Fourth grade marks a clear transition in a student’s academic progress with increased expectations for student responsibility and self-directed learning. The reading component focuses on vocabulary, comprehension, and analysis of character and plot in a broad range of selections including fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction. Writing continues to be a central part of all learning activities including journals, book reports, and research papers. Spelling and vocabulary skills develop from word lists and from words in the content areas. Grammar and structure become valuable tools to enhance communication. Students develop reports, stories, letters, and journal entries using the writing process.
Mathematics continues to stress the need for accurate computation and careful application in the problem solving process. Concepts are introduced and reviewed through a variety of hands-on and pencil-and-paper activities. Equations and word problems take on increasing importance in the program. The analytical approach to problem solving prepares the children for more rigorous quantitative explorations.
Fourth grade students study the fifty states and United States history. A special unit on Native American culture offers students the opportunity to explore the rich past of this country and this region. Science is often integrated with other content areas. Many classroom experiments involve topics from physical, earth, and natural sciences. Field trips and computer work in the classroom as well as in the lab extend and enrich the curriculum.