​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.

Bird is the Word April 20, 2018

Letter Writing

In handwriting this week, students have learned about the correct punctuation for writing a letter. Placement of those periods and commas in letter writing can be tough as a Second Grader. Students practiced abbreviations of months and writing the date properly as well as titling and addressing letters. We have another pen pal letter to write before the year is up and we are ready for round two!! We also sent an email and pictures to our Thai friends on Friday showing them our celebration here at TCS. Whoever said letter writing is dead?!

Bird is the Word

Students finally got to pick their birds this week for their final project of the year. Students first choose which category of birds they would like from the following list: birds of prey, song birds, water birds, and game birds. After some research and a lot of contemplation, students finally made their choices. Now the race is on and we are soaring!

Snapshot in a Box

During our first few days of the bird study, we recalled and wrote a story about a bird encounter that was significant to us. Over the week, that story has developed into 3D spectacles in the form of shoebox dioramas. The Tinkering Cart showed its shiny face again in the class as students used popsicle sticks, straws, wood chips, and cardstock to recreate a small moment from their story. Wrapping the shoe boxes was pretty tough to start, but some real shining moments came when students let their imaginations and crafty hands tell the story. We can’t wait to show you our creations!


Important Dates:

Climbing Wall                                  April 24

Billy, Goats, Gruff                           April 26

Climbing Wall                                  May 1  

Charleston Carriage Ride              May 3

Grandparents Day                         May 4, Early dismissal 11:30 am

Pass it On                                         May 4, 5-6pm

Climbing Wall                                May 8

Climbing Wall                               May 15

Mixing Materials and Exploring Book Series!

Mixing Solids and Liquids

First Grade scientists have been busy investigating small pieces of solid particles and comparing them to liquids they previously investigated. Scientists spent time investigating our school’s backyard to see if solid particles can be found outdoors. First Grade science partners found a wide variety of solid particles outdoors, collected them in bottles, and compared them to liquids in bottles. They were able to identify similarities and differences in the way these materials move inside of bottles. Their investigation ended with an observation to compare how the two states of matter poured from their bottles. Scientists also explored a collection of solid materials to observe what happens when they are mixed with water. We can’t wait to re-visit this investigation on Monday to observe changes! Ask your First Grade scientist what they observed during science this week!

Characters and Their Stories

First Grade readers spent the week closely investigating characters and their stories in the book series they read! These observant readers practiced getting to know the characters in a book series by investigating the title, cover pictures, back of the book and the Table of Contents. They know to pay special attention to the first chapter in a book series to identify who the main characters are, and when and where the setting of the book takes place. First Grade readers noticed quotation marks let a reader know when a character is talking. They worked hard to identify the many ways that characters share dialogue in a text, and were even able to incorporate these dialogue tags into their own writing!

Writing Books in a Series

Writers have been tackling some big work during Writing Workshop this week! They are working on writing books in a series! Through close investigation and reading of books in a series, these scholars know that when writing books in a series they must include the same imaginary characters throughout their series. As they created their first series book, First Grade writers made sure to create their imaginary character, describe where the character lives, what they like to do, how they feel, who their best friends are, and included important background information. Ask your First Grader about the book series they are writing in Writing Workshop!

Important Dates

Dock Street Theater – Thursday, April 26th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, April 27th

Grandparents Day- Friday, May 4th (10am- 11:30 Dismissal)

Pass It On-  Friday, May 4th (5pm-6pm @ The Charleston Museum)

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 11th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 18th

New Friends

Swim Lessons

Our brave swimmers completed their first swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners are going to be gaining confidence through their weekly swim lessons and helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lesson with brave and happy hearts. We can’t wait to see what they can do by the end of the four weeks!

Cheep, Chirp, Cheep!                           

Our young scientists were surprised and thrilled to discover baby chicks in our classroom on Wednesday morning. Kindergarteners marveled at the cute yellow fluffy feathers and their little bodies. They loved observing them and sharing their wonderful wonders. Over the next several weeks, students will investigate the parts of an egg, the chicken life cycle, and how to care for baby chicks! Stay tuned for more egg-cellent news!

