The fourth grade classroom continues to provide a stable and structured environment in which the children feel comfortable to express themselves and to ask questions, but also demands increasingly greater independence and personal organization. Students work in ways that encourage the development of cooperation and mutual respect. Learning experiences continue to be are presented according to the students‘ learning levels in order to provide challenges without frustrations. Students are challenged to think critically, to problem solve, and to relate their education to their everyday lives. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their studies, and develop their sense of independence and to become self-learners with an enthusiasm for learning. The further development of organizational and study skills is stressed as an essential aspect of student growth.
The Language Arts program allows students to further develop their reading and writing skills from those studied in 3rd grade These skills are developed across the curriculum, to include Social Studies and Science assignments. Editing is encouraged. A selection of novels are read to expose the students to a variety of literature from different genre, as well as reading specific novels that link to the fourth grade Social Studies themes. Other skills extended include vocabulary, comprehension, analogies, spelling, identifying the main idea, summarizing the plot (synopsis), writing and presenting a research report, prediction, character studies, author biographies, and interpreting and understanding quotes from text. Poetry forms studied are studied and dramas short Greek myths are performed, while simultaneously studying the Ancient Greeks. Non-fiction resources are utilized across the curriculum - books, maps, atlases, graphs, & Internet sites. The concepts of plagiarism and the correct recording of citations are discussed.
The Mathematics program is based on the AERO standards using materials from a wide variety of sources. The mathematics program is designed to be challenging, but also includes opportunities to review previous skills. It incorporates the development of students‘ logical reasoning and problem solving skills. Units taught are: numeration and place value, numbers and number operations, number patterns and number theory, integers,, statistics, fractions and decimals, percentages and ratios, expressions and equations, geometry and symmetry, measurement, and probability. Differentiated materials ensure that the needs of all students are met.
The Science program further develops the Scientific Method, through three major themes: Plants and their classification, Water and sea mammals, and Rocks and Minerals. This final unit introduces fundamental concepts in earth science, which is studied in sixth grade. Each unit focuses on a different area of learning – but ‘hands on’ work is the major priority. The sea mammals unit is linked with Language Arts, and a full report is planned and written, under teacher guidance.
The Social Studies program exposes students to the map skills necessary for the coverage of their other Social themes, enabling them to use all types of globes, atlases & maps as a source and resource for classwork & assignments. This includes the use of maps from the Internet, in addition to books. Ancient Civilization themes are the focus of study. Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome, are compared and contrasted through the use of timelines, geography, the characteristics of a civilization, social order and beliefs/religion, government, daily life and achievements, division of labor->surplus->trade, hunters/gatherers to cities/farmers, characteristics of a city, irrigation and inventions, writing, myths/legends, art, and heroes.
The following classes are taught to JAIS students by specialist teachers: physical education, music, art, Spanish or French and swimming.
Click HERE for a link to the JAIS curriculum.