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Accelerated Reader & Accelerated Math

Accelerated Reader (AR) and Accelerated Math (AM) are two school-wide programs that allow students to progress in each subject area at their own speed. During AR time, students select a book that is at their own specific reading range. Each book in our classroom library is labeled. When students are finished reading their books, they will take a short quiz on the computer to determine how much of the book was understood. Each book has a point value determined by the book’s size. Small books are generally worth 0.5 points, whereas chapter books can range from 1.0 points to 5.0+ points. In fourth grade, 0.5 points per day is required for an “A” grade. This is equivalent to one small AR book each day or 1-2 chapter books per week. AR constitutes 20% of a student’s total reading grade. We follow a general progression when selecting books so as to have practice with all types of reading: fiction, then non-fiction, and then a chapter book.

During Accelerated Math, students complete pages of math work at their own level. They show all their work, bubble their answers onto a scan card, scan it, and immediately find out whether or not they have mastered a particular topic. If they have, they will be automatically moved onto the next subject. If students successfully master all fourth grade objectives, they will be given the opportunity to continue into fifth grade math. Struggling students will be given the ability to work at their own speed and at lower levels, practicing each topic until fully mastered, so as to not skip ahead to even harder endeavors without basic math essentials.

Homework Folders & Planners

Each homework folder has two sides: “Return to School” (homework and papers to be returned to school) and “Keep at Home” (graded work and papers to come home and stay there). These folders are to be kept in good condition and should be well organized. Parents, please open and review the contents of your child’s homework folder on a daily basis.

Students fill in their planners each afternoon in class. These planners are to be viewed nightly and possibly initialed by a parent/guardian (if requested due to inconsistent homework return).

Online Edit: Don’t forget about our Homework List link at the top of the site! Our Twitter name is Room36Homework, or you can simply check the page each day.

Missing Assignment Slips

Missing Assignment Slips are attached to any late homework assignment. They are to be filled out by the student, signed by a parent, and returned the next day with the COMPLETED assignment. Completed assignments returned the next day with a signed slip are still given full credit. There is no academic penalty. Slips returned without the completed assignment are not given credit.

If your student brings home a missing assignment slip, please sit down and discuss with them the importance of staying on task and on time. Fourth grade is an incredible transition, both socially and academically. Missing assignment slips are used as a means of parent-teacher communication to ensure that students quickly form healthy homework habits. If your student is bringing home these slips, more care must be taken to check your child’s planner and homework folder nightly. This is the easiest means of staying on track. Check off your child’s assignments after they have been completed and shown to you. An acceptable number of missing assignment slips would be considered one or two per month.

Homework Space & Supplies

Having a steady, quiet homework space can make all the difference for a child. It encourages focusing on the task at hand and allows the time and space needed to do so. Suggested supplies for your child’s homework space include pencils and sharpener, binder paper (to show all math and spelling work), colored pencils, an Ultra Fine Sharpie, and a glue stick. Generally speaking, your child will have the following homework nightly: 30 minutes of reading followed by the completion of his/her handwriting packet, and two papers of subject work.

Any supplies that are taken home (textbooks, composition notebooks, reading books, coloring supplies, etc.) must always be returned the next day. They will be used in class daily.

Fourth Grade Success

Need the short version? Here are the Top 3 Tips for a successful school year!

#1 – Read, read, read (and take the AR Quiz!).
#2 – Know your multiplication facts!
#3 – Turn in all your homework on time! 

If you can manage this consistently, everything else will fall into place!


If your child is absent, he/she will have one extra day (for each absent day) to make up the work missed. It is important that your child miss as few school days as possible. If your child is absent, please make an effort to pick up your child’s work at the end of the day as opposed to waiting until the next morning. Thank you.

Progress Reports

Progress Reports are generally sent home every three weeks. They must be signed and returned the following day. As we are currently transitioning to a new grading program, the first progress reports may be a bit delayed this year. These reports keep parents up-to-date on their student’s work and let me know if information is making its way home. Student papers are returned on an almost nightly basis (check the “Keep at Home” side of your student’s homework folder).

Behavior Expectations

1.    Be respectful
2.    Be safe
3.    Be responsible
4.    Be productive

We use a clip chart to monitor our choices. Each day, students start out on green. Good choices will enable students to move up and poor choices will cause them to move down. Each student has the opportunity to reverse the day’s direction.

Please visit the above URL for classroom updates, helpful homework links, note sheets, review practice, spelling lists, parent tips, school calendar, photos, academic standards, book club ordering, educational computer games, and more! Return often!

2014-2015 Printable Packet (English)

2014-2015 Printable Packet (Spanish)

3 Key Ideas for Parents About the Common Core

Why Can’t I Skip My 20 Minutes of Reading Tonight?

Why Third Grade Is So Important: The ‘Matthew Effect’

What’s Cooking with the Common Core in California? (video)

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?