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 engages 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 including stocking The Little Free Pantry and providing blankets for foster children and veterans.
The Math program encourages 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 the 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 the 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 predictions, and solve problems.
In the English Language Arts program 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 as 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 assist students in recognizing their reading preferences to further develop themselves as a reader. Much of the 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.
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 a growing civic community.
In Social Studies, students explore natural resources prevalent in the United States. Students will identify the 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 “responsible citizens” 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 fourth grade, students will experience three science domains; physical science, life science, and earth science. During the physical science unit, students learn that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. Our life science unit consists of the human body, senses, and the brain. This unit takes the perspective that we can think about our bodies as a machine. Students explore their senses and consider how the information we process helps us understand and react to our environment. And in earth science, students learn about rock formations, the effects of weathering, and describe patterns of Earth’s features. Our fourth graders enjoy weekly STEAM projects!