Fourth Grade News
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Much of the 4th grade reading curriculum teaches students how to analyze the books they read. Rather than just understand the plot and information given in a text, students are encouraged to think about the messages in a text and how it relates to their own lives. They also compare texts to each other and make connections both within one text and across multiple texts. In short, 4th graders begin to learn how to “think” and talk about a text in order to find their deeper meanings and messages. This is done both with texts students read independently and texts read by the whole class or smaller groups of students. Teachers may often use a class read-aloud to show students strategies for thinking about and analyzing what they read, encouraging them to do this in their own reading. Students also do this as they write in more detail about the texts they read.
Much of the 4th grade writing curriculum focuses on developing writing, specifically so that it has clarity and structure and uses reasons, facts and, details to support and strengthen students’ arguments. Fourth graders are taught to organize their writing, ensure that it has a flow, and group together related components. In addition, as students are taught to think more deeply about concepts, they are encouraged to write in deeper ways as well. They do this by going beyond simply stating the facts; they express ideas, make connections, and provide details and emotions when appropriate.
In 4th grade, students master and further their multiplication, division, and general computation skills. They learn how to solve real-life word problems using the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and larger numbers. By the end of the year, they are also expected to do all of these operations with greater accuracy and speed. They need not speed through their work, but they need to be able to do it at a pace that shows they understand how to solve a problem without going through too many steps and with a relatively quick sense of how to do it. In addition, 4th graders are encouraged to explain how they solve problems in detailed and specific ways (verbally and through writing), which also helps them practice their writing and analytic skills. In 4th grade, students still use visuals, math tools, and manipulatives (such as base blocks, fake money, dice, and shapes), especially to learn and explain how they solve problems with fractions.
Social studies in the 4th grade encourages students to deepen their reading, writing, and analytical skills, as well as expand knowledge and appreciation of their own local and American history. Students compare different perspectives using both primary and secondary texts. They then write both informative pieces and essays. Fourth graders also use technology to research both past and current events. In all of their work, 4th graders are taught to analyze the reasons why things occur and form strong supported opinions and ideas, which encourages them to think more deeply about the world.
Fourth graders take their science skills further as they conduct experiments and use these experiments to further their learning. In addition, the reading and writing work 4th graders do greatly supports their science learning—they read non-fiction texts, take notes, research, and support their writing with facts. In fact, some 4th grade students might write informative or opinion pieces about a scientific topic they study. As in other grades, the specific topics studied in science vary by state. However, common topics studied in 4th grade include: earth and space; plants; the cycle of life; animals; electricity and magnetism; and motion and sound. Students also often learn about these topics in relation to their location and where they live. Consult your child’s teacher or research your state’s science standards for more details.
Every week students have a homework packet. Homework packets are sent home Friday-Friday or Monday-Friday depending on your classroom. Homework is designed to create a review in reading, mathematics, and grammar. It also asks that students be reading and practicing math facts every night. This packet is designed to meet the individual level of students and are differentiated so your packet may not look exactly the same as someone elses.
Here are some links to websites to practice your math facts!