• Language Arts
    A Balanced Literacy Program

    The goal of the English Language Arts Curriculum is to teach learners how to use language purposefully as they comprehend, construct, and convey meaning. 

    Reader's Workshop

    A quiet, productive time in which students read self-selected books silently for sustained periods.  The teacher may confer with individual students or work with small groups in guided reading and literature study.
    During this time, students will learn:
            -  to use the classroom book collection
            -  to self-select books
            -  to record their reading and thinking

            -  to think of themselves as readers by reading books they enjoy and participating in the choices and decisions readers make. 


    Reading is thinking!
    • I will guide students to talk, think, and question their way through a book.
    • Students leave “tracks of their thinking” upon Post-It notes or upon Think Marks.
    • Students discuss the themes and meaning of a story, share strategies they are using, and make personal connections.
    • Reader's Notebooks
    Students will respond to literature in their Reader’s Notebooks to:
    • demonstrate comprehension of books read
    • share knowledge of story elements, such as characterization, plot, problem, and setting
    • identify reading strategies they are using
    Guided Reading
    • Small reading groups based on interest, theme, or teacher selection
    • Explicit instruction focus
    • Different texts may be utilized for group instruction
    • Focus on reading strategies
    • Text selections read silently with a specific purpose and focus
    • Students reconvene to discuss and share
    • Allows for more personal interaction and discussion of text
    Writer's Workshop

    • Mini-lesson
    • Models and examples (Mentor texts and student samples/exemplars)
    • Independent Writing
    • Conferencing with teacher and/or peers
    • Sharing
    • Writing Traits
    Traits of Writing:
    1. Idea Development
    2. Voice
    3. Word Choice
    4. Organization
    5. Sentence Fluency
    6. Conventions
    7. The Writing Process
    Steps in the Writing Process:
    • Prewriting (a variety of graphic organizers will be utilized)
    • Draft(s)
    • Revising (extremely important for adding clarifying details, improving word choice and organization)
    • Editing for mechanics and grammar
    • Final Draft
    • Publishing
    Click here to learn about Lucy Calkins and our Writing Program

    Word Study
    • Based on Words their Way Program
    • Flexible study groups based on developmental spelling level
    • Focuses on visual skills, patterns, and strategies used to spell and define words
     Includes work with:
    •  spelling rules
    •  vocabulary
    •  word meaning
    •  derivation
    Structure of Program:
    1. Students receive a group of words that they will sort to explore spelling and meaning patterns.
    2. Weekly practice in their Word Study booklets for homework.
    3. Assessment in the form of a quiz that will require students to demonstrate knowledge of spelling and meaning.
    Click here to learn more about Words Their Way

    Vocabulary Development
    • Promoted through the introduction and study of words found in the material and resources we are using across all content areas.
    • The use of context clues is explored and discussed to enhance meaning.
    • The understanding of base words, prefixes, and suffixes introduced and developed to enhance meaning and build vocabulary.
    Math Program Highlights
    • Problem solving about everyday situations
    • Developing readiness through hands-on material
    • Linking past experiences to new concepts
    • Learning through cooperative activities
    • Practicing through games
    • Involving ongoing review
    • Establishing regular routines
    • Involving home-school participation
    • Meeting the NCTM standards
    What Mathematics Does
    • Acknowledges children’s experience and intuitions about mathematics
    • Provides problem-solving experiences in real-life contexts while allowing for various learning styles
    • Promotes practice through meaningful activities and games
    • Integrates content areas throughout the mathematics curriculum
    • Provides a spiral curriculum, ensuring that children encounter and apply concepts over time, deepening mathematical understanding

    Science Units of Study

    Major concepts:

    Animal Adaptations and Behavior
    • Observe and describe behavior and physical characteristics
    • Record observations in interactive notebook
    • Experiment (Ask questions and find answers)
    • Learn distinguishing characteristics
    • Think as scientists

    Rocks and Minerals:  Stories in Stone
    • Use methods scientists employ to gather data
    • Examine and classify minerals according to their properties
    • Describe the origin of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks
    • Examine fossils which provide evidence of earlier life forms and of changes that have occurred over time.
    • To learn more about how Fiske's Big Backyard Program supports our study of Rocks and Minerals and how you can participate in our Whipple Hill Walk, please visit this web site:  http://teacherweb.com/MA/LexingtonPublicSchools/KarenMcCarthy-Science/apt9.aspx
    Social Studies Units of Study

    North American Geography

    As stated in the LPS Benchmarks for Grade 4:

    North American Geography

    Geography Terms and Mapping Skills
    •    Identifies parts of a map
    •    Use a map to interpret information about a region in North America
    •    Identifies the countries within North America (Canada, United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Islands)
    •    Identifies relative (N, S, E, W) and absolute locations (longitude and latitude) of places in North America

    United States

    •    Describes the climate, physical features, natural resources and products of the five regions of the United States
    •    Identifies the states, capitals and major cities in each region
    •    Identifies major national landmarks

    Canada and Mexico

    •    Locates the provinces, territories and major cities
    •    Describes the physical features, climate, economy and people of contemporary Canada
    •    Locates the major cities
    •    Describes the physical features, climate, economy and people of contemporary Mexico

    Students will be involved in:
    • teacher directed and group discussions
    • cooperative learning
    • hands-on activities
    • research using a variety of resources and technology
    • simulation and role playing
    • field trips
    As you can see, we'll be learning a lot this year in fourth grade!