Class Goals and Expectations

Course Description   

    In 4th grade, students work toward becoming fluent readers and writers. 

                Reading - 4th graders will understand that there are many purposes for reading - including "reading to learn" and reading for fun! We will be reading novels of various lengths and interests, both as a class and in small groups. We will have the opportunity to read chapter books, short stories, articles, essays, non-fiction, and poetry. 4th grade readers work to increase their rate of oral reading to a conversational pace in order to support comprehension. During the 1st quarter, students are required to read for 20 minutes or more independently each night as they work to grow in fluency and comprehension as a reader. Students will continue to take Accelerated reader quizzes often (Reading practice, Vocabulary, and Literacy Skills), in addition to in-class instruction and book contracts. 

                English/Language Arts  - In order to develop as readers and writers it is important to understand the conventions of grammar and usage when speaking and writing. 4th graders will focus on decoding and expanding their vocabulary, learning new spelling patterns, and grammar usage as part of their English studies. They will have a new spelling unit and test every other week.  

 Writing - 4th graders will be writing every day! We will be journaling, writing narratives, letters, newspaper articles, and summaries. 4th graders learn to vary their language and writing style based on the audience and purpose for writing. We'll use our spelling and grammar lessons to help proofread written work. We will extend our skills as writers, while focusing on strong topic sentences, supporting details, and conclusions.   


  Science -  We will be exploring water – from the clouds to groundwater through the water cycle and conservation process.  We will be looking at our ecosystem as a whole, and how we each have a special part.  We will classify plants, and grow our own from seeds and bulbs in the Nativity land lab. Later in the year we will be focusing on scientific inventions, nutrition and Health. 4th graders will be enriching our understanding of these concepts with various field trips and classroom visitors.  


Look for more information at the 4th Grade News Notes packets every Tuesday.

Class Rules and Expectations

    At the beginning of the year students take part in creating the class rules. Along with the teacher they choose three-four class rules that they believe will make the classroom environment fair and comfortable for all students.

  • Respect and care for your classroom.
  • Use positive words to show kindness to yourself and others.
  • Act as a role model for younger Nativity students. 
  • Always try your best - never give up!

Teacher Expectations
The main expectation both teachers have for 4th grade students is that they do their best in whatever they do. There is no boundary to this expectation. Doing their best is not limited to just academic work. Of course we expect that each student puts forth his/her best effort in each assignment, project, test or quiz, however we also expect them to put forth your best effort during interactions and relationships with classmates, teachers, principal, parents, and most importantly themselves. Here are just a few ways students can be sure to meet these expectations.

  • Follow the rules of proper school behavior, as explained in the student handbook.
  • Display respect and kindness to others, and their property - keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
  • Pay attention in class, participate, and stay organized throughout the school year.
  • Act as a role model for younger Nativity students.

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Reading Log    

Every student will be required to read at least 2 hours per week outside of school. Each child is provided with a Reading Log folder. In the folder you will find a sheet where they will keep track of the books they are reading. Also there is a place to record the amount of time read, and a place for an adult to sign, showing that the reading has occurred. The students can choose a place comfortable for them. The point of this routine is to encourage reading, so I encourage you to make this as pleasant as possible at home. There are many books available in our classroom libraries, as well as our school library in which they may read at their leisure.

The time spent reading for the log may be divided evenly each day (20 minutes each day), or they may decide to read a little more on days when they have less activities, and a little more when they have a little free time.  If a student has trouble finding the time to read each day, a parent or guardian must set aside a schedule with their child to practice reading for 20 minutes before bedtime each day (including weekends). Any combination of 2 hours will be acceptable, as long as parents are supervising and encouraging student reading. The logs will be collected at the end of each week and recorded for a grade. 

Letter Grades
Letter grades are given and are new to 4th grade students. An A, B, C, D, or F will appear on assignments, many times with the corresponding percentage grade. All "F" grades may be corrected for a passing grade. Teachers encourage students to turn in corrections promptly. Letter grades are as follows: 
   • "A" - performance far exceeds expectations, or excellent work, or 93% to 100% accuracy. 
   • "B" - performance above expectations, or very good work, or 85% to 92% accuracy. 
   • "C" - performance meets expectations, or good work, or 77% to 84% accuracy. 
   • "D" - performance below expectations, or work needs improvement, or 70% to 76% accuracy. 
   • "F" - performance fails to meet expectations, or failing work, or 69% and below accuracy.

