Welcome to an exciting year of learning and growing!
Fourth grade students are immersed in a literature-based reading and writing program, as they continue to improve their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. In-class texts include Shiloh, A Place in the Sun, Love that Dog, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and various Egyptian, Greek, and Roman myths. Specific comprehension strategies are taught to promote deeper understanding of texts, and students participate in small/large group discussions. Texts are also analyzed with an eye toward the use of language, style and literary elements. They write well-structured sentences and paragraphs and are introduced to elements such as elaboration and clarity. Grammar, spelling, mechanics, vocabulary and dictionary usage are included in class lessons.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the Junior School implemented a new and exciting math program called Math in Focus: Singapore Math. This program enables students to gain depth of understanding, fluency with skills, and confidence in problem solving. In fourth grade, we are also very excited about our financial literacy program. This program will help students learn financial responsibility and teach them real-life money lessons.
This year we have implemented a new writing workshop model to teach writing. This model is based on the workhop approach developed by the Teacher's College at Columbia University. Writing units include personal narrative, realistic fiction, information, essay, and opinion units of study. Students will participate in teacher led mini-lessons focusing on specific writing strategies followed by student independent writing, and partner/group sharing. Students will also study mentor texts for examples of great writing.
In social studies, the fourth grade will learn about the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. During these units, students will study the culture, religion, education, daily life, forms of government, architecture, and mythology. Emphasis will be also be placed on the contributions of these cultures to the modern world. Students will visit the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt and the Greek sculpture exhibit at the Carnegie Museum, and take a walking tour of Oakland to observe the architectural influences of these ancient cultures in our own city.
I have enjoyed teaching fourth grade at Shady Side Academy since 1995. I graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant. I worked for a Big Eight accounting firm and the Marriot Corporation. I later returned to the University of Maryland and earned a Master’s degree in Education. Before moving to Pittsburgh, I taught third grade for several years at a public school in Montgomery County, Maryland. I live in Squirrel Hill with my husband and we have two children, Aaron and Rebecca. Aaron is a sophmore at Penn State University, and Rebecca is a junior at the Senior School. We also have an adorable goldendoodle named Carley.
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