Reading skills are taught and reinforced throughout the entire fourth grade curriculum, as well as during a designated reading and literacy block. The reading program focuses on teaching students the skills they need to read to learn.
We begin the year by reviewing comprehension skill strategies (predicting, summarizing, making inferences, drawing conclusions, etc.) and transition to whole class reading instruction using the novel Sign of the Beaver.The students also participate in small literature circles while reading Snow Treasure or Way Down Deep. We complete the year by engaging in a novel study of Tuck Everlasting. Throughout the year, we focus on recognizing literary devices within text (simile, metaphor, idiom, hyperbole, personification, alliteration, and onomatopoeia) through a number of various genres, such as realistic fiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, historical fiction, myths, fairy tales, and fables.
Using the five steps writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) and the
Shurley English curriculum, fourth graders write in a variety of genres and forms for different audiences and purposes. Students experience writing in various forms, such as letters, summaries, news articles and essays. Students utilize resources in the Dozier Library to perform research for writing from five different styles: descriptive, narrative, personal/fictional, expository, and persuasive. Students will also master writing in cursive.
During the first half of the fourth grade school year, students focus on reviewing high frequency words and spelling patterns. We also continuously review spelling rules when adding suffixes. After Christmas break, students are expected to spell high frequency words and words with taught spelling patterns correctly in context.
Our grammar curriculum is supported by the Shurley English program which teaches the important rules of grammar using catchy songs and jingles. This instructional method helps students commit to memory the many rules of the English language.
By the end of fourth grade, students will be able to diagram sentences with the appropriate parts of speech, recognize different types of sentences, and use appropriate grammar in both oral and written language.
The foundation of our K-4 mathematics program is Math in
Focus, a curriculum focused on problem solving through real-world and hands-on
experiences.Students are taught to
think critically about math by moving through a sequence of concrete
(manipulatives) to pictorial (bar models) to abstract (formulas/algorithms)
learning.To achieve mastery, students
will learn the “why” behind each mathematical concept before learning the
“how”.The ability to apply knowledge to
routine as well as non-routine math problems is an integral part of
demonstrating mastery of math concepts.
In grades 2-4, math classes are departmentalized and taught
according to ability.Through on-going
assessments and the support of a math specialist/resource teacher, teachers are
able to differentiate lessons to meet the needs of each individual
student.Academic support and enrichment
are both part of the daily math experience in the lower school.
At Wesleyan, we believe success in math cannot be achieved
without mastery of math facts, therefore each grade level has its own math fact
mastery expectations. Research shows students who are able to recall math facts
quickly free up working memory that can then be devoted to more difficult
Fourth graders have science instruction for three-45 minute periods per week. Students study in-depth units regarding the human body, earth science, life science and physical science. Special projects in fourth grade include the digestive system project and volcano project. Students experience the scientific investigative process by designing, conducting and reporting their own research involving the classroom worms.
All science study units are reinforced with hands-on activities where investigative skills are practiced. In addition, the science program is designed to increase computer proficiency, enforce consistent study habits, improve organizational skills, and improve literacy skills for expository texts.