Programs and Procedures


Be sure to ask your child to show you the contents of his/her homework folder and assignment book everyday. These folders contain homework for the evening and sometimes information for parents. Reading calendars, on which students should keep track of their daily reading, are built right into the assignment book.



         These folders come home every Friday. They contain work from the week . Please remove the papers, then sign and return the folder every Monday. Folders will not be sent home over vacations and extended weekends.

Students in Mr. Showalter’s homeroom will also have a folder called “Rios’ Reading Report” that will be sent home periodically and will contain reading work and reading tests.  These folders have a place for your signature so that I will know you have seen it.



A lot is expected of our children these days. The school day is busy and full. However, homework is an important tool as it provides a child with a sense of responsibility and parents a means of knowing what their child is currently learning in school. Math homework is assigned Monday-Thursday evenings. Independent reading and studying spelling/vocabulary words are also ongoing assignments. Fourth grade homework should take no more than 40 minutes to complete (this includes the reading). If your child’s homework is taking longer than this, please contact me so that we can work on a solution. I do not grade homework, so please feel free to give your child assistance and guidance when needed.


      There will be a list of core words (20) and ten challenge words each week. Challenge words are optional and cannot affect your child’s grade in a negative way. The new words will be given on Monday of each week, the words will be practiced over the next 4 days, and the final test will be given on Friday. We will have spelling lessons/lists/tests on four-day weeks, but not on weeks with fewer days than four.

You can also use this website: www.spellingcity to help your child study and practice the words. Just go to the site, search “Melany Rios”, then click on my name when it pops up, and it will take you to the lesson lists for practice, games, etc.



       Learning to read and learning to enjoy reading only comes with practice. Just as your child must practice an instrument to become accomplished at it, so must he/she practice reading in order to become an accomplished reader.

Also, because I obviously can’t be with you in your home, it is difficult for me to assess accurately how much your child initiates independent reading. For these reasons, I make reading a daily assignment. This reading may take the form of your child reading independently, reading to a sibling, or even you reading a book to your child. Remember to help your child keep track of his/her reading on the reading calendar in the assignment book.

In 4th grade, it is my expectation that students should be able to read one to three books at his/her independent reading level each month.


         Mr. Showalter will be teaching math this year. He will follow the components of the “My Math”, program, which is now in its fifth year. This program is linked to the Common Core Standards about which you have been hearing so much.

You may remember from third grade an increased level of difficulty and a more rigorous pace than has been the case in the past. A major component of Common Core is rigor.

According to our new program, rigor is described as “pursuing with equal intensity these three facets of instruction:

~Students will develop a conceptual understanding.

~Students will learn procedural skills and develop fluency.

~Students will apply mathematical concepts.”

We ask that you encourage your child to use the at-home, online component to this program as another resource. We appreciate your continued support as we help your child be as successful as possible with math in fourth grade.


Students receive letter grades based on percentages. I will spend time explaining to students how I arrive at their grades. I will be sending a midterm report home each marking period if your child is at a “D” or lower in any subject area at that time to keep you informed about your child’s current progress. Be sure to always check the Friday Folder as well. These are ways I have devised to keep everyone informed so there are no surprises at report card time.

WIN/WIN AGREEMENT (What guides our behavior)

Be in charge of only yourself and your actions. (Be Proactive)

Have a plan, be prepared and organized. (Begin With The End In Mind)

Take responsibility for your work. (Put 1st Things 1st)

Share, be polite and respectful. (Think Win-Win)

Be an active listener. (Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood)

Work together, cooperatively, as a team .(Synergize)

Balance your work and play. (Sharpen the Saw)


Consequences of one’s poor choices should be natural, and I do my best to practice this belief.   If you make a mess, you clean it up.   If you hurt someone’s feelings, you apologize.   If you can’t work in a group appropriately, you do the assignment by yourself. I believe that we learn and grow from our mistakes. No one is perfect.



Please be sure to notify me in writing of any time your child will be picked up by you or someone else, or of any change in his/her transportation for any given day. Any change in bus must also have a written note for both bus drivers and one for the office as well.

If your child has an appointment and must leave school early, please send a note as to the time your child will be picked up. I will have your child ready to go at that time. It is our school policy to have parents go directly to the office. Mrs. Jackson will then notify me of your arrival.

Please also remember to send a written excuse for all absences.


         Birthday treats are always welcome and appreciated, but are not required! If you do send a treat, it is most helpful if you could precut the items. Keeping it simple seems to work best! Thanks!


         If you have not yet subscribed to my blog, please consider doing so. You can access the blog at any time, but if you subscribe, you will get an email notification when I post something. The blog is my primary means of communication. However, you can find any information regarding upcoming tests in your child’s assignment book.


         Fourth grade is the first year a student may take instrumental lessons. These lessons take place once every other cycle (every 8 days) here at school. Students are pulled from academic classes to take their lessons each cycle. I have talked with your child about the responsibility of making up missed work when he/she is at his/her instrumental lesson. I will make every effort to provide the material missed during these lessons, but I wanted you to be aware that your child will be missing instruction during the instrumental lesson time.