Fourth Grade

Wesleyan Fourth Grade is an exciting year for growth as students become the leaders of the Lower School. Students have various opportunities to grow and prepare for Middle School. This exciting year is filled with out of town field trips that encourage team building and critical thinking.
A highlight of the year is presenting the Easter story of Christ’s death and resurrection to the entire Wesleyan community. Along with these dynamic experiences, students are also challenged academically in a nurturing and supportive Christian environment.

Curriculum Highlights

Reading

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.

Writing

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.

Spelling

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.

Grammar

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.

Mathematics


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 problem solving.

Science

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.

Social Studies

Using the Social Studies Alive! curriculum, students will explore and understand important events and figures in history while participating in multi-sensory activities to encourage the formulation of personal connections.

Beginning with a study of Native Americans, students will learn about our nation’s history, including the Age of Exploration, Colonization, and the American Revolution. Students will also master map skills such as reading time lines, finding latitude and longitude, and interpreting maps, graphs and charts.

Bible

Fourth grade Bible education incorporates classroom study with the dramatization of events on stage. Students begin the year reviewing the books of the Old and New Testaments. The first semester study emphasizes Jesus' life on earth and His ministry. There is concentration on His miracles and parables, with close attention paid to Old Testament prophecies which are fulfilled in the New Testament. In addition, students study the geography of the historical land of Palestine and modern-day Israel. Second semester study details Christ and His twelve chosen apostles, and His Crucifixion and Resurrection. After Easter, we conclude the year with a biographical study of Paul, his conversion, and his missionary journeys.

Physical Education

Personal health, fitness, and team sports are emphasized in the fourth grade physical education program. Students will have an opportunity to swim during the second semester; strokes and breathing techniques will be stressed.

Spanish

Spanish language instruction is offered three times a week. Grammar becomes an increasingly important component of the Spanish curriculum in fourth grade. Games, catchy songs, stories and improvisation offer students engaging ways to improve grammar proficiency. Students will be able to manipulate vocabulary to form their own sentences and guided mini-stories. At every grade level, sufficient new vocabulary is introduced to allow for a successful transition by students new to the Spanish program.

Art

Students continue to expand their knowledge of art materials, method, style and vocabulary in their weekly 45 minute classes. Students mix colors to study value, tints, shade, and moods of color. Fourth graders learn about proportions of the face and human form.

Students gain the understanding that many artists express themselves and their cultural identities through their artwork, and learn to express their own feelings and emotions through art. Students develop an appreciation for the importance of art in different time periods and cultures. They identify and practice the styles of famous artists and categorize art as portraits, landscapes, abstracts, still life or narrative art.

Music

Fourth graders continue to expand their knowledge of the recorder. They become more aware of form and style in music. Their varied musical repertoire includes three-part rounds, canons, and partner songs. Students create longer and more complex musical pieces using barred instruments, singing, recorders, movement, and body percussion. They are also able to participate in Wesleyan Girl Choristers, Wesleyan Boy Choristers and in the Fourth Grade Tone Chime Choir.

Library

Students participate in a library orientation in which library layout, procedures and rules, and book care are reviewed. Students practice research skills through multiple activities in the computer lab and in the library. Students use skimming to identify key words, and note taking and paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism. Knowledge of the use of the online catalog is expanded to include Boolean searches. Literary elements and devices are discussed with read-aloud texts, and students are encouraged to independently read from a variety of genres for information and for pleasure.