By the time students arrive in fourth grade, they have developed a wide range of academic and social skills. The goals at this stage are to continue building and deepening their skillset, continue growing into independent learners, embracing a growth mindset, building leadership skills, and reflecting on who they are as learners and community members. Students are given more responsibility in order to develop self-management skills and become more independent. Through differentiation and a focus on equity, we aim to meet students where they are at and make sure each child has what they need to be successful.
Our primary goal is for all students to see themselves as mathematicians and to see how math connects to our world! Math is woven into all our projects and we aim to connect our math work to real-world ideas. We use Bridges Curriculum as a foundation and supplement with many other current and researched-based math resources.
Our program focuses on refining and solidifying skills-building efficiency and automaticity. We use open-ended Math Investigations connected to our themes in order to provide opportunities for students to apply skills, develop confidence, and grow into self-motivated problem solvers.
Literacy is intertwined in all aspects of a fourth grader’s school day. The goal is to create lifelong, passionate readers. As they continue developing essential reading skills, we also help students explore new genres, connect literature to their personal lives, and the world. Independent reading is a chance for students to learn about their own reading habits and explore books.
Literature Circles are a time when students discuss a shared book helping them deepen comprehension, understand multiple perspectives, and communicate effectively. Read Alouds are a chance for teachers to model reading skills, connect to our themes, and build class community. Finally, Reading Workshop is when students work in small groups to practice their oral reading skills, discuss books, and connect with their peers through books.
Through journal writing, genre-specific projects, and writing skills practice, 4th grade is a time for students to see themselves as writers and to use writing as a tool to express themselves and explore ideas. Journal time is for students to build writing stamina and to practice using writing to develop their opinions. Writer’s Workshop offers students a chance to explore genres such as realistic fiction and persuasive essays.
Small, differentiated Word Study groups help students build their understanding of spelling, language, and word usage. We consistently promote the writing process of drafting, editing, and revising no matter the writing task to help students become reflective and empowered writers.
In fourth grade, students continue to explore the scientific method through hands-on learning as they develop a curiosity in science. Teachers use science to connect students to fourth grade themes as they expand their understanding of general scientific terms, and practice structured problem-solving. Students explore different topics such as the human body, geography, energy, and food systems.
Social studies is the backbone of the fourth grade curriculum. The goal is to empower students to be knowledgeable, critical thinkers who understand how to be active and positive members of their communities. Through our projects, Literature Circle books, Read Alouds, journals, and discussions, 4th graders learn about social justice, voting and civic responsibility, Washington state geography, cartography, agriculture, and sustainable living.
In fourth grade, students are ready to be reflective and open-minded community members. Using the Positive Discipline framework, students develop social skills that help them foster strong friendships, collaborate with peers, communicate respectfully and effectively, and understand the different perspectives and experiences of others.
We start the year with our Wolf Fest project. Using design thinking as a framework, students create and develop a community-building event for the Lower School. Students work in committees to design different aspects of the event using feedback and ideas from a panel of experts. The final event is always a unique reflection of the current cohort of students and a celebration of their leadership and collaboration skills.
Class Meeting is a time for students to problem-solve together with the issues that matter to them. All our projects offer many opportunities to develop leadership skills. For example, Each One Teach One is a project where each student gets to teach a lesson and lead an activity to the class about a passion they have. It is a chance to celebrate the uniqueness of our 4th grade community.
We strongly believe in teaching with an anti-racist approach and strive to help our students understand their identities, how they fit into society, and how to stand up for their rights and the rights of others. Social skills are taught both explicitly through lessons and informally through teachable moments that arise on a daily basis.
In fourth grade, the goal of integrating technology is to enhance the learning experience, communicate, and create, while also developing a 21st-century skill set for our students. To connect with our overarching theme of community, students also explore how to be a strong digital citizen. Fourth graders practice typing and traverse many different online tools such as email, Google Classroom, Zoom, Padlet, Flipgrid, Newsela, IXL, and Khan Academy as they evolve into tech-savvy individuals.
"Academics is a major part of our daughter’s learning experience. However, just as important to our family was the social development towards becoming a well-rounded citizen and community member. Our kids are socialized into a culture of kindness, safety, and the opportunity to appreciate service."
Our application deadline for the 2023-24 school year has passed. However, we will continue to accept applications for select grades. For information on availability and options for a late application, please contact our Director of Admissions, Ted Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org.