FOURTH GRADE

Kelly returns for her third year at The Cooper School! Kelly was raised in the greater Chicago area. On her first visit to Charleston, she fell in love with the city and decided to attend The College of Charleston. Kelly received her Bachelor or Science in Elementary Education from The College of Charleston. She also has a Masters in Education from The Citadel. Kelly is a Nationally Board Certified Educator. During her free time, Kelly enjoys playing board games and taking long walks with her husband and three young children.

Read Kelly’s Testimonial.

Last Days in Fourth Grade June 2, 2018

Reading

There is a bittersweet feeling to finishing a good book. Fourth Graders experienced that this week as they finished reading the BFG by Roald Dahl. The book’s unique characters, along with its magical twist set in the real world, appeal to readers of all ages. Fourth Graders loved being able to watch the characters come to life in the BFG movie! Students loved watching the movie and noticing the similarities and differences between the book and movie.

Wrapping Up the Year

It is hard to believe that the year is coming to the end. With everything going on, the students took some time out of their hectic schedule to think about everything they have accomplished, experienced, and learned this year. This week in Morning Meeting, students reflected on their hopes, dreams, and their Fourth Grade year. Scholars talked about all the growth that occurred through achievements and challenges. They shared some of their proudest moments and their accomplishments. Each student chose one or two words that they thought summed up their year. Then looking ahead, they shared the things they looked forward to in Fifth Grade.

Graduation

This was a wonderful week to celebrate Fifth Grade friends at The Cooper School. On Tuesday, Fourth Graders enjoyed supporting Fifth Graders as they practiced their graduation performances for the entire school. The Fifth Graders are so talented! They performed vocal solos, played instruments, read beautiful poetry, and more. On Thursday, Cooper School friends were thrilled to participate in The Cooper School’s graduation party, complete with a victory arch for the graduates, strawberry shortcake for everyone, a photo booth, and compliment chains for the graduates. It was such a splendid way to celebrate our friends in Fifth Grade.

Last Full Week of Fourth Grade… May 25, 2018

Reading

This week, Fourth Grade began a new study of the Roald Dahl book, the BFG. Fourth Graders aren’t inexperienced when it comes to studying this author. They have been reading Roald Dahl books for several years now. This year’s study teaches students to compare and contrast common themes an author may use in their writing. Through this novel, we have been comparing character motivations, common character traits, and similar problems found in his books. Students have realized that studying the author’s craft with an experienced perspective gives them a better overall understanding of the type of books Roald Dahl writes.

Attentive Audience Members

Scholars listened as Fifth Graders published their final writing unit this week, Personal Persuasive Essays. Fourth Graders were all ears as their peers passionately stated their strong opinions to an eager Fourth Grade audience. The Fifth Graders expressed their feelings about “No Kill Animal Shelters,” “Cruise Ships in the Charleston Harbor”, and much, much more. These persuasive topics even started a discussion among Fourth Graders of their views after hearing the research that supported each claim. They were excited to weigh in on some of these topics.  

Centers

Centers this week revolved around the human body.  Students were tasked with creating a 3D model of the human skeleton using paper cutouts. This appeared easy at first, but things are not always what they seem.  After completing their models, students moved onto Science and Math extensions. They tinkered with science materials in order to build models of hands and feet.

Important Dates

Monday, May 28th                        Memorial Day/ No School

Thursday, May 31st                       5th Grade Graduation – 11:30                                                                            Dismissal

Friday, June 1st                             Field Day – 11:30 Dismissal

Reflecting on a Great Week! May 18, 2018

Math

This week we have been examining reflections! Take a look in the mirror… seriously, go take a look in the mirror. What do you see? Your image should be the same size and shape of your own body, but there’s one difference. You are backwards! This week your investigators experimented with transparent mirrors to create reflections of various images. We learned that the original image is called a “preimage” and the reflection is called the “image”. After drawing their image on the other side of the reflection line, each student checked their work. They did this by folding their paper along the reflection line. If both images matched up exactly, they did it right!

