The fourth grade program of studies celebrates the independence of the leaders of Lower School.

Reading
The reading component integrates writing, listening, and participating by using and selected short stories and novels throughout the year. The student is taught the use of context clues, vocabulary, character analysis and story elements. Comprehension strategies such as developing background knowledge and determining a purpose for reading help establish the basis for critical and creative thinking. Independent reading assignments and study skills are integral components of the reading curriculum. Class discussion allows students to contribute personal experiences, making connections between their lives and story content.  

Language Arts
The fourth grade language arts curriculum is directly related to the reading program. It is designed to build on grammatical skills including usage and sentence structure.  Parts of speech are studied more in depth than in previous grades. Composition and the writing process are also integral components of language arts. In addition, fourth graders develop creative writing fluency through journals, formal and informal writing. Vocabulary is taught through novels and short stories which is further integrated throughout the day as teachers assimilate it into other lessons.  

Mathematics
Our math curriculum in fourth grade continues to build upon the foundations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as well as focusing on geometry, measurement, long division, graphing, estimating, and basic algebra. An understanding of decimals, fractions, percents, and the relationship between the three is expanded. Real-world problem solving and activities emphasize concepts being studied. Mental math is encouraged as a strategy to build logical thinking and overall number-sense. Review is constant to help gain mastery in these areas. Classroom activities incorporate the use of manipulatives and games to gain concrete understanding of rules and principles. The structured, systematic mastery of computational skills, balanced with emphasis on every day problem solving, helps prepare the student to think like a mathematician.  

Social Studies
This curriculum focuses on the history of the United States from its beginnings. The course begins with the discovery of America and continues through the Revolutionary War.  It integrates the study of civics and government, history, economics, geography, and culture and society.   

Science
Fourth grade science provides an overview of life, physical and earth sciences.  The student takes an active approach to problem solving and is introduced to basic laboratory and safety skills. The units of study are animals and their ecosystems, plants, life process, earth history, landforms, the solar system and universe, weather, matter and energy. Throughout the year, the student does individual and group research for further enrichment.  Students visit the Science Lab weekly for a hands-on supplement to the curriculum.  

Physical Education
The greatest focus in P.E. at this level is expanding modified game patterns learned in previous grades. Teachers also incorporate safety, physical fitness, good sportsmanship and social skills into the daily activities. Other units of this curriculum include gymnastics, rhythmic movement and track and field.  

Spanish
In fourth grade Spanish, the student enhances listening and oral skills that are designed to improve his/her communication ability. Each student will continue to learn basic vocabulary and grammar. The student gains an understanding of the Spanish culture through group projects on various geographical regions of appropriate countries.  

Music
The fourth grade music curriculum focuses on developing more depth in each student’s knowledge of musical syntax. The student studies orchestral families, meter changes, tonality, conducting patterns and many forms including those containing codas. Much time is also devoted to the learning and practice of rhythmic and melodic ostinatos on standard Orff instruments.  

Art 

Fourth grade art builds on previously learned skills of creative expression. The student works with clay, oil pastels, paint, paper mache and other media to create different projects and practice techniques learned.  

Media
This class is set up to promote an appreciation for quality literature and also to practice proper library skills such as research.  

Christian Education
Preschool through 4th grade Christian Education is a Bible-based curriculum that focuses on familiarizing students with stories and characters in the Bible. Through a variety of experiential learning opportunities, students work to understand how scripture informs the faith of Christians, helps them make ethical decisions, and guides their behavior in  daily life.
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