Grade Four Curriculum Overview
Our fourth grade students compose letters and journal entries, and research reports with cited sources. Their writings demonstrate coherent organization and sufficient details. Students in fourth grade read a variety of texts with a higher level of fluency and expression. Fourth graders are also able to utilize root words, prefixes, suffixes, and context clues in order to analyze unfamiliar words.
Our fourth graders learn to compare and order fractions and decimals, complete multiplication and division problems, and identify geometric figures and concepts. Students also collect, display and analyze data in a variety of ways, and solve probability problems. Students also learn how to measure and calculate area and perimeter, classify triangles, and plot points in the coordinate plane. Students are actively engaged while learning mathematics, using concrete materials and appropriate technologies such as calculators and computers. Students also learn to identify real-life applications of the mathematical principles they acquire, and discover the ways their new knowledge can be applied to science and other disciplines. The students also build skills in math using the ALEKS online learning program.
Our fourth grade also follows the hybrid science curriculum. Students examine science concepts regarding basic principles of electricity, motion, the solar system, relationships between plants and animals, and the importance of Virginia’s natural resources. Fourth graders are also expected to plan and create science fair projects, and conduct weekly experiments in the science lab. All students complete science fair projects and participate in the school-wide science fair.
Regions of Our Country and Virginia Studies
The fourth grade social studies curriculum is composed of two main topics: Regions of Our Country and Virginia Studies. The comprehensive curriculum engages students in learning about the nation’s economy, the geography of the US, and its five major regions. The Pearson curriculum uses “essential questions” to engage the students in the learning process. Students are also able to utilize the 21st Century Learning Online Tutor to practice reading, graphing, mapping and critical thinking skills.
During the Virginia Studies portion of the class, students develop the skills needed to analyze, interpret, and demonstrate knowledge of Virginia’s history, from the cultures of its native peoples and the founding of Jamestown to the present.
Students learn to use major and minor focal points effectively, and to depict movement between the two. The elements of design are easily recognized, and students regularly critique aesthetics.
Our fourth and fifth grade students continue to develop their keyboarding skills, demonstrate an understanding of computer theory, develop basic technology skills and vocabulary, select and use technology appropriate tasks and operate peripheral devices. Students begin to process, store, retrieve, and transmit electronic information. Through the Internet, CD-ROMs, and telecommunication software, students gain experience researching information from varied digital sources. Furthermore, these students build upon their keyboarding skills and their knowledge of various publishing programs to create a three- to four-page document using their knowledge of word processing.
Within these publishing applications, students create, edit, and format a document with text and graphics. They also develop and populate a spreadsheet with data, and learn to create and present a multimedia presentation. Finally, our fourth and fifth grade students demonstrate the ability to choose appropriate resources when completing assignments in various content areas, and learn to engage in proper and safe communications using a variety of communication tools and software.
Fourth graders should be able to sing in tune with a clear tone quality, and they participate in groups, performing songs in simple harmony. Students notate and perform melody and rhythm patterns from the treble staff using traditional notation, and identify melodic movements such as step, leap, or repeat. They also learn to identify the function of the top and bottom numbers of a meter signature involving 2, 3, and 4 beats. Fourth graders also participate in various performances throughout the year, including our end-of-the-year musical.
Fourth graders continue to develop strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and leg muscle development. They participate in a variety of activities that focus on whole group participation and teamwork so that they develop good practices while playing team sports/activities.
World Languages Program
Fourth Grade students continue to increase vocabulary and phrases and expand listening, speaking, and reading skills. Students also learn grammar rules along with singular and plural word usage. They also practice speaking more comprehensively.
Language teachers engage their students in singing songs that develop a child’s musical talent and ear for correct pronunciation and intonation. Three times a year, students participate in special performances for their parents during the Winter Program, Mother’s Day program, and an end-of-the-year program.