The fourth-grade reading program is strategy-based and focuses on enhancing both reading fluency and comprehension. To teach and practice these reading strategies, we use a variety of grade level and instructional level fiction and non-fiction stories, as well as novel units. Emphasis is given to making inferences, determining importance, and summarizing, which help students to be more successful in all subject areas.
Our reading block each day is divided into shared and guided reading. During shared reading, the teacher builds background, introduces vocabulary, and guides the class, focusing on a specific reading strategy. During guided reading, children work at their individual reading level to practice the strategies and reading skills introduced by the teacher. It is during this time that children have the opportunity to meet in small groups with the teacher to receive specialized instruction.
The fourth-grade writing program centers around the six main traits of writing- ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, word choice, and conventions. Each quarter, the children are taken through the five step writing process to learn and practice these traits. In addition, teachers offer mini lessons to reinforce grammar skills and strengthen editing skills. Through these writing prompts, journal entries, and other literary responses, the students become more proficient writers.
The fourth-grade word study program focuses on teaching the conventions of spelling in a developmental way. Students are grouped according to their developmental stage, which is determined by periodic spelling inventories. The students are given word lists that focus on specific spelling patterns. By sorting and manipulating these core words, students gain the ability to transfer these patterns when spelling new words.