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Teaching and Learning » Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

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Language Arts

Fourth-grade students learn additional strategies to effectively express themselves in both written and spoken language. Listening is also an important skill that students work on. Students participate in individual and group oral reports and presentations in different curricular areas. They continue to learn and practice strategies to differentiate fact and opinion, the author's viewpoint, making inferences, predicting outcomes, and summarizing.

Vocabulary development includes using context clues, word analysis, multiple-meaning words, and word analogies. Students expand their personal vocabularies through a variety of reading, writing, and listening activities. Children become more competent in understanding structure in both fiction and nonfiction text. Through the use of a variety of writing activities, students are given ample opportunities to draft, revise, proofread, and create final copies.


Fourth graders explore geometry concepts and apply shape properties to create geometric figures. They use several different techniques to find the perimeter and area of assorted shapes. Children in fourth grade apply their knowledge of math facts to fact extensions, such as 4 X 8 = 32 so 40 X 80 = 3200, and develop strategies for multi-digit multiplication problems. They use their knowledge of estimation, place value, and the relationship between multiplication and division to develop a division strategy.

Children are able to apply a variety of strategies for adding or subtracting multi-digit numbers and can apply them to situations involving decimal values. In the fourth grade, children use manipulatives to conduct probability experiments and to explore equivalent decimals and percents. Homework pages are now called Math Links.

Fourth-grade students experience a yearlong project, the World Tour. They "travel" to Washington, D.C. from Troy and then "visit" five other regions of the world. Math skills include reading tables for information, collecting numerical data, using map scales to estimate distance, locating points on a grid, and using latitude and longitude for locations on Earth. Children are also involved in performing experiments and conducting surveys where they have the opportunity to collect and organize data, display the information, and analyze and interpret the results.

Media Center

Fourth graders expand their research skills adding more sophisticated encyclopedias, electronic resources, online databases, atlases and almanacs. They evaluate the resources to decide which are best for answering specific types of questions. In fourth grade, students begin to use selected sites on the Internet to find curriculum related information. This also allows them to practice their Internet safety lessons. Technology is an important component of fourth grade media as these students can create multimedia projects that integrate media skills with curriculum studies. Literature and reading are also important as students refine their skill in selecting books for enjoyment reading.


Students learn important science concepts and develop the ability to think critically by actively constructing ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. Students are actively engaged in the process of science as they explore the natural world.

The Earth Materials Module consists of four sequential investigations dealing with observable characteristics of solid materials from the earth—rocks and minerals. The focus is on taking materials apart to find what they are made of and putting materials together to better understand their properties. The module introduces fundamental concepts in earth science and takes advantage of the students' intrinsic interest in the subject matter and in the physical world around them.

The Magnetism and Electricity Module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in physical science. The investigations provide opportunities for students to explore the natural and human-made worlds by observing and manipulating materials in focused settings using simple tools.

Chemistry is the study of the structure of matter and the changes or transformations that take place in it. Learning about the makeup of substances gives us knowledge about how things go together and how they can be taken apart. Learning about changes in substances is important for several reasons: changes can be controlled to produce new materials; changes can be used to give off energy to run machines. The Mixtures and Solutions Module has four investigations that introduce students to these fundamental ideas in chemistry.

All living things depend on the conditions in their environment. The study of the relationships between one organism and its environment builds knowledge of all organisms. With this knowledge comes an awareness of limits. Changes in an environment can be hard on organisms. Such knowledge is important because humans can change environments. To do so without awareness of possible consequences can lead to disasters. The Environments Module consists of six investigations that introduce students to these basic concepts in environmental biology.

Social Studies

Fourth grade students take part in an in-depth study of Michigan’s geography, history, economics, and government. Students are given the opportunity to discover differences and similarities between Michigan and other states. Students use knowledge of core democratic values to take a stand on current public policy issues.

Visual Art

In fourth grade, students employ the artistic elements and principles as their creativity, knowledge-base, interest, and enthusiasm for art are nurtured by an elementary visual art specialist. Based on the study of various cultures, historical periods, and famous works of art, the sequential curriculum focuses on challenging the students' problem-solving abilities.

Students are taught to manipulate an increasing variety of tools and materials and to utilize more complex artistic techniques. Throughout the year, student art may be displayed in individual school buildings and the community.

Vocal/General Music

In fourth-grade Vocal/general music, students continue to build upon their past information-base as they refine their understanding of musical elements and concepts. Musical literacy is stressed as students learn to read and sing standard musical notation, to analyze, move to, and to create more complex songs.

A strong correlation is made among the songs, instruments, and ethnic dances and their geographic, historical and cultural roots.


In fourth grade, students become aware that the outcome of situations depends on the choices they make. Students recognize how health products can be used or misused and learn some common reasons for drug misuse. They learn how smoking and alcohol affect the body.

The students continue to study the human body and how it is composed of cells, organs, and tissues. Students gain an understanding of the structure and functions of the heart, circulatory system, respiratory system, and digestive system.

Physical Education

Students go to Physical Education class twice a week, once for 25 minutes and once for 30 minutes. Students continue to work and fine tune Gross-Motor skills, spatial awareness, and coordination. They increase their ability with the principles of eye, hand, and foot coordination through a variety of activities. Students continue to develop traditional team sports based skills through culminating activities and game play. They will be assessed in certain skills throughout the year. Students will develop positive characteristics and attitudes, a sense of fair play, teamwork concepts, and cooperation with others. At this level, there is an increased emphasis on cardiopulmonary fitness, muscular strength, flexibility and coordination through the T.R.O.Y. Fitness Program. Students are assessed twice a year in Continuous Jog, Jump Roping, Plank, Sit and Reach, and Flex-arm Hang. Every student will have a personal fitness log that they will set goals for themselves in each of the fitness tests. After every assessment, student will reevaluate their goals and set new ones.


Troy School District's elementary Spanish program is intended to help children achieve a positive, successful experience in their exposure to learning another language. Elementary students in grades 3 through 5 receive 45 minutes of oral instruction per week. In fourth grade, the children will continue reading and writing in Spanish. The students will engage in independent oral activities as they focus on listening comprehension skills, which are a vital part of language learning. Some topics of instruction include greetings, colors, numbers, family, community, animals, alphabet, calendar, lunch foods, and adjectives.