Jean DeWitt: “At The Academy, my students are insatiable. Here, I have the academic freedom to teach in a way that keeps them engaged and inspired.”
CORE SUBJECTS TAUGHT
Students in fourth grade read a variety of texts including biographies, fiction, informational texts, myths, legends, short stories, and poems. The program includes reading from across the curriculum, with an emphasis on California history. Students take their analytic skills to a higher level in fourth grade through research of informational books, articles and websites and using literature to explore theme and character analysis. Fourth graders will assess first-hand and second-hand accounts of real events and analyze the information to draw conclusions in collaboration with other students.
Written work in fourth grade focuses on developing skills to create multi-paragraph compositions using supporting facts, research, reflection, collaboration and revision. Compositions will include comparing and contrasting, creative writing, persuasive and opinion essays. Students will also compose poetry and develop their understanding and use of figurative language.
Students will build vocabulary through exploration of the reading texts and additional vocabulary activities. I emphasize technical writing, including grammar usage, capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Students will also learn basic typing skills.
I integrate discussions, group work and oral presentations into all curricular activities. I also emphasize collaboration and exploration of ideas.
My students in fourth grade will learn to compute very large and very small numbers, positive and negative numbers, decimals, fractions and percents. Students will study the relative magnitude of numbers; they will perform calculations and solve problems involving addition, subtraction, simple multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. Students will also analyze algebraic equations using variables in simple expressions, compute the value of the expression for specific values of the variable and interpret the results. Geometry concepts include learning to describe, draw, and classify properties of and relationships between, plane and solid geometric figures. In addition, students will compute volumes and areas of simple objects. They will understand and apply standard and metric measurements. Using critical reasoning, models and justification of solutions is essential for all students throughout all areas of mathematics. Collaboration, discussion and synthesis of mathematics concepts are threaded through the curriculum.
My social studies program includes developing map skills and learning about California’s varied geography and its impact on the growth of California. We study the history of California, from the first settlement of peoples coming from Asia and their development into the many different tribal groups to the impact of European imperialism. Students will study and examine the growth of California and the contributions of various cultures (particularly the Hispanic, Chinese and Japanese) to our state. Students will explore historical reasons for emigration/immigration and learn to look at these issues in the context of current events.
ABOUT JEAN DEWITT
Jean Dewitt holds a B.A. in the Practice of Art from UC Berkeley. She has also completed graduate courses in Education at San Francisco State University. She received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. This is her second year teaching at The Academy, after seven years of prior experience teaching fourth and fifth grade.