Shipley's Choice Fourth Grade

Mrs. Nelson and Mrs James

Shining Shark

Who will be our first shining shark(s) of the year?

Reading and Writing

Explicit Comprehension: The goal of Explicit Comprehension is to build students’ toolboxes with a variety of comprehension strategies. During this block, mini-lessons follow a gradual release model; the teacher models the strategy with a current or previously read Interactive Read Aloud text, then students engage in guided practice of the strategy. At the conclusion of the mini-lesson, students independently apply the strategy to an on-grade level text. ​We are currently working with narrative text to identify/support themes and understand characters' points of view.

Interactive Read Aloud: In addition to several short stories, the students have been highly-engaged in the book, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. This rich historical fiction text addresses the need to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships within a family or culture. The characters in this text show how clear communication and cooperation with others enables them to build relationships. Be sure to ask your child what is happening in this story...they will be happy to share!

Writing: During the months of September and October, we have been focusing on narrative writing. In unit 1, The Arc of the Story, ​students have been writing realistic fiction stories with believable characters. We have learned how to peer edit, and have come to understand the 5 elements of plot (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). The students have also been practicing their typing skills by publishing their writing using Google Docs.

Common Core State Standards: Reading Literacy, Informational Text. Foundational Skills


Unit 4-Using Multiplication and Division Strategies with Larger Numbers

The goal of unit 4 is to relate student experiences with multiplication and division to multi-digit numbers using multiple strategies This includes building an understanding with manipulatives then making connections to the area model and partial products strategies .

Big Takeaways

  • Multiplication of a multi-digit factor by a one-digit factor and a a two-digit factor by a two-digit factor.
  • Partial products are used to multiply a multi-digit factor by a one-digit factor (decomposing one or both factors).
  • Multiplication and division have an inverse relationship.
  • Represent multi-digit division (up to four-digit dividends by one-digit divisors) with models and drawings that include remainders.
  • Mental math and estimation is used to determine the reasonableness of an answer.

Skill Focus-Using Multiple Strategies to create a deep understanding of multiplication and division

  • creating visual models to show multiplication (arrays, base ten blocks, area, partial products) and division (arrays, base ten blocks, area, partial quotients).
  • using the properties of multiplication/division.
  • explaining the strategy used to solve a multiplication or division problem
  • writing equations to model a multiplication or division problem

Important Vocabulary

Commutative Property of Multiplication, Distributive Property of Multiplication over Addition, equal groups, equation, factor, Identity Property of Multiplication, partial, product, place value, rectangular array, strategy, dividend, divisor, remainder, quotient


First in Math


Focus Standards-4.NBT.B.5, 4.NBT.B.6 & 4.OA.A.3

Common Core State Standards: Mathematics

Video Links for the standards above.




Unit 1: Structures for Survival

Exploratory Question 3-How do the structures of animals help them survive in their habitats?

Topics- Internal and external structures of animals that function to support survival, growth, behavior.

Social Studies

Unit 1: Exploration and Discovery

Exploratory Question 2-How does exploration result in discovery?

Topics-Characteristics of an Explorer, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gamam Ferdinand Magellan, Leif Erikson, Christopher Columbus

Just Be Patient

This month's focus is to just be patient. The fourth graders enjoyed watching the Marshmallow Test and gauging their own ability to be patient.