November 28, 2017
A whole language-phonics based approach is used in reading. Fluency and comprehension in
reading are key and are reinforced with increased emphasis in vocabulary, spelling, and writing.
Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives are explored at a greater depth within the writing lessons. Throughout the curriculum, proper handwriting techniques are reinforced.
Learning expands on and beyond adding and subtracting. Multiplication and division of whole
numbers is explored. Fractions and geometry concepts are introduced at a greater depth than
before. Measurement in English and metric standards, time, and problem solving round off the
A general science curriculum continues with study of living things, animal and plant growth and
adaptations, human body systems, ecosystems, earthquakes and volcanoes, fossils, weather
conditions, matter and energy, magnetism, electricity, geology, and the solar system. Concepts are reinforced by inferences through hands-on experiments.
Through field trips and classroom study, fourth graders explore the history of the state of Indiana and its relation to the other areas of the United States. Map reading and plotting skills are expanded. State reports give students research and public speaking opportunities.
Will, conscience, and response to the love of God is discussed in ligt of actions of right or wrong. Bible stories are studied as well as the Ten Commandments in light of how they changed lives in the past and in the future. Preparation for an all-school All Saints Day Celebration is made by the students. Students attend Mass twice a week.
Students are introduced to software that aids in the creation of spreadsheets and databases. With exposure to a variety of software, students often explore word processing and multimedia. The Internet is introduced through demonstrations and various activities.
Art is taught using Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) which includes art history, art
production, development of the ability to describe and express your own feelings about a piece of art, development of the ability to criticize a piece of art constructively. Each grade level “scaffolds” or builds on the grade level before it. Vocabulary and techniques used increase in difficulty with the cognitive abilities of that grade level. In grade four, students produce projects based on the art of a famous artist. For example, a possible lesson theme could be on Matisse cut outs or pencil color mixing with the “Masters.”
Other lessons add depth to the ways a student makes are such as creating sculptures from copper wire. All projects reinforce the art theories introduced in previous grades: perspective, color, shading, texture, 2-D art, 3-D art, and line.
Students delve further into the Dewey Decimal system as well as what goes onto a card in
the card catalog. Selection of books is more independent. Lessons expand into further
exploration of resource materials including dictionaries and encyclopedias.
With a firm foundation of beginning music theory in place, students begin to read music and play a recorder. New music theory can include: understanding lines and spaces, musical terms, meter, and test counting. Students delve further into musical styles, form and expressive melody.
Activities are planned to help children develop appropriate motor skills beginning with the
fundamental skills. These skills lead to specific sport skills that can turn into lifetime activities.