• Science/Social Studies

    Pencil

      

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

                Please read below as each fourth grade teacher will introduce themselves, as well as inform you of procedures and expectations of each subject area.

    4th Grade Reading

    Welcome to fourth grade!  My name is Kendell Coker and I will be your child’s homeroom teacher as well as their Reading, Grammar, and Spelling teacher. I received an Associates of Arts degree from Wallace Community College and furthered my education at the University of Troy-Dothan in Dothan, Alabama to receive my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. I was also selected as Teacher of the Year in 2018 by my peers. I am happily married and we have one daughter, Charlianna Pearl, who is a very active four-year-old. In my spare time, I work a second job waitressing at my family’s restaurant, Annie Pearls Home Cooking, in Taylor.

     I am thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful school, grade level and faculty here at Geneva County Elementary. I am looking forward to working closely with you to ensure your child has continued academic success. Please feel free to call me at school, send me a note through Remind or with your child with any questions or concerns. You can also reach me by e-mail at kendell.coker@genevacoboe.org  I am looking forward to this new and exciting school year. It is going to be a great one!

    Your child's reading will leap forward this year, as fourth graders are asked to read more demanding fiction and nonfiction texts. Fourth grade is a year of challenging reading. Over the past several years, your child has been working on foundational skills like decoding and fluency. Now, your child is encouraged to try reading more difficult fiction and nonfiction. Luckily, help from grown-ups is expected. Be ready and available to assist your child with all these tough texts. Students should be reading at least 20 minutes every night to help aid their comprehension skills. Stop and discuss with your child what they are reading. Point out and discuss the text features you see as you read and ask them basic who, what, when, where questions.

    Specific decoding skills your child should show this year include:

    • Putting together compound words (e.g. a snake with a rattle is a rattlesnake).
    • Figuring out the meaning when common prefixes and suffixes are added to a base word (e.g. When you add pre- to heats, what does it mean? What does the suffix -ly do to the meaning of sharp?)
    • Decoding dozens of multisyllabic words, from com-pen-sate to sy-no-nym, as well as read grade-level irregularly spelled words, such as though and Wednesday.
    • Figuring out the meaning of Greek and Latin roots and how you can gain understanding of the word by knowing the root meaning. (Fract: break as in Fracture or Fractions)

    Specific fluency skills your child should show this year:

    • Reading with enough accuracy to understand the material.
    • After multiple readings, reading aloud smoothly and with plenty of expression.
    • It is vital that students read for at least 20 minutes every night for homework to build their fluency.

    Comprehension

    • Text structure- Students will gain understanding with how the text is written, such as, chronological order, cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution, and when an author is simply describing something by searching for clue words that indicate that structure. Students will be given anchor charts and they will be in their reading composition notebooks.
    • Text Features- Students will learn the importance of text features and the roles they play in comprehension. Examples of text features include, the title, headings, photographs, illustrations, captions, charts, diagrams, etc. We will create graphic organizers that give the purpose behind each one and complete a scavenger hunt searching for text features. I will refer to them every day throughout the year so that students will automatically refer to them to gain more meaning from what they are reading.
    • Reading skills- Fourth graders learn to identify and write about the characters, setting, plot, main idea and supporting details of a story. They learn about sequential order, fact and opinion, cause and effect, author’s purpose, inferences, and comparing and contrasting story elements. They will even have to interpret information from charts, images, videos, times lines, and diagrams and apply it to what they are reading.

    Keep in mind that in fourth grade, hunting for evidence gets trickier because not all answers are spelled out. Just like a detective, your fourth grader will need to read clues that may not be totally clear. A hard skill in 4th grade is making an inference. In order to make an inference, the students will have to use their background knowledge to see what they know about it and merge that with the new material they are reading to come to a conclusion. I show lots of pictures and videos of whatever topic we are learning about. This will help them gain background knowledge.

    Vocabulary

    4th grade vocabulary word work is huge! Synonyms, antonyms, homophones and idioms are taught with new vocabulary using reading activities that build fluency. Lessons build a working understanding of suffixes, prefixes, and reading skills. Students are asked to identify, interpret and analyze passages.

