Academics
Middle School

Explore Our Curriculum

Grade 4

The main focus of fourth grade is to teach students to become organized and responsible learners. Teachers communicate with parents through a weekly take-home folder, weekly lesson plans on the SBS website and parent conferences. Fourth grade participates in the the school's 1:1 technology program in which each student uses an iPad throughout the day to enhance their academics.
  • Art - Grade 4

    Fourth grade students receive art instruction on a weekly basis. Throughout the year, students use a variety of media and techniques. The main focus of art in fourth grade is on learning and implementing the elements and principles of design into their artwork. Students track their artistic progress with a digital portfolio, participate in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art contest in the fall and create an integrated value scale drawing based off of their study of the novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
  • Bible - Grade 4

    Fourth graders participate in Bible daily through prayer, Scripture memorization and Bible instruction, taught by a Bible teacher. Each week fourth graders attend Bible class three times, memorize a Bible verse, build a Bible notebook and attend Chapel to praise and worship God. Each year, students participate in mission projects such as Angels of Light and Shoes for Orphan Soles. In fourth grade, students learn what it means to be a “Jesus Freak,” an extreme fan of Jesus. 
  • Enrichment - Grade 4

    The Enrichment class enhances the student's classroom foundational curriculum while gaining 21st-century skills. Students problem solve and improve their critical thinking skills while developing the ability to collaborate and team build. Fourth grade units of study include a study of Latin roots and prefixes in conjunction with spelling and vocabulary. In conjunction with science, students will complete STEM challenges to create models or renewable resources. The curriculum introduces drama and voice inflection in preparation for the Jesus Freak program. Students learn to speak with emphasis and use both facial and whole body inflection. Students study filmmaking and create a silent film using iPads in conjunction with the novel, Hugo.
  • Language Arts - Grade 4

    Language instruction focuses on perfecting skills of word usage, parts of speech and writing mechanics of capitalization and punctuation rules. Oral presentations help children learn speaking skills.
  • Library - Grade 4

    Students visit the library with their class each week. The lower school librarian bases each week’s mini-lesson on a fundamental library skill and reinforces specific classroom instruction. Activities include author studies, genre studies, reader’s theater, book talks and incorporating technology using iPads. Students are permitted to check out three books each week. Students may make additional visits to the library throughout the day during come-and-go hours or before/after school.
  • Mathematics - Grade 4

    Fourth grade math focuses on six strands of thinking: developing operations and algebraic relationships, measurement, probability and statistics, fractions and decimals, geometry and numerical relationships. Students learn to move from concrete concepts to the abstract. A variety of teaching strategies encourage students to collaborate and think deeply about the concepts, rather than just memorize. They develop and apply the process standards in pursuit of logical reasoning: relevance, problem solving, efficiency and accuracy, multiple representations, relationships, communication, connections and reasoning and proof.
  • Music - Grade 4

    Fourth grade students expand their vocal skills by singing descants, triads and simple two-part harmonies. They also sing and play rhythms with syncopation. Students learn the difference between soprano and alto singing and explore varied forms of musical writing. The curriculum introduces new musical terminology and instruments, such as the choir chimes, ukulele and barred instruments. Students also study classical composers such as Schumann, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky. The teacher incorporates the interactive Quaver curriculum to enhance each concept. Students perform a grade level musical, Jesus Freak, in April.
  • Physical Education - Grade 4

    Students receive physical education instruction daily. In lower school, the main focuses are exercise, basic team sports skills and group games. Coaches stress the importance of cooperation and sportsmanship.
  • Reading - Grade 4

    Our hope is that students leave fourth grade with a love of literature and nonfiction. Fourth graders read a variety of novels such as Where the Red Fern Grows, I Remember the Alamo, Hugo Cabret, Holes, Ella Enchanted and Because of Winn-Dixie. Students’ comprehension strategies strengthen as they learn to annotate for deeper understanding. Students read nonfiction materials both as a whole group and independently and learn to transfer what is read as a class to their independent reading. Book clubs encourage students to learn from one another and have courage to share their thoughts, preparing them for the Harkness method of teaching that is introduced in middle school. As students read, they practice their vocabulary, metacognition and literary terms, and learn how to find evidence within the text and compare multiple texts.
  • Science - Grade 4

    Students learn the importance of inquiry: generating questions, conducting investigations and developing solutions to problems through reasoning and observation. Inquiry includes an analysis and presentation of findings that lead to future questions, research and investigations. Students learn to reflect on topics and apply what they have learned to new and different situations. Classroom lessons and independent reading of fiction and nonfiction books complement the experiments and activities in the science classroom. Specific topics in fourth grade include energy, inventors/inventions and matter. 
  • Social Studies - Grade 4

    Fourth grade social studies focuses on the great state of Texas and its early history. They learn about the Native Americans who lived in Texas and the different regions of the state. Students learn in depth about the struggle for independence. Fourth graders continue the ancient history timeline that began in first grade with the study of the Middle Ages. An integrated project culminates the Middle Ages unit, with a focus on research skills, technology and art design. Students engage their knowledge of geography as they read and use world maps, as well as various maps of Texas. Each student completes an independent study and corresponding project on a famous American or event from the 1900s, following the timeline of lower school history. Teachers present their social studies curriculum through a biblical worldview.
  • Spelling - Grade 4

    Each week, teachers challenge students with advanced spelling instruction through the use of Wordly Wise. Rather than learning isolated words, students analyze word sequences to discover phonograms or spelling patterns. Students also focus on roots and Latin origins of their words.
  • Technology - Grade 4

    Fourth graders are a part of the school's 1:1 technology initiative. Each student in fourth grade has an iPad  within the classroom in order to fully integrate technology. The technology and classroom teachers plan together to create lessons that engage the digital-age learner. These lessons focus on academic content and use technology for enhancing the curriculum in place.
  • Wordly Wise - Grade 4

    Fourth graders continue vocabulary acquisition lessons proven to improve word knowledge and usage. A sizable vocabulary gives children a good foundation for success in other content areas.
  • Writing - Grade 4

    ​Fourth grade uses a Writer's Workshop model. The curriculum focuses on genres such as persuasive, narrative, research, poetry and story writing. Students follow the writing process as they learn to edit, revise and publish. Students practice editing their own writing as well as that of their peers. They also learn valuable skills such as how to communicate through the written word, incorporate grammar skills and respond to reading throughout subject areas. Teachers personalize and individualize their writing instruction and give feedback. All core curriculum areas emphasize writing.

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