In Elk Creek, we strive to create a collaborative learning atmosphere that brings students together to take responsibility for their own learning. Our mission is all students will succeed in the integrated curriculum with an emphasis on teaching both academic skills as well as "life skills.” Examples include note taking and study skills strategies, self-advocacy skills, collaboration, goal setting, and self-reflection. The Fourth graders will follow the Dolphin Pride rules, perseverance, respect and responsibility, integrity, diversity, and engagement.
Reading and Writing
Our fourth graders develop reading and writing skills through a workshop approach. We believe it is essential to read like writers, and write like readers. For writing, we use the 6-trait writing program with attention and focus on using high level vocabulary and grammar in context. Reading skills are taught through mini-lessons with the Lucy Calkins curriculum and individual conferencing. Students read a variety of literature and non-fiction texts that guide conferencing and small guided reading groups.
The FOSS science curriculum is taught throughout the year. The units that we study in fourth grade are Magnetism and Electricity for Physical Science, Earth, Moon, and Stars for Earth Science, and Environments for Life Science. Each unit is very hands on and the students enjoy FOSS science.
The Social Studies standards for fourth grade relate to Colorado history. Students learn about geography, history, economics, and civics as they are related to Colorado.
We are using the Bridges program for math instruction. Bridges in Mathematics is a comprehensive math curriculum that equips teachers to fully implement the Colorado Academic Standards for mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. The curriculum focuses on developing students' deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. The program taps into the intelligence strengths of all students be presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful.