Academics

Lower School

Grades K-4

Our Lower School (K-4) is a gateway to a world of possibilities. Your child will learn with excitement and enthusiasm in a caring and supportive environment. Our academic standards are high and we emphasize developing solid study skills, a strong work ethic, and a sense of responsibility.

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  • Signature Experiences

    Peck students make memories lasting a lifetime. Just a few examples are that Kindergartners enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast, and two class plays per year.  In first grade, a formal Mother’s Day Tea. In second grade, an International Feast to celebrate Peck’s diversity. In third grade, the patriotic State Feast culminates a cross-curricular study of the United States. And in fourth grade, a year-long integrated study of the people, places, and historical events of  American History culminates with a student-written American Timeline presentation.
  • A Day in the Life of a Lower School Student

    This is the pattern of a typical day for a student in the 2nd grade:

    8:00 Arrive; go to homeroom and hang up coat and book bag. Place homework in assigned place and hand in any notes from home. Check directions on the Smartboard for morning work and duties.

    8:15 Bell for first period. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance, sing a patriotic song, and say the Lower School prayer.

    8:30 Language Arts period: Reading groups

    9:45 Snack/Recess

    10:00
    Math: Break into three groups

    10:40 Sports: Practice catching with ball and glove

    11:20 Lunch/Recess

    12:15 Teacher Readaloud

    12:30 Library

    1:15 Science: Rivers and rocks

    1:50 Social Studies: Begin studying Alaska

    2:40 Write homework in assignment book

    2:50 Pack up

    2:55 AfterSchool pick up

    3:00 Dismissal or AfterSchool enrichment programs begin
  • Athletics and Physical Education

    Throughout the Lower School years, students are actively engaged in daily physical education. Play is an important part of the day during recess, and structured time is also dedicated throughout the week for participation in athletic activities and physical education.
  • A Broad Academic Foundation

    Our Lower School program will foster your child’s social and emotional growth. We provide a broad academic foundation, emphasizing life skills and traits, study, and work habits. Small class sizes allow our teachers to tailor their instruction to meet the needs of all students.

    Our teachers are dedicated, supportive, and committed to helping your child gain the confidence he or she needs to master basic skills and progress to higher levels of learning—throughout their years at Peck and beyond. We pride ourselves on exceptional outcomes.

    From kindergarten through fourth grade, your child will have many opportunities to demonstrate their creativity and engage their curiosity through our core curriculum. We emphasize cooperative learning experiences and varied problem-solving approaches. We ask open-ended questions to promote your child’s analytical and critical thinking skills. Beyond a desire to develop a firm foundation of fundamental skills, we also want your child to be aware of the world around them. Our curriculum is enriched by programs in physical education, technology, languages, music, theater, and the fine arts so that your child develops to his or her fullest potential.
  • A Dynamic Parent Partnership

    We see your child’s education as a partnership—between Peck and your family. We focus on the importance of good character and work closely with you to reinforce our character education program, Individual Development and Community Responsibility (InDeCoRe). This program guides our efforts to promote positive character development throughout the Peck community.
  • Service Learning and InDeCoRe

    Our guiding force for character education is our Individual Development and Community Responsibility (InDeCoRe) program. Every trimester, we focus on one of our six core values: Respect, Loyalty, Perseverance, Empathy, Responsibility, and Honesty.

    For our younger students, we place these values in the context of self, family, and school. What, for example, does respect look like at the lunch table? For our older students, we consider these values in the local and global communities. How is respect part of a heated political debate?

    In addition to teaching about values, we expect to see those values in action, in developmentally appropriate social behaviors. Report cards reflect a student’s progress on the “Consideration of Others” rubric. In all situations we encourage students to reflect upon and take responsibility for their actions and choices.

    Instilling and reinforcing a sense of social awareness in your son or daughter is a fundamental aspect of our educational experience. Beginning in Kindergarten and extending throughout their years at Peck, students devote time and energy to serving the local and global communities through meaningful—and fun—hands-on activities.
  • Reach Across

    Upper School and Lower School students “Reach Across” several times annually with collaborative activities designed to spark conversation, creativity, friendships, and leadership.  Lower School students and their Upper School “buddies” forge bonds that last throughout their years at Peck.

