LANGUAGE ARTS

Our language arts curriculum utilizes a balanced approach to literacy including reading, writing, and vocabulary study. The emphasis of our ELA curriculum is for our thriving learners to engage deeply in the reading, speaking, and writing process.  Through a broad range of instructional protocols we take our students through learning experiences which weave student engagement, discourse, and collaboration.

Students will continue to build important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in grade four. They will read more challenging literature, articles, and other sources of information and continue to grow their vocabulary. They will also be expected to clearly explain in detail what they have read during collaborative discussions by referring to details or information from the text. They will learn how to take notes and organize information from books, articles, and online sources to learn more about a topic. Students will learn to organize their ideas and develop topics with reasons, facts, details, and other information. They will write research and opinion papers over extended periods of time.

Reading

Our approach to reading instruction enables children to build and hone skills they need to succeed in becoming independent readers. Explicit reading strategies are taught in a mini-lesson format, followed by both small group and individual instruction. We assess each child individually in order to determine his or her instructional reading level at various times throughout the year to provide continued differentiated instruction. Students interact with and explore a variety of genres through notable award-winning novels and teacher-selected informational paired text in a program called Reading Adventures.  

  • Students learn to explore, identify, and reflect on themes, character development, problems/conflicts, and mood.  

  • Students will learn to locate, evaluate, and interpret literary devices such as foreshadowing, flashbacks, imagery, characterization, repetition, connotations, epilogue, euphemisms, irony, and figurative language.  

  • Students will build on prior knowledge and make rich connections to maximize their reading experience and enhance their comprehension. 

  • Students work independently and in small groups to build stamina, discuss reading, and understand a variety of texts.

  • Students learn to interpret and analyze a range of written texts, both fiction and non-fiction.

  • Students learn to use explicit information to identify the main idea or primary purpose of a text or part of a text as well as explicit details from a passage to understand it fully.

  • Students learn how to use implicit information from a passage to make inferences about the moods and motivations of characters in order to understand their shifts and developments over the course of the book. 

  • Students learn to make inferences about events, understanding their importance and meaning within the context of the book.

  • Students learn how to determine whether information consists of fact or opinion. Within fiction, they will learn whether or not a narrator is trustworthy.

  • Students recognize cause-and-effect relationships among elements in a text.

  • Students categorize and combine the layers of implicit information to make predictions, draw conclusions, and/or formulate hypotheses.

  • Students will employ comprehension strategies to interpret, analyze, and evaluate what they have read.

  • Students will be able to discuss texts well, demonstrating their understanding and growing each other’s ideas.

  • Students will engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, cooperative groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners to discuss topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and express their own ideas, positions, and responses.  

  • Students will develop communication and public speaking skills in creation of group presentations using slides or IMovies.  

  • Students will learn how to take notes and organize information from books, articles, and online sources to learn more about a topic. 

Writing & Grammar

Our language arts instruction not only enhances the mechanics of writing, grammar, spelling, and syntax, but also allow students to express themselves in creative and personal ways. Through weekly growth mindset journaling, students respond to topics that encourage social and emotional growth, personal development, and innovative thinking.  Our focus is to create strong thinking through writing. Formal writing is done through a multidisciplinary approach weaving in social studies, science, and reading. It not only helps students make connections but enhances the learning experience.

  • Students will organize their ideas and develop topics with reasons, facts, details, and other information. 

  • Students will write research and opinion papers over extended periods of time.

  • Students will learn to properly use conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • Students will learn to properly use conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • Students will learn to clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • Students will learn proper use of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Students will demonstrate skills through a variety of activities and products: 

  • Board games

  • Pop-up books

  • Character journals

  • Scrapbooks

Students will participate in a variety of integrated writing activities utilizing multiple different writing formats:

  • Friendly letter

  • Poems

  • Role-play journals

  • App creations

  • Book reviews

  • R.A.F.T. 

  • Formal essays such as informational, expository, and persuasive writing.  

Monthly writing experiences allow our junior writers to publish and share their pieces with their peers.

 

MATHEMATICS

The primary goal of our mathematics curriculum is to engage our students in activities that promote higher-level thinking, application of skills through problem-based learning activities, and rich mathematical discussions where they are thinking and speaking like a mathematician! 

