TERM 4 2018
Welcome to Term 4 2018!
The teachers in Grade 4 are Rachel Lehrner, Christine Harwood, Jenny Solly, Sarah Psomotragos and Anna McDonald.
The school attendance policy reflects the Department of Educations’ requirements, which have slightly changed. All attendance issues must be communicated directly with the office. We highly value students’ time in the classroom and it is taken seriously. All teachers complete their attendance roll at 9:00am. If your student arrives after this time, they must be signed in by an adult at the office. The white slip is given to the office when they are signed in. The same policy applies for leaving early, and coming and going throughout the day. If the school does not receive a notification or reason why your child is away and is marked absent- a text message will be sent out. See the office for extended holidays and absences protocols.
As we continue into fourth term, the Grade 4 teachers will work alongside each student to ensure that they have an individual reading goal based on the Café Literacy Program (CAFÉ being an acronym for the four reading capabilities: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Expand Vocabulary). They will take home a Parent Pipeline information sheet that outlines what their goal is and how you can help them achieve it.
Reading strategies from the CAFE Program are explicitly taught in the classroom and students practise them using texts that are at an appropriate level for them. We call these books ‘Just Right Books’. Each student will also participate in guided reading sessions, working alongside their teacher to consolidate the CAFE strategies, continually improve their reading skills, and work on their personal reading goal. Las term we introduced ‘Book Clubs’ in an addition to our ‘Guided Reading’ sessions.
In Term 4, students will explore excellent examples of language that demonstrates ‘hooking the reader in’, ‘show don’t tell’, ‘character descriptions’ and much more to help guide and build on their writing.
You can assist your student in their reading development at home by having meaningful conversations and discussions about what they are reading. Good readers are good thinkers.
This term we will continue the Writer’s Workshop sessions with a focus on developing student ability to write more detailed ‘snapshots’ using descriptive language that hooks the reader in. These are taught in a series of ‘mini lessons’ and ‘workshops’.
Students will continue to be placed on an individual writing goal and will be conferenced regularly to support their writing development. Conferencing and needs-based groups occur most sessions, enabling teachers to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and ensuring that each child is catered for on an individual basis.
Students will continue to participate in fortnightly ‘Big Write’ sessions, where they will be encouraged to use the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the week to produce an extended piece of writing. On the weeks when we do Big Write, students will be given the topic the day before and will be encouraged to do a ‘Big Talk’ with their family that night. This is a 5 to 10 minute discussion between students and their family about the topic that helps students prepare the vocabulary and ideas that they will use in their writing the following day. A Konnective will be sent home communicating the topic to families on the weeks that we do Big Write.
Both Writer’s Workshop and Big Write sessions provide students with opportunities to apply their developing knowledge of vocabulary, opening words, connectives and punctuation. These four components of grammar are taught during daily VCOP sessions.
Spelling and Handwriting
Our school’s spelling program for middle and senior students is the Soundwaves Spelling program. Soundwaves builds on students’ prior knowledge gained through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ program taught in Prep to Grade 2, and Soundwaves learning in Grade 3. The children learn graphemes (letter combinations that form a sound) and their respective phonemes (the sound that the letter combinations make). This builds knowledge of word patterns and the ability to spell new vocabulary. In the classroom, students will participate in both online learning via the Soundwaves website as well as paper and games-based Soundwaves learning activities.
Our weekly handwriting focus will be linked to the Soundwaves phoneme being studied at that time.
Mathematics teaching will focus on the following areas in Term 4:
Measurement and Geometry: Area and Perimeter/ Measurement/ Volume and Capacity
Number and Algebra-Financial Maths, Problem Solving
Statistics and Probability- Chance and Data
Digital Technologies- Coding
Students will consolidate their mathematical knowledge by relating what they learn to real life problems and to other areas of the curriculum. They are encouraged to use a variety of strategies to solve mathematical problems.
The Grade 4 teachers will work with students to develop skills and concepts through explicit teaching in both whole class and small focus groups. Mental calculation and the teaching of efficient strategies is a priority. Students are encouraged to develop skills in estimation and use materials to explore and develop deep understanding of maths concepts.
