— Grade 4
4th Grade Curriculum Overview
Text: Reading Street by Pearson Sitton Spelling program
We will use the text (Reading Street — Pearson) as the basis for our reading program. Students will come across new vocabulary and work towards using the words orally and in written sentences. We will review and discuss the story and focus on comprehension skills. Language arts concepts are incorporated into the text and include figurative language, prefixes, suffixes, inference, story mapping, and dictionary skills. Students will learn to keep their work organized in their binder, copybooks, folders, and notebooks. These will be checked on a regular basis.
Book reports will be part of the curriculum, and students should always have a book to read for pleasure, at school, and at home. There will be a variety of reports required during the year and will reflect different forms of literature as well as the current curriculum.
Writing focuses on sentence structure, grammar, word usage, and mechanics. Each morning students will complete a daily oral language review that reinforces sentence structure and reading comprehension. As we write, students will sharpen their writing skills by pre-writing, editing, and producing a final draft. Step Up to Writing is also used to organize and strengthen writing skills. Speaking and listening are part of the language experience as students share their written work with various audiences.
For language arts/spelling, we utilize a comprehensive curriculum that contains phonics, vocabulary, word usage, literature, and writing. It is an integrated communication approach. Students will learn to enhance their overall language skills.
Language arts is taught in two parts each day and is also integrated throughout the curriculum in religion, social studies, science, and math.
Texts: Progress in Mathematics by Sadlier-Oxford, Common Core Progress Mathematics by Sadlier School, and Excel program for maintenance
Math skills grow tremendously in fourth grade. A strong computational base is needed as well as an understanding of the reasons and processes of math. Skill areas include the following:
- Operations and Algebraic Thinking (factors and multiples, using all four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to solve problems)
- Number and Operations — Base Ten (place value, rounding multi-digit numbers to any place)
- Number and Operations – Fractions (equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, comparing decimals)
- Measurement and Data (converting units of measure, solving word problems involving time and distance)
- Geometry (drawing and identifying line and angles, describing and sorting two-dimensional shapes)
Word problems are incorporated into each skill set above to develop higher-level thinking and enhance math strategies. Students will model, write an equation, solve, and explain each word problem in complete sentences.
Texts: Blest Are We and Family Life by RCL Benziger
The focus of the fourth grade program is morality, using the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes as the basis of God’s plan. Through Sacred Scripture, the students come to know and love God as a caring, merciful, and forgiving Father and see Jesus as the example of Christian Life. There are four chapters in each unit. Each chapter addresses the unit theme in light of the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Believe, Worship, Live, and Pray. Activities for the year center on three main virtues: faith, hope, and love. Trust, friendship, respect, self-esteem, decision-making, and kindness are themes as well. We come together to pray and share Scripture every morning. In addition, religion is taught in the class every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We worship together as a parish community at Mass on Friday.
Once a week on Wednesday, we focus on a Family Life lesson (RCL Benzinger). This year units include The Catholic Home, God’s Gift of Family, God’s Gift of Self, God’s Gift of Life, God’s Gift of Love, and God’s Gift of Community.
Text: Science by Harcourt School Publishers
The students go to the science lab every Wednesday and use a hands-on approach that incorporates scientific methods and investigations. Students will compare, question, record, draw conclusions, and interpret results. Content areas include physical science (i.e. designing and building electrical circuits and electromagnets), life science (i.e. understanding that living things depend on one another and on their environment for survival), earth sciences (i.e., understanding how waves, wind, water, and ice shape Earth’s land surface), and investigation/experimentation (i.e., observing, inferring, collecting data, and interpreting results).
Students use notebooks, folders, and a composition journal to take notes, summarize lessons, and chart or graph ideas. It is also used as a study guide for quizzes, assessments, and projects.
Text: California Vistas by Macmillan/McGraw Hill
Social studies is very exciting and focuses on the study of California. Students will study the geography and history of our state including the Native Americans, explorers, early settlement, westward movement, Gold Rush, statehood, and growth to present day California with its multicultural heritage. Students will do a mission report and project in the winter and a Gold Rush diorama accompanied by a creative writing project in the spring. Students will use their notebooks to take notes, summarize a lesson, and chart or graph ideas to use as a study guide for quizzes and assessments. Students will also attend a variety of field trips that correspond to units of study. Social studies is taught daily.
We are fortunate to have these subjects taught by an excellent support staff. P.E. will meet two times per week, on Monday and Thursday. Tennis shoes must be worn on these days (no skirts or jumpers for girls, and uniform sweats are allowed.) The focus is on physical activity, health, team building, and sportsmanship. Music is held every week on Friday. Students study composers, sing together, learn simple note reading, and sometimes play a simple instrument. Students go to the computer lab every Tuesday to reinforce concepts taught in class as well as improve their word processing skills. We will have Chromebooks to share in the classroom, which all students will use as they utilize programs (i.e., A to Z Reading, Mathletics) that enhance the curriculum. Students are encouraged to use their computer at home for projects.
Mrs. Gloria Los Banos teaches fourth grade.
Gloria Los Banos is a product of Catholic education, born and raised in Mountain View. She spent 14 years working in environmental markets and high tech (marketing and sales) before returning to her first love — education. Gloria became a middle school catechist at the age of 16, taught 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and served as Curriculum Coordinator at St. Joseph Elementary School in Mountain View. She earned a B.S. from San Jose State University and received her Professional Clear Teaching Credential with CLAD certification from National University. Gloria loves to spend time with her family and sings in her church choir. She lives in Mountain View with her husband, Chuck. Her son, Marcus, is a graduate of St. Francis High School and attends San Jose State University.