As colleagues of the “upper” grades of elementary school, 4th graders deepen their learning and skills, preparing them for middle school. Fourth graders are still considered and learn as elementary school students yet developmentally most 4th graders are very much still children. They enjoy and learn from play and thrive in nurturing and warm environments. However, the content of our 4th grade curricula push students to think, analyze and learn in more sophisticated and structured ways. Students are taught to deeply think about and make connections in what they read and learn, write with clarity, flow and structure and learn more complex concepts across all subjects. In addition, 4th graders are encouraged to be more independent in their learning, depending less on the teacher‘s guidance and researching, planning and revising their work more independently and in collaboration with other fourth graders.
Our 4th grade classrooms are structured like most elementary school classrooms, with desks or tables for the students and usually an area for lessons and class meetings and discussions. There are often areas or centers dedicated to different subjects of learning. For instance, there may be an area with all of the math tools and supplies as well as a class library dedicated to reading. Technology is a crucial part of the 4th grade classroom as students use it for extensive writing and research.
Literacy for our fourth graders includes a comprehensive balanced literacy approach where students will receive direct small group instruction in reading, writing and discussions while actively engaged in a minimum of ninety minutes of uninterrupted time of explicit and systematic instruction and exposure to rich literature and informal texts with integration of science and social studies based on fidelity.
Mathematic instruction for our fourth graders is founded on a constructivist approach where students actively explore mathematical ideas through standards based on engaging investigations and problem solving. This balanced approach ensures the student’s role in actively thinking and reasoning concepts with a minimum of sixty or more minutes of uninterrupted time. This mathematical approach is composed of a number talk, mini lesson, small group work or independent practice, and a debriefing session.
The fourth grade team welcomes you and your child this year. It will be a year filled with engaging learning of exploration and new discoveries.