Classroom Framework and Curriculum Guidelines
1) Raise your hand to speak.
2) Do not leave your seat without permission.
3) Complete your class work and homework to the best of your ability.
4) Respect your teacher and your peers.
5 ) Participate in classroom activities and discussions.
6) Be a positive independent learner, a role model for your peers
7) Remain focused at all times.
8) Be prepared for class. Bring your textbooks and supplies to school daily.
In our class behavioral management is based on the card system. Each student is given three color-coded cards: green, yellow, and red. If a student is behaving and doesn’t have to pull a card, he/she will earn one point daily. I tie this system to earning Eagle Bucks. An Eagle Buck is worth five points. Most student will work toward this behavioral goal since earning Eagle Bucks is very important. It gives the students a sense of pride and accomplishment. If I need to pull a student’s card the following consequences will occur: Green Card: (no points for entire day). Student will receive a verbal warning about their behavior, Yellow Card: (loss of two days of points). Parents will receive a note from me, and Red Card: (loss of three days of points). Parents will be called and a conference will be scheduled. In addition to the card system, students can also earn Eagle Bucks through cooperative and individual activities as well as through individual demonstration of outstanding citizenship and pride in the classroom.
Students are given about three to four subjects worth of work daily Monday through Thursday. Each student will be required daily to record his/her assignments in the student planner. Students are to bring their planners home on a daily basis. Please sign the planner to confirm your child has completed his/her work. Your student should be able to complete his/her homework assignments within an hour and a half. If your child is experiencing difficulty in completing his/her work within this time frame, please contact me so that we may modify these assignments. Weekly Spelling packets are distributed on Monday and are due on Friday. Please write your initials for each completed assignment. Each Thursday your student will be bringing home a purple folder with weekly information and graded assignments. You will also find a place to sign your student’s purple folder. This confirms the assignment has been completed. There will also be several long -range assignments given this year that students will work on in class but will also require work to be completed at home. These assignments will hopefully be rewarding and challenging for your child. I will be notifying you well in advance of the specific project and its due date..
Regarding a student’s absence and missing homework assignments, students are to complete all homework assignments given in their absence. I only accept one-day late papers but in the case of a multiple-day absence, your student has as many days as they were absent to complete the work as well as a weekend. This should provide enough time to do the work without due anxiety.
Grading is a composite score based upon homework, classroom participation, daily class assignments, assessments, quizzes, and tests.
Our school theme is: “Do Your Best! Reach Your Goal!” At the beginning of each trimester, each student is required to write a goal he/she wishes to accomplish. Students, teachers, and parents work as a team to assist the student in reaching his/her goals. Please review these goals and help your child monitor his/her progress.
Common Core Standards
The newly adopted Common Core State Standards are a set of benchmark standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics designed to create college and career readiness preparing the student to compete and be successful I in our global world of today.
These Standards replace state standards. Common Core Standards will serve to bridge the gap of student achievement creating equity through development of learning experiences for all to be successful. The content of the Common Core Standards is aligned to our former standards, but is designed to engage the students in more challenging, rigorous work. Students will be required to read more complex texts, both literature and informational, and increase their volume of writing. The emphasis will be on deeper understanding of concepts, making connections between topics, and solving real-world problems.
Reading and Language Arts:
We will be reading several class novels throughout the school year as well as anthologies from our Open Court literature book. Each literary work will reflect a variety of thematic units introduced throughout the school year. The following are novels we shall be reading throughout the year: Abel’s Island by William Steig, Brother to the Wind by Mildred Walter (Life Skill/Character Education), Ishi, by Theodora Kroeber and Ruth Tobbins, (Native -American Study), Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Native -American Study), Zia by Scott O’Dell (Mission Period), By The Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman (Gold Rush Period), The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Speare (Colonial Period), and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (Depression Period). The goal of the Common Core Reading Curriculum is to develop within the students a depth of perception and appreciation of individual literary genres based on specific language features. Throughout the year, students will be required to read complex text, (literature, information, and poetry) and increase their writing rigor.
In order to develop higher-level comprehension skills, students will be consistently engaging in close readings. The Common Core Curriculum focuses not only on the content of the literary work, but also on the author’s written craft. We will be exploring the construction of word meaning and phrases, the point of view in which the literature is narrated, symbolism, allusions, and text organization:: (cause and effect, problem/solution, and compare/contrast.). Our study will include examination of these effects upon the literary work. To develop higher-level comprehension skills, I shall be integrating educational philosopher, Bloom’s Questioning Hierarchy Levels as well as educational philosopher, Sandra Kaplan’s special focus on areas of “Depth and Complexity.”
In Spelling the students will be developing their vocabulary skills as well as using spelling vocabulary words as cursive practice. Our language arts study will also include practice in paragraph construction through a focus on grammar conventions within a practical writing experience reflective of the specific genre taught.
