Fourth grade students are introduced to the concept of moving to various teachers or “changing classes.” The fourth grade teaching team coordinates schedules and resources to maximize teaching time and increase student learning.
Students in fourth grade use a wide variety of materials to produce works in drawing, painting, printmaking, fibers, ceramics, and photography. Through their work, they share personal histories, school events, and community activities. Students combine media to express their ideas. New printmaking techniques are introduced. Beginning experiences in photography encourage students to try variations in composition. Students make pottery and ceramic sculpture with methods such as slab, coil, and pinch. Three-dimensional experiences include a variety of materials for both additive and subtractive methods of building. Students create masks of animals, people, or abstract forms. Through weaving and stitchery students strengthen their awareness of texture, color, and design. By viewing art works and visiting local museums, students identify and compare the ways artists have documented culture, history, and traditions.
The fourth grade Bible curriculum focuses on memorizing God's word. Students commit to memory 45 Bible verses, or parts of verses, and hide them in their hearts. Fourth graders build a Bible notebook, displaying an overview of the New Testament and Old Testament books. Units also include a more focused study of the books I and II Kings, Daniel, and the Gospels, along with a unit on relationships. Students receive ongoing encouragement to model Christ in all that they do with Bible truths integrated into all subjects.
All skills at expected grade levels are a continuum from the previous grade. Students will learn advanced mouse skills (right clicking), work with two pieces of software open simultaneously (minimize one while switching to the other and split screen format) to create projects and reports in Word and Power Point. Students will learn to copy pictures from pre-screened internet sites and paste them into their project. Appropriate use of the internet for research will be emphasized.
The math curriculum encompasses review and instruction in basic math operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Place Value, Money, Time, Data, Graphs, Geometry, Measurement, Decimals, Metric Measurement and Fraction concepts are also studied throughout the year. Accelerated Math, a computer-based program, is incorporated into the daily instructional programming.
Fourth grade students engage in a variety of activities, including development of the singing voice and harmony through round singing and partner songs. Students further note reading skills by playing the recorder. The Orff approach to music education is used to develop rhythmic abilities through use of body percussion and instruments. Students continue learning note values and how to write rhythms in duple and triple meter. Students continue learning notes on the music staff. Classical music and the lives of composers are studied. Movement is used through folk dances, drama, and creative expression. Children perform twice a year as an ensemble, one of which is a large musical performed at the end of the school year. Students have further opportunities for performance through the elementary chorus, fourth grade talent show, and the recorder ensemble.
The fourth grade language arts curriculum includes grammar, reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary. Students receive instruction in traditional grammar and writing mechanics using the Shurley English curriculum. There is also an emphasis on the development of creative writing skills, poetry and short story-writing. In 4th grade reading, students are exposed to many different genres, writing styles, and authors. There is an intentional focus on reading comprehension and reading focus skills, emphasizing words and their development. Accelerated Reader is used to encourage students to do outside reading at their own reading levels.
Physical Education (PE)
DLES has a lifetime fitness-based curriculum. An emphasis is placed every week on cardiovascular and strength exercises to improve psychomotor and cognitive skills while incorporating healthy nutrition habits throughout. Students will experience a series of fitness tests and sports-related activities and games, preparing them for individual and team-related sports while teaching them teamwork and sportsmanship. They will also participate in a charity activity (Jump Rope for Heart) and a Physical Skills Day.
The fourth grade science curriculum is inquiry-based and experiential. Classroom instruction and hands-on activities are supplemented by monthly science lab experiences and various off-campus field trips. Science topics covered include the following: Classification of Living Things, Animal and Plant Cell Structure, Ecosystems, Earth’s Resources – Conservation, Using Weather Data, The Universe, Energy and Motion, and Human Body Systems.
Fourth grade Social Studies covers the basics of early American history. Map and globe skills, Native Americans, explorers, the thirteen colonies, the American Revolution, and Tennessee history are studied. The curriculum includes numerous field trips to local historic homes and sites. Special activities like Pioneer Day and the performance of a Tennessee play provide supplemental learning experiences to make Tennessee history come alive.