Celebrating Ginger Palm

Kindergarteners ended their tremendous tree unit by planting a tree in our backyard. Young scientists chose the perfect spot in our school’s backyard to plant our lovely palm tree. Students took turns digging a hole, watering, and sweetly welcoming our new evergreen friend. Ask your young scientist about the “newest member” of our Kindergarten class!    

Important Dates:


  • Thursday, April 26th  Dock Street Theatre 
  • Friday, April 27th  Swim
  • Friday, May 4th Grandparents Day/Pass It On
  • Friday, May 11th  Swim



Preparing for our Presentation!

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.

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

Land Ho!


Land Ho! This week students began reading a historical fiction book, Pedro’s Travels. Students have been following the story of a young boy who sets sail with Christopher Columbus. Students are focusing on reading comprehension strategies and creating a timeline of his voyage. Also, students began doing intensive research on an explorer of their choosing to take notes and write a research essay. Students are reading articles, texts and non-fiction books to compile their research. Ask your child what explorer they are researching!



This week students have compiled their research on the pros and cons of chocolate milk. Students have chosen their position and written a persuasive letter to the opposing side on why or why not chocolate milk should be served in schools. Students focused on adding quotations from sources, using transitional phrases, and their opinions into a five-paragraph letter. In part two of the unit, students will continue to work on building their position and turn their letter into a persuasive essay.



During Morning Meeting this week, students focused on discussing self-confidence. Last week, students wrote goals for the end of the school year to build their confidence for middle school. This week, students wrote notes to their friends on how they can help them with their goals. Students discussed how self-confidence of others can be boosted by words of encouragement and excitement. Ask your child how they can boost their self-confidence?

Important Dates

April 26th– Kayaking/SUP

May 4th– Grandparents Day 10am-11:30am (Early Dismissal)

May 4th– Pass It On- 5p.m. Charleston Museum

May 3rd– Kayaking/SUP

May 10th– Kayaking/SUP

May 17th– Kayaking/SUP

May 20th– End of the Year Picnic

May 28th– Memorial Day – No school

May 31st– Graduation

June 1st– Field Day

New Science Friends


We have had some new friends join us this week for science… crayfish! Third Graders have been thrilled to observe and care for these crustaceans as part of our Structures of Life unit. The focus of observation this week has been on what structures make up these unusual creatures’ bodies. Students have noticed a variety of important features and have even learned how to tell apart males and females based on the number of swimmeretts on their tails. Our next focus will be to investigate the functions of these structures.


Once upon a time in Gerbil Land… is the beginning of just one of the many adaptations that Third Graders finished this week. Students worked hard to write a new version of either Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Billy Goats Gruff. After finishing, students were excited to share with their class in a mini publishing party. Now, students have selected a new fairy tale to work on, such as Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, or Jack and the Beanstalk. Ask your student what fairy tale they have chosen to adapt this time!

Social Emotional

This trimester, we are focused on confidence. Third Graders began by thinking about areas or activities that they feel confident in. With these in mind, we brainstormed where we think confidence comes from. Students had a variety of ideas, including prior experiences, motivation or encouragement from others, and a positive attitude. They were able to discuss how practicing leads to success and how success makes you feel confident. The conversation then shifted to how it feels when you are confident and how that feeling can motivate you to do even more!

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, April 24      Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30
  • Thursday, April 26    Three Billy Goats Gruff, 9 – 11
  • Tuesday, May 1          Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30
  • Friday, May 4            Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, May 4            Pass It On, 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 8         Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30
  • Tuesday, May 15       Climbing, 11:30 – 2:30



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.





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!



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

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

This week, First Grade scientists spent time investigating a variety of solids including; cornmeal, rice, lima beans, pinto beans, and mung beans. These scholars compared this group of solids to liquids they have previously investigated, by observing what happens when each one is poured into different containers. First Grade scientists discovered that solids can be poured like liquids but do not flow in the same way. They learned that these “bits and pieces” of solids are known as “particles”. Science partners collaborated to find ways to separate different combinations of particles using screens of different sizes. Ask your First Grade scholar how they extended their particle investigation by creating artwork out of “bits and pieces”!

Math Explorations

During Math Explorations this week, scholars collaborated as they solved and designed hands-on pattern-block puzzles to find fractional parts of figures. Math partners shared ideas about the numbers that express the relationship between the pattern blocks and the larger shapes being explored. First Grade mathematicians used geoboards to build symmetrical shapes and divided the shapes into equal parts. These hands-on and manipulative rich activities help deepen First Grade mathematicians’ understanding of fractions and fractional parts of whole shapes in fun and engaging ways!

