Fourth Grade

Fourth Graders are naturally opening up to the world around them, and the school year reflects that expansiveness. A "typical" day may find them discussing the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, then creating a sculpture in art class, then practicing their telemark skiing, then discussing a group dynamic in a class meeting.

Language Arts


Between the lines

Students’ appreciation of literature continues to grow as they are exposed to a variety of reading materials, both fiction and nonfiction. Reading skills focus on comprehension of more complex texts. They review, analyze, and critique works as a class or in small-group discussions. Students predict outcomes, identify story elements, read “between the lines,” draw conclusions, make comparisons, and recognize figures of speech.  Students develop their skills in creative writing, expository paragraph-writing, and public speaking.

Mathematics


Fractions & fluency

Fourth Graders continue to reinforce mathematical understanding and develop their ability to think more abstractly about mathematical concepts. Instructional time focuses on three critical areas: (1) developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication, and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends; (2) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers; (3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.

Science


A trio of topics

The Fourth Grade Science program explores the three realms of science through hands-on investigations. Fourth Graders learn about magnetism, electricity, simple machines, life structures, volcanoes, and rocks and minerals. This survey curriculum introduces students to many concepts which provide the foundation of our Middle School classes. Students build catapults and battery operated cars, take a deep dive into the characteristics of plants and animals, and create volcanoes which they “erupt.” 

Social Studies


Back to ancient times

The focus of Fourth Grade History is Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece and Rome. Students also study the fundamental elements of a civilization and how a society is influenced by geographical conditions and structural and economic factors. For example, students explore how the Nile’s seasonal floods enabled the Egyptians to progress from daily survival to “works of the mind.”  Geographical work focuses on the Nile River, major cities, and geographical landforms in Egypt. Students read and analyze Greek myths in connection with Greek and Roman history.They also study the influence and cultural allusions of Greek mythology in literature, art, science and politics in Western history and contemporary American society. 

Foreign Language


Let's talk

Fourth Graders are introduced to more formal reading and writing in either French or Spanish. Students begin working with short dialogues to become more comfortable speaking in sentences. They also use their knowledge base to write short dialogues. Students continue to learn about verb conjugation and to deepen their understanding of cultures. 

Technology


from processing to 3-D printing

Fourth Graders build on the foundations of computer science introduced in the earlier grades. Students develop understanding of the parts of a computer, how they interact, and the concepts of input, output, and processing. Students increase coding ability using Scratch Programming by MIT. Using the Arduino platform, students apply their understanding of programming to electronics, simplifying and making visible the basics of how computers work, and extending their understanding of circuits. Students are also introduced to 3-D printing using Tinkercad and Autodesk.

Art


True expression

Fourth Grade Students study line, color, and shape through painting. They also work on drawing, learning about one-point perspective. They explore foil relief and create folk art-inspired art using marker and colored pencils. As they each choose an Egyptian god or goddess for a Social Studies project, they craft their chosen god in art class. These elaborate three-dimensional sculptures are a great way to learn about dimension and form. To build their Egyptian dolls, the Fourth Graders create armatures, then apply plaster and paint. They design and sew clothes, then adorn the gods with jeweled accessories.

Music


Guitars, Marimbas, & more

In a Lead Guitar program conducted in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival & School, Fourth Grade students study classical guitar, learning stance, technique, treble staff note reading, and other musical symbols. In the late spring, students engage in African marimba unit, at the end of which they give a performance to Lower School. They explore syncopation, ensemble playing, improvisation and solo playing. 

Drama


On and off the balcony

The Fourth Grade performs Romeo and Juliet in the fall Shakespeare festival. Students also engage in a variety of activities and games to improve focus and concentration. They learn about improvisation and help create their scene for the All-School Play.

Physical Education


outside on campus

Fourth Grade students continue to refine skills in traditional team sports: volleyball, basketball, soccer flag football, badminton, and hockey, with a focus on development of strategy and fair play. The fall months will often find the Fourth Graders practicing their mountain biking on campus in preparation for their Outdoor Education trip. They also use our campus to work on their telemark skiing skills before their winter hut trip. The weekly winter ski afternoons are a highlight for the Fourth Graders. 

Outdoor Education


New Adventures

Fourth Grade students spend three days in Fruita, Colorado developing basic mountain biking skills. Students continue to develop their camping skills and their comfort in the outdoors. They also embark on their first hut trip to the Shrine Mountain Inn on the summit of Vail Pass. Students ski in with their own backpacks, and many help pull the sled with the group’s gear. Students are introduced to a basic understanding of snowpack, so they can become responsible backcountry skiers in the years to come.

Projects & traditions


Moving on up

Fourth Grade is the first year in Lower School when students get to become the "big buddies" in the Buddy Grade pairings. The children become buddies with the First Graders, and they take seriously their job as role models. While there is always time for fun, the children become visibly more responsible as students and community members. All the many projects and traditions of this important year are focused on making the Fourth Graders comfortable and challenged in their academic studies and social interactions. 

Aspen Country Day School
85 Country Day Way Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: 970.925.1909
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