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.

Australian Animals, Adaptations, and Assessment February 23, 2018

Australia

Students split into biome groups and began researching the animals that live in that biome. The focus of the research was to learn more about the animal, with specific attention on the adaptations they have in order to survive in their biome. Australian animals have many unique adaptations, specifically marsupials with their baby pouches. We will continue to study more about these animals next week!

 

Animal Adaptations

We began a new reading unit this week all about animal adaptations.  This is a nonfiction unit focused on reading for information and answering complex questions about the text. The big idea of this unit is to learn more about the connection between animals and their environments, especially how internal and external structures, including senses, work to support animal species’ survival in their specific habitat. The essential question that all of the articles relate to is: “How are animals’ physical characteristics and behaviors reflections of their environment?” This week, students have explored the differences between physical characteristics and behavior as they relate to adaptations. They have also looked at how adaptations are a result of evolution that happens over long periods of time.

 

Self-Assessment

 

In preparation for the March student-led conferences, scholars have begun the process of assessing their growth in Fourth Grade. During conferences, each student will discuss their strengths, goals that they would like to accomplish, and what interests them. This week, students selected sample work from Math and thought deeply about what it represented. They wrote about what they enjoy, and what they excel in doing. Next, scholars reflected on their reading progress. They selected a “Just Right” book and wrote reasons why they chose that particular book. Stay tuned for student-led conferences coming in March!

 

Important Dates:

Rebels and Redcoats                             Tuesday, Feb. 27th  

Student Led Conferences                     March 5th and 6th – Early Release                                                                        

                                                                   11:30 Dismissal

Silent Auction                                         Thursday, March 8th

Love and Kindness in Fourth Grade February 16, 2018

Valentine’s Concert

On Tuesday, Fourth Graders and fellow Cooper School students showed how hard work and focus can really wow a crowd! In front of parents, teachers, and friends, students sang festive songs with poise and skill. Hazel Ketchum led this off-site concert at The Circular Church. Fourth Graders did an amazing job showcasing their string instrument skills as a group. They played Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to the entire TCS audience. This is a talented group of musicians! Cooper School students once again proved that performance and presentation come as naturally to them as any other part of their academic day.

 

 

Australia

Fourth Graders continued their study of the amazing continent and country of Australia. During Social Studies this week, they finished learning about the desert and ocean biome and began learning all about animals that inhabit these biomes. Students also began studying the various cultural groupings which include food, shelter, clothing, transportation and traditions of the Australian people.

 

Appreciation Circle

Fourth Grade began doing the Appreciation Circle during Morning Meeting at the beginning of the school year. This is an activity where each student chooses a name (at random) of another student or teacher. Then, their job is to secretly observe that person throughout the school day. At the end of the day, the student presents their secret person with a compliment or an appreciation. For the first few months of the school year, we conducted the Appreciation Circle within our class. Recently, Fourth Grade has been choosing to incorporate other classes into this activity. I think that all students agree that giving and receiving these appreciations is a highlight to their week. 

 

Important Dates:

 

February Break/ No School                 Friday, Feb. 16th

February Break/ No school                 Monday, Feb. 19th

Rebels and Redcoats                             Tuesday, Feb. 27th  

Student Led Conferences                     March 5th and 6th – Early Release                                                                         11:30 Dismissal

Presenting Like Professionals! February 9, 2018

Compliment Books

This week students worked hard to complete their Compliment Books. After lessons about how to craft a thoughtful compliment, brainstorming possible words to use, and thinking of an individualized compliment for each student in the class, the books finally came together. What better Valentine’s Day gift could you ask for than a book full of beautiful compliments just for you?

 

American Revolution Presentation

Fourth Graders did an amazing job presenting all that they have learned during our study of the American Revolution. After researching, gathering notes, and writing a report, students crafted a narrative speech from their character’s historical perspective. On Tuesday, students presented to parents and friends at the first ever Revolutionary War Wax Museum. Students dressed-up, brought in props, and struck a pose. At a push of a button, they came to life! These statues read and told stories about their topic with confidence and enthusiasm. Thanks to all that joined us!

 

Science Fair

On Monday, Fifth Graders invited classes to visit their Science Fair. Fourth Grade friends explored a collection of unique experiments and listened closely as Fifth Graders shared their science discoveries. They were excited to learn all about fluffy cupcakes and paper napkin absorbency.

 

Important Dates:

 

Valentine’s Day Concert                         Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 1:30-2:15

February Break/ No School                    Friday, Feb. 16th

February Break/ No school                     Monday, Feb. 19th

Rebels and Redcoats                             Tuesday, Feb. 27th   

Student Led Conferences                       March 5th and 6th – Early Release                                                                         11:30 Dismissal

Dividing and Conquering! February 2, 2018

Australia

Fourth Grade began their study of Australia this week with a focus on the different biomes found in this fascinating country/continent. Within this one land mass there are 5 different biomes represented; desert, grassland, temperate forest, tropical forest, and wetlands! On Wednesday, we discussed the desert biome in detail and began to create diagrams of the terrain and the animals that can be found in the Australian Outback.

 

Math

Students learned two new division algorithms. This week’s lessons focused on understanding and developing a method for dividing whole numbers and solving division number stories. The first algorithm uses multiples to equally group the numbers constructed through number stories and problem solving. The Partial-Quotient algorithm introduces an alternative paper and pencil method to the traditional long-division algorithm. It begins with a series of “at least but not more than” estimates. The estimates are eventually added up to find the quotient. Students will be introduced to one more division algorithm before deciding which method they prefer.

 

Wax Museum

Students put the finishing touches on their Revolutionary Wax Museum this week. Patriots and Loyalists wrote narrative essays persuading colonists to join their cause and fight for freedom. They made backgrounds that will hang behind them as they read their nonfiction book to museum visitors. Researchers studied symbols of the American Revolution and they taught fellow classmates the symbol’s significance and history.

 

Important Dates:

 

Revolutionary War Wax Museum           Tuesday, Feb. 6th at 8:15-8:45

 

Bake Sale                                               Friday, Feb. 9th at 2:15-2:45

 

Valentine’s Day Concert                         Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 1:30-2:15

 

February Break/ No School                    Friday, Feb. 16th

 

February Break/ No school                     Monday, Feb. 19th

Fourth Grade Artists! January 26, 2018

The Giver

On Tuesday, Fourth and Fifth Graders traveled to the Dock Street Theater to see “The Giver.” The story of “The Giver” was originated from the author, Lois Lowry. The setting takes place in a futuristic society that has eliminated all pain, fear, warfare and hatred. However, in exchange for their peaceful existence the people have lost their ability to love or feel a sense of real appreciation for anything. Their ability to understand the real joy in life is limited. After the show, students shared their opinions about living in a world where your freedoms are taken away without consent. Ultimately, students agreed that challenges and problems lead to a greater appreciation and ability to feel happiness.

 

Test Prep

This week Fourth Graders began their specialized “test-prep” unit. This curriculum was deliberately crafted to teach students proper test-taking skills. During this unit students will learn how to identify the narrator, predict possible test questions, read between the lines, and to outsmart tricky test questions. Although it has only been a week, Fourth Graders are already showing confidence in their ability to comprehend test questions and select the best answer choice.

 

Art Walk

The Art Walk is an inimitable and breathtaking experience for The Cooper School community. Our fantastic art teacher, Kerry Bevers, works with your little artist each week creating masterpieces. Student work is mounted and put on display by an array of volunteers, students also practice speaking about their art and write thoughtful artist statements. Finally, the Art Walk arrives!

This year, The Cooper School Art Walk was impressive! Students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade displayed amazing talent in various forms of artwork, from landscapes, to symmetry studies and works in pastels and watercolors. Thank you to everyone who was able to come and participate in this celebration of beauty, hard work and talent by everyone involved.

 

 

Important Dates:

Revolutionary War Wax Museum           Tuesday, Feb. 6th at 8:15-8:45

Bake Sale                                                       Friday, Feb. 9th at 2:15-2:45

Valentine’s Day Concert                            Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 1:30-2:15

February Break/ No School                      Friday, Feb. 16th

February Break/ No school                       Monday, Feb. 19th

A Class of Bright Bulbs! January 19, 2018

Math

Students have been learning several ways to multiply two and three digit numbers together to get a product. The Partial Products algorithm uses place value to either multiply a basic fact or an extended fact. Each factor is thought of as a sum of ones, tens, etc. Each part of one factor is then multiplied by each other factor. Finally, the resulting Partial Products are added together. Students love practicing this multiplication method by playing Multiplication Wrestling. While the game is fun to practice and play with a friend, students quickly learned that this algorithm takes the most time to compute. The next two methods introduced were the Lattice Method and the traditional, Right to Left Method. Ask your child what double digit multiplication method they like best!

 

Science

Have you ever had one bulb burn out on a string of Christmas lights?  What happens?  Well, if your whole strand darkens then your strand was made using a series circuit.  If the rest of the lights stay lit, then your strand was made using a parallel circuit.  This is what Fourth Graders discovered this week during science.  After being presented with this problem, students were split into two groups to make strands of lights using a series circuit and a parallel circuit.  After deciding which circuit was best, students wrote a letter stating why the circuit they picked was the most effective for a string of lights.

 

Writing

Students are moving right along with their American Revolution information writing!  The week began with drafting “All About” sections that revolved around one focused topic, and ended with students writing historical fiction small moments.  Students have not only been focused workers, but passionate researchers during this unit. Everyday I am impressed with their depth of knowledge and excitement for the writing process!

 

Important Dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 23rd                Dock Street Theater – The Giver

Thursday, Jan. 25th              Art Walk, 8:00 AM

A Fresh Start to the New Year! January 12, 2018

Science

This week students studied more complex electrical circuits using D-cell batteries and flashlight bulbs. Students were able to build both a series circuit and parallel circuit. They were able to explain why series circuits need more energy sources to light the bulbs and why parallel circuits made the bulbs shine brighter. Students enjoyed tackling challenges such as putting a switch into the circuit to control one or both of the bulbs. They even discovered that using more than one battery makes their bulbs shine super bright!

 

Reading

The next few weeks will be spent reading and analyzing nonfiction texts written all about the Revolutionary War. During this unit, students will review key concepts such as, “finding the main idea”, “identifying important details”, and “using context clues” to understand complex words. By the end of this unit, students will master the art of analyzing nonfiction texts and identifying the features that best help them research their information.

 

 

One Word

Around the world, on New Year’s Day, people make resolutions- new goals to guide their lives. This year at The Cooper School we want our students to feel that same sense of introspective goal setting and personal improvement. Students were asked to find one word that they will focus on this year. The class brainstormed ideas like “perseverance” and “patience”. Then they created a card with this word beautifully written and on the back, each student explained why they chose that word and how they hoped it would help guide them throughout the year.

 

 

Important Dates:

 

Monday, Jan. 15th                 MLK Jr. Day/ No School

Tuesday, Jan. 23rd                Dock Street Theater – The Giver

Thursday, Jan. 25th              Art Walk, 8:00 AM

Happy Holidays! December 21, 2017

Science

After our initial attempts at building simple circuits, students used these circuits to find conductors and insulators in our classroom.  Students learned that a conductor is a substance through which electricity can flow and an insulator is a substance that stops the flow of electricity.  If an object were a conductor the motor in the circuit would start when the two loose wires were touching that object.  We found some unexpected conductors!

