Welcome to 4th Grade!
"Around here..., we don't look backward 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 fractions 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 to 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.
As a part of the curriculum for fourth grade, your child will be learning fundamental science core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts that will enhance their understanding of the natural and designed worlds.In this first unit, your child will extend their experiences of the life sciences. Using phenomena associated with the senses, your child will make observations and develop models to explain their thinking. Emphasis will be that animal systems receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways. They will learn that plants and animals have internal and external structures that are components of systems that support their survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.In this second unit, your child will learn about Energy systems. Using hands-on investigations, your child will come to understand the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of the object, that energy is conserved as it is transferred and/or converted from one form to another, and that changes in energy occur when objects collide. Your child will explore energy and fuels that are derived from natural resources and how their uses affect the environment, as well as learning about alternative energy sources and the pros and cons that are considered in decision making processes.In the third unit, students will compare and contrast different examples of waves to develop consensus around patterns common to transverse waves (like water waves). In the second half of the unit, students learn the importance of understanding the transformation of different forms of energy and apply those ideas in an engineering challenge featuring communication over a distance. How does this relate to waves? Sound, light, and electronic devices utilize the characteristics and properties of waves.In the fourth unit, your child will learn about Earth systems. Using information from various sources, your child will make observations and predictions and will provide evidence that Earth has patterns in rock formations and layers. They will continue to study changes that occur in Earth’s landscape over time. He/she will provide evidence of the effects of weathering over time based on erosion by water, wind, ice, or vegetation. Students will use maps to describe the patterns of Earth’s features. They will also generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impact of natural Earth processes on humans.
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, and the American Revolution in New York. We conclude our Social Studies curriculum with the Industrial Revolution and Immigration. Emphasis is placed on incorporating technology while developing research skills using a variety of resources.