Fourth grade at Grymes is an exciting and challenging year of transition. Students are expected to take on more responsibility as they develop the study skills, time management and organization that will serve them well in the upper school.
Fourth graders play the role of "big buddy" as they are paired with a partner in junior kindergarten, and they take this responsibility very seriously. At the top of the lower school and halfway down the hall, fourth graders are on the verge of great things to come.
Students dive into reading and learn to express their reactions to what they have read. In literature circles they learn small group discussion skills and share personal reactions to the literature including such titles as, Frindle, Maniac McGee and The Big Wave. A week-long study of author, Roald Dahl and an intense unit on poetry are highlights. Fourth graders have plenty of opportunities to use their broadening vocabularies. They continue the Wordly Wise curriculum, and spend time writing creative stories for each set of vocabulary words. Students also write poetry, personal narratives, character sketches, factual reports, and fictional stories. Spelling groups work with specialized lists each week, sorting words by sound, drawing pictures of words to learn their meanings, and writing sentences to master their uses.
In Fourth Grade, the Investigations in Number, Data and Space math curriculum continues to guide students in creative, logical, and inquisitive mathematical thinking. Students build their knowledge and skill in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and geometry. They also work extensively with decimals and fractions, numerical patterns, data analysis and probability. All nine units taught in fourth grade are done so through a series of mathematical investigations and projects, as well as fun, thought-provoking games. The curriculum supports a wide range of learners, both on different levels, and with different learning styles, encouraging students to think mathmatically and to understand and appreciate mathematics.
In science fourth graders begin with a study of plants and birds in the fall; in the winter months they learn about motion and machines and the human body; and springtime brings a study of the planets and solar system. Students become globally conscious as they study world geography. Beginning with the United States, they study each continent, learning about its physical and cultural geography. They learn countries, states and capitals and complete numerous projects, including a state brochure, a country book, a travel video, and a travel agency competition.