Language ArtsThe goal of the English Language Arts Curriculum is to teach learners how to use language purposefully as they comprehend, construct, and convey meaning.
A Balanced Literacy Program
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!
Students will respond to literature in their Reader’s Notebooks to:
- 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
Traits of Writing:
- Models and examples (Mentor texts and student samples/exemplars)
- Independent Writing
- Conferencing with teacher and/or peers
- Writing Traits
Steps in the Writing Process:
- Idea Development
- Word Choice
- Sentence Fluency
- The Writing Process
Click here to learn about Lucy Calkins and our Writing Program
- 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
Includes work with:
- 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
Structure of Program:
- spelling rules
- word meaning
Click here to learn more about Words Their Way
- 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.
- 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.
Everyday 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 Everyday Mathematics Does
Everyday Mathematics Site for More Information
- 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
Parent Letters by Unit
Science Units of StudyMajor 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
- Measure time by observing patterns in the position of the Sun and phases of the Moon.
- Explain the cause of day and night.
- Recognize that the Sun is a star and the center of our Solar System.
- Describe the Solar System, including planets, moons, their arrangement and motion.
- 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 StudyNorth 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 MexicoCanada
• Locates the provinces, territories and major cities
• Describes the physical features, climate, economy and people of contemporary CanadaMexico
• 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
- Enables students to become creative, independent thinkers and writers
- Provides record of student learning
- Allows students to express their ideas and process learning
- Provides structure and routine
As you can see, we'll be learning a lot this year in fourth grade!