​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.

Diverse Cultures, Solving Problems, and Becoming Better Readers May 29, 2017

Investigating Diverse Cultures

Young scientists spent time discovering the wonders and uniqueness of the Yanomama people of the Amazon Rainforest! Brave scientists took a peek at the different aspects of this traditional tribe’s culture including: clothing, food, shelter, transportation, and celebrations. Scientist enjoyed learning about this tribe’s traditional ways of living off the land and their ways of respecting nature to protect the rainforest. Kindergarteners spent time illustrating and writing about their Yanomama discoveries. One of our favorite discoveries included the fact that the Yanomama don’t eat sloths!

Solving Problems

This week Kindergarteners spent Writer’s Workshop time putting the finishing touches on their best piece of persuasive writing. Students have been writing about problems they see and offering fix-it ideas to make our classroom, school, and world a better place! Their pieces may look like a poster, song, list, petition, or how-to book to convince their reader to help. After choosing their very best piece, young writers collaborated with their writing partners to practice listening and speaking, in preparation for their final Kindergarten Publishing Party. Partnerships took turns offering each other feedback, following their practice readings. Writers were busy adding illustrations to match the words in their writing. Kindergarteners were very mindful in using true-life colors while illustrating their writing.

Reading Closely to Understand Characters

Young readers have been busy investigating story elements and discovering the ways we can observe characters in books to develop big ideas about characters’ traits. This week, Kindergarteners practiced observing characters’ dialogue, actions, and problem-solving strategies while asking themselves, “What does this tell me about my character?”. All of this close reading left us with a growing list of character traits as we analyzed characters throughout the week. Curious readers examined clues like quotation marks that help us know when a character is speaking. They noticed that they often found the word, “said” very close by when they saw quotation marks. Finally, readers noticed that sometimes a narrator tells the story as an outsider looking in on the characters.

Important Dates:

  • Monday, May 29th Memorial Day (No School)
  • Thursday, June 1st Graduation (11:30 Dismissal)
  • Friday, June 2nd Field Day (11:30 Dismissal)




Hands-On Learning May 28, 2017

Our newest science unit is a big hit! We are exploring solids and liquids and getting lots of hands-on learning opportunities. This week students explored the properties of solids and attempted to build towers out of simple materials. They made discoveries about which properties were most useful for tower building: strong, flexible, straight, and tall. At the end of the week we got a chance to explore some mystery liquids and discuss their properties. Which ones were viscous? Which were translucent? These scientists are growing their vocabularies every day!

We have been engaged in a fascinating conversation about responsibility for the past two weeks in Grade One. During our Close of Day meeting, we have been reading scenarios together and discussing how we would react if we were in that situation. Would we do the responsible thing? Would we be tempted not to? Some scenarios have been so rich that we broke into groups to role-play and act them out in front of the group in order to see differences in how groups would behave. It has been an enlightening conversation that students have continued at the lunch table and on the playground!

Author Expert Project
Students were in the home stretch of their Author Expert project this week. They put the finishing touches on their mentor-author-inspired books and on their colorful presentation boards. It has been a pleasure to see them working independently to complete this challenging work. This is the perfect project to have at the very end of the year because it truly showcases all the ways students have grown as first graders: in their writing, penmanship, research skills, fine motor skills, independence, and presentation skills. We can’t wait for our presentation on Tuesday!

Important Dates
•   Monday, May 29 – No School, Memorial Day
•   Tuesday, May 30 – 1st Grade Author Expert Presentation, 8:00am-8:30am, TCS Library
•   Thursday, June 1 – 5th Grade Graduation (Half Day, 11:30am dismissal)
•   Friday, June 2 – Field Day! (Half Day, 11:30am dismissal)

Learning New Algorithms! May 27, 2017


Third Grade mathematicians explored another new algorithm for multiplying two digit numbers this week! Students were introduced to the lattice method of multiplication. This method of multiplication is fun and has historical interest, as it was used hundreds of years ago! The lattice method is easy to use, which makes it a good algorithm, and provides Third Grade mathematicians with additional practice with multiplication facts. Ask your scholar about the lattice method!

Building Maps!

