Grades 4 - 5
As students progress through the intermediate years of fourth and fifth grade, emphasis is placed on greater individualization of basic subject matter. Students become more involved in developing critical thinking skills and utilizing information obtained from technology and print to enhance their research ability. The school’s small class size enables us to spend more time meeting the needs of our students.
In fourth grade students start the year with a review of place value and basic operations. Students continue to expand on their knowledge of measurements and fractions and begin studying geometry and decimals. As a practical aspect to their work, students participate in Measurement Olympics, work on catalog orders, and tabulate meals from menu items. In fifth grade, students learn multiple digit multiplication and division as well as multiple digit multiplication and division of decimals. Topics such as measurement, geometry and fractions as well as the units already listed, have been introduced in previous grades. In fifth grade these topics are taken to a deeper level with multiplication, division, addition and subtraction of fractions, mixed number multiplication and division, working with exponents and algebraic expressions, and problem solving using graphing and mathematical operations.
A variety of genres are read in the fourth grade reading program. For book reports, students may choose from an extensive selection available in the classroom. Activities and exercises involve: foreshadowing, establishing a story’s setting, theme, and plot, selecting main ideas, and determining word meaning from story context. Students’ grammatical skills are applied in their creative writing assignments and research projects. In fifth grade, students read a wide selection of novels, poems and short stories. Literature circles, and peer editing are examples of class activities. Students make connections to what they are reading, derive inferences from the text, and are able to identify with characters and situations in a story. Book report activities and creative writing are practiced daily in fifth grade.
Topics covered in fourth grade science include plants, animals and their characteristics and habitats, forces, optics, weather, and earth science. Experiments include working with mystery powders, oobleck, static electricity, completing successful circuits, acids and bases, and using geological tools to determine the characteristics of rocks and minerals. Students take their studies to a deeper level in fifth grade. Areas covered include plants and animals and their DNA makeup, animal habitat, ecosystems and biomes, fresh water ecosystems, and the water cycle and its affect on various landforms, ponds, and lakes. The end of the year consists of multiple animal dissections and studies.
The fourth grade social studies curriculum centers on each of the geographical sections of the U.S. In depth activities enable students to learn about the physical area and history of each regional section. In fifth grade students focus on US history and participate in multiple in-depth projects involving research, biographies, analyzing data, and current events.