Erica graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a B.S degree in Elementary Education. She has taught in Maine, Florida, and the Philippines before moving to Charleston two years ago.  Teaching is her lifelong passion, and she’s very excited to join The Cooper School team! Erica enjoys reading, baking, painting and traveling in her spare time.




Valentine and Concerts February 15, 2019

Valentine’s Day Concert

Thank you so much for joining us at The Circular Church on Wednesday for the Valentine’s Day Concert. Your musicians blow me away every time. The talent that is in our class is astounding. Their ability to play instruments, sing solos in front of large crowds with confidence, and harmonize with others is unmatched. You should be very proud of their efforts and accomplishments!



In preparation for the March student-led conferences, your learners have been working hard on the process of assessing their work. During conferences, each student will share with you what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and what their interests are in Math, Reading, Writing, and Specials. This week, your students spent time writing about their favorite book.  Ask your child what they do really well at school!

News Reporters

This week we started Journalism. To start off this unit, we staged a “newsworthy” scene in the classroom. Students were jolted up from Morning Meeting when the teacher yelled, “There’s an animal in the classroom!” Students were unaware that this was all an act and afterwards were asked to write about the action. Writers were thrilled to turn into reporters this week!

Important Dates

  • Monday, February 18th- No School
  • Tuesday,February 19th- Half day (11:30- Dismissal)

February 8, 2019

Morning Meetings

Our bright Fifth Graders started taking over Morning Meetings this week in class. This week’s topic was about bullying. Students were engaged in a conversation about what bullying looks like and feels like. Each week there will be a different topic that a Fifth Grader will present for the first 15 minutes of the day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.


Math Fun!

Multiplying fractions is no easy task, but here in Fifth Grade we’re making it fun! Students are loving Kahoot! an online game that allows students to figure out a fraction problem, and then use their iPads to select their answer. This game allows students to use their testing strategies to eliminate answers they know are incorrect with the game’s multiple choice layout, while also learning more about multiplying fractions and using their skills to solve word problems.  



This week researchers started diving deep into one explorer from Europe. We are learning all sorts of new things about the challenges that explorers face when leaving their home country to explore the “unknown” before maps were even made. Students are tracking the path of where their explorers have traveled and the materials they’ve picked up along the way. We are excited to present these findings!

Important Dates:

Thursday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day concert (1:30 @ The Circular Church)
Monday, February 18th- No School
Tuesday,February 19th- Half day (11:30- Dismissal)

Wonderful Art Walk! February 1, 2019

Fantasy Vocabulary

This week during Reading Workshop we studied the different vocabulary words that are used in fantasy books. We listened to a famous poem called Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. This poem is made up of mostly nonsense words. Readers became detectives as they tried to interpret the story the author was trying to convey. We discovered that even with the mixture of nonsense words, we could still make sense of a majority of the story by using context clues.

Bee Garden

We received great news this week! We were awarded a grant to create a Bee Garden for the TCS backyard. We got started on the discussion this week by coming up with ideas on what we would do with the money we will receive for this project. This is a great opportunity to help the honeybee community while making our backyard more beautiful!

Math Superstars!

Mathematicians in Fifth Grade have been doing really tough work this week. We have been working on multiplying fractions with whole numbers, and even multiplying fractions with other fractions! This is a hard concept that Fifth Graders have been crushing this week. They are learning different strategies to complete these difficult math problems. On Wednesday we used folding papers to show how to divide fractions. Ask your mathematician to show you this great hands-on strategy!


Important Dates:

  • Thursday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day concert
  • Monday, February 18th- No School
  • Tuesday,February 19th- Half day (11:30- Dismissal)

January 25, 2019

Number the Stars

On Tuesday we visited the Dock Street Theater to see a play called “Number the Stars”. We spent the past few weeks reading this book during our Read Aloud time to prepare for the play. Historians used their knowledge of World War II to really explore what life was like for Annemarie in this story. We had many discussions of the way the characters felt, the experiences that they went through, and the outcome of the war. Ask your child to explain the story to you!

Signing Petitions

This week we traveled to Third Grade to read and sign petitions that we felt strongly about. Third Graders were studying persuasive writing and they did such a great job covering topics such as using too much plastic for game packaging, the importance of being on time for the school bus, and banning straws for public use. Fifth Graders picked the petitions they felt strongly about, read them, and then signed their names to signify that they were on the same side.


European Countries

This week Fifth Graders each got their own country in Europe to research. They were then tasked with finding information such as the languages spoken, holidays celebrated, and geographic location of their country. Students will then chose a way to present this information. Some students are choosing to make a slideshow and some students are choosing to make a poster to showcase their learning.


Important Dates:

Thursday, 1/31 Art Walk

Thursday, 2/14 Valentine’s Day Concert

Monday, 2/18 February Break- NO School

Tuesday, 2/19 11:30 Dismissal

January Excitement! January 18, 2019

Special Visitor

This week we had a special visitor come in and talk to the class about Scotland. We are deep into our Europe study and we loved hearing about one of the countries we are focusing on by someone who actually lived there! He had so many interesting stories to tell and great artifacts to show us. We even got to try Scottish Shortbread, it was amazing!

We are Persuasive!

This week we are finishing up our Persuasive Essays. Writers thought about what was most important to them and voiced their opinion about the subject. Some writers thought they were responsible enough to get a new puppy, and some writers thought we should only have a four day school week. They included great evidence to back up their reasons and are excited to share these with you soon!


Adding Fractions

We have started our Unit 5 in Math this week. Fifth Grade Mathematicians are excited to learn how to add and subtract fractions with different denominators. We practice these skills by using different strategies. We especially like using our fraction pieces and connecting them together to find out the correct answers for these difficult fraction problems.




Important Dates:


Monday, 1/21 MLK Day No School

Tuesday, 1/22 4th and 5th Grade Field Trip-Number the Stars Play

Thursday, 1/31 Art Walk

Happy New Year! January 11, 2019

Continent Study 

Europe! Our Fifth Grade continent study is focused on Europe! We started out by discussing the four major types of biomes that are present in the continent. Geographers discussed how energy, water, air, soil, flora, and fauna are affected by each biome in Europe. Next week we will start focusing in on the different countries of Europe and really start digging into the culture.


Adding and Subtracting Decimals

In Math this week Fifth grade Mathematicians focused on adding and subtracting decimals using a variety of strategies such as the traditional method, column addition, and trade first subtraction. In class we got into different groups and each group was given a different strategy. We made posters to show examples, and then taught these different methods to the other groups.


Launching Fantasy!

This week we launched the highly anticipated Fantasy Book Clubs Unit in Fifth Grade. Readers discussed how to differentiate Fantasy from other genres by using setting, characters, and plot themes. During book clubs, students are responsible for setting goals, leading discussions, and keeping each other on task as a group. Our Readers always love the sense of independence that comes along with book clubs! Ask your child what fantastic fantasy book they are reading with their group.

Important Dates

Monday, January 21st                       MLK Day- NO School

Tuesday, January 22nd-                    Number the Stars at Dock Street Theater


Thursday, January 31st-                    Art Walk

Happy Holidays! December 21, 2018

Outside fun!

Fifth Grade enjoys their recess time. They are always making up new, exciting games to play or volunteering to rake and sweep up the leaves after a rainstorm. A few students have invented a game that consists of notecards that they created, and they invite all ages to share in the fun. This recess time allows students to be creative and is crucial to a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development.

“Screen Time”

This week during Reading we have been discussing kids and “screen time”. Screen time includes television and internet use. Most students believe that a child’s screen time should be limited to a certain amount each week. Researchers have been diving deep into articles that cover both sides of this argument. They were asked to form an opinion after reading these articles and then discuss their opinions with their classmates. Through this unit, students are learning how to develop and defend strong arguments!

To, Too, or Two?

This week we reviewed homophones. Students are feeling more confident using certain homophones in their writing. We studied homophones such as to, two, too and their, there, and they’re. Spellers were asked to write sentences using these homophones with the correct meaning. Ask your child to explain the differences between these homophones!


Important Dates:

Friday, January 4th- Students return from Winter Break

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.



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

Acting out History! December 7, 2018

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!


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!


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

The Great Debate! November 30, 2018

Symphony Orchestra

This week the Charleston Symphony Orchestra came to visit The Cooper School. They played a few songs for our own musicians and we were all enamored with their beautiful music. We all had so many questions for them once they finished their presentations. We even found out that they conduct a show that is all about Harry Potter in February!


Finding Pronouns

In Grammar we have been studying pronouns. A pronoun is a word that can be a substitute for a noun in a sentence. One way that we practiced this was to look for pronouns in other texts. Scholars worked with partners to search for these special words in picture books and collected a list. We then wrote a few sentences using these pronouns to help tell a story.


Let’s Debate!

This week we started our much anticipated unit on Argument Essays! Our debatable topic is whether chocolate milk should be served in Elementary Schools. Writers in Fifth Grade are picking a side and researching to find reputable evidence that helps support their claim. After they complete their persuasive essay they will have a debate against the “other side” to present their findings. This is one of our favorite things to do in class. Ask your child what side they are on to start your own debate at home!

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


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