Meet Dominick

Lower School Curriculum Overview

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  • Kindergarten

    The Kindergarten is full of energy, wonder, and excitement.  Students are invited to explore, to take risks, and to share in a love of learning.  We focus on supporting the whole child and nurture each individual’s emotional, cognitive, physical, and social growth in a warm, structured, engaging, and joyful environment.  Peck’s six core values (respect, loyalty, perseverance, empathy, responsibility, and honesty) are infused throughout the day, as Kindergarteners learn how to be good friends and to model consideration of others.
     

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Nurturing a lifelong love of reading is central to everything that we do.  A print rich environment provides abundant opportunities for students to engage with the written word.  Activities that promote multi-sensory phonemic awareness are an integral part of the program. The phonics-based curriculum, in which sound symbol relationships are introduced and reinforced, is taught through a variety of multi-sensory activities.  Students concentrate on hearing the sound, saying the sound, and writing the sound. The phonics program focuses on short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, and sight words. Students join in flexible and differentiated reading groups, reading a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry passages through our author study program.  Small reading groups give us the opportunity and flexibility to provide personal enrichment for each child and develop comprehension skills.

    WRITING

    Developing fine motor skills is an essential part of the Kindergarten program.  The D'Nealian handwriting program is used to help students develop their letter formation, laying the groundwork for cursive penmanship in Second Grade.  Many opportunities are provided for kindergarteners to express themselves through writing. Students write in journals and complete writing activities/tasks related to various units of study.  Students practice and reinforce their fine motor skills through a variety of multisensory activities.
     

    MATHEMATICS

    The Kindergarten is divided into three small, heterogeneous math groups, which allows for flexible and differentiated teaching.  Concepts are introduced, reinforced, and enriched through concrete, pictorial, and abstract thinking. Students focus on building number sense, decomposing numbers, and problem solving throughout the year.  These concepts enable students to learn through hands-on activities, cooperation, and collaboration.  Weekly homework portfolios encourage family participation and challenge students with authentic tasks and activities.

    SCIENCE

    Kindergarten students engage the natural world through a sequence of hands-on activities exploring the what, how, and why of nature.  They investigate natural and manufactured objects, learning to classify, describe, and find patterns.  They develop sensory awareness by observing interactions and changes over time. Kindergarten students are also introduced to concepts like living vs. nonliving, as well as the cycles of the sun, moon, earth, seasons, and weather.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The social studies program traces the seasons and key events throughout the year to expose students to the natural world and other cultures.  Geography skills are also integrated.

    SPANISH

    Kindergarten Spanish provides a robust learning experience, at a time when young minds are particularly geared toward language acquisition.  Classes meet three times per week, including a lunch where students use Spanish to express their needs and feelings. The Kindergarten curriculum is conversational and immersive, and each student is encouraged to engage in songs, games, and the repetition of expressions.  By the end of the school year, all basic directions are in Spanish and students are expected to respond in kind. The cultural aspects of the Spanish program are also woven into the curriculum as every lower school student “travels” to three different Spanish-speaking countries during the course of the year.
     

    TECHNOLOGY

    Technology skills are developed in the Tech Lab, as well integrated into the classroom—and, always directly support academic learning goals.  Some examples of activities include: lessons on parts of a computer and familiarity with the keyboard, navigating the Internet and various program, creative publishing using KidPix, and graphic organizers to support reading and math skills.  Through the use of various hands-on activities and applications, students develop a foundation of programming and robotics skills. The technology curriculum also supports the development of fine motor skills by engaging students with various types of user interfaces.

    K.I.D. Lab

    The Kindergarten and First Grade Idea and Design Lab (K.I.D. Lab) provides an opportunity for students to develop problem-solving skills, to think creatively, and to learn from mistakes. Using the design thinking process, students tackle authentic problems, build empathy for users, prototype original solutions, and work through multiple iterations based on feedback and testing.  This empowering approach to problem solving, provides innovative young minds with space to grow and explore—and, tools that benefit all areas of their learning.

    ART

    Kindergartners are introduced to the basic elements of art in conjunction with notable artists.  The development of fine motor skills is continually stressed, as each child begins to learn the language of art and how it applies to the creative process.  Overlap, use of a horizon line, simple perspective, composition, and color theory are introduced.
     

