Kindergarten students and teachers were thrilled to have parents join us to participate in Morning Meeting on Tuesday. Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Morning Meeting has four components: Greeting, Sharing, Group Activity, and a Morning Message. Students practice social skills in structured ways during our daily greetings. They learn the valuable life skill of greeting another person while making eye contact and saying the person’s name. During the sharing part of Morning Meeting, students learn to articulate their thoughts and feelings in a positive manner. During the group activity portion of our meeting, students build community with classmates through active participation. Finally, academic skills and community building are both embedded through class discussions about our daily Morning Message.
Daily Morning Meetings help to create the positive power of community in our classroom! Students are able to fulfill the need to belong, to feel significant, and to have fun! Each day, your child is being taught the skills of friendliness and social interest through sharing, listening, inclusion, participation, and speaking in front of a group. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we do!
Kindergarteners were elated to spend time with their Fifth Grade buddies on Wednesday morning. Fifth Graders read an assortment of spooky Halloween stories and then helped your youngster write a spooky story of their own. Your Kindergartener used their imagination and creativity to produce spooktacular work! Kindergarteners can’t wait for the Halloween Carnival where one of them might win a prize for the best spooky story.
Kindergarteners were thrilled to welcome their first Mystery Reader on Wednesday. Every week, they ask yes/no questions to try to guess who the Mystery Reader is. Then they decide on three people who they think it could be and they participate in a blind vote. Kindergarteners are always so excited about who it will be. Kindergarteners also love that a special person is here to read to them and hopefully hang out with them during snack. We can’t wait for everyone to experience this magical moment of fun!
On Monday, scholars of every age were introduced to the first playground toy of the year, the jump rope. At TCS, students are introduced to playground toys one by one as a strategy to encourage these creative minds to initiate inventive play. The beginning of the year is also the time to develop friendships among different grade levels through group games. Therefore, it was of no surprise that when jump ropes were introduced at Whole School Morning Meeting students were excited to experiment with all the creative uses the jump rope can offer. Once a new toy is introduced, students discuss and model proper use and care of the toy. After jump ropes, teachers will continue to introduce one toy a week at Whole School Morning Meeting. This ensures each toy is used appropriately and to its full potential.
As we continue our bee study, we are learning more and more about how honeybees affect our lives and the world around us. This week, students looked into how products made from bees directly affect our economy. To launch this investigation, your researchers studied the ingredient labels of several food and cosmetic items. We found that items such as candles, lotion, lip balm, cereal, snacks, dipping sauces, and drinks contain honey, beeswax, or even royal jelly!
Students also participated in a honey tasting. Six different types of honey were tasted and then described by the students. Flavor, texture, color, and consistency were examined for each type of honey. Students then had to guess which type of honey they were tasting based on the characteristics found. Several had unique flavors and textures.
This week in Reading Workshop students finished Shiloh, a novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This is a dramatic tale about a boy named Marty and a runaway dog, Shiloh. One interesting aspect of this book is the Appalachian dialect that it is written in. Students investigated how this dialect is different than Standard English. We also discussed the many different types of conflict that are found in the story, including man vs. man, man vs. beast, and man vs. law.
Wednesday, October 25th Parent Lunch 11:15 am
Tuesday, October 31st Halloween Carnival ½ Day
Thursday, November 2nd Middleton Plantation
Friday, November 3rd Bee Presentation
A Balanced Lifestyle
Second Grade Scientists are busy this week investigating balance and stability. We started by balancing paper crayfish and using clothespins as counterweights. We discovered that the trick to balancing anything is to add counterweights below the balance point. We ended our balance investigation by creating mega-mobiles out of paperclips, rubber bands, straws, and index cards. Students then designed and hung them in class.
I Pity The Rule!
We’re predicting number patterns in Math this week by figuring out “What’s My Rule?” for sets of numbers. Students are learning about T-charts and looking at real life data to determine patterns and rules. We have started basic subtraction and students are finding the difference for common facts. Practicing subtraction with objects around the house or with coins and dollars is definitely an enrichment activity you could try at home.
Our little writers have come a long way since August. We are editing, illustrating, and presenting personal narratives to the Fourth Grade class next week. Students are developing powerful techniques to captivate their readers. We closely studied mentor texts and tried to emulate their powerful writing in our own. Students were encouraged to use descriptive language to describe their character’s feelings and emotions. We are also starting to incorporate dialogue to help carry the action of our stories. Look for these amazing books coming home next week!
