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4th Grade Handbook

Welcome to Fourth Grade                                 



Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Welcome to fourth grade! We are glad to have your child in our classrooms this year!
Throughout this school year, your child will be learning many things. All instruction in our classrooms will be based on the new Common Core State Standards as well as the Colorado State Standards for fourth grade. There are state standards for the following subjects: reading, writing, mathematics, science, civics, history, and geography. These standards may be found at the Colorado Department of Education’s website: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeassess/documents/OSA/k12_standards.html and at www.corestandards.org.  Your child should always understand what he/ she is learning and why. It is our goal for all students to meet or exceed every standard for fourth grade.
Given that our goal is proficiency in all standards, it is important that we work as a team to help your child learn as much as possible. Learning does not stop when school stops. There are many things you can do at home to help your child be a better learner and progress towards standards. Please make sure that your child comes to school unless he/she is ill. Also, many fourth graders come to school without enough sleep. It is recommended that your child gets around eight to ten hours of sleep each night.  Coming to school prepared allows your child to learn more effectively in our classrooms.
At times your child may have difficulty meeting a standard. In this case, we will meet with your child in a smaller group setting and try to teach the same standard in another way. If your child is struggling with something, please contact us so we can alter our instruction to benefit your child as well as give you suggestions on how to help your child at home.
During the school day, we work with your child approximately six hours a day. During these hours, your child will be in two different classrooms, one for math, science, and social studies, and another room for literacy. 
During the different parts of our day, we expect your child to follow our classroom expectations. We do not have time to constantly redirect any student. So it is our expectation that rules are followed 100% of the day.
We hope this handbook will be a quick and helpful way for you to locate information about this school year. Together we can provide your child with every opportunity to have a successful and positive year!!!

 Academic Year at a Glance:

Mathematics:
August- September: Naming and Constructing Geometric Figures
September: Using Numbers and Organizing Data
September- October: Multiplication. Division, Number Sentences, and Algebra
October- November: Decimals and their Uses
November- December: Big Numbers, Estimation, and Computation
December- January: Division, Map Reference Frames, and Measure of Angles
January- February: Fractions and Their Uses, Chance, and Probability
February- March: Perimeter and Area
March: Fractions, Decimals, and Percents
April: Reflections and Symmetry
April- May: Three-Dimensional Shapes, Weight, Volume, and Capacity
May: Rates

Science:
1st Trimester: Ecosystems
2nd Trimester: Physical and Chemical Properties
3rd Trimester: Changing Earth

Social Studies:
Unit 1: Introduction to the Social Sciences and Privacy
Unit 2: Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest Regions
Unit 3: Southwest and West Regions

Literacy:
August- September: Launching Reading and Writing Workshops: The First Twenty Days
September- November: Nonfiction Reading and Informational Writing
November: Author Study and Book Reviews December: Reading and Writing Poetry
January- February: Fiction Reading and Narrative Writing
February-April: Research and Report Writing
April-May:  Interdisciplinary Unit

Absences:
If your child is sick they will have an equal number of days to complete assignments that were missed. For example, if your child is sick for two days, your child will have two days to complete the assignments that need to be turned in. It is your child’s responsibility to get the missed work from the teacher.

Planned Absences:
If you know your child will be missing school, please contact the school with those dates as soon as possible. In the event that your child misses school he/she needs to read and record the number of minutes read each day, if possible send a post card to the class if you are out of town, and complete math study links that will be missed (your child may borrow a student Reference Book to help complete these assignments if necessary).Extended absences will be dealt with accordingly.

