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4th Grade Curriculum

4th Grade is a pivotal year in building student independence, leadership, and responsibility. Students use planners, calendars, and personal organization systems to hone these skills. Teamwork, a sense of humor, and willingness to make mistakes in order to truly learn are ingredients to a fantastic 4th Grade learning environment!

Language Arts

4th Grade students interact and respond to reading selections to develop solid inquiry and comprehension skills. Discussion, activities, and projects revolve around the Open Court Reading series, a variety of recommended, award-winning novels, and selected genre studies. Students strengthen oral fluency and reading skills through The Daily 5 curriculum which includes small reading groups, independent reading time, and one-on-one reading with the teacher.

 

Students enhance their understanding of grammar and the parts of speech through a variety of activities. Grammar Zones, an interactive learning module, reinforces the four basic parts of speech. In addition, 4th Grade students have a daily oral language review with consistent, repeated skills practice. Students become skillful writers through practicing many forms of writing: creative, descriptive, persuasive, and informative. The Wordly Wise program develops vocabulary using Latin and Greek root forms and trains students to use context clues and word part analysis to develop language arts skills.

Math

In 4th Grade, the Singapore Math curriculum develops a deep math understanding through a focused, coherent curriculum that uses math concepts in real world applications without significant repetition. Students discover and learn the following six domains: operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, number and operations in fractions, measurement and data, geometry, and mathematical practices. Students also use Reflex Math, a game-based computer program that develops math fact fluency.

Science

4th Grade science builds upon the 3rd Grade ecosystem curriculum, with more in-depth study of Earth’s geological structure, magnetism, and the application and transfer of energy. Students conduct hands-on labs led by a discipline-specific science teacher to enhance understanding of concepts and perfect their use of the scientific method.

Social Studies

4th Grade social studies explores the five regions of the United States, discovering the culture, geography, economy, and natural resources of each region. Students create 3-D maps, wall size state puzzles, brochures, and presentations. For the annual Academic Fair, 4th Grade students research one of the 50 states, collecting data, participating in interviews, writing a report, and creating a display. Students also explore Iowa history using Iowa Studies Weekly and take several field trips around the area for real world application. Current events are discussed and shared through Time for Kids magazine.

Health & Fitness

In 4th Grade, all facets of health and life skills are emphasized, in addition to a continuation of the physical education foundation started in Kindergarten. Topics of discussion include healthy behaviors and decision making. Students learn and practice life skills and are encouraged to think critically about healthy living.

Computer Science

Computer science is an essential part of Lower School curriculum as technology is increasingly introduced into classrooms and lessons. Lower School is outfitted with iPad carts that can be transitioned from classroom to classroom bringing the creative tools, interactive books, and endless educational apps of the iPad anywhere at any time. Lower School students also utilize their own computer lab outfitted with PC desktops for a wide variety of lessons and projects.

 

Specifically, 4th Grade students continue to build on digital citizenship and internet safety skills, how to create and deliver good presentations using a variety of presentation software, keyboarding techniques, and the basics of computer programming. Students also begin to work with digital cameras and webcams, including using photo and video editing software.

Visual Art

4th Grade students incorporate themes into their work that connect to literature and correlate with classroom curriculum. Students use both conventional and non-conventional materials to create artwork inspired by contemporary artists. They are encouraged to create meaningful artwork and focus on exercising a variety of artistic processes. Each Lower School grade features unique anchor artists from many cultures around the world whose work and techniques students study and incorporate into their own pieces.

 

4th Grade students share their artwork with a large audience during the annual Family Art Night and All School Art Show.

Foreign Language

After being exposed to both, 4th Grade students select which language, French or Spanish, they want to pursue. Both language programs really take off in 4th Grade with language vocabulary and composition. Students begin an in-depth study of the culture and customs of their selected language, highlighted by interactions with elementary students from other countries. Through a wide variety of activities, students appreciate the value of learning another language. 

 

French: Students use Exploring French from EMC Publishing to explore cultural themes such as geography, art, music, and literature. Students study vocabulary and conversations based on occupations, food, leisure and recreation, travel, etc. Students learn that people from other Francophone countries have different customs and holidays and choose a Francophone country to research.

 

Spanish: Students use the ¡Viva el español! curriculum to explore themes such as school, colors, shapes, animals, places we go, seasons, telling time, and talking about yourself and your family. Students build on their Spanish foundation from Kindergarten and 1st Grade and learn new grammar and vocabulary around the themes of body parts, clothing, personality, physical characteristics, homes, rooms in a home, chores, responsibilities, food and table settings, daily routines at home, and school.

 

In addition, 3rd-6th Grade students are invited each year to attend French or Spanish language immersion camp at the Concordia Language Villages, where they are fully engaged with the language in a cultural setting. For more information on Concordia, click here.

Music

4th Grade students begin to develop skills for two-part harmony in vocal music, as well as auditioning for solo roles in school music programs. Opportunities for narration and acting parts are also provided. Throughout the year, students study music theory and writing and are introduced to the main eras of music history, instrumentation, style, and composers.

 

Students prepare for the annual Quad City Youth Symphony Day concert by previewing the music and background of the program pieces and composers and learning about concert etiquette. Students are also introduced to band instruments at the beginning of 4th Grade and given the opportunity to rent an instrument and participate in the beginning band program.

Library

4th Grade students build on their solid library foundation to become information literate, using nonfiction and technology as a source of information, citing information sources, and assessing the reliability of online information. Students work with increasingly complex text, fiction and nonfiction, both for personal enjoyment and for classroom assignments.