Welcome to Fourth Grade (4E)

This year, in preparation for the big jump next year, we will be changing classes for 4 subjects—with 2 classroom switches. I will be teaching Math and Social studies, while Mrs. Preskenis will be teaching Literature/English and Science.

Math and Literature will be everyday and Social Studies/Science will be 3 times per week. Attached is a copy of the weekly schedule which varies according to the special area classes in the afternoon. Please be advised that as a self-contained classroom the schedule may be altered to accommodate various changes from the school (extra Masses, pep rallies, speakers etc.) as well as academic needs.

Meet Mr. Eckstein

Steve Eckstein was born and raised on Long Island, New York. While growing up, he enjoyed playing baseball and stick-ball, taking family road trips around the country, and going into the city (New York). After high school, he attended Niagara University for four years, receiving his B.A in education. He then went on to Molloy College to get his M.S.Ed.

After teaching in New York for five years, and suffering through multiple brutal winters, Mr. Eckstein decided to apply to a couple schools in sunny Florida. He knew that with some family and friends down there, it would be an easy transition.

After being hired as a fifth grade teacher and living in Florida for a couple of years, he met his wife Noell. The two married and stayed in FL for another five years. Eventually, they decided it was time for a change. They chose Knoxville, Tennessee (a happy NY/FL medium) as their new home. After living here for just a short while, Mr. Eckstein feels like East Tennessee is an excellent home for him and his wife.

Mr. Eckstein has been at St. John Neumann Catholic School four years and has taught 4th grade, 7th grade, the Technology Lab, and everywhere in between. Mr. Eckstein says he loves the feeling of community and friendship he feels at SJNCS and knows that this school is the perfect fit for him as well.

What We're Learning This Year

Math Curriculum

The fourth grade Math curriculum is an extension of concepts learned in third grade. It takes concepts your child has already learned and extends them. The children take already known concepts and use them in new ways to help them understand how numbers work with each other and interact. The curriculum for fourth grade starts with place value of whole numbers up to the hundred-thousands. It then goes on to Estimation and number theory, and how number theory pertains to understanding concepts in multiplication and division. The students will investigate different types of graphs, and how the graphs can be used to show data and how that data can be analyzed using probability. The students will look at partial numbers by using fractions and decimals including changing between mixed numbers, and improper fractions, and adding and subtracting both fractions and decimal numbers. The last concepts will all deal with different geometric ideas. Students will learn about angles, and lines. How, many lines together make up shapes, and how different shapes have different properties. Students will know how to find area and perimeter of common shapes. Students will finish the year with symmetry and tessellations, and how to manipulate shapes and analyze them.

Social Studies Curriculum

The Social Studies curriculum is a discovery of the American States and Regions. Students investigate the United States, why American culture is the way it is, and how the United States was formed. Students will begin by learning about the regions of the United States. Students should be able to explain different cultural regions and climate regions. Students will also understand how climate affects our lives and helps develop culture to fit that climate. We

will study each region close up, and the differences between them. Towards the end of the year we will discuss history. We will talk about the native people, and the development of the thirteen colonies and their fight for independence. We will also discuss American government and why our government was set up the way it was, and how it works.

Language Arts (ELA)

Journeys is the text series for literature in which the students will read a variety of fictional and informational texts. Oral language, vocabulary, and text based comprehension skills are included in each story lesson. Some target skills included, but are not limited to include, story structure, point of view, cause and effect, analyzing and evaluating, compare and contrasting and more. Our Catholic identity is an important component infused throughout the text.

In addition to reading from the text series, we will read a few trade books in literature groups. The students will assume different roles in these groups, further developing target skills from the curriculum.

ELA would not be complete without grammar and writing. English (grammar) will primarily use the text series from Houghton Mifflin: English. Parts of speech, mechanics and the 6 traits of writing will be the primary focus. Grammar will include skill practice and expand to writing activities demonstrating an understanding of practiced skills. In addition to writing good sentences and paragraphs in English, students will practice writing across the curriculum in science, social studies etc. Longer pieces will take place, one per quarter, focusing on a specific genre. The students will utilize the 6 traits in the process of writing these pieces. Self and Peer evaluations are also an important part of the writing process.

AR: The students will be required to have a total of 7 points per quarter. This is primarily an outside class reading assignment.It will be part of the literature grade for each student with the test scores averaged into the literature grade.


The science series adopted by the school a couple of years ago does not contain a text for 4th and 5th grade. There is a “resource” book shared by both grades to use with the online teacher component and practice book….which will be used in limited form. I will provide the students with information in the form of notes, packets, handouts, labs, and online activities for reinforcement and enrichment.

The curriculum in science for 4th grade includes energy and motion, transfer of energy, structures and functions of living things, wave patterns, information transfer, patterns of Earth’s changing features, natural hazards, and energy from natural resources. With the inquiry approach the students can expect to to participate in many hands on activities. The scientific method will also be heavily reinforced.

Friday Folders come home each Friday. please check and clean out your child’s Friday Folder each week.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to complete the form below.

Specials Schedule

  • Monday
    • Art – 1:00-1:40
    • Spanish – 2:10-2:40
  • Tuesday
    • Mass – K-4th grade
    • PE 1:45-2:25
  • Wednesday
    • Tech 1:00-1:40
    • Spanish 1:45-2:25
  • Thursday
    • Mass – K-8th grade
    • Libary – 1:00-1:40
    • PE – 1:45-2:25
  • Friday
    • Spanish 1:45-2:25

Lunch is from 11:20-11:50 each day.

Send Mr. Eckstein a Message!

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