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4th Grade

The goal of the 4th grade teaching team is to provide all Haskell 4th graders with deep and long-lasting learning experiences that require our students to learn through the process of doing. In 4th grade, students actively engage with their teacher and their peers in order to learn through the inquiry process. These exchanges take place across disciplines as students gain the understanding that all discoveries result in knowledge that can be used to solve real-world problems and create global solutions.

A growth mindset is the cornerstone to all of 4th grade’s learning endeavors. Our students learn very quickly that mistakes are necessary to learn from. In fact, mistakes are encouraged as valuable critical thinking opportunities from which viable solutions can emerge. Along with a growth mindset, comes the sense the school is a safe place for students to explore while teachers use a multi-faceted approach. When students feel safe and cared-for, they are able to learn. It is the goal of the 4th grade teaching staff to ensure that each of our
students are cherished for their individuality and that their strengths are acknowledged and allowed to be displayed in their academic endeavors. This also means that the 4th grade teaching team believes that all students are entitled to be educated with unimpeded access and equity as they participate in learner driven experiences where the teacher takes on the role of facilitator in order to help guide students through the 4th grade portion of their academic journey.

Module Topics

Fourth grade covers an interesting variety of topics. Some of the topics that students will cover involve learning about sound waves and seismic waves as they learn to replicate wave patterns through the creation of the their own models and art work. Students will also learn how weather affects our environment. They will perform hands-on experiments dealing with erosion and learn the difference between various types of erosion. Based on scientific findings and text evidence, students will engineer structures that can withstand environmental erosion. Additionally, students will participate in environmental science endeavors as they learn of the cause and effect of human activity on the environment and attempt to find solutions to environmental issues.

Students will engage in a variety of math topics. They will learn multiple strategies for solving real-world math problems and become proficient in problems involving fractions, place value, geometry and measurement. They will also learn that math can be demonstrated though art, music, and theater as they develop their number sense and gain a deeper understanding of all 4th grade math concepts.

Language arts is interwoven throughout the day; however, emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and writing. Students will learn to develop through and thoughtful essays that rely on text evidence to support rational. Students also learn to develop opinion essays as well as narratives based on variety of relevant topics.

Themes

Fourth grade will explore the effects of human activity on the natural environment and how these activities have lead to social inequities. Students will attempt to come up with solutions for hunger, illiteracy, and poverty based upon their knowledge of science, math, language arts and social studies.

Protocol

Students are expected to come to school ready to learn. Students can demonstrate their readiness to learn by actively participating in classroom discussions, asking questions when they don’t understand a concept, and by being respectful of their peers and teachers.

How We Address STEAM Learning

The Haskell 4th grade teaching team provides all students students with the opportunity to become innovators and leaders within their community who can solve critical challenges as they move toward their future. Furthermore, at Haskell, STEAM and creativity go hand-in-hand. When students participate in STEAM activities, they engage in a discovery process that allows them to pose thoughtful questions, engage in acts of discovery, and creatively problem solve using a collaborative process. When our students engage in this collaborative process, the formulation of new ideas and solutions to real world problems emerge.

Teachers at Haskell provide their students with STEAM projects that increase their students ability to think critically while encouraging unique perspectives that can be developed through hands-on learning experiences. The 4th grade teaching team takes an approach toward STEAM that relies on the interdisciplinary integration of two or more disciplines as well as a trans-disciplinary educational approach to STEAM. This integrated approach provides students with hands-on experiences that allows them to utilize a multitude of their senses while experiencing science, technology, engineering, art, math and language arts. We do not believe that curriculum needs to be delivered in an isolated fashion because real work problems rarely encompass only one issue or only one solution.

Finally, the 4th grade teaching team believes that the role of the teacher is to facilitate their students’ learning experience so that they are always making connections, discoveries, and solving problems in a fashion that will lead to further inquiry. For example, Haskell’s 4th grade students are always acting as scientists; however, they ask questions that will lead to defining problems as engineers. Concurrently, students learn how to use technological systems all while attempting to make sense of math problems that are associated with a task that they will solve by using critical thinking skills, and collaboration skills. All of these skills require language and writing proficiency so that skills can be demonstrated in a multifaceted way.

Use of Technology

The Haskell 4th grade teaching team requires that students use technology in order to demonstrate knowledge and to participate in research. 4th grade also uses technology to promote creativity in visual arts, music, dance, and performing arts. Students are expected to use technology responsibly and to participate in ongoing Common Sense Media lessons throughout the year so that they understand the implications that surround the use of technology.

Special Activities

Throughout the year, the 4th grade teaching team strives to provide their 4th grade students with interesting and thoughtful learning experiences. For example, during past years our students have visited the Santa Monica Mountains and learned about the Chumash Indians. 4th grade was also invited to a violin concert where they were able to view one of the Violins of Hope and hear the violin played by a Juilliard-trained violinist. Additionally, students participated a variety of assemblies and as well as on-campus filed trips.

Check out some highlights from our year!