Mr. Thompson's Fourth Grade Class
Language Arts Curriculum
Language/Creative Writing: Grammar skills are integrated with creative writing, using the writing process. (See attached sheet). Also, students write in their journals almost daily to build these skills. In addition, the reading series incorporates the identified language skills that are required for the students to master. The students will be assessed over many of the language and grammar skills that are used in the reading series.
Handwriting is D’Nealian style. (See attached sheet). Cursive writing will begin in January.
Our district has adopted the Treasures reading series by Macmillan McGraw- Hill. It incorporates reading with language arts: grammar, creative writing, handwriting, phonics, and spelling. Sight words are attached that your child needs to know. Practice these words until your child has mastered them.
During the school year, the students will be reading for Reading Counts. After testing your child’s reading level, each student will read a book and take a test on the computer to earn points. Students receive prizes for points earned.
Whole Group (Shared) Instruction:
Together as a class, we will read stories, write, edit, and practice grammar and spelling.
I plan to meet with small groups of students to give them instruction that is on their current reading level. I conduct guided reading and writing conferences. I will read individually or in small groups with every student several times a week.
Self-Selected (Independent) Reading:
Students will read on their own daily. Students will eventually be responding in writing to their reading.
Students will participate in many cooperative activities to build on their learning. I plan many activities where students can edit, read, or write together.
We will work on many skills in second grade. These include:
§ Basic phonic skills and letter sounds
§ Decoding and identifying digraphs, blends, and high frequency words
§ Reading skills including predicting, summarizing, retelling, and sequencing
§ Connecting reading and writing to self, world, and other texts, Study skills
§ Sight words and word families
§ Spelling, grammar, and handwriting
§ The writing process—from prewriting to publishing
§ Following directions and being active listeners
§ Sharing, contributing, and respecting ideas
DIBELS Reading Assessment: This test is given individually to each student at three different times during the year. Usually one in October, January and May. I may have a substitute for the day and pull children out to read with them. This test will help me determine your child’s ability to meet specific reading benchmarks for first grade.
This is an informal assessment that I will occasionally do during guided reading with individual students. It allows me to monitor their instructional reading level by counting the number of words read correctly (usually out of 100 words) in a reading passage.
Spelling: There will be a spelling test each week. The students will get the words to study at the beginning of the week (typically on Monday) and they will be assessed over those words at the end of the week (typically on Friday).
Sight Word Testing: I will occasionally check off the sight words a student can read immediately (within 3 seconds) without help or sounding out. I will be sure to keep you aware of the words your child knows. See the website for additional information on the Fry list.
We are very excited about Investigations Math, our new math curriculum. Investigations Math uses a hands-on approach to make math more meaningful to students. It is very different from our previous math adoption in many ways:
· Students will play games almost daily to reinforce basic facts and math concepts. I will use observation to assess during periods of game play. I will let you know in my weekly newsletter when I have introduced a new game.
· There are homework pages that will take 10-15 minutes to complete. It is extremely important to complete and return this homework, as we will use the completed assignments in the next day’s whole-group lesson.
· Students will not be bringing home many worksheets because second graders use their Math Journals. These stay in their desks all year. You are welcome to come look through your child’s Math Journal at any time.
· Investigations Math looks different than what you might be used to seeing. Reading the Family Math Newsletters and Homework pages will help you understand the different strategies we are introducing. If you feel you need further explanation, feel free to contact me.
These assessments will be administered during second grade:
· Investigation Tests: After administering a test at the end of the investigation t, you will receive your child’s progress.
· Units Benchmarks: At the end of each unit of study, a test covering all of the skills that have been learned up to that point will be given. We will report these scores to you as well and provide you with recommendations when benchmarks are not being met.
· Performance Tasks: These are problems that your child is expected to solve independently. The problem is usually multi-step and can usually be solved in more than one way. It is crucial to show work, or a child cannot receive full credit. We will be sure to show our work as we do problems throughout the year. Performance tasks may be included in the quarterly benchmarks.
Addition and subtraction facts tests are on Fridays. Practice sheets will go home to study for Friday’s facts test.
These three subjects will be formally covered all day on Fridays. We call it “Discovery Day”. Read alouds and dialogue will take place during the course of the week pertaining to the topics covered.
Newsletters are sent home on Friday. These outline the units for the following week and share the skills and concepts being taught. I will try to post them to the internet for you to view from home. (Just in case one doesn’t arrive home!)
First grade students have the opportunity to be a Homework Hero by completing required homework. I will send home a reading log for the first full week of school. I expect students to complete around 30 minutes of homework a night, as outlined below:
· 15 minutes of reading together (initially the parent will do some of this reading)
· 15 minutes for reviewing spelling words, reading activities, math assignment, etc.
· All work is required to be completed and returned the next school day unless otherwise stated on the assignment.
Typically, students have the following homework activities:
* Vocabulary/Reading on Monday
* Take Home Books on Wednesday
* Math response page on Tuesday
* Spelling Activity on Thursday
Mr. Thompson's Fourth Grade Class