Fourth Grade at Magellan:
Students in Fourth Grade at Magellan Are Motivated Through the Use of a Wide Range of Teaching Techniques. Such techniques include: role playing, discussions, simulations, written expression, experimentation, and creativity through the arts. We believe this diversity promotes higher level thinking, maximizes student time-on-task, and allows us to address the various learning styles in our classrooms. While innovation is a common thrust for us, more traditional means of teaching have not been abandoned. There are times when drill and practice remain the most effective ways to master certain skills. Additionally, our program strives to cover and enhance the North Carolina Standard Course of Study through meaningful activities and curriculum integration.
Language Arts / Social Studies:
The fourth grade year takes students on a journey through North Carolina, tracing its history as a state to our lives today. Our field trips are woven into the social studies curriculum and we extend the experience through reading and writing about what we’ve learned. Historical fiction makes history come alive in our class! Through diaries, letters and reader’s theatre students ‘experience history’ from a first person point of view and learn more deeply.
In fourth grade we write on a daily basis. Students learn to write expository essays, opinion pieces, and narratives. We work with students closely on how to elaborate in their writing. They are taken through a step by step process on how to structure a cohesive piece of writing with many tips that make writing fun and easy!
Students will read independent books and whole-class novels and report on them through a variety of creative project choices. With the new Common Core curriculum informational reading is stressed along with fiction and narratives. Reading texts and assignments under the new standards will become more challenging. When reading, your child will need to understand the “why” and “how” questions that deepen their critical thinking and comprehension. Students will be asked to write about what they read and back up their points with evidence from the text.
Technology integration is a key component where the computer is used as a tool to research, communicate, and create. Grammar, spelling, cursive handwriting, and keyboarding skills are emphasized throughout the year. All in all, there is a strong emphasis on the application and synthesis of the material, rather than rote memorization of general information.
Students are taught according to their skill level in math only. Classes follow the Common Core Curriculum which includes topics such as Numbers and Operations, Fractions, Measurement and Data, Geometry, and Algebraic Thinking. Students are encouraged to use higher level thinking skills and apply concepts learned to real life situations. Hands-on learning is a critical component of third grade math as is the use of manipulatives and technology. The arts are integrated into the math curriculum as often as possible.
Although math and science are taught as separate subjects, students quickly see how these two go hand in hand. In science, children learn how calculating degrees of an angle can be applied to the design and construction of a simple machine. Diameter, radius, and proportion all become real when students make their own model of a North Carolina lighthouse. Classes also create a multi-media presentation on an animal of their choice during the animal unit. In both math and science, concepts are learned and then applied to make content more meaningful.
Overall we believe:
Learning is best achieved by doing, going, and seeing. Fourth grade is filled with exciting hands-on experiments, field trips, projects, and visitors from our community. More specifically, fourth graders go on up to 10 field trips during the school year, including Tryon Palace, Wilmington, and numerous museums and downtown excursions. One very exciting voyage is our annual trip to Camp Cheerio in the North Carolina Mountains. Back at Magellan, students use hands-on activities and collaborative exploration to study the basic subject areas. Social Studies and Language Arts are combined into one class to allow the integration of the two subjects. With North Carolina as the main focus in Social Studies, students read and study about Blackbeard, the Civil War, and other North Carolina events. Science and Math, taught separately, use tools such as manipulatives, Internet sites, games, and projects to enhance the Common Core. Students also learn the principles of entrepreneurship through our bi-annual “Magellan Marketplace” as they create and operate their own businesses. They use coupons earned during the course of the year to buy items from fellow businesses. These are just a few of the rich learning experiences that we feel are an important part of every Magellan fourth grader’s daily journey through education. From experiences like these, we know, without a doubt, our students are ready to sail on!