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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.

Battleship! December 14, 2018

Math Battleship

This week in Math we’ve been studying coordinate grids. Fifth Grade Mathematicians played a form of Battleship by trying to guess their partner’s coordinates on a grid game board. If the students guessed correctly, they won. If the students didn’t guess correctly, they had to figure out how many grid spaces away they were from the correct coordinate. This game taught students how to strategize using the coordinates to figure out a specific point on their opponents grid.

 

Talk to Your Audience

In writing this week, we discussed how to write an essay to persuade a certain audience. Students worked in groups to plan out a strategy to persuade the Fifth Grade teacher to allow certain things in the classroom or at The Cooper School. Some of the topics these writers chose were to allow students to practice typing on iPads during Centers, offer more Afterschool activities, and to allow Chick-Fil-A to deliver food to students during lunch. Fifth Grade writers made sure to use facts and language that would appeal to the teacher.

 

Vocabulary

In Vocabulary this week we had fun playing Vocabulary Video Game. Students got to choose their own game rules and avatars. Some of the rules for this game were to hop on one foot while saying a sentence that used one of our vocabulary words, act out one vocabulary word in thirty seconds, etc. Students rolled dice and moved around the game board while completing the vocabulary rules of the game.

 

Pajama Drive

Next week we’ll be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  All pajamas will be donated to the Pajama Program and distributed to children in need across the Lowcountry.

 

Important Dates:

Friday, 12/14 3-5 Movie Night

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

Kiawah Indians

Determining Value

Second Graders challenged themselves to determine the greater value of two triple digit numbers this week.  They utilized base ten blocks to determine which value was greater! For example: 365 >262. Students exchanged base ten blocks when their value became greater than ten.

Book Club Buddies

Readers were paired with their book club buddy for an exciting new project in reading workshop. Second grade readers will compare their findings and predictions while reading the same fiction book.  This process will help build comprehension through accountability, as readers make discoveries together.

Kiawah Indians

This week Second Grade studied the Kiawah Indian tribes native to the Kiawah Island area. They learned about their culture, hunting and gathering practices, as well as language. Scholars also studied the transportation, housing, and food that the Indians ate. Students partnered together to illustrate what Indians life would look like in the past and in the present.  

Pajama Drive

Next week we’ll be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  All pajamas will be donated to the Pajama Program and distributed to children in need across the Lowcountry.

Important Dates:

December 14th       3-5 Movie Night – The Grinch @ The Cooper School 5-8 pm

December 21st.      Pajama Day

Pictured Below: Second Grade read fairytales to kindergarten buddies. Second Grade performs at the Winter Choir Concert at the Circular Church.  

Singing for Joy!

Fourth Graders sung their hearts out at the Circular Congregational Church for the winter choir performance! Teachers could hear students rehearsing for months and what a delight to have heard the final performance echoing through the halls of the church. Our students always love singing Bo Diddley Beat during practice, where they enjoy dancing along with the song. We loved seeing all of the parents come out to support their child. Singing provides a wonderful experience for children as they gain confidence in memorizing lyrics and keeping the rhythm to each song. Please ask your child which song was their ultimate favorite to perform in front of a live audience. 

 

 

 

 

  

It’s Time to Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Home, Monticello!

Our class had the privilege of taking part in a virtual tour of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello! We set up a Skype tour with an expert historian guide, Melanie, who was on the grounds of the estate! She began the tour by asking our class specific questions about Thomas Jefferson and then began the virtual tour of Monticello. The tour lasted 45 minutes and was chalk full of interesting facts and wonderful 2-D visuals of Jefferson’s Bed Chamber, Library, Cabinet, Dining Room and Tea Room. A few facts that our Fourth Graders learned was that Thomas Jefferson was an avid collector of Native American artifacts, which were displayed in the entry of his house. Jefferson owned slaves but wrote, “all men are created equal” in the declaration. Students discovered that Jefferson was the third president and is featured on the two-dollar bill. The reverse features an engraving of the painting Declaration of Independence. The tour wrapped up with multiple questions from our class and our tour guide was thoroughly impressed. Ask your child what they were most impressed with by the Monticello tour.  

 

 

Match the Meaning!

