The reading program in 4th grade uses a reader’s workshop model, in which specific reading strategies are incorporated into reading authentic fiction and nonfiction, with an overarching goal of fostering a love of reading. -
4th graders work on writing cohesive paragraphs and then move onto crafting 5 paragraph essays. Utilizing Chromebooks, they learn how to effectively edit their own writing as well as that of their peers. 4th graders study vocabulary in all subject areas as well as through the use of Wordly Wise, a rigorous word study program. Word usage, through the examination of Greek and Latin roots and the study of figurative language, is an important daily focus in 4th grade.
Reading and Writing Skills focused on include:
-Reinforcing phonics and spelling
-Learning to communicate effectively through writing
-Learning to read and interpret poetry with a focus on figurative language
-Learning to summarize effectively
-Learning to effectively make inferences, make connections, summarize, discuss and utilize text evidence when writing or discussing literature
Methods used include:
-In depth novel studies to reinforce learning literary elements
-Use of literature circles to promote higher level discussions related to literature
-A biography unity in which one subject is studied in depth and a presentation is created
-Poetry unit, inclcuding the annual poetry slam and a writing a personal poetry book
4th grade math continues to build on previously acquired skills, while introducing and exploring in greater depth concepts such as fractions, decimals, and long division. 4th graders use a variety of methods to explore these, including hands-on manipulatives, group projects, online games and websites, in addition to more traditional methods. There is also a strong emphasis placed on mental math, as well as the ability to explain mathematical concepts verbally and in writing.
Methods used include:
- My Math math series
-Math talks to increase ability to explain and reason mathematically
-Online math reinforcement games and instruction
Concepts focused on include:
-Solidifying computational skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
-Place value, fractions, decimals, measurement, geometry, probability, algebraic concepts, graphing, real world problem solving and mental math skills
Fourth Grade studies the Ten Commandments, Laws of the Church, Beatitudes, and the Rosary as guides for living our Faith. Religion is presented in whole group instruction and class discussions. The students are encouraged to live their Faith through daily prayer, attending Mass, and by participating in activities to help the less fortunate.
Fourth grade students present a live Stations of the Cross during Holy Week to the entire school and families.
The fourth grade follows the Nancy Larson science curriculum, which combines hands-on learning with a systematic approach to studying a range of topics. Learning methods include research projects for the various topics that are being explored.
Areas of study focused on include:
-Characteristics of cells
-Examining and classifying plants and animals
Social Studies in fourth grade engages in various field trips, including visiting the state capital of Annapolis and the Naval Academy, Fort McHenry, and the Underground Railroad to study the state of Maryland and its history.
Fourth graders learn how to successfully use text features while reading non fiction texts during this year. This is utilized as they explore their own state of Maryland and learning about its geography, history, and culture.
State history includes some of the antecedents to segregation, inclcuding:
-The Civil War
-Reading Ruby Bridge's autobiography
Subsequently, students are introduced to the regions of the United States, and each student picks one state to study for a large research project. This project culminates in a detailed report, class presentation and a speech.
This state research project introduces and reinforces many important skills such as
-Using and properly documenting multiple sources
-Breaking down a large project into manageable steps
-Writing and editing a longer essay
-Writing and presenting a short informative speech
The Lower School curriculum is entirely verbal. Classes are taught in Spanish and the teacher uses techniques that included the use of body language, flash cards, objects, songs, games, and dramatization.
Students continue to strengthen skills worked on in 3rd Grade. In addition to this, skills sets are introduced that include:
-Learning the various ways to describe clothing
-Countries and maps
-How to give and understand various directions
-Begin to study various Spanish culture traditions
-Describe various professions
-Start to understand how to use verbs properly
Students in the fourth grade attend the computer lab two times a week.
Students build on lessons they have learned about Internet Safety. This is an ongoing theme throughout their education at St. Bartholomew School. In addition to safety lessons, students work on the following skill sets:
-Continue to improve their skills with Microsoft Word
-Introduce Microsoft Publisher
-Typing drills to improve their familiarity and accuracy with a keyboard
Students continue to use their secure school email account so that they can work on Google Docs or Google Slides in the computer lab, in the classroom, or at home. This allows for substantial increases in cross curricular learning opportunities. Teachers are able to utilize what the computer class and lab offers in their regular teaching curriculum to maximize each child's ability to use technology in lessons.