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4th Grade Language Arts
In our fourth-grade class, students master paragraph writing, learning what paragraphs are, why they are useful, and how to write them well. During class, the teacher scaffolds the paragraph-writing process, from selecting a topic to organizing ideas to developing personal style. Students are given frequent opportunities to practice writing a variety of paragraphs, using their Paragraph Town writing textbook as they explore this style of writing.
Additionally, students learn foundational grammar concepts and new vocabulary words. The grammar instruction is divided into four quarters: parts of speech, parts of a sentence, phrases, and clauses. The goal of these lessons is to improve students’ writing mechanics for implementation in their paragraph writing.
What happens in class?
In every class, students will engage in a different mix of the following activities:
- Complete a warm-up activity tied to the day’s objectives.
- Practice writing skills that are relevant to ongoing writing projects.
- Study and apply grammar concepts using their Grammar Town textbook.
- Learn new vocabulary words using their Caesar’s English I textbook.
Students should expect to spend 60-90 minutes on homework each week. Throughout the year, students will work on several multi-week writing projects. Most weeks, students will be expected to complete a part of a project at home. It is crucial that students keep up with this process work and come prepared for class each week. Students will also have some reading in their grammar text, Grammar Town, and their writing text, Paragraph Town: doing this reading at home frees up class time for practicing and receiving feedback.
While it will not be officially assigned, students should also plan to review their vocabulary words between classes using their Caesar’s English I vocabulary textbook. Students will create vocabulary four squares for each word they study. In addition, there will be regular cumulative vocabulary homework quizzes on the course homepage. Students should answer these without looking at their textbooks.
Students will also be expected to read independently throughout the year, selecting books from the Grades 4-5 Recommended Reading list.
Since students will complete most of their writing in class, there will be many opportunities for the teacher to provide informal feedback face-to-face while students are working. The teacher will conference with students regularly during class, providing oral feedback and some informal written notes on their work. At the end of each multi-week project, students will submit their final draft and receive detailed, formal written feedback from their teacher.
Students will take an exam at the end of each quarter during class, weeks: 9, 18, 27, and 36. Each exam will assess students on the grammar, vocabulary, and writing covered that quarter.