Fourth Grade

About Fourth Grade

The fourth-grade year at Open Window School is a time of excitement and growth. Fourth graders experience many long-standing Open Window School traditions. These traditions include conducting the Curiosity Quest research project on a topic of their choice, learning about the history and geography of Washington, studying the Civil Rights Movement through influential people and events, and culminating the year with their first-overnight trip to IslandWood on Bainbridge Island. During fourth grade, students continue to grow in self-awareness and autonomy as they learn to navigate longer-term projects. Throughout these experiences, fourth graders continue to build their research, communication, and time-management skills. As with all grades at Open Window, fourth grade also provides an intentional, age-appropriate progression of social and emotional learning and development.

List of 4 items.

  • Humanities

    In fourth grade, reading, writing, and social studies are integrated under the subject title of humanities. As readers, students continue to develop multiple comprehension strategies to make sense of texts. Using appropriately complex content, students make connections, visualize, wonder, and question, use text features, make inferences, determine important ideas, analyze text structures, summarize, and synthesize. Students explore and practice these strategies through shared reading experiences and individualized daily reading.
    Writing is integrated within the literacy and social studies units and focuses on both narrative and expository/informational writing. When writing narratives, students practice creating well-structured storylines and incorporating strong leads and conclusions, descriptive language, and dialogue. Additionally, shared narrative and nonfiction reading experiences provide common texts to practice composing formal paragraphs and lessons on how to incorporate appropriate textual evidence and transitions. During expository writing work, students focus on specific topics and are introduced to a variety of research and note-taking strategies. As students gather facts and details from multiple sources, they synthesize their information, establish claims, and draw conclusions. Students work to structure clear and organized essays as they move through each part of the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
    The social studies curriculum focuses on the geography and people of Washington State throughout its history with a specific focus on impact. This central theme encompasses the impact that different groups have had on the history of Washington, varying cultural beliefs about the impact humans should have on the environment, governmental structures and what impact citizens can have, and what impact students want to have on the world. To begin the year, students use primary and secondary sources to learn about the traditions and experiences of early Northwest Coastal People. As settlers begin to move west, the students study the impact of Westward Expansion on Washington's land and Indigenous people. Throughout this work, students are exposed to a variety of historical perspectives and acknowledge the ongoing cultural contributions of the Northwest Native People throughout Washington State. Next, students learn about Washington’s state government, including how it is organized and the basics of how it operates. Finally, students embark on a lower school capstone project that has them reflect on what impact they want to have on the world and then design a project focused on that topic. More than a research project, these passion projects lead students to not only think deeply about their place in the world but to put a plan into action to have a positive impact.
  • Math

    As a part of Open Window School's program, the math curriculum is accelerated by one year. Fourth graders' mathematical thinking and reasoning abilities are developed through appropriately leveled problems and investigations in the areas of number operations, algebraic thinking, measurement, data, and geometry. Some of these problems and investigations grow out of ventures into everyday life—reading stories, playing games, drawing pictures, building structures, making collections, and conducting simple hands-on science experiments—while others delve more deeply into the world of mathematics itself. Students are encouraged to explore, develop, test, discuss, and apply ideas: to see mathematics as something that is fluid, vibrant, creative, and relevant.
    This year, students focus intensively on three critical areas of mathematics: 1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fraction and of division of fractions; 2) extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and 3) developing understanding of volume.
  • Science

    Fourth grade scientists learn to record the results of their observations and investigations at a more sophisticated level. Students work on student-driven experiments that include planning, supply orders, budgets, time management, peer cooperation, and collaborating with scientists from all over the world for real-world expert review. These experiments and investigations are assembled in a digital science portfolio for the end of the year.
    Devoted strictly to kindergarten through fourth-grade learners, the Open Window Lower School Science Lab offers inquiry-based, hands-on experiences for young students. Capitalizing on the natural curiosity and zeal for learning of gifted students, the lower school science curriculum develops not only a solid foundation of science skills but a passion for all things scientific. Scientific investigations cover four domains over the course of kindergarten through fourth grade: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
  • Spanish

    The Lower School’s exploratory Spanish program aims to inspire an early passion for learning language. It introduces students to important vocabulary and fosters awareness and appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures with authentic stories, songs, and games. The curriculum includes themes that relate to students and their surroundings, reflecting their needs, interests, and everyday life and provides the opportunity for students to begin developing the speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills necessary to communicate confidently and proficiently in Spanish.

    In fourth grade Spanish, students strengthen and expand their language skills as they engage in thematic units related to animals, music, and homes. While the primary focuses are on understanding, speaking, and reading, students also work on writing short sentences in Spanish as they prepare for Middle School language learning.

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Kellie Dyer

    Kellie Dyer 

    4th Grade Teacher
  • Photo of Nico Dons-Borreguero

    Nico Dons-Borreguero 

    Associate Teacher, Grade 4
  • Photo of Carrie Pencek

    Carrie Pencek 

    4th Grade Teacher
  • Photo of Hailey Brumley

    Hailey Brumley 

    Associate Teacher, Grade 4
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.