Fourth Grade is a big grade to teach. This is the year of double digit multiplication and division, understanding European Exploration into the Revolutionary War, writing in cursive, reading and comparing literature and more! It’s becoming more and more important to squeeze every lesson you can in during the day. I will say 4th grade is MY GRADE! I love teaching 4th grade. This was the grade I started out teaching in the classroom. There are so many things you can do with kids at this age.
The great thing about 4th graders is you can still do all of the fun thematic units but now they are getting to the point where most of the learning is initiated by THEM. They will be researching their social studies and science concepts, they will be reading the books assigned for their literature study. In this post I’m going to share with you all the lessons we’ve done for the first few weeks of school. Plus I’ll give you tips on how you can use these lessons in your own homeschool. Don’t miss the freebie at the end!
What in the World Should I Be Doing With My Fourth Grader?
Great question. Fourth graders need to begin understanding how they learn. There needs to be a lot of cooperative learning as well as independent. This can be easily done by joining a co-op or a tutorial. You may even get together with a group of friends a couple times a month so kids are learning how to work together as a group. Fourth graders also need to be in check with their attitude towards learning. This is why April and I created the first Vocabulary ELA unit with vocabulary words to help students learn the value of education. We made sure to include a lot of games to keep learning fun. We also centered the whole unit around a mystery theme to keep kids engaged and motivated. The unit has been extended to include more ways to practice grammar skills. In fact, all of our units include a theme.
Most of our units include social studies or science so you can teach two subjects at once. After reading one of the reading passages from the unit, your child will begin to ask questions. This is when they take the reigns and begin their own learning journey. They research the questions and all of the sudden their learning deepens and they feel more in control of their learning.
Keeping reading journals is a great way to record skills while reading literature. Kids can record their questions as they’re reading their favorite novels or reading passages from their ELA Vocabulary units. Keeping sticky notes on hand to jot down thoughts and ideas are also great educational motivators.
Keep boredom down by getting rid of worksheets and engage your kids with thinking maps! We do vocabulary maps with all our vocabulary words.
Foldables and interactive notebooks aren’t only fun, but they’re a great way to keep a reference on what they’re learning. With the interactive notebooks, they can always go back and refer to a skill that was previously taught. Check out these foldables I’m doing with my fourth graders!
Putting These Lessons Together
1. Use Games- my favorite way to reinforce skills is by playing games. All you have to do is find games to practice skills already taught. This week we practiced multiplication, division, adding, and subtracting. We play these in the morning and during our math block when seat work is finished.
3. Reading and Social Studies- Along with reading Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing, we also read a passage from the Ocean ELA Vocabulary Unit. I let the fourth graders read it on their own first. They have sticky notes to make notes on observations about the text. This passage also had a blank map with instructions for the kids to color in all the islands they read about.
5. Science- We are using Elements: Ingredients of the Universe for our science lessons this semester. I love how it ties cooking into chemistry!
Ways I Teach These Lessons in the Homeschool
1. Centers- Most of the math we do during the day is in the form of centers. Kids love to compete and when you have more than one kid playing a game, the motivation to get the answer right escalates.
2. Independent Practice – I do provide math and reading practice to be done independently. The multiplication and division foldables, reading journals, and reading passages are all done on their own.
3. Small Group- I believe in the power of read alouds. When you read a loud to a group, you begin to build community through discussion. I’ve read many of the chapters of Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing to the fourth graders. We also do the mentor sentence to go with the book and many of the grammar pages from Write Shop together.
4. Whole Group – Science is done whole group. This means we read the material together and answer the questions together. There is a lot of discussion going on during this time.
5. Play- We love to add drama into our lessons. To go along with our literature study, the fourth graders made sock puppets and wrote a script. They performed it for our cottage school. It was a hit!
You can learn more about the units we’ve used this week by clicking on the resource.
Don’t forget to grab the FREEBIE!
If you’ve used any of these in your homeschool, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you! If you’d like to share a photo with me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org