Curriculum – Fourth Grade
The following is an outline of the texts and supplemental activities that we will use in 4th grade as we move our students forward in meeting the school's Student Learning Expectations and Standards.
Text: California Mathematics (MacMillan/McGraw)
Algebra: Using addition and subtraction
Multiplication and Division Review
Multiple Digit multiplication
Text: Our Golden State (MacMillan/McGraw)
The Social Studies text will also be supplemented with outside resources including some great materials from ’’Interact“ units, CTN (Catholic Telemedia Network, ctnba.org), and additional workbooks and videos. Areas covered include history, geography, map reading, chart interpretation, research, study skills and interpretation of original documents.
We also have a new, complementary student workbook that goes along with the text, which students will work out of this year.
Text: California Treasures, (MacMillan/McGraw), and complementary workbook, plus various novels, including Island of the Blue Dolphins,By the Great Horn Spoon, and James and the Giant Peach
The students have new literature texts this year that cover the California state standards. We will be working out of the text and also supplementing with a "literature based program" in which they are introduced to a variety of novels. Some of the novels will correspond with our Social Studies, including Island of the Blue Dolphins (native Californians) and By the Great Horn Spoon (Gold Rush). In this program they will develop a variety of strategies and skills that allow them to become confident readers able to critically examine and apply meaning to literary works. They will learn to pick out and appreciate the elements of good literature, develop vocabulary, and strengthen comprehension, and foster an enjoyment of reading.
Each student will be required at all times to have a library/silent reading book for enjoyment to read. This can be from home, or our classroom or school or public libraries. Occasionally, the students will be required to turn in a book report on a book approved by the teacher. Reading of award winning books such as Newbery Medal winners or authors, is encouraged. We have a list of these in the classroom or you can obtain one from any public library or online. Students may also be asked to read as part of their homework. In this case, I will have a form for them to fill out with a spot for parents to initial that they have done the reading.
Text: Scott Foresman Science
Life Science, including plant and animal structures, energy in ecosystems and surviving in environments.Physical Science, including matter, force and motion, electricity and magnetism, light and sound.Earth Science, including weather, oceans, and the solar system. The Human Body, including the Digestive, Circulatory, and Nervous systems.
Ms. O'Donnell will be teaching the 4th grade Science this year, along with the 5th grade class. The curriculum will be 4th grade level. Science will take place every day in the afternoon.
Text: Faith First by RCL Publishing
Our religion curriculum focuses on stories from the bible, including many of Jesus's works of healing. This year, we will also focus on how to read the bible, reconciliation, the Beatitudes, and the Eucharist. You can check out their website at ’’www.faithfirst.com’’ (Legacy Edition, grade 4)
Family Life education will be integrated throughout the Religion program. The goal of this program is to help students become more self-aware in their daily lives. Topics discussed will include family and friend relationships, sacraments, and responsibility. I may occasionally send home information from the family connection portion of the program for you to look over. Students will also go over the Diocesan “Safe Environment” curriculum.
ENGLISH and SPELLING
English text: Houghton Mifflin English (Houghton Mifflin) Spelling text: Everyday Spelling(Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley)
The fundamental principles of the Houghton Mifflin English Program include: reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking and language study. Grammar, composition, spelling and vocabulary will be strongly stressed.
In the study of Grammar, students will work toward mastery of sentence structure and an understanding of the parts of speech. Practical use of grammar will be emphasized (parts of speech, mechanics, sentence structure, spelling, vocabulary).
Spelling homework and tests will follow the same pattern each week (by Unit #):
Mondays: Spelling 3X each homework (due Tuesday morning)
Tuesdays-Thursdays: Finish the unit's corresponding book pages for homework (due Friday mornings)
Fridays: Correct book pages and take Unit Test
We have a new writing program this year called Step Up to Writing, which will emphasize sentence and paragraph structure, along with different types of writing. Methods from the Write Traits writing program will also be incorporated. Emphasis is on the 7 traits of good writing: ideas, organization, voice, conventions, word choice, sentence fluency, and presentation.
