Revealing Strength, Courage & Adventure!
Developmental Picture of the Student
Fourth graders become more self-confident as their perceptions of the world sharpen. They also experience a stronger separation from their surroundings and become more independent. These developmental steps broaden the child’s perspective and show a world of endless, exciting possibilities. The fourth grader has an adventurous spirit, is full of curiosity, and is eager to explore new capacities for learning and creativity.
How the Curriculum Meets the 4th Grader
The ability to choose consciously is strongly echoed in Norse mythology. These traditional tales center on strength of character, courage, self-sacrifice, and perseverance while revealing hidden motives, and character fallibility. The Norse stories impart the gifts and risks of growing into independent, free human beings. Through these myths, the language arts curriculum expands to introduce independent writing and grammar.
The 4th grader experiences a stronger separation from their surroundings. This developmental step broadens the child’s perspective on the world and of human interactions and serves as a requisite foundation for future independence.
In 4th grade, the world – which once exhibited a magical wholeness—begins to break apart. This is the appropriate time to introduce fractions. Through hands-on activities, the children find a world of numbers in between any two whole numbers. In science, the children learn about animals’ diverse qualities and contrast them to human capacities. The students learn research skills and do their first independent report on an animal of their choice. They also advance writing skills with book reports.
Students continue to advance their work in music, art and handwork, focusing this year on the complex form drawings of Celtic knots and in needlepoint projects.
Geography and history are woven together to give the students a sense of the interrelatedness of space, time, and cultures. They learn how the earth’s geological movements formed the regional environments around Texas, and they study local Native American history and culture which reveals a rich, detailed and integrated picture of our surrounding areas.
4th GRADE CURRICULUM COMPONENTS
- Science & Mathematics – Human/animal environments & behaviors; Introduction of fractions: equivalent fractions, expanding, reducing, greatest common factors and least common multiples
- Language Arts – Stories of Norse mythology; Study local history and animal behavior; Introduction to report writing research skills; Reading independently for comprehension, inferring and decoding; Introduction to grammar and parts of speech; Paragraph development; Writing book reports
- Geography & History – Drawing maps, the four directions, geographic placement through movement; Study of the geographic regions and history of Texas.
- Art – Celtic knot illustrations; Modeling animals & local land forms; Painting story motifs using warm/cool colors; More advanced drawing techniques
- World Languages – Students experience German and Spanish that provide an introduction to writing, reading and vocabulary.
- Handwork – Sequences, patterns, symmetry and direction are practiced through cross-stitching.
- Music – Modern musical notation and learning to sing and play a song from sheet music; Choroi diatonic C-flute; Singing and playing rounds and part music.
- Gym & Eurythmy – Advanced physical games and movement skills; Choreography and gestures for the major and minor moods in music
- Field Trips & Community Events – Local field trips: explore the city’s rich history; 4th grade play: A Norse myth recited by the whole class in costumes/props with some individual speaking parts.
LIFE SKILLS & HOMEWORK EXPERIENCED IN 4TH GRADE
- Study vocabulary lists for weekly spelling tests
- Practice writing with correct sentence structure
- Write an independent research paper on an animal
- Writing summarizing book reports
- Practice reading independently & in small groups
- Practice simple fractions with all four processes
- Practice with measurement, the four basic operations, long division and multi-digit multiplication
- Memorizing lines and actions for parts in the play
- Practice string instruments at home and in lessons