Homework Policy:
·         Your child will have a homework planner. Each day it is your child’s responsibility to write down homework for the day.
·         Help your child set up a consistent organized, quiet place for homework to be done.
·         There is a reading log that your child needs to complete each week to get credit for her/ his reading at home. This is a very important part of your child’s daily practice. Your child may read independently, take turns with you, or listen to you as you read aloud. Each student will be expected to read 150 minutes per week.
·         Spelling homework will consist of various activities designed to strengthen students spelling skills.
·         Literacy homework will be assigned weekly.
·         Your child received a Study Links book for math. This should be kept somewhere safe. Your child will be assigned math homework nightly. If your child has problems completing any of the problems in their assigned homework, please write Miss Grant a note or send an email so that I can either re-teach or assist your child the following day. 
·         Math homework will be given daily, and all assignments will be due the following day.
·         Encourage, motivate, and prompt your child, but do not sit with her/him and do the homework with her/him. The purpose of the homework is for your child to practice and use what she has learned. If your child is consistently not able to do the homework, please contact the teacher.
·         If your child is struggling to finish within a reasonable amount of time, please let us know.
·         Throughout the year students will also have science and social studies projects.
·         There will also periodically be extra credit assignments for your child to complete at home if they wish.  

Classroom Expectations:
·         Attend school daily.
·         Come to school on time (the bell rings at 8:55 a.m.).
·         Come into the classroom prepared with all material needed for the day.
·         Come to school with a positive attitude, and be ready to work to your full potential.
·         Complete all assignments each day to the best of your ability.
·         Be motivated to learn and expand skills and knowledge.
·         Work independently for long periods of time without disturbing others learning.
·         Work cooperatively and productively in small and large groups.
·         Practice good organizational skills.
·         Respect everyone at all times.
·         No bullying
·         Follow classroom and school rules at all times.
·         Have HIGH EXPECTATIONS for yourself!
·         Ask questions and be engaged.

Communication:
Parent/ teacher communication is essential to student success; we will be communicating on a regular basis through email, blog updates and Thursday folders. Below you will also find the best ways to contact us with any questions or concerns about your child.
·         We are at school each day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, we are only available to talk with parents from 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. and after dismissal at 3:45 p.m... If you need to speak with us at other times, please be aware that the time would be taking away from your child’s daily instruction, and that phone calls or interruptions may not be the best way to contact us during the day.
·         The most efficient way of contacting us is through school email. We will check our emails each day in the morning and in the afternoon.  We also have websites with classroom updates and useful links. 
·         How to contact us:
§  Mrs. Miller
·         Constance_miller@dpsk12.org
§  Mr. Rabinowitz
·         Noah_rabinowitz@dpsk12.org
§  Westerly Creek’s phone number is: (720)-424-3160
·          
Thursday Folders:
 •Each Thursday your child will bring home a folder full of classroom work and updates as well as school and district-wide information.
•Look inside, go through every single piece. Some pieces of student work we will hold onto for conferences or their yearlong portfolio and share night. 
Miscellaneous
  • Birthdays- If you would like to celebrate in class, we will have parties/celebrations on Fridays only. Please contact your child’s afternoon teacher in advance to schedule the party.
  • Snack- Each day your child may bring 2 healthy snacks. (Healthy snack examples: granola bars, apples, carrots, dry cereal, crackers etc.)
Discipline Policy in Room 141 and 145:
            Westerly Creek is a PBS (Positive Behavior Supports) school; therefore, we try to focus on positive behaviors. If a student does not meet our expectations, I will use a student in the room that is doing an exceptional job and discuss their behavior with the whole class. This helps show the student that is not meeting my expectations an example of what I would like to see.          
In our classrooms, we use the stoplight system for behavior. On the stoplight all students begin on green every day. If a student is doing exceptionally well they get to move up to a Purple Super Star section. If a student does not follow classroom expectations, they move down the stoplight from Yellow to Orange to Red. Students lose classroom privileges based on their negative behavior choices.  If a student gets to orange or red I will make a parent phone call or email home at the end of the day to let families know of the misbehavior. If a student gets to Red, they are not allowed to move back up to another color, but if a student gets to yellow or orange they may move back up if his or her behavior for the remainder of the day is exceptional.
            To encourage CREEK Kid behavior, we will be using Kid Cash. Students will earn “money” based on behavior, work turned in, jobs completed and showing CREEK Kid behavior.
C= COMPASSION, R=RESPECT, E=EMPATHETIC, E=ENGAGED, K=KINDNESS
            If you have any further questions feel free to communicate with us. We are looking forward to a GREAT year!
                                      Thanks,
Mrs. Miller and Mr. Rabinowitz

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