FIFTH GRADE

Allison Roman returns for her fifth year at The Cooper School as our Fifth Grade teacher.  She is a South Carolina native, born and raised in the upstate.  Allison earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at Clemson University and her M.S. in Community Health at the University of New Mexico.  She looks forward to having another successful science fair this year and fostering everyone’s love for math as the school’s Math Leader. In her free time she enjoys running with her husband and trying new restaurants.

Read Allison’s Testimonial.

 

 

 

Africa Day! May 26, 2017

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.

 

Movement

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

Happy Hearts! May 19, 2017

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!

 

Reading

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

Magnificent May! May 8, 2017

Kayaking/SUPing

This week we completed our first field trip to James Island County Park for kayaking and paddle boarding lessons. We all had a blast! In the kayaking group, students learned the proper way to get in their boats by using their paddle as a stabilizer. Then, they mastered the sweep stroke and reverse sweep stroke in a game of “sponge”. The paddle boarding group got comfortable on the water by gaining their balance on their knees. When they were ready, they learned the proper leg placement to stand up on the paddle board. It was fun and wet! Ask your child what their favorite part about this field trip was!

 

ERB Test Prep

This week, we have begun our test preparation for the annual ERB. This is a standardized test that measures grade level achievement in Reading, Writing, and Math. Our focus this week has been on analogies practice and appropriately bubbling in answers. We have reviewed the process of identifying the relationship in the first part of the analogy and applying that relationship to the second part. Some of the relationships commonly seen in analogies are color, size, shape, feel, movement, feelings, part-to-whole, actions, and opposites.

 

If you would like to help your child at home, I would suggest writing a sentence with punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors and have them correct it!

 

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Friday was a special day as we had several grandparents and special friends join us for the Book Fair and classroom activities. It was beautiful to see the students interact with everyone else’s special friends as well. In 5th grade, your historians led their special friends in a Morning Meeting, presented their explorers project, and filled out an interesting survey! We are all so excited to finish the day off by performing for Pass It On tonight. Ask your child what their favorite part about today was.

 

Important Dates

Friday, May 5                                     Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                   End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

May 8 – May 12                                ERB Testing

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

Thursday, May 18                             Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30

Friday, May 19                                  Tall Ships Field Trip

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

Leading the way! April 28, 2017

Explorers Simulation

Come aboard a Spanish caravel as the 5th graders learn what it was really like to be an early explorer in the late 1400s.  After studying the history of the early explorers, reading a historical fiction novel about Christopher Columbus’ exploration to the New World, and researching an explorer of their choice, 5th graders participated in an Explorers Simulation!  Each ship crew had to select a charter from either Spain or Portugal, and navigate their ship through rough seas, disease, lack of supplies, and hostile natives.  Everyday students worked together to make decisions about the fate of their ship and then entered their thoughts into a personal log, just like the ships’ scribe would have done.  Ask your child if they made it back safely!

 

Leadership

Think of someone in your life who you consider a leader. What types of qualities do they have? I what area of your life do you feel that you are a leader? Is it because you possess certain skills or because you are simply forced to rise up to the occasion? These are questions your young leaders pondered this week as we introduced our next SEL strand, leadership. On Wednesday and Friday, 5th graders had the opportunity to flex their leadership muscles when the 2nd graders asked for our help in researching for a science project. Ask your child where they feel they exhibit leadership skills!

Volume

What is the difference between the lowercase “b” in the area formula A = b x h and the capital “b” in the volume formula V = B x h. Your mathematicians learned this week that the capital B in the volume formula stands for the area of the base of the 3D shape. To discover this, each student first built a box out of paper and covered the base of that box with centimeter cubes. This was layer 1, the area of the base. Then they counted the height of the shape to determine how many layers were needed to fill the box. This activity led them to the formula for finding volume of a prism.

 

Important Dates

Thursday, May 4                               Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30

Friday, May 5                                     Grandparents Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, May 5                                     Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                   End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

May 8 – May 12                                ERB Testing

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

Thursday, May 18                             Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30

Friday, May 19                                  Tall Ships Field Trip

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

Thursday, June 1                              Graduation Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, June 2                                    Field Day, 11:30 dismissal

 

 

Growing Gardeners April 21, 2017

Planting

Spring is here! Your naturalists have noticed signs of spring all throughout the backyard, such as birds chirping, trees blooming, warmer weather, and little bugs crawling around to say hi. This week we added another sign of spring to our community when we planted an herb garden! We chose to plant herbs because we have been studying the Spice Trade in our Explorers Unit. While we cannot successfully grow cinnamon, black pepper, or turmeric in our garden, we can grow other edible plants. We decided to plant lemon basil, peppermint, bee balm, tomatoes, and parsley. Ask your child which plant they planted in our garden box!

 

Hidden Treasure

Did you ever play Battleship as a child? You placed your ship in a mystery spot and your opponent had to figure out where it was in order to defeat you! This week, your mathematicians played a similar game in conjunction with our study of coordinate grids. The game is called Hidden Treasure. Each player starts by hiding their “treasure” at a specific place on their coordinate grid. Then they take turns guessing where that spot is. This game is great practice for working with ordered pairs, and thinking logically about location on a map. Ask your child whom they played with this week!

