Grade IV

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

    The Whole Child
    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, as 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.

    Central Subject: Ancient Greece
    The Greek study includes: mythology; 5th Century B.C.E. Athens and Sparta, daily life, and architecture; pottery and its decoration; archaeology; the Bronze Age in Crete and Mycenae with the hero tales; the Iliad and Odyssey; Greek plays; geography; and the Olympic Games. A partial bibliography includes appropriate translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths; Theras and his Town; Evslin, Greek Myths; Coolidge, Greek Myths and The Trojan War; Longman Series, Aspects of Greek Life and See Inside a Greek Town; and Usborne, The Greeks. Online resources and multi-media materials enhance the curriculum. Our methods of study include discussions and reading, compositions, research, dramatizations, crafts, painting, mapping, projects, and museum visits.
  • Language Arts in Grade IV

    Reading
    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.

    Writing
    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. We begin keyboard instruction.

    Language
    Our work in language includes spelling rules and generalizations, plus spelling and vocabulary word lists from our academic curriculum and children’s own writing. Our study includes beginning grammar (parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation) and beginning paragraphing.
  • Lower School Community in Grade IV

    The entire Lower School (Beginners to Grade IV) meets together in the Assembly Hall from 8:35 to 9:15 on Day 3. 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 aspect 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 Artist performances, or other 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. Word problems are investigated in a variety of contexts. 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 number 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). Measurement and data analysis (collections of data are represented in graphs) are used to extend the understanding of probability. We highly encourage children’s curiosity, experimentation and interest in mathematics while building their confidence and strengthening their skills.
  • Science In Grade IV

    (Four 50-minute classes per cycle)
    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 four times per cycle. 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

    (Four 50-minute classes per cycle)
    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, non-locomotor, 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

    (Three 50-minute claasses per cycle)
    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 by walking around the campus and writing down all the sounds that they hear. They make a composition from these sounds first, and then gradually add specific rhythmic patterns, turning the sound composition into a melody. They then practice this melody on the Orff barred instruments. 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, harmonic vocal line with a small group, and singing with appropriate expression and dynamics. They learn how to sing a few songs in Greek and also 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 (to be able to play a C major scale) 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 cycle)
    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 per cycle 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, drawing, and other media, children knit a multi-step, multi–patterned and colored Shady Hill hat. They learn stencil printmaking and make Greek stencil designs to print on their chitons for the Olympics and the Grade IV grade play. They also work in the ceramics studio making teapots and plates.
  • Woodshop in Grade IV

    (Two 50-minute classes per cycle for half the year; 8 or 9 students in each group)
    Fourth graders come to shop in groups of 8 or 9 for 50 minutes, twice a cycle for half the year. 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, to putty, and to sand.

    As spring approaches, fourth graders begin work on Greek shields for the Olympic games. They learn to make rounded wooden handles, beveled edges,  use screwdrivers and pop rivets. When painting their shields, 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.

  • Aparna Agrawal 

    Studio Teacher
    University of Michigan - M.B.A
    School of Museum Fine Arts/Tufts Univ. - Masters of Fine Arts
    University of Mass - Amherst - B.A.
  • Louis Caldarella 

    Grade IV Learning Specialist
    Harvard College - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    TTC '00
  • Sarah Dewart 

    Lower School Shop Teacher
    Mass. College of Art - B.F.A.
  • Rico Marino 

    Physical Education Teacher
    Keene State University - Bachelor's
    Keene State University - M.Ed.
  • Ms. Susanna Paterson 

    Librarian
    Simmons College - M.L.S
    University of Virginia - B.A.
  • Dana Rogers 

    Gradehead
    Brown University
    Harvard University
  • Kabir Sen 

    Music Teacher
    Wesleyan University - B.A.
    TTC '07
  • Maggie Small 

    Science Teacher
    Clark University - B.A.
    Lesley University
    TTC '15
  • Hrisostomos Theodorou 

    IV Gradehead
    Duke University - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.A.
    TTC '90
    Lesley University - MAT
  • Stephanie Travers 

    Grades B-V Physical Education Curriculum Coordinatior
    Springfield College - B.S.
    Springfield College - M.Ed.
  • Leah Walpuck 

    IV Gradehead
  • Michelle Young 

    Physical Education Teacher
    University of Maine - B.S.
    University of New England - M.Ed.
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