    MUSIC

    Kindergarten students participate in activities that involve singing, playing instruments (pitched and unpitched percussion), listening, creating, and reading simple rhythms.  The children are introduced to concepts such as beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, and tempo. In addition to two class plays, children also develop seasonal songs, musical games, dances, and perform at assemblies throughout the year.
     

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Children in Kindergarten develop basic motor and spacial skills, as well as sport-specific skills and strategies. Students learn through drills, activities, and games.  The importance of sportsmanship and consideration of others is a major component in the program.

    LIBRARY

    Kindergarten students visit the library once a week. They learn to understand the basic role of the library, how to locate and select books, and the excitement of choosing something to read.  Students also experience the responsibility of borrowing, taking care of, and returning a library book. Students are introduced to the role of authors and illustrator in the creation of books and complete an in-depth look at Caldecott winning books.
  • Grade 1

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Nurturing a lifelong love of reading is central to everything that we do.  The balanced literacy program consists of guided, shared, and independent reading and writing.  Students are exposed to a variety of genres in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Though small reading groups, we allow students to reach their full potential and target specific comprehension skills.  Activities which promote fluency in oral reading and critical thinking skills are examined in small reading groups, providing individualized instruction. Auditory comprehension is developed through reading discussions and read aloud books.  In addition, students have many opportunities to select books to read independently in class and at home. Finally, every student has access to an individualized, online leveled library to enrich their skills.
     

    WRITING

    Students learn to write sentences and communicate their ideas by writing daily.  They also develop fine motor skills and penmanship, using the D’Nealian handwriting program.  Creative writing and expository writing activities provide students with opportunities to develop writing skills in a variety of contexts.  During our writing workshop, students practice proofreading and editing skills. Finally, students have the opportunity to present their writing pieces during lower school assemblies.
     

    SPELLING & PHONICS

    The phonics program and spelling program are integrated throughout the year.  Knowledge of sound symbol relationships is reinforced through multi-sensory activities, games, and homework.  Weekly spelling lists and dictation skills are coordinated with specific phonemic principles based on Orton Gillingham methodologies.  The application of spelling rules in daily writing is emphasized and supported.
     

    MATHEMATICS

    The First Grade math program presents and applies concepts through concrete, pictorial and abstract ideas.  Students use manipulatives, games, and cooperative learning to solve real-world problems. Small group instruction allows for teachers to meet individual needs and differentiate lessons.  Emphasis is placed on building number sense, place value, fact fluency, measurement, geometry, time, and money. First graders use number bonds, number lines, place value charts, and more to help develop a deep conceptual understanding and strong mathematical foundation.

    SCIENCE

    First graders continue to explore the Peck environment both inside and out.  Through experiential activities, they practice observational skills and develop the ability to classify and communicate information, manipulate various materials, note changes that occur due to the interaction of objects, make decisions based on logical reasoning, and interpret data.  First graders also investigate biomes, food chains, and the flow of energy in the environment.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The social studies curriculum explores how communities work.  By investigating maps, occupations, services, and key community members, they gain a better understanding of how people work together and the different roles that individuals can play.  Students learn first hand about collaboration and helping others.

    SPANISH

    Student-centered projects and games create an engaging and stimulating environment, as students continue their study of Spanish.  First grade Spanish continues to be conversational and immersive, with the students developing more complex sentence structures and speaking in complete phrases.  Students are encourage to continue using only Spanish in the classroom while acquiring new vocabulary related to their immediate surroundings, such as the classroom, letters, numbers, days of the week, months, food  and animals. Exploring cultures of the Spanish speaking world, every first grader “travels” to three different Spanish-speaking countries during the course of the year.

    TECHNOLOGY

    Technology is integrated with academic learning goals in the Tech Lab, as well as in the classroom.  Project examples include: creative publishing and artwork using applications like KidPix, various graphic mapping activities using Kidspiration, and impactful iPad activities.  In addition, students begin to code with various hands-on activities, including Beebots and applications like Scratch Jr.

    K.I.D. Lab

    The Kindergarten and First Grade Idea and Design Lab (K.I.D. Lab) provides an opportunity for students to develop problem-solving skills, to think creatively, and to learn from mistakes. Using the design thinking process, students tackle authentic problems, build empathy for users, prototype original solutions, and work through multiple iterations based on feedback and testing.  This empowering approach to problem solving provides innovative young minds with space to grow and explore—and, tools that benefit all areas of their learning.

    ART

    First graders make great strides in their creative development.  Overlap, use of horizon line, simple perspective, composition, and color theory are introduced.  The students build upon their collection of basic symbols to create visual images.
     

    MUSIC

    Students in First Grade build upon the foundations laid in Kindergarten. The skills are considered to be on-going and cumulative. The children begin to read and write music on a music staff.  They improvise using pitched and unpitched percussion instruments. And, they perform in assemblies, such as the twice-annual all-school sings.
     

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    First graders build on basic motor, spacial awareness, and sport skills introduced in Kindergarten. Students learn through drills, activities, and games.  The importance of sportsmanship and consideration of others is central to the program.

    LIBRARY

    First grade students visit the library once a week.  Students learn to locate fiction and nonfiction books in the library, to listen to stories, and to develop an appreciation for authors.  Books read aloud in library support the classroom social studies curriculum and are thematically linked to seasons and the calendar. Students enjoy an expanded selection of books while browsing the shelves and learn about caring for the library materials that they take out.  In addition, twice a year students have an opportunity to participate in a book club, where a preselected book is read at home with their parents.
  • Grade 2

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Nurturing a lifelong love of reading is central to everything that we do.  In Grade 2 students learn strategies for decoding vocabulary and developing fluency.  An integrated approach to content ensures that reading exercises relate to other academic areas, allowing students to build connections and understanding.  For example, students will read about Native Americans in support of the social studies curriculum and will explore character development as part of our InDeCoRe Program.  Guided and shared reading group instruction ensures that all students are supported and enriched at the appropriate level. In addition, students have access to an individualized online leveled library to foster their skills.  
     

    WRITING

    The basic elements of paragraph writing such as topic, detail, and conclusion sentences are taught.  Students learn to write effective, fully developed sentences and paragraphs. They are provided with many opportunities to write in different forms, such as poetry, journal writing, fiction writing, expository writing, research projects, and thematic book reports.  Cursive writing is introduced in September, using the D’Nealian handwriting program, and students are proficient in cursive handwriting by the end of the year. Students also use the computer to develop word processing skills.
     

    SPELLING & PHONICS

    Students are given weekly spelling lists which relate to a specific spelling rule. Drawing on the methodologies of Orton Gillingham, a multi-sensory approach to spelling is  incorporated in both classwork and homework assignments. Assessments are based on the application of spelling rules, in dictation sentences, and in written expressive language activities.  Grammar is introduced and reinforced with unit lessons on verbs, adjectives, common and proper nouns, sentence structure, punctuation, and capitalization.

    MATHEMATICS

    In Second grade new concepts are introduced through concrete, pictorial, and abstract learning to accommodate all levels of understanding.  Teachers differentiate lessons through student-centered approaches and small-group activities to ensure that all students receive ample support and enrichment.  The concepts of place value and addition and subtraction with regrouping are reinforced throughout the year, as well as fact fluency, geometry, measurement, fractions, money, time, and multiplication and division.  Students are introduced to bar modeling to become confident problem solvers, and learning is supported using hands-on manipulatives and educational math apps.  

    SCIENCE

    Students expand their knowledge of animals and plants, as well as structure and function, by observing the relationships and interdependence between living and nonliving things found in the natural world.  They investigate the diversity of species, adaptations, and the Earth's beginnings, both geologically and biologically. They continue to practice data collection and interpretation, while learning about the water cycle through real-world laboratory activities.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The Social Studies program provides an in-depth exploration of Native Americans and a continued investigation into map skills.  Students study Native Americans by geographic regions, taking into account the tribe's indigenous dwelling, clothing, artifacts, modes of transportation, customs, traditions, and methods of farming and gathering food.  Emphasis is placed on how each tribe adapts to the specific geographic area. Students draw connections between early American life and their own experience in the modern world.

    SPANISH

    Second grade students are actively involved in listening, understanding, and responding in Spanish.  Students build upon previously learned vocabulary and expressions and engage in simple conversations about the weather, seasons, clothing, and their families in the target language. Second grade students also  have the choice of using different centers where they practice vocabulary and engage in conversations (in Spanish) using different visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic manipulatives. In the cultural aspects of the language, second grade students, together with every other lower school student, “travel” to three different Spanish-speaking countries during the course of the year.

    TECHNOLOGY

    Technology is integrated with academic learning goals in the Tech Lab, as well as in the classroom.  Students continue to develop word processing skills, as well as keyboarding fluency. Students continue to explore creative, multimedia tools for demonstrating their knowledge, such as Book Creator, Chatterpix, and Green Screen.  Students also use Kidspiration, which helps students sort and organize information, and share and express their thoughts. Through the continued use of programming applications and robotics, students continue to build a foundation of coding skills.  

    ART

    Second Grade students study the basic elements of design (line, color, value, shape, texture, and space) in various forms found in nature and art.  Projects using new techniques and mediums are introduced, leading children to greater realistic representation. In conjunction with their social studies unit on Native Americans, second grade artists explore various Native American arts and crafts, culminating with a weaving project.
     

    MUSIC

    In second grade, the repertoire of songs and instrumental pieces is expanded. Notation and sight reading continue to be important elements in the curriculum.  The vocal range is strengthened. Listening to music and developing the ability to verbally describe the music using the correct vocabulary is encouraged. The highlight of Second Grade is the introduction of handchimes.  The students read from a large score by following the rhythm patterns. Opportunities to sing in the Lower School Chorus are offered and students continue to perform in the all-school concerts.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Second grade students review basic motor and build upon elementary sport skills that were introduced in Grade One.  Through drills, activities, and games spacial awareness and more advanced skills are learned. The importance of sportsmanship, leadership, and consideration of others continues to be a central focus.

    LIBRARY

    The Second Grade begins a more advanced instructional program in the library.  Students learn the difference between fiction and nonfiction and how to locate texts. They are introduced to fiction books with chapters and are encouraged to explore and develop personal interests.  Students also practice oral poetry reading, as well as participate in a "Reader's Theater" where each child lends his or her voice to a read-aloud.

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  • Grade 3

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Classroom instruction and independent activities are designed to foster a lifelong love of reading and an appreciation of literature.  The guided reading program uses small group instruction to reinforce word recognition, to develop vocabulary, and to strengthen comprehension strategies.  The curriculum integrates reading with oral and written expressive language. Auditory comprehension is developed through group literacy discussions and read aloud books.

    WRITING

    Children are taught the fundamentals of written expressive language with an emphasis on sentence structure, paragraph development, and mechanics.  Expanding on skills learned in Second Grade, emphasis is placed on adding details and using richer vocabulary to enhance their sentences. Students write in a variety of forms, including book reports, poems, literature responses, and compositions.  Themes taken from the character education program provide monthly topics for assignments and sharing of written work.

    SPELLING & GRAMMAR

    The program provides direct instruction in spelling rules and skills using a kinesthetic and phonetic-based approach to learning that is rooted in the methodologies of Orton Gillingham.  An emphasis is placed on the solid understanding and application of specific spelling rules. Weekly assessments are administered using multi-sensory activities, tests, and dictation. Correct punctuation, capitalization, and grammar rules are also emphasized.  

    MATHEMATICS

    The Third Grade math program expands on concepts taught in younger grades using concrete, pictorial, and abstract thinking.  The use of bar models, numbers lines, and number bonds are reinforced to build a strong foundation for multiplication, division, and fractions.  Students develop mastery of multiplication and division facts and apply their understanding to solve real-world problems. Small group teaching, student centered activities, and cooperative games present all students with opportunities for reinforcement and challenge.
     

    SCIENCE & DESIGN LAB

    In Third Grade students begin Science and Design Lab—a dynamic course that integrates science, engineering, design thinking, and technology in a way that builds students’ sense of agency and develops their facility with tackling complex problems.  New concepts and relationships regarding the earth, its inhabitants, and the surrounding environment are explored in the course. The idea of energy and its many forms is explored through demonstration, hands-on activities, and group research.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    The year begins with a focus on world geography and builds to an in-depth study of the United States with its many landscapes, traditions, and cultures.  The year culminates with each student making a presentation on an “adopted” state that has been thoroughly researched throughout the school year. Hands-on activities and project-based learning activities provide children with an immersive and lasting learning experience.

    SPANISH

    Third graders are introduced to a more formal grammar program that further builds upon their Spanish skills. They continue to work on pronunciation and ask and answer questions in complete sentences.  Students rehearse ordering food in a restaurant and buying food and clothes in a store and even learn how to bargain, like in a typical latino mercado. Basic math concepts are also explored in Spanish.  Each year, lower school students immerse themselves in the study of three different Spanish speaking countries.

    TECHNOLOGY

    Technology is integrated with academic learning goals in the Tech Lab, as well as in the classroom.  Students begin to work with Google Apps for Education to create documents, drawings, and presentations.  Creative, multimedia applications such as Print Shop, Green Screen, and Book Creator allow students to express their thoughts and ideas in a transformative way.  Students continue to build their coding skills through the use of robots such as Dash and Dot, and iPads applications. In addition, keyboarding is emphasized with frequent individualized practice using All the Right Type.

    ART

    Stimulating projects are created using new mediums.  The Masters, as well as contemporary artists, are studied.  It is expected that each student will improve his or her drawing skills, while learning shading, modeling, and drawing from life.  Third graders can, with greater confidence, discuss their impressions of a work of art using appropriate terminology and referencing key artistic elements.    
     

    MUSIC

    In Third Grade, the skills and concepts that have been developed since Kindergarten are reinforced and expanded.  Further development of handchime technique is accomplished, and the playing of recorders is introduced. Students compose their own recorder music and notate it using correct music symbols.  Singing expressively is encouraged. Students perform in assemblies, class presentations, and all-school assemblies. Additional opportunities are provided before school to further cultivate students musical interest.

    WOODWORKING

    Third Graders are introduced to their first experience in woodworking.  Children learn about woodworking safety and the proper use of several hand tools, including saws and tools for measuring.  The use of abrasives and the application of wood finishes are discussed. A plan of procedures is reviewed so children understand the sequence of steps, from start to finish, for a simple project they will make.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Students in Third Grade focus on improving sport specific skills through drills, activities, and games. Positioning and spacial awareness through game play is initiated. Activities range from  throwing and catching games, to intramural basketball, and other sports specific games. Sportsmanship and team play is a major emphasis during the lessons, as students continue to strengthen their InDeCoRe values.

    LIBRARY/RESEARCH SKILLS

    Students gain greater facility in the use of the library and a fuller awareness of the range of materials available for use when researching a topic.  With a focus on reference materials, students are taught to use encyclopedias, dictionaries, and atlases in print and in digital form. Students are also introduced to the concept of plagiarism and age-appropriate sources citation.
  • Grade 4

    LANGUAGE ARTS & READING

    Fourth Grade features a literature-based, integrated curriculum, where students are placed in small groups  and encounter a variety of texts with themes and content that directly support the social studies curriculum.  Emphasis is placed on vocabulary development, inferential comprehension skills, fluency in oral reading, and the ability to share one’s views of a text through writing and class presentations.  Auditory comprehension is developed through group literacy discussions and read aloud books.
     

    WRITING

    Students are taught to write in a variety of forms, including poetry, personal essays, research reports, and responses to literature.  They also conduct genre studies and compare texts. In each case, students fully engage with the writing process, developing and refining their ideas.  Fourth graders are expected to apply correct spelling and grammar rules when writing and at times use word processing software.
     

    SPELLING & GRAMMAR

    Spelling rules and skills are differentiated for each student using Orton Gillingham methodologies.  The program emphasizes phonics, spelling patterns, irregular and frequently used words, and the application of these tools in writing.  Assessment is based on weekly tests with dictation and on the application of correct spelling in written work. In addition, students study the parts of speech, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar rules.  

    MATHEMATICS

    The Fourth Grade math program emphasizes number sense and builds student confidence, while tackling challenging and open-ended problems.  The concepts of multi-digit multiplication and long division are explored through the use of models and algorithms.  Students also investigate decimals, fractions, algebra, measurement, and geometry.  Students' understanding is developed through the use of manipulatives, cooperative activities, and critical thinking exercises.  Math vocabulary is emphasized and students use math language to communicate and explain their thinking in detail.  

