St. James Episcopal Day School

Class Pages

4th Grade

Teachers

Hollea Holliday

Hollea Holliday

Fourth Grade Teacher

225-344-0805
hholliday@stjamesbr.org

Emily Nikolaus

Emily Nikolaus

Fourth Grade Teacher

225-344-0805
enikolaus@stjamesbr.org


Overview

Fourth grade is a time to transition into middle school expectations while in a loving and supportive environment. Fourth grade is departmentalized, dividing the day equally between a language arts/social studies class and a math/science/vocabulary class. It becomes increasingly important for students to “think for themselves” while supporting their opinions with proven facts or evidence.  

Experiences To Look Forward To

  • State Fair Project
  • Pi Day
  • Christmas Pageant

Room Mom & Dad

  • Jamie Jones
  • Amy Kurtz
  • Alison Rodrigue

Grade Level Rep

Nicole Brien


Expand All

English and Language Arts:

  • Grammar, literature, and writing are used to develop critical thinking strategies across all subjects. This is accomplished using author’s purpose, knowledge of text structure, and varied genres.
  • Wordly Wise is a program used to teach and enhance vocabulary. 

Mathematics:

  • Math follows Math in Focus / Singapore Math.
  • Fourth grade focuses on using applications to solve real world problems. 

Social Science:

  • Topics are covered like exploration, settlement, government, and regions, leading into modern society.
  • Social Studies is enhanced through reading historical fiction, studying historical videos, and discussing primary sources. 
  • Science involves research of topics like endangered animals, the human body, weather, matter, and the solar system. 

Art:

  • The art room is a hub of creativity. All lessons begin with an artist study or study of a technique or style. Then students create work in that style.  Students work in a variety of mediums including tempera paint, watercolor, acrylics, oil pastels, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, and clay.
  • In younger grades, students spend time practicing their fine motor skills in cutting, drawing, and painting with large brushes.  As students grow, they begin fine tuning their work by adding creative details and using more sophisticated tools to express their art.  Over time, students are able to begin focusing on the elements of art and learn specific techniques.
  • The goal of the art program is to instill life-long knowledge, skills, and techniques that can be built upon in developing a true sense of appreciation for art for years to come.

Christian Education:

  • Our Christian Education program meets with all students once per week. During class the children learn about the liturgy, Sacraments, prayer, bible verses, and much more! Our lessons follow the liturgical calendar of the church. Monthly we focus on a different virtue such as thankfulness, truthfulness, kindness, and patience. The Guidance Counselor and I collaborate on these virtues so that the students learn about them from a Christian perspective and a social perspective.
  • Our Christian Education program is designed so that the Pre-K 3 through Kindergarten students receive a basic introduction into the topics covered all the way through 5th Grade but every year we build upon what is previously learned. 
  • Our lessons follow the Liturgical Calendar and include prayers, Parables of Jesus, parts of the Bible/Bible navigation, Miracles of Jesus, and Old Testament study. We also focus on one virtue per month and the School Counselor and I collaborate so that she teaches it from a social perspective and I teach it from a Christian perspective. 
  • Here at St. James we are fortunate to have technology as an added resource in our classrooms. Students are able to use their iPads to enhance the covered topics along with using a hard copy bible to locate and read bible verses by book, chapter and verse. 3rd-5th Graders use technology to research and create projects using Apps such as iMovie, Sock Puppets,and Thinglink to teach their classmates and younger students about a specific bible story or subject.

Guidance:

  • The school counseling program cultivates and encourages the academic, personal/social, and career development of each child, as well as supports every students’ unique gifts through classroom guidance lessons, individual counseling, and small group counseling.
  • The Guidance curriculum works in conjunction with the Christian Education curriculum to teach monthly virtues to the students. These virtues are part of the program “Creating Classrooms and Homes of Virtue”. The guidance aspect of these lessons focuses on the social aspect behind each virtue. Some of the virtues that are covered are goodness, tolerance, perseverance, and thankfulness, among many others.
  • 4th and 5th grade students continue to build on their understanding of tolerance, kindness, respect, goal-setting, and bullying prevention. Students are encouraged to be creative and think outside-of-the-box by creating skits and songs as a culminating lesson at the end of each unit. These performances are recorded on their iPads, and iMovie is used to further enhance their message. These movies are shown to younger grades to bring a student teaching perspective to the virtues they are learning.

Library:

  • The library is a dynamic, exciting place for exploration, reading, thinking, learning, creating, growing, showcasing student work, and coding on the iPad. The library strives to meet and exceed the expectations of the students, parents and faculty by ensuring a balanced, up-to-date collection of print and non-print resources are available for in-school and home use. Our library follows the professional standards of the American Library Association (ALA) for library instruction and collection development.