Writing Realistic Fiction Stories

First Grade writers were thrilled to dive into a new writing unit as we launched our writing of realistic fiction during Writing Workshop this week! Students tapped into their imaginations to create characters with problems that need to be solved in the stories they wrote. These brave writers learned several ways to bring their characters to life, by unfreezing people in their stories and having them talk and move throughout the story. First Grade writers know to tell their stories bit by bit in order to paint pictures with their words. Finally, First Grade writers are also working on bringing out the inside of their characters by explaining how they feel and making them think throughout the story.

Important Dates

French Party – Monday, April 16th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, April 20th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, April 27th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 11th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 18th

Dock Street Theater – Thursday, April 26th

Once Upon a Time


Students were excited to launch into our Fairy Tale Unit! This week, students have been reading and enjoying a wide variety of classic fairy tales. They have been studying the elements of fairy tales, including the characters, setting, magical elements, and the presence of things that come in threes. Students have learned about the oral tradition of fairy tales and the famous authors who wrote them down, including the Brothers Grimm. Students have especially enjoyed reading the many variations of fairy tales, and analyzing the changes that authors make. Fairy Tales are best enjoyed as a shared experience, so we have brought in some other teachers to share tales they enjoy. Share your beloved fairy tale with your student!


Using their knowledge of classic fairy tales, and their investigations into variations that authors have written, Third Graders have begun to write their own fairy tale adaptations! For the first part of this unit, students have been closely analyzing the many ways that fairy tales can be changed while keeping the base story intact. Through changing the character, setting, details, event, or motivation of the story, they can create a domino effect that changes the story in unexpected ways. To start with, students have chosen to write a variation of Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Billy Goats Gruff.



We began a new unit in math this week, all about fractions! Students have been working to understand basic fractions as they apply to breaking one whole object into pieces or one whole group into smaller groups. They have begun to understand the importance of knowing what the whole is before being able to find the fractions. Through activities, games, and hands-on manipulation, Third Graders have continued to increase their understanding of fractions.


Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, April 24                  Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30
  • Thursday, April 26                Three Billy Goats Gruff, 9 – 11
  • Tuesday, May 1                     Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30
  • Friday, May 4                         Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, May 4                         Pass It On, 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 8                     Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30        
  • Tuesday, May 15                   Climbing, 11:30 – 2:30


Early Bird Gets the Worm

Cooper Village Cinema

The village is back and the cameras are rollin’. Once again, Second grade shined as they recited their speeches, adjusted their ties, and made Cooper School history. After a dash of make-up and a pep talk from the camera crew, the villagers took the stage with more confidence than we had seen all year. Students spoke about collaboration and project-based learning with ease and full smiles. Seeing the project complete again with everyone back in their roles and elevated moods, made it seem like we’ve never stopped being a village, and always will be.

Song Kran Celebrations

Friday afternoon marked the first day of the famous Thai New Years celebration called Song Kran. Students got their first taste of Thai culture and food as they sampled traditional treats, mangos, and coconut water from Thailand. Adorned in colorful Hawaiian style shirts, students created Thai art and got a little wet too. Water is very important in the celebrations as it washes away bad juju from the previous year and brings health and good fortune. Students loved getting wet and sharing in the spirit of our penpals!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Our final culminating project of the year kicked off this week and we are up to our talons in avian excitement! We started the week learning about parts of a book like the Glossary, Index, and Table of Contents. There are a lot of birds out there and to navigate these bird bibles you’ve got to be sharp as a tack! On Wednesday, we introduced student bird journals where students keep tabs on what birds they’ve seen by drawing pictures and diagrams and also taking notes. We have covered a lot in our first week from seasonal migration to mating dances to birds of prey. Encourage your kids to go outside, look up, and take note of what they spot!

Important Dates:

Field Trip: Billy, Goat, Gruff-               April 26, 9:30am, Dock St. Theatre

Grandparents and Special

Friends Morning-                                  May 4, 9:30-11:30. (11:30 dismissal)

Pass-it-on Poetry Celebration-           May 4, 5-6pm





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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The Cooper School