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Monday, August 13, 2012

4th Grade Survival Guide

Welcome to 4th Grade
Dear Parents,
It is indeed a pleasure to have your child in my class.  To start off the year right, I am sending you this Parent Survival Handbook that has been assembled to help you understand our homework requirements in conjunction with other vital information that will enable us to make this a very positive and rewarding year. Open lines of communication between the parent, student, and teacher are the key to promoting and educational climate that is conducive to learning.  I am looking forward to working with you and your child.  Together we can make a difference!  You can help by sending a well rested, prepared, and prompt child.  Students who arrive early are better prepared for the day and are less anxious. This sets the stage for a lovely day.  Please feel free to contact me at any time if there is a question or situation you would like to discuss.  You will receive additional information and communication through our classroom blog: or through email.  You can email me at  I look forward to building a relationship with you and your child and thus providing the best education that we are capable of giving.

“Miss” Cynthia

Our Daily Schedule
7:45-8:05             Arrival to school
8:05-8:15             Attendance/Lunch Report
8:15-8:30             Pledges, Memory Verse, Bible skills, and prayer requests
8:30-9:05             Math Part 1-checking homework, speed drill,    
                            multiplication and division drills                
9:02-10:02           Activity
10:02-10:15         Restroom
10:15-11:05         Language/Spelling
11:05-11:25         AR
11:25-11:55         Lunch
11:55-12:00         Restroom
12:00-12:35        Math Part 2- Lesson and class work
12:35-1:05           History
1:05-1:35             Science
1:35-1:50             Penmanship
1:50-1:55             Restroom
1:55- 2:30           Reading
2:30-2:40             Agenda and Pack Up
2:40-3:05             Recess
3:05-3:10             Tidy the room and prepare for dismissal
3:15                      Elementary Dismissal *through the front of Sewell Hall
Please do not pick your child up in the back of Sewell Hall for your child’s safety, each child will be picked up near the front. J

Work Habits and Academics
Your child will have several assignments during the school day for which he or she is responsible.  Due to uncertain circumstances, if your child for any reason is unable to complete an assignment during class time, this will automatically be finished at recess. If not finished at recess the work will become homework to be completed at home and returned to school the following day.  It is the student’s responsibility to return work to the appropriate area WITHOUT ANY REMINDERS.  Work not returned may result in a zero.  Projects due will be posted on our newsletter and written down in their agendas.  They will also be explained on our blog site.  Projects which are not turned in on time will receive 10 points off for each day the project is late. Homework assignments can be found each night on Renweb.  Students are expected to adhere to these due dates as well.  Please talk to your child about the importance of completing assignments.

We use the A Beka reading curriculum. Our reading program incorporates many different components.  Students will be participating in Reading Groups, Whole Group Instructions and Independent Reading.  Each Monday students will read orally for an oral reading grade.  I will be listening for word recognitions, fluency, accuracy, and expression.  Please make sure your child reads aloud to you from time to time, so you too can see their improvement, as well.  Students in 4th grade should be able to read fluently with little effort given to word recognition.  On Tuesday and Wednesday students are tested over timed reading passages.  These will be graded in class.  These tests will be returned in their Friday folders.  Please take time to help your child find the correct answers, if they are not already corrected.  I will be teaching strategies to help students who have difficulty with these types of tests.  Most students will improve as time goes by.  Just encourage your child to read slow enough to comprehend what he/she is reading.  If your child prefers reading aloud, then you may want to invest in a whisper phone.  You can order one of these for about $8-$9.  See this website under Parent Resources for more information.  Your child may use this anytime in class and on all assignments and even tests.  Once each nine weeks, your child will bring home a take home A Beka reader. This book will be read at home and discussed in class.  A book report or activity will be completed as assessment for this activity.  We will be reading our A Beka reading series throughout the week. Students will answer comprehension questions over daily readings.  Fridays will be AR day for reading and testing.

Accelerator Reader
Students will be responsible for independent reading. Students may read and take tests as they finish work throughout the day or during our scheduled AR reading time.  4th grade students will need 10 points for each 9 weeks grading period. I divide these points up each week.  Each student must have 2 AR points for each of the first 5 weeks of each grading period.  They will sit out each day, if they are behind on their AR points. AR will count for 15% of their reading grade on the report card.  Please encourage your child to read at home and on weekends, or whenever possible.  You can find out if books are AR by going to AR bookfinder.  You will find this under parent resources on my blog.

Our Spelling Book is Spelling Vocabulary and Poetry 4, A Beka. Spelling test will be given weekly on Friday.  On short weeks the test will be given on Thursday. Students will have homework each night, except Friday. If you would like your child to bring their book home on the weekends to get ahead, that is fine with me. On Monday nights students will write each word and definition 3 times each.  For students who make A’s on their spelling tests, they will only have to write their words 2 times each.  For students who need additional practice, they may be asked to write their words 4 times each.  I recommend that the students spell the word out loud as they write their words for homework.  This way they are using two senses instead of one, so therefore, they recall the spelling words with more accuracy.  Have them look for words within  words to help them remember spelling.  I have a parent resource that will help your child spell their words on my blog called SpellCity.   It is great!  Students can type in their words for the week on Monday and practice on the computer each night.  It will also call out an oral practice test for your child.  You can copy this and send in on Thursday as their practice spelling test.  The first spelling test over List 1 will be given, but will not be recorded.  This will give your child an opportunity to experience the type of format the test will be.  Other Spelling test will in this same format. After every 8 lessons a review test will be given over all previous words.  Once words are tested, students will be expected to spell them correctly.  Spelling will be averaged in as 20% of their reading grade.
Penmanship is taught throughout the day through various subjects and from our A Beka penmanship book.  A weekly penmanship test will be given on Thursday of each week for assessment of handwriting improvement.  These tests will be graded and returned in weekly folders. The penmanship grade will be based on these tests and by evaluation of all written work turned in for class work.  All class work should be done neatly and legibly.

