Fourth Grade at Magellan:
Learning is best achieved by doing, going, and seeing. Fourth grade is filled with exciting and innovative hands-on experiments, field trips, projects, and visitors from our community. Students in fourth grade at Magellan are motivated through the use of a wide range of learning opportunities. Role playing, discussions, simulations, written expression, experimentation, and creativity through the arts provide a variety of learning experiences for students. We believe this diversity promotes higher level thinking, maximizes student time-on-task, and allows us to address the various learning styles in our classrooms. We align our curriculum with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and enhance and extend student learning through meaningful activities and curriculum integration.
Language Arts / Social Studies:
The fourth grade year takes students on a journey through North Carolina, tracing its history as a state to our lives today. Our many field trips are woven into the social studies curriculum and we extend the experience through reading and writing about what we’ve learned. Historical fiction makes history come alive in our class! Through diaries, letters and reader’s theater, students ‘experience history’ from a first person point of view and learn more authentically.
In fourth grade, students write on a daily basis and learn to compose expository essays, opinion pieces, and narratives. Teachers work closely with students on how to elaborate in their writing. They are taken through a step by step process on how to structure a cohesive piece of writing with modeling and useful tips that make writing fun and easy!
Using a workshop model, students read independent books and whole-class novels and report on them through reflections and a variety of creative project choices. Informational reading is stressed along with fiction and narratives. When reading, fourth graders need to understand the “why” and “how” questions that deepen their critical thinking and comprehension. Students will write about what they read and back up their points with evidence from the text.
Technology integration is a key component where the computer is used as a tool to research, communicate, and create. Grammar, spelling, cursive handwriting, and keyboarding skills are emphasized throughout the year. All in all, there is a strong emphasis on the application and synthesis of the material, rather than rote memorization of general information.
Students are heterogeneously grouped in math, with daily opportunities for differentiated instruction and personalized small group learning. Classes follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which include topics such as Numbers and Operations, Fractions, Measurement and Data, Geometry, and Algebraic Thinking. Fourth grade math students are taught a Math Workshop method at the beginning of the school year, and rotate through instructional centers independently and smoothly. In order to work independently, a fourth grader must be proficient in all math facts, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Students use higher level thinking skills and apply concepts learned to real life situations. Hands-on learning is a critical component of fourth grade math, as is the use of manipulatives and technology. The arts are integrated into the math curriculum as often as possible.
In science, students are engaged in the work of scientists each and every day! From our beginning days together digging into the Nature of Science, students are daily observing, collaborating and communicating, as well as inferring as we work through the North Carolina standard course of study. Our daily investigations lead our students to deepen their understanding of the world around them. Fourth graders also participate in a year long passion project as we “Jam” on Fridays. Jammin’ days are set aside to identify and then engage in research on a topic that is important to the individual student. Through this project, students are encouraged to ask critical thinking questions that interest them and to explore and grow their personal passions. In education, we often feel pressure to cover content quickly and at a surface-level. A long-term project like Jammin’ helps fourth graders to develop 21st Century proficiencies such as communication and research skills while strengthening their core content knowledge.