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.
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
- demonstrate comprehension of books read
- share knowledge of story elements, such as characterization, plot, problem, and setting
- identify reading strategies they are using
- 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
- Models and examples (Mentor texts and student samples/exemplars)
- Independent Writing
- Conferencing with teacher and/or peers
- Writing Traits
- Idea Development
- Word Choice
- Sentence Fluency
- The Writing Process
- Prewriting (a variety of graphic organizers will be utilized)
- Revising (extremely important for adding clarifying details, improving word choice and organization)
- Editing for mechanics and grammar
- Final Draft
- 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
- spelling rules
- word meaning
- Students receive a group of words that they will sort to explore spelling and meaning patterns.
- Weekly practice in their Word Study booklets for homework.
- Assessment in the form of a quiz that will require students to demonstrate knowledge of spelling and meaning.
Math Program Highlights
- 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.
What Mathematics Does
- 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
- 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
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
Social Studies Units of Study
- 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
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
• 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:
As you can see, we'll be learning a lot this year in fourth grade!
- teacher directed and group discussions
- cooperative learning
- hands-on activities
- research using a variety of resources and technology
- simulation and role playing
- field trips