Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Homework

This homework is for students entering fifth grade in September 2016.  Please use the link below to download/print copies.  (The school supply list for 5th grade is also included in the link)

Summer Homework

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Writing Historical Fiction Journals

         During this writing unit the fourth grade students will create a character of their own and envision what life was like during the American Revolution. Students will think of the daily life of the people living back then and the problems that they experienced during the war. Within their journal entries students will also include dialect clues, along with setting clues, to show their reader what life was like back then. The students will also be taught to write with strong emotion and feelings about the problems that they are dealing with. Solutions and or resolutions will also be included in their historical fiction journals. Lastly, the students will show how their character has grown and or learned a life lesson by going through their problem.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May & June Read Aloud

            During this time we will be connecting what we are learning in social studies about The American Revolution to Read Aloud. We will be focusing on the genre of historical fiction connected to this time period in American History. During Read Aloud the students will be engaged in conversation about these texts. Students will also be learning and applying the skills that are necessary in order to navigate through historical fiction texts. Students should understand:

  •  Historical Fiction stories are made up stories that take place in a specific time period. Characters are based on real people from the time period. The character’s problem is connected to the struggles and issues that existed during that particular time period. Authors must do research in order to make sure the details about the time period are accurate. This means using real facts to explain what life was like during that time.

Students should remember to apply the following strategies modeled in read aloud at different points of reading:

  • Before Reading:
          Preview: Read the blurb, author’s note, maps and chapter titles to make a prediction
  •              During Reading:

§                                Pay attention to:  Time Period Clues

  1.                  Daily Life Clues
  2.                   Dialect Clues
  3.                  Big Life Topics- involving the time period

  •             After Reading:

§                              Develop a theme or a generalization about this time in history

          We will read the following texts:

  •                  Katie’s Trunk by Ann Turner
  •                  The Scarlet Stocking Spy by Trinka Hakes Noble
  •                  Phoebe the Spy by Judith Griffin
  •                  My Brother Sam is Dead by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

Social Studies- May and June

As the school year begins to come to a close, we are going to be learning about the American Revolution. This is a very exciting unit for both the students and the teachers because it tells the story of our country and where it all begin! Students will learn how the United States transformed from colonies ruled by England to an independent nation. 

Social Studies lessons are very hands-on because students are responsible for their own learning. Each lesson requires students to take notes while reading Powerpoint presentations, watching videos, and reading from non-fiction texts. Students will also have many opportunities to put themselves in the shoes of the men and women who lived during the time period by writing journal entries and newspaper articles, performing plays, and playing interactive games on the computer. 

Students will also be using the knowledge gained during Social Studies lessons to support their learning across subject areas. In writing, students will develop a character who lives during the American Revolution and complete journal entries related to the time period. In reading, students will be discussing historical fiction texts taking place during the American Revolution. For read aloud, we will be reading the novel My Brother Sam is Dead, a story that focuses on the hardships that families had to deal with during this period in history.

Many of our field trips at the end of the school year also enhance the students' understanding of the American Revolution. When visiting the Old Stone House, the children will learn about the Battle of Brooklyn. Our trip to the Conference House will give students a chance to tour the building where a very important meeting was held. Historic Richmond Town is a real life depiction of a colonial town where students will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of what life was like during the American Revolution. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

February/March Math Workshop

The fourth grade geometry unit will build upon the knowledge of geometry that the students were introduced to in third grade.  During this unit, we will be introducing points, lines, line segments, rays  as well as the relationship between them.  The students will be able to identify each of these both independently and within a shape.  Students will also learn how to properly use a protractor and use that knowledge to not only measure a given angle, but also construct their own angles.  Students will also learn to identify lines of symmetry within a shape and understand what makes two shapes congruent. We will focus on the classification of triangles by both length of sides and measurement of angles, and finally, we will look at other 2-D shapes and learn how to identify each by the number of sides.  See below for a comprehensive vocabulary list of terms that will be covered throughout this topic, as well as more detailed descriptions with sample problems.

