Dr. Joseph A. Whelan Elementary School

1440 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 233-1180  |  Fax: (401) 353-1465

Principal: Mrs. Amanda Donovan 

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Grade 4

Whelan students are at the helm of their own learning in 4th-grade. Students truly begin to steer their way through diverse and challenging coursework in writing and reading, science, math, and digital literacy – a skill taught across disciplines to better prepare our children for the future. Educators at Whelan are molding minds, making it known to students that the content they’re learning in school is applicable to the world around them.

Educators encourage and listen closely to the divergent ideas children have. We take what our students have to say and ask seriously, and our young learners understand that and feel comfortable in the nurturing environment we continue to provide throughout their elementary education.


Grade 4 Mathematics

Math fluency. That is what’s taught to 4th-grade students at Whelan. It’s made possible by the educators who work patiently and persistently to ensure students understand the material they’re learning each day, so students are comfortable and confident in math as an overall “language,” not merely a subject.

Students navigate their way through math problems independently, one-on-one with teachers, and also support one another in groups by polishing their math conceptualization.

Grade 4 English Language Arts

Our 4th-grade students use the English Language Arts lessons they’ve learned at Whelan through in-depth workshops, engaging discussions, meaningful content, and enlightening literature as a springboard to 5th-grade. Students sharpen their thought process when writing, become more proficient in reading comprehension, and their confidence soars not only in English, but all subject areas.

A combination of independent work, engaging group conversations, and projects empower students. In our classrooms, students feed off one another’s creativity and drive to make purposeful, thoughtful, and intriguing stories, and understand the importance of breaking down complex literature and sharing written work with their peers.

Grade 4 Science

What does good science instruction look like? At Whelan, it looks like students learning through trial-and-error, sticking to issues they’re trying to solve, and digging their heels into conceptual material. Fourth-grade students start to see the world as a giant experiment – or several small experiments where answers lie, waiting to be uncovered.

Students start to feel responsible for the natural world, and are curious about how to make the world a better place through innovative ideas, new data, research, and the scientific process.

Grade 4 Social Studies

Rewind. That means more than a setting on a remote control to 4th-grade students at Whelan, who know that going “back in time” is certainly a journey. It’s a journey that provides context, clues, answers, and more questions about the past and how it has led to the present.

Government systems and processes, social responsibility, and service in the community are important topics students learn about in 4th-grade, using their own research, visuals that give historical moments a “rebirth,” and exhilarating class conversations in which students interpret historical events. Students study maps and complete projects that allow them to learn more about their own family traditions and celebrations. Students also take away an appreciation for how being a member of their own family as well as the Whelan family makes up their identity.

Grade 4 Teachers

Mrs. Donna Canario 


Mr. Kevin Geremia