“What makes a great book?” is the essential question we ask students as they uncover the many different genres of literature in the Fourth Grade reading curriculum. Students read new literature as well as timeless classics as avenues to answer this essential question. Fourth Grade students are able to use their self-confidence to hone their presentation skills in projects that require both writing and speaking about the literature they are reading.
Fourth Graders study the State of Missouri in the Social Studies curriculum that asks questions like, “Are modern civilizations here now more civilized than ancient ones?” and, “Is bartering still a valuable way to obtain goods?” During the process of learning about these cultures and historical periods, as well as modern-day government, students create their own unique classroom city. Making decisions involved in creating a city enables them to discover how specific decisions by government and businesses affect everyone in the community.
The Mathematics curriculum used in Fourth Grade further stimulates problem solving and increases mental math ability. Different algorithms are used to solve multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Geometry is introduced and elementary algebraic concepts are presented on a regular basis using a variety of hands-on activities.
Being a part of the upper school allows Fourth Graders to take on a more advanced leadership role. Students guide their younger buddies in classroom activities and lessons.
Wow! It's hard to believe that we're in April and there's only a little bit of school left. Where does the time go?
One way that Fourth Graders are spending their time in the classroom is working on their Plymouth City Project.
Plymouth City is a legacy project, meaning that each class adds something to it each year. Last year, the class founded the town of Plymouth City, and each of the students added either a business or some sort of public service (e.g. a bakery, the police department). This year's group must choose something different to add to the town, as will next year's class and the class after that. The students must think about why their business or service is good for the community in multiple ways, including why it's good for the environment and why it's good for the economy. Recently, we had a guest speaker in our room who also happens to be a room parent. He is a business owner, so we thought he would be able to provide lots of good answers.
The class generated questions a week before so that he had time to review them and provide answers that were kid-friendly. I was so impressed with what they came up with! They were specific, open-ended questions that really allowed our guest to go in-depth with his responses. Fourth Graders took age-appropriate notes in order to apply the knowledge they gained to their own projects. The next step for the group is locate specific resource materials, including a book, a website, and an expert in the field of their business that they can interview. It's so much fun watching how excited they are to take ownership of their work! They continue to impress and I can't wait to see what the final product looks like!