Marsha enters her fifth year at The Cooper School. Raised in Charleston, Marsha received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from The College of Charleston. Marsha has taught for eleven years in both the public and private schools. She delights in fostering a warm classroom environment where children can thrive and express themselves comfortably. Marsha enjoys hula hooping, crafting, relaxing at the beach, and finding treasures at flea markets.

Read Marsha’s Testimonial.

Reading, Writing, and Research…oh my! October 12, 2018

Author! Author!

Earlier this week, each student selected an original, personal small moment story to publish. 1st Grade Authors used editing checklists to put the final touches on their stories. We also had a visit from inspiring 2nd Grade Authors who published their stories to us. 1st Graders loved being an audience for older friends who were in their shoes not too long ago!


Fiction to Facts  

In Reading Workshop, we launched our non-fiction unit. We talked about how this genre is different from fiction and students have been reading an assortment of books at their “just right” level around topics ranging from animals, to sports, to history. During Wednesday’s Morning Meeting, students selected specific subjects they are particularly interested in. Some of their individual interests included cooking, crafting, gems and minerals, whales, pandas, snakes, football, NASA, and tornadoes.   

A-Z Researchers

1st Grade Scientists have been brainstorming insects that they want to research. Each student will choose a unique insect that is native to South Carolina to research using nonfiction texts and iPad minis. Some of the insects students came up with included June bugs, green beetles, ladybugs, cicadas, cockroaches, honeybees, praying mantises, moths, wasps, flies, mosquitos, grasshoppers, termites, and various species of butterflies.

Important Dates:

Monday, October 15th            Make-Up School Day

Tuesday, October 23rd           1st Grade Parent Morning Meeting, 8:00 am

Wednesday, October 31st      Halloween Carnival (early release at 11:30am)

Learning is so much fun! October 5, 2018

Math Makes “Cents”

In Math, we launched our addition and subtraction unit and scholars are using hands on materials such as coins and cubes and long blocks to show their thinking. We are extending that learning and practicing those skills through partner math games in Centers.

Ant Experts

First Grade ant experts have been observing ants and their behavior and recording their observations, questions, and wonders about ants in their ant journals. We learned that ants have three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have antennae. Their antennae have an important function. Ants use them to smell, touch, feel and communicate with other ants. On Tuesday, students answered with a tally to show what food they thought ants would enjoy most: a potato chip, a grape, or a piece of lettuce. Students guessed that the ants would prefer the grape over the chip and the lettuce. Then we left these snacks out in our backyard  to see if our prediction was correct. Ask your scholar about the results of our science experiment! We have also started mapping our backyard to show all the places ants may live. Our bug museum is growing and we are also so excited and so appreciative that so many friends have been bringing in bug specimens! Keep them coming! We are super curious about the tunnels the ants in our ant farm have been industriously digging and we are eager to research this behavior.


Grammar Matters!

In Writing Workshop, our authors have begun editing their work. They are paying special attention to making sure that the first word of each sentence and proper nouns are capitalized, and that sentences have appropriate punctuation at the end: a period, exclamation point, or a question mark. This is an essential part of the writing process that will make their stories better and more interesting to their readers.


Important Dates:

Friday, October 12th                                    11:30 Dismissal

Monday, October 15th                                 Make-Up School Day


The Life and Times of Curious Entomologists September 28, 2018

Creepy, Crawly Science

First Grade Entomologists got up close and personal with bugs and insects this week. On Tuesday, we enjoyed an in-school study trip with High Touch High Tech. A professional scientist visited us and engaged students in some hands on, interactive learning. They investigated a live scorpion, a cockroach exoskeleton, and superworms. They built edible, true to life models of spiders, observed bugs and insects through micro-viewers, and created art documenting the life cycle of a butterfly. We added an ant farm to our Science area of our classroom and one of our Centers this week is observing the ants in their gel habitat. This gel was actually developed by scientists at NASA! For such a tiny creature, ants are truly fascinating! Did you know it is estimated that there are around 1 million ants for every 1 human in the world?! Ants also live in social colonies, much like humans! On Thursday, we released our butterflies into our backyard! We have been watching the butterflies go through the stages of their lives—from egg to larva to pupa to adult!

Class Jobs  

We introduced our class jobs this week! Some of the jobs include calendar helper, attendance helper, meteorologist, zoologist, botanist, and greeter/ambassador. Class jobs help students develop a greater sense of responsibility, take ownership for their classroom community, and reinforce various academic skills.

What’s in a Name?

In Phonics, we have been exploring our names and discussing short and long vowels sounds, blends and digraphs. This is helping First Graders become better readers and recognize similar patterns and sounds that they have seen before in words they already know, in unfamiliar words.

Important Dates:

Friday, October 12th                    11:30 Dismissal

Monday, October 15th                 Make-Up School Day

Wednesday, October 31st           Halloween Carnival, 11:30am

Getting back into the “FLO” of things after the “hurrication”! September 21, 2018

Lights, Camera, Action!