Debate

To debate is to argue about a topic in a formal manner. While this word may carry a negative connotation in some situations, it is actually an advanced skill that will serve your learners throughout their life. This week in Writing Workshop, 5th Graders learned the basics of how to debate a topic. They discussed ways to provide evidence for their side and to also anticipate what the opposing side may say. They practiced these skills by arguing whether or not schools should offer chocolate milk to students. What do you think?

 

Important Dates

Thursday, May 4                               Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30

Friday, May 5                                     Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                     Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                   End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

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

Thursday, May 18                             Kayaking/SUPing 11:00 – 2:30

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

Sharing Special Moments! April 7, 2017

3D Printing

This week your scientists completed the final step in their City X project, 3D printing. This was a wonderful learning experience as we encountered several obstacles and needed to adjust our designs and tinker with the printer. Students learned how to group their design pieces together in order to scale the size. We also learned how to level the printing plane and clean the surface when the designs were not sticking. It took some perseverance and creative problem solving, but we are proud of our creations!

 

Explorers

 Around the World in 100 years! That’s what Fifth Graders read this week as they took a look into the past and how the early explorers discovered what the land on earth really looks like. While the book starts with Marco Polo and his exploration on land, the focus continued with ocean explorers. From Henry the Navigator, to Juan Ponce de Leon, to Ferdinand Magellan, we read all about the discovery of the southern tip of Africa, the eastern coast of Canada, and of course, North America! We are excited to continue this study after Spring Break with a historical fiction novel, a real-life exploration simulation, and a research project. Ask your child which explorer was the most interesting to them!

Share

This past week, we instituted a share program in 5th Grade. Share is a purposeful time that promotes community, teaches listening skills, and helps students formulate appropriate questions. Your interesting children brought in minerals, dogs, bunnies, and special trinkets! We had a great time getting to know a little bit more about each special person in our class and seeing what is important to them. If you were asked to share something that’s important to you, what would you pick?

We hope to see you at the Silent Auction on April 20!  Buy your tickets here today: 

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=dced8f26cbcd8&mfid=1491577678428_bde378f0d1d3c#/checkout/openButton

Important Dates

Monday, April 10 – 17                      Spring Break, No School

Tuesday, April 18                              School Resumes

Thursday, April 20                            TCS Silent Auction, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Friday, May 5                                     Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                     Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                   End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Products, Peace, and Poetry! March 31, 2017

Math

Who knew multiplying fractions could actually be fun?! That’s what some of your mathematicians said this week as we learned a new skill and they realized they were ready for it! We have been studying fractions for several years now, and all that knowledge is culminating this year in the form of multiplying and dividing fractions. When you multiply two fractions, you must multiply the two numerators and that product becomes your new numerator. Then you multiply the two denominators and that product becomes the new denominator. We really put our skills to the test when we had to multiply mixed numbers! Have your child explain how to solve this problem: 3 1/3 x 4 2/5.

 

Peace, Locomotion

Imagine Peace

I think it’s blue because that’s my favorite color

I think it’s soft like flannel sheets in the wintertime.

I think Peace is full –

like a stomach after a real good dinner –

beef stew and corn bread or

shrimp fried rice and egg rolls

  • Lonnie Collins Motion “Locomotion”

 

This week your readers and poets began the sequel to Locomotion, our narrative poem from last week. Locomotion is a boy who has recently become an orphan after the tragic death of his parents in a house fire. He uses poetry as a way to tell his story and express his emotions. His little sister, Lili, was adopted and he misses her dearly. Peace, Locomotion is the sequel in which the entire story is told through letters from Locomotion to Lili. As 5th graders read this week, they analyzed the structure, looked for evidence to discuss character inferences, and tracked characters’ growth over time.

Poetry

As we continue preparations for our annual Pass It On publication, your poets are working through the revision stage of the writing process. They have narrowed down their collection of original poems to their three favorites. These three poems were revised this week and then sent to the selection committee to pick two for Pass It On. Writers focused on adding luscious language, reformatting their line breaks, and holding their focus throughout the entire poem. We can’t wait to share all of our hard work with you at Pass It On on May 5th.

Important Dates

Monday, April 10 – 17                      Spring Break, No School

Tuesday, April 18                              School Resumes

Thursday, April 20                            TCS Silent Auction, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Friday, May 5                                     Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                     Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                   End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Wonderful Writers! March 23, 2017

Whole School Writer’s Workshop

Cooper School students got a special treat on Tuesday. A Whole-School Writing Workshop! This annual event is one that is eagerly awaited by students and teachers alike. In the library and 5th grade classroom, with the sliding doors open, the entire school engages in a poetry writing lesson led by Ms. Franci. Our goal was to write Tribute Poems about our chosen Pass It On charity, The Charleston Animal Society. Students from all grades sat together and helped each other to create some excellent poems. It was a beautiful example of collaboration and love of learning!

