Classroom Handbook


Grantham Village School


GRADE FOUR

CLASSROOM HANDBOOK








Welcome to Fourth Grade

It is our pleasure to work with your family this year!  We know that you will be both surprised and amazed at the progress that your child makes in fourth grade.



Curriculum Topics

Classroom Management

Homework Policy

Parent Communications

Essential Skills

Appendix

  • Behavior Reflection Sheet

  • Sample Schedule

  • Spelling: Word List      

  • Reading Tips and Info.

  • Contact Information



Welcome to Mrs. Buckman’s fourth grade classroom.  


I would like to share a brief overview of our classroom curriculum with you.  


Standards specific to each area of the curriculum can be referenced directly from GVS Curriculum binders, located in the principal’s office.  You may also reference these standards on-line at the

NHDepartmentof Education http://www.education.nh.gov/ and http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/curriculum/index.htm . Standards are addressed through a variety of topics.  Topics for this year’s study are listed by content area below.







LANGUAGE ARTS


We will explore a variety of genres for both writing and reading this year.  Our list of genres includes realistic and historical fiction, myths and tales, classic literature, poetry,biography,autobiography,informational narrative, non-fiction science and social studies, journals, letters, personal experience narratives, research, persuasive, and news writing. Because reading impacts every aspect of our learning, I have included reading suggestions and questions to use while reading at home in the reference section of this handbook.  Students will learn and practice a variety of grammar, usage, and mechanics skills specific to fourth grade students.  A list of these specific skills can be found in the Common Core State Standards.


Students are responsible for spelling mastery of the Fry list of high frequency words through 4th grade (That’s over 400 words!).  Our weekly spelling lists will be made up of these high frequency words, as well as, words containing spelling patterns typical of fourth grade.  Ten high frequency words and five pattern words will be introduced each week.  In addition to the words introduced to promote correct spelling, our weekly word study includes idioms, morphology (prefixes, suffixes, Greek and Latin roots), and grammar and usage.


All listening, speaking, and viewing proficiencies will be incorporated into the content area curriculum.





SCIENCE


Students will study scientific process, plant and animal adaptations, human body systems, ecosystems, earthquakes, volcanoes, and fossils, weather, waves and currents, heat, light, and sound energy, electricity and magnetism, forces and motion, simple machines, and inventions. Note that many of these units are an extension of units that were introduced in second and third grade.




SOCIAL STUDIES


Students will learn the history, geography, and government of New Hampshire. They will research and explore historical figures as well.



Math


We use the Everyday Math program in fourth grade at the Grantham Village School. Content for our grade level math program is listed below by unit.


  • Unit 1: Place Value: Multidigit Addition and Subtraction

  • Unit 2: Multiplication and Geometry

  • Unit 3: Fractions and Decimals

  • Unit 4: Multidigit Multiplication

  • Unit 5: Fraction and Mixed-Number Computation; Measurement

  • Unit 6: Division; Angles

  • Unit 7: Multiplication of a Fraction by a Whole Number; Measurement

  • Unit 8: Fraction Operation Applications








Handwriting


Students will demonstrate mastery of all upper and lower case manuscript and cursive letters unless otherwise noted in an IEP.  All students will learn and use their cursive signature as is appropriate. Keyboarding skills are increasingly important in grade four.   Students use typing.com in class as their keyboarding program.  Each child has a password which is recorded in their Agenda books.



If you have questions about the curriculum, delivery, or methods please contact me to set up a conference.  

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CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT/ DISCIPLINE POLICY


I am often asked what the discipline policy or classroom management plan is for the classroom.  I would like to address this briefly.


Our classroom houses a small society.  Each student is a citizen who is expected to act in accordance with clearly articulated standards of behavior.  


With this in mind, individual rewards are not given for expected behaviors- just as society does not give rewards for behaving properly.  That said, when we behave appropriately we accomplish more.  Positive behavior results in completing required tasks and therefore having some time for choice tasks such as computer time or the highly popular, “Read to Someone”.


Irresponsible behavior is not uncommon with young children, and therefore it is viewed as an opportunity for growth, rather than punishment.  The exception being repeated irresponsible behaviors, or behaviors that get in the way of learning.


The approach that I will be using with most my students encourages them to exercise self-discipline through reflection and self-evaluation.  Students learn to control their own behavior, rather than always relying on the teacher for control.  


My definition of discipline:  Doing what has to be done, when it has to be done, doing it as well as it can be done, and doing it that way every time.  









School Rules of Conduct


The 3 Rs


  • Respect others

  • Respect yourself

  • Responsibility for all your actions

  • Do your best!