In order to maintain rigor, our curriculum provides flexible grouping with flexible pacing. Each topic is pre-tested to identify the various levels.  Students are pre-tested at the beginning of each topic to carefully identify student levels. Students passing material prior to formal instruction are accelerated using different grade-accelerated materials that included advanced content with a problem-solving focus.

Our mathematics instruction includes Operations, Algebra, Numbers, and Computation.

  • Students will learn place value through hundred millions 

  • Students will learn decimal place values through hundred thousandths.  

  • Students will learn to compare, estimate, and break apart numbers to solve inequalities.

  • Students will learn addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals and will apply this to multi-step problems. 

  • Students will learn multiplication of multi-digit numbers by utilizing a variety of methods: area model of multiplication, distributive property, lattice method, and the traditional algorithm. 

  • Students will learn long division. 

  • Students will learn to use models and mathematical procedures to understand, recognize, and generate equivalent fractions. 

  • Students will learn addition and subtraction of fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers.  

  • Students will learn to identify the least common factor and greatest common denominator.

Students participate in various problem-based learning projects involving application of all operations, along with planning, organization, and real-life scenarios that develop and assess their math skills: 

  • The Million Dollar Project

  • Movie Entrepreneur Project. 

 

SCIENCE

The main focus of our fourth grade science curriculum is in providing opportunities for students to engage in and understand science practices, explore issues related to engineering practices, as well as the use of natural resources. Students apply what they know as they complete hands-on activities, which helps strengthen current understanding and promotes new knowledge of the world around us. While actively participating in scientific investigations, students observe objects and events, think about how they relate to what is already known, test their ideas in logical ways, analyze outcomes, and generate explanations that describe what, why, and how a certain result occurred. 

  • Students will learn skills that allow for successful inquiry and explanation. 

  • Students will review the steps of the scientific method.

  • Students will design and carry out experiments that provide opportunities to make clear observations, infer and make connections with what is happening, as well as classify, measure, analyze and evaluate data. 

  • Students will learn the importance of organizing information through the use of science notebooks where students document what they experience, any data they collect, and their thinking during the activity. 

 Our science instruction is broken down into two main modules, Energy and Environments. 

During our Energy module, students explore electricity, learn about circuits, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and understand which materials conduct electricity. Students demonstrate their knowledge of these concepts through assessment and project-based learning opportunities, such as designing and constructing their own flashlight. A second topic introduced during this unit is magnetism and electromagnets. Through testing compasses, exploring the strength of magnetic attraction, creating visual magnetic fields, and building electromagnets and generators, students discover the phenomenon of magnets and interactions they have with materials and each other. Our final focus of this unit is energy transfer. Students observe and analyze data to determine how one form of energy can be transferred to another and document evidence seen that supports their ideas. Through well designed investigations, students discover what happens to energy when two objects collide, how variables affect one another, and use controlled experiments involving the transfer of potential energy into kinetic energy to test how mass and release position affect energy transfer. 

The second module introduced in fourth grade is Environments. This module focuses on the way animals and plants interact with their environment and with each other. The driving question for the module deals with structure and function. Students design investigations to study environments, range of tolerance, and optimum conditions for growth and survival of specific organisms. Students conduct controlled experiments by incrementally changing specific environmental conditions and use data collected to develop and use models to understand the impact of changes to the environment. Students explore how animals use their sense of hearing and develop models for detecting and interpreting sound. They graph and interpret data from multiple experiments and develop explanations from evidence. Students gain experiences that will contribute to the understanding of patterns, cause and effect, system models, energy and matter, structure and function, and stability and change.

While participating in active investigations, online activities, outdoor experiences, and formative and benchmark assessments, students practice teamwork and interdependence, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and applied understanding of past concepts to generate new hypotheses and conclusions. Our learning environment allows students to work and think like scientists and engineers. 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

Fourth grade social studies instruction focuses mainly on Florida. Through the use of Studies Weekly and outside resources, students discover Florida’s rich history, geography, economics, and civics. The class incorporates printed material with web-based features to engage students in course content. Integrated into our social studies curriculum are important skills such as relevant writing prompts, word study, reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, and the opportunity to work both independently as well as in small groups. 

