Fourth grade is the year that students transition from the primary grades to the intermediate grades. The many academic, social, and emotional changes of nine and ten year olds make this an exciting grade to teach. They are developing their self advocacy and independence at this stage of their educational journey. There is never a dull moment, but the students are fun-loving and enjoy the challenges of new responsibilities.
While having been carefully guided through the primary grades, students have now mastered the basic primary skills and gained a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. Developmentally, fourth graders move into a new stage. They are ready to take on new responsibilities for their learning and to expand their critical-thinking abilities. While reading skills are still being taught, students have transitioned from learning to read to reading to learn. All areas of the fourth grade curriculum take this change in focus into account.
Language Arts encompass reading and writing. The reading program uses the Reader's Workshop focusing on reading strategies that are used with a variety of literature. While decoding skills are still reviewed, the elements of literature and expanding vocabulary are the primary focus. Integration of all subjects occurs within the writing program as the Writer's Workshop model is used to teach writing skills. Narrative, opinion and informational writing are taught using a variety of methods and types of assignments in order to help students develop their writing skills. Spelling is taught as a separate subject using the Rebecca Sitton program, and as the year progresses, the goal for students is to spell core words correctly on all assignments, not just on a weekly test.
Math concepts are taught using the Singapore Math program. New concepts such as long division, two-digit multiplication, and computation with fractions are introduced. Number facts should have been mastered, and problem-solving and extensive use of word problems are now emphasized. A major strength of this math program is the realistic and challenging word problems that are modeled and solved using the Bar Modeling concept.
Social studies in fourth grade focuses on World Mountains, Medieval Europe, American Revolution, Reformers, and the Constitution.
Science is taught using hands-on activities and incorporates the Next Generation Science standards. We want students to be excited and experience the joy of discovery that science offers. Using the scientific method to nurture this natural curiosity is rewarding for both the student and the teacher. Mystery Science curriculum units of study in this grade level include: Human Machine, Birth of Rocks, Waves of Sound, and Energizing Energy.
Art, Music, PE, Spanish and Spiritual Nurture classes are all taught by specialty teachers. Service learning projects are also an integral part of the curriculum.
Fourth grade is action packed with learning and fun.