    1. Amazing words- I will be adding 5 vocabulary words a week to the reading curriculum to increase reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. In class, we will discuss in depth what those words mean. We will learn prefixes, suffixes, the roots of the word, synonyms, and antonyms. The students will be assessed on these words every two weeks. They will have a journal that we use to break down the words from the definition, sentence, synonyms, and antonyms using a graphic organizer. Wow Word Wednesday is when we take a word such as “Thermometer” and break down the word by prefixes, suffixes and Greek and Latin root meanings. By the end of the year, students should learn over 500 more words with this program!
    2. Wonders Weekly Vocabulary- We will also be using the Wonders curriculum this school year. The students will have 8 vocabulary words for the week. Those words will be tested weekly along with their Wonders Reading Assessments.

    Comprehension Tool Kit-

    I will be using the Comprehension Toolkit to teach my students reading strategies that will help aid them in comprehension. The program is all about keeping the student’s brain actively engaged in what they are reading about. It teaches the students strategies to help make them a better reader. I will be modeling what it looks like to comprehend when I am reading aloud to them. The students will be using think marks to annotate text, making jot notes, and underlining important information that will help the student find and locate answers. It helps students merge their thinking with new information that they are reading. They can use these skills on reading passages that they can write on such as Wonders reading assessments, passages with questions in reading or science, and even the Weekly Reader Newspapers in Social Studies. I will also be teaching them a method to write jot notes and think marks on notebook paper if they were to be taking an assessment online such as the state assessments.

    Example Lessons:

    • Lessons in the CTK teach you how to read for understanding and if you don’t understand what you are reading then you need to stop and reread. Stop at the end of paragraphs and analyze what you just read.
    • Underline important information, use a think mark if needed, circle words you don’t understand.
    • One of the first lessons in Tool Kit has you to listen to your inner voice. What are you thinking as your read? Students will make jot notes about what they are thinking.

    Tests

    We will begin the year taking the Wonders Reading Assessments on paper. After the 1st 9 weeks, we will be taking those assessments online. This will help prepare students for the end of the year state assessments. We will also take weekly grammar skill quizzes and assessments. Spelling assessments will be every Friday unless otherwise told. 

    Star Reading

    These are computerized assessments that help the teacher see exactly where a student is. It will also allow me to track their growth as they learn the 4th grade standards. Please encourage your child to always do their best on these assessments.

    Freckle:

    Freckle is an educational program that helps kids learn online through games and exercises. It aims to engage students through fun and effective strategies to let kids learn without the pressure of formal testing. It is a great tool we use to help us track a student’s growth and see what skills they are struggling with.

    What you will see your child bringing home:

    Spelling Words- Students will receive their spelling words every Friday for the week ahead. They will complete at least 3 homework activities for the week using their Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe board that will be located in their homework folder. New spelling words will also be located in this folder.

    HW Folder/HW Planner- Students will write down their homework daily. It will always consist of choosing 1 activity off their Tic-Tac-Toe board. It will also consist of reading their library book for 20 minutes a night. This is where they will write test days down for all subjects. There may be some nights where the student will come home with a passage and comprehension questions.

    Reading Composition Book- This will be where we write notes and where I will provide the students anchor charts to study. Grammar will also be located throughout this book. This will be a great tool to look back over the days before we complete an assessment and with state testing.

    • Quizlet- I send out our class Quizlets (vocabulary flashcard review) that we use in class through Remind101 so that students can learn good study habits. I will send them out weekly. You can view them on your cell phone or computers.
    • Quizzizz- This is a program we use in class to use as a review of any skill we are working on. The students really enjoy it.

    Amazing Word Folder-  Students will bring this home closer to the days where they will have an assessment on the 10 words we have studied. (5 words a week-test every 2 weeks on 10 words) They must bring this folder back to school!

    • What you will NOT see your child bringing home:

    Wonders Reading Book- We use them in class to read selections but students will not be required to take them home to study. They are more than welcome to take them home to get in extra reading practice. Our reading assessments are fresh reads so that students can apply the skill they learned that week.

    Wonders Your-turn Practice Workbook- Students will utilize these workbooks at school during center activities.

    Science/Social Studies

    For those of you I have not had the privilege to meet, I am Carmen Schuler. I received an Associates of Arts degree from Enterprise State Community College and furthered my education at the University of Troy-Dothan in Dothan, Alabama to receive my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. I am happily married and we have one son, Noah Seth, who is a very active three year old. I will be your child’s Science and Social Studies teacher.