Geometry Vocabulary:

  • Acute angle - an angle that measures less than 90 degrees  
  • Acute triangle - triangle with all interior angles that measure less than 90 degrees 
  • Angle - the figure that is formed when two rays meet sharing a common vertex
  • Degree - The unit used to measure angles 
  • Equilateral Triangle - A triangle with three equal sides
  • Intersecting Lines - Lines that cross at any given point
  • Isosceles Triangle - Triangle with two equal sides
  • Line - A straight path made up of points
  • Line of Symmetry - The line through a figure that creates two halves that match exactly
  • Obtuse Angle - An angle with a measure that is more than 90 degrees
  • Obtuse Triangle - A triangle with one angle that is more than 90 degrees
  • Parallel Lines - Lines that do not intersect
  • Perpendicular Lines - Lines that form a right angle when they do intersect
  • Point - Precise location along a line or plane
  • Protractor - A tool used to measure angles
  • Right Angle -  An angle that measures to exactly 90 degrees
  • Right Triangle - A triangle that contains 90 degrees
  • Scalene Triangle - A triangle with no equal sides or angles 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February, March and April

Writing Workshop

Starting in February, the fourth grade has changed gears from persuasive writing to writing about reading.  Students will be exposed to and will practice answering many different types of short response and essay questions involving theme, character change, beginning / middle / end feelings, similarities and differences as well as some non-fiction informational texts. 

Although the essays and responses have different topics, one thing remains the same:  students must come up with an idea to answer each question and provide details and or text evidence to support their answers.

Towards the beginning of March, the students will be working on reading paired passages and responding to questions that relate to the paired texts. Along with short responses to paired passage texts, the students will also be writing extended responses. These extended responses will be determined by the amount of bullets the writing task includes. For example, if the task has two bullets then that should signal to the student that the extended response should be organized in two paragraphs. If there are three bullets then the student will organize and write a three paragraph response.

The paired passages are as follows:
"Brainy Birds"
"Too Many Zucchinis"
"Hattie Big Sky"
"Call of the Wild"

February, March & April Read Aloud

What’s New in Read Aloud?

Fourth Grade is utilizing the Read-Aloud Period in order to prepare our students to navigate through texts of various genres. We have renamed this period and are now referring to read-aloud as, “Seminar”. During this period we will be focusing on exposing students to different types of fiction and non-fiction genres. Over the next few months we will be focusing on:
·      Expository/Informational texts
·      Narrative Texts
·      Argumentative/ Persuasive Texts
·      Instructional/ Procedural Texts

·      Excerpts
·      Historical Fiction 
·      Traditional Literature: Fables
·      Traditional Literature: Myths and Legends
·      Traditional Literature: Tall Tales
·      Science Fiction
·      Poems

During this period, we will organize ourselves into a circle in order to foster open discussion about the texts as we read them aloud. We will focus on text structure and getting the students used to identifying different text structures in order to ensure better comprehension of the text.

We are encouraging students to make a plan for reading by:

    Non-Fiction Texts

1)   Previewing: To preview a non-fiction text, we:
      Focus on the three main parts:
·      Set-up (title, headings/subheadings)
·      Words (bold words, where specific details are located)
·      Pictures (captions, maps, graphics, and illustrations)
      Ask ourselves:
      1.    “How do the three parts connect?”
      2.   “What’s this passage probably going to be mostly about?”

2)   When reading non-fiction texts:
  •               Stop at the end of each chunk of text and think about what you have learned.

  •      After reading two or more chunks of the text, you should think about how what you just read connects to what you read in previous chunks.

·      Ask: How does this new information help me understand what I already read earlier in the text?

3)   Pay attention to non-fiction text structures:
·      Descriptive
·      Sequence
·      Problem and Solution
·      Cause and Effect
·      Compare and Contrast
     Reading Fiction Texts:
1)   Preview:
How: Read the title, bold words, pictures and the first paragraph to get an idea of:
  •         Main Character
  •     Secondary Character
  •     Setting
  •     Problem
  •      Big life topics

2)   Read the text carefully and develop ideas about the main character, problem and themes within the text.

3)   After reading: Confirm or adjust your preview prediction. Jot down the problem and the lesson on top of the passage.

Students will also be required to answer short response questions about each passage. It is important that they follow the structure of a short response paragraph in order to earn the highest possible grade of a 2.