In fourth grade, students are taught to deeply think about and make connections in what they read and learn, write with clarity, and are encouraged to be more independent in their learning. Through the use of multiple resources such as virtual manipulatives, hands-on activities, learning stations, and interactive websites, our fourth grade students are developing 21st century skills of effective communication and critical thinking. Learning requires that the learner engage in problem solving to actively build mental models. Students obtain knowledge not only by receiving information, but also by interpreting the information and relating it to their prior knowledge. It is important to assess the learner’s ability to organize, structure, and use information in context to solve complex problems through standardized and authentic assessments.
Character education in fourth grade is integrated into everyday classroom interactions as we work together to build a community that values and respects each of its members. Reaching beyond the classroom, students will participate in community service projects as well as The Leader in Me. The Leader in Me is an integrated approach to leadership development that focuses on our children becoming leaders of their own lives, helping them identify their own unique talents and abilities, and encourages them to make a positive difference in the world.
The Math program consists of theme based chapters that encourage critical thinking by engaging students in active participation through deep questioning and real world application of mathematics. Through the use of manipulatives, visual models, hands-on experiences, and problem solving opportunities, fourth grade students build on third grade math skills. Working with numbers into the billions, students broaden their understanding of number theory, place value, rounding, and estimation. Students evaluate expressions, apply order of operations, and solve for variables. Computational skills are furthered through instruction and practice in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Conceptual understanding and automatic recall are both emphasized as students solve multi digit multiplication and division problems. Through geometry and measurement, students identify and measure properties of figures, determine perimeter, area, capacity, surface, and volume, and explore coordinate grid systems. Integrating data analysis and probability, students will use real life data to create and interpret graphs, make predications, and solve problems.
English Language Arts - Reading is approached by creating a classroom "reader’s workshop". That is, instruction is differentiated by allowing each child to consider a presented skill as an extension of books that are self-selected. Individual conferencing enables the students to set a comfortable pace to permit time to enjoy and appreciate their books as well assist them with their individual needs. With the assistance of Accelerated Reader, individual goals are set to ensure students are reaching an appropriate level of achievement. The best way to strengthen reading skills... is to read! Permitting students to read what they want while providing quality text fosters growth toward a reading lifestyle. Self-selection and conferencing assists students in recognizing their reading preferences to further develop themselves as a reader. Much of class will be dedicated to reading. Students are encouraged to appreciate life as a “reader” in order to promote a lifelong love and appreciation for reading and learning.
Words Their Way, an individualized word study program, offers students the opportunity to make their own discoveries about how words work through examining, manipulating, comparing, and categorizing words. This developmental approach to phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction creates a teacher directed and child centered plan for word study. Students in fourth grade use all stages of the writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing—to produce clear, coherent writing suited to the purpose and audience. In their writings, students learn to create organizational structures that support their purpose. They learn to use technology to find information, interact and collaborate with others, and produce and publish their writings. They learn conventions of standard English grammar and usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling to support their writing and speaking. These conventions include the use of prepositional phrases and progressive verb tenses, recognition and correction of fragments and run-ons, and appropriate use of commas and quotation marks to indicate direct speech.
In Social Studies the study of Louisiana in the fourth grade provides students with opportunities to learn in depth about their state. The history of Louisiana is rich with ethnic and cultural diversity, economic energy, geographic variety, and growing civic community. In Social Studies, students explore natural resources prevalent in the United States. Students will identify characteristics and locations of cities, capitals, states and regions and how they have changed over time. Finally, students will focus on the United States government, the Constitution, and their role as a “responsible citizen” in a democracy. Social Studies themes will be enhanced through relevant field trips, including a day at the State Capitol and the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.
In Science through a spiraling, inquiry-based program of study and the use of 21st century skills, students will demonstrate scientific literacy in the fields of physical, earth, and life sciences. They learn to follow a set of written instructions for scientific investigation, conduct multiple trials to test a prediction, and draw conclusions about the relationships between their predictions and results. Scientific facts, concepts, principles, theories and models are important for students to know, understand and apply. We explore these skills through our natural world which require critical thinking and develop process skills. Learning activities are sequenced to shape, modify and develop students’ knowledge in order for them to become independent inquirers.