 

Marcus Amaker

The treats continued into Tuesday afternoon for your poets when Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s first Poet Laureate, visited 4th and 5th grade for a special poetry workshop. He kicked off the workshop by asking the students to write a collaborative poem. Each writer composed one line of a poem on a post-it that started with the words “I wish…”. When everyone was done, we had an 18 line poem full of wishes! The next collaborative poem required students to write 2 lines; the first line began with “I used to…” and the second line began with “But now I…”. It was so beautiful when it all came together! We look forward to working with Marcus again as the Pass It On season continues.

City X

“In the not-so-distant future, Earth has sent a group of travelers to create a colony on a distant planet. Upon their arrival these Citizens began to build their inaugural city, City X. But as time has gone on, they’ve started to identify common challenges and social problems that affect all of the Citizens, and stand in the way of building a thriving city.”

And that’s where your innovators come in! This week, 5th graders launched their City X project. Pairs of students received a problem from a citizen of City X, and are working their way through the Design Process to create a solution to this problem. The Design Process goes through the following 6 steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, share. Their final design will be printed on our very own 3D printer next week! Learn more about the project here: www.cityxproject.com

 

Important Dates

Friday, March 24                               Stingray Family Fun Night, 7-9:30 pm

Saturday, March 25                          Planting Party, 9-12

Thursday, March 30                         Parent Forum, 5:45-6:45 pm

Monday, April 10 – 17                      Spring Break, No School

Tuesday, April 18                              School Resumes

Shakespeare and Pi! March 18, 2017

Shakespeare
Fifth Graders moved on to England in their world study of poetry this week, and they turned their focus to one of the greatest poets of all time, Shakespeare! After settling in with a geography lesson and some background information about Shakespeare himself, your readers spent the week studying Romeo and Juliet. We discussed how this play is written in dramatic text, intended to be performed. It also was written in Old English, and therefore we read a kid-friendly version. Throughout our study, your poets learned about comedy vs tragedy, identified stock characters, analyzed the theme, and wrote a summary. Ask your child what they thought about this age-old love story!

 

Math
Fifth Grade is a year of mastery. We revisit many of the skills first introduced in Fourth Grade, and now your mathematicians are expected to master those skills. This week, your number crunchers revisited the concept of fractions. First we did a review of comparing fractions and we discussed 5 comparison strategies; when denominators are the same, when numerators are the same, when you can compare to a benchmark, when there’s one piece missing, and finally cross-multiplication. After this review, we reviewed methods for adding and subtracting mixed numbers. It’s always best to first add your whole numbers, then add your fractions, and finally simplify! Quiz your child with a challenging fractions addition problem!

 

Pi Day
This Tuesday, 3-14, was Pi Day! Pi Day is March 14th every year because the numerical date matches the value of Pi, 3.14. Pi is a symbol used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of that circle. What’s even more wonderful is that pi sounds like pie, and pies are shaped like circles! Because of this, our very own Sydney surprised us with two pies to enjoy in celebration of Pi Day this week. Ask your child if they can remember the numerical value of Pi!

 

Important Dates
Tuesday, March 21 Writing Workshop with Marcus Friday, March 24 Stingray Family Fun Night, 7-9:30 pm Saturday, March 25 Planting Party, 9-12
Thursday, March 30 Parent Forum, 5:45-6:45 pm

World Travelers! March 10, 2017

Math

This week, your mathematicians completed their unit on negative and positive numbers and exponents. We used cash and debt cards to reinforce the idea of positive and negative numbers and help with addition and subtraction of those numbers. Students learned to associate terms such as “in the hole”, “down”, and “in the red” with negative numbers. They learned to associate terms such as “in the black”, “in excess of”, and “over” with positive numbers. Your thinkers discovered that subtracting a positive or negative number is the same thing as adding the opposite of that number. This helped as they worked through more difficult subtraction problems.  

 

Greece

As we continue our study of poetry, your poets traveled back in time to Ancient Greece where the epic poem reigned supreme! This week our study of Greece was integrated throughout Reading, Writing, Social Studies, and Art as your learners read myths and nonfiction texts, wrote epic poems, and studied the geography and architecture of Greece. One of our favorite lessons was when we learned the Greek alphabet and wrote our names using only Greek letters. We also took a short lesson in sketching in order to draw an ionic column. Ask your child what they learned about Greece this week!

 

Preschool Buddies

Your leaders continue to enjoy opportunities to mentor younger children! Last week we spent a morning with our Kindergarten friends playing games and reading books. This week, we took a trip to Mt. Pleasant to spend time with the preschoolers at Creative Minds Preschool. Your readers met with their Kindergarten buddies to get suggestions for the best picture books, and then took those picture books to read to the preschoolers. We had a blast reading, laughing, and learning with our new friends! Ask your child whom they read with on Friday at Creative Minds Preschool.

 

Important Dates

Tuesday, March 21                           Writing Workshop with Marcus

Friday, March 24                               Stingray Family Fun Night, 7-9:30 pm

Saturday, March 25                          Planting Party, 9-10 am

Thursday, March 30                         Parent Forum, 5:45-6:45 pm

SCHOOL NEWS

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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