4th Grade

Welcome to 4th Grade!

Welcome to the 4th grade info page!  Here you will find information on our curriculum as well as 4th grade specific information.  You can also find information regarding 4th grade on our Classroom pages:

Mary Holtmeyer
Monica Sheehan
Jordan Moser

Curriculum / Learning Goals

English

Each of the following English skills are learned during a 2-week time period and are post-tested to see if the skill was “mastered,” if students are “making progress,” or if more “help is needed”: nouns, verbs, sentence building, capitalization and punctuation, reference, adjectives, adverbs, business letters and email, outlines, paragraphs, pronouns, possessives, syllables, interjections,  and conjunctions.

Math

Students will study whole number and decimal place value, addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals, multiplication and division with double and triple digits, data and probability, time and measurement, fractions, and geometry.   Problem solving techniques are included in each unit of study also.

Reading

Students will study many specific skills to enhance their ability to read for information as well as for pleasure.  Many of these goals overlap with the 4th grade writing objectives.  Some of the skills are the following: making predictions, inferences, and generalizations.  Students also study cause and effect, sequencing, fact and opinions, drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting, summarizing, paraphrasing, using context clues, and analyzing story structure.  Students will also read various types of genre.

Spelling

The students study spelling units that are developmentally appropriate, constructed in accordance with the developmental phases of spelling knowledge.  They study various common spelling patterns.  They also study less frequent vowel patterns, prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin word parts.

Science

Using both a textbook, current information from various technological sources, and hands-on activities, students will focus on science careers, the human body systems, the Food Pyramid, biomes, and space.

Social Studies

The students travel across the U.S. discovering its regions.  They learn the history, geography, economics, culture, and climate of each region.  Students spend much of the year studying Nebraska history.  Specifically, they study westward movement, Native American tribes, pioneer life, and our government.

Technology and Library/Media Center

Students will work on various projects in the technology center and in our library as well.  These projects are designed by the classroom teacher and integrate curriculum.  They are designed to meet the needs of the students as the trend toward using technology continues.  They are also designed to help students become resourceful in using the various types of resources available in our world today.

Music

Fourth grade music consists of learning and practicing many skills.  Students experience beat and rhythm through playing on various instruments and through the singing of songs.  They discriminate differences between high and low, fast and slow, and long and short.  Students perform action/game songs, match pitch, sing independently and in groups.  They are able to perform roles in musicals, and they continue recorder development.

Religion

Students will study the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments in depth in 4th grade.  They will also study the seasonal religious holidays, such as Advent and Lent.  In addition, they learn about various religious heroes and role models, and saints. Living every day with a Christian attitude and prayer is a part of 4th grade life.

Art

Fourth grade art consists of studying how color and lines work together in various media through the study of many famous artists.

Spanish

Students will study Spanish once a week, practicing correct pronunciation of the alphabet and beginning Spanish vocabulary.  They also study Spanish traditions, culture, and customs.

Physical Education

Students perform exercises every class and are taught organized sports, such as baseball, basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, football, and bowling.  In addition, they play games to enhance gross and fine motor skills.  Some of these involve hackey sacks, scooters, a parachute, and jump ropes.  Good sportsmanship and teamwork are an important part of P.E. classes.

Grading Scale and PowerSchool

The grading scale for 4th grade is as follows:

A+  =  99, 100
A  =  95-98
A-  =  93, 94
B+  =  91, 92
B  =  89, 90
B-  =  87, 88
C+  =  85, 86
C  =  79 – 84
C-  =  77, 78
D+  =  75, 76
D  =  74, 73, 72
D-  =  71, 70
F  =  69 and below

You can check your child’s grades online with PowerSchool with your specific password. Email Mary Kay Nelson at marykay.nelson@spsl.net if you need your login information.

Homework

Homework in 4th grade serves a couple of important purposes.  First of all, it allows the students some time to refocus their brains on their daily curriculum, and to apply their new skills and strategies in a timely fashion.  This should provide improved retention of material and confidence for the students in their learning.  In addition, it allows students the opportunity to develop independent responsibility and organizational skills–skills that adults need to function in today’s world.  Finally, it allows the teacher the opportunity to gage how well the students are learning and succeeding, and therefore either continue on pace, provide additional help, or advance the students on with applicable projects, assessments, or new material.

Students are expected to write down their assignments in their assignment notebooks daily when the homeroom class completes it.  Students are expected to complete their homework on time and have it with them when it’s due.  Typically, they will have homework Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on the weekends.  Most 4th graders will complete their assignments within about 40 minutes.  However, all students learn and work at different paces, and many students require more or less time to complete their work.  It’s a good idea to communicate with me if your child is consistently working much longer or much shorter than the typical 40 minutes.

If students do not have their fully completed assignment with them when it’s due, they will fill out a form called a “Homework Late Slip.”  A parent needs to sign that slip and have the child return it the next day. The purpose of this is to communicate with the parent(s) that the students failed to complete & bring the assignment with them.  In addition, it is a way of documentation for the teacher to keep track of whether or not this is a pattern of behavior that requires intervention, or if it’s just a very occasional mistake.  Ten points will be deducted from that assignment as a consequence for being late.  The late assignment is expected to be completed as soon as possible and handed into the teacher with the “Homework Late Slip.”  If students neglect having a parent sign & return the Late Slip, they receive an “Irresponsibility Slip.”  Three “Irresponsibility Slips” earns a detention.

TerraNova

The Archdiocese of Omaha schedules standardized testing in the fall of the year.  Grades 3-8 will administer the tests any time between September 27 through October 7.  Please try to make sure your child has a good night of sleep and a good breakfast and try not to have appointments during the morning.

Mass / Reconciliation

Fourth grade attends Mass every Wednesday morning with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students.  We have Reconciliation once a year.

Friday Folders

Friday Folders are sent home weekly.  We highly encourage parents to look through all of their child’s papers and any information in the Friday Folder.  As 4th grade teachers, we assess work thoroughly and often take the time to write helpful and insightful comments on students’ papers as well as praise.  We feel this gives a better reflection of how the students are doing on their work.  It gives a much clearer picture than simply just looking at the grades on PowerSchool.  Parents must sign and date the Friday Folders and return them to school each week.  We also communicate with parents via our websites, Twitter, email, PowerSchool, etc.

Discipline System

It is important for parents to understand that as we teach the 4th graders appropriate behaviors, we do not rely on slips to do that.  We talk to students, teach them the rationale behind why certain behaviors are better than others, we set goals with them, we use strategies, praise and encouragement.  Our slips’ function is simply to document behaviors for the awareness of occurrence/frequency for the student, teacher, and parents.  Often we are able to note patterns of behavior due to the documentation in the slips.

We use “Behavior Slips” for behaviors considered “unChristian,” rude, or disrespectful.

We use “Irresponsibilty Slips” for behaviors such as not bringing supplies, forgetting items at home, etc.

We use “Homework Late Slips” for incomplete homework or homework not brought to class.

Birthday Treats and Party Information

Students may bring a treat to school for their classmates to enjoy on or close to their birthday.  Please make sure the treats are peanut and tree nut free.  Please provide napkins or necessary utensils for the treat to make it quick and easy to serve at school.  Students are not allowed to pass out invitations in school.