There is a window of time each day when Fourth Graders open their Vocabulary Workshop notebooks to discover new ways of applying our set of 12 vocabulary words to their writing and speech. “Introducing the Words” features an article that incorporates each of the vocabulary words. “Match the Meaning” is another meaningful exercise in their notebooks that prompts them to choose the word whose meaning is suggested by the clue given. As you can see, this exercise in their vocabulary notebook is challenging and inspiring. Students are additionally instructed to choose synonyms and antonyms as part of these multiple exercises. At the end of each lesson we collectively check our answers. Learning new vocabulary words is a group effort and students love showing off their hard work.  Ask your child to compose a sentence using one of our vocabulary words.

 

 

 

Pajama Drive

Next week we’ll be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  All pajamas will be donated to the Pajama Program and distributed to children in need across the Lowcountry.

Important Dates:

Friday, 12/14 3-5 Movie Night

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

 

December 14, 2018

Holiday Migration

Third Graders were so excited to start our Holiday Migration Morning Meetings this week. This is a winter tradition for Cooper School students that makes connections between the many holidays that are celebrated this time of year. Our focus this year is on food. Students are learning about the role that food plays in the many traditions that are celebrated and they will even get to taste a few! On Thursday, students began their day with the whole school discussing the Italian holiday Buon Natale. Students enjoyed pizzelles while discussing the foods eaten to celebrate the holiday. Each day, we will be discussing different holidays around the world!

Math

Students have had a blast learning about geometry. This week we have been working on finding the area and perimeter of rectangles. Students have enjoyed measuring rectangles of all sizes, both on paper and in our classroom. The challenge this week was to figure out the best size rabbit cage they could make with a perimeter of 24 feet. This required them to draw many different rectangles with a perimeter of 24 and figure out which one had the largest area. Third Graders have risen to the challenge of applying their math skills to real life situations.

Reading

Third Graders were so excited to start book clubs this week! Students were divided into clubs with different series to read. Students worked together to determine how much reading they would do each day. They gave their clubs a name and created rules, which included making sure to read the agreed upon chapters and to not spoil what’s coming next. Students are following their characters up the story mountain and exploring how secondary characters interact. With all of this insight into characters, Third Graders have raised the level of their prediction skills, basing them on what they already know and how they think things will happen.

Pajama Drive

Next week TCS will be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  While the whole school will be donating to the Pajama Program who distribute them to children in need across the Lowcountry, Third Graders will be doing something a little different.  During our Change Makers Unit, Devon got inspired to help create change in our community. She has focused her attention on the Jenkins Orphanage (Institute) in North Charleston. Her idea is that Third Graders collect pajamas specifically for the children that are currently living there. Devon wrote a persuasive letter to convince her classmates and they agreed! Jenkins currently houses 8 girls between the ages of 12 and 18.

Important Dates:

  • December 14th- 3rd-5th Movie Night (5pm-8pm)
  • December 21st – PJ Day (11:30am Dismissal)
  • December 22nd-January 3rd – Winter Break (No School)
  • January 4th – School Resumes

 

Festive Fun!

Special Holiday Events  

On Tuesday, December 11th, the entire Cooper School community gathered at the Circular Church in downtown to perform a musical selection of well known and original songs for parents and families. It was a beautiful concert and we are grateful to Mrs. Hazel and Mr. Bob for all their hard work in Choir. Last Friday, December 7th, over thirty Kindergarteners, 1st Graders, and 2nd Graders attended Movie Night. Everyone got cozy with their sleeping bags and blankets to watch The Polar Express, eat pizza, and drink hot cocoa.

 

Amateur Food Critics

In Writing Workshop, we wrapped up our unit on Opinion Writing and have moved into Review Writing. This week, students shared their Opinion Writing pieces with peers and got compliments and constructive feedback. We discussed popular products and services that people often like to review and looked at sample reviews. Students viewed menus from various restaurants around the Charleston area for inspiration for their reviews. They brainstormed descriptive words to enhance and spice up their writing. Finally, students chose something personal to them to review. Can you guess what many 1st Graders chose to write about? Did you say food? You got it! We are salivating reading all about the delicious, salty French fries at McDonald’s, the juicy chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A, the creamy, homemade ice cream at Ye Ole Fashioned, and the frozen treats at Pelican’s Snoballs! YUM, YUM!

