Chapin’s fourth grade year is one marked by ever increasing individual responsibility, as students manage their own homework duties and take on greater time management skills with several long-term assignments.
The curriculum moves from a study of Japan, its culture, history, geography and people, to a look at the Immigrant Experience and the notion of the U.S. as a melting pot, and then to a look at how our nation was formed with an emphasis on life in Colonial America and the conditions leading to the War for Independence. Relevant and meaningful literature selections accompany these units of study, as well as a unit on “Perspectives,” which gives children an opportunity to gain a greater appreciation for the arts, to build greater respect for others by understanding others’ individual perspectives, and, through research, to study an artist of their own choosing. Astronomy, Electricity and Magnetism, and Ideas and Inventions are some of the science topics covered.
Various community resources are used to enhance many fourth grade experiences with, for example, trips to Princeton University’s Art Museum, The State House in Trenton, as well as Trenton’s Old Barracks historical site. Math challenges are provided appropriately as fourth graders review fraction concepts and move into greater facility in using fractions, and as they plunge into the concepts and algorithms of long division, decimals, geometry, graphing and measurement, to name a few of their topics of study.