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  4th Grade  
 
Language Arts
WRITING 
Writing is more than putting words on paper. It’s a final stage in the complex process of communicating that begins with “thinking.” Writing is an especially important stage in communication, the intent being to leave no room for doubt. Has any country ratified a verbal treaty? (U.S. Department of Education) 

At this grade level students will take their first TAKS Writing test; therefore, there is a heavy emphasis in writing. On the TAKS writing test, students are given an opportunity to show that they understand each objective. For Objectives 1 and 2, students write a composition in response to a prompt. Objectives 3, 4, 5, and 6 focus on the revising and editing process. These last four objectives deal with issues such as recognizing complete sentences, using verb tenses correctly, capitalization, correct spelling, and including necessary punctuation marks. Along with evaluating written compositions of fellow peers, using an assigned and established criteria, students will be expected to produce a two-page written composition that is:
  1. focused and coherent
  2. well organized
  3. fully elaborated
  4. self-expressive (voice)
  5. grammatically correct 
While there is an assessment, our goal is that students see the benefits of becoming good writers, and they pursue opportunities to be writers outside of the classroom. After a poetry writing unit in April 2006, former FSE students, Christopher W. and Alyssa H. both had poetry published in a book entitled, An Anthology of Children’s Poetry. 
 
READING
Reading supports writing! It is extremely important that students continue to develop greater fluency and experience various styles of writing (genres) to be successful in the current and future years to come. Research shows, “Good Readers are Fabulous Writers.” The reading portion of fourth grade covers all TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) under the following objectives:
  • Objective 1 - Demonstrate a basic understanding of culturally diverse written texts
  • Objective 2 - Apply knowledge of literary elements to understand culturally diverse written texts.
  • Objective 3 - Use a variety of strategies to analyze culturally diverse written texts.
  • Objective 4 - Apply critical-thinking skills to analyze culturally diverse written texts
Fourth grade reading instruction is a balance of daily expectations to read, comprehend, monitor, and adjust reading rate and the curricular requirements to respond, summarize, and represent texts in a variety of ways (i.e. outlines). This is done through both novel studies like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and the district’s adopted reading curriculum.
 
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Go to: http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Writing/index.html for more detailed information on how to help your child be successful in reading.
 
**10 Reasons to Read Aloud to Children**
By: Susan Nixon, MA Ed.
 
Children will:
  1. hear new words
  2. develop sentence sense and an ear for rhythm
  3. enjoy and compare diverse writing styles
  4. create common connections to ideas (as a class)
  5. use reading as a springboard to discussion and writing
  6. gain new knowledge and understanding
  7. hear standard forms of English
  8. learn about a variety of writing genres
  9. feel things they’ve never felt before
  10. share a wonderful time with you and your favorite read-aloud books!
Math
Fourth grade mathematics begins each class period with a challenging word problem. This activity is designed to promote critical thinking and to encourage familiarity and success when solving word problems. Word problems are a challenging aspect of math at any grade level. However, daily reinforcement of such practices as having students identify the information needed to solve the problem and knowing which operation of math to use, builds confidence and strengthens ability.
 
Foundation for future success
A student’s ability to solve challenging word problems depends on his or her ability to apply the correct operation of math. To strengthen this ability each problem solving activity is followed by a multiplication factors assessment. Each student is required to recall a set of multiplication factors daily. Completion of all multiplication factors is highly recommended for fourth grade and future success in mathematics. All students are encouraged to practice writing and reciting a set of multiplication factors daily with a peer, sibling or parent(s).
 
Hands on approach
Throughout various math lessons students participate in practical activities that reinforce understanding at all levels.  They are also able to create math-based art, which provides students another opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of a particular concept.

Science

 

Fourth grade science class is 85% lab based where the students learn science skills to Imageidentify components and processes of the natural world including properties of soil, effects of the oceans on land, and the role of the Sun as our major source of energy. In addition, students identify the physical properties of matter and observe the addition or reduction of heat as an example of what can cause changes in states of matter. Students learn the roles of living and nonliving components of simple systems and investigate differences between learned characteristics and inherited traits. They learn that adaptations of organisms that lived in the past may have increased some species' ability to survive.
 
Social Studies
Fourth Grade is dedicated to helping students enjoy Texas History studies and DCR (Depth Complexity and Rigor) in my SS class.  I teach history along with assisting others teachers in core areas that need remediation.  We have studied Texas from the years of early 1700s to modern day Texas.  This year we placed special emphasis on Texas as its own republic, our fourth grade students traveled to Washington-on-the-Brazos to study about pioneer life and President Anson Jones.
 
     
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