Year 4

TERM 1

Year 4 have had a great start to the year. We began with a Civics and Citizenship unit called ‘Laws Rule’, looking at the three levels of government in Australia and what they do that directly (and indirectly) affects students and their families. This mini unit concluded with students presenting each other with ‘Good Citizen Awards’ after recognising positive, bucket-filling behaviour.

For the remainder of the term, we will be learning all about the First Australians. This fantastic unit is driven by student questions which are investigated and researched over the weeks. Students are eagerly looking forward to our Year 4 Open Night on Monday 5 April when families are invited along to participate in a Jeopardy game created from students’ own questions (and answers!).

How to help your child to learn in Year 4

READING

Nightly home reading is an important part of all children’s development regardless of their ability. When children immerse themselves in books, and discuss aspects of the text, they develop their comprehension and language skills. This enables them to excel at reading and writing. Children need to find a balance between reading books they enjoy and books that challenge them. It is important for students to read a wide variety of genres and themes, including fiction and non-fiction. Make reading a part of your regular routine. Show and share with them your love of reading, this may be a book, the newspaper on a Sunday morning, a comic or even a magazine.

Listen to your child read

Reading with your child and listening to them read aloud to you is just as important in the upper school as it is in the junior school. Listening to your child read, helps your child to practise reading fluently and with expression as well as giving them an opportunity to solve words that they would skip if reading independently.

We encourage students to read for at least 15 minutes each week day. This could be before or after school. It is important that this person is able to support them when they are decoding unknown words. Reading aloud develops students’ oral reading skills. It also gives them an opportunity to hear how they are using the punctuation cues to add expression and tone to their voice.

On the nights that your child reads independently, have them summarise what they have read to you. This may be a sequence of events, or a special part of the book they have read. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions about the book including what might happen next and why or to discuss their current reading strategy or individual reading goal. Below are questions you could ask before, during and after your child reads to you. We want students to do more than read words on the page; we want them to understand what they are reading and be engaged with the text. Take the time to discuss read texts with your children and to share and foster their interest and excitement in reading.

¾    What can you see on the cover? How might it relate to the story? (predicting)

¾    After reading the blurb, what do you think the book will be about? (predicting)

¾    How is the book set out? (text structure)

¾    What is the most important thing that happened in that paragraph or chapter? (main idea)

¾    Can you retell the main events? What has happened so far? (summarising)

¾    Does it make you think of any other books you have read, games you have played, television programs you have seen or things that have happened to you? (making connections to texts, self or the world )

¾    Were there any words that you were unsure of (pronouncing them or the meaning of them) & how did you work them out? (vocabulary development)

¾    What do you predict will happen next? (predicting)

¾    Who is your favourite character and why?

¾    What was your favourite part of the book?

¾    If you could change anything in the book, what would it be?

¾    Why do you think the author wrote this? (author’s purpose)

¾    What strategies did the author use to keep you interested? (writer’s strategies to engage the reader)

¾    What can you can you see in your head when you read this paragraph? (visualising)

¾    What words help you make images in your head? (visualising)

¾    What do you think is happening when the author writes this?

¾    What are the clues that make you think that? (inferring)

¾    How do you think the character is feeling? (inferring from how the author is describing the character and what they are doing)

On each night that your child reads, please assist them to complete the reading log in their diary with the title of the book they read, the amount of pages they read and your signature.

Thanks for your support. A strong home-school partnership goes a long way in helping your child make great progress with their reading.

Borrowing Books

Students will visit the school library once a week to return and borrow books and also have unlimited access to their classroom library whilst at school. You can also visit your local library.

Premiers Reading Challenge

The Year 4 students will complete the Premiers Reading Challenge.  This simply involves keeping a record of books read at home (these should be recorded in the Student Diary) and those read at school.  Fifteen books must be recorded for the Challenge to be completed.  Your child will be provided with a user name and password so that they can add their books to the Premiers Reading website.  Signed parental permission is needed for each student to have their name published in the Newspaper once they have completed the Premiers Reading Challenge.

WRITING

Throughout the year your child will be encouraged to plan, draft, revise, edit and publish a range of different text types, all of which follow specific structures which will be taught in depth within the classroom. We will have a focus on creating more complex sentences, developing interesting language choices and using correct punctuation and grammar.

We will be focusing on correct pencil grip, correctly formed letters and neat handwriting as students work towards earning their Blue Pen Licence.

SPELLING

Students will receive 9 spelling words each week, which they will record in the back of their Student Diary.  These words may be chosen from a weekly focus, from mistakes they have made in their personal writing, topic words or from appropriate spelling tests.

The students complete Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check for each word, as part of the home learning requirement and will complete activities to practice these words further in class time.  Once a week they will conduct a partner spelling test and select new spelling words.

Extension:

In addition to practising their spelling words using the LCWC method each night, you may like to further extend their understanding and knowledge of the words with additional activities. A great option is to pick one of their spelling words from their spelling list to examine further. You may like to choose a few of these activities for one word each night or one activity for all words each night. Please note, we complete some of these activities as part of our morning spelling routine.

Here are some optional extension activities:

¾    Find the definition of the spelling word in a dictionary and record it in their Home Learning Journal.

¾    Write the spelling word in a sentence.

