Fourth & Fifth Grade

Aurora’s 4/5 classrooms each have a Lead Teacher and share a Teaching Assistant.


This is an exciting time, as children seek to define who they are and cultivate autonomy. It's also an important stage to manage emotional regulation and develop empathy.

As with all students, Aurora’s staff pay attention to the whole child, cultivating their emotional growth as well as their learning process. We accommodate their desire for community and belonging with our Partner Pals program, where they are paired with older and younger peers for monthly projects, and they begin participating in clubs led by Aurora Middle Schoolers.

Social-emotional learning continues to be reinforced in Open Circle, where students talk about how to manage their emotions, strengthen their relationships, and solve problems in a positive way. Students are given the opportunity to explore this in morning meetings and their weekly SEL meetings.

To make sure that lessons aren’t repeated and that certain subjects are addressed to specific learning levels, our curriculum runs on a two-year cycle:

Social Studies Essential question: How did California become what it is today?
  • The geography of California and how it affects human and animal populations
  • Indigenous people
  • The arrival of Spanish explorers, exploiters, missionaries, and settlers in California
  • The discovery of gold and statehood
  • “Manifest Destiny” and how it affected white settlement of the west
  • Waves of immigration to California during the 19th and 20th centuries: Transcontinental Railroad, WWII Japanese Internment, and Angel Island
Possible Field Trips:
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • Peralta Hacienda, Rancho Days program
  • Train trip to Sacramento to tour the California State Railroad Museum and State Capitol
Essential questions: How did the United States become what it is today? and What is democracy?
  • The relationship between geography and culture
  • Indigenous people of the U.S.
  • The arrival in North America of European explorers and exploiters
  • The institution of slavery and the contributions of enslaved Africans and their descendants to the formation of the U.S.
  • The political, economic, and cultural institutions of the original 13 English colonies
  • The causes and consequences of the American Revolution
  • The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
  • The history of voting rights in the U.S.
  • Colonization and immigration
  • Discrimination and racism
  • The 50 states and capitals
Possible field trips:
  • Museum of the African Diaspora
  • African American Museum Library
  • De Young Museum’s American painting collections
  • Angel Island Immigration Station
  • Fiction book clubs
  • Interpretation Book Clubs: Analyzing Themes
  • Nonfiction
  • Researching issues for debate
  • Up the Ladder Reading: Fiction
  • Interpretation Book Clubs: Analyzing Themes
  • Nonfiction: Reading History - The American Revolution
  • Fantasy Book Clubs: The Magic of Themes and Symbols
Writing Units of study include:
  • Narrative writing
  • Opinion writing
  • Information writing
  • Literary essays
  • Poetry
Language arts units include:
  • Word study lessons to develop spelling pattern knowledge
  • Cursive practice for homework and writing assignments in class
  • Development of content-specific vocabulary
  • Grammar and writing conventions
  • Keyboarding practice
Math Math is taught by grade level.
4th grade units:
  • Multiplicative thinking
  • Multi-digit multiplication and early division
  • Fractions and decimals
  • Addition, subtraction, and measurement
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Multiplication and division, data, and fractions
  • Reviewing and extending fractions, decimals, and multi-digit multiplication
  • STEM: Playground design
5th grade units:
  • Expressions, equations, and volume
  • Adding and subtracting fractions
  • Place value and decimals
  • Multiplying and dividing whole numbers and decimals
  • Multiplying and dividing fractions
  • Graphing, geometry, and volume
  • Division and decimals
  • STEM: Solar design
  • Soils, rocks, and landforms
  • Ecosystems (Westminster Woods)
  • Energy and electromagnetism
Possible field trips:
  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum
  • Tilden Park
  • 4/5 overnight trip to Westminster Woods
  • Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Mixtures and solutions
  • Puberty education
  • Earth and sun
  • The solar system
Possible field trips:
  • Berkeley Transfer Station
  • Chabot Space & Science Center
  • Westminster Woods
Social-Emotional Learning Elements of Open Circle include:
  • Managing Ourselves
  • Strengthening Relationships
  • How to Sort Problems
  • Problem Solving
Other elements of the SEL curriculum:
  • Morning Meeting (Responsive Classroom)
  • Class meetings
  • Restorative Justice conflict resolution
  • Antiracism and anti-bias work
  • Partner Pals
  • Mindfulness
Rolling admissions are open for the 2024-25 school year! Learn More
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