“Step Up To Writing“, our school adopted writing program, is an exciting program which teaches students correct sentence and paragraph construction. It appeals to students of all ages with its color-coded activity instruction. Students identify specific elements in a paragraph such as: topic sentences (green), transition sentences (yellow), explanation or detail sentences (red), and finally concluding sentences (green). During the year students will be exploring and constructing a variety of written genres including multiple paragraph narrative and expository essays,. Please reinforce these writing genres with your child.
Fourth Grade Writing Focus
Fourth graders will focus on descriptive writing, expository writing (summary and response to literature writing), opinion writing, and narrative writing.
Our school mathematics adoption focuses upon concepts, skills, and problem-solving. Students learn a four-step approach to problem solving: 1). understanding: (utilizing key information to solve problems, 2) planning: (application of mathematical operation to use), 3) solving: (completion of the algorithm, and 4) checking: (checking for a reasonable solution). Each lesson is directly aligned to state standards. Lessons are introduced focusing on math concepts, reinforcing and exposing the student to new as well as previously-learned concepts. Included in each lesson are higher-level thinking problems. This program implements a multi-curriculum approach as it integrates literature-selections, technology, science, art, social studies, written verbal expression, (journal writing), and health into the curriculum. Multiple interventions such as computer and instructional game activities result in differentiated instruction for all learners.
Fourth Grade Math Concepts
1) Placed value and number sense (exploration of numbers in the millions)
2) Application of addition properties, (the Commutative and Associative Property) as well as subtraction rules.
3) Algebra: Use and application of addition and subtraction values in equations
4) Statistics: data and graph applications
5) Multiplication and Division Facts
6) Algebra: Use and application of multiplication and division values in equations
7) Multiplication by one-digit numbers
8) Multiplication by two-digit numbers
9) Division by one-digit numbers
10) Geometry: Introduction to Solid and Plane Figures
11) Geometry and Measurement: (study of congruency and symmetry, area, perimeter and problem-solving applications)
12) Algebraic Functions: (quantity relationships, naming points on coordinate grids, and demonstration of linear relationships, function tables, and problem solving.)
15) Addition and Subtraction of Decimals
Fourth Grade Social Studies Curriculum:
Fourth Grade Social Studies Curriculum will include the following:
Early California Inhabitants, Early European Exploration and Conquest to Modern Day California, California Geography and its effect on California’s population, Spanish Colonial California, the Mission Period, Mexican California, California’s Independence, the Gold Rush, a study of California’s technological changes from the stagecoach to the railroad, California as an industrial farming nation. The study of California will also include the Great Depression, World War II, and a study of California and its government, economy, arts, and entertainment through modern times.
Fourth Grade Science Curriculum Next Generation Science Standards for California
4-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction
4-LS1-2. Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways
4-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe
4-ESS1-1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time
4-ESS2 Earth’s Systems
4-ESS2-1 Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
4-ESS2-2. Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
4-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.*
4-PS3-1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents4-PS3-3. Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide
4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another
4-PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
4-PS4-1. Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.
4-PS4-2. Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eye allows objects to be seen.
4-PS4-3. Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.
The above standards will be reinforced by the text California Science by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill to include:
1) Earth Science (Weathering Effect on Earth and Geology)
2) Life Science (Ecosystems)
3) Physical Science (Magnetism and Electricity)
Themes Throughout the School Year
Theme I: “Change Over Time”
Students will discover a link and powerful relationship between geography and a people. They will learn how the study of California’s geography helps to understand a population and its historical events. We will be integrating a scientific study of plant and animal life and their respective ecosystems and examine the impact and effect upon one of the earliest groups of people, the Native Americans. Students will learn the powerful relationship between man and his physical environment.
Theme II: “Settling In Or Moving On”
Students will focus on early exploration and colonization of California with emphasis upon the Spanish Mission Period and the Mexican Rancho Period. Students will develop an understanding and connection of the relationship, impact, and effect these colonizers had on the lives and historical events of California and its people. Students will also build a conceptual link to a people and its topographical area. Earth Science a study of geology will be integrated.
Theme III: “Life’s Full of Surprises”
Students will explore the topic, “The Gold Rush, “A Changing California”. Students will analyze the powerful, lasting effects of the Gold Rush on California’s social, political, economic, and physical environment resulting in California Statehood. Students will discover a “New California” following this period: California’s Statehood, shaped and influenced by its diverse immigrant populations and their contributions.
Theme IV: “You Feel the Magnetism??”
Students will integrate a study of magnets and explore the development and “magnetism” the state of California illuminated for its immigrant populations. Students will explore the rapid industrial growth of modern California during the 1800’s and early 1900’s and link this to one of California’s major industries: agriculture. Students will explore different political events: the Dust Bowl, the Depression, and WWII and their effect upon California’s growth. They will describe and learn about new developing industries since the 19th century such as the aerospace and electronics industry and the positive effects and implications these played on California’s growing economy. Students will learn about the impact and history of California’s educational system. The focus will culminate on the impact California has had on its 20th century artists, writers, actors, and musicians, and finally the structure of our three branches of government.