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 at Cabrini since the 2000-2001 school year. I love teaching fourth grade. I am an active Catholic and I find it especially rewarding to take an active role in your fourth grader’s faith formation.

I grew up in California but have moved many times. I earned my undergraduate BS degree in education from Eastern Illinois University and my Masters in Teaching Graduate Degree from City U. I have two full-grown sons, Mick and Craig.

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

Child Development


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

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


• Pre-adolescent, group-oriented, can be more sensitive and more emotional

• Need justice and moral order; fairness is extremely important.

• Can think and reason for themselves; the imaginative world is giving way to a more real world.


• Push themselves to physical limits

• Complains about aches pains and injuries

• May bite nails or twist nails to relieve tension

• Better coordinated but still working on Physical control

• Can’t sit still for long

Classroom Highlights

Students can look forward to these special events:

• All Saints Day dress-up and presentation, the school Christmas pageant, and Learning Fair

• Math Club – after school on Mondays in the fourth-grade room for students who need extra practice

• 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

• Veterans Day and Grandparents’ Day performances.

Service Activities

Our service activity is an important part of being good stewards and modeling Christ-like behavior. The fourth grade, along with the third and fifth grades will make cards and write notes to people who are homebound; especially the elderly. The fourth grade will also visit the elderly and disabled friends. We hope to bring happiness to the elderly 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 experience living the Beatitudes and doing Corporal Works of Mercy.


Religion: Integrates prayer and scripture with lessons on how to live Christ-like and be good stewards. We focus on:
• The Six Tasks of Catechesis: Knowledge of the Faith; Liturgical Education; Moral Education; Prayer; Life, Community, and History of the Church; and Missionary Spirit
• Morality and Social Justice guided by the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, and Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
• The student reads different materials for a variety of purposes.
• Memorizing and Reciting Prayers, Praying the Rosary

Reading: Integrates with Language Arts (Writing, Spelling, Speaking, and Listening) following Common Core Standards, 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

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.  In fourth grade, students will be writing 3-5 paragraph essays of different types, along with writing fictional and non-fictional narratives.

We will continue to practice basic math facts and computation skills, survival skills without a calculator (using paper and pencil, making change, and estimating), and will also use a calculator. Problem-solving strategies are integrated into every lesson to solve word problems that relate to everyday life. Technology will also be integrated: for example, the IXL website will be utilized.
Concepts include:
• Place Value: Reading and writing numbers in the 100 million 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)
• Measurement
• Geometry

Social Studies: Students will learn about the geography, people, government, and regions of the United States. There will also be a great emphasis on Washington State History.

Science: STEM 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 classroom, and at home.
• Keyboarding, research, word processing, making graphs and tables
• Clip art, copying pictures from the internet, and Google Slides.
• Internet Safety and Searches, safe use of the computer

Enrichment: Students attend weekly enrichment classes for library, music, PE, and Art.