Grades 3 and 4 Online Curriculum
Students are grouped by grade-level for math class, which follows a more linear progression, and classes use the TERC Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space® program.
Third-grade math has four live classes per week via Zoom. Daily assignments from the curriculum are posted in Google Classroom, as are additional activities, such as fraction games, math facts practice, and brain teasers like KenKen puzzles. Students partake in a combination of online work through the Pearson Realize™ platform and student workbooks in addition to demonstrating their understanding in a variety of formats (i.e. drawings, charts, language, and equations). Online, third-graders continue to develop and solidify multiple strategies to solve multi-digit addition and subtraction problems, to represent quantitative data, and to compare fractions using standard fractional notation. Students are also working to understand multiplication and division, beginning basic computation with these operations.
Fourth-graders also have four live Zoom sessions per week. Using Google Classroom to house all course information, students can access daily assignments and activities including games, math facts practice, and multiplication and division strategies. Homework is typically a combination of online work through the Pearson Realize™ platform and student workbooks. Remotely, students are continuing to develop multiple strategies to solve multi-digit multiplication and division problems, to represent measurement data, to measure and classify shapes, to analyze patterns, and to simplify, compare, and compute with fractions.
Third- and fourth-grade students continue to meet in book clubs where they analyze texts, develop opinions about stories and characters, and explore themes and authors’ intent, while practicing active listening and discussion skills. These literature circles meet via Zoom two times per week by book group (Guests, Sees Behind Trees, and Morning Girl, all by Michael Dorris). During weeks that they do not participate in book clubs, students have continued with their routine of writing weekly reading letters to their teacher where they practice summarizing their reading, demonstrating reading comprehension strategies, and engaging in ‘dialogue’ about the story through written conversation. Students access Google Classroom for assignments that are posted as asynchronous instructional videos and written directions. Daily independent reading is expected, and students are asked to post books and authors that they are reading. Word study encourages students to find five new, unfamiliar words that they must then try to define using context clues, looking up the definitions, and then using each word in a sentence to reinforce understanding. Pre-recorded read alouds are also provided in Google Classroom for students to follow along and build upon their love of reading.
During remote learning, students completed the writing process by editing and revising their essays. Subsequently, they are working on year-end reflections, and a reflective writing letter to themselves. Optional cursive writing lessons are also posted online and students also access typing.com for keyboard practice three times a week.
Third- and fourth-grade students have completed a unit on sinking and floating, which culminated with a boat engineering project. Instructions and assignments have been shared in Google Classroom and synchronously via Zoom. During online classes, students check in with the Lower School science teacher, share ideas, successes, challenges, and ask questions. Initially, students designed and tested foil boats at home, then began more elaborate creations inspired by the story Yak and Gnu by Juliette MacIver, which showed different boat designs.
Students have been tasked with designing a boat that can float, hold a load of approximately 80 grams (equivalent to 14 quarters or 21 small marbles), and move as far as possible in their water testing area, with an added challenge to get the boat to move in as straight a line as possible. An important aspect of this type of engineering work is perseverance, in which students may test out several different designs, building on what has worked and what has failed in previous tests. Students are encouraged to explore different designs, decide what method of propulsion works best (i.e. sails, balloon power, or a version of a paddleboat), and try making smaller and larger boats or boats that can carry larger loads.
Students continued their learning about the Wampanoag culture and traditions by accessing various materials in Google Classroom such as pre-recorded read alouds, Google Slides, videos, and online resources. Students also participated in an online workshop coordinated by Plimoth Plantation via Zoom. Learning about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century, students have been exploring the connection the Wampanoag and other Native people have to the land, their respect for all living beings, and the ways they continue to carry on their traditions today. Class projects and posted threads include learning about different types of shelter and the difference between a wetu and a tepee, how the Wampanoag made traditional mishoon (boat), a recipe for nasaump to try at home, and how to make a deer bone catch-and-toss toy. Students have shifted their studies on the Age of Exploration and the impact of European settlement to the development of Plimoth and earlier colonies. They will participate in a second ‘field-trip’ with Plimoth Plantation, this time focusing on European settlement.
Using Google Classroom, students view instructional videos and access posted assignments in addition to attending drop-in art classes via Zoom. Students were mailed art materials to ensure that project completion was equitable. Remote projects have included collage, drawing, and watercolor painting, with some assignments referencing conceptual art by Sol LeWitt or abstract art by Alma Woodsey Thomas. Students also share their personal projects in discussion threads in Google Classroom to further inspire creativity and build each other’s confidence.
Students have been accessing age-appropriate exercise videos and suggested activities via Google Classroom. Online learning provides students with resources to promote independence, remain active, and maintain overall health and wellness during this challenging transition. Gross-motor activities, dance, fitness routines, agility activities, yoga, mindful breathing exercises, dance, backyard games, jump rope, shadow boxing, and wellness videos encourage students to think creatively about movement and wellness options during this time. Students have been excited about sharing the many ways they continue to remain active both independently and with their families on Google Classroom threads.