Citizens Making a Difference
Year-Long Essential Questions
- How are problems solved?
- What does it mean to make a difference?
- What can we do to better our community?
Linguistic Intelligence (Reading)
Students focus on three types of reading in fourth grade: reading for pleasure, reading for understanding, and reading critically for information. They also explore a variety of literary genres both within literature circles and on their own.
Through their reading they will learn or increase their ability to do the following skills:
- ask questions to guide their understanding
- find evidence to support their ideas
- visualize what the author is telling the reader
- predict and infer to show a deeper understanding of the text
- identify and understand figurative language
- summarize without retelling
- use print features to help better understand what the author is saying
- make connections to the text (from self, other texts, and the world)
- use text to answer comprehension questions
- use text in support your answers during literary discussions
Linguistic Intelligence (Writing)
Fourth grade is a year in which students hone their writing skills. They write both freely and with the guidance of a topic. Students will work on note taking, writing narratives, poetry, and letter writing. They will go from prewriting to writing to editing and revising before producing published documents.
Throughout the year students will:
- write a cohesive paragraph with focus on a single topic
- write a multi-paragraph narrative on a single topic
- develop the habit of proofreading
- write pieces that contain a main idea and includes supporting details
- organize piece to include smooth transitions
- experiment with voice
- include figurative language and dialogue to create a richer piece
- explore poetry techniques
Language and Spelling
Grammar and spelling skills continue to evolve in fourth grade. The depth of student knowledge in these areas may range greatly and differentiation plays a key role in meeting students’ needs. These curricula focus on learning and then applying the skills and rules in daily writing.
- identify and correct fragments and run-ons
- create compound and complex sentences
- use commas correctly
- use quotation marks and create dialogue
- identify and correct fragments and run-ons
- use the doubling, silent /e/ rule, and /y/ rules
- use r-controlled vowel patterns
- identify homophones
- use word structures: prefixes, suffixes and roots
Logical - Mathematical Intelligence
Fourth grade is a year in which students not only learn new logical-mathematical skills but also use their new knowledge to revisit skills they have already learned.
During this year students will:
- use mental math strategies
- add, subtract using regrouping
- multiply 2-digit by 2-digit numbers
- divide multi-digit dividend by a 1-digit divisor
- work with decimals
- convert fractions to simplest form
- add and subtract fractions
- understand reciprocity between addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division
- create algebraic equations
- solve basic algebraic equations (27=Y x 3)
Data Analysis - Probability
- collect data to create graphs
- analyze different graph types
- express probability of events in both word and fraction form
- use probability results to predict future outcomes
- choose appropriate tool and unit of measure to determine volume, weight, and length
- measure to 1/8 of an inch
- measure distance with both metric and standard units
- create and label figures that are congruent and similar
- identify different types of polygons and 3-dimensional figures
- manipulate polygons and parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting lines
- use a variety of strategies to solve problems
- use model drawing to illustrate thinking process
Theme Studies: Citizens Making a Difference
Our theme guides the curriculum. The year begins with the study of Ancient Greece and how it has made a difference in the world. Reading Greek myths, studying ancient Greek arts and culture enhance understanding.
From studying Greece as the foundation of democracy, students move to a unit on government which offers another opportunity to see how everyday citizens can be change makers through voting, participating in the process, and serving their community. During this time students each research and share about an individual who has made a difference in the world. By taking part in the Living Museum project, students are able to take on the persona of their research through presentations to their families and the rest of the school community.
As part of the disabilities unit, students experience a number of simulations. These range from being wheelchair bound to being visually impaired. Students interact with guest speakers, and travel to Ackerman School to work with children who are differently-abled.
Reading such books as Rules, Larger-Than-Life Lara, and Out of My Mind help students gain insights, guide discussions, and develop empathy (not sympathy) for individuals who face different challenges.