Music:

  • Music at St. James Episcopal Day School is to provide our students with an opportunity to create and respond to music expressively.  They will experience a variety of musical styles and genres through performance, technology, imitation and movement in the classroom.  Children are taught the basics of music theory along with the works of great composers. It is our hope that they will discover the value and enjoyment of music.
  • 4th Grade will:
    • Learn to clap rhythmic patterns that include dotted notes
    • Learn to transfer rhythmic clapping to written rhythmic patterns
    • Sing a repertoire of music related to Social Studies project
    • Be introduced to harmony
    • Explore musical composition

Physical Education:

  • Physical Education is more than recess and a time to play. It is a time for learning. One of my primary goals as a physical educator at St. James is to teach every child how and why they should keep themselves healthy and fit throughout their lifetime.  Our physical education program provides developmentally appropriate learning experiences that teach children how to be physically active in ways that foster creativity and self-expression, increase physical competence and self-esteem, and promote joy through lifelong physical activity.   
  • Our physical education curriculum includes a balance of body management, locomotor movement, manipulative skills, and rhythms/dance experiences. These units are designed to enhance the cognitive, motor, affective, and physical fitness development of every child in a safe learning environment.  
  • We provide experiences that encourage children to question, integrate, analyze, communicate, and apply cognitive concepts.  
  • Activities are taught throughout the year that allow children the opportunity to work together to improve their emerging social and cooperation skills, thereby fostering an understanding of themselves and the acceptance of others.  
  • On-going fitness assessments are used to help children understand, enjoy, improve, and/or maintain their physical health and well-being.  
  • Class activities designed for maximum student participation, success, and fun.

Spanish:

  • The Spanish program exposes our students to a world language, providing them with basic receptive and expressive language skills needed to communicate in Spanish as well as respect for other cultures. Physical response activities are used for the students to listen to and carry out spoken commands in a safe and fun environment, where the students feel free to take risks and participate.
  • Fourth grade students will learn to describe personality, traits, locations and activities they like. They focus on the correct article-noun-adjective agreement to create descriptive sentences. They keep increasing previous vocabulary. 

STEM:

  • STEM Education at St. James Episcopal Day School is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content of skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM behaviors include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. St. James students will participate in STEM activities that are inquiry-based, that involve teamwork, and that involve collaboration. 
  • Upper elementary classes will cover topics, such as the properties of magnets, ecosystems, weather and climate, forces and interactions, earth's systems, energy, the structure and properties of matter, and space systems. 
  • In each unit, the students will conduct a short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of a topic. 
  • The students will be actively engaged in the engineering process. Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe or predict phenomena. 
  • iPads and a 3D printer will be used to enhance the study of engineering. iPads will be used to teach CAD programs, such as "Makerbot Printshop" and "123D Design."

Art:

  • Students explored lines, by creating a patterned landscape in the style of Grant Wood. Next, they researched their state flag and created a collage to represent their flag for their state fair project.  

Christian Education:

  • Students spent the first three weeks training to serve as Acolytes, Readers, and Ushers for our Day School services. We then reviewed stories from the Old Testament and continued with the story of Jonah.

Guidance:

  • In fourth grade, the students and I read the short story "Lazy Larry", which is a story about a fourth grader who shows no responsibility or initiative at school or at home. When the story was finished, the students were separated into groups to create skits about what it means to be responsible, as well as what it looks like to be irresponsible. They filmed their skits on their iPads and edited them in iMovie to show to the class. They did a great job! The skits are in their Schoology app under "Guidance" if you would like to take a look!

Library:

  • If a student in fourth grade wishes to swap out their library book before their assigned class time they are always welcome to come to the library from 7:50am-8:10 a.m. each morning. If I am not with a class during recess, the library is available for student use.  Parents of fourth graders, please be on the look out for information on how to keep track of your child’s reading progress through "AR Home Connect." The 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students learned how to access the "Destiny OPAC" system to locate materials in the library. I would like to encourage all students to check out the link pelicanlibrary.follettdestiny.com to search for St. James Episcopal Day School library books at any time.
     
  • All of our students were wowed by the wonderful library update! We are so blessed to have such a fresh and renewed facility. If you haven’t stopped by to check out the remodeled library please do so soon!  Please mark your calendars for the book fair November 12-17, 2017.  

Music:

  • Fourth graders learned about the music of Detroit and how the record label Motown began. We listened to the music of Motown artists, like Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and the Jackson 5. We have also started learning the music for our Christmas musical.

Physical Education:

  • Fourth grade started the year working on sportsmanship and teamwork; learning how to communicate and cooperate together to complete various small and large group challenges. Our first skill unit was on striking and the importance of the "ready position" to improve hand eye coordination, reaction time, and agility while playing "Fitness Four Square." 

