Welcome to Fourth Grade!
Fourth grade students continue to make the transition from learning academic skills to applying skills in order to learn. For example, instead of just practicing reading comprehension strategies, fourth graders are expected to use these skills as they read to learn new material in Science and Social Studies textbooks. The fourth grade year can be challenging for children!
The fourth grade textbook is part of a literature series by Scott-Foresman. Each unit targets a specific reading skill. While practicing comprehension strategies, students learn to identify the setting of a story, determine the author's purpose, and explore characterization. Students are expected to use the writing process to communicate clearly in complete sentences and good paragraphs. Spelling, phonics, listening, and speaking skills are also integrated into each literature unit.
Fourth graders cover many new math skills during the year. By the end of the year, we expect students to have all their multiplication and division facts memorized. Another major goal of fourth grade math is to have all students able to multiply a 3-digit number by a 1-digit number. Topics covered this year also include, long division, time and money, geometry, fractions and decimals, measurement, and probability. Fourth grade math includes a lot of problem solving activities to help develop critical thinking skills.
Students study four units in fourth grade Science - a new unit each marking period. These units include magnetism and electricity; physical properties of matter; exploring the sun, moon, and Earth; and plants. Throughout the year, hands-on activities help students practice the Scientific Method.
The purpose of the fourth grade Social Studies curriculum is to provide knowledge and understanding of the state of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. The central theme of this course of study is the history of Michigan and why settlers initially came and stayed. However, students will also learn about the geographical, civic, and economic perspectives of Michigan. The students will study Great Lakes shipwrecks with an emphasis on Thunder Bay maritime history.
Art & Music
This year, students continue to be exposed to the fine arts in Music and Art classes which are each held once a week.
Physical Education & Health
Twice a week, children participate in PE class, building on their knowledge of team sports and individual physical skills. Weekly Health classes teach the children about the negative effects of drugs, the importance of personal safety, good dental hygiene, and the function of the digestive system.
Assessment & Reporting
Fourth graders in Michigan participate in Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) testing. This test assesses progress in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Tests are given in October. These tests are not graded, but give us valuable information to help children with their individual needs and align our curriculum. Parents are kept informed of student progress through regular progress reports and conferences.