Fourth Grade Information Guide

Growth Mindset

  • The growth mindset movement began with the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Dweck found that a person who maintains a “growth mindset” thrives on challenges and sees failure as a chance to grow.
  • Over the course of our year together, students will be presented with challenging material which they will need to employ higher level thinking skills to grapple with. With these challenges often can come feelings of doubt or frustration. However, the development of a growth mindset allows children to understand mistakes as opportunities for creative problem solving. The ideals of growth mindset will be a part of all our conversations.
  • Books that we will read as a class this year that exemplify growth mindset are: Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, Rosie Revere Engineer, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, The Dot and Ish.

“Bucket Fillers”

  • This year I will enthusiastically introduce a new character development program called Bucket Filling based on the book Have You Filled A Bucket Today? By Carol Mccloud.
  • Bucket filling is an easy-to-understand concept: Everyone carries an invisible bucket that holds our good thoughts and feelings. When our buckets are full, we feel happy and when our buckets are empty, we feel sad.
  • Children quickly understand that they can fill buckets when they do and say things that are kind, considerate, caring, and respectful. They also learn that when they are mean, inconsiderate, uncaring, or disrespectful, they dip into buckets and remove those good feelings.
  • During this school year we are encouraging, reminding, and recognizing everyone’s efforts to be bucket fillers. For more information about Bucket Fillers, feel free to visit

Reading and Writing

Grade 4 has a literacy block every day that is either reading or writing.


  • Reading will be broken into 2 parts.
  • Students will have the opportunity to read in small guided reading groups based on reading level.
  • Students will be using the Progress in ELA curriculum. This supplemental program provides standards-based instruction, scaffolded practice, and varied assessment options for grade-specific learning objectives.


  • Students will be using the Voyages in English writing curriculum this year. Offering unparalleled content and exceptional teacher support, the new program is aligned with Common Core State Standards and correlated to the National Council of Teachers of English Standards. Voyages in English ensures mastery of skills and empowers students to become critical thinkers and effective writers, speakers, and listeners.
  • The orange two-pocket folder required on the supply list will be your student’s literacy folder.

Grammar & Vocabulary


  • Grade 4 will continue to use Sadlier’s Vocabulary Workshop curriculum. This curriculum introduces high-utility and academic vocabulary in context and promote students’ understanding of these words with multiple exposures. It also builds Word Study skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities—both in digital and print.


  • This year, there is a new grammar curriculum. Fourth graders will be using the Voyages In English curriculum and grammar will be woven into writing.


  • St. Peter uses the religion program Sadlier’s We Believe. It will be used weekly to nurture your child’s relationship with Jesus. Students will study 4 units in religion this year: Growing in Jesus Christ, The Commandments Help Us to Love God, The Commandments Help Us to Love Others and We Are Called to Holiness.
    The purple two-pocket folder required on the supply list will be your student’s religion folder.


  • Students will take part in a daily math lessons and receive math homework almost every weeknight. This year the fourth graders will be using the new Sadlier-Oxford Progress in Mathematics Program. This program will help students discover, master, and apply mathematical concepts.
  • Students will focus on topics such as: perimeter, area, volume, decimals, geometry, place value, addition and subtraction concepts, multiplication and division, measurement, statistics/probability and fractions.
  • The blue two-pocket folder required on the supply list will be your student’s math folder.


  • The fourth graders will be using the Nancy Larson science program.
  • The units covered in grade 4 include: Characteristics Of Cells, Classifying Plants, Characteristics of Animals, Examining Ecosystems, Exploring Energy, and Investigating Electricity.
  • The green two-pocket folder required on the supply list will be your student’s science folder.

Social Studies

  • In social studies, we will be studying the Pearson MyWorld Social Studies: Regions of Our Country curriculum. The topics we will study include: Geography of the United States, American History, U.S Government, Our Nation’s Economy, and the nation’s northeast, southeast, midwest, southwest, and west regions.
  • The red two-pocket folder required on the supply list will be your student’s social studies folder.


  • Homework will be assigned every night and will be due the next school day, unless otherwise specified. Homework should take between 30 minutes – 1 hour to complete.
  • Homework is mandatory for each and every student. (Please see the St.Peter’s School family handbook page 9 and contact Principal Sue Degnan with any concerns you may have regarding St.Peter’s homework policy)
  • Reading homework will alternate each month from reading logs to monthly projects.
    • Reading logs: Students will be expected to read for at least 30 minutes a night and complete a reflection in their reading logs Monday through Thursday. Reading logs will be distributed Monday and will be due Friday with a parent signature.
    • Reading projects: Students will be assigned a different genre each month to complete a project on. Students will have the whole month to complete the project and will present it in class on its due date.
  • Students will receive math homework almost every weeknight and may also receive additional homework in vocabulary, grammar and other subjects as well.
  • Completed homework should be placed in the homework bin each morning.
  • Incomplete school work may be assigned as homework if students were given adequate time during the school day to finish but did not.

Home/School Folders

  • The white two pocket folder will serve as your student’s Home/School folder. The pockets should be labeled “Keep At Home” and “Return To School”.
  • Home/School folders should be brought to and from school every day as students will transport their homework, notices and other important items given throughout each school day.
  • Students should place their home/school folders in their student mailbox each morning.


  • Fourth graders are able to access Chromebooks this year during the school day in order to work on writing assignments, create digital projects, and activate knowledge in new and exciting ways. The use of Chromebooks will allow me to edit and comment on student work as they are working in real time.

Classroom Newsletters

  • Classroom newsletters are such an important part of communication between home and school. I will make every effort to put out my newsletters weekly–on Fridays.
  • I will include a summary about what we’ve been working on and what’s coming up in the next week or few weeks.
  • It is my hope that this newsletter will encourage you to talk with your student about what they have accomplished, learned and worked on each week at school.

Health & Safety

  • Please refrain from sending any nut products with students for snack as we do have students with nut allergies in our class. We must be as diligent as possible in ensuring the health and safety of each student in our learning community. Thank you for your support.


  • I am looking forward to working with you this year! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have via email at Emails received after 7:30 pm will be returned the following day, however, I will return all emails received prior to 7:30 pm the day they were sent to the best of my ability.
  • If you would like to set up a time to conference outside of formal conference times, please let me know and I will gladly do all I can to support your student and family to the greatest degree possible.