Welcome to grade 4 – by Mrs. Sabatella

Sabatella Chalkboard DrawingThe archetypal tasks that we did in third grade (farming, shelter building, class building project, cooking, measuring, and weaving) all helped the children to “find their way to the earth”.  In fourth grade they are here; awake to the realities of the world around them in a less dreamy way.  Geography is introduced as this is the time for the students to orient themselves in space and time.  The students will learn what a map is, how it represents the complexities of 3-dimensional spaces, learn how to read a map, the four directions, and navigate ourselves around town.  We will study the physical characteristics of our area (the Adirondacks, the Hudson, etc.) the resources and its beauty.  We will learn legends of Native Americans indigenous to our region.

We will then focus on fractions; understand fractions as parts of a whole and as ratios.  We will add and subtract fractions (prior to multiplying and dividing), learn to identify proper and improper fractions.

Now that the students have begun to distinguish between the “inner self” and the “outer world” they are able to be more objective which makes the study of science meaningful.  We begin with the animal world, the closest “kingdom of nature” to human beings.  We call this block the “Human and Animal Block” and as with all of the sciences, our focus will be on what the animals teach us about being human.

As opposed to third graders, the fourth graders as a class may take on a more extroverted quality.  The Norse myths we will study are filled with laughter.  Norse gods serve as a reflection of the fourth graders’ powerful wills, contentious natures; love of adventure and underlying all is a hint of pathos and tragedy.  The Norse gods know that in spite of their power and beauty, they are doomed to be overcome by the giants and trolls.

Language Arts this year focuses on grammar; the mastery of the nuances of tense, four types of sentences, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary.  We will work on letter writing, composition writing, recitation, book reports, and oral presentations.

Form Drawing will focus on knotted and braided forms and Celtic designs.  We continue wet on wet painting using the Norse myths and animals as our subjects.  We will work on other projects in the classroom that relate to the main lesson material.

Homework will begin as a way to build healthy work habits.  We will have weekly spelling lists and quizzes, math review sheets, and main lesson books will be sent home if work is not completed.  The students will have an “animal project” that will be due in the spring.  The students will also be asked to practice their violin.