Academics
Elementary School
Curriculum

Grade 4

List of 7 items.

  • Hebrew

    In the 4th grade, we continue our progress with the Tal Am program.  As the “united class”, our goals include -
    • Increased reading comprehension and writing skills through the study of texts and sayings of our sages, using the lens of rules for good behavior and manners
    • Continued improvement of conversation and listening skills through songs, skits, group work, and presentations
    • Creative writing through projects and presentations
    • Continued work in topics of grammar through supplemental workbooks, including present, past, infinitive, possessives, and improvement of sentence construction
  • Judaic Studies

    The fourth grade Judaic Studies program responds to the developmental needs and interests of emerging young Jewish girls and boys. Based on the foundation of “Derech Eretz Kadmah La’Torah”, “propriety is a prerequisite to the study of Torah”, the curriculum is designed to promote intellectual curiosity and foster individual and communal responsibility. Daily and weekly lessons are enriched with activities that nurture Jewish identity and pride and sustain interpersonal growth.

    Recognizing the educational value of 21st century technology, students enjoy and benefit from integrating creative digital tools into their coursework and special projects.

    The subject components comprise:

    Prayer תפילה

    We start the day with Tefillat Shacharit: Birchot HaShachar, P’sukei D’zimra, Shma, Amida, Aleinu, Shir Shel Yom. Throughout the year, students develop a general understanding of the Tefillot and laws of Tefillah.

    On Fridays and in preparation for Jewish holidays, we add the Tefillot and zemirot that express the meaning of these special days.

    Torah/ Bible Text- חומש
    Using the L’havin U’Lehaskil curriculum, we study the following Parshiot in depth with selected Rashis:

    וישלח, וישב, מקץ, ויגש, ויחי. These sections begin with Jacob’s return to his homeland and the encounter with his brother, Esav. The narrative segues to Joseph and his brothers and their migration to Egypt. We highlight the transition from a family to a people.

    Text of Prophets- נביא
    Book of Joshua ספר יהושע
    We study about the leadership transitioning from Moshe to Joshua; about the Jewish people entering the land of Canaan, conquering the land and dividing the properties. The students become familiar with the geography of early Israel.

    Laws and Customs- הלכה ומנהג
    Special emphasis is given to the Jewish holidays: background, knowledge of key vocabulary words, prayers, practices and customs. In addition, we use the workbook חיינו as a source book for basic Jewish knowledge.

    Jewish History and Zionism- היסטוריה וארץ ישראל
    We use the Lookstein Center Bar Ilan University curriculum on Zionism. The units consists of: The Northern Challenge, The First Aliyah, Coming Home and Struggle for Jerusalem 1947-1967.

    Biographical Sketches of the Commentators- פרשנים
    We study about the lives and contributions of numerous Commentators from the era of the Second Beit Hamikdash until the present.

    Weekly Torah Portion- פרשת השבוע
    We review the highlights of the Torah portion and share Divrei Torah.
    Popular and Didactic Phrases and Sayings - פתגמים

    The students are introduced to classical phrases taken from the Torah and Talmud to enrich and inspire their weekly learning.
  • Language Arts

    The ELA program in fourth grade, based on a balanced literacy concept, focuses on the important introduction of learning how to read and decipher informational, textbook-based materials. Textbooks and informational articles constitute the basis of comprehension skill building for both social studies and science, units of study which will be discussed later. The ELA program includes a variety of formats, including literature circles, independent reading, oral readings, read aloud (having a variety of materials read to the students by the teacher), and public speaking. (Throughout the year, class members have several opportunities to give a short presentation on a predetermined topic to their classmates.)

    Also included in this area are note-taking skills, identifying the main idea and its related details, chunking information (linking like details together), building upon vocabulary usage, and a variety of grammar based skills.

