Writing and Language Arts
We do lots of writing in 4th grade. In fact, we do some writing in every subject we study. There are many elements that go into being a good writer. Creativity is important, but so are the mechanics of constructing good sentences and paragraphs. Handwriting, spelling and grammar are all important parts of writing instruction.
Sometimes we will do quick writes, working to get our thoughts down on paper. Other times we will take a piece through the entire writing process. First we brainstorm and come up with the ideas, then we get our thoughts down on paper in a rough draft, Then it's time to revise and edit, and finally publishing our work as a final draft.
Publishing may take the form of a research paper in the child's own handwriting, or work may be published on line. We will work with blogging, digital storytelling, and creating on-line posters, just to mention a few forms this may take.
However we publish our work, it's always important to remember that our primary goal is to communicate. To be successful we want people to be able to read and understand what we have written. This is where handwriting, correct grammar and spelling come in. We also want people to want to read our work, so we work on making our writing more interesting and using vivid language.
Here's a website that students can use to practice their words. It's called Spelling City. Enter the spelling words from our list, that are hardest for you. Spelling City will help you practice, and this is practice that is fun. The words are featured in on-line games. This website also has great games for practicing and building your vocabulary.
The more words we know, the better we can read and write. We focus on words and their meanings in every subject area. As part of our reading program we learn new vocabulary words that are connected with the books and stories we are reading. Each student will have their own Vocabulary and Word Study Notebook. We want to be sure that we know what words mean, but even more important, we want to be sure that we can use them correctly.
When it comes to writing we also want to keep our writing interesting. One way to do that is to use varied and vivid language. Check out the vocabulary page to see some ideas for good sentence starters.
We will have a spelling pretest each Monday. Following the pretest, we will correct our work, and write all the words in our planner. Our focus in spelling is to understand and study spelling patterns, so we can spell correctly in our daily writing. Understanding spelling patterns also makes us better readers. If we understand the sounds letters make, it is easier for us to decode or figure out words that are new to us.
Throughout the week we will work with not only the words on our list, but other words that fit that spelling pattern as well. We will have a spelling test each Friday. In fourth grade we have 20 words on our regular weekly list.
Check our the Spelling Page on this website to see our weekly spelling lists and skills.