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​The Cooper School is a private, independent, non-sectarian school that values the participation of families from diverse backgrounds. Founded in 2007, The Cooper School is a 501(c) 3 non-profit institution. The Cooper School offers an exceptional holistic education for children grades K-5. Academic excellence, stewardship of the environment, activity, and creativity are hallmarks of the Cooper School Curriculum.

Book Reports with Reading Buddies! December 15, 2017

Story Elements and Book Reports

First Graders have been busy analyzing story elements during Reading Workshop. First Grade friends have been paying special close attention to the characters in the books they are reading. They know to take notice when a character has a strong feeling, and to think about what is happening in the story to make him or her feel this way. Brave readers know to pay attention when their character encounters a problem, and notice how they try to solve it. This can teach us a great deal about our characters! First Grade friends have been practicing telling the important things that happen to the main character in order, and then saying how the main character felt about the things that happened. We are wrapping up our study of Story Elements by writing and presenting book reports! We will celebrate this hard work by sharing our book reports with Fourth Grade Reading Buddies!

 Addition Fact Power

First Graders are working on their Addition Fact Power! Addition Fact Power is the instant recall of sums of one-digit numbers without stopping to figure them out. First Grade mathematicians are learning that having Fact Power is like being a good reader. Reading is easier and more enjoyable if you recognize many words automatically. These scholars are finding out that the same is true of number facts! First Graders are discovering that solving problems is easier if you automatically know the sums of two numbers from 0 to 9. One strategy that students learned is to look for patterns in the numbers they are adding. For example, in doubles facts, both numbers being added are the same and their sums are even! Brave mathematicians are sharpening their Addition Fact Power through games and practice during math time and learning centers!

What is a Biome?

First Grade friends spent time learning about biomes this week during Social Studies. They discovered that a biome is a community of plants and animals in a large geographical area with the same climate and soil. These curious scholars were able to identify the different parts of a biome, which include: energy, air, water, plants, animals, and soil. First Graders were thrilled to learn that all energy comes from the sun and participated in hands-on activities to examine the flow of energy through food chains. Ask your young scholar what they learned about biomes this week!

Important Dates

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

Thursday, December 21st    Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd         Winter Break Begins

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

 

What’s the Point?

     This week in Math, Second Grade has been practicing identifying points. We’ve learned how to label points and write their mathematical symbol. Students explored these points with straightedges to connect points to make line segments. Using a straightedge, or ruler, can be super tricky, but we are practicing being precise! On Thursday, we examined parallel lines and quadrilateral shapes. Practice at home by having your child connect points to make shapes. Don’t forget to label each point!

Indigenous to the Lowcountry

    Curiosity is soaring with our lessons and discussions of the Kiawah Native Americans. This week, Second Graders discovered the materials that were used to make their beehive-shaped shelters. We learned that the Native Americans used their natural resources to build everything! This includes palmetto trees and leaves, skins of local animals, and mud from the Kiawah (now Ashley) River. Later in the week, we discussed the food and diet of our local (yet extinct) friends. How do we know the Kiawahs loved oyster roasts? Well, English settlers found huge piles of shucked oysters upon arrival. They also gathered local berries and hunted birds, squirrels, deer, and rabbit. They even had cast nets for shrimp and crabs! Students made the connection that their diet and food choice directly related to their natural resources found in our Lowcountry.

Mind over Matter

     Our daily mindfulness practice has continued to be a favorite activity among our Second Grade students. Each week, the Zen Master is learning how to lead breathing and movement activities. Earlier in the week we practiced eating raisins mindfully! By slowing down and focusing on each detail of the raisin, or any food, we can begin to notice new things about the food we put in our bodies. Mindfulness is all about paying attention on purpose. We asked students to use their hippocampus to connect an old memory with the new one forming (eating the raisin). One student shared, “I remember eating Raisin Bran when I was 5!” Try this at home with any food!! Ask them what they notice when they eat with all their senses activated.

Important Dates:

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

Thursday, December 21st                    Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd                        Winter Break Begins

Thursday, January 4th, 2018                Return to School

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Busy Workers

Science

This week in Science, Third Graders got to choose an independent investigation to conduct about water. Students pursued their interests by asking a question that they want to find the answer to. Some students decided to work together in partnerships to explore their similar interests. Students have selected things such as, “How does the moon affect the oceans?” and, “Is it possible to make an ice cube sink?”. Next week, students will present their findings to the class as the final celebration of our study of water.

Math

Third Grade Mathematicians have been very excited to be learning about multiplication. We have been focusing on the importance of knowing multiplication facts quickly, just like we know our addition facts, as well as the relationship between multiplication and division. Using patterns and repeated practice with multiples, Third Graders are on their way to knowing their multiplication facts.