 

Diving Into a Character Study

We recently introduced a new read aloud text, Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan by Cynthia Rylant. It is a funny romp of a story that features a cast of memorable animals as the main characters, including a maternal squirrel named Stumpy, a hungry bat named Murray, a loyal dog named Kona, a wise hermit crab named Gwendolyn, and many others. Students are enjoying doing a character study to identify unique characteristics and motivations of each character we encounter in this delightful book!

 

Pajama Drive

Next week we’ll be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  All pajamas will be donated to the Pajama Program and distributed to children in need across the Lowcountry.

Important Dates:

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

Busy Kindergarteners

Holiday Choir Performance

On Tuesday, our school performed a holiday Choir Performance at the Circular Church downtown. Ms. Hazel led students through several songs and classics, filling the beautiful church with echoes of harmony and melodies of the season. Second Grade had their time in the spotlight, as well as three brave Kindergarteners performing solo parts throughout a song. It was definitely a highlight of the show for all in attendance.

 

Brave Authors and Illustrators Preparing to Publish their 2nd Piece

Our young authors have been busy writing small moments from their lives. Kindergartners wrote who, where, and what happened on each page. Our brave writers practiced telling a story across several pages, stretched out words to record all of their sounds, and made their characters talk by adding speech bubbles. Then, students learned to switch to the role of the illustrator as they practiced drawing pictures that matched the words on the page. Illustrators used real life colors to bring their stories to life.

 

Math Weights

This week our Kindergarten mathematicians have continued learning about measuring different weights and have started to learn about volume. We weighed cubes, pennies, and other small objects to see how many would equal the weight of a pencil. Kindergartners have been having so much fun using the balance scale and predicting what objects have the same weight. We are now studying the volume of various objects. We even poured rice into different cups, bowls and plastic containers to study their capacity.

Pajama Drive

Next week we’ll be collecting pajama donations for our annual Pajama Drive.  All pajamas will be donated to the Pajama Program and distributed to children in need across the Lowcountry.

Important Dates

  • Friday, December 14 – 3rd Grade- 5th Grade Movie Night
  • Friday, December 21 – Pajama Day (Half day 11:30 Dismissal)
  • Monday December 24 – January 3rd (Winter Break)

December 7, 2018

Elementary for 800, Please!

Our Fourth Graders jumped at the opportunity to participate in Vocabulary Jeopardy! This clever game combined math skills, vocabulary comprehension, teamwork and patience, while learning their vocabulary words for the week. What a powerful combination! The class divided into two groups and the game commenced. Each team picked a pocket from the Jeopardy game board, which contained points. 1000 points was the highest either team could earn. Teams would take turns picking one of three categories: Finding the synonym, using the word in a sentence, or defining the word. The riveting game proved to be a success among both competitive teams. Jeopardy is a wonderful method of delivering educational content to classroom learners. Please ask your child which vocabulary word was the most challenging to use in a sentence!

 

    

Rebels and Redcoats Field Trip!

Fourth Graders traveled back in time during our American Revolution field trip. We spent the morning downtown at The Old Exchange and the Provost Dungeon. This field trip encouraged students to use their imagination while witnessing the start of a revolution. They were literally walking in the footsteps of legends. Fourth Graders got to visit the Heyward-Washington House and the Powder Magazine to learn more about other aspects of the British occupation of Charleston. Our class was able to appreciate the significance of these historical landmarks since we have been learning in depth about the Rebels and Redcoats. Ask your child about a highlight from the field trip! You won’t be disappointed.

 

  

(April 19, 1775) The Shot Heard Round the World!

Students had the opportunity to reenact the Shot Heard Round the World in honor of studying the American Revolution. Fourth Graders transformed into groups of Loyalists, Patriots and Undecided colonists. We acted out the scenario on the playground with great intensity and conviction. Our scholars have been reading primary sources to keep informed of critical events during the war. Students were able to study three different sections of the Declaration of Independence! Each student kept a diary in character and recorded events of the simulation. Our historians played an active, hands on role in learning about our current unit and the simulation proved to be a rewarding experience. Ask your child about “The Shot Heard Round the World!”

Important Dates:

Friday, 12/7 K-2 Movie Night

Tuesday, 12/11- Winter Choir Performance (1:30pm @ The Circular Church)

Friday, 12/14 3-5 Movie Night

Friday, 12/21- Pajama Day- ½ day

12/22- Winter Break Begins

 

Excursions and Mystery!

