Month by Month

        Now is the time to establish good homework habits.  The assignment book should be used as an organizational tool and should become a part of the student’s daily home routine.
        Students are permitted to take their textbooks and workbooks home any time they wish.  These materials need to always be returned to school the next day.
        Review and practice basis addition and subtraction Math facts to improve speed and accuracy.  These should have been mastered at the end of third grade.  Flash card practice is helpful.
        At school, September is a month in which we spend some time reviewing material from third grade, especially in Math and Language Arts.  But we also move on the bigger and better things.  Geography and geology are two of the major topics we begin with in Social Studies and Science.  We also will begin the fourth grade D.A.R.E. program in September.
        Fourth grade also means Flag Patrol.  Tryouts are held and Flag Patrol teams are selected in September.

        As part of our classroom activities we will discuss several different ways to study and organize materials for school.  Begin to emphasize study skills and organizational habits with your children at home.  These skills and practices, if established now, will help your child to be successful throughout the rest of their school years.  Help your child find and develop habits that work best for them and their schedules.
        We will begin a study of government sometime during October.  We will also be taking a look at plants and animals to see how they are preparing for winter.

        Review and practice basic multiplication Math facts.  These should be mastered by March. (tables 2's through 10's) Flash card practice is very helpful.  Work on one set of tables at a time.  Once the children have learned these, add a new set.  But don’t forget to practice all the facts which have been leaned.
 In November we finish our study of government, and if all goes well, we will visit the Statehouse in Columbus sometime before Thanksgiving.  In science we will begin to look to the stars as we study about the earth, moon, and sun in science.

        Don’t let study time completely disappear during the long holiday break.  This makes it difficult for the children to return after the break.  Work out a lighter schedule with your child to read and review Math facts.  There are so many beautiful holiday stories, both traditional and new to read and share.  And all that celebrating offers great opportunities to practice skills.  Shopping is a perfect time to practice money skills, measurement skills help with all that wrapping, writing thank you notes to family and friends is important, and reading directions to cook all the wonderful holiday foods is a must!

        Report writing begins.  Working on their reports should become a daily exercise for the children.  Detailed classroom instruction and information sheets will be provided in January.  These are long range projects which will require a significant amount of work outside of the classroom.  Three reports will be written between January and May.
        At home, be prepared for unexcepted snow days to hit.  Have reading material on hand, spelling list words copied, and math flash cards handy.
        Our study of Ohio continues and we have electrifying fun in Science as we study magnets and electricity sometime soon.

        February can be a long, dreary month.  Thank goodness for Valentine’s Day to look forward to.  Help your children stay interested in their studies.
        In February we will begin giving the children the practice test for the Ohio Fourth Grade Proficiency Test.  More information about this test will be provided to parents during the school year.  You will be able to see a practice test, and the fourth grade teachers will attempt to answer your questions concerning this state mandated test.  At school we do a great deal to work with our fourth graders to ensure that they have a positive attitude towards the test.  Yes, this is possible!  We try to provide the children with many reasons to see this test as a challenge, not something to fear.  It does not have to be feared or upsetting, it is an opportunity for them to show what they are capable of doing and to accept the challenge to show what they know and shine.

        March is Ohio Proficiency Test time.  By state law the test is to be given the first Monday after the fifteenth of March.  The only way to help your child prepare is to help them learn the class material as it is presented and develop good work and study habits.  This is a general, state standardized test.  We do not know from year to year specifically what will be on the test.  It is intended to test thinking skills, state curriculum learning outcomes, and reading and writing skills.
        This year the test will probably be given the week before Spring Break.  Please do not plan to take your children out of school before noon the Friday before break begins.
        The test is not the only thing happening in March.  We take another look at plants and animals in Science as they begin to reemerge.  Don’t forget to work on the reports at home.

        Many children begin to “shut down” as spring approaches.  Help your child keep up the good work!!  Talk to them about school and let them know you are still interested, as they should try to be.  These is still so much to learn and so many exciting things to happen in the fourth grade.
        The Spring Music Program and Art Show will be coming soon.  Find out what the children will be performing.  Ask them to share the words to their songs with you.  This will  help keep them interested and review their songs in the process.
        One more report to go!  Keep up the good work.

        Almost finished, but not yet!!  Many special end of the year activities will be on the children’s minds, but we still need to deep up the academic work too.  We will be learning information right up to the last week.  It will get harder to do, but please keep the school routine going.

        Have fun but keep learning!  Make trips to the public library.  Get involved in projects.  Read maps during vacation travels.  Review math skills.  Use math to figure out change when making purchases.
        Be ready for fifth grade.