4th Graders journey to Old California through a year-long social studies curriculum that focuses on California's geography, the California Native Americans, the missions, and the Gold Rush. Class trips to the San Fernando Mission, Wolf Adventures, Sacramento, and the Gold Rush country are highlights of the year.
A musical program presented by the 4th Graders in the spring, Oh! California, gives the children the opportunity to share the knowledge they have gained about an important part of the state’s history. 
Academic fundamentals and the development of social responsibility lay the groundwork for upcoming school years. As 4th Graders become more independent, they take on new responsibilities and earn privileges. This is the first year students will participate in opening car doors in the carpool line and raising and lowering the flags to begin and end the day.
4th Graders experience technology in useful ways and each receives a new laptop for use throughout the school day. Students use various computer programs throughout the year for social studies projects and assignments in reader's and writer's workshops.

Field Trips

Another way students build their independence is through overnight field trips. First, students will venture into Simi Valley in early spring to attend Wolf Adventures. This is a two-night, three-day experience where students improve team-building skills. In late spring, the 4th Graders take a flight to our state’s capital for a one-night stay. The Sacramento trip enhances the California history program thanks to the visits to the capitol building, Sutter’s Fort, Old Town Sacramento, and Coloma. In Coloma the young “miners” pan for gold.
The public speaking program continues as 4th Graders deliver monthly current events. The students are also excited to serve as ambassadors to the school by becoming tour guides for prospective parents. By the end of their 4th Grade year, they are comfortable showcasing their school to adults they have just met!

Meet the Team

List of 4 items.

  • Laurie Anderson

    Laurie attended the Malibu campus of Pepperdine University where she earned her bachelor’s degree. For her post-graduate work, however, she went to the Vermont Avenue campus where she earned a Masters in Reading and in School Management and Administration.  She has been at Carlthorp School, either full-time or as a “resident sub” since 1975. Currently she teaches 4th Grade. Mrs. Anderson enjoys making quilts, riding her bicycle, boogie-boarding, doing crossword puzzles, riding horses, reading, traveling up and down California and spending time with her family.
  • Ron Burwick

    Ron graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a major in Communications.  He also attended the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Before starting to teach at Carlthorp, Mr. Burwick spent nine years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he taught in the GATE program, as well as in a regular classroom.  Outside of school, he enjoys scuba diving, completing the New York Times crossword puzzles, and anything related to the New England Patriots or the Boston Red Sox.
  • Elaine Hobert

    Elaine Hobert is thrilled to return to the classroom, this time as a 4th grade teacher. After teaching 2nd grade at Carlthorp for seven years, Elaine took a three-year hiatus to work part-time in Admissions and spend time with her boys, Wes (4) and Merrin (2). Before joining Carlthorp, Elaine spent many years teaching grades 1-4 in LAUSD. She double-majored at USC, earning her Bachelor's degrees in Piano Performance and Humanities, and later, her Master's degree in Education. Elaine is from Chicago and spent her formative years playing piano. At age 11 she performed Rachmaninoff's 1st Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and in 1996 she had the distinction of being the only US representative selected to compete in the Chopin International Piano Competition for Young Artists in Moscow. Elaine enjoys teaching piano to kids and in her spare time she loves being with her family, hiking, and beating her husband at card games.

  • Lauren Schwartz

    Lauren Schwartz grew up in Laguna Beach. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Business and subsequently decided to pursue her dream of teaching. Lauren has taught second, sixth, and most recently three years of third grade at Stratford School in San Francisco. She is excited to return home to Southern California and join the Carlthorp community. In her spare time, you may find Lauren testing out new recipes in her kitchen, exploring LA’s restaurants, hiking, learning to play tennis, or enjoying a book at the beach. Lauren is a cat lover. She rescued her cat, Spectre, 6 years ago after finding him on a walk. Lauren is looking forward to a fun-filled year with all of her wonderful fourth graders!