Mystery Reader

We love inviting parents and family members in to be mystery readers in 1st Grade. This special tradition takes place every Friday morning. Prior to revealing our Mystery Reader, we typically read three clues to the class and allow them to guess who our special visitor will be. Some of the titles we have enjoyed hearing read aloud so far have been: 365 Penguins, The Jewel Box Ballerinas, The Book of Mistakes, The Antlered Ship, and Lost Cat. We recommend checking these books out!

Practicing Our Penmanship

1st Graders practice their handwriting every day. We use a program called Handwriting Without Tears that features developmentally appropriate, multisensory handwriting instruction for Kindergarten-5th Grade students. Research shows that handwriting is an essential skill for both children and adults. Handwriting activates the brain because it involves more complex motor and cognitive skills and contributes to reading fluency because it activates visual perception of letters. We are seeing such positive growth in scholars’ handwriting skills and demonstrations of beautiful handwriting across subject areas.

Study Trip to the Ravenel Bridge

This week in Social Studies, we have been discussing the impact that bridges have to create change in our communities by increasing access to jobs, education, and goods and services. Scholars have been studying Charleston’s very own Ravenel Bridge. We demonstrated how tension and compression work to keep bridges standing under the stress of large loads and significant weather conditions. 1st Graders identified the parts that make up a cable stayed bridge and drew and labeled their own diagrams. Together, we viewed pictures from the bridge construction and a video clip of the old bridge being destroyed. On Thursday, December 6th, we ventured off on our first study trip of the school year, a water taxi ride under and around the magnificent Ravenel Bridge and explored the areas on both the downtown Charleston side and the Mount Pleasant side. The weather was chilly, but bright, sunny, and clear, and a great time was had by all. We even got to see some cheerful dolphins! We are grateful to our parent drivers/chaperones!

Important Dates

Friday, December 7-  K-2nd Grade Movie Night

Tuesday, December 11-  1:30pm Winter Choir Performance at the Circular Church

Friday, December 21-  Pajama Day, half day

Acting out History!

United States History!

In Social Studies we are studying United States History. In Fifth Grade we love to act out segments of historical events. This is a fun way to learn and a great way to get up and use our bodies! This week we read a reader’s theater about the Compromise of 1850 in small groups. We then acted out these different parts and used expression to really put ourselves in our characters’ shoes!

Debates

This week we held debates on topics like; Whether or not plastic water bottles should be banned, which is more important: space or ocean exploration, and whether or not animals should be kept in zoos. Our researchers have been diving into these topics for two weeks and are ready to debate their side of the discussion. Ask your Fifth Grader what topic of study they debated on this week!

Empathy

This week we started our discussion of empathy and what is means to be empathetic. During Centers we looked at different scenarios, put ourselves in the shoes of others, and asked questions about how we would feel if we were in that same situation. Our empathetic Fifth Graders were able to express their own feelings and even tell about times when they have experienced these same scenarios in their own lives.   

 

Important Dates:

December 11th – Winter Choir Performance at Circular Church (1:30pm)

December 14th- 3rd-5th Movie Night

December 21st – PJ Day (11:30am Dismissal)

December 22nd-January 3rd – Winter Break (No School)

January 4th – School Resumes

Continents and Biomes!

Nouns

Second Graders focused on finding nouns and verbs in sentences during grammar this week. They learned what makes a sentence complete and what makes a sentence incomplete.  

How To Understand Literacy Language

Readers discovered four steps when searching for literary meaning in their fiction texts.  They first identify an example of literary meaning this in their text. After that, they re-read it.  From there, they recall what’s going on in the story at that point. The last step is to ask the very important question of what the author is trying to convey to us!

Biomes

Scientists are learning about the 8 biomes on all 7 of the continents.  These biomes include temperate forests, mountains (tundra), polar regions (arctic), grasslands, oceans, wetlands, desert, tropical rainforest.

December 7th       K-2 Movie Night – Polar Express @ The Cooper School 5-8 pm

December 11th.      Winter Choir Performance @ Circular Church 1:30 pm

December 21st.      Pajama Day

SCHOOL NEWS

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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