Religion is the crown jewel of all subjects. During the Fourth Grade year, students learn how God reaches out to us through the study of the Mass, Sacred Scripture, The Great Commandment, The Ten Commandments, The Sacraments, The Eight Beatitudes, and The Works of Mercy. Our Religion classes include the study of Saints, Rosary, Stations of the Cross and Prayers.
Concepts in problem solving and basic operations, mental math, measurement, graphing, geometry and data analysis are taught and reinforced throughout the year. Students develop their math skills with the use of calculators and the computer along with other math tools. Student expectations include being able to successfully solve long multiplication and long division computations, adding and subtracting fractions, and application of math strategies. The Problem of the Day and Maintenance Sheets provide reinforcement of skills learned thus far. Building math confidence permeates the atmosphere of the Fourth Grade math program.
The fourth grade science curriculum challenges the students to investigate topics through guided inquiry. Performance tasks allow the student to discover his/her own learning. In Life Science we classify Plants and Animals, and Ecosystems. We study the Systems of the Body and how the smallest and largest parts work together. In Earth Science we cover the Water Cycle and Weather, Earthquakes and Volcanoes. In Physical Science, Heat and Air are studied along with Light. The highlight of our Science Program is Fourth Grade’s Mini Science Fair where we demonstrate our mastery of the Scientific Process.
During the first semester Fourth Graders tour the five regions comprising our wonderful country. Students learn about the 50 states, capitals and abbreviations. We discover the economy, geography and the people that make each region special. Each region is celebrated with a tasting gala of its agricultural products. All fourth graders throughout the United States study their home state.
During the second semester students study Pennsylvania. We use the Pennsylvania textbook covering the topics: People and their Contributions, Colonial Pennsylvania, Building America, The Civil War, and the Government. Students culminate their knowledge by sponsoring a Pennsylvania Day. Map Skills, Charts and Diagrams and Citizenship are taught throughout the school year.
Weekly spelling lessons are tested on most Fridays. Tests include 20 list words, 4 challenge words, 1 WOW (word of the week), and a dictation sentence. Spelling exercises provide opportunities to work with sorting sound/letter relationships, analogies, dictionary skills, context clues and proofreading.
Weekly reading themes create an exciting print-rich environment. We begin with our Anthology followed by vocabulary development and word study. Reading strategies taught at this level include: main idea/supporting details, cause/effect, inference, characterization, figurative language, summarizing, predictions, drawing conclusions, structural analysis, compare and contrast . . . using a variety of genre. Students engage in whole group instruction as well as small leveled reader groups. Independent Literature Circles highlight our reading program too. Book critiques enhance a love of literature. Weekly visits to the school Library allow for personal reading enjoyment and research in content areas.
Written and oral communication is conveyed through the use of the five domains: Focus, Organization, Content, Style, and Conventions. The Diocesan Guidelines determine the prescribed writing tasks for the student portfolio: Descriptive Paragraph, Friendly Letter, Essay, Summaries and Poetry. Writing occurs across the curriculum. Grammar lessons introduce fourth graders to diagramming sentences.