Welcome to Grade Four
The Grade 4 curriculum is covered in Victorian Curriculum Level 4. All students will be working towards proficiency in all curriculum areas against these standards and beyond. The Grade 4 team utilise the Gradual Release of Responsibility as our teaching model.
The Big 5 underpins our Reading Instruction from Foundation to Grade 6. We believe the 5 pillars of: Phonological/Phonemic Awareness; Phonics; Vocabulary; Fluency; and Comprehension are the essentials for reading success. We use a structured literacy approach incorporating MSL/OG and a range of effective programs under the Big 5 umbrella.
CARS & STARS is a comprehensive reading program consisting of ten levels (P-H) that affords students the opportunity to delve into the twelve reading comprehension strategies in order to broaden their literal and inferential understanding. Grade 4 teachers will use the online version of this program in conjunction with mentor texts to deliver high quality explicit teaching, differentiated learning tasks and use meaningful assessments to determine learning growth.
Each week, Grade 4 classes rotate through a different mentor text. These texts are often linked to other curriculum areas, such as the Inquiry topic for the term. Using these mentor text picture books, students are introduced to rich 'tier 2' vocabulary. Four focus words are chosen from each text and are explored together within the classroom, as well as through weekly homework tasks for consolidation and application.
MSL / Morphology
During Semester 1, the Grade 4s will continue implementing MSL – Multi-sensory Structured Learning. It is based on scientific reading research and uses explicit teaching to inform students of common spelling rules and patterns. The multisensory component is what makes MSL stand out from other traditional reading and spelling programs. It uses auditory (hearing), visual (seeing) and kinaesthetic (movement/writing) when teaching spelling to form neural pathways in the brain.
In Semester 2, we transition to a more Morphology based approach. Morphology is the study of words and their parts. Morphemes, such as prefixes, suffixes and base words, are defined as the smallest meaningful units of meaning. Morphemes are important for phonics in both reading and spelling, as well as in vocabulary and comprehension.
The Grade 4 writing program allows students to explore a range of genres and supports students in learning the skills necessary to become an exceptional writer. We sequence and structure our lessons to ensure students are developing their understanding and application of vocabulary and voice, organisation and structure, conventions, editing and publishing.
Mathematics has three dimensions: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. The children are placed in like ability Number groups and mixed ability Applied groups (class group). They attend 4 sessions with their Maths teacher each week. They then have a 5th 'review' session in their own classroom, which allows students to complete tasks and assessments to monitor progress, as well as revise taught concepts. To assist us in determining these groups, children are pre-tested on each specific topic being covered. This allows for some movement across the groups and enables us to plan lessons that best suit each student’s learning needs. At the end of each unit, the students complete a post-test to determine learning growth.
The themes for this year are as follows:
Term 1 - Our Island Home (Geography)
Term 2 - Into the Unknown (History)
Term 3 - Game of Life (Health and Humanities)
Term 4 - May the Best Party Win! (Civics and Citizenship)