Alta Vista Elementary School

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4th Grade » Overview


Alta Vista has a team of three fourth grade teachers, as well as one 3/4 and one 4/5 combo teacher.  They all collaborate regularly to ensure that all fourth graders are loving to learn and flourish.
4th Grade Teachers: Mrs. Cornett, Miss Saba, Mrs. Williams, and Mrs. Yu
3/4 Combo Teacher: Mrs. Lo
4/5 Combo Teacher: Mrs. Carlen

Our district approved textbook is published by Houghton Mifflin. We group students for success by differentiating instruction during our RtI (Response to Instruction) time four days a week.  We may also choose to read several of the following novels: Sign of the Beaver, By the Great Horn Spoon, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Stone Fox, No Talking, A Crooked Kind of Perfect, The Lemonade War, Wishworks, Inc., Walk Two Moons and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  Literature Circles are utilized when appropriate as well.
The biggest shift this year is implementing the California Common Core Language Arts Standards.  We will ensure that the highest level of instruction continues to be given during this change.  Keep posted for more information!
Alta Vista has adopted the "6+1 Traits for Writing" program.  The district and state standards include learning how to write three different essays in the following genres: Narrative, Informative, and Opinion.  Instruction and practice will take place all year.  The state writing test is typically in March.
EnVision Math provides many excellent tools to help your student learn.  It allows for home access to the textbook, the Student Learning Bridge videos and access to the worksheets.  Students in fourth grade learn double-digit multiplication and long division.  They also begin to understand operations with fractions and decimals.  The teachers emphasize differentiation, especially through problem-solving assignments.
We have made significant changes to the curriculum plan to allow for the shift to the Common Core State Standards.  The changes made allow for more appropriate instruction for fourth graders.  We will bounce around in the textbook in order to teach the material sequentially.  Stay tuned throughout the year!
Our Science program is a hands-on discovery based program by FOSS.  The units the children will study are: Solid Earth, Magnetism and Electricity and Environments.  In addition, Fourth grade students are expected to participate in the Science Fair which will take place on April 22, 2014.
Fourth Grade Students study California History using the textbook by Harcourt Brace, California, A Changing State.  Our curriculum is project-based and will include several activities such as: a California Regions Postcard, a Native American Tribe Report, A Famous Person In California History project and a Mission Travel Brochure.  In addition, the students' participation in Walk Through California Presentation will require a small amount of research and memorization.
Students visit the Media Center once a week to work on many different projects that relate to our curriculum.  In addition, each teacher has five or more computers in the classroom for student use.
We expect every child to be prepared each day for P.E.  We work on sportsmanship, team sports and physical conditioning.
Completing nightly homework in fourth grade is an important transition for students.  Fourth Graders are expected to spend no more than an hour each night, Monday through Thursday.  This hour includes 20 minutes of reading novels or other material which may be expected as well.  Generally, assignments are given each night and are due the following day.  Long-term projects are common an the teachers provide timelines to help with time management.