Fourth Grade Language Arts

Language Arts was always among my favorite subjects in school, and remains so! As with each succeeding grade, fourth grade language arts will be building upon what has already been learned in previous years. This summary has been collectively put together based on my previous homeschool teaching experience and what I’ve learned from a lot of other wonderful teachers, parents and authors along the way.

Silent and Oral Reading: By fourth grade, students should be reading fluently, both aloud and silently. This is a great age to encourage reading for pleasure. Make sure you give your fourth grader access to their favorite reading material by visiting the library and book stores.

Choral Reading: Students should be able to read and recite poems and literature aloud with the appropriate animation to the story.

Listening Skills: Students should be able to listen to a story and be able to recall and re-tell the story in his/her own words. They should also be able to listen attentively to literature without being easily distracted.

Social Interactions: It is important to teach your fourth graders the proper way to introduce themselves and others. Remind them to practice this skill and critique in private.

Telephone skills: This is an important skill often overlooked. Call home and make sure your child can answer the phone politely and take a message if parents are not home, without giving out too much information.

Summarizing information: The student should be able to hear a reasonable amount of information and be able to write a brief summary of what they have heard.

Critical Reading: A fourth grader should be able to read and pull critical information from a story.

To be continued in Fourth Grade Language Arts, Part Two.

Fourth Grade Language Arts, Part Two

In the last post, some of the basics of Language Arts for fourth grade were covered. There is just a little more to be added in this second part.

Reading: A fourth grader’s reading should be varied and ample materials provided. Reading should include short stories, chapter books, poetry, and plays.

Spelling: There’s simply a ton of workbooks and online programs that are helpful and very much worthwhile in teaching fourth grade spelling. The internet is also a great place to search for fourth grade word lists if you are not using a work book. My children absolutely love SpellingCity.com.

Dictionary Skills: Fourth graders should be able to look up a word in a dictionary for it’s meaning and correct spelling. Dictionary use should be common practice on a weekly basis. We love to combine spelling and vocabulary around our house. It has worked well!

Writing Letters/Informal Notes: It is still important to learn to complete a handwritten letter or note. Even in the modern world of texting and emailing, the basic skills of doing it by hand should never be lost.

Simple Outlining: In preparation for writing essays, fourth graders should be able to prepare a simple outline using key points.

Creative Writing: Students should be able to use good grammar and writing skills to create a story. They should be able to investigate their subject matter through a search in encyclopedias, a dictionary, magazines, and on the world wide web. As a parent, I must add that it is extremely important to use parental controls to restrict internet access.

Indexing Skills: Students should be able to use an index.

Newspapers: Fourth graders should be able to utilize the newspaper to read and report on current events.

Cursive Writing: Students should be able to write in cursive legibly.

In part one and part two of fourth grade language arts, I have listed some of the basics that a fourth graders should be comfortable with by the end of the school year. The list is not meant to be all inclusive, but general in nature.

My next post will deal with the basics of fourth grade mathematics.

Fourth Grade Mathematics, Part I

Math is such an important skill that will be used for a lifetime and in any field of study. It is so important for parents to approach math with enthusiasm, no matter the gender of the student. So many times, girls are made to feel inferior when it comes to math. Admittedly, this is usually not an intentional move, but one that is passed on by society in general.

I’ve created this “to do” list of math areas that should be approached and studied on a daily basis. In part two, I will cover some areas that can be taught in separate lessons and don’t really require constant practice.

Students should know and have daily practice in:
-addition and subtraction to millions place
multiplication and times facts up to 144, or 12 times table
-multiplication of one, two and three digit numbers
-division of two and three digit numbers by one digit number
-simple averages
-conversion of decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals
-mathematical word problems

During the fourth grade year, students will be building on previous years. If they don’t quite get a concept that should have been learned in third grade, go back and cover until fully understood and the student feels comfortable. There are some great online programs that bring math to life and learning to math, as well as a world of workbooks for all the different types of learners.

In my next post, I’ll cover some areas of math that fourth graders should learn, but don’t necessarily need daily practice in.

Fourth Grade Math, Part Two

In the last post, I talked about some of the math areas that need daily practice. Today, I’ll list some areas that need to be learned, but does not necessarily require daily practice.

Fourth graders should have a working knowledge of:
-reading and writing the names of numbers, such as one, fifteen, sixty
-learn Roman numerals to C (100)
geometric concepts such as triangles, polygons, angles, sides, etc.
-learn to compare customary and metric measurement
-learn to tell time to the second
-learn to use graphs
-learn base ten numerations where they should understand multi-digit numbers in terms of place value and recognizing that place value notation is a shorthand for the sum of multiples of powers of 10.
(i.e., 456 as 4 hundreds, 5 tens, and 6 ones.)

Don’t forget to make use of great online learning programs! My children use and love Time4Learning math. I love it too because we’ve studied so many math concepts that they didn’t actually grasp until it was covered on Time4Learning. Great program!

Fourth Grade Science

I just love learning about science, along with my children! I could experiment in nature all day without getting bored! There’s just so much to explore. Fourth grade science focuses a lot on nature such as weather, plants, pollutions, and the solar system. Below, I’ve listed a general list of what a fourth grader should study and learn in science.

