Fourth Grade

Fourth grade is an emer­gent year when students begin to take on the larger responsi­bility that they will find in the fifth and sixth grades. Continu­ing from third grade, students are expected to interact cordial­ly and maintain basic responsible practices. Students will de­velop self-confidence and self-awareness through student-directed discussions, science excursions, and project-based math studies. The fourth grade year culminates in an exciting class trip, summarizing the California units of study.

Reading, Phonics, and Vocabulary. The reading curriculum is centered around comprehension. In class, reading and vocabulary acquisition through each text is complemented with a student-led discussion for the major texts. Through a combination of written and discussion-based analysis, students gain the ability to interpret plot and character development. By the end of the year, students are expected to begin comprehending theme and deeper literary meaning. Outside of text-based vocabulary, the fourth grade students acquire an understanding of vocabulary words utilizing a prominent platform. This instruction tests spelling, phonetic, etymological, and grammatical knowledge of each word.

Writing and Grammar. In fourth grade, students will see how their own writing is put together grammati­cally in order to maximize writing potential. The writing curriculum is derived from a proprietary platform, and focuses on the personal narrative, persuasive writing, and expository composition. Writing also focuses on critical aspects to ensure an even and clear voice. For grammar, students are meticulously taught to see the flow of a sentence. Students also learn different sentence styles and how they mesh to create a unique voice. We cover all of the parts of speech in depth and begin to study how each part of speech operates in a sentence.

Mathematics. The goals of the math program are to provide strong, incremental development and continual review of mathematical concepts and fundamental skills. Through a combination of direct instruc­tion and small-group-extension activities, students build confidence in their ability to apply problem-solving strategies and accurately complete computations. Myriad key concepts are covered; students take notes in anticipation of frequent, regular tests.

Science. During fourth grade, students learn through a combination of direct instruction, small-group obser­vation and experimentation, and independent research. In physical science, students enhance their understand­ing of unit topics through actual construction. In their study of life science, students deepen their knowledge by learning about chains and webs, and exploring relationships. Additionally, students explore adaptation first­hand on a stimulating field trip. In earth science, students learn to examine, explore, and test properties in real-life walks and explorations. Students also learn about the rapid processes that change Earth’s surface.

Social Studies. In fourth grade, students study California history from the earliest to contemporary times, in order to understand the development of our state. Multiple units are covered as students gain knowledge through whole-group instruction, arts and crafts, journal writing, projects, and field trips. Students enjoy visit­ing missions, museums, and other key locales. The year culminates with an inspiring class trip to an illustrious California city and its seminal and memorable points of interest.