Philosophy & Curriculum
The program in fourth grade seeks to provide age-appropriate experiences that fully develop a student’s God-given potential in an atmosphere that promotes spiritual growth and a positive self-concept. Independence and personal responsibility are milestones that are nurtured. The schedule features daily routines with lessons. Cooperative learning groups provide the development of students’ social interactions while promoting cooperation and developing leadership. Students learn standard-based concepts and do skill based activities using fun and creative themes. Problem-solving and higher order thought processes are expected. While planned lessons cover all the core curriculum areas, the students’ faith life, writing skills, reading skills and a solid math foundation are the most prominent components of the fourth grade.
The religion curriculum is designed to teach students about key concepts of faith such as Law, Gospel, confession, repentance, forgiveness, and grace. The lessons are based on selected, sequential Bible stories that span from Genesis through Paul’s ministry. Each lesson centers on the cross of Christ and is grounded in the Word of God.
Reading, English, and spelling are integral in each grade with emphasis on comprehension and vocabulary. Themes, book studies, and poetry are explored in fourth grade. Literary devices and author profiles are explored to enrich the literary experience. Research and creative writing are also an integral part of the fourth grade curriculum. Students are expected to spell and punctuate correctly on a fourth grade level in all areas of their education.
Science is taught from a Christian perspective and includes topics on Life, Earth, and Physical sciences and the human body. Children also increase their understanding and knowledge of the scientific methods by performing experiments. The use of technology, lab safety, and responsibility to be strong and Godly stewards of the Earth are encouraged.
Multiplication and division facts, geometry, place values and fractions are learned at each grade level in math. Fourth grade students use many manipulatives and math tools to strengthen their foundations in long division, multiple digit multiplication and fractions. A classroom economy system is used in the second semester to foster responsible life skill and provide a meaningful use of math. Often fun hands-on math lessons are taught in conjunction with other subjects in cross-curriculum activities. Additional topics include two and three digit multiplication, decimals and pre-algebra.
Fourth grade students do comprehensive studies of regions of the United States and present a research project on varied topics of the United States. Comparing and contrasting the cultures, products, natural resources, brief histories, landforms, and people of the regions encourages students to be knowledgeable and productive citizens. Civics with the three branches of government and how our country “runs” is discovered through, study, debate, and hands-on activities.
Computer skills are developed in the computer lab and classroom. Fourth grade, students focus on keyboarding skills. While learning Microsoft Word and simple Excel functions, fourth grade students also use their skills to produce brochures, advertisements, invitations, etc. A PowerPoint slide show and research paper is the culminating product to showcase their practical use of FLS technology. The Internet is used for reliable research and skill reinforcement in most areas of the curriculum.
Elementary students learn the elements and principles of art through a multitude of fun projects using different media. Students learn about various types of paint, clay work, colored pencil and even the simple drawing pencil. Students are encouraged to do their best, and above all, have fun while praising God with our works of art.
Students in lower elementary are exposed to the language with games, songs and reinforcement exercises. Upper elementary students work to speak and understand the language in simple to intermediate level conversations. All students get an exposure to the culture of many of the Spanish-speaking countries in the world.
Students study instruments, composers, and simple music theory. Folk songs and hymn studies are also explored. Children learn to follow a director during choir and may perform at First Lutheran Church during the school year. All grades participate in the Christmas concert and Operetta. Fourth grade students also learn how to play the recorder. They usually show off their talents twice a year at the Christmas Concert and Spring Concert.