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Welcome to your students

fourth grade classroom!

I am so happy to have you here!

I know we are going to have a fabulous year

of learning and discovering together!

My teaching philosophy
I believe that every child is unique and has special gifts and
My goal is to build a positive and nurturing learning
environment in which students feel accepted, confident,
independent, and open to taking risks in a classroom
I believe in data-driven, research-based instruction that lends
itself to differentiation to meet all of my students needs.
I also believe in presenting material in a variety of ways
direct instruction, individualized and small group instruction,
critical problem solving, peer collaboration, student-lead
instruction, self-discovery, etc.
As 21st century learners, students will increasingly use
technology to enhance their learning.

Our Schedule

8:45-9:15 - Morning Work

9:15-10:10 - Math
10:10-11:00 Writing
11:00- 11:45 - Specials
11:45 12:30 - Literacy
12:30-1:00 - Lunch
1:00-1:30 - Recess
1:30 2:50 - Literacy
2:50 3:30 Social Studies/Science/STEM

The Daily 5/CAFE

Research-based, effective structure for
literacy block
Made up of teacher mini-lessons and
independent blocks in which students to do one
of the following:
Read to Self
Read to Someone/Listen to Reading
Word Work (Words Their Way spelling program/Wordly
Work on Writing

Small strategy group instruction and individual


Essential Learning in 4th Grade: ELA

Students will
Interact with informational and literary texts
Infer using text evidence
Summarize and focus on main ideas
Compare and contrast various types of text
Write personal and imaginative narratives,
informational essays, and opinion or
persuasive writing essays
Focus on writing structure, support, and
elements of style

Essential Learning in 4th Grade:

Three critical areas:
1) Multiplication and Division
2) Fractions
3) Geometry
Conceptual understanding v. traditional, rote
learning and algorithms

Essential Learning in 4th Grade:

Social Studies
Students will
Examine geographic and historic
development of North Carolina.
Analyze the diverse groups and their
contributions to the development of North
Learn about American Indians, government,
economy, and historical American conflicts
Compare current issues with historical

Essential Learning in 4th Grade:

The focus for fourth grade students is
to analyze systems and learn how
systems work.
o Composition and Uses of Rocks and
o Magnetism and Electricity
o Landforms
o Animal Behavior and Adaptation

Classroom Management
Mills Park is a PBIS school (Positive Behavior
Intervention Support)
I practice positive reinforcement constantly with
my students. We love paws!
I recognize the class for going above and beyond.
Surprise rewards are always a possibility
Each week, students will start with 10 paws, they
may earn more and may loose theirs based on
their actions. They are given a verbal warning
first and the second time they will loose a paw.
Paws are counted at the end of the week and are
added up to earn rewards.
If a student is having a hard time, I take them
aside and have a conversation with them.
I treat my students with respect, just as I expect
them to treat others with respect.

Positive attitude

Standards Based Grading



Level 4 -


Student consistently demonstrates

an in-depth understanding of the
standards, concepts, and skills
taught during this reporting period.

Level 3 -


Student consistently demonstrates

an understanding of the standards,
concepts, and skills taught during
this reporting period.

Level 2

Approaching Proficiency

Student is approaching an
understanding of the standards,
concepts, and skills taught during
this reporting period.

Level 1 Non-Proficiency

Student does not yet demonstrate

an understanding of the standards,
concepts, and skills taught during
this reporting period.

Work Habits and Conduct



Level 3

Meets expectations

Level 2

Inconsistently meets expectations

Level 1

Does not meet expectations

Reading homework is the only mandatory
homework for this year. They need to read each
night and have a parent initial on the form.
Math homework is a project that they may work
on in class. It is a real life situation where they
will be using their skills taught in the unit. If
this project is completed, they will receive 3
extra paws.
This year Id like students to really use their
homework time to explore the world and
build their background knowledge.

What instead of
Play cards and board games
Scrabble (spelling)
Monopoly (economics)
Chess, Checkers, Clue, Sorry (strategies)
**Cartwheel app for Target. Lots of sales around

See my class website to check

out local free events and
volunteer opportunities to do
with the family!

How can I help?

Read EVERY night
o Listen to your student read aloud as
much as possible!

Ask your student open ended

questions about the material they
Practice basic multiplication &
division facts.

Wake County requires all classroom
volunteers to register with them.
Registration requires a background check
and should be done PRIOR to any
classroom volunteering.
If registering, apply for a level 4. This will allow you to
volunteer for both in class and out of class activities
(field trips).
All volunteers must register by October 31.

Contact Information
If you have questions and/or concerns
AG Programs please contact Dyane
Barnett at dbarnett@wcpss.net

Personal Contact
Kathryn Lusk
Email address:

Thank you for coming to Open House!