Fourth Grade is an exciting time in the development of a child. Children at this stage begin to see themselves in the adult world, yet are still deeply entrenched in childhood. The year is one of constant change and challenge, and there is a world of difference between the child at age nine and the child at age ten. While nine-year-olds can be self-critical, competitive, or feel that things are unfair, ten-year-olds begin to enjoy working cooperatively in groups and working things out with peers. Ten-year-olds are also better able to concentrate and take time on their work, seeking to produce high quality work and working on larger projects.
The Fourth Grade curriculum provides opportunities for independent and group work. Working as a team toward common goals, students develop an appreciation for the value that each child brings to the classroom. Students also have ample opportunity to work independently, and the room is set up to encourage independence and growth. Taking initiative and having the freedom to make academic choices at various points throughout the day support the development of a positive attitude toward learning. The curriculum also includes a series of lessons and studies related to good manners. Practicing common courtesies, such as holding a door for a friend or listening when another is speaking, allows for a more peaceful classroom environment, diffuses classroom conflicts, and puts into practice important life lessons. This courtesy is extended to writer’s workshop, allowing students to share their writing in a safe environment with classmates who are able to listen and respond with a different point of view. By creating an environment where it is safe to discover, explore, share, and grow, Fourth Graders at All Saints are able to successfully navigate this emotional, dynamic year.