    In Science and Social Studies, a newsletter will be sent via Remind101 every Monday with the skills, test dates, and other important information regarding Science and Social Studies. Students will always receive a homework sheet that has homework for both subjects on Monday’s. The homework will be for the week, but broken down into components so that students are not having so much homework in one night. Students will write in their planners daily, their nightly homework requirements for both Science and Social Studies. If students want to work ahead, that is their choice. However, they are only expected to do what is written for each night in their planner. Quizzes and test dates will be noted on the weekly newsletters. However, be conscious and mindful that dates may be adjusted due to our school schedules throughout the year. You will be notified via Remind101 when changes and adjustments have been made.

    In Science, students will not bring home a science textbook, notebook or binder. All materials needed for students will be placed in their homework folder under their Science/Social Studies divider. Students will have vocabulary words and notes to study with each unit that is covered within a nine- weeks. The words and notes will be provided on their weekly homework sheet. Notecards will be provided for students to assist with studying.  Students will be familiar with the vocabulary words and notes through weekly experiments and projects completed in class. However, it is VERY important that students stay on top of studying to help be successful on their quizzes and assessments.

    In Social Studies, students will engage in a profound learning experience using a standard-based consumable textbook(newspaper). It will take students deeper through primary sources paired with a great online platform. Students will receive a weekly newspaper on Monday’s, unless the week is extended for further learning. This must come back to class with them EVERYDAY. We will read, discuss and highlight important information regarding the weekly topic. Students will have comprehension questions to answer on their weekly homework sheet. This will help as a guide for studying for their weekly assessment. Students do have an online account through Studies Weekly. Students have written down the website, username and password for their account in the front of their daily planner. They may get on their account at home and read through the weekly newspaper. We will utilize the online website in class as well. Students will receive weekly assessments in Social Studies. They will be provided the needed materials to help study to be successful on their quizzes and assessments.  –Mrs. Schuler

    Math

    My name is Claudia Thompson and I am excited to be your 4th grade math teacher. I graduated from Troy University with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education in 2016. My husband Josh and I have one son, Weston, who is ten months old. We also have a dog named Laker and a cat named Blue Bell. I enjoy reading, going to the beach, and shopping. I am so happy to have you in my class this year and I can not wait to watch you grow, learn, and have fun in 4th grade! My philosophy of education is to meet the needs of each and every child that I teach. I believe that all children can learn and I will strive everyday to encourage students. Every classroom presents a unique community of learners that varies not only in abilities but also in learning styles. My role as a teacher is to give children the tools to expand upon their learnings. To accomplish this goal, I will teach to the needs of each child so that all learners can feel capable and successful.

    In Math, students will have 2 workbooks/textbooks they are responsible for keeping with them for class each day.  One book will consist of only Sprints and they will use that in class and just for practice. The other book will be the main textbook for the year and will be where students complete application problems, problem sets, and exit tickets in class. They will also complete portions of the problem set each night for homework. Problems given for homework are for practice and normally have a “sister” problem in the problem set that will have been completed that day already in class, if your child is struggling with a homework problem have them look back over what we completed in class to see if they can find an example like it to help them. Students may have time on some lessons to complete work in class, but please check and be sure they are doing it correctly. Also, depending on the complexity of some lessons we may have to extend them and so weekly homework assignments may change. If they do, I will send another remind101 message.

    Math Facts:

    Students should review math facts EVERY night! It is vital for your child to have all multiplication facts memorized at the beginning of 4th grade. We will spend some time in class reviewing these but students need to be fluent in facts to be successful.

    Math Homework:

    Math homework is VERY important for your child’s success in 4th grade math. Completing math homework allows your child the time to practice skills that we have learned in class and ask questions the very next day if they are not understanding the concepts. Students will be assigned math homework EVERY night Monday-Thursday. If for some reason we do not have homework that night I will send a Remind text. I check homework everyday for effort and we will spend time in class reviewing. Students will correct their homework in RED pen and I will work out any problems they request. If your child spends time each night completing these homework assignments their math grade will reflect their hard work! I am happy to help in any way I can and I look forward to working with your children and with you in math this year! If you need help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Star Math

    These are computerized assessments that help the teacher see exactly where a student is. It will also allow me to track their growth as they learn the 4th grade standards. Please encourage your child to always do their best on these assessments.