• English Language Arts and Literacy: K-5

    The North Salem Central School District curricula are based on the current New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.

    Pequenakonck Elementary School is committed to using a balanced literacy approach as our instructional model for students to develop skills and strategies in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  

    Students engage in a comprehensive literacy program which includes the following components of effective instruction:

    Reading Instruction 

    Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent reading
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction (guided reading and strategy lessons)
    • Read Aloud

    Shared Reading

    Close Reading 

    Fundations (K-3)/Word Study – phonics, spelling, and vocabulary     

    Writing Instruction

    Writing Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent writing
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction
    • Share

    Shared and Interactive Writing Mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation

    Our reading curriculum includes a balance of literature and nonfiction/informational texts.  Students read daily to improve their fluency, comprehension, and stamina. The level of text complexity increases throughout the K-5 years and assessments are used to match students with appropriate texts.  Additionally, students are taught how to self-select texts for identified reading goals as well as enjoyment. Explicit instruction focuses on foundational skills, fluency, and comprehension.

    The writing curriculum includes three main types of writing:  narrative, informational, and opinion. Students write daily to improve their stamina, volume, and craft.  Writing occurs across the curriculum and for a variety of purposes. Students engage in both the writing process and on-demand experiences.  

    Speaking and listening are also important components of the literacy program.  Students are taught how to effectively communicate with each other, engage in opportunities to think critically, and talk with each other about content, strategies, and original ideas.

    Fourth Grade Overview

    4th grade students develop skills in reading literature, informational text and writing through the following Core Ready units of study:

    • Shape of the Story (narrative literacy)
    • Road to Knowledge (information & research)
    • Power to Persuade (opinion & argument)
    • Journey to Meaning (comprehension & critique)

    Fourth grade students focus on developing the following reading skills:

    • Determining the main idea of a text and explaining how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
    • Referring to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
    • Describing the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
    • Determining the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
    • Determining a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the 
    • Describing in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
    • Determining the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
    • Explaining major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
    • Comparing and contrasting the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
    • Making connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
    • Comparing and contrasting the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional 
    • Explaining events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
    • Comparing and contrasting a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
    • Interpreting information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
    • Explaining how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
    • Integrating information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    Writing instruction in 4th grade is broken into three main categories: narrative, persuasive and informational writing.  Students are expected to:

    • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
    • With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
    • With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. 
    • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience


    In Grade 4, math instruction is focused on three key areas:

    • Developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication as well as developing an understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends 
    • Developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers
    • Understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.

    The Common Core Learning Standards focus on the following Mathematical Practices:

    1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
    2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
    3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
    4. Model with mathematics.
    5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
    6. Attend to precision.
    7. Look for and make use of structure.
    8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

    Social Studies

    Our Social Studies Curriculum is focused on New York State and local communities and their change over time. Students learn about the geography, history, resources, significant people, places and issues that have helped shape our state.

    Topics include:

    • Geography of New York 
    • Native Americans of New York State
    • Explorers who came to North America and explored the region that is now New York
    • Colonization of New Netherlands
    • The American Revolution
    • Industrial Growth and Expansion
    • Government


    The 4th grade science curriculum focuses on developing the following major understandings:

    • Energy exists in various forms: heat, electrical, sound, chemical, mechani­cal, light.
    • Energy can be transferred from one place to another.
    • Some materials transfer energy better than others (heat and electricity)
    • Energy and matter interact: water is evaporated by the Sun’s heat; a bulb is lighted by means of electrical cur­rent; a musical instrument is played to produce sound; dark colors may absorb light, light colors may reflect light.
    • Electricity travels in a closed circuit.
    • Heat can be released in many ways, for example, by burning, rubbing (friction), or combining one sub­stance with another.
    • Interactions with forms of energy can be either helpful or harmful.
    • Everyday events involve one form of energy being changed to another.
      •  Animals convert food to heat and motion
      • The Sun’s energy warms the air and water
      • Humans utilize interactions between matter and energy.
      • Chemical to electrical,light, and heat: battery and bulb
      • Electrical to sound(e.g., doorbell buzzer)
      • Mechanical to sound(e.g., musical instruments, clap­ping)
      • Light to electrical(e.g.,solar- powered calculator)


    The health program, The Great Body Shop, is designed to promote decision-making and behaviors that foster better health. Though students study similar topics at each grade, the depth of content and complexity of ideas builds from grade to grade. All students study injury prevention and personal safety, nutrition, functions of the body, growth and development/cycles of family life, disease and illness prevention, substance abuse prevention, community health and safety/violence prevention, self worth, mental and emotional well-being, environmental and consumer health, physical fitness.