• Sarah, Plain and Tall
• On My Honor
• The War with Grandpa
• Dear Mr. Henshaw
• Pinballs
These books offer a variety for all reading levels.
Students need to choosing books that are at their LEXILE/DRA/RAZ Kids
level for comprehension. Picking books that are too easy will not
challenge students to become a better reader and picking books that are
too difficult will hinder the comprehension of that book. The five finger
rule will always apply when choosing a book.
Book Reports:
Each month, students will be required to complete a book report. The
first report is a book talk, followed by a written report, then a project.
They will be due toward the end of the month, allowing plenty of time for
reading and preparation.
We use the Sliver Burdett text book to learn how to use a thesaurus,
dictionary, encyclopedia and other non-fiction books for research
purposes. Students will also learn in depth about nouns, verbs,
pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prefixes, suffixes, homonyms,
homographs and figures of speech.
Writing is a constant in all subject areas. The Six Traits of Writing,
the Four Square pre-writing method, and multiple organizers will be
modeled and used throughout the year. The focus will be mainly on
narrative and expository writing. Students will also learn about
comparing and contrasting, character sketches, descriptive stories using
conversation, poetry, outlines and research papers, friendly letters and
business letters.
Social Studies:
We begin the year by reviewing mapping skills and then covering the
50 states and the regions they are located in. From there we’ll study
Lewis and Clark, pioneers and the Westward Movement. We’ll finish the
year learning about Washington State. Our new Washington Social
Studies book is comprehensive and will be used frequently throughout
each unit.
Fourth grade will use the GO Mathematics program, with special
emphasis in the area of fractions. We also use many other sources to pull
from. It is essential that students know their addition, subtraction and
multiplication facts with accuracy and speed. Please assist them with
this at home. This will help as we build our knowledge base in Math.
The following will be covered this year:
• Addition and subtraction with whole numbers, decimals and fractions
• Multiplication and division of one and two digit numbers
• Measurement
• Time
• Money
• Probability and data
• Graphing
• Geometry
We begin each math period with Mental Math thinking, The Big 5,
plus Math Madness to practice facts. Students will work at his/her own
pace and keep track of their progress as they go. At the beginning of each
week, we’ll have a checkpoint to review last week’s concepts and in the
middle of the week we’ll focus on problem solving.
There will be math homework each night, Monday through Thursday.
Quizzes will be given halfway through each chapter and tests will be
given at the end of each chapter. Parents should sign off on homework
that they helped their child with.
NRC Framework, Steam Engineering Challenges, Foss Kits and other
Text are used in science for fourth grade to meet the Next Generation
Science Standards. There will be many hands-on opportunities for the
students to learn the objectives for fourth grade. The units that are
covered are:
• Scientific Method
• PS3 Patterns and motion, energy and matter
• LS1 Plants and animal internal and external structure for survival,
growth, behavior and reproduction
• ESS1 Weathering and erosion
• Engineering and Technology
• Garden – soils