Fourth Grade

Meet the classroom teacher:

Emma Murray has been teaching at Sharon Elementary school since 2019.
Mrs. Murray graduated with a BA from UVM with a degree in Elementary Education and Teacher, K-6, and a MEd from Lesley University with a degree in Language and Literacy.
“It is my goal to provide a whole-child based education to our children so that they can be well-rounded citizens of the world with the key skills to function and thrive in our growing society. Place-based ecology education, art, and literacy are at the core of my instructional beliefs and practices. I truly believe that our children are our future. As such, it is our primary job as educators to ensure that children are able to think creatively, be problem-solvers, and be respectful individuals.” You can read more about her classroom philosophy and what is happening directly on her classroom website

Emma Murray, 4th Grade Teacher


In 4th Grade, we are helping students become proficient in:
– using the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems
– gaining familiarity with factors and multiples
– generating and analyzing patterns
– generalizing place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers.
– using place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic
– building fractions from unit fractions
– extending understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering
– understanding decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions
– solving problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements
– Measurement and Data: representing and interpreting data
– Geometric measurement: understanding concepts of angle and measure angles
– drawing and identifying lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.

English & Language Arts

The fourth-grade English/Language Arts program takes a balanced approach to the teaching of literacy. Students read and write fiction and non-fiction in a variety of forms, and overlap with all aspects of the students’ learning. Instruction occurs in small group, independent, and whole-class settings. When necessary, a full-time interventionist guides students through areas of difficulty in reading fluency.
At Sharon Elementary and across the White River Valley SU, Fountas and Pinnell program is used in all classrooms. The classroom books and minilessons provide access to a variety of leveled texts geared for all readers.

In terms of proficiency, we measure and focus on students being able to:
– refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text
– determine the theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, summarize the text
– explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in historical or scientific or technical text including what happened and why based on specific information in the text
– determine the meaning of words or phrases as they are used in a text; including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology
– compare and contrast point of view from which different stories are narrated- including first and third person narrations
– determine the meaning of general academic and domain specific words or phrases
– compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics and patterns of events in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures
– know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words
– reads with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension


Outdoor education, and educating outside of the traditional classroom walls, is a core value here at Sharon (in fourth grade and beyond). Through our robust Outdoor Learning and Farm To School program, students are able to fully engage with their surroundings. Learning is experienced through all 5 senses to involve the student fully into the natural world. Each Friday, we venture outdoors to connect with our place, work on skills we are learning in the classroom, and have a whole lot of fun doing it!
The themes we focus on throughout the year in fourth grade are:

Wetlands: Beavers and beaver ponds
Vernal pools and bogs
Energy: including force and motion, electricity, simple machines
Special unit on clean energy