The fourth grade is challenging in many different ways for many different children. Some students will struggle with the pacing and workload while others will struggle with the content and intuitive thinking necessary and still others will struggle to gain the maturity required to take responsibility for their education and actions. Each child faces these challenges in different ways and with different tools but ALL children face these challenges together.  

My classroom is based upon several key beliefs:

  • THINKING is essential.  Think then do. 

  • SOLVING PROBLEMS, rather than just getting the right answer, is more important.

  • No problem can be solved unless you understand what is being asked.  

  • Personal responsibility, copying down their own assignments in their agenda, get it initialed by a teacher, and taking it home for a parental signature, are all part of the STUDENT'S responsibilities, not yours.

  • HOMEWORK only happens when all parts of an assignment are not finished in class. I do NOT assign homework, but I do assign classwork that sometimes needs to be completed at home. If the students are on task, focused, and diligent, there should not be any work to do at home.

Everyone faces stress in their daily lives BUT classwork should not be one of them. You are the parents! You are an irreplaceable person in your child's education, but you should not re-teach your child the lessons we do in school. You passed the fourth grade, it is now your child's turn. Sign the papers, make sure they complete their work, but please do not do their work or reteach the lessons. Save that for the teachers. It is our job and you don't need that stress at home. Save that for who's turn is it to do the dishes or take out the trash.

In planning my instruction I utilize three different websites to help me understand/clarify what will be taught and individual skills to be mastered.  Descriptions of varying degrees of clarity may be found all or in part on these three different websites:

  • Your should start here to preview what Cobb County has setup for your child. This is my first place to start when I plan a lesson since Cobb has devised a pacing guide for each grade level and each subject.  It gives me the Essential Questions and Power Strands

  • Georgia's Department of Education official website offers the state mandated standardsGPS Logo

  • Finally you can look at Georgia's Criterion Referenced Competency Test (or C.R.C.T.) Content Descriptors

I personally use the C.R.C.T. content descriptors to help explain HOW the students will be assessed and the Picasso standards to tell what should be taught. 

Once you start looking and become overwhelmed, as I do EVERY YEAR when they change the standards, call the school, email me, or send a note in to setup a time to me for further clarification. 



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Copyright Eric Simpson - H-Minus Interactive - Fall 2005 - All rights reserved
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