At Hamline Elementary, we have two fourth grade classrooms. Class size is approximately 24 students per classroom. Our student body is diverse with many native languages and cultures. We also have 2 ELL teachers to support this grade level.
In reading, we follow the MONDO curriculum that was recently adopted by the District. In this curriculum, there is continuing practice of core reading strategies. These reading strategies consist of comprehension monitoring, determining important ideas, making inferences, making connections, asking questions, visualizing, summarizing and synthesizing, and understanding text structure. Students receive individualized reading instruction in small groups and are expected to read independently both at school and at home on a daily basis.
In math, we follow the Everyday Math curriculum. We introduce the year with a unit on geometry and follow that with organizing and interpreting data in the form of graphs and tables. Throughout the year, there is an emphasis on multiplication and division. We also look at decimals and fractions and percents, big numbers, estimation, perimeter and area, reflections and symmetry, and measurement.
Our writing curriculum is the Writer’s Workshop model. Students keep a Writer’s Notebook where they focus on the writing process. Throughout the year, we study a variety of writing genres. There are several writing projects that culminate in a published piece. This year we will use iPads to publish our writing!
Our Social Studies focus is on the five main regions of the United States and also on Minnesota History. We use the African Americans In Minnesota text to launch our Minnesota History study, and incorporate information about how the fur trade, the Native Americans, and the European settlers influenced the development of our state. We visit the Mill City Museum and Fort Snelling to provide a hands-on learning opportunity that enhances our classroom lessons.
We have two rotations of specialists: science and enrichment in social studies and art. The Science curriculum studies the water cycle, magnets and electricity, ideas and inventions, engineering design, and measurement. We also cover the systems the help a human body function and we take a brief look at astronomy.
Computer skills are an important part of becoming prepared for today’s society. Students visit our computer lab to learn to navigate a wide variety of software programs as well as to supplement classroom learning through research activities. We have a classroom set of ipads that students use on a daily basis.
Physical education teaches important skills for healthy, lifelong habits and provides an opportunity for students to learn about different sports and games. We have physical education 3 times a week.