Thank you to those of you who came today to the open house. The following document is an outline of what we will be doing in class, and an idea of what to expect in terms of homework, discipline and classroom expectations. We would also like to ask those parents whom we have not spoken with yet to please let us know if your child has access to the internet, since we would like to assign occasional activities that require the students to search online for information. We would also like to ask for some assistance in terms of planning field trips and other fun class activities throughout the year.
All the best,
Karen Raudales and Dariela Velásquez
We will focus a lot of time in the classroom on strengthening your child’s English reading skills, and helping them on the path to becoming a lifelong reader. In the class we have two main ways of teaching reading: the first is called reader’s workshop where the students will work on becoming better readers while reading independently and responding in written and oral form to the different texts that they read. The second is through guided reading where the class or groups within the class will read the same text together while thinking and discussing what they read and then practicing skills that will improve their reading appreciation and comprehension.
For our writing periods the class will spend most of the time in sessions that we call writer’s workshop. In these periods we will give the students lessons on how to write effectively in English, and then give them the freedom to write and practice these lessons in their writer’s notebook. There will be some whole-class writing assignments that we will give them, but the majority of periods the student’s will be encouraged to write things that are interesting to them, and things that they can then share with us and their classmates.
This year we will continue implementing the 6+1 traits program for writing, where we will focus on two traits per quarter. This will facilitate improving their writing skills in specific areas.
Grammar lessons will focus on the students’ learning important grammar rules and learning how to craft quality sentences and paragraphs.
Spelling lessons will work on building the students’ vocabulary and their grasp of the confusing rules of spelling properly in the English language. The lessons will introduce fifteen new words each Monday along with 5 high- frequency words for fourth graders. The students will be using Spelling City to practice their words. One homework assignment from the Spelling Menu will be due on Wednesday, with the final two assignments due on Friday. They will also be quizzed on the entire 15 words that morning.
Our math program follows the well-renowned Scott Foresman/Addison Wesley Grade 4 Math program. We will be following this program and covering roughly one lesson, per one hour class session. The students will have a follow-up homework assignment each evening that allows them to review and practice what they learned in class that day. There will be a test at the end of each chapter, and quizzes periodically to assess the students’ learning. We are planning to cover 3 chapters of the program each quarter.
Social Studies and Science
We plan to alternate these two sections to make it easier for the students to focus and to keep our classroom from getting too crowded with projects and homework assignments. There will be one Social Studies unit and one Science unit that we will learn about per quarter.
Almost every night your child will have reading homework and math homework. The reading homework most nights will be simply to read 20-30 minutes of the book that they are currently reading. EACH STUDENT SHOULD HAVE A BOOK THAT THEY ARE READING AT HOME AND IN CLASS. THIS BOOK GOES HOME EVERY NIGHT FOR HOMEWORK AND MUST COME BACK EVERY DAY IN THEIR BAGS. The math homework will likely be a photocopied page or online assigments from that day’s math lesson, as We explained above. The spelling homework will be due each Friday and will be completed in their spelling notebook. There will also be occasional theme and writing projects that may require parental assistance and/or computer and internet access. The students will also be required to do 2-3 IXL skills every week (Math,Language), all IXL exercises for the week should be completed by Sunday night.
If you ever have a question about homework please refer to your child’s “Learning Log”. It is a small white notebook where they record their homework each night. If they can’t explain what it is they need to do for homework then they probably haven’t been paying full attention in class and will need to be reminded to do so.
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Happy 2017- 2018 School Year!!