Fourth Grade Overview
Fourth Grade
 
Creative thinking describes fourth graders as they continue through their grade school education.  Fourth graders are called to higher expectations as they adjust to upper elementary grades.  It is fun to watch these students grow and mature in their abilities and social skills.
 
Bible
We use Christian Schools International’s (CSI) Walking with God and His People for Grade 4. The focus of this curriculum is to encourage students in their faith development. Students will complete an in-depth study of Israel from the time of the Judges until the exile of Israel. Throughout these units, student will see numerous examples of the faithfulness of God, and how he showed justice and mercy to his people. Connections are made between the Old Testament biblical examples and how God and those placed in authority have shown justice and mercy to them. Students also note the promises of hope and salvation that God gives to his people.  As a school we have quarterly memory work which is recited at both fall and spring concerts. We also participate in monthly elementary chapel services.
 
Language Arts
Reading
Using I Met You in a Story from Bob Jones Press offers students the opportunity to read selections from award winning authors as well as literature with a distinctly Christian theme.  Several novels are also read to supplement the reading text throughout the year.  Workbook exercises emphasize comprehension, vocabulary, and phonics skills. Students are also encouraged to read during the school day as well as at home.  
Grammar
English 4 Writing and Grammar, a Bob Jones text, emphasizes grammar and writing skills using introduction on sentences, punctuation, capitalization, and the parts of speech.  Student practice writing skills in letters, narratives, reports, and poetry using the writing process – planning, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing.  MVCA students participate in the ACSI Creative Writing Contest each year as well as other community wide contests.
Spelling & Vocabulary
Spelling, Vocabulary, and Poetry 4 from Abeka focuses on new words to master, building on skills learned in previous years.  Weekly spelling tests are given that include vocabulary words used during weekly reading assignments. 
 
Math
The Abeka curriculum for fourth grade focuses on problem solving and being proficient in computation. These lessons introduce place value (up to one hundred million) estimation, adding and subtracting of greater numbers, multiplication and division by one and two digit numbers, fractions, decimals, geometry, time, measurement, and data graphing.  Mastery is expected of multiplication facts with factors to 12.  Fourth grade students participate in the ACSI Math Olympics Contest each year.
 
Science
The textbook used for fourth grade science is published by Christian Schools International (CSI) and this text enriches and deepens each child’s knowledge and understanding of God’s world. Science is best learned through hands-on activities and scientific experiments, so students at MVCA are active and engaged in their science studies.  Units covered include:  Scientific Investigations, Investigating Organ Systems, Investigating Living Things and Their Homes, Investigating Light, Investigating Sound Waves and Hearing, Investigating Minerals, Rocks, and Earth’s Structure, and Investigating Packaging.
 
Heritage Studies
The text for fourth grade Heritage Studies is published by Bob Jones Press and entitled, “Doors of Opportunity, Nineteenth-Century America”.  It provides a colorful narrative highlighting nineteenth century America and the remarkable growth and impact of immigration, evangelism, missionary endeavors, inventions, and much more. Includes map study and focus on what's happening in the rest of the world at this time in history too.  Each week students also complete assignments from the website entitled, The Weekly South Dakotan.  At the completion of this unit fourth graders will understand yesterday’s and today’s South Dakota.  Each month the students also receive a copy of God’s World News.  It provides current news and interesting information for children - biblically, appropriately, and vibrantly - so they can grow in their understanding that God has the whole world in His hands.
 
Art
MVCA uses an art curriculum called Meet the Masters.  This program provides interactive, multi-media art education introducing students to such artists as Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh with a total of 35 master artists studied by the 6th grade.  Besides Meet the Masters students enjoy creating their own original projects required within the regular classroom curriculum.
 
Computer
Formal computer instruction in the computer lab is scheduled twice a week. Students will develop skills on both laptops (Windows) and iPads (iOS).  MVCA utilizes an on-line computer curriculum designed to teach students essential grade-appropriate digital literacy skills.
 
Music
Music instruction with a music teacher is scheduled twice each week.  The children are involved in two programs throughout the year including a Christmas musical and spring program.  MVCA students enjoy the Growing in Grace music curriculum.  Growing in Grace is age appropriate, thematic, and interactive.  With understandable texts, singable melodies, and interesting accompaniments, Growing in Grace helps each MVCA student develop his or her natural singing skills, increase in musical knowledge, and grow spiritually.
 
Physical Education
Physical education instruction with a teacher is scheduled twice each week.
 
Library
Fourth grade students visit the MVCA library weekly.  Students have the opportunity to check out books.  MVCA utilizes an on-line library system to track books and parents are able to use this same system from home.
 
Special Events

Fourth grade students take two scheduled field trips each year.  In the fall the whole school visits the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.  During the final month of school the fourth grade students travel either to Madison, SD or DeSmet, SD.  In Madison they visit Prairie Village and in DeSmet they view the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Additional field trips that coincide with the fourth grade curriculum are taken throughout the school year. Guest speakers are invited into the classroom to share their expertise as it relates to the fourth grade curriculum.  Other special events include an oral interpretation festival in the fall, Count Down to Christmas, Bookworm and Math Facts Contest in the spring, and Field Day.

Note:  To adequately provide in-depth and complete knowledge of Bible, science, and heritage studies, these curriculums are alternated each year.  Meaning, the third grade curriculum will be used for instruction while the fourth grade curriculum is utilized the following year and vice versa.  By the end of the fourth grade students will have a solid, comprehensive, and enriched understanding of third and fourth grade standards.

  October 2017  
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