Lower School

Grade Four

Grade 4 begins the transition to the fully departmentalized programs and academic challenges of our Grade 5 program. A classroom still provides a home base, while students learn the responsibility of traveling to social studies, science, and world languages classes all while managing an increased workload.

A sophisticated curriculum and engaging instruction captures students’ imaginations, allowing them to produce beyond their expected capabilities.

Grade 4 Curriculum

LANGUAGE ARTS

Reading and writing skills are tackled with vigor and catered to each student’s personal learning style through the DailyCafe literacy framework. Daily 5 is a way of structuring reading in the classroom so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research-based tasks will have the biggest impact on students’ reading and writing achievements, and will continue to foster the children who already love to read and write.

  • Study of award-winning novels to help students better understand composition and self-expression
  • Worldy Wise 3000 program to develop student vocabulary skills
  • Students learn to draft, revise, edit, publish and share their written work
  • Lexia Core5 and PowerUp to provide individualized reading, grammar and vocabulary instruction
  • Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections for meaningful instruction and practice to increase spelling proficiency
  • Zaner-Bloser cursive handwriting.

MATHEMATICS

The fourth grade mathematics program helps students think critically and develop their skills and enthusiasm for mathematics. Group activities, problem solving, and differentiated activities augment the program as students progress and accomplish new and exciting skills. The Singapore Math curriculum is implemented through concrete, pictorial and abstract steps. The spiral program in Grades 1-5 allows students to gain a rich connection to process and procedure.

Concepts introduced:

  • Numbers to million
  • Mental math
  • Order of operations
  • Multiplication of two digit numbers
  • Fractions and decimals
  • Geometry
  • Graph coordination
  • Probability
  • Measurements and volumes

SCIENCE

Science becomes a hands-on experience in Grade 4 through labs and simulations that show the scientific method in action. Students begin to use cooperation and collaboration to problem solve in pairs or small groups. The biennial Science Fair project is a favorite immersive and empowering experience. Each student begins with a problem based on their individual interests, forms a hypothesis, runs experiments, and collects and presents the data, before answering his or her question.

Curriculum includes:

  • LEGO Robotics with Mindstorms EV3 robots
  • Ecosystems in the Garden Classroom
  • Intermediate School Science Fair
  • Force and motion
  • Plate tectonics and volcanoes
  • Electricity and circuits
  • The solar system

SOCIAL STUDIES

Through collaboration, simulations and guided readings, Grade 4 students deepen their understanding of history, cultures and the Americas. A deep exploration of early Americans’ experiences offers a rewarding global and social perspective.

Curriculum includes:

  • History of the United States
  • Native American history
  • Three-day trip to Northern Michigan

FRENCH

  • Communication
  • Comparisons
  • Cross-curriculum connections
  • Cultures

TECHNOLOGY

Technology is used as a powerful tool in all curricula. By engaging students in meaningful ways, instructors empower each young learner to think critically and write effectively across media. 

TRAVELING

As part of the preparation for Middle School, students travel to other instructors for science, social studies, and foreign language. This unique feature not only develops independence but also allows the Academy’s instructors to specialize in science or social studies.

Specials

CHRISTIAN LIFE & CHARACTER EDUCATION

  • GPA Character Development program
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Biblical text and stories

LIBRARY AND MEDIA LITERACY

  • Book selection
  • Characteristics of books
  • Digital safety, citizenship and ethics
  • Information and media literacy
  • Research skills

MUSIC

  • Dramatic interpretations
  • Movement and choreography
  • Musical performance
  • Orff instruments

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

  • Develop strong cardio, respiratory, muscular endurance and flexibility
  • Participate in fun games, sports and lifelong physical activities
  • Tie health to total wellness

VISUAL ARTS

  • Artists and art styles
  • Art history
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Print making
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and textiles

General Information

STANDARDIZED TESTING

Grade 4 uses the ERB comprehensive Testing Program 4, a rigorously designed series of assessments in verbal and quantitative ability, auditory comprehension, reading comprehension, writing mechanics and concepts, and mathematics.

MAJOR FIELD TRIPS

  • Northern Michigan trip
  • Planetarium at North High School
  • Provencal-Weir one-room schoolhouse

SPECIAL EXPERIENCES

  • Blue Crew (extracurricular group that supports Athletics events)
  • Buddy program
  • Chapel assembly
  • Christmas Chapel Giving assembly
  • Community service
  • After-school activities like Catholic Formation, Chess Club and TGA Golf
  • Field Day
  • Class play/musical
  • Garden classroom
  • Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day
  • Halloween Parade
  • Intramurals (Soccer, Basketball, Floor Hockey, Rotating Sports)
  • Multi-age STEAM activities
  • Special assemblies and celebrations

SPECIAL RESOURCES