4th Grade Highlights

Reading – Penn Manor uses an exciting and thought provoking reading series.  The series is a comprehensive language arts program including whole group and small group reading instruction as well as spelling, grammar, and writing lessons.  Your child will have the opportunity to read and respond to a variety of literature including fiction, non-fiction, news articles, biographies, research, and more.  He/She will work in guided reading groups that are designed to practice and strengthen skills taught each week in the critical areas of reading.   We also have a self-selected reading time each day when students are reading books they have picked from our classroom library and that are appropriate for their reading levels.

 Spelling – Our spelling program focuses on many spelling strategies and skills.  Your child will sort spelling patterns, spell words in context, use convention strategies, and apply spelling in proofreading and writing scenarios.  The spelling program is aligned with the reading series.  Spelling tests are scheduled for Fridays.

English Language Arts (ELA) – This part of our day extends reading and writing topics that relate to our anthology.  Grammar skills are also incorporated into our ELA times.  Writing lessons typically begin with a mini-lesson and then a time to apply that skill to a writing task.  We begin the year by writing paragraphs that have a focused main idea (topic sentence), supporting details, and a concluding sentence.  We will spend time learning about text dependent responses.  These types of responses will rely heavily on using text evidence and analysis.  We refer to this type of writing as TDAs.  We’ll use two-column notes to organize these responses.  We will also complete units on persuasive, narrative, and informative writing; as well as write a biography, author a poetry book, and more!  We will also incorporate David Dye’s writing program and his “Show Not Tell” strategies into our lessons and learning.   In addition, we will be participating in cursive handwriting lessons at times this year.

Math –  We will use My Math this year.  This program is aligned with Common Core Standards.  Please be sure to visit www.macmillinmh.com.  Here you will find information on math concepts, topics, math fact games and more.  My blog also contains a link that will give you directions for accessing a student math book online.  This will allow you to view lessons from the book on your computer.  Our math series features hands-on activities, the use of manipulatives, cooperative learning, direct instruction, and enrichment opportunities.  Math activities focus on problem solving through real-life applications.  We will use the CRA (concrete, representational and abstract) approach to teaching math concepts.  Some of the concepts that will be covered this year are: place value up to the millions; greater addition and subtraction; collecting, organizing, and using data; multiplication and division; fractions; and measurement and time.  It is essential that your child master his/her basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts to find the greatest success in math.  In addition to whole group instruction, students will be working in small, flexible groups for practice, remediation, or enrichment.

Science –  We have many new science lessons this year!  Many of the lessons will be hands-on investigations and be completed through cooperative learning activities.

Social Studies – The major units of study are landforms, continents and oceans, explorers (past and present), and Pennsylvania.  Many of our lessons will be project/research oriented.  We will also be using many graphic organizers that will remain in your child’s folder during the unit and serve as study guides.

Computer Applications – We will have many opportunities to use computers to practice word processing skills.  We will also be using the Internet for research activities.  ALL Internet use will be closely supervised.  Many of our lessons will include the use of interactive websites and presentations on Mimio, making our white board interactive.

 Grading – Your child will be receiving letter grades again this year.  I continually stress the importance of effort in their work and not focus on the grade itself.  Any graded assignment is given a point value.  A percentage is calculated based on points earned and recorded in my grade book.  The average grade will appear on the report card.

Homework – Your child will be receiving homework this year, but it should not take longer than 30-40 minutes.  Please be sure to check with your child to make sure they have completed homework assignments and have reviewed any notes.  Please sign your child’s planner each evening.  If an assignment is not completed, the student will stay in at recess to complete it.

Enrichment –There are many chances for all students to be involved in enrichment opportunities.  In addition, flexible grouping in subject areas will offer students with enrichment opportunities.   I’m very flexible and will accept almost any enrichment project, as long as it relates to our curriculum.  Please encourage your child to tell you more about the enrichment opportunities that are available to him/her.

Organizational Skills/Study Skills – I will be emphasizing study and organizational skills throughout the year.  We will be learning about how to use graphic organizers, take notes, highlight important information, study for tests, and more.  I can’t tell you how important it is for your child to review social studies and science notes each evening.  This allows for more meaningful learning and helps to eliminate the night before the test stress!

Classroom Management – In order to help students to remain on-task and focused, I use positive reinforcement and the “1,2,3.” Strategy. This system simply redirects students to participate, stay alert and focused.

I believe that it is important to guide students toward independence and success through interactive, hands-on, enjoyable learning.  I will strive to meet your child’s needs by providing him/her with many opportunities for success.  We are a team!  I encourage you to feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, and/or comments.  I look forward to working with you and your child throughout the year!