Fourth Grade and the Brook Hill Lower School

From the Desk of Sandra Fritcher, Lower School Principal:

This week continues the explanations about certain grades at the Lower School. Jeanette Ponce and Laurie Dawkins work with fourth graders each day all year long, and they love doing so. Holly Savage and Paula Bickerstaff teach fifth graders each day all year long, and they love doing what they do. Here is the explanation from each grade.

Fourth Grade and the Brook Hill Lower School:

What do fourth grade teachers want to tell you about fourth grade at the Brook Hill Lower School? Mrs. Ponce and Mrs. Dawkins think fourth grade is the best! The adventure of learning through constructive activities extends all through the year. Fourth grade is a year where students apply knowledge they have been acquiring since their PK years. In fourth grade we expand spiritually, socially and emotionally, and finally academically.

Fourth grade is very important spiritually for Lower School students. The spiritual theme for the year is salvation. The students start learning about the trinity and then journey to learning about salvation. Next, we look at the character traits of good Christian role models. Finally, we end our fourth grade Bible studies with Paul’s missionary journeys. Fourth graders also help a benevolence center in Tyler that sends much needed medical supplies to foreign hospitals abroad.

Watching our students grow socially and emotionally is so exciting. At the beginning of year, fourth grade students want to grow friendships and also manage emotional issues. In order to make this happen, we start the year reading a fun book and having a juice contest. This social activity requires the students to use good social behavior and make wise choices.  We work on social and emotional behaviors all year, and then we end the year with an outdoor educational trip that includes many team building skills while also expanding academic knowledge.

A very important part of fourth grade are the amazing academic experiences available at the Lower School. In math we solidify multiplication and division facts, learn the skills of long multiplication and division, and really work with fractions. We carry place value skills to the one million’s place, using hands-on activities as well as word problems. In measurement, we learn about the different types and systems of measurement. Students then convert measurements, and use the measurements in real situations. In preparation for fifth grade, we start learning about and working with decimal numbers. In English, grammar skills are strengthened through writing many papers and/or reports. The study of Texas history starts with populating Texas and advances to present day changes. Fourth grade reading utilizes literature novels, Rigby Literacy selections, and great teacher-driven read aloud novels. In science, the students reinforce science concepts by completing many experiments.

It is obvious that being a fourth grade student at the Brook Hill Lower School is challenging, fulfilling, and really a lot of fun. We are always excited when we start a new year because we know what a full year it will be, and we know how much our students will learn.

Fifth Grade and the Brook Hill Lower School:

As the last year of elementary school, fifth grade is an important time for students to cement the skills they have learned throughout their lower school years. Mrs. Savage and Mrs. Bickerstaff think fifth grade is also a time for students to develop the organizational and study skills needed for success in the middle school. Along with these goals, fifth graders at the Brook Hill Lower School participate in many activities that are “for 5th grade” only. Two of these activities are writing and taking home a book that is all about them, as well as partnering with Pre-Kindergarten students for our I Read a Great Book Week! activities. There are also other activities throughout the year. Fifth graders complete a Christmas Scavenger Hunt around the school, enjoy an overnight field trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and participate in a community service project that provides duffle bags full of goodies for children being placed in the foster care system. There is an end-of-the-year field trip to Dallas where we enjoy an educational program and lunch at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. This is a special time for students and teachers to celebrate their final days together. Finally, we complete the year with a one of a kind promotion ceremony in which each child is recognized for his/her Lower School accomplishments, as well as individual Christ-like character qualities.

Fifth grade at the Brook Hill Lower School is more than wonderful. It is the best school to experience fifth grade!