FOURTH GRADE

Lauren is returning to The Cooper School as the 4th grade teacher.  She is originally from Spartanburg, SC and has been living in Charleston for 6 years.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2012 and her M.A.T. in Elementary Education from College of Charleston. Lauren enjoys integrating the arts into all subjects as well as meaningful fun learning experiences for students. She is so excited to be back at The Cooper School this year full-time!  During her spare time, Lauren enjoys cooking, going to the beach and walking her dog, Brie.

February 15, 2019

Celebrating Friendship!

Fourth Graders celebrated friendships in our class by joining forces in a creative activity. Each student made half of a heart with a special design and the goal was to find a friend in the class to match the design. Friends connected together to make one complete heart! Our class has grown together in so many ways and students wanted to showcase their strong bonds by creating these friendship hearts. Please ask your child about the meaning of friendship.

 

The Benefits of Choir are Something to Sing About!

What a joy it was to hear The Cooper School Choir perform at The Circular Congregational Church, in honor of Valentine’s Day! Fourth Graders have been practicing hard and couldn’t wait to sing for their families and the TCS community. Students have enjoyed rehearsing together since it creates a sense of teamwork and has a positive affect on their well being. The powerful combination of music and education came alive this week. Please ask your child about their experience.

 

Book Clubs: Historical Fiction Time!

Book clubs are a fan favorite among our 4th Graders and our current theme is WWII. Each book club was assigned one book about the war and are meeting frequently to discuss what they’ve learned from the reading. One book club is diving into, “Behind the Bedroom Wall,” which is about a young girl who finds out that her parents are part of the resistance during the war. The books are full of insightful plots and the conversations between club members are riveting. Please ask your child to discuss with you the book they are reading in their club.

 

Important Dates:

Monday, 2/18 February Break-No School

Tuesday, 2/19 11:30 Dismissal

Identifying & Investigating! February 8, 2019

Can you read between the lines?

Sometimes authors don’t use exact words to tell the reader what is happening in a story. Fourth Graders watched a short animated video where characters were interacting without speaking. Students were encouraged to infer what the storyline was about. The next activity was to use strategies to infer a non-fiction text. Students learned how to identify the narrator and answer multiple choice questions. Our scholars are continuing to learn different strategies to interpret stories. Students gained a new strategy for test prep, which will help them reach their goals in the short and long term. Please ask your child to identify a strategy they used to interpret the plot of a story.

 

It’s all about the Sun, Moon, and Stars!

“Each day of our lives, something utterly wonderful happens that most of us take for granted. The Sun comes up, and the Sun goes down.” We are starting the Sun, Moon, and Stars unit in Science! Our scientists have already started discovering interesting facts about the Sun by identifying its path across the sky and the pivotal role the earth plays as it rotates around the Sun. Their first investigation involved tracking the Sun’s position throughout the day, using cardinal directions on a compass. They learned all about objects in the sky and how people retrieve information about things they discover. Our second investigation of the Sun will involve shadow tracking! Please ask your child how many hours of daylight exists from sunrise to sunset, in Charleston, SC.

 

Obstacle courses can be FUNctional too!

Fourth Graders were in for a surprise during Movement, when we created an intricate relay race/obstacle course. Two teams were created between 4th and 5th Graders. The mission of the obstacle course was to inspire students to work in teams, showcase Motor Memory, follow multi-step directions, and understand time and space. The course included balls, hula hoops and cones. We had students do the following; dribble the soccer ball around a set of cones, roll a hula hoop around blocks, climb up the play structure and down the slide, take a swing on the swingset and race back to the starting line. Once a team member went down the slide, the next one in line could start their turn. Please ask your child about their experience in the relay/obstacle course.  

 

Important Dates:

Thursday, 2/14 Valentine’s Day Concert

Monday, 2/18 February Break-No School

Tuesday, 2/19 11:30 Dismissal

 

February 1, 2019

  

The Art Walk at TCS!

The Art Walk is a unique and wonderful experience for The Cooper School community. Our fantastic art teacher, Kerry Bevers, works with your little Monets and Picassos each week, creating masterpieces. Student work is mounted and put on display by an array of volunteers, students practice speaking about their art and write thoughtful artist statements. Finally, the Art Walk arrives! Families move through the building, taking in all of the extraordinary artwork that decks the halls.

