Mrs. Valant has taught fourth grade at OLQM since 2000. She has a B.S. in elementary education from Oakland University. In addition to earning 20 graduate level credits from Oakland University, she has a ZA endorsement in early childhood education from the Michigan Department of Education. Mrs. Valant attended St. Linus Elementary School, in Dearborn Heights, and graduated from Divine Child High School, in Dearborn. She and her husband are residents of Bloomfield Village.
Using reflection on Scripture and doctrine, fourth graders study what we believe as Catholics, how we worship, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Scripture stories are used to ground the lessons that are taught. Additionally, the lives of the saints are studied. Students attend Mass weekly and actively participate in many Catholic traditions such as Stations of the Cross during Lent and May Crowning.
Reading / Language Arts
The fourth-grade reading curriculum consists of the fine-turning of basic skills as well as the acquisition of new skills. This is done through reading workshops where students are engaged in shared and independent reading of books at their assessed reading levels. Both whole-group and small-group instruction are used to teach students the necessary skills that will allow them to advance their reading levels. Additionally, students are required to earn eight Accelerated Reader points each quarter.
A thorough study of grammar as well as a variety of writing activities are included in the fourth-grade curriculum. Narrative writing, explanatory writing, poetry, and writing a research report are a few of the genres that are taught. Additionally, some subject area tests include questions that must be answered as short essays. This gives students additional opportunities to improve their writing skills. Spelling tests are administered weekly.
Students use the cursive writing skills that they were taught in third grade. Practice on letter formation, size, spacing, and slant continues in the fourth grade.
Fourth-grade math focuses on more complex addition, subtraction, and multiplication as well as division, fractions, decimals, geometry, and measurement. There is a heavy emphasis on higher-level logical thinking. Smart board technology is used in the daily instruction of math as well as in other subjects. In addition to chapter tests, students are given timed multiplication quizzes on a regular basis.
The primary focus of the fourth-grade social studies curriculum is the study of the geography, history, economy, and government of Michigan. Additionally, a study of map-reading skills is included. Several fourth-grade field trips enrich the social studies curriculum. These include a visit to Cranbrook to explore Native American life, a day at a one-room schoolhouse and log cabin, a trip to the Ford Rouge plant, and a tour of our state capitol building and the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing.
The science curriculum is composed of a study of energy and heat, motion, electricity, plants and animals, ecosystems, and the Earth's resources. The science lab frequently is used for experimentation.