Welcome to 4th Grade!
"Around here..., we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
-A life lesson from Walt Disney
The intermediate elementary years are a time of great growth both academically and socially. As children grow older, they become better at making decisions, solving problems, and working in groups. In fourth grade we promote the growth of social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
Fourth graders are ready to delve into complex texts. Throughout these fourth-grade units, children study the complexity of characters and themes in fiction text. Then students begin to investigate topics about nonfiction text using a variety of resources. Students develop their skills in cross-text synthesis, close reading, and evaluating multiple points of view while reading fiction and nonfiction text.
Fourth-graders begin the year writing realistic fiction and learn to develop rich characters and stories. The units then bring students step-by-step toward increasing proficiency with the genres they will encounter later on: thesis-driven persuasive essays, research reports, and literary essays.
In fourth grade we encourage students to be critical thinkers and make connections between the various strands taught throughout the year. The concepts are taught allowing the students to move from concrete to abstract in their understanding. Multi-step word problems are embedded throughout the course of the year.
The units taught this year include the following:
- Place Value in Base Ten - In this unit of Grade 4, students extend their work with whole numbers. They begin with large numbers using familiar units (hundreds and thousands) and develop their understanding of millions. Students build on their knowledge of place value following the pattern of multiplying by ten. They recognize that each sequence of three digits is read as hundreds, tens, and ones followed by the naming of the corresponding base unit (thousand, million, billion).
- Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division - In this unit, students use place value understanding and visual representations to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems with multi-digit numbers. As a key area of focus for Grade 4, this unit moves slowly but comprehensively to develop students’ ability to solve problems with multi-digit addends, subtrahends, factors and dividends.
- Fractions, Equivalences, Ordering, and Comparisons - In this 4th grade unit, students build on their Grade 3 work with unit fractions as they explore fraction equivalence and extend this understanding to mixed numbers. This leads to the comparison of fractions and mixed numbers and the representation of both in a variety of models. Benchmark fractions play an important part in students’ ability to generalize and reason about relative fraction and mixed number sizes. Students then have the opportunity to apply what they know to be true for whole number operations to the new concepts of fraction and mixed number operations.
- Measurement - In this unit students use length, mass and capacity in the metric system to convert between units using place value knowledge. Students recognize patterns of converting units on the place value chart, just as 1000 grams is equal 1 kilogram, 1000 ones is equal to 1 thousand. Mixed unit practice extends students’ understanding of multi-digit operations and manipulating fractional units taught in the previous unit.
- Geometry - Throughout the unit students are introduced to points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles, as well as the relationships between them. Students construct, recognize, and define these geometric objects before using their new knowledge and understanding to classify figures and solve problems. With angle measure playing a key role in their work throughout the unit, students learn how to create and measure angles, as well as create and solve equations to find unknown angle measures.
- Decimals - This fourth grade unit gives students their first opportunity to explore decimal numbers via their relationship to fractions, expressing a given quantity in both fraction and decimal forms. Utilizing the understanding of fractions developed previously, students apply the same reasoning to decimal numbers.
The Fourth Grade science program follows an inquiry based hands-on curriculum. The units of study are: Organizing Ourselves For Doing Science; Digestion, Nutrients, Food Chains and Webs; Simple Machines Organization Of The Earth (rocks & minerals). These topics develop student interest and skill in the use of scientific methods and equipment. Students are taught to observe, measure, classify, infer, predict, record and communicate results.
New York State is the focus of the fourth grade curriculum. The topics to be covered are the geography of New York, the resources and regions of New York, the first people of New York, Colonial New York, the American Revolution in New York. We conclude our Social Studies curriculum with Industrial Revolution and Immigration. Emphasis is placed incorporating technology while developing research skills using a variety of resources.