Teaching Literacy in Fourth Grade  book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Literacy in Fourth Grade

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ISBN 9781593857516
Published June 30, 2008 by Guilford Press
182 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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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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.  


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