Welcome! It is a delight to have your child in my class! Communication and cooperation will ensure an outstanding year for all involved. To start the year off right at St. Ignatius School, I want to share with you some of the expectations I have.
Each day for homework your child should read at least 25 minutes and practice math facts for at least 10 minutes. Your nightly signature on their planner verifies that they have done this assignment.
Religion: The prayers "Our Father," "Hail Mary, "Glory Be" and "Act of Contrition" will be reviewed and tested. This year the students will also be learning about the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the parables of Jesus. Part of our religion program includes "Steps to Respect," a diocesan-wide bullying prevention program, and the Fully Alive series.
Reading: Each evening, 4th graders are required to read at least 25 minutes each night. Each day, the name of the book and number of pages that s/he has read at home needs to be written in his/her planner. It is the 4th graders' responsibility to record this information, but parents should ensure that he/she has done the reading!
Every six weeks, students should be finishing an average of 3-4 books (1 book every 2 weeks). Each month, a different genre will be highlighted, although no formal book reports will be assigned for each genre. 4th graders should be looking to expand their reading interests and explore new genres of reading this year! I encourage students to read a variety of easier books for enjoyment and pleasure, but also more difficult texts for challenge. In class, we work on how to choose "just right" books that are suitable for independent reading.
English: We do a lot of writing in the fourth grade, focusing on the 6+1 Traits (Ideas/Content, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions + Presentation). Look for ways to compliment your writer in each of these areas! We will also be learning about different modes of writing (Narrative, Explanatory, Persuasive, Comparative, Expository and Story Writing). In Grammar, we will study more about Sentences, Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Pronouns and Adverbs.
Spelling: Along with weekly word lists studied through a variety of activities, we also focus on learning and applying spelling strategies in his/her writing.
Math: One of the best ways to improve on math skills is to practice them! I encourage students to make or invest in flash cards to work on basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts at home. This year we will be focusing on: developing an understanding of decimals, including the connections between fractions and decimals; developing fluency with multiplication facts and related division facts, with multi-digit whole number multiplication; and developing an understanding of area and determining the areas of two-dimensional shapes.
Science: In 4th grade, we learn about ecosystems, the water cycle, oceans, weather/ climate, sound, heat/light, electricity/magnetism, and plants (growth, adaptations, and processes). If you have expertise in any of these areas and would be interested in presenting to the class, please let me know. Throughout the year, your child will be assigned different activities and projects to help facilitate learning.
Social Studies: For the first few weeks of school, we will be reviewing the use of maps, globes and other reference tools. Following this review, we focus on the regions of the United States, followed by an in-depth study of Oregon.
P.E.: We have P.E. three times a week. 4th graders are asked to bring deodorant and a cloth bag (in which to store his/her P.E. clothes). Students are also required to have a pair of shoes dedicated to use only in the gym during P.E.
Music/Band: 4th graders have the option of attending the regular music class (to learn recorders) or sign up for band (to learn another instrument). If students elect to take band, they meet with the band teacher during a regular music time during the school week.
Computer: We will be building our technology skills using the mobile computer lab three times a week with Mr. Auer.
Library: The students will visit our wonderful library under the supervision of Susanne Lohkamp twice a week.
It is expected that homework is turned in on time. The following is the homework policy for the 4th grade:
Full credit will be given for assignments turned in on time and completed accurately.
A 10-percent deduction will be made for all late assignments. However, late assignments will be expected to be turned in within one week.
It is expected that all homework and planners be reviewed nightly. It is the student's responsibility to write down assignments accurately each day. Additionally, it is his/her responsibility to see that homework is completed and returned to class when it is due.
The 4th grade grading scale is as follows:
100 - 95 = A (Superior Quality Work)
94 - 85 = B (High Quality Work)
84 - 75 = C (Average Quality Work)
74 - 65 = D (Below Average Work
64 and below = F (Failing Work)
According to the St. Ignatius Student/Parent Handbook, it is highly discouraged to plan vacations during scheduled school days. However, if families do vacation, it is school policy that assignments will not be given in advance. 4th graders will be required to return all assignments within one week. After one week, points will be deducted as late work.
If you would ever like to meet with me about your child after or before school, please call ahead and schedule an appt. My afternoons are especially busy this year, so I would appreciate being able to plan ahead for meetings. My phone number is 503.774.5533 ext. 251.