The 2014-2015 school year proved to be a fun year FILLED with activities. The three kiddos finished up grades 2, 4, and 6. I reviewed our grade 2 plans in my last post. Today, I will look back at fourth grade. I have to admit that I love teaching fourth grade (which is even funnier because my mom was a fourth grade teacher). Now I made excellent and achievable goals for my second grader but I didn’t do as well with my fourth grader. Below are the goals that I set for her for fourth grade.
Sawyer (fourth grade): 1) Independent with writing a well-thought out and planned paragraph 2) increase in critical thinking 3) increase awareness of cause and effect 4) time management skills 5)Begin vocabulary 6) Learn organization skills essential to learning
Sawyer rocked the first goal and wrote not just a well thought out paragraph, but she wrote a fascinating, fun-filled paper on wolves. Unfortunately when she went to write the final draft, she couldn’t find the rough draft-goal number 6. I am thrilled that my dad and I both were able to proof read her paper. She “taught” about wolf behaviors, habitats, and life through a narrative that was fun to read and kept me engaged through the whole paper. We tried using clip boards, our travel bags, folders……nothing has worked yet for her. We will keep trying! Sawyer also did demonstrate critical thinking skills and increased awareness of cause and effect. She also started learning vocabulary. Time management definitely improved but is far from mastered.
Onto the fun parts-curriculum:
Spelling: Sawyer is a strong speller. Thus, I did not focus a lot of time on a spelling curriculum but more on spelling in her main lessons. She worked through book C of Apples and Pears. Her favorite part of the series is the sentence writing (which is the exact opposite of the boys).
Grammar: We chose Growing with Grammar this year for grammar practice. The fourth grade book is slightly different from the second grade books. Sawyer had a lesson book and a workbook. The lessons were short and could be read in a few minutes. The workbook did an excellent job mixing up the type of practice. After each lesson, the student completes two pages in the workbook. You know that I am not a big workbook lover, but in this case-everyone was content. No one really complained about grammar. It was very straight forward and well explained.
Math: Sawyer loathes math. I am not sure why because she is fairly good at it. She does not feel confident on her math skills but she does well. For her main math lessons, she used Teaching Textbooks level 4. She also did a couple of the Life Of Fred books. She does love Life of Fred. I am hoping to help increase her confidence in her math skills over the summer.
Main Lessons: We followed the Waldorf Essentials fourth grade curriculum for the most part pulling in the appropriate resources as needed. She learned geography terms, NC geography and history, man/animal studies, the Norse myths, geology and multiplication. All of the main lessons were fun and thought-provoking. Together, Sawyer and I found amazing literature to read about each main lesson. We also really lucked out with a few local class offerings that taught about the Catawba Indians (a Native American tribe who inhabited our area) and about NC history.
Enrichment: As with Parks, Sawyer took a lot of classes this year. She took classes in wildlife biology, adventure journaling (following the methods of Lewis and Clark), gymnastics, violin, African drumming, horse back riding, archery, fencing, and art. She also worked on knitting, sewing and whittling throughout the year.
Sawyer grew up a lot this year. I love watching her develop into a beautiful (on the inside and out) young lady. I look forward to next year and to seeing what she accomplishes!