Fourth Grade Guidelines

Fourth Grade Guidelines



Our Lady of the Wayside

Enriching Minds; Fostering Faith

Inside Fourth Grade: Daily/Weekly Activities

Daily Planners: Each student is required to have an O.L.W. Daily Planner. Daily assignments should be copied from the assignment board and written in the books every afternoon. Test, quizzes, reports, and projects will be announced in advance. Be sure to check your child’s Planner daily.

Book Club Orders: Book club order forms will be sent home occasionally. Please send cash in the correct amount along with the order form. If you are writing a check, please be sure to make it out to the individual book club and not to O.L.W. or to the teacher. Mr. Smith will collect book orders from all fourth grade classes.

Silent Reading Books: Silent reading is encouraged during free time or between subjects. Each child must have a silent reading book every day. Children are encouraged to read books and take reading counts tests. Please see the section on our reading curriculum for other information.

Totes Folders: Every Friday, papers from the week are sent home in “Totes” (Wildcat) folders. Please look at your child’s papers and return the empty folder with your child on Monday. If the folder has been destroyed or lost, please replace it.

Your child will also bring home an O.L.W. School folder whenever there is something special from the office or from your child’s teacher on a day other than Friday. Please return the folder the next day.

Teacher Communications: We will send most information home via email. Please check your “junk” mail folders, so you don’t miss out on teacher communications. This is also the best way to contact your child’s teacher. Thanks!

Also, check out our web pages! You’ll find homework, information, links to websites, and sometimes even a link to that extra copy of a project sheet you’re looking for! Go to then go to “academics,” then “classroom pages,” then “grade school,” and choose the teacher page you’d like to visit. 

Special Lunches: Please try to bring in special lunches (McDonald’s, Taco Bell, etc.) on special days only – such as birthdays or for rewards. Please deliver these lunches no earlier than the 11:49 a.m. lunch bell. Thank you for your cooperation.

Please feel free to look around our classrooms during the Open House and to ask questions. Please save questions and concerns specific to your child for a more appropriate time. Please email to schedule a conference, if needed. Thank you for attending our Open House.

Mrs. Kramp, Mr. Smith, & Ms. Cavers
Fourth Grade Guidelines

A. Homework Expectations:

1. All assignments are given a due date. If the assignment has not been completed before the end of the school day, the assignment must be taken home to be finished.

2. Occasionally, work will be assigned as HOMEWORK and must be completed at home.

3. If the student comes to school without his/her homework, parents may be informed with a “Homework Alert” via email.

Children will be given two “OOPS!” passes per trimester. “OOPS!” passes will be used up before “Homework Alerts” are given (with the exception of certain assignments). An “OOPS!” pass is designed for children who happen to forget something; a “Homework Alert” is designed to alert you that your child is developing a genuine homework difficulty. In either case, the missing assignment is required to be turned in by the student the next day.

“OOPS!” are given passes at the beginning of each quarter and students must turn them in for missing assignments. Students are required to take responsibility for keeping their passes. “OOPS!” passes will not be replaced if they are lost, and they may not be shared with other students.

4. The consequence for not completing an assignment may be staying in for lunch recess to complete the work, or additional communication to inform the parents.

5. Since we stress to the students to be responsible for completing assignments on time and writing in their daily planners, we would appreciate it if parents would not “drop off” homework, books, or gym uniforms because they were forgotten at home. This will reinforce our goal in teaching students to be responsible and organized.

6. Daily assignments are expected to be neat and mostly free of spelling errors. Assignments are also required to have the student’s first & last names as well as their student number and homeroom numbers written clearly on them. Consequences for unidentifiable work may include the work being thrown out, or the loss of a point (on a test, for example). Some assignments may be returned to the students to be corrected. Please look for papers marked “Fix” or “Please correct and return” in students’ weekly Totes folders. “Fix” papers are expected to be turned in by the child after corrections have been made. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in “fix” or any late work to the correct teacher.If a child does not take responsibility for returning fixed or other late papers, the assignment may become a zero in the teacher’s grade book.

7. If a student is spending more than one hour at home doing homework or is bringing home several textbooks on a continual basis, these may be a few reasons why: works on too many assignments at one time, does not keep desk cleared off between subjects, does not use time efficiently (either at home or at school), or socializes too much. Please alert us if your child is spending more than an hour actively working on homework (not sharpening a pencil, getting a snack, going to the bathroom, complaining about homework, etc.) on a regular basis. Also, please be aware that our “wheel” schedule has our science, math, and social studies classes lasting about 45 minutes. It is probable that your child will have to complete work at home in these subjects often. If you are not used to planning time for your child to complete homework into your evening’s activities, it will help your child if you sit down with him/her to figure out the best times to establish this daily routine.

