Welcome to grade four! Students in fourth grade participate in a variety of classroom experiences to expand their love of learning and develop their academic, social and physical skills. The following descriptions present a brief overview of the comprehensive program.
Language Arts: Students in fourth grade continue to develop and expand their literacy skills in word knowledge, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, speaking, and listening by engaging in a variety of lessons and activities based on the Common Core State Standards and the Anne Arundel County Reading/Language Arts Program. Fourth graders independently demonstrate and apply a variety of reading strategies as they engage in fluent reading and comprehension of complex stories with literary and informational text. They strive to construct meaning, monitor and check their own understanding, and engage in collaborative discussions of what they have read. Students are required to respond to text –dependent questions and write to source in all areas. Technology skills continue to develop during the fourth grade year. Students become more independent in using online resources and computer applications to support their learning in all curricular areas. As writers, they focus on opinion, informative, and narrative writing. Students learn to organize and develop complex ideas to compose pieces that include a variety of sentence structures, word choices, and language conventions to enhance their writing. Students continue to practice handwriting skills through writing.
Mathematics: The Anne Arundel County Public Schools Integrated Mathematics PreK-5 Program has implemented the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. These standards are a set of high-quality academic goals which provide rigor, focus, and coherence to prepare our students to be college and career ready by the time they graduate from high school. The mathematical concepts taught in Grade 4 include:
· Number and Operations in Base 10
· Number and Operations - Fractions
· Operations and Algebraic Thinking
· Measurement and Data
A variety of resources are employed to teach the mathematical skills that include, but are not limited to, Ready Common Core, Teaching Student Centered Mathematics, Number Talks, Hands-On Standards, web based resources, and computer programs such as First in Math.
Students develop mathematical thinking through the integration of the Standards for Mathematical Practice. These practices require students to persevere when solving problems, explain their reasoning to others, choose appropriate mathematical tools, and be accurate. These practices are incorporated into daily lessons and promoted through student discourse during lessons.
Students will acquire mathematical concepts and be able to apply them to real life situations. Periodic district assessments are given in conjunction with daily formative assessments, to determine the mastery of these skills. The assessment results will be available for the student to take home. Parents may assist in their child’s success in mathematics by checking homework nightly and communicating regularly with the classroom teacher. Additional materials and activities to be used at home can be found on the Pearson website at http://www.pearsonsuccessnet.com. Teachers will provide students with a User Name and Password to access the website. First in Math is a web-based program designed for student use at home to increase fluency. Students are provided logins to use at school and at home.
Social Studies: Through the study of Maryland, students apply the concepts of geography, economics, civics and history that they have learned in Grades 1-3. Students build their knowledge of their own communities by learning about the history and government of Maryland. Students continue to practice the skills of social studies by sequencing events, analyzing cause and effect, and analyzing perspective. They read primary sources, and are expected to read and write independently. They complete writing assignments and research projects. They also read and construct maps, charts, tables and graphs. The units studied are:
· Maryland: First Settlers
· Maryland: The Colony to State
· Changing Maryland
· Modern Maryland
Science: Students focus on the activities of living things, on the environment, and on space. Students use observations and select appropriate scientific information to form predictions and hypotheses. They recognize and develop well-designed procedures to identify important variables within an investigation. Students use metric units to measure or collect data and appropriate instruments such as calculators and computer programs to collect, organize, and display data on charts, tables, graphs, or drawings. Students analyze data to identify trends and form conclusions. Students design, plan, and construct instruments, machines, structures, or systems in response to a particular need and evaluate and modify designs while explaining how a solution to one problem can create other problems. The topics are:
· Genetics, Survival, and the Diversity of Life
· Interactions of Organisms Within Their Environment
· Structure of Matter
· Electricity and Magnetism
· Weathering and Erosion
Environmental Literacy: Students will answer the question, how has human activity affected Maryland's living things? Students conduct investigations and collect data through their science curriculum and field experience at the school system's Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center to complete Project Based Learning action projects. Students come to Arlington Echo for a unique day or an overnight experience shared with parent volunteers. Depending on when students come to Arlington Echo, their focused topic relates to their science units. Students conduct background research on their topic, investigate and collect data at Arlington Echo, and analyze and take actions back at their school. They learn that when humans change environments, organisms are not always able to adapt and may not survive. With a particular focus on their local Chesapeake Bay environment, students learn and understand issues affecting the Bay and how they can make a difference.
English Language Acquisition classes comply with the requirements of Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act. The goal of English Language acquisition instruction is to enable English Learners to construct meaning from oral and written language, express complex ideas and information, as well as access instruction. In order to accomplish this goal, the ELA curriculum is based on WIDA ELD standards:
· Social and Instructional Language
· The Language of Language Arts
· The Language of Math
· The Language of Science
· The Language of Social Studies
While the ELA teacher is responsible for English Language Development according to the WIDA ELD standards, the Maryland State Standards for College and Career Readiness, as well as National and State Content Standards, are the context used for teaching the language. All students who have been identified as eligible to receive English Language Acquisition services will take WIDA ACCESS, the annual assessment to measure English Language Proficiency.
Technology: Students increase their creativity, communicate and collaborate with others and gather, evaluate and analyze information and data using computers. They solve problems and make decisions in a manner that demonstrates their understanding of the social, ethical, and human issues related to technology.
We are looking forward to a year of learning for your fourth grader. If you desire additional information, please contact your child’s teacher.