3RD - 4TH GRADES
3rd and 4th grade students are taught three of their five core subjects (science, math, writing, social studies and language arts) by their homeroom teachers, then rotate to the other two core subjects, which are taught by specific teachers who are each responsible for teaching those specific subjects to all of the students.
3rd and 4th grade students focus on Literature Circles with a common text (Literature or Informational text that's an important component of the Common Core Standards) at their independent level. Students engage in a variety of activities that allow them to analyze a variety of situations from different perspectives of characters or factual information from the text and are able to take turns discussing their activity. Students also have an opportunity to extend their learning about the concepts and perspectives from the literature circle text by participating in inquiry circles. They will gain significant knowledge about narrative and informational stories by learning about their structure and the elements. Throughout the year, students read short stories and respond to text. Grammar, spelling, and robust vocabulary is incorporated in their daily involvement with their stories. They engage in hands on activities and projects in the classroom. Read alouds will be conducted as they are a crucial element to a child's listening, writing, and speaking skill. They engage in conversation and write their opinions and feelings, with support from the text, in their reading logs. Students also use iPads for media creation/presentations, research, and classroom interaction during the end of reading units. We also love incorporating field trips, related to the unit or theme, to enhance their understanding. Lastly, 4th graders proudly partner with a kindergarten class for reading buddies once a week.
In 3rd and 4th grade science, we focus on a hands-on, engaging approach covering several major units throughout the year. In 3rd grade, some of the major units of study that students will explore are the physics of sound, the Sun and solar system, and ideas and inventions. In 4th grade, some of the major units are magnetism, electricity, matter and energy, and landforms. In addition to many hands on investigations, students will also focus on reading a variety of informational texts pertaining to the current units, which is an important component of the Common Core standards. Students also use iPads for media creation, research, and classroom interaction during the units." Both gradess participate in the school-wide Science Fair. They can choose a partner or do it individually.
4th graders focus on Illinois and compare the regions and people of the United States. In this social studies unit, they learn about four disciplines that are the focus of social studies: history, geography, government, and economics. They work individually, with partners, or in groups to create reports on a particular state, and do presentations with the help of research information on iPads. Finally, they share their wonderful creations with the class.
Besides the CPS core academic curriculum (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Writing), all Waters students receive instruction in the following ancillary subjects:
Music - once a week
Drama - once a week
Art & Technology:These 2 subjects are all taught as studio-sized half classes (14:1) for more in-depth concepting on projects:
Visual Art - once a week, for a semester
Technology - once a week, for a semester
Phys Ed - once a week
Math Enrichment – once a week
Ecology - as an extension to the science curriculum, Kinder students enjoy 3 field trips in the garden for deeper study of grade-specific environmental subjects. Hands-on learning in this subject also occurs in or outside of class if it is applicable to the science unit being studied. Health and Nutrition, and Chicago Runs have been added to expand this program.