    The writing segment focuses on writing “tight,” concise on-topic paragraphs which use a greater complexity of sentence structure and variety of transitional and linking words. As the writing is linked to the vast variety of topics covered, it can take numerous forms, such as personal narratives, compare and contrast essays, or short, detailed explanations of a process or concept.
  • Math

    The fourth grade math curriculum follows the NYS core curriculum. This program emphasizes both computation skills and building an understanding of concepts and processes involved, as well as learning and applying strategies for solving a variety of math word problems.
    Topics include:
    1. place value and money,
    2. addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals,
    3. multiplication (2 to 3 digit) by 2 digit numbers,
    4. division
      1. division with remainders, the meaning of remainders,
      2. writing remainders as fractions,
      3. the concept and process of division and long division,
      4. divisibility rules,
      5. finding averages,
    5. writing expressions and equations,
    6. geometry and measurement
      1. solid and plane figures
      2. congruent and similar figures
      3. motion
      4. symmetry
      5. perimeter, area, volume
    7. Strategies for solving word problems
    8. A year-long in-class activity of recording and maintaining an up-to-date “checkbook”, based on “monies” given out routinely for a variety of reasons in class
  • Physical Education

    Westchester Day School is committed to a quality Physical Education Program which is an essential part of the core curriculum deserving and receiving equal priority in the total educational philosophy of the school. Research from several scientific studies are in agreement that daily physical activity improves cognitive function, achievement performance in the classroom, mental health, confidence, self-esteem, the total improved physical health and fitness of the individual, and makes happier and healthier kids. It is with this in mind that each week the students in the lower school (grades 1-5) are provided 4 periods of physical education (30 minutes each).
  • Science

    In addition to time spent exploring topics in the school’s science lab with the science teacher, the fourth grade also spends class time reading and learning about a variety of science topics. This learning includes reading textbook materials, listening to videos, doing hands-on projects, and playing topic-related games to reinforce the concepts taught.

    Topics include:
    1. Energy from plants: plant parts, life cycle, growing our own plants
    2. Cells:
      1. parts of a cell
      2. plant cells
      3. animal cells
    3. Systems of the human body
      1. skeletal and muscular
      2. respiratory and circulatory
      3. digestive and nervous
      4. the body’s defenses
    4. Our ecosystems: the flow of energy
      1. food chains
      2. food webs
    5. Electricity and Magnetism
      1. molecules, charges
      2. how electric charges flow
      3. magnetism
      4. charges: attract or repel
    6. Use of scientific tools
      1. inclined plane (ball and ramp), connected to unit on objects in motion (speed, force, friction, gravity, momentum)
      2. pan balance (mass)
    7. Minerals and Rocks
      1. minerals
      2. igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks
    8. Changes to the Earth’s surface
      1. erosion
      2. weathered materials
    9. Simple machines
      1. lever, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, and screw

    Fourth grade science covers both life and physical science.  Through units on cells and the human body, students learn more about themselves.  In units on electricity and magnetism, forces and motion, students get to engineer their own circuits, motors, and other inventions.  

    Units of study include:
    CellsHuman body systems
    ElectricityMagnetism
    Force and motionSimple Machines
  • Social Studies

    The goal of fourth grade social studies is to foster an understanding of the early history and historical developments of the United States, with a particular focus on the history of New York State. Content is approached through a variety of mediums: reading a variety of sources, experiential learning, field trips and participation in Native American and early colonial era games and projects.

    Content understanding includes:
    • The prehistoric land bridge and arrival of the first peoples to America
    • Native American Indians of New York State- Iroquois and Algonquin
    • How these groups met their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter
    • How geographic factors and the environment shaped Native American Indian settlement patterns
    • Early explorers and the Age of Exploration: reasons for exploration
    • Who were the European explorers who claimed and settled New York State?
    • Native American Indians of New York State and the European encounter: How were Native Americans treated by various explorers?
    • The culture and contributions of the Native American Indians who lived in our community
    • Where did the early colonists come from? When, why and where did they settle?
    • What was daily life like in the colonies?
    • The impact of the Dutch and English settlers on New York State
    • Who made up some of the social, economic and religious groups (Pilgrims, Puritans, indentured servants, slaves, merchants, farmers, plantation owners)
    • How everyday life in colonial New York was different from everyday life today

Find Us

856 Orienta Avenue
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
914-698-8900

Who We Are

Westchester Day School is a Modern Orthodox, co-educational, dual-curriculum, toddler to 8th grade Jewish school that inspires and educates our students in their own way to value menschlichkeit, mitzvot, and lifelong learning.