This year, The Cooper School Art Walk was impressive! Students from Kindergarten to 5th grade displayed amazing talent in various forms of artwork, from Line-Variety Name drawings, Doodle Flowers with paint tints, Greek Theater Masks & Ice Cream Cone sculptures. It was great to see many of you at the Art Walk. All the Fourth Graders were proud to display their works in the gallery format and view their published Artist Statements.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and participate in this celebration of beauty, hard work and talent by everyone involved.

 


It’s Time to 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 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.

 

 

 

Compliment Books!

This week students worked hard to complete 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?

 

Important Dates:

Thursday, 2/14 Valentine’s Day Concert

Monday, 2/18 February Break-No School

Tuesday, 2/19 11:30 Dismissal

 

January 25, 2019

Number the Stars!

Fourth Graders had a memorable experience at Number the Stars performed by Charleston Stage! Students were able to witness an emotional performance from the actors at The Dock Street Theater. Here is a synopsis of the backstory of the play. “As German troops begin to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend Ellen Rosen. Through Annemarie’s eyes, audiences watch the Danish resistance help almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark—more than 7,000 souls—escape across the sea to Sweden.” Please ask your child about their reaction to this powerful play.

 

 

Welcome to Independence Hall!

     

Fourth Graders wowed the crowd at the American Revolution presentation. The fierce debate featured the Loyalists versus Patriots in a battle for independence! Each student chose their topic and then researched critical information to enhance their arguments. Our scholars rehearsed their opening statements and rebuttals with tireless energy. Students honed their pubic speaking skills and gained confidence in many areas, including, engaging with an audience, paying attention to body language, thinking positively and coping with nerves.

     

In order to fully embrace the American Revolution, students showcased their knowledge by creating informational books about their selected topics. Each book is a reminder of the creativity and dedication to learning about the events and people of this time period. Our debate symbolized a historical moment that will always be remembered at TCS. Please ask your child how they prepared to get into character for the debate. Thank you for coming to see the presentation!

 

Important Dates:

Thursday, 1/31 Art Walk

Thursday, 2/14 Valentine’s Day Concert

Monday, 2/18 February Break-No School

Tuesday, 2/19 11:30 Dismissal

January 18, 2019

    

Owl Pellets Anyone?

In conjunction with our study of the human body, 4th Grade dissected owl pellets. Working in partnerships, students carefully dismantled these pellets to find that they were filled with small rodent bones. Students were amazed by how many bones were found within one pellet and how delicate these tiny bones were. Once the bones were separated from the pellet, students were tasked with re-assembling the skeleton with the help of a small rodent diagram. Please ask your child about their observations of the dissection.

 

The Final Stages!

When you think you are done, you have just begun! This week, students were working on the final stages of their information books about the American Revolution. While developing informational writing skills, Fourth Graders picked their final topic based on their interests of the events and historical figures after 1775. Students brought their research to life by adding text features, opinions and narrative stories to their rough drafts. Students revised subtopic chapters and peers edited their classmates’ work. You will surely be impressed by their work at the presentation next week.

   

It’s Time To Move Your Arms And Legs!

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. Ask your child about the challenges of creating each model!

 

Important Dates:

Monday, 1/21 MLK Day No School

Tuesday, 1/22 4th and 5th Grade Field Trip-Number the Stars Play

Wednesday, 1/23 4th Grade American Revolution Presentation

Thursday, 1/31 Art Walk

 

January 11, 2019

2019: Words of the Year!  

Happy New Year! Fourth Graders leaped into 2019 with a fresh take on academic and personal aspirations! Each student thought carefully about one word to describe a goal for the new year. Their creative minds were coming up with inspirational ideas. Here are a few of those magical words; Believe, Strong, Respond and Challenge. Once students chose their word for the year, they created a short passage, which explained the meaning behind the word. Ask your child about the meaning behind the word they chose and how they are going to incorporate it into their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

S.M.A.R.T.  Goals!

Our budding goal setters have soared to new heights as they smartly chose courageous goals for 2019! These S.M.A.R.T. goals hold specific meaning. S stands for specific, M stands for measurable, A stands for attainable, R stands for relevant and T stands for timely! Each student wrote down their S.M.A.R.T. goals in a thoughtful manner. Students were prompted to focus on specific goals, which allowed them to narrow down their choices. Fourth Graders had to keep in mind how to attain goals where skills and abilities are necessary. The class realized that relevant goals are goals that must hold significance and create questions of how are they meaningful. Last but not least, the timely goals set students up for success as it creates a time frame to achieve goals. Ask your child which goal resonated with them the most. You’ll be amazed!

 

 

 

 

 

Independence Takes On A Whole New Meaning!

Fourth Graders are exploring the meaning of being independent in different facets of their lives. During our Morning Meeting with Fifth Graders, both classes engaged in a whole group conversation about independence. Scholars were prompted to examine the word by reflecting on its significance. A few questions that ignited the riveting conversation were, “What does independence look like?” and “How can I be more independent as the year continues?” Ask your child to explain the meaning of independence and to share how they can be independent at school and at home. 

 

 

 

 

Important Dates:

Monday, 1/21 MLK Day No School

Tuesday, 1/22 4th and 5th Grade Field Trip-Number the Stars Play

Wednesday, 1/23 4th Grade American Revolutionary War Presentation

Thursday, 1/31 Art Walk

 

December 21, 2018

Anyone Up For An American Revolutionary War Debate? We are!

     

Our Fourth Grade scholars were diligently preparing for a class debate between the Patriots and Loyalists this week! Our classroom was setup to feel just like Independence Hall in 1776. The Loyalists were seated across the room from the Patriots. The debate began as each delegate stood in front of the opposing side to voice their argument. Their rebuttals were heartfelt and persuasive. What a thrill it was to hear them develop their counterarguments and stick to their convictions. In order to have a successful debate, timing, confidence and concrete information are key components. Each historian researched their topic on their iPad and read countless classroom books on the American Revolutionary War. Students practiced in pairs to prepare for the debate. The process of debating enhances a student’s public speaking skills, critical thinking skills, note taking skills, analytical and research skills. Ask your child which side of the debate they were on! You might be surprised.

    

 

 

Do You Know Your Multiplication Strategies? Fourth Graders Do!

Fourth Grade mathematicians have been learning different multiplication strategies to help them master problems. Students have learned partial products, partitioned rectangles and the lattice method. Students showed their mastery on the Unit 4 test by multiplying two-digit by two-digit numbers and explaining the process in words. Over break, students can practice their basic multiplication facts using their Rocket Math folders. Ask your child to demonstrate one of the multiplication strategies they have learned.

 

How Many Bones Are In The Human Body? 206 or 300?

Our students were tasked with creating a model of a human skeleton using paper cutouts and pins to connect each joint. This appeared easy at first, but things are not always what they seem. Fourth Graders needed to take a closer look at each bone to make sure they fit properly. Our scientists were then able to appreciate the full skeletal frame. One of the more challenging exercises of the human body unit, was having each student perform normal tasks such as writing, tying their shoes, coloring and zipping up coats while their thumbs were taped to their index finger. Our class had a wonderful time trying clever ways to perform each task without the use of two phalanges. Ask your child how many bones are in the human body and to name a bone.

      

 

Important Dates:

Winter Break: December 22nd-January 3rd (School resumes on January 4th)

December 14, 2018

Singing for Joy!

Fourth Graders sung their hearts out at the Circular Congregational Church for the winter choir performance! Teachers could hear students rehearsing for months and what a delight to have heard the final performance echoing through the halls of the church. Our students always love singing Bo Diddley Beat during practice, where they enjoy dancing along with the song. We loved seeing all of the parents come out to support their child. Singing provides a wonderful experience for children as they gain confidence in memorizing lyrics and keeping the rhythm to each song. Please ask your child which song was their ultimate favorite to perform in front of a live audience. 

 

 

 

 

  

It’s Time to Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Home, Monticello!

Our class had the privilege of taking part in a virtual tour of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello! We set up a Skype tour with an expert historian guide, Melanie, who was on the grounds of the estate! She began the tour by asking our class specific questions about Thomas Jefferson and then began the virtual tour of Monticello. The tour lasted 45 minutes and was chalk full of interesting facts and wonderful 2-D visuals of Jefferson’s Bed Chamber, Library, Cabinet, Dining Room and Tea Room. A few facts that our Fourth Graders learned was that Thomas Jefferson was an avid collector of Native American artifacts, which were displayed in the entry of his house. Jefferson owned slaves but wrote, “all men are created equal” in the declaration. Students discovered that Jefferson was the third president and is featured on the two-dollar bill. The reverse features an engraving of the painting Declaration of Independence. The tour wrapped up with multiple questions from our class and our tour guide was thoroughly impressed. Ask your child what they were most impressed with by the Monticello tour.  

