Welcome to 4th grade!

Meet Mrs. Preskenis

It’s hard to believe that I moved to Knoxville a little over 25 years ago as it has always felt like “home”. After telling my husband that I would consider “only one more move”  I have never regretted the move nor looked back. I came to St. John Neumann 20 years ago at the request of our then principal Sr. Mary Janice Brink. Over the years I have taught 4-6th grade, primarily 5th. It has been my pleasure to teach and watch children grow and blossom, not only in my class, but as they continue through the years at SJN and beyond.
In my time away from school I enjoy spending time with family. I have 3 grown children, one daughter who is an SJN alum and now a teacher. My middle daughter, a Catholic alum, is in Social Work in Tuscaloosa, and my oldest, a son, also a Catholic alum,  in Mississippi who has blessed us with our first grandchild—Savannah Grace. I have 2 Springer Spaniels that I compete with in a sport called “nose work”…and 2 cockatiels (1 who can whistle Rocky Top…sort of —mixed in with the Andy Griffith theme song). I enjoy gardening and traveling…and when a respite is needed, My husband and I retreat to our place in Maine where life is indeed serene and slow.

What We Are 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: 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.