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The fourth-grade year is a busy and challenging year as students take on more responsibility and accountability for themselves and their organizational skills. There are inquiry based projects and various writing assignments to complete in all subject areas. Fourth graders continue to hone their skills in physical education, art, library, computer, music, science lab, and world language.

Curriculum - click on subject for more information

List of 11 items.

  • Art

    The fourth grade art program focuses on individual students and their abilities. The students learn to develop their skills through art by drawing, painting, letter making, and clay works. Integration of lessons that relate to their classroom work is vital to making relevant connections. Students reflect upon their Lower School experiences which includes writing about art and creating definitions according to their own experiences. Art history and appreciation continues to be a key component in this program.
  • Guidance

    The Lower School years are ones of rapid growth and development. Each new birthday brings tremendous change. Typical challenges and characteristics of children, by age and developmental stage, can be found on the School Counseling webpage along with recommended resources.
  • Language Arts

    The fourth-grade reading and language arts program provides opportunities for the integration of communication skills through the curriculum. Students learn analytical skills using both traditional and modern literature in a variety of genres. Using Guided reading, a small-group reading instruction,  students are provided differentiated teaching that supports students in developing reading proficiency. The small group model allows children to be taught in a way that is intended to be more focused on their specific needs, accelerating their progress. Our Junior Great Books® Nonfiction and Fiction Libraries promote independent classroom reading. Guided reading is an important component of a robust, high-quality literacy effort, but it is not our entire literacy program—it takes place within a larger framework. Key components of our framework include:

    • Guided instruction and practice in reading (grammar, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension)
    • Independent reading
    • Teacher read-alouds
    • Challenge reading and in-depth discussions with speaking and listening instruction and opportunities
    • Writing instruction and opportunities using The 6+1 Trait® Writing Model of Instruction & Assessment 
    • Words Their Way in which each stage-specific companion volume features a complete curriculum of reproducible sorts and detailed directions for teachers working with students in each stage of spelling development, from emergent through derivational relations.
  • Library

    Fourth graders incorporate the use of research methods in a large Biographical Project called Living Museum. During this project they cultivate their reading, listening, discussion and story retelling skills. They also learn to locate resources, use criteria to choose credible sources as well as to paraphrase and summarize information, avoiding plagiarism to create an all encompassing presentation in front of family, friends and students.
  • Math

    The mathematics program in fourth grade continues to build the foundation in computational and problem-solving skills. Using the Everyday Mathematics program, mathematical concepts are presented in a real-world context, with students solving problems cooperatively, as well as individually. Skill acquisition is monitored in practice, reteaching, enrichment, and extension activities using a variety of hands-on materials. Decimals, metric and standard measurement, fractions, time, and money are included in basic computation.
  • Music

    In fourth-grade music, increased awareness of healthy vocal technique is emphasized alongside a basic understanding of music theory. Instrumentally, students reinforce their skills learned on the soprano recorder when they are introduced to the alto recorder. Skills in reading and writing musical notation are reinforced through singing, movement activities and folk dances, and playing Orff and classroom percussion instruments, ukuleles, and recorders.. Students read, write, and perform more advanced rhythmic and melodic patterns.  Examples of classical, folk, contemporary, and world music are used throughout the school year to enhance each student's development in understanding musical concepts. Fourth grade students perform at the Lower School Holiday concert, the Lower School Music Night, and the Fourth Grade Honors Day.
  • Physical Education

    In fourth grade PE, students should be able to demonstrate activities that develop muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. Students focus on the importance of motor skills and movement concepts to be successful in physical activity and/or sports. Students continue to work successfully in a group, regardless of personal differences while participating in games or activities.  Students are given the opportunity to participate in team sports such as: basketball, volleyball, handball, lacrosse, softball, football, soccer and hockey. Students are given the opportunity to participate in individual sports such as: tennis, gymnastics/tumbling, track & field, basketball, jump rope, dance, and recreational games (corn hole, horseshoes, bowling). Students in fourth grade also participate in The Cannon Health and Performance (CHAMP) Test. The assessment includes a variety of health-related physical fitness tests that assess aerobic capacity; muscular strength, muscular endurance, speed, power and flexibility. Scores from these assessments are compared to our overall class averages to determine students’ overall physical fitness and suggest areas for improvement when appropriate. Our goal as a Lower School Physical Education Department is for all students to be equipped with appropriate knowledge of varying sports and to develop a lifelong love for fitness.
  • Science

    In the beginning of fourth grade, students focus on becoming better scientists by improving their general experimentation skills. They complete labs designed to stretch their curiosity, observing, measuring, reasoning, while forming their own hypothesis. Next students study earth movements which create seasonal changes, tides, and constellational movements. They also do science lab work to learn more about the human body with emphasis on the digestive system. Yet, the real excitement comes later in the year when students launch into a unit on electricity and and its relationship to magnetism. Students invent their own motorized projects and simple circuits. Students end their year by studying plant and animal adaptations.  They are introduced to the parts of the cell and we do a large number of microscope labs.
  • Social Studies

    The fourth grade social studies program, Social Studies Alive! America’s Past, covers American history from the first migrations into the Americas through the 20th century. Intense interaction with the personalities, places, and events that structured our nation leads students to be both keen observers of and informed participants in U.S. history.
  • Spanish

    Moving into Level 4, students continue expanding on previous areas, while adding a unit on the beach and one on winter/mountain activities. They use all pronouns: I, you, he, she, we, and they. The amount of vocabulary allows fourth graders to conduct basic conversations about their daily lives at school, at home, and on vacation. They are able to share what they have in common with other peers and inquire about the lives of people from other countries. Speaking, listening, writing, and reading are all part of every class.  For their restaurant script, they learn the formal “You” pronoun. By the end of the year, they are able to solve word problems to the million digits in Spanish.  Culturally, fourth grade focuses on Spain and Mexico.
  • Technology

    In Lower School, our learning design involves high engagement, structured so that students are drawn into appropriate levels of challenge. Curiosity and creativity are nurtured, along with consistent encouragement for teamwork and partner work. Students are encouraged to try new things, and to think and talk through problem-solving steps. Students follow core values as they use media and technology.

    During the fourth grade year, students work with robotic devices using EdBlocks, a fully graphical robot programming language ideal for students aged 8 to 12 years old. Students also gain experience with coding through using a variety of resources and challenge tasks. Students use digital resources alongside hands-on learning. They participate in a variety of hands-on maker challenges and creative presentations.

    Technology is integrated into classroom curriculum units to promote information literacy, creative work, and critical thinking. Students create and save files to a cloud-based account and share files to teachers and collaborators. Students also use quality learning software appropriate to their developmental level in the areas of literacy and reading, and in math and problem solving. Tech basics include digital citizenship education, keyboarding/writing, creative mixed media and presentations, and information literacy. Special emphasis is placed on comprehension, communication, organization, and research skills. This program helps students increase their sophistication levels in currently available technology, but also incorporates "learning to learn" in a way that will transfer to the technology tools of the future.

Classroom Teachers

Joseph Dally
Fourth Grade Teacher

Deanna Dobbins
Fourth Grade Teacher

Sue Ramsey
Fourth Grade Teacher

Co-Curricular Teachers

Jennifer Brooks
Learning Specialist

Jennifer Calvert


Kelvin Drakeford
Physical Education

Krista Johns

Nisa Kalambaheti
Media Specialist

Judy Killam
Physical Education

Debbie McKinsey
Aimée Pfitzner

Kathie Riley

Teresa Schmitt
World Language (Grades 1 - 4)

Kelli Waller
Physical Education

Cannon School

Phone: 704-786-8171 | Fax: 704-788-7779