Science

This week students focused on the body’s muscles by creating models of the arm, leg, and thumb using craft sticks, rubber bands, paper clips, and rubber tubes. We’ve discussed how each material represents the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments. We learned how each of these parts are connected and work together to make arms and legs move.

Testing

This week students put their test taking skills to the test! We spent some time each day completing the ERB Standardized Test. Much of the focus leading up to these tests has been on good test taking skills, strategies, and habits. Students have learned to pre-read, reread, and manage their time. Taking this type of test is a skill that students will have to utilize throughout their school careers. TCS believes that students need to become familiar and comfortable with the test taking environment and process, however we do not place a lot of emphasis upon the test itself. Fourth Grade’s favorite part was filling in the bubbles.

Important Dates:

May 20th                                         End of the Year Picnic @ Magnolia                                                                                            Plantation (3:30-                                                                                                   5pm)

Monday, May 28th                        Memorial Day/ No School

Thursday, May 31st                       5th Grade Graduation – 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, June 1st                              Field Day – 11:30 Dismissal

Long Term Savings for the Future May 11, 2018

Guest Speaker

Three guest speakers from Wells Fargo Bank visited Fourth Grade this week to discuss the importance of long term savings. Even though scholars are learning to add, subtract, multiply, and divide daily, it important for them to recognize the concepts of savings can begin now. By understanding money-saving habits, students can learn how to set goals that financially set-up them up for success later in life.

Literary Essays

Fourth Graders began their final unit in writing this week, combining their reading and writing skills to write literary essays. This unit requires students to do close reading of shorter books to really notice the details. Students will learn to notice the details in their books and think about why an author made the decision for the setting, characters, metaphors, and word choice. Readers are taught to ask, “Why did the author make this decision?” We will begin by writing essays to defend basic ideas about the text with a focus on the structure of an effective literary essay. Students will learn to write opinion pieces that focus on specific text, not just on a topic. This will include learning the difference between paraphrasing and quoting and how to correctly cite text.

Kayaking

We got back on the water this week and boy was it hot! Students could not resist the lure of the water and practiced safe ways to get in and out of their boats while on the water. We purposely capsized ourselves, going all the way over and learned how to empty our boats of water. The heat had everyone going for a dip and putting their safety practices into action. Races and games ensued and we all had a blast!

Important Dates:

Sunday, May 13th                             Mother’s Day

May 14th -18th                              ERB Testing

Thursday, May 17th                         Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

May 20th                                            End of the Year Picnic @ Magnolia                                                                                        Plantation (3:30-5pm)

Monday, May 28th                           Memorial Day/ No School

Thursday, May 31st                          5th Grade Graduation – 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, June 1st                                 Field Day – 11:30 Dismissal

A Week of Fun! May 4, 2018

Movement Study Trip

This week, we completed our second trip to James Island County Park for kayaking and paddle boarding lessons. We had a blast! This week students learned the proper way to get in and out of their boat, as well as, putting their boat in and out of the water! Then, they practiced trying to steer and learned the proper paddle techniques. We had beautiful weather and a lovely day on the water!

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

The annual Cooper School Grandparents and Special Friends Day was a huge success! Fourth Graders were delighted to welcome their friends and family into the classroom and to share our routine of a Morning Meeting “greeting”. Students worked on an interview with their visitor and learned a lot about each other. After finishing our introduction, Fourth Graders were proud to show off and explain their Poet Muse projects. Then students led them to one of their favorite math games “Multiplication Top-It”. The last rotation was a science challenge where students, friends, and grandparents raced to put together a human skeleton.

Pass It On

After months of preparation your poets are finally ready to share their creative writing with everyone at the annual Pass It On celebration.  Now that their poems have been refined and published, your writers turned their focus toward performing this week.  We practiced reading our poems in big and small groups. Your poets analyzed the tone of their poem and discussed how that might change the way they read it.  They practiced pacing their reading, speaking loud and clear, and presenting with emotion. We can’t wait to share all of our hard work with you at this special event!

