Family Two CurriculumThird & Fourth Grade
Mrs. Rebecca Gezahegan
Mrs. Katherine Barnes
Mrs. Katie Tullio
Mr. Steven Pascoe
Mr. David Zyczynski                

Social Studies and Science

This year, your child will engage in social studies and science learning opportunities through a workshop. During workshop, your child will participate in expository reading activities, group lessons and discussion, hands-on activities, and centers. Through this format, we can provide for a variety of learning styles.

Math
Isn't our world changing fast? As teachers, the challenge to prepare our students to embrace change and to find new ways to solve new problems is sometimes daunting, always exciting. It also is the heart and soul of our mathematics curriculum.

Knowing mathematics means being able to use it in purposeful ways. In our classrooms, teacher performance shifts from authoritarian models based on the transmission of knowledge and only drill and practice to student-centered methods featuring stimulation of learning and active exploration. Teachers will help students learn how to verbalize their mathematical ideas, explore mathematical questions with careful reasoning and disciplined understanding, and understand that some mathematical questions have more than one right answer (Standards, 1989).

Inspired by Standards and related thinking and research on mathematics instruction and gifted education, our mathematics curriculum is a differentiated one. Students will have the opportunity to actively explore mathematical topics, practice basic skills, master grade level requirements as aligned with the Common Core standards. Students work at a level that is both challenging and comfortable during mathematics instruction. Students will have opportunities to work independently at their own level, be part of cooperative groups for problem-solving, receive individual instruction or will be part of as mall or whole group lesson.

Reading and Writing Workshop
This year your child will have opportunities to grow as a reader and writer through a workshop format. Through this format, each child makes purposeful choices as to how they will use their reading and writing time. As teachers, we hope the workshop format will provide more time for small group lessons and conferencing with individuals.

During the reading workshop, students will be encouraged to choose 'just right' challenges as reading choices. Your child might read to learn more about a particular area of interest, study a genre, analyze a character or to enjoy a really good story. Students will make note of their observations and insights in a reading response journal. In addition to pursuing personal projects and interests, we will have on-going units of study. We'll begin the year with a close look at the kind of thinking readers do as they read. We'll pay particularly close attention to how good readers connect what they read to their own experiences.

During the writing workshop, students plan their own writing projects to pursue. A student might choose to write a story,journal, report, poem, or letter. Students will monitor their progress on writing projects in a log. As is the case in the reading workshop, we will also have on-going units of study. Our first writing project will be a personal narrative or memoir. Our goal in offering a reading and writing workshop is to encourage children to discover ways to use reading and writing to do powerful things in the world in which they live. Reading and writing are more meaningful experiences when the purpose begins with the individual. The opportunity for choice also allows each child to discover his/her own challenge at a more individualized pace. The results should prove to be satisfying for all.Through a workshop format we hope to create a love for reading and writing that lasts a lifetime.

Spelling
In our classrooms, your child will have the opportunity to practice,reflect upon, and learn new strategies for spelling. As teachers, we are very excited about research conducted on spelling and spelling instruction and the understandings that this research affords us. These new understandings help us place children, not methods, at the heart of our spelling curriculum. We now know that spelling is better taught within the context of writing. Spelling is a complex cognitive process rather than a memorization task. A crucial skill in spelling is visual memory—a skill you are born with. Additionally, research tells us that there is no relationship between spelling ability and I.Q. Some of our students are already natural spellers and spell most words conventionally. Most still need strategies to help them with their spelling.