Topics studied include:

  • Current events

  • Map skills review

  • Florida state symbols 

  • Florida’s geography and how the climate affects the produce we grow and the plant and animal species that live in the state

  • Native American tribes that once inhabited this land - how they communicated, survived, and what their homes and clothing looked like

  • The first European explorers who discovered Florida - the objectives and goals of these men and how the discovery of Florida changed their lives

  • The colonization of Florida

  • The history of St. Augustine

  • Juan Ponce de Leon, Jean Ribault, and Pedro Menendez de Aviles and their contributions to the settlement as well as the conflict between the French and the Spanish 

The study of Florida’s history is the forefront of fourth grade curriculum, however other topics are integrated into our lessons as well, including Black History Month and the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s History Month, Government Functions, Being a Citizen, and the American Revolution. 

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

The Greene School Foreign Language program is to expose students to ample listening and reading opportunities with classes four times a week.  Fourth grade Spanish curriculum integrates speaking, reading, writing, and listening, to help students achieve a level of proficiency. It is a gentle immersion to the language and culture as a whole. Students are encouraged to answer in Spanish with one word or sentences according to student’s level with approximately 90% of the class communication in Spanish.

Students acquire language proficiency with visual and interactive support using grade level vocabulary and techniques such as Total Physical Response (TPR) and Natural Approach.  The goal of both of these strategies is to allow students to learn a second language in the same way they learned their first language - through their senses, encouraging long-term retention of the language. The approach to learning the language is naturally fundamental and repetitive as vocabulary is recycled to ensure mastery of the vocabulary words.

Fourth grade students use the ¡Qué chévere! and Realidades curriculum textbook which integrate development of language proficiency into cultural understanding using project-based learning activities, multimedia resources, songs, games, and stories . 

  • Students will learn: there is\there are, to be (ser), to be (estar), to go, to have, to want, to like.

  • Students will learn five more high frequency verbs: to say, to do, to give, to see, can. 

  • Students will learn to answer question words (what, when, how, how many, who, why, how many). 

  • Students will learn additional vocabulary: to listen, to understand, to practice, to answer, to remember, to think, to speak, to stand-up, to sit-down, to look, be able to, to say, to know, to do, to see, to give, to start, to finish, to close, to open, to write, to draw, to play, to walk, to run, to jump, to drink, to dance, to eat. 

  • Students will understand (listen and read) these verbs and start conjugating them with all pronouns (I, you, he, she, we, they).  

  • Students will learn vocabulary focusing on PQA and retelling stories.

  • Students will learn through topics: greetings, likes and dislikes, school, family, weather, sports, animals, physical descriptions, personality traits, and chores. 

 Content is delivered using the following strategies:

  • Collaborative Storytelling

  • MovieTalk

  • Embedded Reading

  • PictureTalk

  • TPR (Total Physical Response)

  • Personalized Questions and Answers

  • Read and Discuss

 Technology is used to incorporate independent listening, speaking and reading. Technology is crucial in our Spanish class to differentiate instruction and to play games. Music, games, stories, and videos engage students on their learning journey. 

 

DRAMA

The Greene School Drama program provides students the opportunity to express themselves through a variety of theatrical lenses. The actor’s toolbox (body, voice, and imagination) is explored through storytelling, movement, scene study, and more! Skills in drama provide empathy, spatial reasoning, ease in public presentation and self confidence. The performing arts offers students an opportunity for self exploration and team building.

Students are encouraged to take dramatic risks and support each other by giving meaningful feedback to improve their own work and the work of their fellow actors. Through creative play, students learn skills that cover affective, psychomotor, and cognitive domains. 

Fourth grade students devise original work by generating their own characters and writing their own plays inspired by the world around them. Students will learn a variety of theatrical styles and apply those skills to scene work. Through this work, they will learn to create and imitate human, inanimate and animal characters. In addition, they learn to demonstrate an understanding of sequence of character actions through script writing. Students will learn to demonstrate an understanding of how environmental elements impact behavioral character choices.

Theatrical vocab that students learn and apply to scene work at this grade level include: 

  • Actor’s toolbox

  • Expression

  • Clarity

  • Visibility

  • Eye contact

  • Pantomime

  • Exaggeration

  • Mystery

  • Newspaper Theater

  • Storyboard

  • Tableau

  • Props 

  • Projection

 

DANCE, YOGA, & MINDFULNESS

Dance

As part of The Greene School curriculum, all fourth grade students are required to participate in dance each week, one period per week for 45 minutes. The Greene School Dance Program is founded on the premise of providing a kinesthetically enriched and interdisciplinary curriculum that strengthens the educational experience for all students. The dance program plays an integral role in the development of a well-rounded student while also enhancing the learning taking place in other subject areas. Students are exposed to different techniques, forms, and styles of dance including jazz, modern, creative movement, ballet, and musical theatre. Different choreographic styles are also studied, though the focus varies with age. 

