Fourth Grade Curriculum Overview
At the beginning of each school year, students’ skills are assessed using Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to determine the course curriculum for each individual child for the upcoming year. Testing is done again in the middle and end of the year to determine if we are meeting the needs of each student.
Using students’ Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) assessment results from the end (spring) of the previous year, we focus on creating differentiated curriculum and custom learning programs for each child.
To this end, our curriculum pulls resources from a variety of sources depending on the student’s needs. Below is an overview of materials and resources we use during the year:
Our math curriculum is taught using Saxon Math Level 5 by Houghton Mifflin. Topics covered include: Multiple digit multiplication and division, fractions, working with mixed numbers and decimals, and working with numbers to seven place value. We work on projects such as Survival Math and students use IXL. More information on the IXL program may be found at www.ixl.com.
Our language arts curriculum is taught using the Houghton Mifflin Journeys program and the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop. Standard topics and activities include: read and analyze a variety of texts, both fiction and nonfiction; select literature studies (e.g., Number the Stars and Soft Rain); learning and expanding vocabulary using prepositional phrases; practicing several types of writing including narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository with emphasis on ideas, word choice, and organization (multiple paragraph) for creative, research, persuasive topics, and poetry. Students also participate in Accelerated Reader (AR) and projects such as Night at the Museum.
Our religion curriculum is taught using Blest Are We, Faith & Word Edition, and sacred scripture. Together they provide a solid foundation for learning about the Catholic faith. Individual verses and extended passages of Scripture develop the themes of the lessons. Examples of standard topics covered include the Ten Commandments, making good choices, honoring God, Christian vocations, church structure, adopt a godchild from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, host class Masses, Adoration in our campus chapel, active participation in the “Blessing of the Pets” in early October.
Our social studies curriculum uses Discovering Arizona. Examples of standard topics covered include U.S. States: capitals, location, postal abbreviation; Arizona: history, state symbols, and geography & map skills.
Our science curriculum uses Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Science Dimensions. Our science curriculum uses interactive science which guides our work with lab teams in hands-on investigations. Units include Engineering and Technology; Energy, Waves, and Information Transfer; Plant Structure & Function; Animal Structure and Function; Changes to Earth’s Surface; Rocks and Fossils; and Natural Resources. Students work on projects such as Science Fair investigations and displays, making their own instruments, creating a model of the inside of the plant.
Production of the language is the goal of the class. Reading and writing activities are more frequent during these years.
- Affirmative and Negative Tú commands.
- Ser vs. Estar (To be, permanent state vs. temporary state)
- Haber (In its “to be” form Hay: there is/there are)
- Nouns (classroom vocabulary, body parts, transportations, places, foods, drinks)
- Adjectives (masculine vs. feminine; plural vs. singular)
- Prepositions of place
- To go to (Ir a)
- To eat (comer)
- To drink (beber)
- Question words (¿Qué es?, ¿Quién es?, ¿Cómo es?, ¿Dónde está?)
- Traditional songs, games, and cultural activities.
In addition to the curriculum taught in the fifth-grade classrooms, students attend at least one of the following specials each day:
- Physical Education (2x a week)
- Spanish (2x a week; see above)
- Art Masterpiece (Taught by volunteers on a rotating-monthly basis. In addition to students’ personal creations, this subject includes various aspects of art including focus on artists, mediums, history, expression, creativity, culture, etc.)
- Students also work on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) projects