8. Please make time daily for your child to complete homework. Children may need your help at home to prioritize their time and to be able to get their homework done.

9. If your child is absent, please make arrangements with a sibling or a friend to take home the missing work if possible. We would like all work missed from an absence to be completed and returned to school as soon as possible.

10. If your child goes on vacation, we will save the missed work for your child to complete when (s)he returns to school. Assignments will not be given before your child goes on vacation. This ensures that your child will be given the work actually missed and not what the teacher projects for the time your child is gone.

11. An opportunity to retake a test may be given. Tests that can be retaken apply to test scores of 69% or lower. The highest grade possible for a retest is a 78%. If a retest score is lower than the original score, the higher score will remain. Quizzes may not be retaken.

12. Because homework is considered practice at developing a skill (much like athletics or music), most work will be graded together. This allows children to hear the rationale for answers, provides review of previously learned material, and enables children to ask questions. These homework assignments are given a “1” (complete, on time, mostly free of errors), a “0” (incomplete or missing), or a “FIX” (must be corrected and returned to the teacher by the student – if a student chooses to not return a “FIX” paper within a week after it was returned, it will become a “0” in the teacher’s grade book).

When a teacher announces that an assignment counts as “points”, this is the students’ cue that this assignment is being used as an assessment of mastery. This assignment’s value will be the total number of problems/questions.

Programs such as Daily Language Review is designed to give students ongoing exposure to language skills and vocabulary development. These programs continually reinforce and refine children’s skills in these areas.

For all coursework, mastery is expected to develop over the course of time, and not always on any specific assignment.

B. Grading

1. Percentages are given on tests and quizzes. Scores are given on daily assignments. Together these comprise the final percentage on the report card.

2. A new report card has been designed for the intermediate grades. This report card is significantly different from the report card used in the primary grades. Children will be receiving percentages in each subject.

3. Parents and students have access to teachers’ grade books via Power School. You can use this tool to keep track of your child’s progress, and whether assignments have been turned in. Please remember that percentages are cumulative, so, especially at the beginning of a grading period, it may appear that your child has a lower percentage than you would like to see. There are many assignments over the course of a period. Wait until there are several assignments, including a quiz or test, before you become overly concerned. Teachers will endeavor to update their grade books weekly.


Fourth Grade Open House Packet

Daily Schedule

Room 119 / Room 120
8:00-8:30 / DLR/DRW
Pledge & Prayer / Pledge & Prayer
8:30- 9:00 / Religion / Religion
9:00-10:30 / Social Studies
Science / Social Studies
10:30-11:15 / Math / Math
11:02-11:42 / Writer’s Workshop / Writer’s Workshop
11:49-12:25 / LUNCH / LUNCH
12:30-1:10 / Specials
M,T, W,R / Specials
1:15-3:00 / Reading Language Block / Reading Language Block
2:05-2:45 / Virtues (W)


"In primary grades children are learning to read, and in upper grades they are reading to learn." Anonymous

Reading is taking on a new format for us this year. We will be focusing on using novels to teach reading. We want children to become responsible readers who can decide the value of literature. We will each be reading different novels with our classes. Each teacher will be using at least four books with his/her class. We are hoping that this new format will introduce children to all types of books and encourage a love of reading. We would love it if you would share the novels with your child in order to be actively involved with what s/he is reading. We do ask that children do notread novels ahead of time or read ahead of the class. It is essential that when we are reading a book together, that we stay together for many of the activities the teachers are planning. Reading ahead (or especially watching a movie version) may confuse your child.

The following skills will be taught throughout this year:

Decoding and Word Study Vocabulary

Suffixes/Prefixes Word Meanings

Roots and Combining Forms Synonyms/Antonyms

Context Clues Multiple Meanings/Homographs


Comprehension Analogies

Main Idea/Details

Sequence Literature

Word Referents Characterization

Comparison Story Elements

Drawing Conclusions

Predicting Outcomes Study and Life Skills

Cause/Effect Charts, tables, schedules

Inference Card Catalog

Summarizing Encyclopedia

Fact/Opinion Dictionary

We also use a textbook for a few short stories, in addition to our novels. The textbook is called “Trophies” and the publisher is Harcourt. This textbook focuses on encouraging fluency in reading, vocabulary instruction, text comprehension, reading aloud, listening and speaking skills, and research and information skills through the use of short stories and chapters from various novels.

