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4th Highlights

Marching Through California History

During the year, fourth graders become experts on California and its exciting history. They learn about California’s early statehood and get to take on the roles of pioneers and gold miners moving west!

Become a Kelp Forest Expert at Birch Aquarium

Did you know that roughly 70% of Earth’s oxygen is produced by marine algae? 4th grade students learn the importance of the Kelp Forest habitat by investigating its animal inhabitants, dissecting a fish, and discussing ways to protect this precious resource.

Philanthropy: Focus on Military

The 4th grade focuses on helping veterans and military families within San Diego County. They write letters, make banners, and create other decorations to show their appreciation and support.  4th graders host various fundraisers to raise money and supplies for our veterans.

Field Study: CA Mission Study

Fourth Graders enhance their study of the California mission system by taking a field trip to the beautiful and historic San Juan Capistrano Mission. Students get a hands-on experience of daily mission life.

Fourth graders receive one hour of math instruction per day as well as two forty minute Math Plus (see below) sessions per week.  In fourth grade mathematics, students apply their prior knowledge of whole number operations to solve problems involving greater quantities.  They learn to construct precise models and solve multi-step problems through flexible mathematical thinking.  The curriculum in 4th grade includes whole number operations, fraction equivalence and operations, measurement, and geometry.
Download the RSF Math Pathways chart

Units of Study
Unit 1    Applying Place Value Concepts in Addition and Subtraction of Whole Numbers with Fluency
Unit 2    Building Toward Multi-Digit Multiplication and Division
Unit 3    Understanding Fractions: Composing, Decomposing, Equivalence
Unit 4    Extending Fraction Concepts and Operations:  Adding and Subtracting
Unit 5    Unit Conversions and Problem Solving with Metric Measurements
Unit 6    Geometry: Angle Measurements, Plane Figures, and Geometric Measurements
Unit 7    Connecting Fractions and Decimals and Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers
Unit 8    Problem Solving with Multiplication and Whole Numbers

Advanced Math
In fourth grade advanced mathematics, students deepen their understanding as they extend previously learned concepts to new situations.  Students learn to construct arguments by analyzing problems, applying mathematical assumptions, and connecting mathematical ideas to one another.  A weekly Think Tank offers the ability to refine their communication skills as they listen to and compare mathematical arguments of others, ask clarifying questions, and justify their own conclusions.  The curriculum includes whole number operations, fraction equivalence and operations, measurement, and geometry.
Criteria for Placement in Advanced Mathematics Class is based upon an advanced level of proficiency in the following areas:
•    MAP Test Results
•    SBAC Test  Results
•    OLSAT Test Results
•    District Benchmark Assessment
and teacher recommendation.

Math Plus
During Math Plus, students in 5th grade are afforded two additional forty-minute sessions of mathematics instruction weekly.  Math Plus is designed to provide students an authentic opportunity for mathematical problem solving that promotes mathematical reasoning, making mathematical connections and communication skills.  Additionally, mathematicians play differentiated math games that encourage strategic thinking, enhance number sense, and promote fluency while supporting concept development and mastery.

Math Intervention- 4th grade
For students who require more support in mathematics in addition to their grade-level mathematics instruction, a mathematics teacher provides students with differentiated instruction during three thirty-minute sessions per week.  Students build on their prior knowledge to gain new skills and a solid foundation of mathematical understanding needed for continued progress.  Students are encouraged to see relationships and make connections between concepts as well as their mathematical representations.  The curriculum engages students in mathematical exploration of content through games, manipulative materials, and contexts that make abstract mathematical ideas accessible.

Workshop
The emphasis in math workshop is to provide students with the conditions supported by the most current research on mathematics instruction.  This instruction involves explicit teaching of skills and strategies, teacher modeling, and supported student practice.  Instruction follows a logical progression through the year and across grade levels.  Individual instruction is tailored to the learner based on the teacher’s ongoing assessment.  Our program emphasizes rigor: a balance of conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application with equal intensity.  Instruction progresses through stages, from concrete to representational to abstract, to ensure students have a thorough understanding of the math concepts.  The elementary school mathematics curriculum focuses on developing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Curriculum Resources
Fosnot
Rational Number Project
Eureka
MacMillan

Instructional Software Supports
ST Math
Compass Learning
Waggle™

 

 

Fourth grade students receive 60 minutes of Reading Workshop (see below) instruction per day.  Fourth grade readers are provided an organized independent reading program that ensures exposure to a range of excellent literature. They are challenged to read texts with deep engagement and intensity. They will learn to develop substantial ideas that are grounded in evidence in informational texts as well as literature. Students will encounter an excellent range of reading such as Poetry, Historical Fiction novels, expository texts geared towards research and content area materials focused on Westward Expansion.  In addition to reading within the units of study, students will continue to build independent reading lives. They will be supported in reaching for slightly more difficult texts and push themselves to be more interpretive.  There is an equal division of time spent on reading informational and fiction texts.

