• Grade Four

    English Language Arts
    Students in Grade Four are developing readers and writers on the path to becoming fluent in the uses of many different forms and genres of text.  Students in grade four begin tackling more difficult types of reading and writing each day.  Using the components of a Balanced Literacy Approach, students in grade four receive a daily 90 minute literacy block during which they are challenged to read, write, listen, and speak independently, in pairs and small groups, and in whole group settings. 

    Specifically, in grade four, our focus and by using the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment system to insure prescriptive instruction at each student’s individual reading level.  The language arts curriculum in the general classroom is supported by a Book Room stocked and leveled with books spanning the range of reading levels and instructional levels for Pre-K through grade 6.

    The focus of English Language Arts instruction at any level remains NYSED Core Curriculum and challenges students to read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding, for literary response and expression, for critical analysis and evaluation, and for social interaction. 

    The Elementary Math Program in the North Tonawanda City School District provides a comprehensive curriculum that is aligned to the New York State Standards for Learning. The Elementary Math curriculum focuses on foundational mathematical reasoning skills beginning with number sense and operations, geometrical shapes, measurement, patterning and sequencing, problem solving, and reasoning. Building on these foundational skills each year, we provide students with explicit, grade level instruction in our daily 60 minute math block.

    Specifically, in grade four, students continue their exploration of number sense and operations reading and writing whole numbers to 10,000, skipping to count by 1,000, understanding the place value of the base ten number system, use a variety of strategies to add and subtract 4 digit numbers, and develop fluency with double digit multiplication and division facts.  Students also develop an understanding of decimals as part of the whole.  At the fourth grade level, a greater emphasis is also placed on algebra and geometry, moving students from basic math facts and computations to higher order thinking and reasoning skills required for these more complex concepts.

    The focus of Mathematics instruction at any level remains the NYSED Core Curriculum through which teachers provide students with the knowledge and understanding of mathematics necessary to function in a world very dependent upon the application of mathematics.  Instructionally, this goal translates into three components:

    • conceptual understanding
    • procedural fluency
    • problem solving 
    Social Studies
    The Elementary Social Studies curriculum provides students with opportunities to confront questions about humankind and the world. As part of the New York State Core Curriculum, students engage in the study of history, geography, economics, government, citizenship and civics.  Concepts and themes explored at the elementary level begin with the study of families, communities, local places in the North Tonawanda community and the Western New York region, citizenship, rights and responsibilities, and rules and laws.

    Specifically, in grade four, the social studies curriculum is an in-dept exploration of New York State, including its geography in relation to the world and its specific features of elevation, waterways, and climate.  Students explore the history of NYS, its first inhabitants, and its evolution over time.  Colonial New York is explored as well, including life under British rule and the American Revolution, and how we evolved from colonial rule to statehood and our later rise to becoming a national leader.

    The Elementary Science Program in the North Tonawanda City School District provides a comprehensive curriculum that is aligned to the New York State Standards for Learning. The Elementary Science curriculum uses Scientific Inquiry to explore broad topics of the physical setting and the living environment. Students use simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend their senses acquiring simple skills such as how to observe, measure, connect, record and report data, and to classify objects using their own rules. From their own observations, they begin to ask questions and make predictions. Students' investigations are largely based on systematic observations and simple classifications to bring order and organization to their understanding. As students develop concepts and vocabulary from such experiences, they develop the ability to ask meaningful questions, investigate aspects of the world around them, and use their observations to construct reasonable explanations for their questions.

    Specifically, in grade four, students learn about meteorology and the many different weather conditions and factors that can influence weather.  They also continue to explore matter, energy, and motion with a focus on centrifugal force.  In addition, measurement is explored, calculated, charted, and graphed in an effort to provide data collection and make predictions.  The living environment is also explored with a focus on comparing and contrasting invertebrates; further, plant reproduction, and the concepts of extinction and interdependence are introduced.

    In addition to academics, the North Tonawanda City School District provides instruction in an experiential setting by offering one mandatory field trip per grade level for each elementary student.  Grade Four students visit the Erie Canal and Lockport Locks and Caves.