Grade Four Curriculum

Time management, organization, responsibility, and community building are keys to success for Milton’s fourth grade students. Students are assigned a homeroom, from which they move to various classes. Homework and calendar information are distributed online, as students take more ownership of their learning. Weekly affective education classes address problem-solving skills and character development, and encourage Milton’s fourth graders to be “upstanders” who advocate for what is right. An overnight trip to Milton’s Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont, is an opportunity for the class to come together as a cohesive group.

How did the world begin? How is the world interconnected? These essential questions focus learning in Grade 4. In social studies, students explore and understand prehistoric and ancient civilizations, and study the history of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. In math, students work toward a strong grasp of multiplication, and in science, they focus on physics, human anatomy and engineering. A “Living Arts” project requires them to research a particular artist and create artwork inspired by their subject. Fourth graders hone public-speaking skills during presentations to the class. They learn about digital citizenry as they use iPads on a one-to-one basis.

Studies and Skills

Language Arts

Reading many texts, both fiction and non-fiction that connect to the Social Studies curriculum

Participation in book discussions that are more student-directed

Practicing the elements of a good literature discussion—posing interesting questions, supporting inferences by citing the text, focusing during others’ contributions, and adding relevant ideas and information in a supportive and courteous way

Choosing writing topics of genuine interest and sharing work with real audiences

Developing techniques for writing fiction, nonfiction and persuasion

Implementing the recursive phases of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing

Participation in teacher and peer writing conferences

Continued focus on the conventions of writing—capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar

Spanish Language and Culture

Extending knowledge of vocabulary and grammar structures through visuals

Interpreting simple stories and skits

Mapping countries where Spanish is spoken

Describing people and things in their daily lives

Developing cultural awareness of the Spanish speaking world through games, songs and activities

Learning partnership with El Pilar school in Madrid

Social Studies and Geography

Archeology and ancient human history

Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt with emphasis on elements of civilization

World religions and belief systems

Project management and presentation

Practicing research skills (note-taking, categorizing, synthesizing)

Drama

Improvisation, characterization, storytelling, interpretation of poetry, prose and dramatic texts

Performance and public speaking skills (projection, diction, breath, expression, rhythm and focus)

Learning to develop a presentation and understanding the rehearsal process

Collaborating in small groups and as a large ensemble

Taking on diverse perspectives through character explorations

Mathematics

Whole number multiplication and division

Addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals

Calculating and understanding percents

Three-dimensional geometry

Communicating strategies and ideas about math

Science

Engineering process—creative thinking, data collection, measurement and timing

Physics of motion, buoyancy, inertia

Studying the human body

Studying the miniature and microscopic world

Observing, classifying, predicting and collecting data

Computer Science and Instructional Technology

Learning about digital citizenship—using internal school email appropriately; explain and follow rules for treating others appropriately online

Continued practice with Google applications—Drive, Docs and Sheets

Coding and Robotics using a variety of programming languages

Use 2D and 3D design tools to create models that can be printed

Physical Education and Fitness

Building endurance and stamina

Developing sport-specific skills

Understanding the balance between competitiveness, sportsmanship and fair play

Music and Performing Arts

Living Arts unit: music of the Harlem Renaissance and influence of Jazz and Blues

Body and instrument percussion, and continued work with the ukulele

Choral techniques—breath control, music reading and movement

Ensemble collaboration and listening

Learning new musical vocabulary

Visual Arts

Interdisciplinary artist study unit that begins with summer work

Self-portraits, story paintings, collages, impressionistic landscapes, and prints based on the eight selected artists for each year

Egyptian god and goddess masks and jewelry

Islamic ceramic tile designs

Me, You and Us: Affective Education

Practicing conflict resolution, articulating feelings, perspective taking and active listening

Recognizing body language and facial expressions

Understanding and appreciating differences

Building and maintaining friendships

Cultivating individual responsibility and organization

Fostering self-motivation and goal setting

Library and Information Science

Learning the Dewey Decimal system; skilled use of library catalogue

Using internet resources curated by a teacher to gather information

Creating a list of sources or bibliography of information used in a project

Searching online databases or apps for information

Evaluating web and database resources for usefulness and accuracy

Illustrating and communicating original ideas and stories using digital tools and media-rich resources