Grade 4

TERM 1 2018

Welcome to Term 1 2018! What an exciting term we’ve got ahead of us!

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


As we begin the new year, 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).

Each student will be given a reading goal by their teacher and 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 standard of complexity 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.

In Term 1, students will focus on refining their comprehension and accuracy skills by concentrating on the following strategies:

  • Stop & Check for Understanding
  • Tune Into Interesting Words
  • Cross-checking
  • Blend, Stretch & Re-read
  • Chunking
  • Back-up and Re-read
  • Skip-the-word and Come Back

Further strategies will be introduced later in the term.


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 1 we will study recounts and science reports. 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 also be encouraged to write other text types of personal interest outside of our focus text types.

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. As the term progresses, students will be placed on an individual writing goal to focus their efforts during writing sessions.

Students will participate in fort-nightly ‘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:

  • measurement (location and transformation – mapping)
  • number and algebra (all four operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)
  • statistics and probability (data interpretation and representation)

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 a Physical Science unit called ‘Smooth Moves’. Students will formulate and investigate questions such as: Why do balls roll? Why do apples fall from trees? Why do some things slide across ice but not on carpet? What makes our bikes stop when we brake? They will discover that we use all types of forces including friction, gravity and pushes and pulls when we move and exercise. They will work in small collaborative groups throughout this unit, encouraging them to share their knowledge and expertise with each other.

 Integrated Studies

Our Term 1 Integrated Studies unit is the Albert Park Primary School Learner. Students will be unpacking the Albert Park Way (our 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 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 use their child’s diary to communicate important information to their teacher, such as to request a time for a meeting. Students are required to bring them to school each day and home each night. They are checked daily. Please note that absences still require a form to be filled out and handed into the office for processing.


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. 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.

Students will receive their Reading Goal from their teacher shortly. In the meantime, your child should start practising their reading to build their stamina up to 10 minutes. Logins for Mathletics and Soundwaves will be provided shortly.

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.

Camp Rumbug

From Monday 19th February to Wednesday 21st February, students will attend Camp Rumbug in Foster North. An optional information session will be held on Tuesday 6th February (5.15pm-5.30pm in Karly’s room) for families, where we will provide more details about what to expect whilst on camp.

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.

Tuesday 6 February  Open Classrooms 4.30 - 5.15, Camp information session for parents 5.15 - 5.30, Welcome Picnic - 5.30 onwards

Monday 19 to Wednesday 21 February - Grade 4 Camp at Camp Rumbug, Foster North

Friday 23 February - District Swimming trials

Wednesday 28 February - District Swimming Competition (selected students from trials)

Monday 12 March - Labour Day Public Holiday

Tuesday 13 March - Curriculum Day - No School for Students

Thursday 15 March - Socks and Chocs Day - donation of chocolates for the Fete - wear bright socks

Saturday 17 March - APPS Fete

Monday 19 March - eSmart Week

Tuesday 20 March - Ride2School Day

Wednesday 21 March - Harmony Day

Tuesday 27 March - School Photos

Wednesday 28 March - Parent Teacher Interviews 1.30 - 6.30pm

Thursday 29 March - Last day of term - school finishes at 2.30 - casual clothes day.