 

 

Match the Meaning!

There is a window of time each day when Fourth Graders open their Vocabulary Workshop notebooks to discover new ways of applying our set of 12 vocabulary words to their writing and speech. “Introducing the Words” features an article that incorporates each of the vocabulary words. “Match the Meaning” is another meaningful exercise in their notebooks that prompts them to choose the word whose meaning is suggested by the clue given. As you can see, this exercise in their vocabulary notebook is challenging and inspiring. Students are additionally instructed to choose synonyms and antonyms as part of these multiple exercises. At the end of each lesson we collectively check our answers. Learning new vocabulary words is a group effort and students love showing off their hard work.  Ask your child to compose a sentence using one of our vocabulary words.

 

 

 

Pajama Drive

Next week we’ll be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  All pajamas will be donated to the Pajama Program and distributed to children in need across the Lowcountry.

Important Dates:

Friday, 12/14 3-5 Movie Night

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

 

December 7, 2018

Elementary for 800, Please!

Our Fourth Graders jumped at the opportunity to participate in Vocabulary Jeopardy! This clever game combined math skills, vocabulary comprehension, teamwork and patience, while learning their vocabulary words for the week. What a powerful combination! The class divided into two groups and the game commenced. Each team picked a pocket from the Jeopardy game board, which contained points. 1000 points was the highest either team could earn. Teams would take turns picking one of three categories: Finding the synonym, using the word in a sentence, or defining the word. The riveting game proved to be a success among both competitive teams. Jeopardy is a wonderful method of delivering educational content to classroom learners. Please ask your child which vocabulary word was the most challenging to use in a sentence!

 

    

Rebels and Redcoats Field Trip!

Fourth Graders traveled back in time during our American Revolution field trip. We spent the morning downtown at The Old Exchange and the Provost Dungeon. This field trip encouraged students to use their imagination while witnessing the start of a revolution. They were literally walking in the footsteps of legends. Fourth Graders got to visit the Heyward-Washington House and the Powder Magazine to learn more about other aspects of the British occupation of Charleston. Our class was able to appreciate the significance of these historical landmarks since we have been learning in depth about the Rebels and Redcoats. Ask your child about a highlight from the field trip! You won’t be disappointed.

 

  

(April 19, 1775) The Shot Heard Round the World!

Students had the opportunity to reenact the Shot Heard Round the World in honor of studying the American Revolution. Fourth Graders transformed into groups of Loyalists, Patriots and Undecided colonists. We acted out the scenario on the playground with great intensity and conviction. Our scholars have been reading primary sources to keep informed of critical events during the war. Students were able to study three different sections of the Declaration of Independence! Each student kept a diary in character and recorded events of the simulation. Our historians played an active, hands on role in learning about our current unit and the simulation proved to be a rewarding experience. Ask your child about “The Shot Heard Round the World!”

Important Dates:

Friday, 12/7 K-2 Movie Night

Tuesday, 12/11- Winter Choir Performance (1:30pm @ The Circular Church)

Friday, 12/14 3-5 Movie Night

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

 

A Revolutionary Week! November 30, 2018

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.

Writing

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

We made a transition to reading non-fiction texts about the Revolutionary War this week.  We have also been preparing for our “Rebels and Redcoats” study trip on December 7th by overviewing the important events of this war for independence.  Students learned what life was like for the colonists and then focused on the events that led to the beginning of the war. Ask your child about the Stamp Act or The Boston Tea Party.

Book Clubs

Our revolutionary readers are taking their interest to another level in historical fiction book clubs. Students enjoyed meeting with their club, coming up with club names and embarking on their first book. Students will gain historical insight into the revolutionary era! Ask your child what book their club chose first.

Charleston Symphony

On Tuesday, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra came to play for our students. 4th Graders were entranced by this String Quintet. The violinists played songs from “Happy Birthday” variations to “Jaws” and “Stars Wars” themes.

Important Dates:

December 7th – Rebels and Redcoats Field Trip

Friday, 12/7 K-2 Movie Night

Tuesday, 12/11- Winter Choir Performance (1:30pm @ The Circular Church)

Friday, 12/14 3-5 Movie Night

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

 

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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