Classroom Rules (which support school rules)

  • Follow Directions Quickly

  • Raise your hand for permission to speak

  • Raise your hand for permission to leave your seating area

  • Make Smart Choices

  • Make your Dear Teacher Happy (this means follow expectations and routines)


CONSEQUENCES


  • Practice doing it the right way

  • 5 minute reflection/Apology of Action

  • 10-15 minute reflection time (Time Out) to complete Behavior Reflection Sheet/Apology of Action

  • Loss of Privilege (change in seating, removal from the classroom, loss of recess, after-school detention)

  • Parent/Behavior Interventionist/Principal/Teacher conference to develop alternate plan

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RECOGNITION


  • Verbal Praise

  • Notes home

  • Bell, Book, and Candle Award

  • Earned Whole Class Choice Time


Individual as well as class behavior is reflected in visual charts at the front of the room.


In addition to defining and developing expectations for behavior and work time, classroom procedures are introduced during the first 4 weeks of school.  Initially, I model the correct way to carry out our classroom procedures and have students practice them.  Over time, with a gradual release of responsibility, the students model classroom procedures and expectations.

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PROCEDURES


  • Arriving in the morning

  • Restroom use

  • Moving in the halls

  • What to do when you finish assigned work

  • WIN time

  • Field trips

  • Materials use and storage

  • Turning in daily work

  • Working in partnerships

  • Quiet voices for work time

  • No voices for listening or silent reading time


I’m sure you agree that the classroom should be a place that is encouraging and conducive to learning at all times.  I want to support an environment where our young people develop positive attitudes and behavioral skills that are necessary for successful lives.


Here’s how you can help:  Before your child starts this new school year, ask him or her why he/she comes to school.  Accept all answers, which may include seeing old friends, making new friends, learning new things, etc.  Next help your child add ideas that are important to you.  Ask your child to consider his/her hopes and dreams for this school year.  Acknowledge your child’s response by letting him/her know that you will help support him/her throughout the school year.  Plan to remind your child of his/her hopes and dreams periodically.  You can also make up a catchy phrase to send your child off to school with each day such as, “work hard, get smart”. Be sure to also stress the importance of following expectations for the school and the classroom.  Let your child know that this is important to their success and the success of others as well.


.A copy of the behavior reflection sheet that I use to support our classroom discipline and management plan can be found in the appendix section of the classroom handbook.


If you have questions about the behavior or classroom management plan for our room, do not hesitate to contact me.  


.Homework Policy


Students in grade 4 receive homework on a daily basis, Monday through Thursday, with an expectation that all students will read over the weekend and record their reading time. Each assignment is due the day after it is given with the exception being projects.  All projects come with a timeline for completion.


Reasonable amounts of homework allow children to practice what they have learned or are learning in school.  The assigned work may be challenging at times and easy at other times, but it should never be frustrating.  If your child appears to be frustrated consider all possible factors.  Could he or she be tired, distracted, or having difficulty sustaining good effort?  If so, try to set aside another time to do the assignment.  The homework assigned each day is designed to provide each child with approximately 40 minutes of homework each night, not including the daily reading.  The time does vary from child to child, especially when you include daily reading or incomplete class work.  Try to get a read on your child’s homework behavior.  Contact me if you have questions or concerns.


Although I do not punish students for not completing homework on time, I do expect all students to do it.  Students that need more time will work on their assignment(s) during recess until it is completed unless I receive a note from home with a reason for the incomplete work.  Forgetting homework is not a reason for incomplete work in grade 4.


Some suggestions for optimizing success with homework:  Designate an area in your home for the work to be completed.  Set up a regular time for your child to do his/her work.  Be sure your child knows what to do.  Arrange a time when you will check the homework with your child. Include your child in these decisions and then stick to the plan.


Sometimes things come up that we are not able to anticipate or plan around.  For this reason, I will give every child a free homework pass once each quarter.  If your child needs to use his/her pass, simply write a note to me right on the assignment when it is turned in. The note is good for that night’s assignments only. Please contact me by email if something more is needed.


.HOMEWORK TIPS FOR FOURTH GRADERS:


  • All homework should be completed in pencil.

  • All work must be labeled with your name and the date.

  • Your work should be neatly written and carefully and thoughtfully completed.

  • Paper should not be torn from spiral notebooks and should not have jagged edges.

  • Keep your homework clean and unwrinkled.

  • Be sure to check over/edit your work and have an adult check and sign it to be sure you have completed the packet.

  • When writing, be sure to use your own words.

  • Remember to always do your best. ***Homework will be returned to be redone if it does not meet these standards for completion.

.PROGRESS REPORTS



Parents are invited to log on to the Power School Portal here at GVS to check student assignments and grades. You can access the Power School portal right from the GVS web page under the Family Info tab. Use your parent user name and password to access your child’s assignments and grades.  The information that you will find at Power School does not provide a comprehensive evaluation, but it should help you get an idea of how well your child is doing.


