Hopes and Dreams
At the start of the year, students brainstorm ideas they have for fourth grade goals. We talk about what we will work on, specific units of study, and upcoming topics in all the subject areas. Students also think about what they found challenging last year. This is often something that will turn into an important hope or dream.
- I want to read longer chapter books this year.
- My hope and dream is to improve my writing skills.
- I am looking forward to learing about the solar system in science.
- I want to make new friends this year.
- My goal is to do well on the MCAS in fourth grade.
- I can't wait to learn long division.
Our Classroom Rules
We base our classroom rules on student hopes and dreams. In a class discussion, students brainstorm possible classroom rules that will help everyone achieve their goals.
"What do we need to do, so that each person can accomplish their hope and dream?"
After many meetings, we narrow down the list, putting ideas together, and eliminating repetition, to a final list of rules we can all agree on.
During the month of October, students work hard on their vocabulary hats during our Art times each week. Thanks to all the parent helpers who come and assist with gluing, cutting, and assembling! The parade is going to be great this year!
In math, we start multiplying! We use lots of "new math" so check the math page of our website for links to help explain things. We will be doing 1 digit x 2 digit, all the way up to 1 digit x 4 digits, and 2 digit x 2 digit multiplication. Students will benefit from knowing their math facts. Fourth grade is very difficult without that skill.
We look at maps and globes and the skills associated with using maps during September and the beginning of October.
In November, students study energy and electromagnetism, including the topics of magnets, light and electricity. It is a very engaging unit.
In math, kids are learning long division using many different methods. They get to choose the method they are most comfortable with so everyone becomes an expert!
Students tackle personal opinion and persuasive essays beginning in November and carrying into December.
December is a busy month. The math curriculum introduces algebra and continues with word problems. Students study the northeast region of the United States and continue their unit on persuasive essays.
We will have a special holiday activity for both classes to take part in….
We will tackle a measurement unit in Math, including converting from larger to smaller units, computing area and perimeter, as well as solving word problems involving units of measurement (including the dreaded elapsed time). We will study the Southeast region in Social Studies. In reading, kids will be exploring all kinds of non-fiction texts, and learning how to read these texts to comprehend them to their fullest. We will take on some fiction pieces in Writing Workshop.
Also, the students at Mosier will take the MAP tests again in the computer lab during January. Please help us to support your children by reinforcing that they should take these tests seriously, but should not stress over them.
We'll start using fractions in our math unit. We will add, subtract, and multiply fractions. In science, we will explore soil, the earth and rocks. We'll continue with non-fiction, looking at narrative non-fiction, which requires different reading skills than typical "all about" type books we normally think about when we talk about non-fiction literature. We will be looking at and writing some literary essays during writing.
We continue with fractions (comparing them and using numberlines) and add decimals in this unit. Late in March, we continue on the US Region Tour. In Reading we will kick off our unit on historical fiction. We will explore books that take place during the Civil War, World War II, the Civil Rights Era, and the times of early immigration. Students will enjoy book club discussions about many exciting novels. In writing we will begin our Test Prep Unit on short answer prompt responses, text based narratives, and paired text responses. March is also the month when we enjoy our favorite read aloud, Number the Stars!
We also have a fun field trip planned to Holyoke Codes to do a STEM project. Students will do some coding and build a "sumo-bot" to battle others. It should be a fun learning experience.
Our last unit in math will be geometry! We finish up and start reviewing for math MCAS. We will make our way through a couple more regions as well. In Reading, we will do some test prep for the MCAS, and we will start reading research about immigration. Students will focus their note-taking on where immigrants came from, why they left their homelands, the voyage to America, and what life was like in NYC during the early 1900s. Students will start a research project based on everything they've learned about immigration. And right after vacation will start rehearsing for our class play!
ELA MCAS is in April.
May begins with a two week review for math MCAS. After the test is over we will tackle some projects that are more fun and creative than taking tests. In science we will be studying life science. We will look at animal and plant structures and functions. We will continue rehearsals for our class plays and perform them this month. Students will also finish up their research projects on immigration. Book club discussions will continue throughout the month and we delve into more complex novels.
Check out the sections on math, writing, and science to find out about some of the other things we've been up to this year...