At the end of the quarter, both teachers average homework assignments, classroom assignments, quizzes, project scores, and test scores. Quality of students' oral answers in class, extra credit work, and participation in class are also taken into consideration in finalizing grades at the end of the quarter.

Both 4th grade teachers accept corrections for any failing work.  We would like the completed corrections to be turned in by the Monday after receiving the Tuesday Packet, but will accept corrections until the end of the quarter.  Corrections must be complete and accurate.  If corrections are correct and complete, the failing grade will be changed to a passing one.

Extra Credit Opportunities

  • Extra Accelerated Reader Quizzes – After any book either read for leisure or as a class assigned novel, students can take an AR Quiz to check comprehension and work toward class reading incentives. This will be tallied at the end of the quarter. 
  • Extra Credit Book Reports - Book reports that are accurately completed in addition to the monthly assigments
  • Science research – Given as needed for independent study. Topic can be chosen based on the student’s interest, and the teacher will provide guideline information.

  
Homework Policy
Students can expect homework most Monday through Thursday evenings. Rarely, homework will be given on the weekend, however the weekend will usually be reserved for catching up on missing or incomplete work, or getting ahead in routine assignments or extra credit opportunities.


Goals, Assignments and Consequences

4th Grade Goals

          • Students will transition from Primary Grades to Intermediate Grades
          • Students will acquire 4th grade skills and accomplish performance objectives according to the 
Archdiocese Graded Course of Study      
          • Students will practice working cooperatively and taking on new responsibilities.

Homework Policy  
• Every effort should be made to turn in assignments on the due date. 
• Assignments will be accepted one day late but a Homework Assistance Time (HAT)
                     after school is required if the assignment is incomplete the second day. 
• Three HAT’s in one quarter result in notification of the principal. Students are expected to    
                     make up assignments missed due to an absence.
• Students are expected to make up assignments missed due to absence.
• Missing assignments result in a zero if not turned in by the end of the quarter.

Classroom Management

  • Room 207 Positive Reinforcement - As a homeroom, students will also be earning tokens based on positive behaviors in the classroom, and in transition to classes. These tokens can be earned based on polite and helpful gestures to their classmates, cooperative team building, thoughtfulness, and putting forth their best effort in the classroom. Students will be working with a small group or team of students to earn as many tokens as possible. These tokens will be stored in the classroom, and redeemed at the end of each quarter, for team rewards such as popcorn, movie, pizza, and homework passes.
In addition to each homeroom teacher’s positive reinforcement challenges, students also have behavior consequences. Both 4th grade teachers will use a color-coded reward and consequence card system for behavior. Colors are changed if an infraction occurs.
White – Student’s reward card will be punched at the end of the day, signifying positive behavior throughout the day.
 Green Student receives a verbal warning, but reward card will still be punched at the end of the day.
Yellow Student’s reward card will not be punched at the end of the day.
Red Student’s reward card will not be punched at the end of the day, and a school detention period will be issued to the student. If the student has already received a detention period that week, the color card is automatically moved to purple.
Purple - Student’s reward card will not be punched, and he/she receives a Conduct Report. After three conduct reports there will be a parent/student/teacher conference with the principal.       

      Accumulated punches on students’ reward cards may be redeemed for prizes at the end of each quarter. Each child’s homeroom teacher keeps reward cards. Punches may be saved for the next quarter but should be redeemed before the end of the year.

Communication and Contact Information
You are welcome to contact me at any time by sending a note to school, through my email at brooke.foster@nativity-cincinnati.org,
or through the school voice mail at 458-6767. I look forward to a great year!

Textbooks

Scott Foresman Science; Grade 4 The Diamond Edition - http://www.sfscience.com
Houghton Mifflin Reading; Grade 4 Traditions - 
http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/hmr06 
Sadlier-Oxford Grammar Workshop – Level Orange - 
http://www.sadlier-oxford.com/grammar/workshop.cfm?sp=family