Lower School (K-5)

Fourth Grade

Ilene Drobny

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  • Fourth Grade Overview

Core Subjects

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  • Language Arts


    Students in fourth grade read a variety of texts including biographies, fiction, informational texts, myths, legends, short stories, and poems. The program includes reading from across the curriculum, with an emphasis on California history. Students take their analytic skills to a higher level in fourth grade through research of informational books, articles, and websites, and using literature to explore the theme and character analysis. Fourth graders will assess first-hand and second-hand accounts of real events and analyze the information to draw conclusions in collaboration with other students.


    Written work in fourth grade focuses on developing skills to create multi-paragraph compositions using supporting facts, research, reflection, collaboration, and revision. Compositions will include comparing and contrasting, creative writing, persuasive, and opinion essays. Students will also compose poetry and develop their understanding and use of figurative language.
    Students will build vocabulary through exploration of the reading texts and additional vocabulary activities. I emphasize technical writing, including grammar usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Students will also learn basic typing skills.
    I integrate discussions, group work, and oral presentations into all curricular activities. I also emphasize collaboration and exploration of ideas.
  • Mathematics

    My students in fourth grade will learn to compute very large and very small numbers, positive and negative numbers, decimals, fractions, and percents. Students will study the relative magnitude of numbers; they will perform calculations and solve problems involving addition, subtraction, simple multiplication, and division of fractions and decimals. Students will also analyze algebraic equations using variables in simple expressions, compute the value of the expression for specific values of the variable and interpret the results. Geometry concepts include learning to describe, draw, and classify properties of and relationships between, plane and solid geometric figures. In addition, students will compute volumes and areas of simple objects. They will understand and apply standard and metric measurements. Using critical reasoning, models, and justification of solutions is essential for all students throughout all areas of mathematics. Collaboration, discussion, and synthesis of mathematics concepts are threaded through the curriculum.
  • Social Studies

    My social studies program includes developing map skills and learning about California’s varied geography and its impact on the growth of California. We study the history of California, from the first settlement of peoples coming from Asia and their development into the many different tribal groups to the impact of European imperialism. Students will study and examine the growth of California and the contributions of various cultures (particularly the Hispanic, Chinese, and Japanese) to our state. Students will explore historical reasons for emigration/immigration and learn to look at these issues in the context of current events.

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