In fourth grade, students now look at abstract information and are required to synthesize information from different topics and sometimes across subject areas. In addition, the amount of written work and homework increases. Children at this age are also noticing more who is smart, who is popular, and who is rich and many other social aspects of school. Fourth graders also learn more independently, make more group decisions, are more susceptible to peer pressure than in previous years, and will attempt to assert their independence from their parents more often.
The following is a very generalized listing of some of the things your fourth grader should learn by the end of the school year. For a more in depth look check out What Your Fourth Grader Needs To Know from your local library, or purchase it through the Core Knowledge Foundation.
Keeping children interested in reading through the Language Arts program is the key during this year. Classroom libraries will most likely be expanded, and trips to the school library may begin. Students will continue to write in cursive and will write biographic as well as autobiographic reports-such as “What I did on my vacation.” Students will research and write about interesting historical figures, which will expand their knowledge and understanding of the world. The vocabulary of the fourth grader will grow exponentially this year.
Through History and Geography, your student will learn important facts and the settlement history of your state. In addition, they will learn about the world through the study of different cultures in specific historical periods such as Europe in the Middle Ages, Erly and Medieval African Kingdoms, and the Dynasties of China. A heavy emphasis will be placed on learning about the European colonization of America and the Revolutionary War will be studied in depth this year.
In Art and Music, students will explore the art history of different people groups such as Islam, China, Africa, and early Americans. Vocal music programs continue to be the preferred venue at this age for music.
Math is an exciting topic this year, where they will learn that the subject is useful outside of school. Perhaps they will help parents with baking at home or negotiate a higher allowance. Students will begin to understand probability, and establish models for problem solving. Children will continue to learn fractions and add decimals to the mix. Geometrical knowledge will expand with the identification of lines and shapes using appropriate geometry terms.
Through Science this year students will begin to understand more about personal health and how it affects their everyday lives. Fourth graders will begin to learn about chemistry through the study of matter (atoms, and elements). Geology is a large topic of study as well as biographies of famous scientists in differing fields.