Students’ understanding of Mathematics is assessed using standardised tools and rich assessment tasks.
This term we will continue our science unit, Among the Gum Trees. This is a biological science unit in which the students will be studying Eucalypts, eucalyptus seeds and life cycle, how plants reproduce and the animals that rely on Eucalypts to survive.
We will finish the term with a chemical sciences unit focusing on plastics through a sustainability lense. Students will explore what is biodegradable and what isn’t and the packaging used in food and other products. We are hoping students will also have the opportunity to make their own sustainable food wraps.
This term our integrated studies focus is on Sustainability, specifically waste. Students will be learning about recycling centers, landfill and water.They will be given opportunities to use their critical thinking skills to solve real world problems in these areas. We are integrating our Science unit on plastics to demonstrate how we are impacting the earth with our man-made materials. This term, the grade 4 students will be heavily involved with the school garden and our waste management programs throughout the school. Towards the end of the year around Christmas time, we will be challenging the students to come up with their own ways to be more sustainable around the holidays.
Last term the Grade 3 and 4 students were fortunate to participate in weekly sessions of the ‘Youth Empowerment Project’ Resilience program. Students experienced and discussed complicated and rich topics such as: establishing personal boundaries, friend and class immunity, belonging, positive self-esteem, and influences over others. It was a powerful program that all students thoroughly enjoyed.
This term, we will continue our Bounce Back unit ‘CHAMP’ (Success)’. Thinking like a CHAMP requires you to work hard, challenge yourself and keep working hard to achieve something, even when it is challenging.
We will continue to foster the importance of the ‘Albert Park Way’ and continuing to follow the school community’s code of conduct for establishing and maintaining positive relationships. The five dimensions of the Albert Park Way are:
Be Kind and Fair
Respect Everyone’s Rights
One Voice at a Time
We will also continue to study our school’s Learner Dispositions (five outlooks of the mind that together form the crux of our school’s learning values):
Student diaries are an invaluable tool for communication between the school and the home. Parents are encouraged to continue to use their child’s diary to communicate important information to their teacher, such as to request a time for a meeting and/or questions or concerns. Students are required to bring them to school each day and home each night. They are checked daily. Please note that absences still require the office to be contacted in a timely manner, in accordance with the new procedure. All late students need to report to the office to be signed in, before returning to the classroom.
In Grade 4, students are set up to 30 minutes of homework nightly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. (Not Friday or the weekend). A week’s homework includes:
4 Reading sessions per week.(One session per night comprising of 10 minutes practising their Reading Goal, either independently or with an adult).
3 Mathletics tasks per week. These tasks should be spread across the four nights. Students use the Mathletics website http://community.mathletics.com/signin/#/student
4 Spelling activities per week (one each night). These activities could be online tasks through the Soundwaves website. https://online.fireflyeducation.com.au/services/student_login/soundwaves Alternatively, your child’s teacher might provide them with tasks that are not online. Each task should take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
We thank you for your continued cooperation in ensuring that your child spends time completing their homework. If you experience any difficulty accessing the internet or lack technology to access the website, please let us know and we will make other arrangements. If you have any questions regarding homework requirements, please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher.
Dates for your Diary
These dates were correct at the time of publication, however, please check the school website regularly for updated calendar events and possible date changes.
Tuesday 9th October- Family Planning Information Session
Thursday 18th October- Royal Visit
Friday 19th October- Soccer Gala Day
Monday 22nd or 25th October-Excursion to Bili Indigenous Nursery
Friday 23rd October - Ride To School- Tour De Cure
Wednesday 31st October- Halloween Concert- (Grade 4 only)
Thursday 1st November- Whole School Count Us In
Friday 2nd November- Jump Rope For Heart
Tuesday 6th November- Melbourne Cup Day- No School
Tuesday 11th December- Up Day
Tuesday 18th December- School Concert (Back up concert date Wed 19th)
Friday 21st December- Last Day of School- Casual Clothes- Assembly at 1.00pm school finishes at 1.30pm