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.

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

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March 16, 2018

Poetry

It’s nearly Spring, and at The Cooper School that means one thing…Poetry! Each year, TCS creates an amazing poetry publication and puts on a poetry performance called Pass It On. For the next month, students in all classes will be fully engulfed in poetry. They will read poems, write poems, analyze poems, learn and use poetic devices such as alliteration, repetition, rhythm and rhyme. Fourth Graders were especially excited to walk into the classroom and find poems taped to butcher paper that covered the tables. Students analyzed the poems and then responded by writing on the paper. As students switched seats or transitioned throughout the day, they read the responses and commented by leaving their thoughtful opinions. By the end of the day, students were thrilled to read each response or the comment written by their fellow peers. All and all, this is a favorite time of year for both students and staff, as the whole school falls in love with poetry.

 

Matthew Foley

On Tuesday afternoon, young poets joined Matthew Foley, a local author and poet, for a special poetry workshop. He kicked off the workshop discussing the elements of poetry. However, focusing on one particular element that often feels tricky for young writers, the element of rhyme. He emphasized that when used subtly and choosing the right rhyming words the poem becomes musical. He prompted eager writers to begin their poems with the phrase, “In my dream I saw”. Students wrote furiously all the while trying to incorporate words that rhymed. We look forward to working with Matthew again as the Pass It On season continues.

 

St. Patrick’s Day

The Cooper School’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes a look at traditional Irish poetry, limericks, and a visit from the leprechauns.  Students enjoyed hearing some silly limericks from classic poets as well as new ones. They then got to go on a “hunt” to find the present that was left for them from the “leprechauns”. Each student got a green necklace and a silly limerick to enjoy.

 

Important Dates

 

Saturday, March 24th                     Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                         Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                           Return from Spring Break

Wrapping Up Self-Assessment! March 9, 2018

Australia

All things Australian were the focus of Social Studies and Art this week.  During Art class students learned about Aboriginal Dot Art, and the techniques used to create these vibrant paintings.  Traditionally Dot Art was made using a “dotting stick”, but Ms. Kerry had the clever idea to use a pencil eraser or the flat end of a golf pencil to create appropriate sized dots.  Students chose a favorite Australian animal for the focus of their paintings and then surrounded these illustrations with dots.

 

Conferences

Monday and Tuesday this week, I had the pleasure to sit back and watch as Fourth Grade scholars led their self-assessment conferences with poise and grace. I was thoroughly impressed with their ability to articulate their growth throughout the year in each subject area.  Scholars confidently presented themselves on paper and in video, to their families. They acknowledged places where they wanted to grow further as a student, and celebrated with great pride where they had already shown amazing growth. This is a truly unique event at The Cooper School that sets the stage for thoughtful self-reflection that will last a lifetime.

 

Math

Fourth Graders began a new unit this week, Fractions. This unit begins with a review of fraction ideas previously introduced and extends knowledge by developing an understanding of equivalent fractions. Students identified the fraction of a “set of numbers” by using their understanding of multiplication and division. Later in the week, mathematicians related fractions to probability by looking at a deck of cards. The week wrapped up with students adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators.

 

Important Dates:

 

Tuesday, March 13th                     Guest Poet Writing Workshop

Saturday, March 24th                     Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                         Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                           Return from Spring Break

Fourth Grade Rebels! March 2, 2018

Rebels and Redcoats

On Tuesday, Fourth Graders went on a field trip to the Old Exchange Building, the Heyward-Washington House, and the Powder Magazine. Scholars traveled back to the year of 1781 when Charleston was under British Occupation. Their secret mission began with fellow Patriot soldiers who greeted them at the Old Exchange building. Fourth Graders learned all about where prisoners were held by the British in the dungeon. Next, they attempted the minuet, a traditional colonial dance in the Great Hall.  After dancing, students journeyed to the Heyward-Washington house where they were greeted by Mrs. Heyward. Finally, students prepared for battle by learning how to fire a cannon and shoot a musket at the Powder Magazine.

 

Kindergarten Buddies

On Wednesday, Fourth Graders were delighted to have Reading Buddies and Lunch Buddies with Kindergarten! Each student had a little buddy that they read a book with in the classroom and then ate lunch with on the porch. The best part of having a buddy is during free play. Buddies were seen running and chasing after each other in tag, some played Sharks and Minnows, while others used a jump rope to play a game of horsey.

 

Animal Adaptations

The next few weeks will be spent reading and analyzing nonfiction articles written
 about Animal Adaptations. During this unit, students are learning how to find the main idea, pick out important details, and make inferences based on word choice within the articles. By the end of this unit, students will master the art of analyzing nonfiction texts!   

 

Important Dates:

 

Monday, March 5th                              Student Led Conference, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, March 6th                             Student Led Conference, 11:30 Dismissal

Thursday, March 8th                            Silent Auction

Saturday, March 24th                           Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                               Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                                Return from Spring Break

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

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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