Our balanced literacy program at Hatch involves instruction in reading, writing and word study.
We will be teaching reading using Lucy Calkins' Reading Workshop. Fourth graders will build on the skills they learned in third grade by delving into more complex texts. In Unit 1 children study the complexity of characters and themes. Unit 2 invites students to form research teams to investigate topics about extreme weather. In Unit 3, kids explore history while developing their skills in cross-text synthesis, close reading, and evaluating multiple points of view. Finally, in the fourth unit students join historical fiction clubs.
We will be teaching writing using Lucy Calkins' Writer's Workshop. Fourth graders will build on the writing skills they learned in third grade by writing more academic texts. They begin the year writing realistic fiction and learn to develop rich characters and stories. The units then bring students step-by-step toward increasing proficiency with these genres: thesis-driven persuasive essays in unit 2, historical research reports in unit 3, and writing about fiction in literary essays in the final unit.
We will be using the Words Their Way program to teach spelling and vocabulary. This word study approach allows students to learn their words at their individual level of instruction and teaches them how words work. Each week begins with a word sort focus 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.