Fourth Grade Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: January, 2014


Fourth and fifth grade artists will continue to explore the Elements of Art in January but will be moving into the exciting world of sculpture! After a refresher in clay techniques such as creating form, using slip, scoring and attaching clay students will begin to explore the element of texture. They will learn several techniques as well as how to use a variety of clay tools to create uniquely individual clay sculptures. Once the clay is bisque fired in the kiln students will revisit glazing techniques and will learn new techniques to enhance the texture of their artwork.


Fourth grade is learning about Thomas Edison in anticipation of their February field trip to the Edison National Historical Site. We will read a nonfiction picture book about Edison, and excerpts from a fiction book in which a boy travels through time to visit Edison’s lab.


Happy New Year! Fourth graders finished their recorder unit and are moving on to a brief unit on Music History. We will be focusing on the major composers of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical time periods.


In Lower School PE we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on our muscular strength with a focus on core. This year we will try for the first time in Lower School a 3 on 3 basketball tournament where students will be placed on a team based on skill level. The teams will compete against the other teams in class in games of half court basketball. The students will be working skill and teamwork, however students will be monitoring fouls and rules, so there is social interaction and problem solving throughout the entire class. The month ends with the introduction of jump rope and various jump rope skills as the class begins to prepare for our 3rd annual Jump Rope for Heart event in February.


Fourth graders continue to learn about water and the conservation of water. We return by reviewing the home survey of how water is used at home, and comparing the data as a class. Then we look at pollution in our water. Students learn about the Great Pacific Trash Vortex, and how so much plastic and pollution end up in two trash heaps in the middle of the Pacific. It is about two times the size of Texas. We also learn that tap water is inexpensive, especially compared to bottled water and that plastic water bottles are not very good for the environment. Students end the unit by spending a time creating posters to educate the school community about water conservation and pollution. Finally we will move onto our next unit, Electricity. Students will learn and explore static electricity, and do their best to make a bulb light with a single wire, a cell and a bulb. This challenge always seems like it will be super easy for the kids, but ends up being much harder due to their preconceived ideas about how electricity works. It is always an “ah-ha” moment for them.


In January, fourth grade Spanish students will be learning rooms of the house and corresponding vocabulary to describe their homes. They will apply the verbs: haber, tener, ser and utilize previously learned adjectives. Students will view an authentic video from Mexico to learn vocabulary and proper pronunciation. Students will read the Spanish book, Casas alrededor del mundo (Homes Around the World). The text will provide ample opportunities for students to discuss in Spanish house vocabulary and the various types of homes families live in. For the final project, students will follow rubric requirements and create a home of their dreams, La Casa de mis Sueños.

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