Scientific Method and Scientific Inquiry: This will be built upon from previous years and it is necessary to provide reinforcement. Most any science book will teach scientific theory. I feel that the most important thing you can do as a teacher (and the most fun) is to reinforce these theories by doing regular experiments using the scientific methods and inquiries learned in lessons.

-Local Regional Environment: Experimenting in your local region can add to the lessons studied. Visit the many areas around you including zoos, botanical gardens, and parks.

-Biological Organization: Students should learn that all biological organisms are made up of smaller, independent systems.

-The Human Body: This could be placed and learned along with biological organization.

-Classification Systems: Students should learn how to classify each living thing.

-Ecosystems: Students should learn about the balance in nature, different climates around the world, food chains, and ocean life.

-Weather: This is a subject that has been taught since kindergarten. In fourth grade, you will add to lessons in previous years by teaching weather’s influences, weather instruments, climates, and cause of seasons. To bring these concepts to life, you might consider visiting a science museum.

-The History of the Earth: This subject will depend on whether you will lead from teach from theory of evolution or creationism. We teach from a creationism standpoint. If you are teaching from a creationism focus, it is important to also teach your student about what is being taught from the evolution view and why you believe and teach creationism, so that they will be able to defend their point of view.

Living Creatures: Insects, reptiles, plants, animals of the past, seeds, plant structure.

-Other areas: Pollution, electricity, light, magnets, solar system, space.

Fourth Grade Social Studies

Fourth grade is an exciting time! This year, the major focus is really more on socialization, as opposed to history. Geography is also a major part of the curriculum this year. It’s just my opinion, but I feel that the best way to teach socialization is to “live it”! That leaves more time for history! I really put a lot into social studies. Mainly because it was such a boring subject for me in the public school system. I’ve learned to appreciate social studies, geography and history so much more since my homeschooling days started! So, here’s a list of what should be learned by the end of fourth grade.

-World Cultures: It’s awesome if you can do some world travel, and obviously it’s the best way to teach about other cultures. Traveling around the world in fourth grade is not feasible for most of us, so opting for great reading and pictorial resources is of utmost importance. Movies about different areas is also a great resource.

-Laws: Teaching the moral and social reasons for our laws is fairly easy to discuss and learn with your fourth grader.

-Regions of the World: Use maps and globes to teach your student about regions of the world, continents, countries, and oceans.

-Time zones: Locate a time zone map. They can easily be located by an online search. I often ask my children what time it is in a time zone where other relatives live and make it a fun sort of game.

-Map Skills: Longitude, latitude and scale. Use maps regularly when learning about other areas of the world.

-Using a Globe: Also use the globe as a regular part of your lessons when locating different areas of the world. Discuss the difference between a globe and flat map.

-Climatic Regions of the World: These can be taught in conjunction with learning about different regions of the world.

-Earth’s Resources: Students should learn about the earth’s different resources as well as how they are consumed. I love to teach about being “green” when we talk about earth’s resources. It’s just a great thing to teach your children about how to take care of the earth.

By incorporating these major areas, your fourth grader will be well prepared to enter fifth grade!

Writing and the 4th Grader

Writing is a very important part of fourth grade. By the beginning of fourth grade, handwriting should be very legible in both print and cursive and your student should be able to communicate thoughts and ideas as well as be creative with their writing. Fourth graders should continue reviewing parts of speech and become better at using them. Your child will have fun learning how to use the written word to be persuasive, informative, and to express themselves in many different ways. It’s a fun time!

By the end of the year, fourth graders should be able to:
-Understand the parts of a sentence
-Use a broader vocabulary
-Recognize and use proper punctuation
-Write in cursive neatly
-Use different sentence types appropriately
-Use the writing process to compose
-Use both simple and compound sentence structure

Writing is a great way for children to express themselves. More importantly, learning the correct way to compose and write effectively will bring self satisfaction that will follow them through to adulthood and into the job force. A great writer can be the winning touchdown over someone that is mediocre with their writing skills. Now is the time to help your student to learn and build on those skills.

The Social World of the 4th Grader

Fourth graders are learning the ins and outs of the social world. As they leave elementary school behind, they climb into the social whirlwind. They begin to recognize that “popular” is the most desirable status to have and usually work very hard to attain that status. A social network of friends is very important. Maintaining friendships at the same level is the tricky part for the fourth grader. A bff (best friend forever) today, may very well be the worst enemy on earth tomorrow. Sound scary? It still does to me!

What’s important is that you teach your child what’s right and wrong. They won’t always adhere to exactly what you teach, but they always keep it in the back of their mind. Learning to resolve conflict, is an important part of the fourth graders life. Staying in touch with how your child is progressing and feeling is very important. Talk with them and let them know you are always available, no matter what.

Fourth Grade Reading List

Most fourth graders are on a roll with their reading. It’s important to keep them going and build on their skills. Here’s a list of reading material to help in keep the interest in reading alive.

-Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve
-The Dreamer by Paul Munoz Ryan
-A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
-Once by Morris Gleitzman
-Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run by Michael Hemphill and Sam        Riddleburger
-The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
-The Magic Thief: Lost by Sarah Prineas
-The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
-100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson