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.

Jumping Right In! October 20, 2017

Backyard Toys

On Monday, scholars of every age were introduced to the first playground toy of the year, the jump rope.  At TCS, students are introduced to playground toys one by one as a strategy to encourage these creative minds to initiate inventive play. The beginning of the year is also the time to develop friendships among different grade levels through group games. Therefore, it was of no surprise that when jump ropes were introduced at Whole School Morning Meeting students were excited to experiment with all the creative uses the jump rope can offer. Once a new toy is introduced, students discuss and model proper use and care of the toy. After jump ropes, teachers will continue to introduce one toy a week at Whole School Morning Meeting. This ensures each toy is used appropriately and to its full potential.

 

Bee Study

As we continue our bee study, we are learning more and more about how honeybees affect our lives and the world around us. This week, students looked into how products made from bees directly affect our economy. To launch this investigation, your researchers studied the ingredient labels of several food and cosmetic items. We found that items such as candles, lotion, lip balm, cereal, snacks, dipping sauces, and drinks contain honey, beeswax, or even royal jelly!

 

Students also participated in a honey tasting. Six different types of honey were tasted and then described by the students. Flavor, texture, color, and consistency were examined for each type of honey. Students then had to guess which type of honey they were tasting based on the characteristics found.  Several had unique flavors and textures.

 

Reading

This week in Reading Workshop students finished Shiloh, a novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This is a dramatic tale about a boy named Marty and a runaway dog, Shiloh. One interesting aspect of this book is the Appalachian dialect that it is written in. Students investigated how this dialect is different than Standard English. We also discussed the many different types of conflict that are found in the story, including man vs. man, man vs. beast, and man vs. law.

 

Important Dates:

Wednesday, October 25th     Parent Lunch 11:15 am

Tuesday, October 31st                   Halloween Carnival ½ Day

Thursday, November 2nd      Middleton Plantation

Friday, November 3rd            Bee Presentation

Marvelous Mathematicians October 13, 2017

Math

Fourth Grade mathematicians charged full speed ahead into multiplication this week. They began by reviewing key vocabulary terms like product, multiple, and factor. The class began keeping track of multiples on the class number line. This will become extremely helpful when we begin our discussion of numbers that share a common multiple. On Friday, students played math games to help reinforce some of the concepts they are learning in class. Games play an important role in the Everyday Math curriculum. While students are learning new concepts through the math lesson each day, math games provide extra practice for students to master those new concepts. This week, students learned the game Name That Number.  In this game, students have 5 cards. Using those 5 cards, they are asked to add, subtract, multiply, or divide their numbers to reach a target number. The goal is to use as many cards as possible making the target number.

 

Reading

Fourth Grade continued their novel study of Shiloh this week. As the students became immersed in the story, the class took a closer look at Mores or social norms accepted within a group of people. Fourth Graders contrasted Mores from the story versus acceptable behavior within society today. For example, in the story staying out of people’s business is the social norm that is followed in this small town. However, in today’s society social media makes it hard to keep anything to yourself.

 

Science

Fourth Graders are quickly becoming honeybee experts!  This week, students discussed two very important bee topics, bee communication and threats to the hive. On Wednesday, students discovered that one of the ways that bees communicate is through a series of dances. The two most important dances are called the round dance and the waggle dance.  Students have been observing the bees perform these dances in the hive for a while, and now they know what the bees were trying to communicate to the rest of the hive!  On Friday, students were introduced to the devastating effects of Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon that is plaguing honeybee communities throughout our country.

 

Important Dates:

 

Wednesday, October 25th     Parent Lunch 11:15 am

Tuesday, October 31st            Halloween Carnival ½ Day

Thursday, November 2nd      Middleton Plantation

Friday, November 3rd            Bee Presentation

Busy Bees! October 6, 2017

Reading

 

This week in Reading Workshop students began Shiloh, a novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.  This is a dramatic tale about a boy named Marty and a runaway dog, Shiloh.  One interesting aspect of this book is the Appalachian dialect that it is written in. On Wednesday, we spent time deciphering this dialect and listing examples from the story. Students noticed that when the characters speak, they don’t use complete sentences when stating something.

 

Science

 

This week students learned all about the honeybee’s hive.  First, they discovered that there are three different uses of cells within the hive.  The bottom of the hive contains the brood cells where the queen lays her eggs.  Next, come the cells where the bees store pollen.  Finally, come the cells where bees make and store the honey. During Centers students carefully measured colored strips of paper and created hexagonal cells, which were then formed into a three-dimensional model hive. 

 

Writing

 

Fourth Graders are wrapping up their realistic fiction stories this week! During this unit, students learned how difficult writing fiction really is! They worked first on story planning, using charts and story arcs to organize their thinking. Students then worked with their writing partners to ensure they were showing the story, not just telling it through summarization. Next, they investigated hooking their readers with a strong beginning and concluding their story with a compelling ending. We finished the week by brainstorming a list of titles for their story. It won’t be long until these authors are publishing their pieces and signing autographs!

 

Important Dates:

 

Monday, October 9th                     Fall Break – No School

Tuesday, October 10th                   Fall Break – No School

Wednesday, October 25th             Parent Lunch 11:15 am

Tuesday, October 31st                    Halloween Carnival ½ Day

September 29, 2017

Writing

Fourth Graders have been working hard on their realistic fiction stories this week. As they continue to develop their stories, students are beginning to shift their writing focus from drafting and revising to editing. Students read through their stories looking for things like spelling, punctuation, and problems with the tenses of their verbs. By the end of the week, each student met with their writing partner to read their story aloud and gain some constructive feedback from their writing peers.

 

Science

 

Students continued learning about bees this week. Fourth Grade scientists peered into the life and caste system of the bee colony. They learned about the three types of honey bees: worker bees, drones, and queen bees. Using their iPads, they researched and recorded information on a T-chart. Students learned unique facts about each type of bee and the qualities that make them different. Students shared several facts and poignant opinions about the social injustice inside the colony. Some students were outraged that the female worker bees stayed inside the colony and were in charge of caring for hive.

 

Drama

 

Fourth Graders were excited to start drama this week! Each year we have actors from Charleston Stage come to our school to work on presentation and dramatic skills. During these classes students use their bodies, voice, and imagination to create different scenes. Students have been hard at work warming up the “tools” that actors use such as voice, body, and imagination. Fourth Grade actors and actresses enjoyed learning and playing engaging themed theater games. This year students are working on a film adaptation from, “Strictly No Elephants”. After they acted out several important scenes, they were used to make an Instagram story. By practicing these theatrical skills, students are able to gain confidence when performing in front of an audience of friends and family.

 

Important Dates:

 

Thursday, September 28th      Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Monday, October 9th                Fall Break – No School

Tuesday, October 10th              Fall Break – No School

Wednesday, October 25th        Parent Lunch at 11:15

Moving Right Along! September 22, 2017

Math

This week, Fourth Grade mathematicians embarked on a World Tour in which students apply mathematical concepts to learning about different countries. This unit is all about numbers and how they are used all around us. Students visited Washington D.C. where they learned an interesting number of facts about our nation’s capital. The following lessons reviewed place value in whole numbers and how that related to multi-digit addition and subtraction problems. Having a strong understanding of place value and number sense will help Fourth Graders move onto more complex problem solving later in the year.  

 

Reading

Fourth Graders continued reading Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo this week with a focus on character relationships and how these change throughout the book.  Students also looked closely at the author’s words, to not only understand these deep relationships, but also to understand how the mood changes throughout the book. Students have been drawing conclusions, making connections to the text, and writing each day in response to what they have read.

 

Movement

On Tuesday, Fourth and Fifth Grade joined together for Movement. Students were taught a new game called Alaskan Baseball. Each team worked together by communicating and encouraging each other to pass the ball quickly but with care.  Everyone had a blast! Students used collaboration skills to take turns throwing the ball and naming each player on their team in order to score a “run”. In the end, both teams tied due to the dedication and hard work showed by each player.

 

Important Dates:

 

Thursday, September 28th           Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Monday, October 9th                     Fall Break – No School

Tuesday, October 10th                   Fall Break – No School

Fabulous Fourth Grade! September 15, 2017

Everyday Math

 

Fourth Graders have just completed their first math unit of the year. This unit focused on learning geometry concepts such as lines, angles, and polygons. Students learned about parallel line segments and polygons (such as equilateral triangles and different types of quadrilaterals). Through this geometry study, students were able to classify and sort shapes based on their various properties. Math scholars used compasses to make concentric circles and even constructed an inscribed square with all sides the
same length.

 

Vocabulary

 

Fourth Grade Wordsmiths love exploring and learning new words! Vocabulary Workshop gives students the chance to delve deeper into words they have known as well as learning new words. The highlight of the two-week study of twelve words is acting them out! Students show their deep understanding of words by portraying them silently with actions. Guessing also requires knowledge of the word meanings, as students must explain why that action connects to that word. 

 

Science

 

This week, scholars (literally) took a closer look at bees. First, they learned that every bee has three simple eyes and two compound eyes. They learned that a bee’s compound eye is made up of thousands of photoreceptors, and that bees are able to see ultraviolet colors. Due to this, certain flowers are illuminated in a way that leads the bee directly to the plant’s nectar. Next, students learned about the anatomy of a bee. They investigated different parts of the bee by using a microscope to see the tiny hairs that grow all over the bee’s body. Students were most excited to compare different types of bees to one another.

 

Important Dates:

 

Saturday, September 16th    TCS Yard Sale 8am – 10:30am

Sunday, September 17th       New Parent Social 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 28th    Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Making Each Moment Count! September 8, 2017

Math

This week during math, Fourth Grade practiced using compasses to draw perfect circles. This skill is much harder than it appears! Students learned about concentric and congruent circles, and then drew examples of these using a compass. By the end of the week, beautifully symmetrical circles were being drawn and students had developed confidence using this new math tool!

 

Reading

Scholars began the year with a realistic fiction author study. Kate DiCamillo is the author of some beloved early chapter books that many students have already read, such as Mercy Watson. As Fourth Graders, students immerse themselves in DiCamillo novels, including Tiger Rising and Because of Winn Dixie. These ravenous readers use these realistic fiction novels to analyze characters, settings, and the way they interact on a deeper level. This analysis also helps students as they begin to write their realistic fiction stories!

 

Writing

Writing realistic fiction is a big draw to these creative minds. Their imaginations are running wild, but transferring that into a story for readers does not come as easily as students expect. As we have begun our unit on writing realistic fiction, students have learned that ideas for stories actually come from their own lives. They look at their surroundings and think, “What if this happened? Or could this happen instead? What do I wish happened?”  The next step for these budding young writers… developing strong characters and relevant settings.

 

Important Dates:

 

Saturday, September 16th    TCS Yard Sale 8am – 12 pm

Sunday, September 17th       New Parent Social 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 28th    Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm

A Community of Busy Bees! September 1, 2017

Bee Study

Fourth Graders launched into one of the most exciting projects of the year, the Bee Study. With our observation hive on site and a classroom full of scientists, this is sure to be a fantastic project for everyone!  This unit began with a narrative writing assignment where students were asked to write a personal story about an encounter they have had with a bee or bees.  Also, students observed bees in the backyard and designed a plan for the diorama they will make representing their narrative story.

 

Hopes and Dreams

Your dreamers dug deep this week to share what their hopes and dreams are for this year. Our hopes and dreams are things we hope to accomplish as the year progresses. On Monday, students filled out a questionnaire about their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and favorite things about last school year.  After reflecting on their past school year, students were asked to choose a hope or a dream that they have for this school year. I am confident that the class will be successful in reaching their goals, and I look forward to helping them along the way!

 

Movement

Fourth Grade teamed up with Second Grade this week for Movement. It was all laughs and giggles as students jumped, hopped, and ran around playing the game, Evolution. Students enjoyed having a time when they get to branch out and play with students from other grades. This leads to them feeling more comfortable and confident when playing with other students from different grades throughout the year.

 

Important Dates:

 

Monday, September 4th        Labor Day, No School

Saturday, September 16th    TCS Yard Sale 8am – 12 pm

Sunday, September 17th       New Parent Social 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 28th    Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Starting Off On the Right Foot! August 25, 2017

Becoming Leaders

Fourth Grade students didn’t skip a beat when it came to seeing old friends and meeting new faces. On Tuesday, they joined First Grade and Kindergarten students for lunch buddies. These veteran Cooper kids took the lead by starting up conversations and showing them around the playground. It was heart-warming to watch them conduct a backyard scavenger hunt while sharing some of the games they liked to play when they were their age.

 

Classroom Routines

This week was all about getting to know the classroom, routines, and their friends! In order to have a great year, it’s important to slow things down and review the expectations for Fourth Grade.  Scholars modeled and practiced routines of the new classroom and grade level. This includes how to navigate through the school, where things are and how to get them, and acceptable volume levels. Fourth Graders made the transition into their new classroom with joy and confidence, ready to start a great year!

 

Class Pet

Fourth Graders were ecstatic to meet their brand-new class pet!  She is a precious fluffy, long brown haired guinea pig who has yet to be named.  This honor will be left up to the Fourth Grade students. They have already started brainstorming names that seem to fit their new buddy’s personality. Eventually, choices will be eliminated and a final vote on her name will be made. Enthusiastic owners have observed her jumping around her cage, hiding in her house, and munching on lettuce and carrots. Although she is new to the TCS community, I can already tell that she is going to feel right at home in our classroom.

 

Important Dates:

 

Monday, September 4th        Labor Day, No School

Saturday, September 16th    TCS Yard Sale 8am – 12 pm

Sunday, September 17th       New Parent Social 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 28th  Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Last Full Week – Full of Fun May 26, 2017

Science

The human body is an endless source of questions and discoveries for Fourth Graders. The more they learn about how bones, veins, and joints work the more questions they have. The focus on joints has the students exploring three types of joints: hinge joints, ball and socket, and gliding joints. And what better way to pay attention to how we use the joints in our body than to have them taken away? This week, Fourth Graders attempted to do a series of activities while having specific joints immobilized. First, we noticed how our thumb moves and is used and then did the same with our first two fingers. These immobilization activities really highlighted how much we bend and use our fingers for simple tasks.

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 books unique characters with a magical twist set in the real world is such an appealing idea and is painted so clearly in the minds of readers that it is sad when that book comes to an end. This year, Fourth Graders had the special treat of being able to watch those characters come to life in the new BFG movie! Students loved watching the movie and noticing the similarities and differences between the book and movie.

Expert Helpers

Our social emotional focus this month has been on leadership. Fourth Graders have been looking at and talking about the different qualities of leaders, different ways to be a leader, and how they can take on the role of leadership. This week, Fourth Graders took on this leadership role as expert helpers to the Second Graders working on their Bird Study Presentations. The Fourth Graders had previously helped them do research on their birds, passing on their knowledge of how to search, read for information, and take notes. Then they helped to edit and finish the final product, their PowerPoints. Second Graders had completed their work but needed help revising and editing. Fourth Graders showed their leadership skills as they jumped in to help, applying their technology skills and grammar abilities to help prepare the Second Graders for their presentation on Friday. Fourth Graders were rewarded for their work by attending the presentation and seeing the final product.

Important Dates:

  • Monday, May 29                               Memorial Day, No School
  • Thursday, June 1                              Graduation, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 2                                   Field Day, Last Day of School, 11:30 Dismissal

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