Grade 4 Overview

Fourth Grade Curriculum Overview

This brochure has been written to inform you about the academic program, skills, and concepts being studied in fourth grade. It is intended to give you a broad overview of the core subjects, instructional goals and learning expectations your child will experience. Newington has a strong comprehensive curriculum, which includes sequential instruction at every grade in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and wellness.


Language Arts

The purpose of the Language Arts Curriculum is to develop all aspects of language (reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing), so students are able to communicate effectively in a technological, ever-changing world. We seek meaningful ways to guide our students to apply their knowledge of the language arts across content areas and in realistic situations through a balanced literacy program, including reader's workshop and the Harcourt Trophies reading program.


The fourth grade reading program includes reading aloud, where teachers read aloud quality literature for enjoyment and to develop literacy skills; shared reading, where teachers and students engage in the reading process; guided reading, where the teacher reinforces skills to aid students in interpreting and evaluating literature; and independent reading, where students select a book according to interest and reading level.


In fourth grade, students work to develop quality writing pieces through writer's workshop. During writer's workshop, the teachers guide the students to continue to focus on and improve narrative writing skills. Teachers guide students to elaborate ideas, organize pieces, select interesting words and develop voice and fluency. Through conferences with peers and a teacher, students further craft their work through revision. Finally, students edit for conventions and share completed work.


Students will:

  • read grade-level text with fluency

  • learn, understand, and apply new vocabulary

  • use various strategies to determine the meanings of unknown words and phrases

  • monitor comprehension while reading

  • summarize fiction and non-fiction using relevant information from the text

  • infer and interpret story elements

  • identify text structure and author's purpose for using it

  • compare and contrast the point of view of different stories

  • interpret information presented visually or orally

  • compare and contrast themes, topics, and events

  • use capitalization and punctuation appropriately

  • write and speak using grammatically correct sentences

  • write organized and elaborated narratives, opinion pieces, and informational pieces

  • proofread, edit, and revise written work

  • apply spelling strategies in writing

  • write legibly, forming manuscript and cursive letters appropriately

  • report on topics or text using facts and a clear voice

  • describe the speaker’s point of view and supporting reasons

  • contribute relevant information to class discussions

  • use formal and informal speech appropriately


Mathematics

The goal of the fourth grade math curriculum is to build upon students' existing foundation of concepts and skills. Students participate in specific units of study to further their understanding through meaningful and challenging tasks. The curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, which define what students should know and be able to do in their study of mathematics.


The fourth grade mathematics program includes direct instruction, where teachers target specific skills and concepts; guided math, in which the teacher reinforces and builds on skills with small groups of students based on individual progress; independent practice; and collaborative learning, where students have the opportunity to communicate their reasoning, cooperate, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Through activities, labs, daily practice and problems, and games, students will:

  • read, write, and compare multi-digit numbers based on place value concepts

  • find all factor pairs for numbers through 100

  • demonstrate fluency with multiplication facts

  • demonstrate fluency with division facts

  • multiply 4-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers and 2-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers

  • divide 4-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers with and without remainders

  • compare fractions with different numerators and different denominators

  • solve problems by adding/subtracting fractions (including mixed numbers) with like denominators

  • solve problems involving multiplying a fraction by a whole number

  • compare decimals to hundredths

  • represent and solve word problems using an equation with a letter standing for the unknown

  • use estimation strategies to determine reasonableness of an answer

  • compare/classify polygons (parallel lines, perpendicular lines, symmetry, angles, etc.)

  • convert measures from a larger unit to a smaller unit

  • solve word problems involving measurement

  • solve addition and subtraction problems to find unknown angle measurements

  • make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

  • communicate mathematical thinking clearly and precisely, orally and in writing


Science

As fourth grade students explore new concepts in science, they are encouraged to apply the skills of the scientific process. They make observations and predictions, ask questions, seek information, and conduct experiments. The students analyze data and use it to draw and present conclusions. The students explore how all organisms depend upon the features of their environment to survive. They learn that when an environment changes, organisms must change or move elsewhere, otherwise survival is not possible. Water has a major role in shaping the Earth's surface, especially through erosion. Fourth graders explore how water circulates through the Earth and its atmosphere. Additionally, they study how the sun affects the water cycle. Students also explore electricity. Force and motion are investigated, as the students note the effects of push and pull on the motion of objects.


Health

All students in Newington are encouraged to appreciate and demonstrate respect, responsibility, and empathy. The goal of our health program is for students to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students practice making healthy and appropriate decisions throughout each school year. Fourth graders learn how the human body needs healthy food choices and regular exercise to function properly. Conflict resolution is a focus area, as students are challenged to effectively address and resolve stressful encounters and situations. The students learn about the negative impacts of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco on the body, as well as strategies for dealing with peer pressure to try such substances. The students also learn how related diseases can affect the body.


Social Studies

In Grade 4 students engage in the study of United States Geography as it relates to the regional cultural, economic, and political development of the United States.  This approach supports in-depth inquiry through the examination and evaluation of multiple sources and allows students to explore regions of the United States supported by the disciplines of history, civics, and economics.  The study of geography requires that students generate and research compelling questions such as:

  • What makes a region a region?

  • How do factors interact to influence where people settle?

  • How do changes in science and technology affect community and the environment?

  • What causes people to migrate to or leave a region?

  • How would our lives be different if we lived in a different region?


Educational Technology

The technology education program provides students with direct instruction and practice in technology skills on a graduated basis.  Students acquire a working knowledge and understanding keyboarding, word processing, multimedia skills, and features in Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Publisher. Students demonstrate mastery of skills by completing grade-appropriate activities and projects.


Art

Art education promotes self-awareness, self-expression, and well-being. The art program promotes interdisciplinary experiences that aid students in the integration of ideas, concepts and processes, and in a holistic perception of their world. It promotes an understanding of the diverse cultures in society as reflected in the arts. In fourth grade, an increased visual awareness is developed as students learn to identify subtle visual qualities in nature and the constructed environment as well as artworks.


Students will:

  • develop their knowledge of design concepts

  • understand the ideas and designs for artwork that can come from different views of the environment

  • contrast and compare the functions, cultural origin and relative age of artwork from different time period

  • examine and reflect upon the process of creating their artwork and the artwork of others

  • identify various careers that use of visual arts

  • continue to make a correlation between the visual arts and other content areas


Music

Music education enhances learning, creativity, communication, teamwork, discipline, respect for others, cultural awareness, and self-esteem through personal accomplishment. The elementary music program develops these skills in children to help them succeed in school, in society, and in life.


Students will:

  • reinforce their vocal skills by using a ‘singing' voice and singing ‘in-tune'

  • further develop their knowledge of classroom instruments by exploring, demonstrating and identifying various patterns on these instruments

  • continue to study symphonic instrumentation through the study of the four families of instruments, including identification of instruments in the context of listening repertoire

  • learn a variety of new terms and symbols

  • students in fourth grade will have the unique opportunity to participate in a variety of performing organizations. Students may also elect to further their vocal skills by participating in chorus


Wellness

The Wellness program in fourth grade is designed to help children better understand their movement capabilities, and in turn, helps them to better master many movement skills. It provides the students with the opportunity for individual and creative responses, and allows the child to progress at his/her own rate. In grade 4, skills unique to individual and team sports are introduced.

Students are exposed to various sports skills and develop:

  • fitness appreciation

  • ability to work with a partner

  • ability to function as part of a "team"