Philosophy: Fourth grade is a year of responsibility, organization, and preparedness. Fourth graders begin to assume more responsibility for their learning, both at school and at home. Organizational study skills are emphasized through daily work, projects, and long term assignments. As students move toward assuming increased responsibility for their learning, they gain the confidence and preparedness necessary to succeed in middle school.
Reading - In fourth grade, reading is a large part of the language arts curriculum. Students are encouraged to read for enjoyment as well as for information. The reading program emphasizes teaching necessary reading skills by creating strands of learning through experience, comprehension, application, and intention. Each unit culminates with a cooperative project further ensuring skill retention.
Writing and Grammar - Writer’s Stylus is implemented with research-supported instructional methods that develop students as writers through active thinking and communication. Students will explore genres of writing, learn revision skills related to those genres, and then draft compositions. In one on one ‘coaching’ sessions, the teacher and student collaborate using assessment rubrics. Grammar is integrated through editing exercises creating transformative learning.
Math – The Everyday Math curriculum continues in fourth grade with estimation, consumer math, critical thinking and logic, problem solving and mental math. Students must demonstrate an understanding of place value and a mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills. Accurate computation and the ability to solve one and two-step story problems are secured. Cooperative group learning allows practical applications of fractions, measurement and graphing.
Science - In science students engage in a more intensive study of the physical world by examining the properties of magnetism and electricity. They also investigate the physics of sound. In life sciences, students begin a more in-depth study of the human body.
Social Studies- Fourth grade Social Studies consists of Alabama history and geography from prehistoric Indians to the present culminating in a field trip to Montgomery. Study skills are coordinated with and taught throughout the Social Studies curriculum.
Technology - Technology classes emphasize increasing speed and accuracy in keyboarding. Students also begin to utilize productivity tools and to create and customize an electronic presentation. Cyber safety and etiquette continue to be emphasized.
Art - Throughout the school year, 4th Grade students become reacquainted with various mediums (tempera paint, colored pencils, crayons, construction paper, watercolor paint, etc.) and introduced to several new materials such as model magic (air dry clay) and oil pastels. More in depth lessons on color theory and composition are incorporated as they build upon basic art concepts such as contrasting colors and complimentary color schemes. Specific projects include Alabama marine life oil pastel drawings, pointillism jean murals, foam board prints, rainbow scratch art, narrative self portrait collage, wax resist watercolor paintings, Endangered Species masks, etc. All student artwork is sent home after being on display during the end of the year art exhibit in the Upper School Art Gallery.