 

Pajama Project

This week, your young philanthropists participated in the annual Pajama Drive. Students were reminded of how lucky and fortunate we all are to have cute and comfy pajamas to wear to bed each night.  This year, the pajamas that we collected are being donated to a local organization, Lowcountry Orphan Relief. It was such a joy to see children bringing in pajama sets all week! On Friday, we celebrated our tremendous efforts by wearing our own favorite pair of cozy pajamas!

 

Holiday Migration

This week in Whole School Morning Meeting, students and teachers celebrated unique traditions and winter holidays that occur around the world. This year’s focus was light, and how each holiday incorporates light into their special holiday celebrations. Cooper School students began the week by learning about Las Posadas. We enjoyed a read aloud about Christmas customs and traditions. On our final day of celebration, students discovered how people celebrate Winter Solstice around the world with bonfires and candles to coax back the sun.

 

Important Dates

Wednesday, Jan. 3rd             No School/Teacher Workday

Thursday, Jan. 4th                School Resumes

Monday, Jan. 15th                 MLK Jr. Day/ No School

Migrating through the Holiday Season! December 15, 2017

Science

After finishing our first investigation of magnetism, we moved on to an investigation of electricity. First, students were asked to light a bulb using only a D-cell (battery), two wires and a light bulb. After a little experimenting the whole class discovered how to make a circuit. Next, students learned new scientific vocabulary words like “component” and “energy source”.

 

Writing

This week in Writing Workshop, students began learning about information writing. During this unit, students will take a topic that they know well, The Revolutionary War, and write several different information texts about different aspects of this war. This week students learned how to plan for their writing, and how to effectively research their focused topics further.  Students picked a variety of fascinating topics to write about. The classroom was abuzz with excitement as students researched and discovered things they never knew about The American Revolution!

 

Holiday Migration

This week in Whole School Morning Meeting, students and teachers celebrated unique traditions and holidays that occur around the world during December and January. This year’s focus was light, and how each holiday incorporates light into their special winter holiday celebrations. Cooper School children discovered why girls in Sweden dress in white to portray St. Lucia and light a crown of candles every year on December 13th. Students lit the menorah and played dreidel for our Chanukkah celebration. We all shared stories of how we celebrate during this season and enjoyed comparing our own family traditions. Next week, we will continue learning about the different winter holidays celebrated all around the world.

 

Important Dates:

 

Wednesday, December 20th   Polar Express Movie Night 5-8

Thursday, December 21st     Pajama Day (11:30am dismissal)

Thursday, January 4th          School Resumes

Historical Reading and Writing in 4th! December 8, 2017

Writing

Over the course of the next several weeks, 4th Graders will be immersed in the subject of the American Revolution across disciplines.  Students will be reading, writing, and participating in centers all intended to teach about the Revolutionary War.  This week students began to write information texts about a chosen topic having to do with the war.  During this writing unit, students will learn the art of doing research and how to teach through their writing.

 

Reading

This week we continued our study of The Revolutionary War through nonfiction
 texts.  Students discovered that nonfiction texts are written in many different structures.  Some of the text structures that we discussed were descriptive, compare and contrast, and chronological.  Students learned how to not only identify the different structures, but also how to organize their thoughts in graphic organizers.

 

Science

Magnetism has been on everyone’s mind this week in the Fourth Grade classroom.  Students had the chance to investigate a variety of test objects to see which ones were magnetic.  They soon discovered that objects made of iron were magnetic, and learned the concept of induced magnetism.  One interesting discovery made, was that two magnets were able to detect each other’s force through one of our wooden classroom tables! Our study of magnetism has even led students to create a “magnet museum”.  Students have found and brought in a wide variety of tools and toys that utilize the magnetic force. During centers, students are able to explore these many hands-on objects and solve how the magnets make them work.

 

Important Dates:

 

Thursday, December 14th     Parent Coffee 8am-9am

 

Thursday, December 21st     Pajama Day (11:30am dismissal)

SCHOOL NEWS

Silent Auction

Join us at the 2018 Silent Auction!

March 8th from 6pm-9pm at The Schoolhouse

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