Our Agenda • What is Common Core?- Waller • Reading Curriculum and Best Practices-Waller • Writing Curriculum and Assessment-Waller • Math Curriculum-Mize • S.S. Curriculum-Mize • Science Curriculum-McNeill • Online Grading/Parent Conferences -McNeill
What is Common Core? Common Core Curriculum is being introduced this year. It is a national curriculum that builds on past skills, making it imperative that students acquire connectivity and application concepts. Each year ‘s learning is vital to another year. If you can picture a pebble being dropped into a pond and growing ever-widening circles, perhaps that will help you visualize the growing and overlapping circles representing the acquisition of applicable knowledge. Using what you know to create something else is the highest use of these skills.
Reading Guided Reading • Daily: 8:00-8:45 Small groups • Ability grouped • Comprehension Skill and Fluency Focus Nightly Reading Logs • Nightly reading with parent supervision • Shared Reading • Whole group • 45 minutes • Reinforces Guided Reading comprehension skill • Fluency, Word Study, Word Walls • Content area text often used
Comprehension Skills (taught in all subject areas) • Main Idea and Supporting Details • Making Inferences • Making Generalizations • Story Elements • Summarizing • Author’s Purpose • Author’s Point of View • Compare and Contrast • Cause and Effect
Writing Curriculum for Fourth Grade What is the overall goal? Children will use features of effective writing to communicate ideas and opinions in a multi-paragraph paper, letter, journal entry, explanation, etc. Writing will be integrated across the curriculum (other subject areas). A portfolio will be kept throughout the year. Four exemplar papers will be kept as examples of each student’s writing progress.
How many writing exemplar papers are there? Four. Should include: • Personal and Imaginative narratives • Research based paper • Content area writing assignments
Content Area Writing We truly enjoy teaching content area writing. Children practice “real life” types of writing, such as a letter, short report, or article, and are given time in class over several days to work on their papers with teacher support. Student research is embedded.
How are they graded? A rubric is used for features and conventions. The students are graded on features (focus, organization, support and elaboration, and style. A 4 is considered outstanding (achieved by very few students), a 3 indicates that most feature goals were met, a 2 indicates that some features were met, and a 1 indicates that very few features were met. Students are expected to achieve a level 3 by the end of fourth grade.
The conventions score addresses sentence structure, mechanics of writing (grammar and punctuation), and spelling. • A level 2 exhibits reasonable control (not perfect!) of grammatical and spelling conventions. • A level 1 indicates a minimal control of conventions. • A level 0 indicates a lack of control (no complete sentences or mechanics).
Word Study Students will receive a word study rule and assignment every two weeks with activities to be completed at home. Students are expected to understand and apply the rule in new situations. In January, we plan to change from phonics-based word study to vocabulary based word study. Check the planners to know what to do at home.
How is Math taught? • The goal of our math instruction is for students to gain mathematical proficiency – to learn mathematics successfully. The Common Core Curriculum guides our instruction. We will incorporate these standards into our math lessons each day using Math Expressions materials and a pacing guide developed by our Central Office. • Math instruction is broken into the following five domains:
Operations and Algebraic Thinking Students will: Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems. Gain familiarity with factors and multiples. Generate and analyze patterns.
Number and Operations in Base Ten Students will: Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers. Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.
Number and Operations in Fractions Students will: Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering. Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers. Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.
Measurement and Data Students will: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit. Represent and interpret data. Geometric measurement: understand concepts of angle and measure angles.
Geometry Students will: Draw and identify lines and angles. Classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.
How do we teach Math? Lots of ways! • Having more than one way to solve a problem allows students to discuss the concept behind each one and the advantages and disadvantages of each one– this allows students to find, use, understand, and explain methods that work for them • Continual focus on sense making, helping (from the teacher and peers), and explaining increases mathematical language development, competence, and confidence.
What if I don’t know how to help my child with homework? • Go to the Math Expressions website and click on the appropriate text and grade level. There are also helpful links on teacher websites, as well as the one listed below with lots of background information. • http://www.eduplace.com/math/mthexp/g4/mathbkg/
Social Studies: North Carolina Students learn about North Carolina’s landforms, resources, and people. Big Ideas: • colonization/immigration • movement of people through time • regional differences through time • government
Fourth grade introduces the first formal study of North Carolina, its ethnic diversity, its rich culture, the economic energy of its people and its geographical regions. Students learn about North Carolina’s physical features and regions and then move on to early exploration and colonization and the events leading up to the American Revolution. Students discover that North Carolina’s changing history is closely related to the physical geography of its three major regions.
How is Social Studies taught? • Students learn the curriculum goals in a variety of ways in class. • Whole group and small group collaboration are common strategies in studying Social Studies • Social Studies content will be integrated into reading instruction • Projects (typically one per nine weeks)
Fourth Grade Science The science curriculum is based on the national Science Essential Standards for 4th grade. Students learn through a variety of hands-on activities, interactive lessons, and technology-based teaching using video resources from Discovery Education.
Science Content Earth Science • Earth, moon, and sun • Changes in the earth’s surface as seen in fossils and changes over time Physical Science • Properties of matter, including rocks and minerals • Forces and motion, including magnetism • Energy and light Life Science • Ecosystems • Food, vitamins, and minerals
Science Assessment • There will be a Science benchmark test for fourth grade this year (several throughout the year). This is new, and we don’t know what to expect, so please do not worry over this. We are all learning. • Students are quizzed during the unit and tested at the end for understanding of the concepts. • Students are assessed on their participation in group work (labs, activities, research) • Their science journals are assessed for completeness and neatness.
Online Grades—PAM You can use your username and password to access your child’s grades online. We will make every effort to enter grades weekly.
What do we need from parents? Patience as this is all new to us as well. Continued support as we work hard to help each child learn. Extra “parent” teaching time at home when your child needs help.