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A Day in the Life of a Fourth Grader

In 4th grade students work to increase their independence and knowledge of many subject areas! Students start the day with greetings from teachers and classmates and time to prepare their materials for the day before completing a short morning assignment–math, reading, cursive or poetry. We gather on the carpet for a morning meeting to center ourselves around what the day holds. We review our schedule, clarify expectations, share funny stories or artifacts from our lives and discuss and analyze the poem of the week. During math workshop, students may participate in a math talk with the whole group, work in a small group with a teacher, or with a math partner to discuss a math task or play a game. Teachers check in with students frequently to look at their work, discuss thinking and give opportunities to share new ideas about math with the class. Fourth graders then attend specialist classes such as movement, music, P.E., art and FEAST. During writer’s workshop, students learn new writing strategies from teachers and the other students before setting off to work on their own projects. We write personal narrative, realistic fiction, persuasive pieces and informative projects. On a given day, a student may be researching, drafting, completing an editing checklist or meeting in a conference about their writing with a teacher or peer. After a long morning of learning, it’s time for a break! Students spend time outside for recess and then eat lunch in the lunchroom. A song or game may greet students as they transition back to the classroom to finish out the day with reader’s workshop. Students settle into their independent books all wherever they feel cozy and focused! Teachers circulate to read with students and talk about their books. Often the class will gather to discuss a common text and glue reference sheets about new reading strategies into their literature notebooks. Before you know it, it’s time to fill out reading logs, jot down homework assignments in student planners and pack up for dismissal. On other days, there are blocks of time devoted to science labs, common texts focused on social studies learning, word study, typing practice and digital citizenship. There’s so much going on in 4th grade!