There are three Grade IV classrooms with 16 students in each class.
About Grade IV
List of 10 items.
Grade IV Central Subject: Ancient Greece
Naturally embedded in any academic curriculum are human themes. In keeping with Shady Hill traditions, in all subjects we integrate themes regarding character, values, respect for self and others, and the responsibility children have as members of the community. In Grade IV the Ancient Greece central subject, filled with heroes and heroines facing moral dilemmas, is a jumping off point for teaching social and emotional skills. We also work on these social and emotional skills through direct coaching, including lessons on courage, fairness, and honesty. The themes of character, values, respect for self and others, appreciation of differences among people, and the responsibility children have as members of the community appear in every aspect of our curriculum.
The reading curriculum focuses on the development of skills such as comprehension, fluency, visualization, determining main idea, and beginning reference skills. We will strengthen these skills through oral and silent reading of Ancient Greece-related materials, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, genre studies, and daily independent reading.
Students develop writing skills such as mechanics, sequencing of ideas, summarization, content and style, and research writing. Students compose in many forms, such as original stories, expository paragraphs, and poems. Our work in writing includes spelling rules and generalizations, plus spelling and vocabulary work lists from our academic curriculum and children’s own writing. Our study includes beginning grammar (parts of speech, sentence structure punctuation) and beginning paragraphing. We begin keyboard instruction.
Lower School Community in Grade IV
The entire Lower School (B-IV grade) will meet together in the Assembly Hall from 8:35 to 9:15 every Friday. The music component of assemblies includes community singing, performances by Shady Hill students and performances by outside musical groups. Music at the assembly extends the music curriculum and deepens students’ understanding of music as cultural expression. Classroom sharing is also an important focus of assemblies. The emphasis is on sharing works-in-progress from all areas of the Lower School. Preparation for sharing is part of the learning process and sharing in front of a larger group in a safe, supportive environment helps children develop confidence in projecting their voices and effectively presenting their work. Sometimes assemblies are used for performances, such as class productions, Visiting Artists or outside performers or speakers. Outside presenters come from the arts, sciences and humanities and make a connection to the wider world.
Mathematics in Grade IV
The fourth grade mathematics program emphasizes learning through problem solving, which is woven throughout all content areas. Multiple ways to solve problems are encouraged, and students are asked to communicate their reasoning to others, both orally and in writing. Students develop their number sense by gaining facility with numbers and operations (basic facts, place value, and the four operations with whole numbers as well as estimation). Cuisenaire rods and base 10 blocks are used to develop conceptual understanding of multiplication and division. Pattern blocks and other visual approaches are used to introduce fractions. Geoboards help strengthen concepts of geometry (symmetry and area). We encourage children’s curiosity, experimentation, and interest in mathematics while building their confidence and strengthening their skills.
Science In Grade IV
(Seven 50-minute classes every 10 days)
This course utilizes hands-on activities and personal experience to develop an understanding of the physical world. Students learn science by working collaboratively to investigate phenomenon by collecting data, interpreting results, and developing conclusions. Fourth graders engage in the process of engineering and design. The process challenges students to innovate and apply their understandings toward developing solutions to problems. We engage in a yearlong S.T.E.A.M. activity called The Tiny House Project. Students design and build a prototype of a house on a budget. Throughout the year, students layer technologies onto the house that relate to content being investigated. Classes meet three or four times per week. Students keep a journal of their challenges, ideas, and projects. The topics explored in fourth grade science include: structures, robotics, electricity, heat, and light.
Physical Education in Grade IV
(Seven 50-minute classes every 10 days)
Building on the third grade program, a major focus in fourth grade Physical Education is the development of a healthy attitude toward all types of physical activities. Students refine basic movement techniques as they learn to use them confidently, safely, and competently in increasingly complex situations. Through performance outcomes, students achieve and demonstrate mature forms of the basic locomotor, nonlocomotor, and manipulative skills. In our classes, students use sports skills in combination with each other in dynamic, complex environments. Students acquire specialized skills fundamental to a movement form (i.e., basketball chest pass, throw and catch with a lacrosse stick, fielding in whiffle ball) and begin to acknowledge transferable skills, applying them elsewhere. In fourth grade, students learn that participation in a physical activity is a conscious personal decision, choosing activities both for the enjoyment and the health benefits they derive. Fourth graders participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for increasingly longer periods of time without tiring. We continue to focus on cooperation and communication skills and using them to facilitate completion of a common goal while working with a partner or small diverse groups. The year culminates with a whole grade, central subject themed Greek Olympics.
