The fourth grade language arts program continues to emphasize reading skills. Students use novels to help understand the concepts of author’s purpose, figurative language, character development, symbolism, and setting. During literature, students take novel notes to help them better understand these concepts while also using them to help complete comprehension and vocabulary building activities. Students expand their writing skills in the areas of paragraph development, letters, and reports, such as the mission report. Proper grammar usage and sentence structure are also areas of focus when writing narrative, opinion, and informative examples.
California history, statehood, and government are the main focus for fourth grade students. They learn about the first settlers to California, Spanish and Mexican rule, including the history of the missions, and California’s statehood. Students participate in California Gold Rush Camp in Columbia, California to further engage them in the learning experience. Industries that are important to California’s economy and the local, state, and federal governments are also taught in the curriculum.
Fourth grade students continue developing their skills with whole number addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They begin work on fractions, including finding equivalent fractions, common denominators, and addition and subtraction with fractions. An introduction to decimals includes an understanding of their meaning and place value. Students continue to work on developing strategies and critical thinking skills used for solving word problems.
Fourth grade religion students study Sacraments and their importance in our daily lives. Students also learn about the Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy, and how they help us live in union with the Ten Commandments, Jesus’ Law of love, and Beatitudes. In the spring, students study family life, which focuses on the gift of life and how to respect all of God’s creation.
Fourth grade students begin the year learning about land and water ecosystems and the adaptations of the organisms that live there. They are also taught how important food chains and food webs are to these ecosystems, including the interdependence of organisms. They continue the study of the scientific method. Later in the year, students grasp the concept of how the earth changes due to events like weathering, erosion, earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides. Students also learn about the properties of minerals and the rock cycle. FOSS Science gives the students the opportunity to practice implementing the scientific method while doing hands-on science.
Spanish class begins with greetings, prayers, and today’s weather and date. Through music, games, and conversation, students review colors, alphabet, numbers, months of the year, days of the week, and body parts as warm up. Students learn new vocabulary weekly and perform oral and written activities using a workbook. Students continue to focus on spelling, developing sentences, and carrying on conversations. Assessment is based on weekly vocabulary quizzes, daily class work, homework, and participation in class.