Holiday Migration

Every year, The Cooper School teaches about the many different holidays that occur this time of year during Whole School Morning Meeting. This is a wonderful way for students to be exposed to cultures and celebrations from around the world. Each year, we select a common theme that connects these celebrations. This year, TCS is focusing on light and how light is used and represented in the many winter holidays. During Whole School Morning Meeting, students will be learning about St. Lucia Day, Los Posadas, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice. Each of these holidays, celebrated in various places around the world, use light as a part of their celebrations.

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, December 20th          Polar Express Movie Night 5-8
  • Thursday, December 21st               Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, December 22nd                   Winter Break Begins
  • Thursday, January 4th, 2018         Return to School
 

Migrating through the Holiday Season!

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

Non-Fiction, Games, and A Special Guest

Non-fiction

Kindergarten readers were thrilled to start a new reading unit on informational texts. They compared fiction books to non-fiction books and discovered several key features of non-fiction books. Readers noticed when looking at non-fiction books that they found real pictures, diagrams with labels, bold words, and facts & information that are true. Readers learned to examine book covers as a strategy to activate background knowledge before diving into a non-fiction text.

Math Games

This week, Kindergarten mathematicians have had “fun” learning math skills by playing lots of different games. Kindergarteners have learned how to play Monster Squeeze, Top It, Teen Frame Game, Card Games, Buzz, and Race to the Finish. Games are an integral part of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum because it gives students opportunities to explore fundamental number concepts, such as the counting sequence, one-to-one correspondence, and computation strategies. Engaging mathematical games encourage students to explore number combinations, place value, patterns, and other important mathematical concepts. Furthermore, they afford opportunities for students to deepen their mathematical understanding and reasoning. Ask your Kindergartener what math game is their favorite!

Guest Visitor

On Wednesday, building enthusiasts got the opportunity to meet Graydon’s dad, Brent, who is a community developer. Kindergarteners learned that to create and build a development you must work as a team and have good communication skills. Our visitor brought in a modeled scale of the development to share with the children. Kindergarteners learned where the roads, parks, and houses go. Building experts were delighted to see and touch wood models of houses of all sizes that they got to place in the neighborhood. Mr. Brent then had the children pick one wood model for them to keep and bring home. Ask your Kindergartener what they learned from Mr. Brent.

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, December 20th Polar Express Movie Night 5-8
  • Thursday, December 21st      Pajama Day 11:30 Dismissal
  • December 21st –January 3rd Winter Break
  • Thursday, January 4th    School Resumes

Planes, Buddies and Holidays!

Science

Did you know that 5th Grade has gone through piloting school and they are now flying their own planes?  We are not short on adventures in this classroom!  As part of our Variables science unit, your investigators constructed Foss planes and connected them to a flight line made from fishing line, two chairs, and some tape.  The challenge was to figure out the minimum number of winds needed on the propeller to get the plane across the flight line.  It was a difficult task with many hiccups and lots of problem-solving!

Lower Grade Buddies!

Your leaders were lucky to spend lots of time with their 4th Grade friends this week! We played kick ball during Movement with our Fourth Grade friends and also had lunch buddies with them throughout the week. These opportunities are so important for both groups. Spending time with the Fifth Graders is exciting for the younger grades and it promotes leadership in our Fifth Graders at the same time. Ask your child what new friendships they enjoyed the most this week!

Holiday Migration

Every year, The Cooper School teaches about the many different holidays that occur this time of year during Whole School Morning Meeting. This is a wonderful way for students to be exposed to cultures and celebrations from around the world. Each year, we select a common theme that connects these celebrations. This year, TCS is focusing on light and how light is used and represented in the many winter holidays. During Whole School Morning Meeting, students will be learning about St. Lucia Day, Los Posadas, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice. Each of these holidays celebrated in various places around the world, use light as a part of their celebrations.

 

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

Thursday, December 21st           Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd                 Winter Break Begins

Thursday, January 4th                  School Resumes

Holiday Choir Concert December 8, 2017

Kiawah Native Americans

     Did you know that there was once a tribe of Native Americans indigenous to modern Kiawah Island? Well, Second Grade students at TCS are learning their riveting tales of celebrations and sorrow. Students are examining the six main elements of this tribe’s culture: food, shelter, people, celebrations, transportation, and clothing. We will be delving into this rich history over the next few weeks, analyzing how they lived off the land and what resources were used in the Lowcountry around the 17th century. 

Holiday Choir Performance

     On Friday, our school performed a holiday Choir Performance at the Circular Church downtown. Ms. Hazel led students through folk and holiday classics, filling the beautiful cathedral with echoes of harmony and melodies of the season. Second Grade had their time in the spotlight, as well as three brave vocalist solos, during a heart-warming version of “Barnyard.” It was definitely a highlight of the show for all in attendance.

Author Study for Readers Workshop

      This week we started a new author study of famed children’s book author, Mem Fox. This Australian native is renowned for her picture books featuring animals indigenous to Australia. This pairs well with our recent Social Studies unit where we have been learning about continents, countries, and biomes of the Earth. Our Second gGraders love her stories about wombats, kangaroos, and koalas!

