- Singapore Math
- Social Studies
- Global Education
- Character Education/Service Learning
The 4th Grade reading program challenge students, who continue to work in flexible, ability-based groups, to expand their explicit and inferential thinking, to broaden their vocabularies through the use of context clues, and to develop more fully independent reading skills.
Important comprehension skills covered include: identifying the main idea and supporting details, sequencing, predicting, determining the author’s purpose, comparing and contrasting, and connecting subject matter to the students’ everyday environment and real-world experiences. The children use various strategies, such as decoding, clarifying, questioning, evaluating, and summarizing, as they read through a given passage.
They also read from a variety of different sources—novels, daily oral comprehension excerpts, literature anthologies, and materials complementing the social studies curriculum. Students in 4th Grade also read and analyze great works of literature by William Shakespeare in a special themed-unit that culminates in the performance of a Shakespearean scene, often times in concert with a professional actor.
Refining their understanding of analogies, verbal reasoning, and mechanics, 4th Grade students participate in the National WordMasters Challenge, a national analogy competition, entered by approximately 220,000 students annually. They also study spelling, with an emphasis on dictation, commonly misused words, and subject-specific vocabulary.
Writing is integrated throughout the curriculum. Through the use of a structured writing program, children learn the art and science behind composing a detailed, organized, multi-paragraph essay. Additional types of writing explored include: the persuasive essay, report writing, poetry writing, including imitation poetry, and personal narrative writing.
In the 4th Grade, increasing emphasis is placed upon using voice and personality through written expression as a means to explore and communicate a variety of experiences. Students practice writing about a range of subjects, including the California missions, their best day ever, which animal is superior — cats or dogs — and more.
Organization and study skills are are emphasized to prepare students for their transition to the upper elementary grades.
Fourth Grade students also participate in the Writers' Workshop program at least three times a week. The goal of the program is for children to write what they know by selecting topics that are personally meaningful and relevant to them. Through focused mini-lessons and individual conferences with the teacher, students will enhance their craft as writers and become independent authors of a variety of literary pieces. At the conclusion of each instructional unit, students will publish a piece of their work and share it in celebration with the rest of the class.
Fourth through 6th Grade students are eligible to participate in our Mathletes Club, which meets weekly to explore complex, challenging math problems and competes (with great success) throughout Los Angeles in a variety of math tournaments.
Students also continue to participate in our Singapore Math program, which enhances students' higher-level thinking and understanding of real-life mathematical concepts, including whole numbers operations, fractions, decimals, geometry, probability, graph-level algebraic concepts, and measurement.
In flexible, ability-based learning groups, our students augment their conceptual understanding, become more adept at computation, and practice applying their learning to their everyday lives and real-world experiences. Each lesson begins with high-energy fluency activities, such as sprints and pattern box work. Students also spend time working on multi-step problem solving, using strategies such as bar modeling.
Fourth Grade students learn about California's history through interactive, online programs, book and Internet research, literary studies, independent and collaborative projects, and field trips. They explore the history of Native Americans, early European explorers, the Spanish missions, Mexican ranchos, statehood, the Gold Rush era, the building of the Continental Railroad, and the state's geography, government, agriculture, and contemporary urban culture.
As part of our Global Education program, 4th Graders learn about the interdependence of people and cultures by comparing life in their sister country, Mexico, with life in the United States, and by corresponding with like-aged peers at a Mexican sister school, with whom they also complete interactive projects
The 4th Grade science curriculum features an in-depth study of water, including water’s properties and California agriculture. During a unit on biomes, the students take virtual field trips using CalAlive, a computer-based program, which allows them to make observations and conduct experiments on all of California’s biomes. The children also study the food chain, health and nutrition, and energy, with a focus on electricity and magnetism.
Hands-on experiences include: weekly lab work, a school-wide Planting Day, and service learning, such as the recycling program that they spearhead, which promotes environmental stewardship.
Caring for the science lab animals is the highly-envied last piece of the 4th Grade curriculum. Each day at recess or lunch, the children are responsible for coming to the Science lab to feed and nurture their furry friends. At the end of each year, students then train the incoming 4th Graders on the feeding and care procedures.