¾    Find a synonym (similar word) or antonym (opposite meaning) for the word

¾    Put all words into a wordsearch

¾    THRASS out the words

¾    Write each word and the value of the word to determine which word is the most valuable (eg A=1, B=2, C=3)

For example: BACK = 2+1+3+11 = 17

INTEGRATED STUDIES

Students are encouraged to discuss their Integrated Studies learning at home.

Our Integrated Studies topics for the year are;

Term 1 – Laws Rule – Civics and Citizenship & First Australians –– History

Term 2 – First Contacts (focusing on First Fleet and Early Explorers) – History

Term 3 – What a World – Geography

Term 4 – Engineers @ Work – Design Technology & Engineering

MATHS

By the end of Year 4 students are expected to recall automatic number facts with speed and accuracy.  They should already know their 2, 3, 5 and 10 times tables.  These will be revised in Year 4 before learning all other times tables up to 10 x 10.

It is really important that your child regularly practices their times tables facts, as knowing these enables calculations to be made more efficiently and accurately.  When students are not confident with their number facts it makes solving equations and completing other mathematical tasks involving fractions, area and volume extremely difficult and time-consuming.  Regular revision is definitely the key and a quick, daily times tables quiz while in the car helps students to recall their automatic number facts (multiplication and division) with speed and accuracy.

Talk with your child about how you are using math in the real world. This may be adding ingredients together to double the recipe for a cake, adding up the total for the cost of an evening out or working out change during a transaction at the shops.  Thinking aloud helps students understand the thought process you go through to solve problems.  They may have a different way of working through a problem, which promotes rich discussions with your child.

HOME LEARNING

Year 4 students will be regularly given ‘Home Learning Tasks’ on a Tuesday, due on a  Monday.  Students are also expected to read for a minimum of 15 minutes per night. Spelling words will be given each week and students will be required to complete LSCWC (look, say, cover, write, check) nightly for each word in their home learning book.  Other Home Learning Tasks will also be expected to be completed weekly or fortnightly depending on the task. Home Learning tasks may include a literacy or math activity, and are designed to complement and support our classroom learning.  These tasks give the students a chance to practice the skills they are explicitly learning in class.

As the parent, we expect you to look over your child’s tasks and make sure they are completed to the best of their ability.  This may require you to correct spelling, edit some work with your child, make sure the handwriting is neat and presentable or help with some maths calculations or answers.  Often these conversations are needed at the time of completing an activity and if we can work together, with clear expectations, your child will be successful with their Home Learning Tasks.

Mathletics

Mathletics is a highly engaging online program that supports the curriculum work your child is following at school.  Students can practice automatic recall of basic number facts through Live Mathletics or consolidate concepts learned at school through aligned activities. Your child has an individual username and password and can easily access the program from home. Students who earn 1000 points in a week (Mon-Sun) receive a certificate (bronze, silver or gold) with gold certificates being presented at the weekly whole school assembly.

POSITIVE EDUCATION

Park Ridge Primary is currently implementing the Berry Street Education Model. The Berry Street Education Model is a highly researched best practice approach to the teaching of Positive Education in schools in order to improve a school’s capacity to address the engagement of young people so that they can achieve their personal social potential through academic achievement.

SCHOOL DIARIES

All Year 4 students have received a School Diary.  These diaries are to be brought to school each day.  Each night the students are required to record their nightly reading. Teachers would appreciate you signing the diary at the end of each week to verify your child’s reading.  Once a week (usually Monday to allow parents time on the weekend to read and sign the diary), students will be expected to hand in their diaries to their teacher who will record and document the number of nights read for the week.

INCURSIONS, EXCURSIONS AND CAMP

Incursions

Term 2 – History Toolbox

Excursions

Term 3 – Edendale Farm

Term 4 – Taskworks

Year 4 Camp

Camp Coonawarra – Tuesday October 15th – Friday October 18th

Students head off to Coonawarra where they will experience a range of outdoor adventure activities that will help to promote confidence building and teamwork.

COMPASS

Please note that Compass is now being used for most administration. Permission forms for excursions and incursions and camp payments will all be available through Compass and you will receive an email to inform you that something requires your attention.

Attendance

If your child is away from school for any reason, please record the absence on Compass as soon as you can. This can be easily done through your Compass home page.

REMINDERS

School on Time

Please ensure that your child is here before 8:45am so that they can enter the classroom along with their classmates. If they are late they need to present to the office for a late-slip. It is very distracting for the rest of the grade when children come to school late.

Website

We have a school website that you can access for a range of resources. Information will be posted on this from time to time to keep you up to date with events that happen in the school

Lunch Orders and the Canteen

If your child has a lunch order, please put it into their bag and remind them that it is there. If you have placed an online order, please ensure they are aware of this. Please be mindful of how much money you give your child to spend at the canteen. Students are not allowed to buy for friends or share food.

Library

Students have a weekly session in the Library, where they are able to borrow 3 books.  Each child is encouraged to establish a regular borrowing routine.

Classroom Libraries

Students are also able to borrow books from the Class Libraries, which the students help to organize and set up with the teacher at the beginning of each term.  These books are selected to cater for student’s interests and needs.

School Newsletter

The school newsletter will be emailed each Thursday and will be available on Compass.