Dear Families,   


    Welcome to the fourth grade! We are so excited that we will be working together this year.  This year the 4th grade students will be placed on teams with two teachers. Mrs. Smith will be teaching reading and language arts and social studies.  Mr. Miller will be your math teacher and your science teacher. This letter will explain our procedures and rules. We want your fourth grade year to run smoothly.  Please keep in mind that this is an overview of our team’s policies; we will be explaining more details to students during class time. 


    Language Arts: Mrs. Smith will be teaching the language arts.  Students K-8 will be using a blended learning language arts curriculum.  About 70% of your child’s learning in my class will be on their electronic device.  Students will have an online course that includes reading units, spelling, grammar, and writing.  Students will be reading a variety of texts this year to broaden their understanding of literature.  Our spelling program is Words Their Way. Students will be working on a spelling sort at their academic level.  We will spend two weeks on each spelling sort. Our vocab words will be part of their weekly reading comprehension test  We will also be doing book clubs this year. Students will be submersed in reading this year. A weekly reading log will be sent home on the back of the SOAR behavior chart.  Please make sure you sign this reading log each night. I will go over more details about my course with the students in class. I know we are going to have a great year!


    Social Studies: Mrs. Smith will also be teaching Social Studies. In Social Studies, we will be learning about the history and geography of Indiana and how Hoosier Citizens impact our country and our world. 


    Health: Students will also be using SPACE to explore their Social Fitness, Physical Fitness, Academic Fitness, Cultural Fitness, and Emotional Fitness.  Students will be graded on their participation in SPACE activities by their homeroom teacher.


    Science and Computer Science:  Mr. Miller will be teaching science and computer science. Students will meet with Mr. Miller daily.  In science class this year, we will learn to think like a scientist. We will explore heat, electricity and other forms of energy, investigate the ways land changes over time (weathering, erosion, volcanoes, and earthquakes), look into ways we protect and harm the environment and our limited natural resources.  We will also ask questions about the structures of plants and animals and their growth and survival, and also, design and measure the motion of a moving system focusing on the forces of thrust, drag, gravity and lift. Students will also be getting an introduction to coding and computer science.


    Math:  Mr. Miller will also be teaching math.   In fourth grade, we will come across a variety of content.  Fractions, decimals, geometry, and the four operations are just some examples of the content that will be covered this year.   Each week students will be given 2-3 practice pages for homework. It is crucial for students to practice with the homework in order to build on concepts taught in class.  Students will mainly be building on the skills that they learned in the previous year. This is our third year using the math curriculum called Bridges. This program focuses on building a math foundation for students.  It guides students towards making discoveries in mathematics and involves daily mathematical discourse. There will also be resources available to students and parents on Buzz to help at home. Students can access this anytime to get additional practice with content.  At various times throughout the school year, I will be offering free practice sessions for students who need additional work on fluently mastering math facts and skills. Updates and a tentative schedule will be added into the newsletter for more information on these sessions.  I am really looking forward to a great school year!  

    Discipline:  Each week your child will be filling out their own personal behavior sheet.  This sheet tracks their behavior throughout Mrs. Smith’s and Mr. Miller’s rooms. We will collect these sheets every Monday to track behavior.  You will find their behavior sheet on the back of their weekly reading log in the page protector in their black binder.


    Homework:  Unfinished classwork will be the main source of homework.  However, students will be given a math page a couple of times a week.  Students will also be expected to read 20 minutes a night for a reading log for the first nine weeks.  We will increase this time as the year progresses. Students should check the agendas in Buzz for each of their core classes for daily class work.   If there is class work that your child does not finish, they will also be asked to take their incomplete work home for homework. This also applies to unfinished computer work.   If a student fails to complete their homework or unfinished work, they will finish their work during extra recess time.


    Student Absences:  If you know your child will not be coming to school or has a doctor’s appointment and will be leaving early, please let us know.  Send in a note with your child or send an email to Mr. Miller, Mrs. Smith, and cc the office at jerryrossattendance@cps.k12.in.us .  If your child is leaving school early, we can then get him/her packed up and ready to go.


    Birthday Celebrations:  Because of allergies we do not allow treats in the room.  However, you can purchase ice cream tickets for the class.  Please contact the office for more information.


    Teacher/Home Communication:  When your child comes home, please look for the black binder.  This will contain notes for you, their planner, and folders for their work.   If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact us.


    Mrs. Smith-Language Arts and Social Studies   sarahsmith@cps.k12.in.us  ext. 18126

    Mr. Miller- Math and Science   dmiller@cps.k12.in.us  ext. 18133

    This is just a small glimpse into fourth grade.  If you need more information on anything in this letter please contact us!



    Mrs. Smith and Mr. Miller