In The Fourth Grade Classroom
*Notes From The Teachers Desk:
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The Religion curriculum is based on the Four Pillars of the Catholic Church. The text used in grade four is God’s Law Guides Us, a part of the Sadlier We Believe program. Topics covered include the Blessed Trinity, Sacraments (Eucharist and Reconciliation,) Liturgical Seasons and Feasts, traditional Catholic Prayers (including the Rosary) and the Ten Commandments. Throughout the text, an emphasis is placed on living as a disciple of Jesus.
The Reading curriculum continues to reinforce skills students have developed in previous grades. Our new reading series published by Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt focuses on the necessary comprehensive skills that will enable students to understand more fully the printed materials they will encounter in other subjects. Students will work on making deeper connections with their reading and produce high-quality answers to comprehension questions. This year students will have several book reports assigned. We will read a novel together as a class and they will participate in ReadNQuiz later in the school year to improve and reinforce fluency.
The English textbook, Houghton-Mifflin English, contains a grammar component and a writing component. The grammar component emphasizes the parts of speech (nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions.) The writing component emphasizes sentence structure, descriptive writing, personal narrative, instructional writing, and composition with clear, concise ideas. Correct capitalization and punctuation will be stressed in all written work. Homework will be given on a regular basis and will include workbook pages and special assignments. The major writing assignments are done in class.
In Spelling, which is taught by each homeroom teacher, the Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary fourth grade book is used. The children are given four days to practice the words and do the assignments in the book. Then a test is given, usually every Friday.
Handwriting is based on the Zaner-Bloser program, which was begun in second grade. This will be included in the Spelling class once each week. Assignments will be on an as-needed basis.
In Math, the main concepts and skills covered are computation with the four basic operations, algebraic reasoning, decimals, fractions, and problem-solving. Measurement and geometry are also covered. The major new skills involve multiplying by 2-digit numbers and adding, subtracting and reducing fractions. Enrichment and challenge activities are also provided for students who are able to master the daily skills practiced in class. These activities include exercises in higher level thinking, math reasoning skills, and calculator usage. Math homework reinforces the skills taught in class and will be given most nights.
Science is a major subject in fourth grade. The Pearson interactive text is used. Our curriculum covers the scientific and engineering processes, earth science, living things, and various topics in physical science. Students will also use notebooks to organize and reinforce important facts. Students participate in discussions, note taking, mini-projects, and hands-on investigations.
Beginning this year, English and Social Studies will be given much more emphasis than in the primary grades. Both subjects are studied as thoroughly as Reading and Math, which is sometimes a difficult adjustment for a child to make. For instance, the classes meet five times a week for a full forty minutes. The textbook used in Social Studies is States and Regions published by Harcourt. The text presents a study of the United States. Emphasis will be placed on studying the five regions of the US. For each region, students will learn about the geography and history of the corresponding states. Map skills are reviewed and used in this study. Notebooks and organizer sheets will be used to help the students identify and organize the important facts presented in the text. Homework will be given when appropriate to review and reinforce the skills and material covered in class.
Art: The Visual Arts Program at St. Hugo offers students a variety of experience in different areas of art such as Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Digital Design, and Sculpture. Art history is also a key component of the art curriculum. Teaching is based on the elements of art and the principles of design. Projects are centered on artists and correlate with classroom instruction.
Computer Classes: Students attend classes weekly. (Our curriculum is derived from the State of Michigan’s Educational Technology Standards.)
Students in fourth grade will continue to improve speed and accuracy in keyboarding, while focusing on becoming proficient in application tools. They will become proficient using a word processor (headers and footers, spell and grammar check, margins, etc.) They will create more advanced presentations. They will learn to acquire and evaluate information on the Internet. Students will explore ethical computing issues in more depth. They will continue to demonstrate proper etiquette, behavior, and body position when using computers.
We use the https://st-hugotypingclubcom.typingclub.com program for homework.
Library: curriculum focuses on How to find information on their own, Library Computer Catalog, Magazines, Weekly Book Trailers, Author of the Month, participate in March is Reading Month Themed Weeks and activities and the Highlight “Book Battle” during March is Reading Month, students can check out 2 books to take home for 2 weeks.
Music: emphasize Music Appreciation and Vocal Music, learning about prominent composers, musical form and some elements of music theory. Students will perform songs from Music Express Magazine, Music K-8 and Spotlight On Music. Grade 4 will perform at Open House in March, and Grade 5 provides music for the St Hugo of the Hills annual Healing Mass in May. In addition to general music, 4th & 5th graders may continue their instrumental studies in the Beginning Band & Concert Band. Band students have multiple performances: Christmas, Spring Open House, and a Spring Concert/Awards Ceremony in May.
Physical Education: We will continue to work on skill development with more of an emphasis on complex movements while adding group skill practices and onto controlled group/team games.
Spanish: In grade 4, students look at holidays month to month throughout the Spanish speaking world.