Fourth Grade

For Admission

Lower School
Duration : Lower School
Teachers: Alison Talley, Lisa Rutherford
Phone : 919-786-0114
Fax: 919-786-0621
Email : chuffstutler@trinityacademy.com

Empathetic. Increasing search for truth. Looking for acceptance. Seeking independence.

Fourth grade is an “in-between” year. Not yet the oldest students in the lower school, and no longer “little” either, fourth graders are on a search for identity. Long-lasting friendships begin to form, and acceptance from their peers becomes increasingly important. Their active minds are fertile ground for increasingly complex problems in all content areas. Trinity’s fourth grade teaching team works together to create a challenging curriculum designed to capitalize on students’ strengths in a fast-paced yet loving atmosphere.

Both of our current fourth grade teachers are also pastor’s wives who know and love God’s word. Listen in on a Bible lesson in either classroom, and you will see a beautiful combination of knowledge and reverence. Students pray for one another, often keep prayer journals, and commit Scripture to memory.  In addition, the fourth grade Bible curriculum starts with two flexible units: a study of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians and a unit on the writing of the Bible that covers the development of writing during ancient times, the writing of the Bible, and the organization of the Bible. Students then begin an in-depth study of Israel from the time of the judges until Israel’s exile. These units show students numerous examples of God’s faithfulness, and how He has shown both justice and mercy to his people.
Trinity’s commitment to content integration is never more obvious than in Language Arts. While separate curricula are utilized for each of the following subjects, the subjects of reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and literature are not taught in isolation; history is also intentionally woven in whenever possible. For example, students may be asked to write a short synopsis of a video on the Wright Brothers as they study North Carolina history. In the summary, students may be required to use recently-taught editing skills, integrate four of that week’s spelling and/or vocabulary words, and present their piece to the class as an oration exercise that displays both rhetoric skill and reading fluency. By the end of fourth grade, students should be able to write three-paragraph essays, read fluently and accurately with expression, and classify complex sentences according to their grammar components. Language Arts’ instruction intentionally involves all student learning styles by incorporating visual, kinesthetic, and auditory modalities into weekly lessons.
Clearly, math is core to any successful educational program.  In Trinity’s lower school, foundations in math are taught using a curriculum that encompasses a spiral approach to learning. Many math programs use a compartmentalized approach; this approach means that students learn things in subject-focused units. For example, a unit on measurement is introduced; students practice, get tested, and then move on to the next unit, rarely practicing measurement skills again. A spiral approach, however, ensures that students continue to see strands of previously taught information all year long. This gives the learner more opportunities for mastery as they practice those skills over and over again. Students in fourth grade are given class time to master fact families, multiplication and division facts, and necessary terminology surrounding basic math functions such as prime and composite numbers, greatest common factors, and least common multiples. Our math curriculum also allows time to study problem solving strategies and exploration of foundational geometry principles. Artistic fun with coordinate planes, multiplication games the whole class can compete in, and time spent in paired learning make math a dynamic subject taught in an atmosphere of challenge and fun.
In fourth grade, the primary focus is the study of North Carolina’s history and geography. Students create scrapbooks, craft three-dimensional maps, research notable North Carolinians, and present projects based on the latter. One unit on the American Revolution is also added in keeping with the lower school’s timeline approach to history. The classical components of memorization, imitation, and rhetoric, along with the integration of literature and writing, all combine to make learning history an especially delightful part of a fourth grader’s day.
Fourth grade students study Earth science, specifically the subjects of the water cycle, weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, minerals, rocks, and changes to the Earth’s surface. A highlight of the year occurs when students and parents take the train to Charlotte for a fun-filled, science-focused field trip to the Discovery Place. Add on a visit from a local meteorologist, creating tornadoes in a bottle, and experimenting with balloons and water, and it’s easy to see why our fourth grade students are eager to get to their science lessons on any given day.
Formal instruction in Art takes place once a week under the direction of an experienced, vibrant instructor. Her ability to make Art history both relevant and entertaining to her students is just one attribute that distinguishes her from the rest. Fourth graders are learning how to discern what is visually “true, good and beautiful.” The curriculum covers a wide range of skills including: identifying complementary and analogous colors, the illusion of form through value, and proportion of facial features. Completed works revolve around the skills of drawing, painting, printmaking, and three-dimensional paper mache.
Formal music instruction is offered twice a week under the direction of a dynamic, Kodaly-trained Music educator. Lessons are filled with games, songs, dancing, and laughter as students learn about rhythm and melody, major and minor scales, and reading and writing of music. Add on the unique elements of Composer of the Month and Hymn of the Month, and it’s clear that our Music program develops knowledgeable students in an atmosphere of joy. Additionally, Trinity Academy fourth graders are invited to try out for the award-winning Trinity Academy Children’s Chorus.  See distinctives below for more information about this dynamite enrichment opportunity.
A perennial favorite among the students, Physical Education classes are offered twice a week under the guidance of a loving and enthusiastic PE teacher. PE is a grace-filled environment that integrates character education and physical fitness. Intentional conversations take place frequently around the themes of peer acceptance, good sportsmanship, and Christ-like attitudes in the midst of conflict. There are too many skill objectives to list here, but some of the most popular PE units covered are: soccer, handball, flag football, tumbling and dance, Frisbee, and track and field. In addition, each Fall and Spring students are invited to take part in an after-school running club that fosters lifetime fitness habits and culminates in participation in our annual 5K Run/Walk that takes place on our beautiful campus and surrounding neighborhoods.

Trinity Academy Distinctives

In addition to the classes above, students are exposed to:

Formal Latin instruction is offered four times a week in fourth grade. Not only do students learn the grammar of the subject, the additional topics of geography, archaeology, religion and mythology also broaden their understanding of the subject. Our Latin instructor’s attention to the different learning styles of her students make it a classroom filled with diverse learning environments throughout the week. Some days it’s a quiet, independent work space, and other days it’s filled with game playing and partner activities. No matter the approach on any given day, our students are immersed in great Latin instruction.
Core to our classical philosophy is the belief that students must be prepared to enter college (and life) well-versed in the skills of rhetoric. As a result, we literally begin practicing the skills of persuasive public speaking in Transitional Kindergarten. By fourth grade, students have typically mastered the basics of posture, voice, inflection, and eye contact. Continued work in appropriate gestures, fluency, and poise is a goal in the fourth grade classroom. A highlight of the year occurs when all TK-8 students present a classical poem or speech in our annual “Poetry and Prose Competition” each Spring.
Memorization has fallen out of favor in recent years. However, we know that our Lower School students are the perfect ages to commit important content to long-term memory. We use that ability to their advantage by requiring our students to memorize everything from math facts to historical timelines and time-proven poetry and speeches. Later, when called upon to analyze and critique more complex subjects, students are not bogged down by an absence of basic understanding of the content. They can quickly move on to critical thinking and problem solving because the first step toward learning took place when they were young.
Fourth grade students are invited to try out for the Lower School’s Children’s Choir. This talented group averages 45 3-6 graders, and meets once a week after school. The mission for TARCC is to offer a choral experience that develops good vocal technique and musicality while enjoying the creating of beautiful music with their peers. Opportunities are given to participate in competitions, perform in the community at local holiday events, and perform at various school functions.
Third through fifth grade students are invited to join our Art teacher for enriching Art lessons once a week after school. Designed to broaden and enhance the skills of the participants, students spend 75 minutes in a hands-on Art environment creating projects in the area of sculpture, painting, clay, and more.