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FOURTH GRADE HANDBOOK

Legend Springs School 2013 - 2014


Fourth Grade Teachers Mrs. Peterson . . . . Room 211 Mrs. Fitz . . . . . . . Room 212 Mrs. Huber. . . . . Room 213 Mr. OConnellRoom 206

CURRICULUM
Language Arts
Reading The main goal for our fourth graders is to develop confident readers and promote a lifelong love of reading. We will be working with your child to strengthen vocabulary, improve comprehension skills, and develop a variety of reading strategies. Students will receive a combination of whole-class and small group instruction. In fourth grade, we will be using the Reading Street reading program, literature books, and a variety of other resources as instructional tools. ** Important notes ** As part of our reading program, your child will be assigned literature books for which he/she will be held accountable. It is important that your child bring this book to school each day. Independent reading time is a valuable part of a comprehensive reading program. Every student will be required to have an independent book at school at all times. (This is a book of your childs choice.) It is the students responsibility to make sure this book is at school each day. All students will be required to read a specified number of minutes each month and record this in a monthly reading log. The reading log is a requirement and will be a part of your childs reading grade.

Language/Writing Grammar skills will be introduced and reinforced through the Daily Language Review exercises. We will be using the Write from the Beginning program and the Six Traits of Writing process. Students will also learn to use a variety of resources to help them proofread and edit their work. ** Important Note ** Not every piece of writing will be developed through all stages of the writing process. There may be papers coming home that have not been graded, edited, or revised. This does not mean that the teacher has not seen the work or is unaware of the errors made. An important element of writing is developing ideas and getting thoughts down on paper, and grading can sometimes inhibit a childs desire to write.

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Spelling
Pre-tests will be given on Monday and spelling tests will be given each Thursday. Dictation will also be a part of our spelling tests. Words used in dictation sentences will come from a list of high frequency words and from previous spelling lists. Students will be held accountable for all words that appear on tests.

Mathematics

We will be using the Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley envision math program in fourth grade. Daily lessons will involve: 1. 2. 3. 4. building understanding of concepts drills on computational skills (primarily multiplication facts) systematic review of past material building problem-solving and thinking skills

Math homework will be sent home most every night, and it is very important that students keep up with the assignments. We strongly encourage families to work with students to help them master basic math facts (addition, subtraction, and multiplication.)

Science
Students will be exploring four main areas in science through the FOSS science program. FOSS uses a hands on approach to teaching science. It is our hope that students will develop an appreciation for science, learn important concepts, and develop the ability to think and construct ideas through the many investigations they will experience this year. The four main topics covered in fourth grade are: Landforms Magnetism and Electricity Environments Water

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Social Studies
The major emphasis of the social studies curriculum is the study of Arizonas history. Students will learn about their state from ancient people to present day. Field trips and guest presenters will help bring history alive. Students will also participate in several classroom activities designed to enrich the social studies curriculum.

Technology
We will be using technology across the curriculum in a variety of ways. Students will use the Internet, multimedia software, and other educational programs to facilitate their learning. Students will also practice keyboarding skills and learn the buzz words of our techno world. It is our goal for all students to become computer literate and to be prepared for our technology-driven society.

CLASSROOM EXPECTATIONS
The fourth grade team is committed to reaching each childs individual learning needs. We have worked hard to create a supportive and safe environment for students, classrooms where they can ask questions, make choices, take risks, and feel free to grow. Certain classroom expectations will need to be met in order to create a positive learning environment. Please see attached letter regarding Classroom Expectations.

HOMEWORK
Expectations Students will have some type of assignment each night from Monday through Thursday. Homework assignments may include written work, studying for a test,

reading, finishing in-class assignments, or reviewing and practicing math skills. Homework is always due the next day unless the teacher says otherwise. -3-

HOMEWORK (cont.)
If a student is absent, we will keep a list of the assignments so he/she will know what was missed. It is the students responsibility to turn in all make-up work. STUDENTS: FOR PARTIAL DAY ABSENCES, MAKE-UP WORK WILL BE AVAILABLE WHEN YOU RETURN. HOMEWORK MAY BE REQUESTED AFTER THE THIRD DAY OF ABSENCE. All fourth graders will use an assignment notebook. Assignments will be written in the book daily so that students and parents will know what the homework is that night. The teacher will ask students to have a parent or guardian sign the book each day to show that the student has completed the assignments. LATE ASSIGNMENTS Everyone is late with an assignment once in awhile. If a student does not have an assignment, the teacher will make a note on the behavior card. The student still has a chance to turn the work in for credit. If the completed assignment is turned in the next school day, only ten percentage points will be lost from that assignment grade. However, if the student does not have the completed assignment the next day, the student will be required to do the work without credit.

Parent Communication
Communication between parents and teachers is essential to the success of children. Each teacher will be in contact with students and parents through email and the fourth grade website. Students will bring home a binder with assignments from classes and an assignment notebook. This is where students will record and store their daily homework and any other communication from school. It is very important that parents go through their childs folder each night. Once a week, students will use this folder to bring home their weekly work. This is work that has been graded and gives you the opportunity to go over your childs schoolwork.

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Birthdays
Parents often like to send in small treats for the class in honor of their childs birthday. Treats can be dropped off at the classroom before school or during school hours for enjoyment during the last 15 minutes of the day. Please bring single serving items, such as cupcakes or cookies Please NO CAKES!! All treats need to be store-bought, and sealed. It would be helpful to send in napkins as well. **All food items in our classrooms need to be peanut and tree-nut free.**

Behavior
Our goal is to provide a classroom community where children feel comfortable expressing themselves positively and responsibly. Our goals, or rules, for fourth graders are as follows: Be Responsible. This includes completing work on time, staying on task, following directions the first time, and taking care of personal and classroom materials. Be Respectful. This means being kind to others, listening to your teacher and classmates, raising your hand, waiting to be called on, etc. Be Fair. This includes being honest, sharing, and including others. Be Safe. This means keeping our hands and feet to ourselves, walking in the classroom and on the sidewalks, etc. To achieve these goals, we use a behavior system based on clearly established choices and consequences. This behavior system is based on a 4- step process: 1. Verbal warning. 2. The infraction on the behavior card is recorded as a negative 3. Three negatives in one day results in the student missing lunch recess. 4. Lunch detention is recorded on the behavior card. Two infractions or less per week will earn Fun Friday time. Three infractions during a one-week period will result in loss of Fun Friday time.

Each Thursday, your child will bring home his/her behavior card. In order for your child to receive his/her reward and Fun Friday time, the behavior card must be signed and returned to school on Friday morning. We have found this to be an invaluable tool to communicate the strengths and needs of our students with parents. -5-

The fourth grade team would like to extend a special welcome to you. We look forward to working with you and your child this year. We feel that the key to a successful year is communication. Hopefully many of your questions were answered in this handbook; however, please feel free to contact us with any other questions you may have. Thank you in advance for you support during the 20132014 school year. School phone number: 623-376-4500 Email addresses: Mrs. Fitz: tracy.fitzgerald@dvusd.org Mrs. Peterson: KL.Peterson@dvusd.org Mr. OConnell: james.oconnell@dvusd.org Mrs. Huber: susan.huber@dvusd.org

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I have read and understand the handbook containing classroom expectations.

_______________________________________ Student signature signature

_________________________________ Parent/Guardian