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             Welcome to Mrs. Anderson's Fourth Grade at                     Shady side academy junior school

Fourth Grade Overview

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, as well as short stories. Texts are analyzed with an eye toward the use of language, style and literary elements. Students learn to form questions that promote a deeper understanding of the texts while participating in lively discussions. They write well-structured sentences and paragraphs and are introduced to elements such as elaboration and clarity. The six-trait writing model teaches organization, voice, word choice, and fluency. Grammar, spelling, mechanics, vocabulary and dictionary usage are included daily.  Students will also improve their cursive handwriting skills while completing assignments throughout the year. 

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 will enable students to gain depth of understanding, fluency with skills, and confidence in problem solving.  In fourth grade, we are also very excited about our new financial literacy program, which will be implemented in late October.  This program will help students learn financial responsibility and teach them real-life money lessons.

This year we will be implementing the Lucy Calkins approach to writing workshop.  The writing workshop will include personal narrative, realistic fiction, information, essay, and opinion units of study.  Students will be learning how to look at mentor texts that will exemplfy specific writing components in which the students will incorporate variations into their own 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.  Students will visit the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt at the Carnegie Museum and take a walking tour of Oakland to observe the architectural influences of these ancient cultures in our own city! 

The fourth graders also get to experience a mock financial economy where students will "earn" a weekly salary while also having to pay taxes, rental fees, and have the choice to purchase health care.  Twice a year, students will get to experience a Marketplace Event, where they will have a chance to create an item for sale, set the selling price, and purchase items from other students.  After the Marketplace Event, students will reflect upon aspects such as:  profit/loss, quantity, marketing decisions, and time invested.


Teacher Biography

I have been part of the Shady Side Academy family since 2006.  I have enjoyed teaching third grade, second grade, and computer at the Junior School while filling in for teachers who earned sabbatical leaves.  I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I earned a B.S. in Elementary Education.  I then earned my Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from Duquesne University.  Before joining Shady Side Academy, I taught Kindergarten for four years at The Ellis School. I was recently inducted into the Norwin High School Sports Hall of Fame for my two P.I.A.A. and three W.P.I.A.L. Pennsylvania swimming titles.  While swimming at the University of Nebraska, I was named team captain from 1992-1994.  I was voted Most Improved Swimmer, Student Athlete of the Year, and became a  Division I NCAA Academic All-American in 1994.  I have been a UPMC Children's Hospital Pet Friend volunteer with my rescued dogs since 2001.  I am a 2013 Jefferson Award recipient for my volunteer services at Children's Hospital and also as President of the non-profit organization, Steel City Greyhounds since 2002.  My husband, David, graduated from Shady Side Academy in 1976 and we own The Golden Bone Pet Resort and Doggy Day Care in Point Breeze.  

Contact Information

Preferred method of contact is email:  manderson@shadysideacademy.org


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