Fall 2013 (4th)

Great Fun Children’s School
2013 Curriculum
Fourth Grade / age 9

Mission: Cultivate academic skills, multicultural awareness, and a joyful resilience, nurturing connections in a community of increasing love and complexity.


  • Books-on-tape (cd), daily. Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3) by Tamora Pierce, Two Crafty Criminals! by Philip Pullman, Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children by Kimberly Bradley, Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3) by Philip Pullman, Return of the King by JRR Tolkien, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham, Tree Castle Island, My Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, Frightful’s Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, In Harm’s Way (Keepers of the School), About Average, Troublemaker by Andrew Clements, Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, Fyre (Septimus Heap #7) by Angie Sage, Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, Liesl & Po and The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver, Ordinary Jack by Helen Cresswell, My Haunted House, The Sword in the Grotto (Araminta Spookie No. 1, 2) by Angie Sage, Roscoe Riley Rules #5: Don’t Tap-Dance on Your Teacher by Katherine Applegate, Gooney Bird Greene, Gooney Bird and the Room Mother, Gooney the Fabulous , and Gooney Bird is So Absurd by Lois Lowry, The Report Card by Andrew Clements, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate,  Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
  • Independent reading: The Landry News by Andrew Clements. DK’s How to be a Math Genius: Your Brilliant Brain and How to Train It by Mike Goldsmith, The I Hate Mathematics! Book by Marilyn Burns, 100 Cupboards by N.D. Nelson, p.1-63, Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass, p1-  .
  • Phonics Pathways by Dolores G. Hiskes. (For spelling), pp.152-162.
  • Writing With Skill, Level One (5th gradeby Susan Wise Bauer, lessons (“weeks”) 3-5.
  • What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know, by E.D. Hirsch Jr. , relevant chapters.


  • Singapore Math: Discovering Mathematics Common Core, 7A (sections 3.0-4.3)
  • Beast Academy, 3C, chapters 8- 9(end).
  • Life of Fred: Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft.  Reading/exposure only, no tests.
  • Berkeley Math Circle, Beginner level (=5th & 6th grade kids), 1x/wk
  • Supergirl Math club with Henri Ducharme, 1.5hrs, 2x/mo. (Oct-Dec, 6 sessions total)

History & Geography

  • Story of the World, Volume III: Early Modern Times, by Susan Wise Bauer, supplemented by library books suggested in the companion Activity Book, and others. Chapters 31-35.


  • Exploratorium, ~1x/mo. (3x in Fall 2103.)
  • Sausal Creek Restoration Project (4-H), 1x/mo

Computer Literacy

World Languages

  • Mandarin Chinese: My First Chinese Words (BetterChinese.com), lesson 11.


  • Free doodling, misc crafts (at church, fairs, etc). Nature Journaling classes with John Muir Laws, 1x/mo.
  • John Thompson’s Modern Course for the Piano, First Grade Book, lessons 3- . John Thompson’s Note-Speller, p.1-
  • DIY.org Skill Badges: Papercrafter, Magician, Illustrator, Maker, Gardener, Chef.
  • East Bay Mini Maker Faire, Park Day School in Oakland, Oct 20, 2013, all day

Values, Religion, & Character

  • Weekly Sunday school at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. (Faithful Journeys curric.)

Phys Ed

  • Soccer, Albany Berkeley Soccer Club, Galaxy team, 3x/wk.
  • Archery (4-H), 1x/mo
  • Basketball, UC Village Rec program, 1x/wk x 6 wks.

Friends! Attachment parenting. Classes and group activities, structured and unstructured, same-age and multi-age, cousins, groupmates and neighbors. ACHC housing cooperative, BFUU religious congregation. Weekly Park Day with SFBUN and Homegrown Kids at local playgrounds; also active in  BAGHS (2x/mo), Girl Scouts (2x/mo), and East Hills 4-H (4x/mo).