FOURTH GRADE OVERVIEW
In fourth grade there is emphasis on usage and the writing process. Students are given extensive instruction in writing book reports, letters, research reports, and creative writing.The writing program is based on the Six Traits, and McGraw Hill Language is used for grammar instruction along with other resources. The fourth grade spelling list is taken from Word Analysis. Students also give oral presentations, which help to build confidence in public speaking skills. Novel studies and activities enhance students’ reading fluency and comprehension. Fourth grade novels are: Trumpet of the Swan, Sign of the Beaver, Ramona’s World, Whipping Boy, Ramona Quimby Age 8, The Mixed Up File of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, The Pain and the Great One, and Pictures of Hollis Woods.
The math curriculum is guided by Pearson Envision 2.0 and Creative Mathematics and is supplemented with additional resources and manipulatives. The program encourages students to use number concepts, place value, whole number operations, graphing, and multiple strategies for solving problems. Students develop higher level math skills in comparing and ordering fractions and decimals, applying multiplication and division, and developing ideas related to geometry, such as congruence and symmetry.
Fourth graders study the history of Texas from the earliest Native American settlements to present day times. Students learn how Texas fits into the bigger picture of the history of the entire Western Hemisphere. Geography and map skills are woven into lessons throughout the year. Harcourt Horizons guides the curriculum.
In science, students conduct inquiry and investigations in the physical, life and earth sciences through engaging labs. They learn about electricity, matter, insects, plants, weather, soil and the rock cycle. McGraw Hill Science is the textbook used in conjunction with teacher created materials, labs, and trade books. Students create lab notebook entries following the scientific method for each investigation.
Health instruction focuses on spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health. Concepts include personal health habits, conflict resolution, good decision making skills, basic body systems and their functions, and disease prevention and transmission.
In addition to weekly Chapel services, Bible is a classroom subject. Using a non-denominational Christian curriculum, fourth graders memorize verses, study New Testament Bible stories, and participate in discussions and activities. Lessons and activities are based on Positive Action Building Life Castles, and are supplemented by the teacher.
The goal of art in fourth grade is to increase art vocabulary by incorporating pattern, rhythm, balance, proportion and unity within their pieces. Students are also challenged to demonstrate responsibility within the art environment.
Fourth grade students focus on different genres of fiction, categories of nonfiction and utilizing references. They also learn about different authors and illustrators and check out books weekly.
Fourth grade Spanish students meet twice a week. The Spanish program at this grade level is designed to strengthen the students’ lexicon and basic grammatical structures. The curriculum integrates biblical components, such as Bible verses, previously learned in English as the content for Spanish introduction. There is also an emphasis placed on developing the students’ cultural awareness at an early age.
Increased attention to skill development, fitness, and sportsmanship are highlights of the fourth grade program. This is also the year that students are introduced to team sports and have an opportunity to participate in our athletic program.
Technology is integrated into the core curriculum. Students create presentations, gather research, and communicate results with various programs. The students utilize Google Docs and can forward their projects to teachers for editing, etc.
Traveling Classroom – Students take a day trip to Austin, Texas to visit the State Capitol building and the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History.
Mayborn Museum –This is a great trip that extends the students’ learning about Texas Indians and early settlers.
Waco Hippodrome--Students visit the Hippodrome to see current children’s theatre productions.
Waco Symphony Orchestra—4th and 5th grade students attend a fall symphony performance.
A Few Extras
Texas Indians Research Project – Students create a project presentation of a Texas Indian Culture to present to their classmates.
Spelling Bee – Students may choose to participate in our school wide Spelling Bee held each January.
Explorers Project--Students learn about different explorers and create a project of choice to share with their class and community.
Deck the Halls--Students in third through sixth grade carol at the annual Junior Service League Christmas event.
City Hall Caroling--Students in third through sixth grade carol at City Hall and are filmed for the local City of Waco television station.
Christmas Program – Students in 3rd through 6th grade perform a Christmas program for the school community.
Variety Show – Variety Show is a fun, school wide evening dinner event where classes perform a song and dance.
UIL – Student participate in various UIL events at the annual event hosted by ECA.
Classic Track Meet – 4th through 6th grade students participate in traditional track meet against other area private schools.
Athletics – ECA offers an excellent athletic program that teaches students the skills needed to carry them to competitive high school sports programs.