English Language Arts:
The fourth grade literacy program follows the ‘Daily Five Model.’ This model includes whole group instruction, guided-small group instruction, independent reading, word work, and writers’ workshop. Reading is broken into four categories of study: comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary (CAFÉ), which is explicitly taught in whole-group and small group, and practiced in various literacy centers daily.
Writer’s workshop targets the main components of great writing: content, ideas, organization, structure, word choice, and mechanics. Students in the fourth grade will develop their writing skills in personal narrative, persuasive and informative writing, as well as studying grammar and vocabulary through the Daily Language Instruction program. Mechanics is also reinforced through the Write Source program.
The fourth grade math program develops students’ analysis and knowledge in five areas of mathematical practice: numbers and operations in base ten, operations and algebraic thinking, numbers and operations with fractions and decimals, measurement and data, geometry. We utilize the program My Math. Math concepts are taught in whole-group discussions, and reiterated and practiced through various activities independently, in small groups, and in center games. Rote memorization is also reinforced with daily morning practice and teacher-derived skills practice, and use of the computer program, Moby Max.
This year our studies focus on North Carolina history and geography of the United States. Students learn about the major events that have occurred starting from the time of indigenous tribes, through colonization, up until present. We study these major events once per week, ending with a field trip in May to Old Salem to get a real-life perspective on the history of our state. We also spend one day a week studying the various regions of the United States, their characteristics and features, as well as learning all of the states and capitals of the U.S.
Using our science curriculum, Inspire Science, fourth graders delve into energy and motion, transfer of energy, structure and function of living things, wave patterns and information transfer, patterns of Earth’s changing features, natural hazards, and energy from natural resources. This program breaks each topic into several lessons, providing opportunity to engage prior knowledge, make predictions, observe content in action through inquiry-based performance tasks and STEM projects, and draw conclusions based on knowledge obtained through direct and indirect study and practice.
Our religion curriculum is based on the concepts from the fourth grade edition of the Christ Our Life program. Students are provided activities, stories, and lessons across five units. These units include: ways to come to know God, how God strengthens us to be Holy, how we can love God, and love God’s people, and how Jesus leads us to happiness. We also utilize our morning meeting time to discuss virtues and habits that make us into the kind of children and peers that God wants us to be, as well as every day practice throughout our daily interactions with each other. By actively praying as a class and role-modeling Christian values and beliefs, our students are strengthened and empowered to follow God’s ways in a safe and happy environment.