Grade 4

TERM 2 2018

Welcome to Term 2 2018! What an exciting term we’ve got ahead of us!

The teachers in Grade 4 are Alison Bettanin, Christine Harwood, Rachel Lehrner, Sarah Psomotragos and Anna McDonald.


As we continue into second term, the Grade 4 teachers will work alongside each student to ensure that they have an individual reading goal based on the Café Literacy Program (CAFÉ being an acronym for the four reading capabilities: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Expand Vocabulary). They will take home a Parent Pipeline information sheet that outlines what their goal is and how you can help them achieve it.

Reading strategies from the CAFE Program are explicitly taught in the classroom and students practise them using texts that are at an appropriate level for them. We call these books ‘Just Right Books’. Each student will also participate in guided reading sessions, working alongside their teacher to consolidate the CAFE strategies, continually improve their reading skills, and work on their personal reading goal.

In Term 2, students will focus on further developing their comprehension skills. We will be teaching deeper level thinking and asking a lot of ‘why?’ questions about what we read. Some comprehension strategies we will be covering this semester are:

  • Making inferences and supporting them with evidence

  • Understanding character’s motivations

  • Using prior knowledge

  • Identifying the author’s purpose

  • Asking questions throughout the reading process

You can assist your student in their reading development at home by having meaningful conversations and discussions about what they are reading. Good readers are good thinkers.


Writer’s Workshop

Writer’s Workshop sessions focus on developing student ability to write a range of different text types for various purposes. In Term 2 we will begin by studying narratives. However, students will also be encouraged to write other text types of personal interest outside of our focus text types. These text types are explicitly taught and students will be supported in formulating their writing ideas through the use of a ‘Seed book’.  Students will be guided through rich learning experiences that will help children learn to expand their use of vocabulary, write interesting and exciting beginnings, construct realistic characters and develop ideas (themes) that are important to them that they will explore in their stories.

Students will continue to be placed on an individual writing goal and will be conferenced regularly to support their writing development. Conferencing and needs-based groups occur most sessions, enabling teachers to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and ensuring that each child is catered for on an individual basis.

Students will continue to participate in fortnightly ‘Big Write’ sessions, where they will be encouraged to use the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the week to produce an extended piece of writing. On the weeks when we do Big Write, students will be given the topic on Wednesday and will be encouraged to do ‘Big Talk’ with their family that night. This is a 5 to 10 minute discussion between students and their family about the topic that helps students prepare the vocabulary that they will use in their writing the following day. A Konnective will be sent home communicating the topic to families on the weeks that we do Big Write.

Both Writer’s Workshop and Big Write sessions provide students with opportunities to apply their developing knowledge of vocabulary, opening words, connectives and punctuation. These four components of grammar are taught during daily VCOP sessions.


Spelling and Handwriting

Our school’s spelling program for middle and senior students is the Soundwaves Spelling program. Soundwaves builds on students’ prior knowledge gained through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ program taught in Prep to Grade 2, and Soundwaves learning in Grade 3. The children learn graphemes (letter combinations that form a sound) and their respective phonemes (the sound that the letter combinations make). This builds knowledge of word patterns and the ability to spell new vocabulary. In the classroom, students will participate in both online learning via the Soundwaves website as well as paper and games-based Soundwaves learning activities.

Our weekly handwriting focus will be linked to the Soundwaves phoneme being studied at that time.



Mathematics teaching will focus on the following areas in Term 2:

  • Fractions

  • Measurement and Geometry: 2D and 3D Shapes

  • Measurement and Geometry: Time

Students will consolidate their mathematical knowledge by relating what they learn to real life problems and to other areas of the curriculum. They are encouraged to use a variety of strategies to solve mathematical problems.

The Grade 4 teachers will work with students to develop skills and concepts through explicit teaching in both whole class and small focus groups. Mental calculation and the teaching of efficient strategies is a priority. Students are encouraged to develop skills in estimation and use materials to explore and develop deep understanding of maths concepts.

Students’ understanding of Mathematics is assessed using standardised tools and rich assessment tasks.


This term’s Science unit is Earth and Space - Earth Beneath Our Feet. Students will formulate and investigate questions such as: How do soil, rocks and landscapes change over time? What different kinds of soil is there? How do we use different rocks in our everyday lives? They will explore the factors that influence the erosion of soil and pose questions for investigations. They will work in small collaborative groups throughout this unit, encouraging them to share their knowledge and expertise with each other.

Integrated Studies

Later this term, our integrated topic will be Healthy Body, Healthy Minds. This unit will focus on well-being, what it means to be healthy, how we can keep ourselves healthy, and the daily choices we make. We will be hearing from different members of our community who work in these fields to speak to us about their area of expertise. Students will be studying nutrition, exercise and mindfulness techniques before completing their own health related project. If you work in the health or well-being industry and are interested in potentially speaking to the class, please let your child’s teacher know.

Bounce Back

Our Term 2 Bounce Back unit is ‘No Bullying’. We will discuss the terms ‘bullying’, ‘cyberbullying’ and cyber harassment’ and  help the children to discriminate the difference between bullying behaviour and antisocial behaviour. We also will be reviewing how to solve problems and different situations in friendships.

We will continue to foster the importance of the ‘Albert Park Way’ and continuing to follow the school community’s code of conduct for establishing and maintaining positive relationships. The five dimensions of the Albert Park Way are:

  • Be Kind and Fair

  • Act Safely

  • Respect Everyone’s Rights

  • One Voice at a Time

  • Keep Trying

We will also continue to  study our school’s Learner Dispositions (five outlooks of the mind that together form the crux of our school’s learning values):

  • to persist

  • to reflect

  • to collaborate

  • to create

  • to self-regulate

Student Diaries

Student diaries are an invaluable tool for collaborating between the school and the home. Parents are encouraged to continue to use their child’s diary to communicate important information to their teacher, such as to request a time for a meeting. If your child has lost their diary during term 1, please purchase a replacement. Students are required to bring them to school each day and home each night. They are checked daily.  Please note that absences still require the office to be contacted in a timely manner, in accordance with the new procedure.


In Grade 4, students are set up to 30 minutes of homework nightly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. (Not Friday or the weekend). A week’s homework includes:

  1. 4 Reading sessions per week.(One session per night comprising of 10 minutes practising their Reading Goal, either independently or with an adult).

  2. 3 Mathletics tasks per week. These tasks should be spread across the four nights. Students use the Mathletics website

  3. 4 Spelling activities per week (one each night). These activities could be online tasks through the Soundwaves website. Alternatively, your child’s teacher might provide them with tasks that are not online. Each task should take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

  4. Additional homework tasks will be introduced during the year.

We thank you for your continued cooperation in ensuring that your child spends time completing their homework. If you experience any difficulty accessing the internet or lack technology to access the website, please let us know and we will make other arrangements. If you have any questions regarding homework requirements, please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher.

Dates for your Diary

These dates were correct at the time of publication, however, please check the school website for any updated calendar events and possible date changes.

Anzac Day- Wednesday 25th April- no school

Curriculum Day- 26th April- No school for students (teachers only)

Project Rocket- Parent Session- Monday 30th May

Grades 3-6 Sports Day- Monday 7th May

Ride to School Day-  Tuesday 8th May

Mother’s Day Lunch- Friday 11th May

Parents as Helpers session- (Session 2) Thursday- 24th May

Anam Excursion- Grade 4 (AM)

Week 8- Grade 4 Swimming lessons at MSAC  4th-8th June

End of Term- Free Dress Day- Friday 29th June- Assembly at 2pm. School finishes at 2.30pm