Fourth Grade

Theme

“The Lord is the Hero of War”

Overview

Fourth grade is a transitional year for students as they have graduated from the primary grades where they “learned to read”. A shift towards “reading to learn” is a focus in the intermediate grades. Socially, a fourth grader is becoming more peer-conscious and they are delighted with the many opportunities to work with classmates. Practicing charity and respect for others is modeled and encouraged throughout the year. Highlights include the rainforest feast in the spring, as well as dressing in medieval costumes and making a pilgrimage to Glencairn Museum. Fourth graders always enjoy the annual trip in the fall to the Adventure Aquarium.

Religion—taught by a minister

Instruction of fourth graders is based on the books of Joshua and Judges. Colorful heroes like Joshua, Gideon, Samson, and Deborah, are great examples of people who courageously lead the Israelites to victory over their enemies. By means of these individuals and their heroic acts, some very powerful spiritual messages come through. Doing what the Lord says brings positive consequences, many times in miraculous ways; but disobeying the Lord brings negative consequences. These themes are repeated over and over again, showing the fundamental challenge for the Israelites, and for the students themselves, namely, to learn from the consequences of their actions, and to turn to the Lord as the source of happiness, guidance, and security.

Reading

The teachers read several books aloud and the class reads several novels aloud to practice reading skills. Following The Daily Five program, the reading skills emphasized are dictionary use, fact and opinion, cause and effect, drawing conclusions, decoding, summarizing, sequencing, inferring, comparing and contrasting, and making predictions. We also work on following directions, expanding vocabulary (sight vocabulary and homophones) and interpreting figurative language.

Composition

We use the five steps writing process as well as the 6 plus 1 Traits of Writing program to teach writing. The students write stories, poems and reports, with a skills focus on creating organized paragraphs and first and final drafts.

Grammar

In grammar we familiarize the students with identifying the parts of speech in sentences.

Spelling

We learn the fourth grade portion of the BACS core words (the most frequently used words in the English language). We also focus on spelling skills and patterns in spelling.

Handwriting

Fourth graders review how to form lower and upper case letters in cursive and they use cursive whenever they write sentences and paragraphs

Math

The Rocket Math program is used to encourage the memorization of the multiplication math facts. The Envision math program is used to extend skills in basic computation, fractions, decimals, estimation, beginning algebra, measurement, geometry, statistics and problem solving. We also focus on understanding how numbers work and how we use them in our lives.

History

In history, we study medieval times and the Vikings.

Geography

Topics of study in geography are the continents, oceans, deserts, polar regions, the rain forest, Australia and map skills.

Science—specialist teacher

The students study the major earth biomes including oceans, deserts, polar regions and rainforests. They also learn about trees and seeds; light, heat and color; also digestion and nutrition. In addition, students have a chance to explore personal science topics by asking and answering their own science questions.

Library—led by librarian

Students learn library science and basic skills associated with supporting research and presentation skills. They are introduced to several resources the library has to offer and are expected to use these resources to support the learning they are doing in their classrooms. Students are encouraged to select books for recreational reading also.

Technology

Skills include keyboarding, completion of the Typing Pal program, word processing and creating presentations. Fourth graders are introduced to using the Internet for research and learning activities.

Art—specialist teacher

The fourth grade continues to expand their art skills and vocabulary as they work towards proficiency. They are exposed to a variety of mediums and activities. Many of the projects are related to studies from their classroom curriculums. They also learn some art history/appreciation as it relates to the various projects they create.

Music—specialist teacher

In fourth grade music, students sing, move, actively listen, create music, and play a variety of pitched and non-pitched instruments, with emphasis on recorder. The content includes folk songs, musical forms, hymns in notation, solfege exercises, music history, and choral music.

Physical Education—specialist teacher

The physical education program provides the students with a standards based program that is developmentally and culturally appropriate and highly active. It fosters a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. In the intermediate grades we continue with the skills that we practiced in the primary years while adding and improving loco-motor skills. We also focus on cooperative skills, problem solving, decision making, fitness, and team and individual sports.

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