To be successful mathematicians, boys must have a clear understanding of mathematical concepts and relationships; they must be proficient with arithmetic skills, and, most importantly, they must be able to problem solve and reason mathematically. In fourth grade boys identify place value through billions and compare, order, round, and estimate whole numbers, fractions and decimals. They master multiplication and long division and memorize the basic division facts. They add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Their extensive study of fractions includes identifying equivalent fractions and lowest common denominator, reducing fractions to their simplest forms, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, and multiplying fractions. They collect data and use mean, median, mode, and range to compare sets of data. They expand upon their knowledge of polygons, lines and angles, and how to calculate the area and perimeter of polygons and irregular shapes. They continue to develop and expand their problem-solving abilities.
In fourth grade, the Language Arts program expands the student’s understanding of writing as a means of an author’s expression and reading as a means of understanding that expression. The boys learn to recognize and appreciate different genres in reading and writing. They become engaged in reading independently for information, ideas, and pleasure. Through both direct instruction and activities, they begin to be critical interpreters of texts. Fourth graders learn about the writing process through the 6+1 Traits of Writing, which include Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions, and Presentation. Fourth Grade students are expected to include a well-described setting, developed characters, a coherent story line, conflict that produces action, and effective resolution in the stories they write. They also develop strategies for revising text and attend to writing basics such as capitalization, punctuation, sentence-structure, paragraphing, and spelling.
In fourth grade, the goal of the science curriculum is for students to gain insights about science concepts, develop the abilities to do science effectively using science inquiry skills, and develop positive attitudes and curiosity about their scientific world. Boys meet with the science teacher twice a week for 60 minutes. Experiences are provided where boys regularly make observations and predictions, measure and record data, and collaborate with peers. Boys are taught to use the tools of scientists to assist them in their discoveries and are encouraged to communicate their experiences in varied modes. Their investigations include use of microscopes, matter, acids/bases, properties of water, silkworm life cycle, marine ecosystems, cetaceans, geography, climate, oceanography, astronomy and outdoor explorations.