Welcome back! This year will be full of academic, social, and personal growth! In math, we will begin the year building on our knowledge of place value, addition and subtraction algorithms, and geometry terms. We will learn to justify our mathematical thinking with visual models and explanations. Automaticity of multiplication facts are crucial to success in math this year. Multiplication facts are the building blocks for all of our math skills. Students are encouraged to play math fact games at https://connected.mcgraw-hill.com to increase speed and memorization. Students should be using DreamBox Learning, our individualized learning platform to increase math achievement, at least 60-90 per week for the program to be effective. Although parental involvement is always encouraged (and welcomed), students should not be helped while using DreamBox, so that the program can accurately assess and adapt to each child's individual needs. If your child is having difficulty with a certain lesson, the program will automatically use that information to adapt to a more appropriate level and build the necessary foundational skills.
4th graders should be reading their “just right” books for 20-30 minutes each night to increase fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. In reading, our focus is understanding characters- their traits, how they change, and the lessons they learn. We will also be interpreting theme to deepen our understanding. While reading, students should use post-its to keep track of plot, character feelings, traits, repeated objects, and theme. The use of post-its helps demonstrate student thinking in their independent reading books. The post-its should reflect the strategies we talk about in class. The post-its are used in class to write longer and talk about books.
Students begin the year with writing about reading, including literary analysis essays and then move into non-fiction research essays as well as creative narratives. Students lean heavily on their reading skills as they analyze characters and themes and work to prove their ideas with text evidence. The literary analysis essay also showcases students' abilities to develop and elaborate on their own thinking and ideas about text. As the year progresses, there will be a balance of working on creative writing pieces, such as fiction narratives and historical fiction stories and essay structured pieces, such as research reports and literary essays. It is so exciting to learn about each other through our writing, as we explore our own thoughts, ideas, and life experiences. We all have such interesting stories to tell! All year long, we will be expanding upon the foundations of writing learned in the lower grades, such as structure, craft, elaboration, and voice appropriate to each writing genre.