Guided Reading:

Guided reading is a strategy that helps students become good readers. The teacher provides support for small groups of readers as they learn to use various reading strategies (context clues, letter and sound relationships, word structure, and so forth). Although guided reading has been traditionally associated with primary grades it can be modified and used successfully in all grade levels. For example, older students may need to learn new strategies to understand how to read an information book in a way that is going to give them access to the information they are seeking.

We will be helping children to choose “right fit” books for independent reading, and asking children to keep a daily book log. We will be communicating with your child about his/her reading in small groups, whole group, and individual conferences. While children are working with the teacher, the rest of the class will be participating in various activities designed to reinforce reading and language skills. During this time, children are expected to work independently to allow all children to have individual and small group support from the teacher.

Balanced Literacy:

Our Lady of the Wayside is proud to be a Balanced Literacy School! Your child will be experiencing literacy across all curricula. Balanced Literacy is defined as:

“Balanced Literacy is a framework designed to help all students learn to read and write effectively. The program stands firmly on the premise that all students can learn to read and write. This balance between reading and writing allows students to receive the individualized teaching appropriate to their strengths and needs in literacy.

Balanced Literacy is a model for teaching children in a student-centered classroom, based on the research of Marie Clay, Irene Fountas, and Gay Su Pinnell. Daily, children read and write independently and in a variety of group settings. Balanced Literacy classrooms focus on different types of reading experiences: read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, reading conferences, and independent reading. …

During many daily reading and writing experiences, students are engaged in word study. Listening and speaking are also emphasized in this integrated language approach. Teachers implementing a Balanced Literacy instructional framework use an integrated approach to teaching language arts. This framework for literacy lessons consists of a number of elements that provide substantial amounts of reading and writing on a daily basis. …These authentic opportunities for reading and writing are arranged on a continuum based on the gradual release of responsibility. Some reading andwriting tasks are modeled by the teachers and others are accomplished with the support of the teacher, leading to those that are done independently by the child.”

Language Arts

As described above, Language Arts (English) will now be incorporated into our Literacy Block.


Fourth Grade Open House Packet

This program of language instruction committed to helping students excel in all areas of language arts. The program is based on the following premises:

1. Students can become thoughtful, critical readers if they are given an opportunity to read exemplary literature and to respond to it.

2. Students can become competent, fluent writers if they know that they have something to write about are confident of what they have to say. Students must know that during the writing process, writers constantly reevaluate, assess, and think about their writing.

3. Students can become critical, independent thinkers if they are first exposed to important, meaningful things to think about.

4. Students can become competent, fluent users of language if they develop an understanding and appreciation of its grammatical structure. Students will be studying sentences, nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, etc.

5. Students can become articulate speakers and intelligent, critical listeners if they have opportunities to speak often about issues that are important to them in a variety of settings.

We also use a program called “Understanding Paragraphs” to help the children learn to write complete, detailed paragraphs. Your children will also be exposed to reading and writing a variety of different poetry forms.


Spelling will now be incorporated into our Literacy Block as Word Study units, and Latin and Greek root study.

Word Wall & Words Their Way

Each classroom will have a designated board in the room, set aside for a word wall. On these word walls will be vocabulary words for the present unit of study in all subject areas. These word will be used by the students during guided reading independent times. Students will be completing a variety of activities to learn the meaning of each word and how to use the word properly. These words will be removed from the Word Wall when the majority of the students actively use the word in their daily work and writing. In addition to the word wall, we will be implementing the Words Their Way program. This program is designed as individualized as our students. Each student will work on a set of words specific to their needs as writers and readers. These lists will change as the individual masters each word.

Daily Reading Warm-Ups (DRW)

This program is designed to improve students’ reading and comprehension skills. The more experience a child has with reading and comprehending, the better reader and problem solver s/he will be. Daily Reading Warm-Ups contains a variety of passages to be read on a daily basis. Each passage is followed by comprehension questions. The questions that follow are based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and allow for higher level thinking skills. These are given to your child to work on first thing in the morning, and are graded in the afternoon. Each DRW will be entered into the teacher’s grade book as the number of points it is worth, but is weighted at 50%.