Music & Performing Arts In Grade IV
(Five 50-minute classes every 10 days)
Listening, singing, playing instruments, moving to different types of music, reading, writing and analyzing skills are all part of the fourth grade music curriculum. They begin the year with a unit on rhythm and body percussion. They continue through the fall with units on recorders, hand drums and mallet instruments. Throughout the year, their vocal development activities focus on group singing, unifying tonal quality, consistent breath control, correct articulation and awareness of posture. There is continued work on developing confidence in maintaining an independent, harmonizing vocal line with a small group, and singing with appropriate expression and dynamics. Students learn rounds, partner songs and works from a variety of cultures and musical styles. They continue their work on the soprano recorder, expand their pitch repertoire and learn songs that include those pitches. They work on an ancient Greek melody called “Hymn to the Sun”, and also learn to improvise with pentatonic melodies on the Orff barred instruments. Movement activities include dancing games, folk dances, creative dramatic activities, body percussion and other exercises that reinforce a wide range of musical concepts. At some point in the year, each class prepares and performs a dramatic musical presentation using a classic Greek myth.
Library In Grade IV
(One 50-minute class per week)
Library class in Grade IV builds upon students’ natural love of reading by helping them discover a wide range of genres, formats and themes as they develop their identities as readers. This includes practice in using the online library catalog, understanding the organization of the library, and learning to become independent library users. In Grade IV, students participate in Genre Studies, with guidance from both the librarian and the gradehead, in which each student chooses a book within a certain literary genre. Students read independently, learn the characteristics of the genre, and create a project that often includes writing, visual artifacts, and a presentation of the project. Students are also introduced to basic research skills that will prepare them for their work on a research paper done in collaboration with the gradehead.
Art Studio in Grade IV
(Two 50-minute classes every 10 days for half the year; 8 or 9 students in each group)
In the fourth grade, in addition to continued experiments and skill building in painting and drawing, and other mediums, children knit a multi-step, multi –patterned & colored Shady hill hat. They learn stencil printmaking and make Greek stencil designs to print on their chitons for the Olympics and the 4th grade play. They also work in the ceramics studio making teapots and plates.
Woodshop in Grade IV
(Two 50-minute classes every 10 days for half the year)
Fourth graders come to shop in groups of 8 or 9 in each group. The term begins with the design and construction of a box. The students work on design challenges, drawing three-dimensionally and thinking about measurement and angles when designing their boxes. Good craftsmanship is encouraged. Students learn to use L-squares and handsaws to make accurate right angle cuts. They are taught to set nails, putty and sand.
As spring approaches, we discuss the factors that help us identify from what culture an artist may come. They learn to make rounded wooden handles, beveled edges, use screwdrivers and pop rivets. When painting their shields the students consider the elements of ancient Greek design in choosing color, patterns, content and positive and negative space for their images.
Grade IV Faculty
List of 12 members.
Hamilton College - B.A. Lesley University - M.Ed.
Brown University Harvard University
Duke University - B.A. Lesley University - M.A. TTC '90 Lesley University - MAT
University of Michigan - M.B.A School of Museum Fine Arts/Tufts Univ. - Masters of Fine Arts University of Mass - Amherst - B.A.
Grade IV Learning Specialist
Harvard College - B.A. Lesley University - M.Ed. TTC '00
Lower School Shop Teacher
Mass. College of Art - B.F.A.
Physical Education Teacher
Keene State University - Bachelor's Keene State University - M.Ed.
Physical Education Teacher
California University of Pennsylvania - M.S. Loyola Marymount University - B.A.
Simmons College - M.L.S University of Virginia - B.A.