Cycle 3: Fourth & Fifth Grade
In cycle 3, students continue to expand their knowledge in all subjects but mastery of the French language and basic mathematics are the primary focus of these grades.
Students hone their French skills through presentations, dictation, and the study of literature. They become more acquainted with technology and computers through carefully planned projects and lessons. In math, students work on abstract and concrete problem solving, geometry, and organizing data. Art, music, English, and physical education continue to play an important role.
There are eight areas of instruction that are critical to the development of the student and plays an important role in daily school life:
1. Reading, Writing, Language Skills
In cycle 3 students are able to listen, express themselves in front of others, and ask questions using specific vocabulary. There is an emphasis on dictation by memorizing and reciting short texts.
Reading and writing are incorporated into all subjects and activities. Students read age- appropriate and carefully selected literary texts. They are taught to identify main elements, analyze details, and form and express opinions on a text. Students engage in creative writing and research-based, non-fictional writing.
Students continue to improve their grammar skills, vocabulary, and spelling in order to enhance their oral, written, and literary comprehension. They are able to differentiate between types of sentences and identify word functions. Students pay special attention to word agreement, conjugating verbs correctly, and lexical spelling.
In mathematics students continue to expand on their skills through problem solving and learning various processes. They work on functions concerning whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Students are able to solve problems mentally, on paper, and with the use of a calculator. They learn the principles of geometry and use tools such as a compass to demonstrate and practice these principles. Concepts of measurement such as time, length, and money are studied. Students integrate these mathematical elements to learn how to analyze and organize data.
In cycle 3 students learn more about the natural world around them and the effects that people have on it. They learn to distinguish between facts, verified hypotheses, and opinions. Students employ and strengthen their natural curiosity by observing, questioning, and practicing in the world around them. Topics covered include: matter, water, Earth, sky, energy, living organisms, and the human body.
Students use computers and iPads to gather and share information for research-based projects, and as a communication tool with their correspondents in France. They also discuss how to use web applications responsibly.
5. History and Geography
In cycle 3 students learn to identify and describe important periods in history. Specifically they learn about the Prehistoric times, Antiquities, Middle Ages, French Revolution, and the 20th century historical events. For geography they explore how people live in different areas, starting on a small local level and expanding out to a global scale. They learn about various landscapes, major economies, methods of travel, and natural resources.
Musical education in cycle 3 focuses on vocal games, rounds, and individual performance. Students learn about pitch, tempo, and form. They use their bodies to feel rhythm by practicing movements according to a beat.
Students study and practice a variety of artistic genres from different periods in history and different geographical locations. They work on transforming visual art into 3 dimensions by creating models of buildings and interiors. Through the study of art history students will learn about the artistic techniques of important periods of history, and replicate the works of significant painters.
8. Physical Education
P.E. is critical in developing students’ self-confidence, motor skills, and athletic ability. They learn to adapt their physicality to different types of environments. Students engage in different aspects of athletics such as team sports, individual time trials, and activities aimed to strengthen coordination and balance. In addition Cycle 3 students learn to swim at the Southwest Community Center pool.