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4th Grade

Embracing Human Nature, Engaging the Student

Fourth grade marks a clear change in the work that the children do and what is expected of them. The habits and skills that have been developed are now put to use in tackling new and varied subjects. The study of animals is taken up in this year in such a way that the children must use their capacities for discernment to recognize and describe the unique qualities of each animal studied.

In their lessons in mythology, the children are introduced to the Norse gods and goddesses, a pantheon whose fiery passion, wily cleverness, and shining self-sacrifice mirrors their own. These stories of the Norse people, a tradition that survives in the verses of the Edda from Iceland, the Kalavala in Finland, are tales full of rich images that spring from the Norse people’s close relationship to the natural world. Here the children encounter epic struggles between polar opposite forces, extremes in conflicts, and a wealth of humor and wisdom. The stories speak particularly well to the growing nine to ten year old as they pass out of early childhood into a middle childhood that is often as conflicted as the weather of the northern lands. Fourth grade is indeed a year of extremes, from a creation story born of ice and fire to the comparison of a mouse and a cow. The children are asked to travel between these extremes and find the balancing points in each subject.

The children also begin to explore their own environment, making maps and learning about the rich culture and ecosystems that exist in North Carolina. In arithmetic, the children review the four processes, multiplication tables, and measurement before splitting the world into pieces in the study of fractions. From musical notation, instrumental music, and singing in rounds, to learning to make braided and knotted patterns in their form drawings, beauty and artistry continue to engage the student in every part of his or her working, learning, and playing.

Special Subjects

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: German & Spanish (Songs, Dances and Games, Poetry and Stories, Days, Months, Seasons, Telling Time, Writing and Reading)

HANDWORK: Cross Stitch

EURYTHMY: Working in groups, poise, balance, and synchronous movement Music: Singing in Rounds, Reading Music, String Instrumental Music, Lyre, Recorder

4th Grade

Benjamin Trueblood

Grade 4 Teacher