Important Dates:

May 7th – 11th                                 Teacher Appreciation Week

Thursday, May 10th                       Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

Sunday, May 13th                           Mother’s Day

May 14th -18th                                ERB Testing

May 20th                                          End of the Year Picnic @ Magnolia                                                                  Plantation  (3:30-5pm)

What a Wonderful Week! April 27, 2018

Reading

Fourth Graders embarked on a journey through Greek mythology during Reading Workshop this week. Students learned how to identify myths by taking a close look at the characters, plot and setting. Next, they took a closer look at the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, noticing that they could infer character traits through the author’s words.

Science

Fourth Graders began a new science unit this week learning all about the human body. Scientists have been counting up the bones in their torso, arms, legs, and head. After all the calculating was done, students concluded an adult skeleton has 206 bones in their body. Students took turns observing each other’s movements while jumping rope. Then, they discussed and argued the skeleton’s function within the body. The most important lesson learned this week, however, is that the human body is one amazing structure!

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

This week we completed our first field trip to James Island County Park for kayaking and paddle boarding lessons. We had a blast! We started with paddle boarding and students learned the proper way to sit, stand and kneel on their boards and how to do a pivot turn.  We had beautiful weather and a lovely day on the water!

Important Dates

Tuesday, May 1st                          Poet Muse Presentation at 8:15am

Friday, May 4th                            Grandparents and Special Friends                                                                   Day (10am – 11:30am dismissal)

Friday, May 4th                            Pass-It-On (5pm-6pm @ The                                                                            Charleston Museum)

May 7th – 11th                               Teacher Appreciation Week

Thursday, May 10th                     Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

Sunday, May 13th                         Mother’s Day

May 14th -18th                              ERB Testing

May 20th                                        End of the Year Picnic @ Magnolia                                                                 Plantation (3:30-5pm)

Preparing for our Presentation! April 20, 2018

Poet Muse
Students are well on their way to memorizing the poems written by their Poet Muse! They tackled their final poetry project this week, which was creating a short iMovie about their muse. The Fourth Graders creative ideas and quick recollection of this program was amazing. Students are very eager to share these final projects with parents, siblings, and friends.

Math
Fourth Graders have been learning all about finding the perimeter of irregular shapes and the area of quadrilaterals and polygons. These lessons are teaching students the skills to logically apply math in real life situations. Students learned how to find the difference between these two through an interactive card game called “Fences and Rugs.”

Social Emotional
This week students began learning all about the building blocks of confidence. We began the week discussing specific tasks that we feel confident doing and the reasons why we feel confident. Students stated their confidence came from persevering through failure, practice, experience, focus, and positive encouragement from their own internal voice. Next, students discussed the feeling they get when they are displaying confidence.

Important Dates;

Thursday, April 26th 1st Kayaking & SUP Trip
Friday, April 27th Planetarium at 8:30am
Tuesday, May 1st Poet Muse Presentation at 8:15am
Friday, May 4th Grandparents Day (11:30am Dismissal)
Friday, May 4th Pass-It-On

Poetry Muse and More… April 13, 2018

Poet Muse

Fourth Graders have begun working on their Poet Muse projects. During this project, each student chooses a poet they are inspired by and learn about their lives and poetry. The culminating project includes a slideshow about their poets’ lives, a memorized recitation of one of their poet’s poems, and a poem they write that was inspired by their poet. Students are getting ready to present this to their parents and peers.

 

 

 

Science

This week, we dove into our study of the Moon during science.  After weeks of nightly moon observations, students began to see the pattern in which the moon travels throughout the sky.  Students learned the names of the main phases of the moon, and even simulated its monthly movement using a Styrofoam ball (the moon), a light bulb (the sun), and a straw. By holding the ball perched on the straw at arm’s length facing the “sun”, and then rotating their bodies counterclockwise, they were able to see the shadow cast on the surface of the moon. This was a concrete explanation of why we only see certain parts of the moon each night!

 

Centers

Twice a week, Fourth Graders participate in centers. Centers are designed to be independent and allow students to choose curriculum-related activities they are interested in. This week, students worked centers devoted to poetry! Students choose the center they want to participate in and rotate through them freely. Students had the choice to memorize and record themselves reciting a poem, draft a haiku, publish a poem on fancy paper, create titles for unmarked poems, organize and rewrite poems written on sentence strips, or illustrate a line from a poem.

