Welcome to 4th Grade!
Meet Mrs. McCullough
Mrs. McCullough (formerly known as Ms. Spangler) is an alumna of St. John Neumann. She began in 1997 (the first year the school opened) and attended through eighth grade. After SJN, she attended Knoxville Catholic High School. While at Catholic, she was a member of the pep band and was active on the school’s basketball and softball teams.
While attending the University of Tennessee, she played the trumpet in the Pride of the Southland Band. She knew she had a passion for working with kids and wanted to pursue a career in Education. After graduating with a Bachelors in Psychology, she attended Lincoln Memorial University and earned a Masters Degree in Elementary Education.
Mrs. McCullough has worked in our BAC program since 2014. She has also taught in public schools and at a charter school in Knox County.
When Mrs. McCullough is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as cooking with her husband, refinishing furniture and decorating, reading a good book, and spending her free days at the barn with her horse. She loves UT football games, chocolate, and the color blue.
Mrs. McCullough is looking forward to all the fun she and her students will be having in fourth grade this year!
What We're Learning This Year
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: Fourth grade students are 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.