Our Math curriculum is A Beka. Math will be taught each day. We begin by checking their math homework. Then a timed speed drill is given except on test or quiz days.  The lesson is taught and group instruction is done together over the concept introduced for the day. Then students will complete the review section independently.  They may also work on homework or read for AR if time permits.  The math book should be taken home in their book bag for parents to check.  If your child has difficulty with math, please check over their work, otherwise check for completion of all homework.  Quizzes and tests will be given after every fourth lesson. A math study guide will go home before each quiz and test.  All quizzes and test are cumulative.  Students will begin the nine weeks with a 100 test grade given for homework. If homework is not completed, 5 points will be deducted for each home work assignment not completed.  Students will stay in at recess to complete the homework. All homework should be completed before the student arrives in the classroom at 8:05.  Please review quizzes and tests as they are sent home in the Friday folders. Please sign and return to me the next Monday.  If all test and quizzes are returned the next day, your child will be given 2 extra points on their grade in math.  Please review any missed problems.  If (ce-careless error) is written by a problem, this indicates your child rushed through and made a careless error.  Check out my blog site for additional resources that may help your child in areas he/she struggles with.  In 4th grade students should already know their multiplication tables to 10.  If your child does not,you will need to practice with flash cards or use parent resources on the blog to help them master these.  All addition and subtraction sums should already be mastered without having to count on their fingers. The math grade is figured with all tests and quizzes counting the same. Remember homework is an easy 100 Test grade!

Science is taught the first 3 nine weeks.  Health is taught the last nine weeks.  Students will be responsible for all reading and class discussion.  We will read and discuss material in class.  Students will highlight daily the material for quizzes and tests.  It is important that your child take a few minutes each day to read over the highlighted material.  If your child needs additional help, it may be necessary for you to call out questions to help them review.  I find for some students, it is helpful if they copy the highlighted sentences in their notebooks as they are introduced in class each day.  We will have some experiments or outside activities that must be completed at home.  Students are encouraged to bring in items they   find that relate to are subject areas.  Special marine reports will be completed later in the spring. All quizzes and test will be counted the same towards report card grades. No study guides are sent home for science.

History and geography are studied throughout the year.  We will read and discuss material in class.  Students will highlight items to study for quizzes and tests.  No study guides are sent home for history quizzes or tests.  My best study advice, is to review highlighted material for the next quiz or test each night.  Copy highlighted material into their history notebook for further study.  We will read and learn about many important documents related to the history of the United States.  4th graders will learn to locate, spell, and identify all fifty states.  In the spring we will have a special unit over Georgia History.  All quizzes and test will be counted the same towards report card grades.
Language is completed daily.  Most of our material is done as a class.  Occasional homework will be given.  All language quizzes and tests are cumulative and count the same for grading purposes.  Study guides will go home prior to tests.  Language is usually the subject where students struggle the most.  So please take time to help your child complete their study guide and review areas of weakness.
Students will be assigned homework.  Please check your child’s agenda nightly to make sure all assignments are completed.  Students are expected to read for AR 15 minutes every night.  If any assignments are not finished in class, they will be expected to finish these assignments, as well as assigned homework.
Room Parents
If there are any parents who would like to help coordinate and plan our class parties, please feel free to contact “Miss” Cynthia.  All parents are important to our class.  We hope that all parents will sign up to help with a school party.  Room parents will be called upon during the year to help with various activities.  Occasionally you will receive a note or a call from us for help!  The class parties are Halloween, Thanksgiving-treat bags are given, Christmas, Valentines, and End of the Year.  I would like to thank each of you in advance for your help this year.
Your child is so special and so is their special day!  Their birthday!  If their birthday is during the school year, you may contact me about sending treats or snacks to celebrate that special day. Just write a note in your child’s agenda for me letting me know which day you will bring the treats.  Having a summer birthday myself, I know how it felt as a child not to celebrate my special day at school.  For all students with summer birthdays, I would like for parents to help your child pick a day during the last three weeks of school to celebrate their birthday.  If your child would like to plan their birthday celebration along with another child, that is fine, too.
Snacks may be purchased from the learning center each day at recess.  Ice cream may also be purchased every day at lunch, contingent upon completion of all homework. Snacks may also be sent from home. 
Chicken Biscuits
Students may purchase a chicken biscuit on Monday or Tuesday.  The cost is $2.50. Students may not charge for chicken biscuits. The biscuits will be delivered to the school on Wednesday of each week, unless otherwise noted in their agenda or newsletter.
This year our school has scheduled two parent-teacher conferences times for each semester. The date for our first one is Feb. 21, 2012. These conferences will be either initiated by the teacher or the parent.  I will not plan conferences for students who are making all A’s.  Conferences will be set up by the teacher.  Please call the office if you would like to request a parent-teacher conference.  I may feel the need to set up a conference prior to these dates, if so you will be contacted. Or you may wish to talk to me about your child prior to this date and that is fine, too. 
Students are expected to obey all classroom rules Students who do not comply with classroom rules will be given the following consequences:
1st time- verbal warning
2nd time- 5 minutes off recess
3rd time- 10 minutes off recess
4th time- half of recess and note home
5th time- silent lunch by themselves, note home, office visit
 For behavior such as cheating, bullying, vandalism, vulgar language, or stealing will not be tolerated.  Students will be sent immediately to the Headmaster and the parent will be notified.

Please cut along the above line and return the bottom portion back to Miss Cynthia. :)
I have read the Parent Survival Handbook and discussed the necessary content with my child. 
Parent/Guardian Signature ___________________________________________
Child’s Name __________________________  Date___________________

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