Teaching Literacy in Fourth Grade

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Fourth grade is a momentous year for literacy learning. Having left the primary grades behind, students must grapple with more demanding texts and content material--and effective, motivating instruction can help them succeed. This book helps teachers vanquish the dreaded "fourth-grade slump" by creating an energized and organized learning environment in which all students can improve their reading and writing strategies. Taking readers into the classroom of an exemplary fourth-grade teacher, the book includes useful assessment tools, differentiation techniques, mini lessons, unit plans, reproducibles, and examples of student work. Special attention is given to meeting the challenges of high-stakes testing without sacrificing instructional quality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The developmental characteristics that make fourth graders unique are clearly articulated in this book. Johnson knows fourth graders and the literacy challenges they face. She offers practical suggestions for instruction, focusing on good pedagogy over test preparation, on the integration of nonfiction texts, and on authentic classroom assessments. Novice teachers of fourth-grade students will find a wealth of information."--Linda T. Parsons, PhD, School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University at Marion

"What a wonderful text! Not only do you learn about teaching literacy for the fourth-grade level, but you learn about the whole student who is a fourth grader. This is an important and helpful book for teachers of younger children, too, who want to prepare them for that next step."--John Scovill, Jr., MEd, teacher, Washington County School District, St. George, Utah

"Johnson has a clear understanding of the emotional and instructional needs of fourth graders. This book is well organized, beginning with a broad look at fourth-grade children and teaching standards, then narrowing to a focus on individual classrooms and individual learners. Johnson takes a balanced literacy stance, sharing information and examples that help teachers understand how to provide authentic instruction that will bring enjoyment and rigor to their fourth-grade literacy programs. The chapter on assessment is particularly strong, and the book's focus on differentiation is right on!"--Debbie Rickards, PhD, instructional coordinator, Shreve Island Elementary School, Shreveport, Louisiana

"In Teaching Literacy in Fourth Grade, Johnson offers a coherent and richly detailed example of high-quality instruction for upper-elementary students. The book provides an array of theoretically sound practices, emphasizing that significant opportunities to read and write in language arts class and across the school day are what matters most in fourth grade. Preservice teachers will find this text exceptionally readable and engaging."--Gay Ivey, PhD, College of Education, James Madison University

Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
This excellent entry in the "Tools for Teaching Literacy" series is for fourth grade teachers. It provides thorough coverage of the needs and characteristics of the typical fourth grader and the objectives of literacy education in that grade. Topics such as high stakes testing and the fourth grade slump are covered, and examples of strategies for successfully navigating through those challenges are provided. An overview page describes the contents of each chapter, making it easier for teachers to find help in a hurry. Standards are discussed and integrated into the suggestions in each chapter. The strategies are supported by evidence and tied to the standards. There is a chapter that covers setting up a classroom to encourage literacy, one on getting to know the students and one on diversity in the classroom, both in learning styles and in ethnic/cultural differences. Tips for creating a successful learning environment appear throughout the book. Each chapter ends with a reading list, not only of references used in writing the chapter, but also of children's books that can be used to teach in the content areas. The last chapter is a list and description of resources that teachers can seek. While it targets new teachers, this is a resource that fourth grade teachers everywhere will welcome. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593857523
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/23/2008
  • Series: Tools for Teaching Literacy
  • Pages: 182
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Johnson, EdD, is Associate Professor of Reading Education at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She has worked as an elementary classroom teacher, a middle school reading specialist, and a Reading Recovery teacher. Her research interests include literacy, children's literature, and the integration of technology into literacy instruction.  

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Table of Contents

1. What Is the Fourth-Grade Child Like?

2. Knowing What to Teach in Fourth Grade

3. Setting Up the Classroom Environment for Literacy Learning

4. Getting to Know Your Students

5. Differentiating Instruction for Diverse Learners

6. A Week in a Fourth-Grade Classroom

7. Developing Home-School Partnerships That Help Children Learn

8. Resources and More

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