The 4th Grade Curriculum
Fourth Grade is an exciting year. This year marks the end of the Primary Years and is referred to as the doorstep of the Junior Level. There is a strong focus on deepening reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, honing each student's writing craft, solidifying math computation skills while expanding upon prior knowledge, and developing strong study skills that will help our fourth graders transition more easily into fifth grade. A deeper exploration into social studies and the sciences cultivates higher order thinking and connection to our world. Hands-on learning, group work, increased independent work, and traditional direct instruction are all utilized in fourth grade.
Fourth Grade studies the Ten Commandments, Laws of the Church, Beatitudes, and the Rosary as guides for living our Faith. Religion is presented in whole group instruction and class discussions. The students are encouraged to live their Faith through daily prayer, attending Mass, and by participating in activities to help the less fortunate.
4th grade math continues to build on previously acquired skills, while introducing and exploring in greater depth concepts such as fractions, decimals, and long division. 4th graders use a variety of methods to explore these, including hands-on manipulatives, group projects, online games and websites, in addition to more traditional methods. There is also a strong emphasis placed on mental math, as well as the ability to explain mathematical concepts verbally and in writing.
Language Arts encompasses reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary development, and grammar. The reading program in 4th grade uses a reader’s workshop model, in which specific reading strategies are incorporated into reading authentic fiction and nonfiction, with an overarching goal of fostering a love of reading.
4th graders work on writing cohesive paragraphs and then move onto crafting 5 paragraph essays. Utilizing Chromebooks, they learn how to effectively edit their own writing as well as that of their peers. 4th graders study vocabulary in all subject areas as well as through the use of Wordly Wise, a rigorous word study program. Word usage, through the examination of Greek and Latin roots and the study of figurative language, is an important daily focus in 4th grade.
Science and Social Studies
The 4th grade follows the Nancy Larson science curriculum, which combines hands-on learning with a systematic approach to studying a range of topics such as exploring the characteristics of cells, exploring energy and investigating electricity, to name a few.
In Social Studies, fourth graders explore their own state of Maryland, learning about its geography, history, and culture. This includes various field trips, including visiting the state capital of Annapolis, as well as Fort McHenry and the Underground Railroad. Subsequently, they are introduced to the regions of the United States, and each student picks one state to study for a large research project.
This project introduces and reinforces many important skills such as conducting research, using and properly documenting multiple sources, breaking down a large project into manageable steps, writing and editing a longer essay, and writing and presenting a short informative speech.