Reading: This year will be our fifth year with the Wonders Reading Program for grades K-4. The children are exposed to many different genres of fine literature such as realistic fiction, fairy tales, poetry, biographies, fables, fantasy, myths, legends, historical fiction, and informational articles. This program helps prepare children to be independent, self-motivated critical thinkers.
The very best part of our literacy instruction is Reading Workshop. During this time of our day, students receive small group, large group, and individual instruction on reading skills and strategies. They are also given 3 choices to choose from: Read to Self, Writing About Reading, and Word Work.
We will also read many books from a variety of genres to further enrich the children’s experiences with text. We will also study specific authors like Jacqueline Davies, E.B. White, Jean Fritz, and Andrew Clements, just to name a few.
Poetry is a top priority in fourth grade. Poetry selections will encompass contemporary and classic poems. We will highlight the following poets; John Ciardi, Rachel Field, David McCord, A. A. Milne, Robert Frost, Edward Lear, and Lewis Carroll.
Expected literacy outcomes include for all fourth graders include: an enhanced appreciation for good literature, effective communication and cooperation skills, improved “learning to read” skills, effective use of language and its mechanics evidenced in oral and written communication, and enhanced creative expression.
Writing: Our district recently adopted a new writing program, as well. Empowering Writerswill be used in grades K-4 this year. Your fourth grader also has a very important Writer’s Notebook. This is a tool used to encourage students to write. Students will have many opportunities to use their imagination and creative writing skills in this notebook. This year we have the pleasure to be the class that will correspond with some Mendon Senior Citizens. The students will write letters and receive letters from their pen pals each month. We LOVE getting mail. The year will conclude with a Pen Pal luncheon where the students will dine in style with their new friend.
Reading At Home: When helping your child read at home, several strategies may be used to aid in decoding unknown words: Tell your child to look for chunks in the word, such as stand and ing in standing. Ask your child if the word looks like another word he/she knows. Ask your child to go on and read to the end of the sentence. Often by reading the other words in context, the child can figure out the unknown word.
If your child says the wrong word while reading, ask questions like: *Does it look right? *Does it sound right? *Does it make sense?
Please encourage your child to read nightly for 20 minutes. This will increase comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary development. Not to mention that it should also be fun and relaxing! Our ultimate goal as teachers is to create lifelong learners that want to read and enjoy reading!