Welcome to Grade 4! I am incredibly honoured and thrilled to be able to experience this year with all of you and your children. It is a pleasure to work with such an amazing group of students and I look forward to the year ahead.
I am not just a teacher. I am an initiator of curiosity, a mentor, a coach, and, most of all, a facilitator of learning. Our classroom will be a learning community driven by respect, fairness, and character. I will encourage the students to push themselves in all categories by challenging them daily in order to get their personal best every single day. I plan for the students to not only learn but to experience the curriculum, encouraging them to take risks, make mistakes, and ask questions at the same time. I plan to design and implement learning experiences for students that are engaging, creative and meaningful. I aim to teach students by using lessons that promote imagination, discovery, critical thinking, and fun, as well as many cooperative learning opportunities.
Grade 4 Curriculum
Long Term Plans
Based on the curriculum set out by the B.C. Ministry of Education I have developed an overview of the school year. You will find this overview on the backside of the class timetable handout.
I plan to provide a balanced literacy program that will develop the student’s listening, speaking, reading, writing, and spelling skills.
Reading is an important part of all subject areas. A variety of literature will be used to compliment the various themes this year. The Cornerstones and Scholastic Literacy Place programs will be used as well as literature from both our classroom and school library. Students will read 2 novels this year (Stone Fox and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing). Students are encouraged to read at home daily for at least 10-15 minutes. Students should read both silently and aloud to further develop reading skills. It is important for students to begin reading transitional books or chapter books this year to begin to clearly understand the various story elements.
The overall writing process (pre-writing, drafting, editing, proofreading, publishing and presenting) will be explored. Students will also learn more about writing paragraphs, developing short stories, writing poems, report writing, and journal writing.
Weekly spelling pre-tests will be given on Mondays. Activities to reinforce the pattern(s) will be handed out on Tuesdays. These activities will be due on Fridays. Formal spelling tests will also be given on Fridays. Please ensure your child studies the weekly words on a daily basis.
Students will do weekly grammar activities throughout the year.
Listening and Speaking:
Various listening and speaking experiences will be provided. Students will also be involved in choral speaking, oral reading, presentations, discussions, music, and drama.
We will be using the Math Makes Sense program in our classroom. Students will be introduced to new concepts through a variety of hands-on learning activities. On most days, the students will do practice questions in class; however, sometimes students will be given practice questions to be completed at home. At the end of every unit there will be a test and/or assignment for the students to demonstrate what they have learned. Several days’ notice will be given for major tests. End-of-unit assignments are completed mostly in class time.
Students will learn about European explorers and reasons why they traveled to North America. Students will also learn about the Explorers’ interactions with Indigenous Peoples and different perspectives of that time. The fur trade, Confederation, and information regarding British Columbia will also be part of the curriculum.
This year we will focus on four main units: Biomes/Adaptations, Energy, Matter, and Moon Phases. We will start the year with a unit on Biomes and Adaptations.
Each class will have the opportunity to prepare a school Mass during the year. Parents are welcome to attend our school Masses. The Grade 4’s are leading the school Thanksgiving paraliturgy on Thursday, October 6 and a school Mass on Thursday, January 12.
P.E. will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with Mr. Zucchetto. The children should bring their full P.E. uniform on these days. Fitness Blocks will take place on Mondays and Thursdays. The children will only need their runners on these days.
Library class with Mrs. Auld takes place on Monday afternoons. Book exchange will be on Friday mornings; therefore, please ensure your child returns their library books to school every Thursday in order to be able to check out new books the following day.
Holy Cross offers many extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to participate in the various activities offered throughout the school year.
Students will be provided with many opportunities for enrichment either in class or through our Enrichment Program with Mr. Riccardi. Students will be referred to the Enrichment Program each term by the classroom teacher.
Grade 4 General Information
Finish Up Work Expectations
Personally, I prefer to call this, "finish up work,” because students will always have time to start and finish most homework assignments in class. Their work habits will dictate their amount of finish up work they have at the end of the day. The guideline for Grade 4 is 30-45 minutes of finish up work per night. Please again remember that this will vary for each child depending on how much work they complete in class. I have high expectations in regards to completing finish up work because I want students to develop good habits in my class. Please make sure you sign your child’s planner every day.
Students will receive a binder with dividers to keep their assignments and tests that have been marked. The binder will be sent home for you to review every few weeks. Please ensure you sign any work in the binder and return the binder to school the following day. These binders are used for teacher’s assessments.
Money and Book Orders
Please ensure any money sent to school is sealed in an envelope or Ziplock Bag with your child’s name and grade clearly printed on the front. All money and notes should be handed in first thing in the morning. Please note that for Scholastic book orders only cheques payable to Scholastic Canada are accepted. No cash please.
I know birthdays are very exciting events and I want to recognize students on their special day. I have a special card and small gift for each student on their birthday. Please let me know ahead of time if you wish to bring treats into the class for your child’s birthday.
The Tonight Show
Each student will have a turn to be the Tonight Show guest for a week. They will have several special jobs to do around the classroom, such as bringing the attendance to the office, introducing some of their favourite music to the class, being the class manager, and having VIP seating at the front of the room. Students will be given a booklet to fill out about themselves, which will be displayed in the classroom during their special week. Please see the "Tonight Show” handout for further information.
Permission forms for field trips will be sent home a few weeks in advance of the field trip. Some of the field trips I am in the process of booking for this year are: Grouse Mountain Snowshoeing and Aboriginal Program, Maritime Museum, and in-class workshops from High-Touch, High-Tech. Parent volunteers are required for each out-of-school field trip. Please understand that we cannot usually bring all the parents that volunteer on each field trip. I will do my best to ensure different parents have the opportunity to come on field trips throughout the year.
Please ensure your child has read the front section of their planner with the school expectations and code of conduct. In class, we will be discussing what we want our class to be like and we will be making a class contract. We will work on problem solving and learning how to treat others respectfully throughout the year in Health and Career Education. Students are expected to follow class and school rules at all times.
Communication and Email
Open communication between parents and teachers is extremely important as we work together to benefit the children. Please feel free to contact me at school (604-299-3530) if you have any questions or concerns about your child or the curriculum. Alternatively, you can write a note in your child’s planner and I will respond in the planner or call you if needed.
Please see the "Email” handout for my email address and appropriate use of email.
I am looking forward to an exciting and productive school year.
Mr. Carlo DeFazio
Grade 4 Teacher