Third Grade state experts spent this week putting all of their state knowledge and research into action as they built their 3-D state maps! Scholars got to work molding clay into the shape of their chosen state then added landforms and landmarks. These busy Third Graders organized their research into an informational book about their state and are ready to share all of their knowledge next week during our State Museum! It has been an exciting week in Third Grade!

The Twits

Students spent this week reading their third Roald Dahl novel, “The Twits”, during Reading Workshop! Students practiced asking questions and recording them as they read. They know that good readers ask questions as they read in order to think about what is happening in the story. Good readers also make mental movies as they read in order to visualize what is happening in the story. Third Grade scholars chose a passage that they were able to visualize and illustrated what pictures were in their mind as they read. Ask your Third Grader which Roald Dahl novel was their favorite!

Important Dates

  • Monday, May 29 – No School, Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 31 – State Study Potluck 12:30
  • Thursday, June 1 – 5th Grade Graduation (Half Day, 11:30am dismissal)
  • Friday, June 2 – Field Day! (Half Day, 11:30am dismissal)

Last Full Week – Full of Fun May 26, 2017


The human body is an endless source of questions and discoveries for Fourth Graders. The more they learn about how bones, veins, and joints work the more questions they have. The focus on joints has the students exploring three types of joints: hinge joints, ball and socket, and gliding joints. And what better way to pay attention to how we use the joints in our body than to have them taken away? This week, Fourth Graders attempted to do a series of activities while having specific joints immobilized. First, we noticed how our thumb moves and is used and then did the same with our first two fingers. These immobilization activities really highlighted how much we bend and use our fingers for simple tasks.


There is a bittersweet feeling to finishing a good book. Fourth Graders experienced that this week as they finished reading The BFG by Roald Dahl. The books unique characters with a magical twist set in the real world is such an appealing idea and is painted so clearly in the minds of readers that it is sad when that book comes to an end. This year, Fourth Graders had the special treat of being able to watch those characters come to life in the new BFG movie! Students loved watching the movie and noticing the similarities and differences between the book and movie.

Expert Helpers

Our social emotional focus this month has been on leadership. Fourth Graders have been looking at and talking about the different qualities of leaders, different ways to be a leader, and how they can take on the role of leadership. This week, Fourth Graders took on this leadership role as expert helpers to the Second Graders working on their Bird Study Presentations. The Fourth Graders had previously helped them do research on their birds, passing on their knowledge of how to search, read for information, and take notes. Then they helped to edit and finish the final product, their PowerPoints. Second Graders had completed their work but needed help revising and editing. Fourth Graders showed their leadership skills as they jumped in to help, applying their technology skills and grammar abilities to help prepare the Second Graders for their presentation on Friday. Fourth Graders were rewarded for their work by attending the presentation and seeing the final product.

Important Dates:

  • Monday, May 29                               Memorial Day, No School
  • Thursday, June 1                              Graduation, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 2                                   Field Day, Last Day of School, 11:30 Dismissal

Flying High!



This week scholars are putting the finishing touches on their Bird Study Presentation. With all the excitement, it’s easy to forget one important piece to the project model, reflecting on what was learned. When reflection occurs, it ensures the experience is no longer isolated. It encourages insight and enhances the experience allowing for long-term connections to be made. Second Graders reflected independently on their most favorite part, least favorite part, and biggest challenges. By understanding that reflection is enhanced when shared with others, students discussed their achievements as a class.


Birds of Prey


Second Graders visited the Center of Birds of Prey Thursday and experienced the amazing world of raptors. Students gained some last minute insight into the life of different types of birds of prey. As they toured the center they got to meet sleepy Barred Owls, fast flying Peregrine Falcons, and hungry Turkey Vultures. It was so interesting to learn even more about these unique creatures and even more amazing to see these birds in action during the live bird show. It was a perfect way to culminate the bird study.


Bird Study Presentations


Tuesday morning, brave scholars displayed confidence as they shared their Bird Study Presentations to a room packed with friends and family. Children proudly discussed their bird’s habitat, unique characteristics, and adaptations. After the formal presentations were completed, students showed off their realistic bird drawings, dioramas, woven feathers, bird masks, bird’s wingspan versus their own arm span and their bird sculpture. It was quite a sight to see and a fantastic way to wrap-up our bird study unit.