Units of Study
Interpreting Characters: The Heart of the Story
• Reading the Weather, Reading the World: Purposeful Reading of Nonfiction
• Interpretation Book Clubs
• Historical Fiction Clubs
• Westward Expansion-Learning through Reading
• Little Things are Big: Making Meaning from Poems and Poetic Craft in Literature
• Test Prep
• Social Issues Book Clubs

Advanced Reading Seminar

4th grade students who place into Advanced Reading Seminar will receive instruction by the classroom teacher in research based best practices that support advanced readers such as accelerated material, homogenous groupings, advanced comprehension skills instruction, research skills, opportunity for small group and whole class discussion as well as ongoing assessment, feedback, and goal setting.

• Instruction in reading challenging literature (classics, multi-cultural, complex expository text, multimedia texts)
• Independent/Interest Based study and project opportunities
• Technology Integration (research, presentation and publishing skills)
• Enhanced vocabulary study
• Critical Reading (interpretation, analysis and critique)

Criteria for Placement in Advanced Reading Seminar is based upon an advanced level of proficiency in the following areas:
• SBAC Test Results
• OLSAT Test Results
• Teacher Recommendation
• District Benchmark Assessment
and teacher recommendation.

Reading Intervention
Students needing additional support in Reading may qualify for specialized instruction with a Reading Specialist. Classroom teachers make recommendation for this program.

Reading Workshop
The Reading Workshop is a teaching method in which the goal is to teach students strategies for reading and comprehension.  The workshop model allows teachers to differentiate and meet the needs of all their students.  Reading Workshop helps to foster a love of reading and gives students chances to practice reading strategies independently and with guidance.
– Mini Lesson: (10-15 minutes)
– Independent reading, conferring, small group instruction (35-40 minutes)
– Share (5 minutes)

Curriculum Resources:
Units of Study for Teaching Reading: A Curriculum for the Reading Workshop (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University)
Curricular Calendar for Reading K-8 (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University)

Instructional Software Support:
Compass Learning
Waggle

Fourth grade students receive 60 minutes of Writing Workshop (see below) instruction per day and 75 minutes of Word Study (see below) per week.  Fourth grade writers continue to write daily. Some writing tasks are brief; while others take weeks to complete. Writing is taught explicitly and modeled, and significant time is dedicated to writing in multiple contexts for multiple purposes. For example, students will work to grow ideas and compose a thesis about a fictional text in Literary Essay. They will also develop a character that moves through the elements of story as they write Realistic Fiction. Students learn to ensure that multi-paragraph works are well organized and coherent.

Units of Study
• The Arc of Story: Writing Realistic Fiction
• Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essay
• Informational Writing: Building on Expository Structures to Write Lively, Voice-Filled Nonfiction Picture Books
• The Literary Essay: Writing About Reading
• Bringing History to Life
• The Craft of Fiction: Using Figurative Language, Symbolism, and Point of View to Highlight Themes
• Journalism

Word Study
The emphasis in word study is to provide students with the conditions supported by the most recent research on phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction.  During the word study block students are placed in groups based on their developmental spelling stage.
Language:
Students engage in myriad language interactions with peers and adults for a range of purposes. They also use language by writing extensively. In 4th grade, teachers ensure that students have extensive experiences with academic language.  They also establish a word-conscious environment. Students also acquire word-learning strategies using word parts, affixes and roots, context, as well as resources such as dictionaries to determine the meaning of words. Students are also exposed to more complex grammatical structures.  They come to understand that the use of conventions contributes to effective expression. Language conventions in grammar and usage taught in grade four includes forming and using prepositional phrases as well as recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-on sentences.
Spelling and Vocabulary:
Attention to spelling continues in the 4th grade. Students continue to work on building skills with multisyllabic words and irregularly spelled words. The focus on the morphological features of words (roots and affixes) becomes important. Students expand their vocabulary by using common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of words.

Writing Workshop
This predictable structure provides a supportive environment in which new learning takes place. The workshop begins with a 10-15 minute “minilesson” in which the teacher introduces and explicitly teaches skills and strategies related to the unit of study. Students then move to independent writing time. During this time, teachers pull students 1:1 or in small groups providing individualized instruction. The workshop closes with a share of new learning, either whole class or with peers.

