The fourth-grade language arts program uses a variety of resources to teach reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. There will be exposure to a variety of chapter books, short stories, and different forms of poetry. Skills such as locating information within a text, decoding unfamiliar words, and developing fluency in both oral and silent reading are emphasized. Through their reading experience students will determine the main idea, refer to details and examples in a text, describe and analyze characters, setting, events, interpret the theme and points of view.
Many writing activities evolve from the literature that is read in the classroom. Writing activities include using a variety of resources and media skills in creating poetry, news articles, opinion pieces, personal narratives, short stories, and topics that interest the individual student. Fourth graders continue to use the writing process, but apply it with greater sophistication as they pre-write, write, revise, edit and publish their writing pieces. Students enhance the three-paragraph essay using more details and descriptive language.
Grammar lessons including punctuation, capitalization, and parts of speech are integrated into the writing assignments. Spelling lists are distributed each week. The lists include words that are relevant to a topic or theme.
Mathematics (Kindergarten – Grade 4)
Our students learn to see math in everyday life, searching for patterns, mathematical processes, and numbers in the world around them. At all grade levels students learn that math is not an isolated subject and recognize connections between all their other classes.
Students begin exploring numbers and mathematical ideas with concrete materials, progress to pictorial representations, and finally, reason abstractly with symbols. Our classes are structured in ways that encourage the use of a variety of manipulative materials, age-appropriate technology, and games for students to construct their own meanings of key mathematical concepts. Through flexible grouping and differentiated instruction, we ensure that each child feels both competent and challenged during their elementary math classes. Students and teachers recognize that enduring learning takes time and practice but work together to efficiently master basic numerical facts to prepare for success in middle school mathematics and beyond.
In fourth grade, students develop understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication and division. They apply their knowledge of multiplication models (equal-sized groups, arrays, area models), place value, and properties of operations as they learn new methods to compute products of multi-digit whole numbers and relate multiplication to division. Students continue their study of place value while working with numbers up to 1,000,000, comparing the relative sizes of numbers in each place. Students explore fraction equivalence while working on problems that ask them to add and subtract fractions with like denominators and multiply fractions by whole numbers. Students further their understanding of geometric figures while analyzing and classifying them based on properties including parallel and perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry. Probability is introduced as chance, helping students to expand their understanding of statistics and graphing. Students learn to use estimation for computation and measurement and deepen their knowledge of the relationship between shapes and area.
For the first half of the year, Fourth Grade students will study life science and physical science. They will study the following units: Human Body and the Brain, Earths Features, Sound Waves/Communication and finally Energy. In the Human Body unit they will investigate structure and function of the human body, explore how bones/muscles are interconnected, how our eyes interact with light and how our brains responds to stimuli in the environment. In the Earths Features unit, students investigate features and processes of the Earth’s surface and explore the rapid process of volcanic eruptions. In the last unit of Energy, students investigate how energy is stored, how it makes objects move and how collisions transfer energy between objects.
Fourth Grade Social Studies focuses on the study of New York State. Students will expand their knowledge about the state they live in and develop an appreciation of American History.
The course is divided into the following themes:
- New York State Geography/Regions of New York State
- Native American groups: The Algonquians/Iroquois and their contributions
- The many cultures of New York: Explorers/the arrival of the Dutch
- Colonial New York
- The War for Independence
- New York and the New Nation
- Industry, transportation, and immigration
- State Government
Students will develop a deeper understanding of the material taught through dramatic play, poetry, art, journals, and group projects.
Fourth grade students will begin exploring the world of string instruments. The ukulele is a great place to start learning fundamentals because of its size and portability, unlike its much larger cousin, the guitar. Students will not only learn good performance practice, but they will also learn proper care for their instrument. Students will come out of fourth grade with a good basis to start playing and creating their own songs on the ukulele.
Fourth and Fifth Grade students are part of The Junior Choir, where they are introduced to the skills needed for group performances. They learn diction, how to follow a conductor, and how to blend together as a group. They also learn how to work with the Senior Choir to create harmony. The Junior Choir performs multiple times during the year, at Chapel Services during holidays and for special events. The year culminates with The Musicale, where they perform songs from different genres. This is a mandatory performance.