Thursday, October 26th Parent Lunch 11:00 am
Tuesday, October 31st Halloween Carnival ½ Day
Publishing Party, Parent lunch and Movie Night! What a fun week we’ve had in 5th grade!
Students have taken the final assessment for the Models and Designs Unit. The assessment included a performance assessment of a black box. Students used a paper clip to determine the position of the objects inside the box. The test included information that has been taught over the past 8 weeks. Also, students have chosen independent design projects including blueprints, doorbell models, boat models and research projects. Students had a blast choosing their independent project and presenting them to the class!
Students were preparing for the Halloween Carnival during centers this week. On Wednesday, we paired up with Kindergarten for reading buddies. Fifth Graders read a Spooky Halloween story to their buddy and then together they wrote a Spooky story the Halloween Carnival Contest. Students used their knowledge of story writing to teach Kindergarten students about setting, characters and plot. Make sure you check out the stories at the Carnival!
We have begun our second unit of writing: Memoir. Students will be using their knowledge of Narrative Writing to create Memoirs. Students were lucky to have a Memoir author come in to do a special Writing Workshop Thursday and Friday. Cinelle Barnes (Kindergarten Parent and memoirist) helped the students generate ideas for their Memoir writing. The students used their five senses to bring forth memories of their past. Students took turns smelling different candles using their sense of smell to stimulate memories. It was fun to have a published author in our classroom! Monday, we will have another guest Marcus Amaker, poet laurate of Charleston!
Tuesday, October 31st -Halloween Carnival ½ Day- 8am set-up
Monday, November 13th & 14th – ½ day- Conferences
Tuesday, November 14th – ½ day- Conferences
This week, Third Graders were delighted to welcome a special guest writing teacher! Cinelle Barnes is a published author whose daughter is in our Kindergarten class. She joined us on both Thursday and Friday to explore different aspects of accessing our memories to write memoir stories. The first day, she brought a variety of candles to smell and to think about what memories are associated with certain scents. A popular scent that students wrote about was the pine smell and the many connections to the holiday season. The next day, they used maps to consider their place in the story. It was great to hear tips and tricks from a published author!
This week the students were introduced to the many uses and fun ways of using jump ropes. After talking about how to be safe and care for them during Whole School Morning Meeting on Monday, students spent the week having so much fun with them! Third Graders loved having Movement withKindergarten so that they could share how to properly jump rope. Third Graders worked with their Kindergarten buddy to show them how to use a single jump rope as well as how to jump with the big rope. We also enjoyed some creative ways of using jump ropes in imaginative play!
How many drops of water can one penny hold? This was the question that Third Graders set out to answer and, boy, were we surprised by the results! Using eye droppers, students slowly added one drop at a time and were able to add more than 20 drops of water onto one tiny penny! The next question was… how?? Students discussed the property of surface tension and how it holds the water in a dome shape until it gets too heavy and collapses. Ask your student how many drops they got on their penny.
What do you do at The Cooper School and how long have you been here?
This is my 3rd year at TCS and I teach Kindergarten.
What do you value about being at TCS?
I value the fact that we are a team here. We are always working together collaboratively across grade levels. Due to this, there is an abundance of mutual respect among the staff.
What’s something you’ve learned teaching here?
I’ve learned about the power of positivity and how working with others with the same educational beliefs and goals makes you a stronger teacher and a better person overall.
Which educator has influenced you the most in your life, and how?
My 4th Grade teacher, Mr. Birmbaum, instilled a joy of learning in me and taught me that I could do anything! He truly cared about his students and always made learning fun. I will always remember him!
What do you look forward to in your role here (lesson, section, topic, etc.) each year?
I look forward to the connections and relationships I make with my students each year. I love my students like they are my own children, and spending time with them brings me joy.
What is an example of your approach to dynamically balancing creative intelligence, self and social intelligence and academic mastery in your work at TCS?
Responsive Classroom training has changed my teaching by showing me the connection between academic success and social-emotional learning. Responsive Classroom gave me many new strategies for supporting my students academically and socially, and taught me how to set high expectations for learning.
If you could live in a book, what book would it be?
Little House On the Prairie, because growing up I always loved how simple life was back then.
Students will be assessed on Unit 2 next Monday and Tuesday. Unit 2 covered estimation, adding, subtracting and multiplying of decimal numbers. Students reviewed multiplication strategies: partial products, lattice and US traditional. Students will be able to use whichever strategy they choose on the test. Students played the High Number Toss game to reinforce place value and comparison of large numbers. Next Wednesday, we will begin Unit 3 which will cover geometric figures, angles and data collection. Students will be given options in centers to work on tessellations and math games!
Students have finished our second novel, Missing May. This week we began our 3rd novel, Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson. Students will be focusing on dialect affecting character development, figurative language, setting and foreshadowing. Students will be comparing and contrasting this book with our read-aloud. Both books take place in rural settings and include dialect from the Appalachian region. Ask your student about the comparisons made between these books!
Students enjoy Art once a week with Ms. Kerry. Students have created name mandalas which were displayed on Curriculum Night. Students have begun printing projects by creating designs on Styrofoam and using ink to print their design on paper. Students enjoy the printing process and using their creativity to create their design. Students will be incorporating their art next week in Math class to identify geometric figures and angles!
Thursday, October 19th-Parent Lunch and Publishing Party- 11:00 am
Thursday, October 19th– Movie Night- 6pm-8pm
Tuesday, October 31st -Halloween Carnival ½ Day- 8am set-up
Balance and Motion
This week we started a new Science investigation into Balance. We are discovering that objects can be balanced in many ways and that counterweights can be used to help. Scientists are learning about stable positions and how the counterbalance of those weights can help obtain stability. Continuing with this investigation, students will also be making mobiles and discussing their observations and comparisons of balanced objects.
Welcoming Ms. Brooke
This week we met our new Second Grade co-teacher, Ms. Brooke. She will be joining our class full time next week, but our students truly enjoyed greeting her and getting to know her a bit this week. She will be leading our Writing and Reading lessons and will also take over some daily classroom responsibilities like read alouds and Spelling. Everyone at The Cooper School is really eager to have her on board!
Our Second Grade family has been learning the joys of reading for pleasure. We are also learning how to dissect stories and break them down to analyze them further. This week we have been looking at dialogue vs. non-dialogue books and identifying the narrator in the text. We have been using Owl Moon as our “mentor text” to show the use of luscious language.
October 26h – 11:00am Parent Lunch
October 31st– Halloween Carnival
This week, First Grade non-fiction readers learned new ways to share what they are learning in their books, with their “Peas and Carrots” reading partners. These scholars know to show their partner several pages and explain what the author taught on each page. First Graders practiced asking their reading partners questions to learn even more about their topics. They know to use the text and non-fiction text features when sharing. First Grade friends are truly becoming non-fiction reading experts!
Our insect study is chugging along in First Grade! This week we checked on our mealworm colony and made an exciting discovery! Our mealworm friends have been so busy growing that they have shed their hard exoskeletons. When these creatures grow, they get too big for their exoskeletons, shed, and leave them behind. First Grade scientist used hand lenses to closely observe and draw their mealworms in this stage of their lifecycles! Ask your First Grade scientist to tell you all about their molting mealworm!
In Handwriting this week, First Grade writers learned all about “magic c”! This lowercase letter starts at the top and takes a little curve down to the bottom line. Magic c is a special letter because it helps form many other lowercase letters like a, o, d, g, and even q. Reviewing proper ways to form lowercase letters is necessary to building good writing habits for our growing writers.
When one study ends, another begins! This week we moved on from the study of the physics of sound to the exploration of water. Water is a part of everyday life but is not often observed for its many properties. Students began this week by observing water, specifically looking at the absorption of water in some materials or how water beads up on others. Spilling water happens, but now we can notice the way the water interacts with the surface it is spilled on.
This week we began reading a totally different genre… nonfiction! Students were excited to start reading all about bugs! This unit focuses on the central idea of how bugs are essential to the survival of life on earth. During this unit, students focus on nonfiction reading skills of identifying the main idea, using evidence to support answers, identify word meanings using context, and much more. These nonfiction-reading skills can then be applied to a variety of subject areas. The topic of bugs builds on the insect study in First Grade and Third Graders get to collaborate with the First Graders as “bug experts.”
Third Graders were excited to begin the routine of Scholastic News each week. This means that they receive a 2-page magazine with news and information geared specifically to Third Graders. Each magazine also includes a graph with questions that help students to practice applying data analysis and graph reading skills in real world applications. This is followed by a brief comprehension review of the articles they read. Look for your student’s Scholastic that will be sent home each Thursday. It often has extensions that can be explored at home including videos and quizzes online.