The fourth grade Bible curriculum is a general doctrinal study, written at grade level and focusing on the following topics: God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, salvation, heaven, angels, hell, and final events. A variety of methods are used including Bible reading and memorization, true-life stories, class discussions, and journaling.
The fourth grade reading curriculum builds on previously acquired reading skills. The program emphasizes development of vocabulary, Greek and Latin roots, comprehension, thinking and literary skills. A variety of reading material is offered to give experience with many aspects of literature. Students are required to do outside reading within a prescribed ability range. Appropriate Biblical principles are incorporated into discussions of material read.
The development of understanding and application of the five stages of the writing process, the traits of good writing and the conventions of written expression continue to be a major focus for students as they are asked to apply these skills in a growing number of genres, as well as in writing across the curriculum. They are learning to write longer and more detailed compositions presented in a logical format. They are also growing in their ability to independently and collaboratively evaluate their work.
The fourth grade spelling curriculum is designed to build lifelong spellers. It grows through skill instruction (phonics, word origins, spelling rules, usage, etc.) creative writing, and specific word study. It incorporates visual skill-building strategies, as well as proofreading strategies.
The grade four handwriting curriculum places emphasis on perfecting the student’s cursive skills to make them a viable form of communication. Correct letter formation, letter size, slant and neatness are stressed. Ample practice is provided, allowing the student to see the rewards of diligent effort.
This course focuses on the fundamental math processes. Emphasis is placed on developing quick recall of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts and fluency with whole number multiplication and division; place value, understanding of decimals including the connections between fractions and decimals; understanding of perimeter and area and measurement. Group discussions, analysis and sharing strategies for solving problems is integral to the learning process. God’s order in the universe is integrated whenever possible.
The fourth grade science curriculum includes the following units offered from a Biblical perspective: Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Space and Technology. Learning by doing is emphasized while appreciation and curiosity about God’s world are encouraged.
The fourth grade social studies curriculum focuses on the regions of the United States, examining history, geography, economics, humanities and citizenship. International lessons are integrated into the chapters. Students learn about Connecticut by reading Connecticut Adventure and writing a town brochure in Computer Lab. Christian values are integrated into classroom discussions.
In exploratory Chinese, students will be introduced to vocabulary and key phrases that reflect common conversational patterns in spoken Chinese. Students will be able to greet each other, express their likes and dislikes, talk about their families, and more. Special emphasis is placed on character recognition, as well as some character writing. Chinese will be taught from a biblical worldview.
The art courses for grades four and five provide opportunities for students to learn about the splendor of God’s creation. Students are encouraged to appreciate and develop their God-given talents by producing works of art using a variety of media including drawing from creation with still-life models, utilizing basic skills of perspective, focal point, etc.; painting using color mixing and a variety of techniques; using various types of clay to produce three-dimensional projects; and constructing craft items from a variety of cultures while manipulating color and texture. Students develop the ability to make decisions and evaluate results as they plan and produce their art work.
In Music for grades four and five, students work for a clear understanding of musical notation, expression marks by following a choral score. Rhythmic creativity is encouraged through the use of instruments to accompany existing songs and improvise on new songs. Listening activities expose students to important compositions and composers. Creative movement is incorporated into class activities to encourage the development of coordination and to promote better understanding of the beat and rhythmic/melodic flow. The upper elementary grades periodically form a large choir to provide a beginning choral experience by singing for special events in the life of the school. Singing, both in groups and individually, is encouraged as a means of pleasure and praise to the Lord.
In the instrumental lesson program for grades four and five, students apply the musical skills learned in the general music program to the band instruments of their choice. Students learn to perform on these instruments with musical expression and technical accuracy, discovering joy in the process of collective music-making. The lesson program culminates in student entry into the Lower School Concert Band.
Skill refinement and work on physical fitness continues in grades 3-4. Many of the activities learned in the previous grades are repeated. More emphasis is placed on correct techniques in such skills as throwing, catching, kicking, jumping, and individual exercises. Students also engage in team-oriented activities. Accuracy of movement, coordination and good form are stressed. Biblical principles are used in the development of good sportsmanship, player consideration, and team loyalty. Activities include, but not limited to, kickball, flag football, soccer, hockey, basketball, volleyball, and badminton.
In grades four and five the curriculum is designed to prepare students to use the Library as a resource for research projects. The students are taught the Dewey Decimal System’s ten classes of categorizing nonfiction. They receive further instruction in the use of reference tools such as the dictionary, encyclopedia, world almanac, atlas, thesaurus, and Bible dictionary. Students are instructed in responsible use of the World Wide Web. They learn to use school approved web sites and search engines for research purposes. Literature skills continue to be emphasized.
The Grade 1-5 computer/technology course of study identifies essential knowledge and skills that all students need to be active, lifelong learners in a technology intensive environment. Technology is undergoing rapid change and new and improved technological advances appear almost daily. The curriculum is designed to form the foundation for continuous learning and to be applicable to ever-changing innovations. Seven areas of content are addressed: social and ethical issues, computer skills, keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheet, database and multimedia. The content of instruction for these areas is updated as innovations demand and the skills are developed in increasing detail as the students move up in grade levels.