Important Dates:


May 29th                                 No School – Memorial Day

June 1st                                  ½ Day – 5th Grade Graduation

June 2nd                                 ½ Day – Field Day

Africa Day!

Africa Day

Your world travelers have heard from several interesting people who have lived in or traveled to Africa over the past 2 weeks. On Wednesday of this week Mr. Noah joined us for the annual 5th grade Africa Day! This is a special time where Mr. Noah teaches us about the language, people, clothing, and food in Senegal, where he lived and taught for several years. This time culminates at lunch when Mr. Noah shares an African recipe with us, called Yassa, and we all get to work together to make dessert! Ask your child what their favorite part about Africa Day was.



Fourth and Fifth Graders continue to focus on soccer during Movement this trimester. This week we went back to some of the basics. Your athletes split up into groups to practice passing on target and shooting on target. Partners passed the ball back and forth, and for each pass that went directly to the other partner both people took a large step backwards. Passing may be even more important than shooting or dribbling in a game of soccer, and your athletes are mastering the skill! At the end of Movement, we all got together for a game of “Soccer Monkey in the Middle”. Ask your child what they love about soccer!


Field Day Preparation

Students are well underway in their Field Day preparations. As a reminder, every year the Fifth Graders are responsible for planning and organizing Field Day for the rest of the school. This year, the theme is Africa, and each Fifth Grader has chosen a game that is modeled after a famous African landform. Don’t forget that Field Day is Friday, June 2! See below for a list of games that each student is making:


Sydney – All Around Africa Obstacle Course

Sasha – Diamond Mine Scavenger Hunt

Kuffin – Rob the Pyramids!

Harry – The Big Hole Toss

Camille – Victoria Falls Cup Stack

Max – The Nile River “Nile Ball”

Jada – The Cape of Good “Balance”



Important Dates

Tuesday, May 30                               CofC Solar Eclipse Presentation

Tuesday, May 30                               Movie Night, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 1                              Graduation Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, June 2                                    Field Day, 11:30 dismissal

Swim, Story Elements, and Mathematicians May 21, 2017

Wrapping-Up Swim Lessons

Our brave swimmers completed their last swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners have gained confidence through their weekly swim lessons and helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lessons with brave and happy hearts. During Close of Day and Learning Centers this week, they helped compose a shared writing thank you letter to their swim coaches. Kindergarteners are grateful for their swimming lessons!

Readers Discover Story Elements!

This week Kindergarten readers investigated story elements to understand and analyze fiction books. Readers discussed elements including: character, setting, and plot. Kindergarten readers know to ask, “Who is this story mostly about?” to find the main character in a story. When thinking about the setting, they know to ask, “When and where did this take place?” Brave readers practiced identifying the conflict or problem in fiction stories to discuss the plot.

Growing Mathematicians

This week Kindergarten Mathematicians spent time practicing and reinforcing math skills. Students reviewed grouping and writing numbers 0-20. Kindergarteners then used this prior knowledge to show ways they can make addition fact families for the numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Small grouping helped students to really grasp the concept of addition and subtraction. Kindergarten mathematicians are quickly marching their way towards becoming First Grade mathematicians!   

Important Dates:

  • Monday, May 29th No School
  • Thursday, June 1st Graduation (11:30 Dismissal)
  • Friday, June 2nd Field day (11:30 Dismissal)

Staying Strong May 20, 2017

Heart Dissection

Fourth and fifth graders were excited, and a little nervous, to cut into the pig hearts today! Working together, each partnership got to follow the flow of blood as it enters the heart un-oxygenated, flows through to the lungs, comes back in and back to the body, fully oxygenated. They got to cut, poke, and peer at the heart with the help from class parents and our guess expert, Dr. Quinn. Students noticed that the hear looks very different in reality than it does in diagrams and that it was often hard to tell things apart. They also expressed how the blood flow process made more sense now that they were able to get their hands on it.


This week we began our Roald Dahl author study with a new read aloud and independent reading book. Our new read aloud is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and the class began reading “The BFG”. Students are enjoying Dahl’s witty sense of humor, and intricate character development. They especially enjoyed hearing his descriptions of Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee, and Violet Beauregarde, the wretched golden ticket winners in the famous “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.