Curriculum Resources:
Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (Edition 5 by Donald Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton, Francine Johnston)
The Power of Grammar (Ehrenworth and Vinton)
More Prefixes and Suffixes: Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading
Comprehension (Trisha Callella)

Instructional Support Software:
Compass Learning
Waggle™

Fourth grade students receive 90 minutes of science instruction per week with their classroom teacher as well as 40 minutes per week with a specialized science teacher for lab work and instruction in multi-week units of study.  In December Fourth grade science students also participate in the Hour of Code during science class where they learn how computer code is structured and how machines interpret instructions using age-appropriate software tools.  Fourth grade science units for the 2017-18 school year will be fully aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Units of Study
• Food Webs
• Ecosystems
• Rocks and Minerals
• Change on Earth
• Electricity and Magnetism

Students learn the story of their home state, unique in American history in terms of its vast and varied geography, its many waves of immigration beginning with pre-Columbian societies, its continuous diversity, economic energy, and rapid growth. In addition to the specific treatment of milestones in California history, students examine the state in the context of the rest of the nation, with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the relationship between state and federal government.  Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California.

Curriculum Resources:
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, California Communities.

 

Spanish is in the Enrichment Wheel and takes place twice per week for 12 weeks.   This class is designed to expose students to the Spanish language, which will enable them to move more quickly and confidently through the foundational elements of the middle school Spanish program should they elect to take Spanish at this level.

TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) is the primary method used with K-5 students. TPRS involves a mixture of reading and storytelling activities, which exposes students to the most high frequency vocabulary and grammar used in the Spanish language. The course also employs the TPR (Total Physical Response) method, which uses songs, interactive activities, writing, and the combination of language and physical movement to teach vocabulary, expressions and culture.


The Wheel
Students in grades K-5 participate in a wide range of enrichment activities throughout the year by way of a rotation called the “Elective Wheel” comprised of art, computer technology, drama, music, and Spanish.  Each student has two sessions per week and progresses through a six-week rotation in each of the enrichment disciplines.

Fourth grade students receive physical education instruction concentrating on development of eye-hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills, and ability to cooperate/participate in organized games. A P.E. specialist works with the children twice per week.

Units of Study
Body Management
Locomotor Movement
Manipulative Skills
Rhythmic Skills
Movement Concepts
Body Management
Locomotor Movement
Manipulative Skills
Fitness Concepts
Aerobic Capacity
Muscular Strength/Endurance
Flexibility
Body Composition
Group Dynamics

Curriculum Resources:
http://www.sparkpe.org/

Fourth grade students receive music instruction as a component of the Elective Wheel (see below).  They are also encouraged to participate in the 4-8 Choir or, based on an evaluation, the Band and Strings programs outside of school hours- more info at Arts Home.

The Wheel
Students in grades K-5 participate in a wide range of enrichment activities throughout the year by way of a rotation called the “Elective Wheel” comprised of art, computer technology, drama, music, and Spanish.  Each student has two sessions per week and progresses through a six-week rotation in each of the enrichment disciplines.

Fourth grade students receive drama instruction as a component of the Enrichment Wheel (see below).  They are also encouraged to participate in the Jr. Theater program outside of school hours- more info at Arts Home.

The Wheel
Students in grades K-5 participate in a wide range of enrichment activities throughout the year by way of a rotation called the “Elective Wheel” comprised of art, computer technology, drama, music, and Spanish.  Each student has two sessions per week and progresses through a six-week rotation in each of the enrichment disciplines.

Fourth grade students receive computer technology instruction as a component of the Enrichment Wheel (see below).

The Wheel
Students in grades K-5 participate in a wide range of enrichment activities throughout the year by way of a rotation called the “Elective Wheel” comprised of art, computer technology, drama, music, and Spanish.  Each student has two sessions per week and progresses through a six-week rotation in each of the enrichment disciplines

Third grade students receive art instruction as a component of the Enrichment Wheel (see below).

The Wheel
Students in grades K-5 participate in a wide range of enrichment activities throughout the year by way of a rotation called the “Elective Wheel” comprised of art, computer technology, drama, music, and Spanish.  Each student has two sessions per week and progresses through a six-week rotation in each of the enrichment disciplines.

Fourth grade students are eligible to participate in the Intro to FLL (Intro to First Lego League) Robotics after school program where they learn to program NXT and EV3 robots using a variety of sensors (color, sound, touch, ultrasonic, gyroscopic, etc.). This introductory First Lego League Program helps prepare students for our FLL program the following year or two after.  Students follow along on a self-paced video trainer and receive challenges by the instructor to perform and master before moving on to the next programming challenge.

More at RSF Robotics Home

Faculty

Jen Burdis

Jen Burdis

4 Grade Teacher

[email protected]

Haley Cameron

Haley Cameron

4th Grade Teacher

[email protected]

Katrina Gerace

Katrina Gerace

4th Grade Teacher

[email protected]

Jen Overstreet

Jen Overstreet

4th Grade Teacher

[email protected]

Mandy Valentine

Mandy Valentine

4th Grade Teacher

[email protected]

Phone: 858-756-1141