  • Recently, students have been completing a pre-assessment for the Fitnessgram, a national based health-related test of muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and cardio-respiratory endurance. When the pre-test is completed, students will go through a goal-setting and planning process to improve their fitness levels. Post-tests will be done in the spring. Our new heartrate monitors and "Bring Your Parent to P.E. Week" have been the highlights for the first nine weeks.

Spanish:

  • Fourth grade learned greetings, numbers 0 to 100, and how to describe different weather conditions. They investigated the weather in 10 cities around the world and made an iMovie with the weather report.

STEM:

  • In the fourth grade classes, we used the "123d Design" app to begin designing a floating garbage can. This is a project-based lesson that will be worked on throughout the year. The students will be working in their engineering groups to create a prototype of their group design.

  • The fourth grade classes were so excited about the solar eclipse. They enjoyed using the pin hole cameras that we created in STEM lab to observe the eclipse safely. The students also studied the solar system and visited the Star Lab.

Art:

Fourth Graders had a ball making their state animal into stained glass to be hung in their classrooms. Also, students worked on their art show piece inspired by the “Sound of Music”. Finally students working on their Mother and Child for Christmas.

Christian Education:

Students focused on the virtues: Perseverance, Thankfulness, and Faith. Students continued their journey through the Old Testament and completed a group project on Jonah. The students worked together to research Jonah and then create an iMovie presentation retelling the story. The children reviewed the Liturgical Calendar, the season of Advent, Advent wreaths, and the Nativity.

Guidance:

Fourth grade students watched clips from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", the newer version, and discussed why the Grinch acted the way he does. In the movie, the Grinch was bullied for the way he looked and by some of his actions and that is what ultimately turned his heart cold and made him hate Christmas. The students discussed how the Grinch’s life would have been different if he would have never been bullied. We talked about the lasting effects bullying can have on someone’s life. In the movie, Cindy Lou Who showed him kindness over and over again, which ultimately softened his heart. The students learned what kindness can do to change a life as well. We all choose kindness!

Library:

Students in fourth grade grade participated in the Hour of Code during Computer Science Week, December 4-10. They learned what a QR code is and how to read one using the ipad. The students were given a bookmark that highlights programs that will allow them to practice this exciting language not just at school but anywhere they have access to a device and  the internet. Parents are encouraged to try coding too!  Visit https://hourofcode.com/us to learn more. 

The Wild Wild West book fair was a huge success! The book fair allows all students to shop for  books and learn how to calculate tax when shopping. They had to be smart with their money! The 4th grade students helped make wish lists with Pre-K 4 little buddies.

There were 71 second through fifth grade students who were invited to the 1st nine weeks reading celebration. The students learned how to make slime just in time for Halloween. The next celebration will take place in January. The goal for all of our students is consistent daily reading! 

Music:

The students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades have have spent most of their time in music learning the songs for Christmas musical “Sheep, Shepherds and a Savior”. Each student is given a folder with the  music and we are  learning the finer points of music reading as we prepare for the program. The students have done a fabulous job. 

Physical Education:

Fourth and Fifth graders have been working on throwing for power. The critical elements of how to overhand throw was reviewed and practiced over several weeks. The hardest critical element to master has been to step with the opposite foot. We are now putting our skill to the test by playing a fun and dynamic game called Tchoukball that involves teams throwing and catching against two nets.  

They have also been finishing up their first semester Fitnessgram testing. Scores will be handed out to each student when we come back to school after the holidays. Based on their scores students will develop fitness goals and a “action plan” in January. A post-test will be conducted at the end of the year to see if they reached their goal!

Spanish:

Fourth grade created a Chatter Pix movie describing their friends, and Clips video describing their feelings. They are learning how to describe the location of items in the classroom using prepositions.

STEM:

This nine weeks the fourth grade students learned all about circuitry with Mrs. Nikolaus. The students were able to “build” electric circuits in the STEM lab with Mrs. Feduccia. They were able to rotate to various stations using many types of materials to create circuits. Lemons were used to create a lemon light battery at one station. Snap circuits were a favorite used at another station. The fourth graders participated in the Hour of Code week using the Swift playground program, code.org, and tynker. Mrs Feduccia had the fourth grade students to begin working in their engineering groups to design a floating garbage can. This will be an on going project based learning for the year. STEM is about identifying community or world problems and designing a solution. LSU is having a liter problem in the LSU lakes. They will be Mentoring other classes about this project. During the third nine weeks the fourth grade classes will be learning about parts of a flower. They will use the Zspace virtual reality program to study various types of seeds and flowers. The classes are looking forward to working in our new garden.