Our current topics of study are listed below. See the weekly newsletter page for more information. Students will have me, Mrs. Marvin, for English language arts, and Mrs. Quigley for Math, Science, and Social Studies.
The English language arts (E.L.A.) block requirements call for 90-120 minutes of balanced literacy instruction. This will include whole and small group instruction in reading strategies, vocabulary and word study, daily read alouds, supported student-selected independent reading through daily readers’ workshop, and writing mini-lessons and workshops in narrative, informational, and argumentative writing.
Our district has purchased the American Reading Company’s 100 Book Challenge leveled library for each 4th grade E.L.A. classroom, along with the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework. These materials will allow us to identify the specific reading strengths and needs of each individual student and guide and support students in self-selected reading at their appropriate levels in order to target their most needed reading skills—and most of all, to create a culture that builds and encourages a life-long love of reading! This will translate into a 30-minute Reading Workshop block within the E.L.A. class in which students will receive individual teacher conferencing and accountable independent reading time.
I will also be piloting the 2016 Benchmark Advance curriculum within the literacy block framework for the first half of the year with our class. This program is built around the Common Core State Standards for college and career readiness. Our district is exploring this program as an option to purchase in the future to replace our Imagine-It materials. I welcome your feedback!
For the remainder of the year, we will follow the district-developed curriculum maps for units 3 and 4, as outlined below, unless the decision is made to continue the pilot program.
Unit 3: The Power of Purpose
We will explore how author's select various text structures and literary devices depending on their purposes. Students will study biographical texts in combination with our writers' workshop focus on informational writing.
Unit 4: Prove Your Point
Writers' workshop in this unit will focus on argumentative/opinion writing. Students will construct and support text inferences while studying how authors use reasons and evidence to support their claims.
District 60-minute math block requirements include a daily number routine, classroom activities with student work, and a closing activity. In order to best meet the rigor and demands of the Common Core State Standards, our Investigations program units will be addressed in the following order with appropriate supplementing and adjustments:
Unit 5: "Landmarks and Large Numbers" - Students increase their knowledge of place value and the base ten number system in order to make generalizations about numbers and operations.
Unit 3:"Multiple Towers and Division Stories" - Students study the relationship between multiplication and division of multi-digit numbers.
Unit 6:"Fraction Cards & Decimal Squares"- students compare and compute fractions and decimals.
Unit 4: "Size, Shape, and Symmetry"- students measure, describe, and compare the attributes of two-dimensional shapes.
Unit 7: "Moving Between Solids and Silhouettes" - students study the attributes of three-dimensional shapes and measure volume.
Unit 8: "How Many Packages? How Many Groups?" - Students learn more efficient strategies for complex multiplication and division problem solving.
The Structures of Life: We will study the life cycles and physical structures of plants and animals that allow them to survive in their environments.
Magnetism and Electricity: Students explore magnetic properties, circuits, and electromagnets.
Land and Water: Students study land erosion and the way water and soils interact.
We follow the Delaware Department of Education's recommended curriculum for social studies. Units of study for 4th grade include:
Each child has an E.L.A. homework composition notebook to use for completing reading, writing, and word study/spelling assignments. Students are expected to record homework assignments each night and have their agendas signed by a parent or adult at home. Please feel free to write any comments or questions in the agenda as well. Please check agendas and newsletters for updates on any upcoming projects.