4th Graders journey to Old California through a year-long social studies curriculum that focuses on California missions and the Gold Rush. Class trips to the San Fernando Mission, Nature Bridge, 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. The “WalkThrough California” wraps up the students’ California knowledge with a special interactive day!
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. When the time comes to create mission reports, the students research, outline, draft, publish, and present using a variety of computer programs.

Field Trips

Another way students buidl thier independence is throught the experience of overnight field trips. First, students will venture into the Malibu Mountains in late winter to take part in Nature Bridge. This is a two-night, three-day experience where students improve team-building skills with a focus on environmental science. Later, in early 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 bi-weekly 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.
  • Nicole Fahey

    Nicole is thrilled to join the Carlthorp community for her 16th year in education. She has previously held roles as a 4th Grade teacher, a 5th Grade teacher, and a literacy coach in Fairfax County, VA; Saudi Arabia; Madrid, Spain; and Dubai, UAE. With a Master of Education degree from the University of Virginia and certifications as a Reading Specialist and National Board teacher, Nicole is passionate about modeling a growth mindset and lifelong learning for her students. In her spare time, she enjoys spending being outdoors in nature and with the people she cares about.
  • 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.
  • Ashley Greenberg

    Originally from Rhode Island, Ashley taught 2nd Grade in Hawaii before moving to Santa Monica. She is excited to be teaching 4th Grade at Carlthorp.  Ashley received her Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University after studying psychology at Georgetown University. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher, Ashley discovered her love for working with young people by volunteering her time both with an after-school reading program for elementary school students and with an after-school cooking program for high school students.  In addition, she taught summer school to incoming 4th and 5th Graders when she was in college. When she’s not teaching, Ashley loves hiking, camping, and card and board games.