Handwriting: I will be reviewing and teaching cursive handwriting this year, for which students may have only had a little practice last year. I will give special attention to students' handwriting needs as written assignments are turned in for review and correction. All students will be required to complete certain assignments, including their Spelling 3X each homework, in cursive handwriting, as the year progresses. Our spelling books introduce the unit lists in cursive in the text. Please be sure to help your child with any weaknesses that often appear.
OTHER CURRICULUM AREAS:
PHYSICAL EDUCATION- Tuesdays and Thursdays with Mr. Marcus Payne
Music and Art- Will be incorporated into the curriculum, with special emphasis and classes each Monday and Friday afternoon.
Spanish- Fridays with Ms.Ana Kohnen
COMPUTERS- Will be used in class for special projects and assignments. SmartBoards are utilized to enhance student learning in class with many corresponding websites that complement several of our texts.
Letter grades are new for our 4th graders and I will be explaining what they mean and how things are graded. Here is the grading code that is utilized by the Diocese of Oakland.
A=95-100% C =73-76%
A-=90-94% C- =70-72%
B+=87-89% D+ = 67-69%
B=83-86% D = 63-66%
B-=80-82% D- = 60-62%
C+=77-79% F = Below 60%
Please make every effort to schedule appointments for your children outside of school hours. I know that this is sometimes impossible. If you need to pick up your child early, please send a note at the beginning of the day, so that we can be prepared for your child’s early dismissal.
When a child is absent from school, another student or I will for write down missed assignments and collecting handouts for him/her. It will be the responsibility of the absentee student to check with the teacher to make sure that they have received all materials and make up all missing assignments in a timely matter. It is necessary to contact the school office before 10:00 AM to have a student's assignments available at the end of the day if you wish to pick them up or have them sent home with a sibling. Please do not ask to pick them up early.
It is important to remember that absence adversely affects your child's performance in school. Students who miss school are responsible for completing any work that they miss once they get back. It is against school policy for teachers to prepare the work the student will miss before an absence. Please see school handbook.
A class newsletter called “What's Happening,” will be sent home each Monday and posted on our school website. These will inform parents about what we are studying for the week ahead and list any tests, class projects, and upcoming events.
Each Thursday I will send a folder home (“Star Student” folders) with your child’s corrected work. Please look over your child’s work and sign the paper on the front and return the folder only, on Friday morning. You may keep the contents.
Please check our website regularly.
Also, please keep the lines of communication open between home and school. I am available to email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to meet with me, please arrange for an appointment in advance to make sure I am available. Appointments can be made by calling the school office, via e-mail, or by sending a note to class. Please remember that e-mail is for informational communications only. It is not for the purpose of discussing or resolving problems. Also, it may take me up to 24 hours to get e-mail and return a response. If you have an urgent issue or question, please leave a phone message and I will get back to you at my next available break.
Students are recognized for their hard work and responsibility in class in a variety of ways. Individual students are recognized by getting their name and checks on a special chart. When we work in table groups, groups may earn points for working quietly and being ready.These points help students earn “class cash” for privileges and raffle entries at the end of each month. I will also, occasionally, keep points for the whole class. The class works together to earn 50 points toward extra privileges, such as extra P.E. or recess time or a fun activity.
Our classroom runs on a system based on the California State government. Monitors are given responsibilities which help the classroom run smoothly. Here is the list of duties and their original roles:
Classroom Governmental Duties
- Governor- Takes attendance, collects papers when asked, leads flag salute and morning and closing prayers. Dismisses groups that are ready for recess and at the end of the day.
- Senators (2)- Pass out papers, line leaders, equipment monitors.
- Representatives- if working in groups, these representatives stand to report attendance, collect papers from group members, and write homework for absent students at their group.
- Lieutenant Governor- fills in for governor when absent. May help teacher, if needed.
- Secretary of State- reads bulletins, updates date, runs office errands.
- Auditor- turns on/off lights, in charge of library books (if needed)
- Attorney General- Straightens bookshelves, counters, sink, waters plants.
- Treasurer- passes out class cash, collects any money.
- Superintendent of Public Instruction- gives individual positive points after recesses and when teacher asks.