GRADE FOUR - Curriculum
The district adopted a new math curriculum called “Bridges in Mathematics.” The curriculum provides tools, strategies, and materials to implement the NCTM and Minnesota State Standards. Classroom math activities include a combination of whole-group, small group and independent projects. Lessons include complex visual models to create pictures in the mind’s eye that help learners invent, understand, and remember mathematical ideas. Students are encouraged to explore, test, and justify their reasoning.
- CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) will be one of the processes used to instruct students. Within a CGI classroom, the students learn mathematics with understanding through problem solving. Both word problems and symbolic problems are the tools that children use to learn concepts and skills. As the classroom teacher, we will not be providing explicit instruction on strategies, but helping the students develop their own problem - solving strategies. By having the students develop their own strategies, they are learning with understanding rather than as isolated pieces of information. The students will be communicating their strategies (thinking) by writing their thoughts, by drawing, and by orally sharing with others. This also enhances the students understanding because if you can explain to others, you understand what you have done. The students will be asked to solve one problem using more than one strategy. This allows the students to be flexible thinkers.
- Krypto is a math game that is played with a set of cards numbered 1 through 25. There are 2 of each number in the set. How to play the game: First, shuffle the deck. Then draw the first 5 cards. Example would be: 7 16 5 6 18 Then draw one more card. Example: 25 - that is the answer to the problems. Now , try to add, subtract, multiply, and / or divide the other 5 numbers to get the answer 25. The students earn money for their checkbook by completing their Krypto homework. For example, if the students use 3 of the numbers - $5.00, Use 4 of the numbers - $5.00, Use 5 of the numbers - $8.00. The students will be paid for one 3, 4, and 5 per problem. The students can challenge themselves to get 5 answers using all 5 numbers per problem, when they do this they receive a star on the chart, after 6 stars they receive $100. Occasionally, you may find that there is no solution. For example, for the problem above we have not found a solution to this problem using three numbers. The game guarantees that 98% of the kryptos have a five.
The fourth graders will learn about responsibility, chemical health, safety, growth and development, and diseases.
- Fourth graders also become junior firefighters through the fire department program. Each student completes a poster, test, and evacuation plan for his/her home.
- Human growth and development is introduced in the spring. The girls and boys are presented the material separately. Each gender learns about his/her own body's development, along with information on good hygiene.
- Youth teaching Youth, senior high students from Dakota County Extension Services, also come to the classrooms to provide information on drug awareness and peer pressure.
- Students inquire into communicable and chronic diseases.
The students learn about energy (electricity & magnetism), water, microbiology, inventions, and earth materials.
- The fourth graders become inventors during the Invention Unit. There are many skills that one must acquire in becoming an inventor: creativity, curiosity, problem solving, persistence, and being open to criticism. Every fourth grade student will make a working invention for our Thomas Edison Day at Diamond Path.
- During the water unit, the students will do an inquiry into how water is essential for life. The students will investigate how usable water is affected by humans, the global effects of water pollution, and the properties of water and the water cycle.
- In physical sciences, the students will be learning about how energy appears in different forms like electricity and magnetism.
- As part of the life sciences, the students learn how microorganisms can get inside ones body and how it may keep them from working properly.
- In earth science, the students will learn about different geological factors that greatly influence people around the world.
The emphasis throughout the year is on geography. The students discover how the land and the environment affect the people who live there.
- The students begin by learning about their own state, Minnesota. They begin the year with an inquiry into Minnesota history. The students will investigate how immigrants, Native Americans, and furtraders shaped Minnesota. The students will go to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center where they will learn many different aspects about Minnesota.
- Next the study is on regions: prairie, tundra, desert, forests, and wetlands. The students will be investigating the many influences that create the unique traits of a region. The students will inquire into the landforms of a region, cultural characteristics of a region, and compare to similar regions in the world.
- The students will be inquiring into what life is like for a child in another country. The focus of this unit is how our world is made up of many global villages that have similarities and differences.
A balanced literacy program is promoted with writing, spelling, and reading all integrated. The students are encouraged to read independently at home throughout the year and at school during independent reading time.
- During reading workshop, the students participate in guided reading groups and literature discussion groups. During group time, the students will be developing comprehension and word attack skills (see district frameworks). The students will responsible for keeping a reading response journal and giving book talks. They will also be taught how to use managed independent learning so they can use their independent time wisely.
- During Writer's Workshop, you will see the students doing a variety of writing. The students journal in a Writer's Notebook, write stories following the writing process in their draft notebook, and share their successes. They will also be involved in community writing.