The Mathematics curriculum in grades three and four is an engaging program in which exploration and discussion are vital components. Students are introduced to concepts and then practice these concepts through a variety of hands-on activities. This process results in skills that are solidly based in understanding. The students work individually as well as with partners or in small group settings. By working with others and discussing problems, the students are exposed to different ways of thinking and learn that there is more than one way to solve a problem. The curriculum in these grades focuses on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, place value, fractions, decimals, percents, statistics, probability, graphing, and measurement. The basis of our instruction is the Houghton Mifflin Math series. However, activities are drawn from a variety of sources which include internet websites, and interactive whiteboard activities.
The Language Arts curriculum for grades three and four includes the components of reading, writing, grammar, speaking, listening, and spelling. These subjects are integrated as much as possible. Reading is taught using a variety of quality children’s literature as well as periodicals such as National Geographic and Time for Kids. Students work in small guided reading groups and develop multiple strategies for understanding a broad range of fiction and non-fiction text. The writing process is stressed throughout grades three through five and practiced daily across the curriculum. The organization of ideas is taught through the use of the 4-Square method, graphic organizers, and components of the Six Traits of Writing. Writing opportunities include paragraphs, journals, learning logs, poetry, and research reports. Grammar is taught through a combination of daily edit and teacher-created activities. The Houghton Mifflin Spelling series is used in conjunction with vocabulary words from the content areas for the instruction of spelling.
Science in grades three and four is based on a two-year cycle of study. Earth Science (earth movements, solar system, water cycle, and weather instruments) and Physical Science (magnets, electrical circuits, liquids, measuring, powders and crystals, and sound) are covered one year. Life/Human Body (human body systems, animal behavior, dinosaur classification, insect life, plant and animal life cycles, small things and microscopes, and food chains and webs) are covered the following year. A diversity of resources provide students with a wide variety of hands-on activities that support the National and State Science Standards. Through classroom experiences, students begin to understand concepts more fully and develop confidence in their ability to question and discover. Reasoning abilities are fostered as students move from direct experience to more abstract reasoning.
Respect and understanding for other cultures are the central themes in the Social Studies program in these grades. Students are exposed to historical events with an emphasis on the actions of people and how these actions affect the world as a whole. The curriculum utilizes role playing activities to bring history to life. Topics covered include: The Age of Exploration, New Hampshire History, American History (Early settlers through the Westward Movement in grade four, Civil War to the early 20th Century in grade five). Geography and mapping skills are taught through the five themes of Geography: Location, Place, Human Environmental Interaction, Movement and Region.