The 4th grade day begins with a community building morning meeting that includes reading, sharing, and the agenda for the day.
Our reading curriculum includes explicit instruction in lessons through a variety of novel studies with a focus on comprehension and vocabulary followed by time to practice skills taught, conference with teachers, and reflect and set goals. Through novel studies, fourth grade students continue to develop their vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and reading stamina. Daily oral language development is practiced through language activities and skills practice. Vocabulary development is also practiced through Wordly Wise. Comprehension strategy instruction remains a hallmark of our fourth grade curriculum focus. Students are encouraged to use comprehension strategies to make sense of new texts they encounter. By fourth grade, students begin to take charge of their own learning by utilizing comprehension strategies as they read to further understand texts. Students continue to develop comprehension strategies to understand complex fiction and non-fiction texts including: writer’s craft skills, cause and effect, classify and categorize, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, main idea and details, making inferences, sequence, asking and answering questions, clarifying, making connections, predicting/confirming predictions, summarizing, and visualizing. Students are assessed through weekly reading assignments/tests. Teachers administer the STAR Reading Test- a computer adaptive assessment that measures key aspects of a student’s knowledge of reading and language. The STAR reading test is given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year and it is used to help understand a student’s strengths and needs in reading.
Accelerated Reader is a digital enrichment program that students may access. Student’s may choose a book from the AR list of books, read it at his/her own pace, and then complete a quiz on the book. Points are awarded based on the number of questions answered correctly. The points accumulate to reach milestones and awards. Students are assigned individual goals based on their reading levels.
Through our writing curriculum, fourth grade students practice journal writing, creative writing and write narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository pieces. Grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling remains a crucial part of the ELA portion of each lesson.
4th Grade Writing Units of Study: Written for children on the cusp of writing more academic texts, the fourth-grade units familiarizes students with the genres they will regularly encounter throughout school—thesis-driven persuasive essays, literary essays, and research reports. Each of the units begins where children are and then provides a progression of instruction that brings students step by step toward increasing proficiency. In Unit 1, The Arc of Story: Writing Realistic Fiction, students learn that the lenses they bring to reading fiction can also be brought to writing fiction, as they develop believable characters with struggles and motivations and rich stories to tell. This unit is followed by Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essays in which students learn the value of organization and form as they gather evidence to support and express an opinion on topics they know well. By Unit 3, Bringing History to Life, students are ready to tackle historical research in which they collect evidence and use details to vividly describe people and events long ago and far away. Unit 4, The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction, brings the series full circle as students build on their learning of essay writing and apply it with increasing sophistication to a unit on literary essays—that is, writing about fiction.
Through our math curriculum, Progress in Mathematics, students explore concepts in numbers and operations, fractions, measurement, data, probability, problem-solving, geometry, and math facts. The approach used builds deep conceptual understanding of key math skills and concepts at a developmentally appropriate level. Skills taught: place value, addition and subtraction concepts, multiply by one and two digits, divide by one digit, measurement, statistics and probability, fraction concepts, fractions: addition and subtraction, geometry, perimeter, area, and volume, divide by two digits, decimals, algebra readiness, and problem solving.
In fourth grade, students become scientists as they observe, classify, and record data collected through science investigations. The core areas of the fourth grade science curriculum include concepts in life, earth, and physical science. Social Studies concepts taught in fourth grade include map skills, graphs, research skills, and United States regions, geography, government, and history.
Students participate in performances including Chapel presentations and a USA program that builds confidence and pride. Students also participate in special classes including music, PE, art, Spanish, Religion, and library each week.
Student Leadership opportunities continue in fourth grade including Student Council, Battle of the Books, Quiz Bowl, and Spelling Bee.