4th Grade Team



Degrees and Certifications:

Louise Jessen

Welcome to 4th grade! My name is Louise Jessen and I will be your teacher this year. This is my 5th year working at Parkwood and having grown up in Shoreline, I feel lucky to teach here. I am eager to get to know you and start this unique, but exciting school year! When I am not teaching, I love to cook, travel, hike and spend time with my family.

My favorite book of all time is Wonder, by R.J Palacio! Do you have a favorite book or something you like to read? 



Degrees and Certifications:

Christopher Lirhus

My name is Christopher Lirhus and I am excited to be your teacher this year!  Even though we are starting remotely, I am looking forward to building a great classroom community that is supportive, challenging in all the right ways, and full of important activities and lessons.

 This is my 17th year teaching at Parkwood! I’ve taught 4th & 5th grade with a few combination classes along the way.  I am a Shoreline kid and attended Shoreline schools in grades K-12. I enjoy gardening, going to the beach and traveling.  My favorite book is Island of the Blue Dolphins and when I was in 4th grade my favorite subject was Social Studies.

  • We love supporting our 4th grade Parkwood Panthers during this exciting year full of change and growth. As the students enter the intermediate elementary grades, they will  learn the necessary skills to increase their independence and really take ownership of their learning! In addition to the various disciplines we explore (math, science, literacy, social studies, etc.), we focus on social and emotional learning, embracing struggles, and having a growth mindset as being key to success.

    In fourth grade math we follow the Common Core State Standards, however we have specifically targeted some skills that are more critical for math success for this year and the years beyond. Please help us help your student by ensuring that they are experts in the standards below:

    4th Grade Math Essential Standards


    1. I can multiply a whole number up to four digits by a one-digit number and I can multiply two two-digit numbers.
    2. I can find whole­ number quotients and remainders with up to four­ digit dividends and one­-digit divisors.  For example, 4,000 / 4 = 1,000.
    3. I can find all factor pairs for a number from 1 to 100.  
I can determine whether a given whole number up to 100 is a prime or composite number.
    4. I can create a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.
  I can notice different features of a pattern once it is created by a rule.  For example, 5, 10, 15, 20, __, __, __. Here is another example: If I’m given the rule “Add 3” and the starting number 1, I can  generate terms in the resulting sequence and observe that the terms appear to alternate between odd and even numbers. I can explain informally why the numbers will continue to alternate in this way.
    5. I can compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators by creating common denominators or numerators or by comparing them to a benchmark fraction like one ­half.  I can compare fractions using symbols and justify the comparison by using models.
    6. I can compare two decimals to hundredths by reasoning about their size.  For example, I know that .15 < .33

    Bridges in Mathmatics is our math curriculum. It is aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

    Our math curriculum includes geometry, a focus on patterns, as well as connections to real life math experiences. We emphasize problem-solving strategies, which prepare students to solve higher level thinking problems. Communicating mathematical thinking is also a point of emphasis in our instruction.  In third grade, students will learn to tackle mathematical problems and persevere in solving them.


    There are multiple writing Common Core State Standards for fourth grade. While all of them are important, the standards below are absolutely critical to a Parkwood fourth grader’s writing success this year and beyond. Please help us support your child by ensuring they are experts in the standards below.

    4th Grade Writing Essential Standards

    1. I can write an opinion paper that gives my point of view and reasons for my thinking.
    2. I can write a paper to explain and inform my readers about a topic.
    3. I can write stories that develop real or made-up experiences using descriptive details and a sequence of events that makes sense.
    4. I can write clear and focused papers where the development and organization are appropriate for my purpose and audience.
    5. With help from others, I can develop a piece of writing by creating a graphic organizer to plan and organize a first draft.
    6. With help from others, I can revise and edit my writing to produce a final draft.
    7. I can use evidence from grade level fiction and nonfiction reading to support my ideas

    We have three  Carolina Science Kits for the school year that follow the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

    These  specific science units we will be working on include:

    1. Land and Water (Earth Science)
    2. Animal Studies (Life Science)
    3. Electric Circuits (Physical Science)

    During 4th grade social studies we study The Oregon Trail using a Storypath Curriculum. Storypath uses the basic components of a story—setting, characters, and plot—to organize the social studies curriculum into meaningful and memorable learning experiences!

    As part of our social and emotional learning, we have regular classroom meetings featuring routines and themes taken from the Second Step curriculum. These meetings serve as a supportive and safe place for our students to learn new social and emotional learning strategies and to ask for help in solving problems.

    Second steps includes a variety of lessons that help foster social and emotional learning. Some of the concepts include, compassion, empathy, friendship, kindness, self-control, community, and to be an individual who is aware of themselves and those around them.

    Please contact us with any questions!