.CLASS NEWSLETTERS


I will send a class newsletter home every Friday in the C-folders. A brief overview of the week, as well as, reminders about any special events are included.  Additionally,  weekly updates are made to our class web page.  



Google Classroom


Teachers and Students in Grades 4-6, use Google Classroom daily.  Classroom is a free web-based platform that integrates Google Apps for Education. Classroom saves time and paper, and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized. Assignments, timelines, and resources are posted there for student use.  Has your student ever said, “I forgot my assignment at school.”  Well, no worries.  Most assignments can be printed right from Google Classroom.  Our year-long (all 36 weeks) of Word Study is posted there.  We have a “classroom” for each area of study, and best of all… in addition to the student resources found there, there are resources that parents can access to better understand the expectations for student work (Check out our writing progressions to learn about the expectations in writing composition).  Your child we be taught how to access Google Classroom in the first full week of school.  After that, he/she can access it from any computer with internet access.

.OTHER PARENTAL

COMMUNICATION AND INVOLVEMENT


  • Parent Information Meetings

  • Emails

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences

  • Family Nights

  • Scheduled Classroom visits


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ESSENTIAL SKILLS

FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNERS.COMMUNICATION SKILLS


Students will:

  • Communicate competently and confidently by listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and by using other forms of communication where appropriate;

  • Convey and receive information, instruction, ideas, and feelings appropriately and effectively in a range of different cultural, language, and social contexts;

  • Develop skills of discrimination and critical analysis in relation to media, and to aural and visual messages from other sources;

  • Argue a case clearly, logically, and convincingly;

  • Become competent in using new information and communication technologies

.NUMERACY SKILLS


Students will:

  • Calculate accurately;

  • Estimate proficiently and with confidence;

  • Use calculators and a range of measuring instruments confidently and competently;

  • Recognize, understand, analyze, and respond to information which is presented in mathematical ways, for example, in graphs, tables, charts, or percentages;

  • Organize information to support logic and reasoning;

  • Recognize and use numerical patterns and relationships.


.INFORMATION SKILLS


Students will:

  • Identify, locate, gather, store, retrieve, and process information from a range of sources;

  • Organize analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and use information;

  • Present information clearly, logically, concisely, and accurately;

  • Identify, describe, and interpret different points of view, and distinguish facts from opinions;

  • Use a range of information retrieval and information-processing technologies confidently and competently.


.Problem-Solving Skills


Students will:

  • Think critically, creatively, reflectively, and logically;

  • Exercise imagination, initiative, and flexibility;

  • Identify, describe, and redefine a problem;

  • Analyze problems from a variety of different perspectives;

  • Make connections and establish relationships;

  • Inquire and research, and explore, generate, and develop ideas;

  • Try out innovative and original ideas;

  • Design and make;

  • Test ideas and solutions, and make decisions on the basis of experience and supporting evidence;

  • Evaluate processes and solutions.


.SELF-MANAGEMENT AND COMPETITIVE SKILLS


Students will:

  • Set, evaluate, and achieve realistic personal goals;

  • Manage time effectively;

  • Show initiative, commitment, perseverance, courage, and enterprise;

  • Adapt to new ideas, technologies, and situations;

  • Develop constructive approaches to challenge and change, stress and conflict, competition, and success and failure;

  • Achieve self-discipline and take responsibility for their own actions and decisions;

  • Develop self-esteem and personal integrity;

  • Take increasing responsibility for their own health and safety

  • Develop a range of practical life skills

.Social and Cooperative Skills


Students will:

  • Develop good relationships with others and work in cooperative ways to achieve common goals;

  • Take responsibility as a member of a group for jointly decided actions and decisions;

  • Participate appropriately in a range of social and cultural settings;

  • Learn to recognize, analyze, and respond appropriately to discriminatory practices and behaviors;

  • Acknowledge individual differences and demonstrate respect for the rights of all people;

  • Demonstrate consideration for others through qualities such as integrity, reliability, trustworthiness, caring or compassion, fairness, diligence, tolerance, and hospitality or generosity;

  • Develop a sense of responsibility for the well-being of others and for the environment;

  • Participate effectively as responsible citizens in a democratic society;

  • Develop the ability to negotiate and reach consensus.


.PHYSICAL SKILLS


Students will:

  • Develop personal fitness and health through regular exercise, good hygiene, and healthy diet;

  • Develop locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills;

  • Develop basic first-aid skills;

  • Develop specialized skills related to sporting, recreational, and cultural activities;

  • Learn to use tools and materials efficiently and safely;

  • Develop relaxation skills.


.Work and Study Habits


Students will:

  • Work effectively, both independently and in groups;

  • Build on learning experiences, cultural backgrounds, and preferred learning styles;

  • Develop sound work habits;

  • Take increasing responsibility for their own learning and work;

  • Develop the desire and skills to continue learning throughout life;


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APPENDIX

.Behavior Reflection Sheet


Directions:  Please respond thoughtfully to each question below.


