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.




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

November 16, 2018


Every November, students are introduced to the social-emotional topic of gratitude. Students brainstormed a list of things they are grateful for in their own lives. This week, students wrote post-its to fellow friends to show their gratitude. Students will be presenting their gratitude books to you at the Harvest Feast!


Essayists in Action!

This week we finished our unit of study on Essays. Writers were able to share their literary essays to Fourth Graders on Monday. For these literary essays we have been diving deep into a book of our choosing. We developed a thesis statement about the book and then found evidence to support our thesis throughout the pages in the story.







Research Project

Fifth Grade researchers shared their knowledge of information to First Graders this week. We have been researching topics like parrots, figure skating, nintendo, and horses. After we completed our extensive research, we taught our young friends all about what we’ve learned ourselves. First Grade buddies had so many bucket filler compliments that made us feel great!


Important Dates


  • Tuesday, November 20- ½ Day- Harvest Feast
  • Wednesday, November 21st-23rd- Thanksgiving Break

Science Fair! November 9, 2018

Amazing Science

It was so great to see everyone on Monday for the Annual TCS Science Fair. Students worked very hard to present their projects. Students used their knowledge from many different disciplines to create their final project: graphing from Math, research skills, informational writing, and the scientific method. I listened in while our scientists presented their findings and I was very impressed by all of the extensive research they completed. They truly were experts on their own topics!

Social Studies

Students began our Social Studies unit on U.S. History this week. Students will be covering topics from the forming of the Constitution to the post-Civil War era. This week we covered the forming of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. During this Social Studies time, students have the opportunity to view small video clips, read excerpts from essays and then answer comprehension questions. Students have vast enrichment options on their iPad after they answer the questions.


Class Pets


Our class tortoises have become family to us in 5th Grade. Each Friday we take them out to roam around the flower boxes during our lunch and recess time. This always sparks some great conversations across all grade levels. The class veterinarian takes care of the tortoises each week by giving them fresh water and making sure they are stocked with good leafy greens and carrots. They love carrots! This classroom job teaches the students responsibility and compassion by making sure the tortoises have everything they need to live a healthy lifestyle.


Important Dates

  • Monday, November 12- ½ Day- Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday,November 13- ½ Day- Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Friday, November 16- Picture Day
  • Tuesday, November 20- ½ Day- Harvest Feast

Carnival Fun! November 2, 2018

Halloween Carnival

It was another successful Halloween Carnival! Witches, vampires, unicorns, and even a First Grader strapped to a jetpack! The Fifth Grade students each created a Halloween-themed booth for the rest of the school to enjoy at the Halloween Carnival. We enjoyed everything from touching squishy “brains”, to pumpkin golf, to exploring a creepy Halloween obstacle course. Students dressed up in their creative costumes and had a great time socializing across grade levels. A few students even walked away with awards for their special costumes! Many parents donated their time, money, and creativity to make this event happen, and I want to give you all a big THANK YOU!


Our Favorite Special Class

Our Fifth Grade loves Yoga! It’s a great time to center yourself and relax for a 45 minute span during the busy school day. This is a time that new techniques and poses are practiced to help our brains and our bodies release any of the tension we may have gained throughout the day. This was especially needed after our amazing carnival planners worked so hard on Wednesday!

Literary Essayists

We have been hard at work writing literary essays in Grade 5. Writers are learning how to hook the reader, use transitions to move between parts, and include evidence to help us support claims about our chosen texts. Students has been working diligently on completing their first literary essay. Ask your child to tell you about the book they have chosen to write about!


Important Dates:


November 5th- Science Fair Presentations

November 12th & 13th – Conferences

November 20th – Harvest Feast (11:30am Dismissal)

November 21st-23rd – Thanksgiving Break

Flippers and Castles October 26, 2018


This week in science we started a new investigation about flippers and catapults. Fifth Grade scientists used aluminum balls, corks, and craft sticks to create their own flippers. These were used to test how high, and how far an object would travel depending on different variables that were changed throughout the investigation. Our scientists concluded that the smaller the mass, the further it flew.


Movement Tuesdays

During Movement on Tuesday we played Castle Ball, this is a Cooper School favorite! Athletes were split into two groups and each group constructed a “castle”. The opposite team tried to knock down the other teams “castle” to win the game! Fourth and Fifth Grades used a lot of different strategies and teamwork to complete this task. Fun was had by all!



Long Division

In Math, Fifth Grade has been working on long division. Mathematicians were challenged to solve a problem in two different ways using partial-quotients division. They were also able to complete an area model to show the solution for each division problem. This is difficult work but the Fifth Grade class is definitely rising to the occasion!

Important Dates:


October 31st – Halloween Carnival (11:30am Dismissal)

November 5th- Science Fair Presentations

November 12th & 13th – Conferences

November 20th – Harvest Feast (11:30am Dismissal)

November 21st-23rd – Thanksgiving Break

Kinder Buddies! October 19, 2018

Kinder Reading Buddies

On Wednesday our Kinder Buddies paraded through the school with books in hand. We made signs to hold up while they came through the 5th grade classroom to show our support. After the parade, we went to the Kindergarten classroom to listen to these new readers dive into their books. Our 5th Graders were reminded how hard it is when you are just beginning to read, we reminisced back to those days and shared our own experiences with our younger friends.  


Super Spellers

Our Super Spellers were given a challenge to write sentences using some of their spelling words from their spelling patterns this week. One student went above and beyond and used ALL of his spelling words to make a multi-paragraph story! All of the students really enjoy this activity and it is so fun to see what kinds of sentences they come up with! This is a great exercise to do with your spellers at home with weekly spelling words, or vocabulary!



This week we started a Wonder Wall in our classroom. This space allows our scholars to jot down something they wonder about. Students can then research these curiosities throughout the week, as time allows. It teaches them to not only have these wonders, but to also take the initiative to explore these wonders. This not only supports our social-emotional curriculum but also instills the importance of asking questions!


Important Dates


  • Wednesday, October 31st-  Halloween Carnival, 11:30 dismissal
  • Monday, November 5th- Science Fair Presentations
  • Monday, November 12- ½ Day- Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday,November 13- ½ Day- Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 20- ½ Day- Harvest Feast

We are Publishers! October 12, 2018

Publishing Is Hard Work

This week we started publishing our Narrative Writing stories and shared them with our classmates. Our writers have been waiting to read these aloud and were very excited to do so with their peers. While one author was reading, the rest of us were diligently writing compliments on each story to eventually give to the author. Our 5th Graders had the greatest compliments to give, comments such as, “I love how you used really descriptive language. I felt like I was there with you”. Now, onto opinion writing!


Home of the Brave

A favorite book in our classroom has come to an end, “Home of the Brave”. This book sparked so many questions and brought on a lot of emotions from the entire class. “Home of the Brave” by Katherine Applegate is a story about a boy who was torn from his home in Africa and has moved to America to live with his long lost family. He is having a hard time relating to his peers and fitting into this whole new world. Ask your child about this book, they’re bound to have a very strong opinion about the events that happened in the story.


Students complete vocabulary tests every two weeks. So far we have learned 36 new words! Each week students use the words we are studying in discussion, in writing, in drawing and in dramatic interpretations.  Parents can help develop vocabulary by reviewing our vocabulary words with their child and playing games like Charades or Pictionary.

Important Dates:


Monday, October 15th                                Make-Up Day

Wednesday, October 31st                          Halloween Carnival- 11:30 Dismissal

Monday, November 5th                             Science Fair Presentations

Monday-Tuesday, November 12-13th        Parent/Teacher Conferences

It’s Plane to See…. October 5, 2018

On the Table

This week we participated in a discussion lead by Mia’s mother. We talked about the issues we face in our own community. These were things like homelessness, traffic, new developments going up, etc. The students were so insightful when thinking of solutions to these problems. It was a real treat hearing their ideas about adding more trash cans to cut down on litter, or helping with our local food drive. Ask your child about the discussion, I’m sure they will have a lot to say!








Plane Sense

In science we started our new investigations: Planes! We constructed our new planes and discussed variables that may affect the flight of our planes. The only materials we used were a propeller, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, and straws. Next week we will all put these variables into use while we fly our own planes!


Let’s Multiply!

In Math this week we

 have overcome the challenge of writing numbers in exponential notation. Students learned that the large number at the bottom is the base number, the smaller number at the top is the exponent, and the exponent tells you how many times to multiply the base number by itself.  




Important Dates:

Friday,October 12th                     11:30 Dismissal


Monday, October 15th                   Make-Up Day


Wednesday, October 31st             Halloween Carnival- 11:30 Dismissal


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