Grade 4

TERM 3 2018

Welcome to Term 3 2018! What an exciting term we’ve got ahead of us!

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


As we continue into third 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 3, 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 3 we will begin by studying Information Reports and Poetry. 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 3:

  • Measurement and Geometry: Time
  • Number and Algebra- Place Value
  • Number and Algebra- Multiplication and Division

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 Among the Gum Trees. This is a biological science unit in which the students will be studying the following topics: Eucalypts- identifying eucalypts, the life cycle, what they need to survive, animals that are found on eucalyptus. Fruits and Seeds - identifying that fruits contain seeds, investigating germination. The term will end with students applying their knowledge of native plant and animal life to finding and mapping these species in our schoolyard.

Integrated Studies

This term our integrated studies focus is on History, with the unit titled The First Fleet and Convict Life. Students will be learning about the conditions in England that led to the voyage, Captain Cook’s discovery of the Southern lands, The First Fleet, convict life, life in the penal colony, contact with first peoples, and studying individual convicts.

Students will be able to explain how and why life changed in the past, and identify aspects of the past that remained the same. We will be utilising various sources of information, books and personal accounts from different individuals perspectives. Toward the end of our unit students will be working in a small group or pair to make a presentation to demonstrate their learning of the topic.

Bounce Back

Our Term 3 Bounce Back unit is ‘CHAMP’ (Success)’. Thinking like a CHAMP requires you to work hard, challenge yourself and keep working hard to achieve something, even when it is challenging. The CHAMP Acronym we are referring to is..

Challenge yourself, set a goal and make a plan.

Have a go! Take a risk!

Always look for and use your strengths.

Mistakes help you to learn. Don’t be afraid to make them.

Persist and put in effort. Don’t give up.

McGrath and Noble, pg 176 2011

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 regularly for updated calendar events and possible date changes.

Monday 23rd July (weeks 2-7)- Drama

APPS Has Got Talent- Wednesday 25th July

Friday 27th July- National Tree Day

Thursday 2nd August- Jump Rope for Heart

Friday 3rd August- Silly Hat Day

Tuesday 7th August- French Day/Ride2School Day - theme is Tour de France

Wednesday 8th August- District Athletics- (Selected Students)

Thursday 9th August- Student Led Conferences- 4.00-7.30 pm

Friday 10th August- Student Led conferences- 8.00-12.30 pm

Monday 13th August- Curriculum Day- (No school for students)

Tuesday 21st August- Parent Wellbeing Evening

Wednesday 22nd August- Hooptime

Friday 31st August- Blokes Breakfast

Friday 7th September- Division Athletics (Selected Students)

Friday 7th September- APPS- Family Dance Night

Tuesday 11th September- Leigh Hobbs- Author/ Illustrator

Friday 14th September- Literacy Day- Dress Up and parade at 9am.

Friday 21st September- End of Term- Free Dress Day- Friday June- Assembly at 2pm. School finishes at 2.30pm