    SCIENCE & DESIGN LAB

    Fourth graders participate in a second year of Science and Design Lab—a course that integrates science, engineering, design thinking, and technology.  Through their extended work in the lab, students’ prototype solutions, present original experiments, and become tenacious and agile problem solvers. At the same time, students continue to build their lab skills through observation, measurement, and the formulation of hypotheses.  Emphasis is placed on logical thinking and problem solving. Environmental concerns are studied through research, presentations, data collection, and manipulation of measurement tools. Students also investigate our solar system and simple machines.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Students learn about the birth of the United States and the 239 years of history that have brought us to our present state.  They look at major events over the course of our country's growth: from military engagements to the intrepid work of the people that helped shape our melting pot of culture, government, and world-leading industry.  This allows students to better understand where we have come from and how that understanding of our past will enable us to move forward. Research techniques, use of technology, and hands-on activities present students with a variety of approaches to engage with this rich subject.

    SPANISH

    The Fourth Grade Spanish presents an ambitious curriculum, as students conjugate verbs in the singular form and use them in sentences.  The use of other grammar rules (such as noun-adjective agreements) prepare students for the upper school language programs. Students enhance their listening, reading, writing, speaking, and pronunciation skills with the use of student-centered activities.  By practicing useful verbs (such as tener, jugar, llevar, comer, beber), and adding practical vocabulary (such as sports, clothes, food and drink) students can communicate about their daily life and needs. Respect, diversity, and the development of a global perspective continue to be themes of study as the class explores the rich tradition and history of several Hispanic countries.

    TECHNOLOGY

    Technology is integrated with academic learning goals in the Tech Lab, as well as in the classroom.  Students build and program robots, prototype original solutions, and work through multiple iterations based on feedback and testing. They continue to explore the collaborative and more advanced features of Google Apps for Education.  In addition, students refine word processing skills, as well as keyboarding fluency, using All the Right Type and various typing games.
     

    FAMILY LIFE

    Through group activities, film vignettes, and role playing, students are encouraged to analyze and discuss issues related to peer pressure, decision making, alcohol and drugs, anger management, friendships, communication, feelings, and self esteem.  The students are given opportunities to explore their own values. Positive strategies for solutions are discussed. Boys and girls will see a separate video about reproduction and personal changes during puberty.

    ART

    Fourth graders begin to view and execute the basic elements of design and drawing in a more sophisticated manner.  In addition to contemporary artists and the Masters, the Fourth Grade also studies American and world folk art. Because fourth graders can successfully express a mood through their work, they can begin to critique that work, as well as make thoughtful judgments about the art in their environment.
     

    MUSIC

    In Fourth Grade, all the skills and concepts that have been developed since Kindergarten are reinforced and expanded.  A major unit involving folksongs, their history, origins, and diversity is undertaken. The students are introduced to handbells, and, following the practice of ringing basics, work begins on special ringing techniques such as martellato, other stopped sounds, as well as the use of mallets with bells.  The range of recorder notes is extended, and the students compose for their instruments. The ukulele is also introduced. The students continued to perform at assemblies, class presentations, and all-school events.
     

    WOODWORKING

    Following a review of safety rules, and to complement the Fourth Grade curriculum that includes folk art and folk music, children make a folk toy.  Fourth graders work together to formulate a basic plan of procedures for its completion. They explore other methods of project joinery and finishing.  Fourth graders develop respect for hand tools and the shop, for their own work and for that of others.
     

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Students in Fourth Grade focus on improving sport specific skills, game strategies, and spacial awareness through drills, activities, and games.  Activities range from throwing and catching games, to intramural basketball, and other sports specific skills. Sportsmanship and team play is a major emphasis during the lessons, as students continue to strengthen their leadership skills and InDeCoRe values.
     

    LIBRARY

    Students in the fourth grade continue to develop their research skills during their library periods. In the course of research projects, students learn to search the library online catalog for print materials and to use the library's collection of online databases for in-depth research.
timeless traditions
timely transformation

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  • 247 South Street

  • Morristown, New Jersey 07960

  • 973.539.8660

Northern New Jersey's timeless and transformative independent education for grades K-8