Fourth Grade

The fourth grade program applies the constructivist learning theory by allowing students to discover and make meaning through multi-sensory, hands-on, and project-based learning. Differentiation is woven through all lessons to meet the individualized needs of each student. Fourth graders participate in a variety of learning activities to continue to think flexibly, to develop as individuals, and as a community of learners. Additionally, technology, art, music, and PE are important, integral components of the fourth grade curriculum.

Specifically, in language arts, fourth graders study different genres to expand on the literacy foundation they have built. They focus on specific details in reading to help them use precise language in their writing and speaking. They compare and contrast different points of view to enhance their critical thinking skills. Students grow as writers by composing pieces in a variety of genres, including opinion pieces, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. They increase their knowledge of language conventions through grammar and vocabulary.

In mathematics, fourth grade students continue to grow in their understanding of and fluency in mathematical concepts. Students expand their place value understanding up to one million and perform multi-digit arithmetic. They work on multi-digit multiplication and division to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends. Students develop their understanding of fraction equivalence, add and subtract fractions with like denominators, and multiply fractions by whole numbers. They also learn to classify geometric figures by their properties, such as angle measures and perpendicular sides.

In social studies, fourth graders learn the unique history of our home state. Students explore the lives of Californians from the pre-Columbian societies, the Spanish missions, the Mexican rancho periods, the Bear Flag Republic period, the time of the Mexican-American war, and the time of the Gold Rush. Fourth graders study the physical and human geographic features that define California, as well as its transformation to an agricultural and industrial power. Students also learn about the U.S. Constitution and California in the greater context of the federal government.

In science, fourth graders study electricity and magnetism, learning how to design simple circuits and test magnetic properties. Students study the flow of energy in ecosystems, learning the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers. They will begin to differentiate among types of rocks and minerals, and students will learn how water and wind shape the Earth's surface. Additionally, fourth graders will develop their own questions about topics, make predictions and observations as they investigate those topics, and interpret and draw conclusions in order to give explanations.