pineappleBack to School Handbook -- 4th Grade        

               Mrs. Smith 

    4th Grade is an exciting and challenging year, where many new concepts and curriculum are introduced.  This year will be filled with activities and lessons that will not only strengthen your student’s reading, math, writing, and spelling skills, but also improve their self-confidence and independence. 

    Curriculum Overview:

    Language Arts/Writing:

    We will be using the  Benchmark Advance Language Arts program, as well as reading novels.  Planning instruction in LA is focused on the specific needs of your child, and the elements of a balanced literacy program.  Those elements include teacher read aloud, shared reading, guided reading at the appropriate instructional level, independent reading to build fluency, and modeled, shared, and independent writing.

    Our writing program will focus on developing a good paragraph, essays and reports with a focus on correct use of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.  Spelling will be practiced in class on a weekly basis within reading and writing instruction with a focus on improving proper spelling in writing assignments and in class projects.  4th graders will be working on opinion, informative, as well as narrative writing.


    We are using the Envision Math Common Core program by Pearson for math instruction.  All students will cover the core math curriculum, but their instruction may differ in depth and complexity depending on the needs of the student.  Each student will be challenged at his/her individual level.  Nightly math homework is to be expected. 

    Social Science:

    We will be using the newly adopted Social Science Curriculum TCI for 4th Graders.  We will explore California  Regions, Native Californians, Explorers, Missions, Gold Rush and more.


    Our district newly adopted curriculum is called Amplify.  Students will have hands-on lessons in the classroom and in the STEM lab to learn 4th grade standards.  Learning by doing is the motto here!.


    Homework Policy

    Monday through Thursday students will be receiving homework.  Daily work in math should be expected.  Students will also be expected to complete 20 minutes of reading each night. Other homework may be assigned if extra time is needed to complete an in-class assignment, or more practice is needed on a specific skill or standard. Students will write their assignments in their agendas which is passed out at the beginning of the year and provided by the school.  This agenda is also a great tool for you to use for checking on what homework is required and tests coming up.  We fill this out together and any important class news/announcements are also added. After completing homework assignments, students are encouraged to ask parents questions and have them review their work.   Homework not turned in the following day will result in the assignment being considered late and marked as missing. 

    If for some reason an emergency occurs, parents may write me a note excusing their child from homework that night.  If a student is absent, they have 2 nights per day missed to complete any classwork or homework for full credit. 

    Homework should take approximately 40 minutes each night.  If your student is working longer than that, please let me know so I can adjust assignments as needed.  If your child is finishing early, have your child read, practice math facts, write in a journal, or do I-Ready lessons at home.  The idea is to get in the habit of studying on a daily basis!


    Homework Schedule:


    Monday:          Math /Reading

    Tuesday:         same

    Wednesday:    same

    Thursday:        same

    Friday:             No HW assigned

    *** Other assignments will go home as needed.  Please review your child’s homework sheet for what has been assigned.


    RED Folders

    Every day your student will bring home their RED folder.  In this folder, you will find the math homework sheet for the week and any of your child’s completed work that is for your review.  The school newsletter or any other important communications from the office or PTA will be included in the folder as well on Wednesdays.  This folder must come back to class everyday with the math homework inside!  


    Books and Materials: 

    All books will be assigned and kept in class.  

     Novels / books that students have checked out from my classroom library or the school library are allowed to go back and forth from home to school. Please make sure they are kept in a safe place each night and are returned in a timely manner.

    Agendas are new for 4th graders this year.  Students will take responsibility for writing down their assignments and keeping track.  It is important for the parent to review this each night with your child and check their progress.



    Blanche Sprentz Behavior Expectations

    Bears are…Respectful, Responsible, On Task, Courageous, and Kind


    Expectations for 4th Graders

    Students will be expected to:


    1. Follow classroom rules
    2. Complete their work
    3. Use class time wisely and stay on task
    4. Give their best effort on all assignments
    5. Play and work kindly with other students
    6. Respect the feelings of others
    7. Be at school on time and prepared with the necessary materials
    8. Take responsibility for yourself and your behavior


    The Teacher will be expected to:

    1. Provide a safe and nurturing classroom atmosphere
    2. Give guidance and instruction when help is needed
    3. Plan fun and challenging lessons in math, reading, language arts, science and social studies
    4. Help each student have a successful learning experience


    Parents will be expected to:

    1. Provide space and time at home for their child to complete their homework
    2. Contact the teacher if there are any concerns regarding their child’s progress
    3. Sign and return forms sent home by the teacher that contain class or school information.


    Thank you so much for sharing your children with me this year.  I look forward to an exciting year and getting to know all my families and working with them to ensure a successful academic and social year for your child.  The best way to reach me is by email if you have any concerns or questions.  I will check it often and will get back to you in a timely manner. 


    Thank you,

    Julie Smith      jlsmith@fcusd.org 

    My email is the best way to contact me before, during, and after school as it is checked often.