GRADE FOUR CURRICULUM LETTER

SJI International Elementary School, Singapore

EXISTING, ENDANGERED, EXTINCT

LIVING THINGS
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CHRISTMAS TERM, WEEK 13

Dear Parents,

Our concluding unit for this term focuses on 'Living Things'. The children will be learning how every single living species is uniquely adapted to its life on Earth, and that includes us, humans. From tiny tadpoles to giant squid, living things exist in an amazing variety of forms. Together, we are going to learn how scientists sort, identify and classify the 1.7 million species living today.


You can help your child with this unit by pointing out the enormous variety of plants and animals that inhabit the Earth, and how each is uniquely adapted to its surroundings. Find out how changes in the environment can affect living things.


If you child has some work to research, please help them, but without actually doing the work. If you have the chance to further their interest in the ideas of this theme please take it, but your enthusiasm and interest is most important.


Our Grade Four Personal Goal for this unit is Adaptability.

In Science, we'll be finding out:

  • How and why living things are classified
  • How a vertebrate and an invertebrate are different
  • How to classify local plants and animals
  • About the effects of food chains in our locality
  • About friendly and unfriendly micro-organisms
  • How fungi are different from plants and animals
  • Why composting is good for the environment

In International, we'll be finding out:

How the international community can protect endangered species.

Key Learning Goals to be Assessed

Science 3.2b: Be able to choose an appropriate way to investigate a scientific issue.


Science 3.2c: Be able to make systematic and accurate measurements from their observations.


International 3.5: Be able to identify how the lives of people in one country or group are affected by the activities of other countries or groups.

Language Arts

In Writer's Workshop, "Slice of Life" is our genre focus. Slice of life pieces are about topics of interest in people's everyday lives: family, friends, work, love, loss, and so on, but they're not stories per se. Usually written from a first-person stance, the intention in slice-of-life writing seems to be simply to share these stories and bits of life with others who might be interested because, well, they live too!

Primary Goals:

1. STRUCTURE

Each child knows (and demonstrates in their writing) how to write about a significant, everyday life topic in a personal way.

2. COMPOSITION

Each child is able to write a Slice-of-Life piece with a message for a chosen audience.

Secondary Goals:

1. CONVENTION GOAL

Students will use apostrophes for possession and contractions / omissions.

Students will write in paragraphs to signify a change in topic.

2. WRITING QUALITY GOAL

Students will write different types of sentences for effect.

Students will organize their writing in a way that makes it both logical and engaging for the reader.

3. REVISION GOAL

Students show evidence of taking out less important details.

4. EDITING GOAL

Students will edit accurately for punctuation, spelling and grammar.

Mathematics

Fractions

· To recognize and name fractions as part of a set of objects

· To calculate the product of a proper fraction and a whole number

· To solve up to 2-step word problems involving fractions

Angles

· To estimate size of angles and measure angles in degrees using a protractor

· To associate ¼ turn /right angle with 90 degrees

· To associate ½ turn with 180 degrees

· To tell direction in relation to the 8-point compass

· To draw a given angle using a protractor

Perpendicular and Parallel Lines

· To identify vertical and horizontal lines

· To use set squares to check for perpendicular lines

· To identify perpendicular lines drawn on grid papers

· To use a set-square to draw a line perpendicular to a given line

· To use a protractor to draw a line perpendicular to a given line

· To identify parallel lines

· To check for parallel lines using a ruler and set-squares

· To draw parallel lines using a ruler and set-squares

Art

In Art the children will be linking to the classroom unit titled Existing, Endangered, Extinct. We will be using observation to create technical illustrations of animals. Children will become knowledgeable about the work of scientific artists who visually communicate the structure and specific details of biological subjects. To help with this project, we will develop skills in technical drawing, rendering of details and use of pen and watercolour.

