Fourth grade is the time when children encounter significant changes in their academic experience. For the first time, they are asked to integrate skills that have previously been used in isolation. More time is spent reading, writing and problem solving across the curricula. Organization and time management become important as an increase in homework and formal assessment occur. Children are asked to reflect on learning styles and formulate responses to the processes involved in problem solving. Instruction continues to be concrete and gradually moves to the abstract as the year progresses. Fourth grade children enjoy self-directed learning and exploration. Independent study and small projects are woven into the curriculum. Cooperation and collaborations skills continue to be developed and refined, along with presentation, speaking and listening skills. Fourth grade children serve as “Big Friends” to children in a local feeder school by exchanging letters and having organized play dates. Fourth grade children are encouraged to make more decisions, accept more responsibility and hone social skills. They are ready to take on new challenges and feel good about managing them successfully.
The academic program includes the study of language arts, math, social studies, science, art, music, foreign language, physical education, human development, health and shop. Lessons are varied to include whole group, small group and individual instruction. The work is hands-on and meaningful, emphasizing critical thinking, self-evaluation, and problem solving. Fourth grade children perform twice a year on stage, during the Holiday Program and their class play.