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Fourth Grade

Welcome to Grantfork's 4th Grade

Teacher: Terri Lurkins

In first grade, I decided to teach school. While staying home with my children, I taught adult reading and GED preparation through Kaskaskia College’s Reading Link, headed my church’s children and youth programs, served as a 4-H leader, sat on several educational and civic boards, and worked in our family businesses. I continued with these activities when I started college in 1989. I graduated from Greenville College in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and Sociology. In 2010, I earned National Board Certification, which changed my status to Illinois Master Level Educator. Hired to serve as the Highland Middle School Reading Specialist in 1998, I provided reading program for all 7th and 8th grade students for eight years. In August of 2006, I moved to the Highland Primary Guided Reading team as a reading specialist. Beginning in August 2010, I taught 4th grade at Highland Elementary. During the 2013-14 school year I taught 4th grade at New Douglas Elementary and currently teach 4th grade at Grantfork Upper Elementary. Prior to my full-time employment with Highland CUSD 5, I worked in Vandalia and Bond County schools as a behavioral disorder teacher for K - 12, parenting educator for parents of 0 - 3 year olds, Title I, gifted educator, and homebound high school instructor, and spent a semester teaching 5th grade at Highland Elementary.

Mrs. Lurkin's Classroom Handbook
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Terri Lurkins’ 4th grade class is one of the Top 200 Skoolbo classes in the United States, and 3rd in the state of Illinois. Her students have answered over 85,000 questions. Way to go! -

Subjects taught in 4th grade include reading, English, spelling, math, social studies, science, and health.

The Wonders Reading series adopted by the district in 2013-14 leads instruction in reading, spelling, and grammar Areas of focus include fluency, comprehension, and summarizing.  The series concentrates on genres, literary elements, text features, and citing evidence.  Much of the writing curriculum concentrates on developing clear, concise responses to the material read in the Reader Writer Workshop and the literature anthology textbooks.  Both textbooks include well-written fiction and informative nonfiction.  The spelling words coordinate with the selections within both textbooks.  The emphasis of the spelling instruction revolves around word families, grammar rules, prefixes, and suffixes. Students complete their weekly spelling and vocabulary tests through Spelling City, a computerized program, which includes a multitude of games, writing activities, practice sessions, and printable cursive handwriting worksheets.

The Eureka Math curriculum serves as the core of the mathematics program. Students must learn and retain multiplication and division facts. After mastering the facts, students continue to take daily timed tests to increase speed and accuracy. Concepts included in 4th grade include multiple digit addition and subtraction, various methods of multiplication and division, fractions, geometry, algebraic understanding, money, time, and decimal usage.

Social studies and science are taught through textbooks, hands-on projects, and experiments. In these classes students learn note-taking skills, research, and presentation skills. Collaborating with a partner or in a small group allows students to build skills they will use in the workplace - cooperation, delegation, leadership, and self-monitoring.  Health is taught in conjunction with P.E. using the textbook and hands-on projects.

At Grantfork, students have two very rare benefits lacking in most U. S. schools.  While most classes must pick up their supplies at the end of a subject’s allotted time, the Exploratory Room offers teachers and students open space where they can set up ongoing projects returning to them frequently without additional set up and cleanup.  Sharing the computer lab with limited classes gifts students with abundant access to online learning -- daily keyboarding, online testing coordinated with the Wonders and enVision curriculum, ability to progress monitor students more frequently, daily practice of spelling, math, and reading skills through STAR, Accelerated Reading, Spelling City, Reflex Math, Skoolbo, and general research and development of computerized presentations in all subject areas.