Fourth Grade


Scheduled once a week, this time is used to build a solid class community. Students will engage in activities, role plays, and games to work on key character traits. This time may also be devoted to class meetings, where students will discuss suggestions, questions, or complaints. Some of the themes that we will emphasize in homeroom are communication, cooperation, assertion, empathy, self-control, responsibility, personal boundaries, friendships, decision making, and moral dilemmas.


Fourth grade mathematicians will review place value concepts and number theory and solidifying knowledge of operations and calculation strategies. They will work with classification systems and data collection. Algebra concepts and geometric forms are introduced early and integrated into each specific topic. They will work with fractions, decimals, percents, and ratios, followed by a hands-on unit of measurement, covering both standard and metric units. Finally, they will spend time on geometry, graphing, and probability.


Fourth grade scientists will study the types of organisms that inhabit our planet, ecological relationships with a closer look at insects and other arthropods, native plants, and decomposition, soil composition and formation. Finally, they will study basic geology, the rock cycle, and magnetism and electricity.


The goal of the fourth grade English program is to support the growth of competent and confident readers and writer. There are four components: literature studies, language skills, writing, and speaking. Standard writing conventions and vocabulary are taught in conjunction. Literature studies will cover the following genres: folklore, realistic and historical fiction, poetry, and fantasy. Writing is an integral part of the daily curriculum, students will write responses to literature, keep journals, construct clear, descriptive paragraphs, create narratives, write poetry, and give factual reports.


Fourth grade historians focus on California, using primary textbook Oh, California, and how its history and geography are tied to the rest of the world. This includes an awareness of world geography, a detailed study of regions of California, followed by migration theories and cultural changes of early native people. This is followed by study of the Exploration Period, colonization, development of missions, ranchos, and pueblos. Students will study the Gold Rush, begin to understand political structures, and finally understand California’s role in both World Wars.

Music History

Fourth grade music historians will focus on listening skills by discussing music history through the time of the renaissance and more. They will learn the history of the violin, how to write program notes, learn how to recognize patterns, styles, rhythms, and scales in music, and finally learn the basics about music genres.


Ensemble/chamber music is at the core of a Crowden education, where each voice is vital to the group; so too, in P.E. is every player’s individual participation and teamwork crucial. A partial list of units includes: soccer, posture/breathing, swimming, tennis, basketball, track and field, dance, nutrition. Social and emotional learning includes: being engaged in the team environment, teamwork, and awareness of surroundings, increased confidence, sportsmanship, leadership development.


Art will focus on the fundamentals of art, giving students an expanded awareness and understanding of line, form, color, shape, texture, and space, and skills and tools to use that knowledge creatively. Drawing is a primary focus, which may become a larger drawing, painting, or sculptural project. Projects may include observational drawing, perspective, positive and negative space, self-portraits, conceptual drawings, and graphic comics.


In the course of the academic year, students are asked to learn and to interpret choral works, both a cappella and accompanied, in various styles including Renaissance, Baroque, Classical Romantic and Modern. To become familiar with different styles is important, as each style requires a special technical approach, which includes tone quality, sense of phrasing and, most importantly, the interpretation of the text. The ”Allegro” (fourth, fifth, and sixth grade) Chorus focuses on elements of singing technique through singing unison, two and three part treble chorus repertoire, and the fundamentals of the successful choral rehearsal.

The Crowden School

A coeducational day school for grades 4–8, the Crowden School provides a distinguished education with chamber music at its core.