The 4th grade language arts curriculum hones students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Reading and discussing various literary genres both as a class and in small reading groups provides students with a rich literary background with which to model their own writing. Composition is approached as a process where student journal, produce drafts and conference with peers and with the teacher before using the computer to publish their pieces. Whether writing poetry, fables, persuasive letters or fiction, fourth graders are given the opportunity to make decisions like authors.
In math, 4th graders work both individually and cooperatively to identify patterns and solve problems grounded in mathematical and real-life contexts. They develop multiple strategies, explaining their reasoning and hearing that of others. Using manipulatives, calculators, games, mental math and pencil and paper, students investigate the operations of multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; the number system; fractions and area; data collection and analysis; and graphing and problem-solving with time, money and distance.
Social studies in involves exploration of the concept of civilization. Students discover through hands-on activities that it is through archaeology that we are able to learn about ancient civilizations, including those in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Using deductive reasoning, geographical information and various research tools, students become intimately familiar with life in, and the development of these early civilizations. Field trips to the Spertus Museum and the Field Museum are highlights of study.
Science, Spanish, art, music, technology and physical education are also integrated into the curriculum.