Fourth grade is a key year in elementary school. It is the year when students become "big kids." Fourth grade entails greater physical and intellectual capabilities, but also more academics and homework. It is packed with great content, fun and fascinating subjects like fractions, state history, geography, and advanced reading materials. The key concepts in fourth grade will carry students into middle school.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
Literacy is the foundation of the 4th grade classroom. A balanced literacy approach is used which emphasizes teaching literacy skills in the context of reading and writing activities, integrating curriculum and instruction, and teaching skills when children need them. We read, write and discuss different kinds of literature. We also research and write about people and topics of significance in Science and Social Studies, as well as writing to express ourselves and convey information. We read as a whole class, in small groups and use literature circles as a way to engage students in great literature. Spelling books, vocabulary books, novels, writing journals, and projects are all used to emphasize knowledge and skills that are relevant and authentic.
SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES
Science and Social Studies are not only taught as isolated subjects but also as authentic parts of everyday life. We use textbooks as resources to launch meaningful investigations. Learning involves not just mastering the content of a subject, but also understanding the nature and purpose of that subject. Students are often asked to do research and projects and engage in inquiry based upon the standards, and what is relevant to the world today. Through this process, they acquire the basic skills of scientists and historians: how to ask meaningful questions, how to find information, how to evaluate sources, and how to interpret information. Major topics covered in Science are: Ecosystems, animal adaptations, biomes, rocks, matter and electricity. In Social Studies: California Indians, missions, Mexican California, the Gold Rush, agriculture of California and California as a state.
ARMENIAN LANGUAGE ARTS
At Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School, the Armenian Studies program is designed to teach, promote, and perpetuate the wealth of the Armenian language and culture. The Armenian Language Arts and Armenian History curriculum are developed by the Prelacy Board of Regents.
Students mainly use the Fourth grade textbook (Yes Medz Em) for reading and comprehension. Supplemental materials are provided by the teacher. They use the workbook for their vocabulary and comprehension. The students also read additional books throughout the year.
Grammar is taught through review and repetition of 3rd grade grammar. Slowly, new concepts are introduced, as various styles and writing exercises are taught and revised. Students have a spelling quiz almost every week. The words and the sentences are taken from the passages read. Students write about different topics and their writing is published in the Bugle. Students use technology and various other sources for their research projects and presentations.
The Armenian History is focused mainly on the Arshagooni and the Ardashessian kingdoms. Besides the history book provided by the Prelacy Board of Regents, students learn about Armenian holidays, current events, and special traditions. Students also participate in Armenian assemblies and Hanteses.
Math in the classroom is based upon problem solving and working on set problems. We work as a whole class and small groups to solve problems in several different ways using manipulatives, drawings, charts, words, and numbers. Students are encouraged to explain their thinking, to ask questions, and to help each other in solving problems together. Harcourt math textbooks as well as a variety of other resources are used in teaching mathematics.