Reading Workshop

The following components are all a part of the literacy block in 4th grade.  The Daily 5 components are based on the work of Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.

  • Read to Self:  The best way to become a better reader is to practice each day, with books students choose based on their interests and just-right reading level.
  • Read to Someone:  Reading to someone allows for more time to practice strategies, helps students work on fluency and expression, check for understanding, hearing their own voice, and sharing together in our learning community.
  • Listen to Reading:  Students listen to examples of good literature and fluent reading.  Students expand their vocabulary and become better readers.
  • Work on Writing:  Just like reading, the best way to become a better writer is to practice writing each day.
  • Small/Large Group Instruction:  Reading comprehension is taught in whole group, small group, and individually based on the needs of students.
  • Word Study:  see description below

Word Study

Word study is just what it sounds like – a study of words. Students are assessed throughout the year and placed into small groups based on their current spelling ability. Lists will be on a word study PATTERN (example – how prefixes uni-, mono-, -bi change the meaning of a word OR how to add suffixes such as -ion and -ian to base words ending in -t and -ic.)

Words Their Way is a word study approach that Northfield Public Schools has adopted.  It allows students to learn their spelling words at their individual level of instruction and teaches them how words work. It is a new approach to teaching spelling. Every Monday we will begin with a word sort in which students will learn to sort, compare and contrast word features in each category, make discoveries, become more fluent readers, and increase their vocabulary through word meanings. In addition to the learning about word patterns, students will be required to master four high frequency words each week.  Students move through weekly word study patterns and activities with a word sort assessment on Fridays.The assessment on Fridays will include six words that fit the pattern your child has been working with throughout the week along with four high frequency words.



Each of the 12 units in the “Everyday Mathematics” curriculum presents the following eight strands:  algebra and use of variables; data and chance; geometry and spatial sense; measures and measurement; numeration and order; patterns, functions and sequences; operations; and references frames.  The parent/guardian letter sent home at the beginning of each unit will be very helpful as you assist your student with daily math homework.  The units are listed below.

Unit 1:   Naming & Constructing Geometric Figures

  Unit 2:   Using Numbers & Organizing Data

  Unit 3:   Multiplication & Division; Number Sentences

  & Algebra

  Unit 4: Decimals & Their Uses

  Unit 5:   Big Numbers, Estimation, & Computation

  Unit 6:    Division; Map References Frames; Measures of


  Unit 7:   Fractions & Their Uses; Chance & Probability

  Unit 8:   Perimeter & Area

  Unit 9: Percents

  Unit 10: Reflections & Symmetry

  Unit 11: 3-Dimensional Shapes, Weight, Volume, & Capacity

  Unit 12: Rate

We are using a web-based program called XtraMath in place of Rocket Math.  It allows for individualized practice and tracking of progress.  Students will begin with multiplication and move onto division.  You will be receiving information about accessing this free program at home during the first week of school.



Matter:  The investigation of liquids, solids and gases

Body Systems:   The Six major body systems will be taught:  skeletal, muscular, digestive, circulatory, respiratory and nervous

Electricity and Magnetism:Understanding how energy is transformed and appears in a variety of forms

Rocks, Minerals and Fossils:  Identify rocks, minerals and fossils and their formations

Water Cycle: How water moves through the cycle of land and air



Geography:  North America:  U.S. regions; physical features of the North America, various types of maps

Civic Skills:  How people take action to influence decisions on a specific issue, types of government, major roles and responsibilities of elected and appointed leaders in the community, state and nation

Economics:  productivity of a resource and describe ways to increase it,  markets as any place or manner in which buyers and sellers interact to make exchanges, prices as payments of money for items exchanged in markets



A pod of six iPads will be used in each classroom. Students will also utilize the computers in each of our individual classrooms and in the computer lab.  Technology will be integrated into the classroom experience throughout the school day.

Keyboarding:  Students will have a 5 week unit to learn proper typing techniques and will work toward increasing their speed and accuracy. 




These classes will be taught by specialists as noted below:

  • Art:  Ms. Ness
  • Music:  Mrs. Fischer
  • Physical Education:  Mr. Jaynes and Mr. Pietsch
  • Media:  Mrs. Hehr



Responsive Classroom is the foundation of our community building at Sibley Elementary.  Social skills taught through Morning Meeting include; cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.  The Responsive Classroom model helps teachers nurture a sense of belonging, significance, and emotional safety so that students feel comfortable taking risks and working with a variety of peers.


Students have the opportunity to join choir and orchestra in 4th grade.  Choir meets during the school day.  Students meet once a week with Mrs. Fischer to learn songs and perform at two concerts throughout the year.  If a child chooses to join choir, he/she does not miss classroom instruction. Orchestra meets before on Mondays beginning at 7:30 a.m.  Weekly lessons are held during the school day and are taught by Mrs. Kruger.



Birthdays are important to children, and we want to celebrate your child on his/her special day.  Your child’s teacher will provide a birthday bag along with a fun video birthday song to help celebrate the special day.  Our entire grade level has decided to no longer allow celebratory foods or gifts to share with classmates.  Out of our concern for childhood nutrition, allergies, and creating fairness for all students is our reason for making this decision.



Modeling of correct formation of cursive letters will be demonstrated in class.  Students will be expected to complete practice at home.  Approximately 4-5 pages of practice will be assigned each week.