4th Grade Reading-What you will see and what you will not see
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. Our goal for your child is for 3 AR points a week. They should reach 21 by the 2nd 9 weeks and 42 by end of the semester. Please help and encourage them to reach this goal!
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 with 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 multi syllabic 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.
- 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 made 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.
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.
- 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!
- 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 Tool Kit 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.
- 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.
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 and Scantron
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.
Education Galaxy 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. Students are to complete their homework in the homework folder. There are tabs in it to help them stay organized. Use the paper in the spelling tab.
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 review of any skill we are working on. The students really enjoy it.
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- We do not use the practice workbooks with the program anymore.