Important Dates:

Thursday, April 26th                   Paddle Boarding and Kayaking at JICP

Friday, April 27th                         Planetarium comes to TCS

Saturday, April 28th                    Charleston Battery Game

Friday, May 4th                            Grandparent’s Day – Early Release at 11:30am

Friday, May 4th                            Pass It On – 5:00 at Charleston Museum

Poetically Performing! March 30, 2018

Writing About Fractions

Fourth Graders concluded their unit on fractions this week. They learned all about parts of a whole, changing fractions to decimals, adding, subtracting, and comparing fractions with like or unlike denominators, and making equivalent fractions. Then on Wednesday, students were writing on the table tops again, however this time, they weren’t writing poetry. They were writing all about fractions. Students worked on solving a real-world math problem and then they responded to their peers’ explanations by agreeing or disagreeing with their solution. Students who agreed would further clarify how the problem could be solved, while students who disagreed would write their number model, picture, and explanation.     

MAP Project Performance

On Tuesday, Fourth Graders participated in the first ever Musical Anthology of Poetry or M.A.P Project Performance at the Circular Church. The M.A.P Project was inspired by the death of poet Maya Angelou. Laura Ball, a musician and TCS choir instructor, devised the project as a way to keep the words of her poetry heroes and heroines alive while furthering their music in the classroom. Fourth Graders proudly performed, read beautiful poetry, and some even sang a few solos. The overarching goal of the project was to wed contemporary verse of living poets with the modern sounds and tools of pop music to create a new folk sound and songbook. The M.A.P songbook provided a vehicle for students to engage with modern issues, topics and current events. Fourth Graders engaged with lyrical verse and learned all about the great poetic voices of our modern era.  

Poetry Buddies

On Thursday, Fourth Graders got to buddy up with their Kindergarten pals for poetry and lunch buddies. This time, the Fourth Graders were acting as writing partners to share their poetry expertise with these little poets. Fourth Grade expert poets could be found helping the Kindergarteners add luscious language, rhymes, repetition, alliteration, and many other poetry tools they knew to a poem they created together. Then, they headed outside and got together again for lunch buddies.

Important Dates

Saturday, March 24th                  Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                       Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                         Return from Spring Break

Thursday, April 26th                     Paddle boarding and Kayaking Trip

Heartbeat March 24, 2018

Reading

This week Fourth Grade, was so excited to begin studying Heartbeat by Sharon Creech. This is a sophisticated narrative poem told from the point of view of an eleven-year-old girl. Students have learned about the elements of narrative poetry, made character inferences, and thought about extended metaphor and writer’s craft. Next week, they will be delving deep into symbolism. Ask your child what his/her favorite part of this emotional book is so far!

Science

Fourth Grade recently began a new unit in science called The Sun, Moon and Stars. This week our focus was on the Sun. Students first used a compass to locate the East/West line in our backyard. Standing on this line and facing south we tracked the Sun’s movement throughout the school day. On Tuesday, students tracked their shadow’s movement with the help of a partner. Students traced their partner’s shadow at two different times during the day. They discovered that their shadow pointed Northwest at 10am and then Northeast at 2:00pm. Students also discovered that their shadow was longest when the sun was close to the horizon and shortest when it was high in the sky.

Whole-School Writing Workshop

This week was special at The Cooper School because on Friday we had our annual Whole School Writing Workshop. This unique morning allows our youngest students to work alongside our oldest on writing poetry inspired by our Pass-It-On charity. This year proceeds from Pass-It-On will benefit I Heart Hungry Kids Foundation, which helps children throughout the lowcountry.

Important Dates

Saturday, March 24th                 Spring Planting Party 9am-12pm

Friday, March 30th                      Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                        Return from Spring Break

SCHOOL NEWS

Annual Fund Update

Thank you so much to all of you who have so generously donated to the Annual Fund. This year, to my delight, the Silent Auction raised more money than ever before. I wanted to take a moment to let you know exactly where your Silent Auction donation dollars are going…

 

 

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