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, Letters From Rifka, A Place in the Sun, Love that Dog, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and various Egyptian and Greek 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.
Fourth grade students learn the story of their home state by exploring Pennsylvania's culture, economics and geography. They study the Native Americans and the early settlers, and the relationships between these groups. Students gain map and atlas skills, as they learn about the physical features of the state and construct a relief map with mountain ranges and rivers. We also examine ancient Greek civilization and ancient Egyptian culture. The curriculum is extended through numerous field trips that use many resources of the city, including the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Fort Ligonier, Fort Pitt and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
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.
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