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  Ms.Smallwood
  rose
 
The 2014 - 2015 school year will be my 12th year at Cool Spring Elementary! No matter what teacher you end up with for fourth grade there are basic things you need to do over the summer to prepare your child for fourth grade:
1. Practice multiplication facts regularly.  These were taught in 3rd grade but without practice, will not be remembered by most.  Speed does count, so consider speed games after your child becomes proficient.
2. Children should read every day they eat!  By fourth grade, children should be reading chapter books.  I encourage you to become involved in library programs and engage your child with reading routines at home.
3. Encourage writing at home.  Have your child write a letter to a relative, or write and draw a picture about something special you did during the summer.  This is a wonderful way to not only capture great memories, but to also keep writing strong.
 
I have taught fourth and fifth grade at Cool Spring.  I see 4th grade as a wonderful opportunity to incorporate one of my hobbies into the classroom -- Virginia History. 
I graduated from George Mason University with a B.S. in Psychology.  Before I became an elementary school teacher, I was a manager at Xerox Corporation in both Herndon and Leesburg.  I managed the technical writing team and worked as a writer of technical literature, developed training on new technologies, and trained employees.  I changed my career by returning to George Mason University and enrolling in their Master's with initial teacher's licensure program. 
 
My classroom is full of music and movement as we work to prevent too much sitting.  Music is used in the background and also during routines to liven up the day!
 
I love teaching children, and generally try to incorporate many hands on tactics to keep the students active and getting practical experience.  I encourage a cooperative learning scenario whereby children are encouraged to work together to agree on answers and be able to independently support them.  I manage my classroom focusing on how each child's differences can be seen as "strengths," rather than weaknesses.  Respect is a key component for me both amongst each other in the school community but for ourselves.