 

Important Dates:

Thursday, December 14th      Parent Coffee (8am)

Thursday, December 21st      Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd           Winter Break Begins

 

We are becoming Independent!

Buildings

This week building experts investigated what is special about our building and drew a picture of TCS. Kindergarteners enjoyed having guest speakers come teach about the process of building a home, including the materials that are used and how to draw a blueprint. Students have enjoyed many hands-on experiences with tools that builders use and examined tools that designers use when designing buildings.     

During learning centers, your Kindergartener has built famous buildings and structures using a variety of wooden blocks. Building enthusiasts have pretended to be construction workers in the imagination station and loved digging in sand with toy construction vehicles. Ask your Kindergartener what they liked best about learning centers.

Growing Our Independence

 This week scholars began looking at the many ways that we can be independent at school. Kindergarteners started the discussion of independence by brainstorming what independence looks like and sounds like. They discussed ways they can be independent by completing personal tasks like putting their shoes on or hanging their tote on their hook. During Morning Meeting, brave learners shared ways they can be independent both at home and at school. These were stated in “I can” statements. These independent scholars now know they can demonstrate independence in the classroom by referencing charts on the wall for information, using snap rings to write tricky words, and using the strategy “Ask 3 Then Me.” Ask your independent Kindergartener how they are independent at school.

Writing For Readers

This week, your Rainbow Writer was busy learning to write true stories. Kindergarteners learned that a true story has to have three elements, who is in the story, what happened, and where does the story take place. Writers learned different strategies to help make their writing more readable. These strategies tie in with our theme of independence. Kindergarteners can now use a checklist to see if their writing has all the elements it needs, a vowel chart to help make their writing more readable, and snap ring words to help write those tricky words.

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, December 20th Polar Express Movie Night 5:00-8:00
  • Thursday, December 21st Pajama Day 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, December 22-Wednesday, January 3rd Winter Break
  • Thursday, January 4th School Resumes

Measurement, Citizenship, and Health

Measuring Away!

First Grade Mathematicians have spent the week exploring measurement during math! Scholars investigated rulers and measuring tapes to make discoveries about inches. They know that an inch is about as long as a small paperclip. First Graders used this knowledge to make estimates about the length of objects around our classroom. Friends even took turns measuring each other, and built a class graph to show the heights of all students in inches! Ask your First Grader how many inches tall they are!

Citizenship and Our Country

 This week, First Grade scholars took a closer look at what it means to be a good citizen. These kind friends know that a citizen is anyone who lives in our country and that to be a good citizen, you look out for each other and the world we live in! Young scholars learned about the people who lead our country, state, and town. They know that a president, governor and mayor are all leaders who help keep people safe and make sure people follow laws. First Grade citizens explored symbols of our country and even practiced The Pledge of Allegiance.

Keeping Our Bodies Healthy

 First Grade friends took time this week to re-visit ways to keep our bodies healthy. First Graders enjoyed Morning Meeting discussions about the steps to take in order to effectively wash their hands. These health-conscious children know to be sure and get their hands good and sudsy, and then sing their ABC’s while washing their little hands. First Graders enjoyed class read-alouds about the many ways that germs can spread, and reviewed steps that can be taken to help prevent the spread of germs!

Important Dates

Thursday, December 14th    Parent Coffee (8am)

Thursday, December 21st    Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd         Winter Break Begins

 

Fractions, Lifeboats and Lunch Buddies!

 

Awesome

Holiday Concert!

      Go Fifth Grade!

 

 

 

Math

Fractions are fun! This week students began Unit 5 in Everyday Mathematics. Students reviewed fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers. Students learned how fractions relate to division. Next week, students will be finding equivalent fractions, converting fractions into decimals and ordering fractions!

Science

Have you ever been on a cruise, cargo ship, or perhaps a sailing expedition?  Did you notice the lifeboats that were available in case something was to happen to the larger vessel?  This week your scientists built their own lifeboats and determined how many passengers (pennies) each one could carry!  To determine the exact capacity of each boat, they filled them up with water and measured the water in mL.  We discovered that the larger the capacity of a boat, the more passengers it can hold.  During our investigation, your experimenters had to control all other variables, such as condition of the seas, placement of the passengers, and shape of the boat.  Ask your child how many passengers their boat could hold!

 

 

Lunch Buddies and Movement

This week, students have been discussing friendship and how conflicts can be resolved in Morning Meeting. Students were partnered up for lunch buddies and Movement. Students discussed their short-term goals with their lunch buddy and how their friends can support them in reaching their goals. In order to foster those friendships, we used the same buddies during Movement. Buddies worked together to compose an 8-count dance routine to teach to the whole class. We then compiled all the 8-counts for our routine to Jingle Bell Rock! Ask your child to perform their part of the routine!

 

 

Thursday, December 14th           Parent Coffee (8am)

Thursday, December 21st           Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd               Winter Break Begins

Thursday, January 4th               School Resumes

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