Music

Grade 4 – Music – ‘Musicians and their Instruments’

In this Unit we will discover about some famous musicians and the instruments associated with them, e.g., Yo Yo Ma and the Cello, Nigel Kennedy and the Violin, Lang Lang and the piano. The pupils will gain some insight into the lives of these musicians and enjoy some selected audio and video recordings of their performances. This Unit will help pupils to gain a positive outlook to learning and playing musical instruments and it will also enhance their performance skills.

In this Unit, the following will be included:

  • How to play tuned and unturned instruments with control
  • How to use these instruments appropriately as an accompaniment to a piece
  • Performing to an audience as a soloist and/or in an ensemble
  • Performing their own instruments in the Class Concert

ICT

In ICT we will be continuing a unit titled ‘Online Mapping’. We will be using StepMap to explore, create and customise our own maps.


Children will become knowledgeable about:


  • Different types of maps, map scales and map symbols
  • Reading grid references and identifying coordinates
  • The tools on StepMap


To help us with this project, we will develop the technical skills of:


  • Working with map layers
  • Plotting data and symbols on to a map
  • Adding descriptions, links, images and videos to make the map interactive

PE

In PE Grade 4 students will be taking part in Gymnastics, Scottish Dance and Swimming.


In Gymnastics students will:

  • perform gym skills with control and coordination
  • plan their own performance in a gym sequence
  • identify the features of a good performance
  • evaluate their own performance


In Scottish Dance students will:

  • perform 4 basic Scottish dance routines with control and coordination
  • use timing to control movements
  • learn and repeat sequences
  • observe and improve own performance through observation and repetition


In Swimming students will:

  • continue to develop stroke techniques
  • show coordination and consistency
  • use analysis to improve own and other performance

Chinese

Welcome to Singapore

· Simple description of weather

· Learn about the population of Singapore

· Learn about the varieties of local food

· Learn about the places of interest

My Day

· Learn how to express time in Chinese

· Simple description of daily activities

· Simple description of weekend activities

· Name different kinds of activities and associated places

Home Learning

Weekly home learning projects will continue throughout this unit and can be found on the Grade 4 Gazette at the end of each week. Homework tasks for Week 14 can be found at the end of this curriculum letter.


If your child has some work to research, please help them, but without actually doing the work. If you have the chance to further their interest in the ideas of this theme please take it, but your enthusiasm and interest is most important.

Home Learning for the Week Ahead - Christmas Term Week 14

Please seek permission from your parents or caregiver at home, before attempting to access any given websites shown.

Mathematics

Unit 3: Fractions

Shaping Maths Activity Book 4A Part 1

Mon - Pages 81 & 82

Tue - Page 83

Wed - Page 84

Thu - Pages 85 & 86

…remember to practice your multiplication tables every day!

Unit of Work: Existing, Endangered, Extinct

Endangered Animal Research Project

Endangered animals are animals who have become so rare that they face extinction.
Your home learning task is to choose an endangered animal to research and present a project on. As part of your project you will need to explain the reasons why your chosen animal has become endangered and what steps, if any, are being done to save your animal from extinction.


Websites you may find useful for this research project are:


http://kidsplanet.org/factsheets/map.html


http://www.bagheera.com/inthewild/vanishing.htm


http://www.kidskonnect.com/subjectindex/13-categories/animals/29-engangered-anumals.html

Virtue of the Week: Tact

Tact is telling the truth in a way that does not disturb or offend people. It is knowing what to say and what is better left unsaid. Being tactful is sharing your news with others in a way that makes it easier for them to accept it.


Tact is thinking before you speak. Being tactful means knowing when to stay silent.

Coming Up

Tues 18th Nov - 4GTr and 4DPi Field Trip to Sentosa Nature Discovery

Weds 19th Nov - Grade 4 Chinese Open Lessons

Thurs 20th Nov - 4SDa and SBa Field Trip to Sentosa Nature Discovery

Wed 26th Nov - Optional Chinese Parent Teacher Conferences

Sat 29th Nov - Christmas Fair

Fri 12th Dec - Christmas Term Ends

Your Grade 4 Teaching Team

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