Welcome to 4th Grade

Welcome to all my students, parents, and their families. I am Ms. Brenda Ryan. I am blessed to be a member of the St. Frances Cabrini School community. I have been teaching for 23 years; 14 years here at Cabrini. I love teaching fourth grade. I am an active Catholic and I find it especially rewarding to be a Catholic School Teacher who takes an active role in a fourth grader’s faith formation.



I grew up in California, received my BA degree in education from Eastern Illinois University, and my Masters in Teaching from City U. I have two full grown sons, Mick and Craig.



My Philosophy: The teacher is here to not only instruct, but inspire the students while making the curriculum relevant to the students’ daily lives. The teacher is their guide, facilitator, and motivator. Children learn best in a safe and nurturing environment that is Christ-like and displays mutual respect for all.


Fourth Grade is a transition year. They are moving into a broader context of life.



Emotional, Social, Intellectual:

  • Pre-adolescent, group-oriented, can be more sensitive and more emotional
  • Need justice and moral order; fairness extremely important
  • Can think and reason for themselves; imaginative world is giving way to more real world

Spiritual: Most fourth graders are very spiritual and have many questions.

  • Ask about sin and find it difficult to understand having a conscience
  • Need lessons about good choices and morality
  • Need adults who model Christ-like behavior and practice their faith

Fourth Grade Highlights


Students can look forward to these special events:4thBG

  • All Saints Day dress-up and presentation, the school Christmas pageant and Math-Science Fair
  • Math Club - after school on Tuesdays in the fourth grade room
  • Field Trips: Plays in Olympia, Washington State History-Museum, Pioneer Farm, or State Capitol
  • Living Museum: Dress up and present a famous person from Washington





Service Activity

4thServOur service activity is an important part of being good stewards and modeling Christ-like behavior. Once a month, the fourth grade visits our elderly and disabled friends at the Alaska Gardens (formerly Evergreen) Healthcare Center. The 4th graders bring happiness to the residents there by playing games, singing songs, and making cards for them. Students learn humility, how to show respect and appreciation for the elderly and disabled, and happiness by living the Beatitudes and doing Corporal Works of Mercy.





4thStReligion: Integrates prayer and scripture with lessons on how to live Christ-like and be good stewards. We focus on:

  • Morality and Social Justice guided by the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, and Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
  • Mary and the Saints, the Liturgical Year
  • Memorizing and Reciting Prayers, Praying the Rosary



Reading: Integrates with Language Arts (Writing, Spelling, Communication, and Listening) while giving students many opportunities to read a wide variety of genres and materials, apply different reading strategies, and demonstrate comprehension and fluency. The class…

  • Uses their Reading text, Scholastic News, Library and Literature Circle Books, Resource and Reference Materials, Internet
  • Experiences independent reading, choral reading, buddy reading, Reader’s Theater


Math: Basic math facts and computation skills, survival skills without a calculator (using paper and pencil, making change, and estimating), and using a calculator. Problem-solving strategies are integrated into every lesson to solve word problems that relate to everyday life. Concepts include:

  • Place Value: Reading and writing numbers in the 100 millions and decimals to the thousandths place
  • Estimation, Algebraic Equations, Statistics, Graphing, Probability
  • Double Digit Multiplication and Long Division
  • Adding and Subtracting decimals and fractions (like and unlike denominators)



Language Arts: Students will use a variety of strategies to organize their ideas in many types of writing, while always practicing the steps in the writing process. Writing is integrated into every subject area. 



Social Studies: Students will learn about the geography and people of the five regions of the United States and the history of the State of Washington.



Science: Inquiry-based science experiments using the scientific method are used as we study Matter, Motion, Light and Sound; Weather, Rocks, Erosion, Soil, Planets and Oceans; Bones, Organs, Systems, and Health of the Human Body.



Technology: Skills practice and writing assignments will be integrated with our curriculum in the Tech Lab, the classroom, and at home.

  • Keyboarding, research, word processing, making graphs and tables
  • Clipart, copying pictures from the internet, and PowerPoint
  • Internet Safety and Searches, safe use of the computer