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Challenger fourth graders build on the math skills they have already learned as they perform probability experiments, calculate square roots, and graph on coordinate planes. Each new concept connects to previous learning as they develop the capability to execute increasingly complex operations.
Challenger fourth graders love to express themselves in writing! This year, they improve and refine their writing skills by composing expository, persuasive, and descriptive multi-paragraph essays. Teachers also begin to help students understand how to use and cite sources.
At Challenger, we connect grammar and mechanics with writing since rules exist so that we can communicate information in a clear and organized way. Fourth graders become adept at using apostrophes and hyphens and can identify and diagram prepositional phrases, independent clauses, and relative pronouns.
Fourth graders examine noteworthy events in American history. Rather than simply memorizing strings of names, dates, and places, students explore, evaluate, and discuss the causes and long-term effects related to significant events. They learn, for example, how Enlightenment ideas helped lead to the creation of the American Republic.
Vocabulary studies are an integral part of our literature curriculum. As Challenger fourth graders read novels like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Phantom Tollbooth, they encounter and study new words that appear in each work. They also discuss literary elements such as dialect, symbolism, and allegory.
In fourth grade, teachers introduce concepts by guiding students through a logical thought process and asking them to explain their thinking before practicing and then applying the new information. Students examine cause and effect, judge relevance, analyze figural relationships, and make deductions using syllogisms.
Challenger fourth grade science investigations center on topics such as geological time; force, acceleration, and velocity; plant and animal cells; and the Periodic Table. In-class activities and Science Fair projects provide hands-on learning opportunities.
Challenger fourth graders demonstrate and practice on a daily basis the speaking skills they learn—such as sincerity, projection, and enunciation—as they participate in drills and answer questions in class. They formally demonstrate their prowess at the Christmas Sing, Science Fair, Speech Festival, and Spring Program.
In fourth grade, students receive further instruction in singing techniques and musical concepts, including posture, pitch, breathing, and dynamics. These skills are highlighted in impressive Christmas Sings and Spring Program performances. Additionally, students learn music history through composers and works such as “The Entertainer” by Joplin, Violin Concerto in E minor by Mendelssohn, and “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” by Basie.
Fourth graders add to their computer repertoire by working with coordinates and using variables in their procedures. As an alternative to looping, students learn recursion, which requires them to carefully plan, visualize, and understand a procedure’s execution at a detailed and conceptual level. They also develop typing technique, speed, and accuracy and gain basic word processing proficiency.
Challenger fourth grade artists continue learning about the basic principles of art as they practice various techniques related to them. Art is also integrated into other subject areas as students illustrate their writing, recreate scenes based on historical events, or prepare Science Fair display boards.
Teachers use PE class to progressively teach concepts and give students opportunities to apply their skills. While fourth graders learn the rules and develop the dexterity for sports like softball and soccer, they receive lessons in sportsmanship. They also improve their coordination through circle and contra dances.