The first part of the year is focused on the development of gross motor skills through both locomotor and non-locomotor movements, while learning how to retain choreography and build specific dance technique in preparation for the annual Dance Concert performance that includes all students. 

The second part of the year focuses on The Language of Dance unit where students choreograph and perform their own mini-dances, allowing students the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary unit that encourages practical application of the technique and skills learned throughout the year.

Yoga

As part of The Greene School curriculum, all fourth grade students participate in yoga, one period per week for 45 minutes. The overarching theme for the elementary yoga program focuses on the concepts of Balance and Breath in Yoga Poses and in Life. The course also utilizes a multi-subject approach with the integration of interdisciplinary concepts. The students culminate each lesson by writing in their personal Gratefulness Journals.

Mindfulness

As part of The Greene School curriculum, all fourth grade students are required to participate in Mindfulness, one period per week, for 20 minutes. All teachers and staff also attend each mindfulness class with the students to allow the lessons to be continued in the classroom throughout the week. Throughout the year, students are introduced to a wide variety of topics and techniques with the monthly character trait acting as the overarching theme throughout the lesson including Mindful Bodies, Mindful Listening, Mindful Breathing, Heartfulness, Kindness, Mindful Jars, Mindful Eyes, Please and Thank You, Generosity, Giving, Mindful Thoughts, Mindful Emotions, Mindful Eating, Gratitude, Integrity, Patience, Compassion, Commitment, Humility, Joyfulness, and Kindness.

ART

The Greene School visual arts program requires all fourth grade students to participate in art class for 45 minutes, two times each week, offering all students a broad range of experiences and activities.  Students are exposed to a wide array of visual arts mediums throughout the year. 

Students explore an array of art making categories: 

  • Visual

  • Plastic

  • Technological

  • Decorative   

Fourth grade students will explore and experiment in the following Elements of Art:

  • Line

  • Shape

  • Color

  • Texture

  • Form

  • Space

Students may use these elements:

  • Drawing (Linear, Figure, Landscape)

  • Painting (Color Mixing, Primary and Secondary Colors, Color Wheel, Warm and Cool Colors) 

  • 3-Dimensional Work (Clay forms: coiling, rolling, pinching; Handbuilding; Paper techniques: folding, cutting)

  • Art History (Picture Books, Reproduction, Online Resources, Online Museum Interactive Sites)

Mediums used by fourth grade students include:

  • Paint (Tempera, Watercolor, Acrylic)

  • Crayon (Resist, Rubbings, Outline)

  • Clay (Air Dry, Modeling, Hand-Building)

  • Paper (Stencils, Cutting, Collage) 

  • Pastels (Oil, Chalk)

  • Ink (Alcohol, India)

  • Printmaking

The visual arts program is further enriched with art history and focus on transformational movements in art.  The visual arts program is integrated throughout the interdisciplinary curriculum via collaborative partnerships between classroom and arts teachers.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The Greene School physical education curriculum is designed to provide an environment that challenges all students to work to their potential. Students need the opportunity to learn skills without intimidation and to experience the joy and exhilaration of physical activity. This philosophy drives our program and it is our hope that all students learn to enjoy movement, become fit, and value positive living. 

Our program focuses on the whole person.  This is achieved by focusing on three areas which are equally important:

  • Movement Skills and Movement Knowledge 

  • Personal Development

  • Social Development

Our physical education aims are to encourage and enable students to: 

  • Use inquiry to explore physical and health education concepts.

  • Participate effectively in a variety of contexts.

  • Understand the value of physical activity.

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • Collaborate and communicate effectively.

  • Build positive relationships and demonstrate social responsibility.

  • Reflect on their learning experiences.

Students at this level will learn psychomotor development and interpersonal skills.  Students will be assessed on their knowledge of units demonstrated through skills and games, task cards, class and individual demonstrations, presentations and class assignments.