Our final unit of study for writing this year is Literary Essays. During this study students are reading closely to develop ideas and thesis statements about books. They are working with a partner to dive deep into a beloved picture book to really get to know it and find evidence to support their thesis statement. These skills not only help them to become better writers, it also teaches them to become more alert readers.

Important Dates:

  • Thursday, May 25                             Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30
  • Monday, May 29                               Memorial Day, No School
  • Thursday, June 1                              Graduation, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 2                                   Field Day, Last Day of School, 11:30 Dismissal

Climbing Finale, Fantastic Mr. Fox & More Discoveries About Our Great Nation! May 19, 2017

Climbing Finale

Third Graders wrapped up our final climbing adventure this week! Students were thrilled to set and meet multiple personal climbing goals while encouraging their peers in positive ways! Climbing allowed opportunities for Third Graders to demonstrate leadership while promoting team-building as we wrap up this magical year in Third Grade! We were very lucky to have had so many volunteers chaperone and join us at and ON the climbing walls! Third Graders loved every minute of their climbing adventures!

More Roald Dahl Please!

This week Third Grade readers enjoyed our second Roald Dahl novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox! In this novel, readers practiced various reading strategies to enhance comprehension. Scholars worked to identify the “Who” and the “What” as they read, stopping periodically to name the character on a page and what that character was doing. Third Grade readers also practiced a technique called “Stop, Think, Paraphrase” to be able to retell what they have read. Third Grade scholars know that good readers keep up with a story by thinking about what they have just read and putting it in their own words!

Discovering The Grand Old U.S.A.!

This week Third Graders made more discoveries about regions of the United States. We closely examined the southeast, northeast, and western regions to identify the geography, landforms, economy, culture and people connected to each region. Scholars were thrilled to take a closer look at their state and identify the geography and landforms found in their particular state. Students took a closer look at the borders of their state as we prepare to build 3-D maps of our states and present them to Second Grade!

Important Dates

Tuesday, May 30                            Movie Night, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 1                             Graduation Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, June 2                                  Field Day, 11:30 dismissal



Happy Hearts!

Africa Guest Speakers

Who better to learn about Africa from than the people who have actually lived and visited there? That’s why Fifth Graders have a series of guest speakers lined up over the next two weeks, and this week we started off with a bang! On Thursday, Fifth Graders had the opportunity to Skype with Mr. Brian who is currently living and teaching in South Africa. Students were able to ask him questions about his school, his city, and what life is like. We also discussed the difference in time zones. Mr. Brian is 6 hours ahead of us, so when we spoke to him at 10 am it was actually 4 pm his time! Ask your child what they learned after talking with Mr. Brian.


Heart Dissection

Fourth and Fifth Graders had the amazing opportunity to dissect pig hearts this week! Each year Fourth Graders participate in a Human Body science unit. This unit focuses mainly on the bones and muscles, and since the heart is made mostly of muscle, we decided to check out the real thing! On Friday, students partnered up with each other and some adult helpers to dissect the hearts. They looked for the four chambers, the four ventricles, and several of the important veins and arteries. They located pathways for the blood to flow through the heart, and were able to feel the texture of the muscle. Ask your child what they thought about this rare opportunity!



Each year, every grade level participants in a Roald Dahl Book Study. Roald Dahl is a British writer that has written many childhood favorites such as Matilda, Esio Trot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. Fifth Graders are not only experiencing his novel, Witches, but we are also reading his memoir, Boy. We have noticed many similarities between events in his real life and events in his made up novels. This week your avid readers looked for his humor, made character inferences, noticed when the tone of the story changed, and located dialect. Ask your child what their favorite part of Witches is so far.


Important Dates

Thursday, May 25                             Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30

Tuesday, May 30                               Movie Night, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 1                              Graduation Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, June 2                                                Field Day, 11:30 dismissal


Back to School Night!

We can’t wait to see everyone at Back to School Night on Friday, August 18th from 5:30 to 6:30!  New Parent Orientation will begin at 5:00pm in the Library.

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