  1. What were you doing when you were asked to sit out?



  1. What were you supposed to be doing when you were asked to sit out?





  1. How did your behavior negatively impact you or others?





  1. What will you do to fix this?





  1. When will you fix this?





  1. What kind of support will you need to fix it?





Student Signature ___________________

Teacher Signature ___________________

Date __________________________















Daily Schedule


Time


Bell Work(Routines)/Pledge



8:35-8:45


WIN

(Reading Intervention)


8:45-9:15


Reading

(Core Instruction, including Word Study)


9:15-10:10



Snack



10:10-10:20

Special



10:25-11:10



Writing Instruction

(Including Handwriting and Keyboarding)



11:15-11:40



Recess/Lunch



11:40-12:10/12:10-12:40


Writing Workshop



12:45-1:15



Math



1:15-2:15


Science


2:15-2:45



Social Studies



2:45-3:10



Dismissal



3:15




.READING ALOUD


I know what you’re thinking.  Is it still important to read aloud to my fourth grader?  The answer is yes! Every time you read aloud to your child, you are modeling good reading skills.  From fluency to voice inflection, it is important for children of all ages to hear good reading so that they can imitate it in their own reading.  Specifically, reading aloud to students

  • Provides motivation for reading and learning.  By listening to a strong reader model the enjoyment of reading, students will become more motivated for their own reading and learning.

  • Helps build background knowledge.  One of the things that struggling readers and ESL students lack is background knowledge on a wide range of topics.  By reading aloud from a wide variety of books and materials, students gain some of this background knowledge.

  • Offers models of fluent reading.  When students hear someone reading fluently, they quickly learn what good reading sounds like.

  • Contributes to vocabulary development.  Using a wide variety of books and materials exposes students to a broad swath of vocabulary words, many of which they would not have come in contact with in their own reading or conversations.

  • Enhances listening comprehension.  In a day and age of multimedia overload, one skill many children lack is the ability to sit still and be good listeners.  The read aloud offers children an opportunity to practice this skill.

  • Provides opportunity to respond orally.  When children are asked to respond to questions during and after reading aloud, they are given valuable practice in answering questions orally and using their critical thinking skills in a whole group setting.









STRATEGIES FOR READ ALOUDS



  1. Choose a book that you enjoy and believe your child(ren) will enjoy.

  2. Use both narratives and informational texts.

  3. Reread the section that you plan to read aloud ahead of time and plan to ask a question or two about the characters or other story elements.

  4. Before you begin reading the book, talk about the cover, author, and illustrator, read the blurb on the jacket, and provide any background information your child might need.  You can use this time to get your child hooked on the book.

  5. Ask your child to make a prediction about the story before you read.

  6. Take time after you read to discuss what you have read and to be sure your child was actively listening while you were reading.

  7. Make eye contact with your child when possible.

  8. Select books that you and your child will enjoy.  Picture books, chapter books, and informational books are all good choices.

  9. Select a consistent time to read aloud 3-5 times a week.

  10. Try to stop at a natural point, such as the end of a chapter or at a cliffhanger.

  11. Start reading only when you have your child’s full attention.

  12. Have fun reading with your child. Don’t let this be a dreaded chore.

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SUGGESTED READING QUESTIONS


For use with fiction:  historical fiction, realistic fiction, mysteries, science fiction, fantasies, and drama


  1. Describe how the main character felt at the end of the book.

  2. How had his/her feelings changed since the beginning of the book?

  3. What was the biggest problem or challenge the main character faced and how was it solved?

  4. What was the first event that happened in the book that made you want to read on?

  5. If you were in the situation of the main character, what would you have done?

  6. Choose a scene from the book and describe how you pictured it in your mind.  How does the author help you?


For use with poetry, short stories, folktales, and legends


  1. What feelings did the reading cause you to experience?  Name three examples and describe why you feel that way.

  2. Was there a common theme (friendship, loneliness, nature, dogs, etc.) to the book?  Describe it.

  3. What part of the book did you like best?  Why?

  4. What connections to your life or other reading materials can you make with this book?

  5. What powerful words did the author use?

  6. Why do you think the author wrote this book?


For use with informational (nonfiction)


  1. What was the main thing you learned from this book?

  2. What did you already know about this subject before reading this book?

  3. How can you use this reading to help you in your life?

  4. What connections to your life or other reading materials can you make with this book?

  5. What do you think was the most important part of the book?  Why?

  6. How did the author organize the reading to make the information easy to use?


CONTACT INFORMATION

School phone 863-1681 ext. 42

E-mail dbuckman@gvshawks.org

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