Fourth graders begin to express a wide range of emotions and can now express themselves more clearly. Forming close relationships with friends is still a high priority at this age, and fourth grade students at Calvary Day School take several excursions together, including trips to Rock Ranch in Columbus, Georgia; the 4-H Center on Tybee Island; a Georgia Day trip to a historic site; and the Savannah Music Festival. The classroom is full of both new and familiar challenges as Middle School quickly approaches.
Fourth grade language lessons stress purpose and function. Students polish their command of language through exercises designed to cause students to think about the “how” behind expression. Students closely study the various types of sentences and parts of speech, formal and personal communication avenues, the use of reference materials, and the correct usage of frequently misused words and phrases. Vocabularies increase rapidly during this year as students focus on proofreading skills, word choice, and skilled use of the dictionary. As readers, students begin to analyze literature in order to infer meaning by examining the inner components of stories, including main ideas, supporting detail, and context clues. Students discuss cause and effect and learn to predict outcomes and make conclusions. By the end of the year, reasoning and critical thinking skills are well-formed.
In social studies, students explore our national culture by studying the United States and its regions and governments. Students compare and contrast the culture of the United States with other cultures from around the world. Lessons focus on states, human and natural resources, map and global skills, and geography, with an emphasis placed on patriotic identity and civic responsibility. Students participate in the art, literature, music, and dance of various cultures in order to gain knowledge of cultural values across the world. They do this while learning the importance of freedoms of expression, worship, assembly, and movement guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Fourth grade science continues the discussion of physical, earth, and life sciences but with much more detail. Students put their critical thinking skills to practical use as they identify, compare, and describe the various components of God’s intricate universe. Students examine the connections between the plant and animal kingdoms as they interact with different ecosystems. Students also continue their studies in matter, force, energy, electricity, magnetism, and machines. Weather studies explore the earth’s ever-changing face through the study of land formations, ocean currents and tides, erosion, and other weather systems.
Fourth graders continue building a foundation in mathematics for challenges to come in the years ahead as well as to function in the everyday world. Students increase their mathematical vocabularies by knowing proper terminology for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Detailed work is conducted in place value and estimation. Continued studies are conducted in geometry and algebraic problem solving as students learn to work with missing variables and different types of graphs. Mental math skills are fortified through extensive work in story problems, which also reinforce the connections between math and everyday life.
As part of Calvary’s mission to develop the whole child, the Lower School curriculum offers students in every grade elective courses in art, music, physical education, Bible, and Chinese.