We had a special treat this week-Drama with Charleston Stage! Professional actor/educators introduced our students to the exciting world of the theatre. Students explored the craft of acting through improvisation and games and learned the discipline of performing using their three actor’s tools; the voice, the body, and the imagination. The goal of Charleston Stage’s acting classes is to provide young people with performance, public speaking and creative thinking skills that will serve them in whatever profession they one day choose.

Wild about Bugs and Insects

We launched our very exciting bug and insect unit in Science this week. Monday afternoon, students explored bug specimens and books about bugs. In a Morning Meeting, students shared what they know or wondered about bugs and/or insects. Writing is integrated into Science as students are writing small moment stories about an encounter with a bug or insect. We are so eager to read their finished work!  Our garden and backyard have been serving as an outdoor classroom with many fascinating things for us to explore. This study will culminate in a presentation for parents in November!


Breathe In, Breathe Out  

In our Monday morning whole school meeting, students across grades were prompted to think about ways they can keep themselves calm in stressful situations. 1st Grade students have been learning and practicing self-regulation through breathing exercises. They also learned about the parts of the brain; the prefrontal cortex (the “wise leader”), the amygdala (the “security guard”), and the hippocampus (the “saver of memories”). After a review of the role that each part plays, students gained an awareness that conscious breathing allows them to calm their minds and bodies, navigate and manage their feelings in constructive ways, and ultimately be more engaged and more successful.


Important Dates:

Thursday, September 27th                   1st-5th Grade Curriculum Night,  5:30 – 6:30 pm

Friday, October 12th 11:30 Dismissal

Monday, October 15th Make-Up School Day

Fostering Relationships and Building Our Community! September 7, 2018

Math Mania

We introduced an interactive tool this week in Math-our dry erase white board slates! First grade mathematicians were very excited to use their slates to problem solve and display their answers.

Community Building

Students at The Cooper School have many opportunities to connect with friends in other grades. 1st Grade and Kindergarten enjoyed Movement together on Tuesday. 1st Graders were very pleased and proud to teach Kindergarten friends their favorite group games. At our whole school morning meetings, students are encouraged to learn the names of all the members of their cross grade field day groups. In our Tuesday all school morning meeting, we discussed the importance of recycling, brainstormed ideas about how we can reuse items instead of throwing them away, and learned more about our nifty compost bin in the backyard.









Erudite Scholars

In Reading Workshop, 1st Grade has been practicing habits that good readers do, such as taking a sneak peak at the beginning of a story, rereading and then rereading some more, and using picture clues. Readers impressed us with how engaged they were during silent reading time, reading quietly, with no interruptions, for 17 minutes! In Writing Workshop, the creative juices have been flowing as 1st Grade storytellers put pencil to paper to craft their small moment stories. We also introduced our first set of Vocabulary words, from the book Ruby the Copycat, this week. Ask your scholar if they remember any of the new words we learned!


Important Dates:

Monday, Sept. 10th-Friday, Sept. 14th              Charleston Stage Drama (K, 1st, 2nd)

Sunday, September 16th                                     New Parent Social, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 27th                                   1st-5th Grade Curriculum Night,  5:30 – 6:30 pm

So Busy Learning and Growing! August 31, 2018

Learning Centers with Friends

First Grade friends were thrilled to explore learning centers this week! These brave scholars enjoyed working with partners as they eagerly rotated through a variety of math centers. Students eagerly reviewed math concepts and practiced the routines and procedures of centers. Learning centers offer young scholars the chance to review a variety of concepts with friends in a hands-on way! This week we focused on reviewing math skills. Stay tuned for more fun in learning centers next week!

Healthy Bodies Study in Science

In Science, we continued our Healthy Bodies study. This week we focused on the food groups. During lunchtime on Wednesday, 1st Graders sorted their food into the food groups. It was a fun and interactive way for these growing students to learn about nutrition and how they can keep our bodies healthy and strong! On Thursday, we made a graph to represent our favorite food groups.

Budding Writers  

First Grade writers have been hard at work crafting their Small Moment Stories in Writer’s Workshop, using mentor texts, such as George McClement’s Night of the Veggie Monster to draw inspiration about what good writers do. These fearless writers know to think of an idea about something they do or something that happened to them and then plan across pages. Ask your First Grade writer what they wrote about in Writing Workshop this week!


We had a full week of Specials, including Music, Art, Movement, and Yoga. Our Specials are a great opportunity for friends to explore other areas of interest and move their bodies in creative ways!

Important Dates:

Monday, September 3rd              Labor Day, No School

Tuesday, September 4th              Parent Coffee, 8am-9am (TCS Backyard)

Monday, Sept. 10th-Friday, Sept. 14th              Charleston Stage Drama (K, 1st, 2nd)

Thursday, September 27th           1st-5th Grade Curriculum Night, 5:30 – 6:30 pm


Fun with First Grade Friends! August 24, 2018

Welcome Back to School! 

First Grade students bravely and eagerly dove right into the first week of school. Scholars spent much of the week making discoveries about their new classroom, practicing new classroom routines and procedures, reviewing reading, math and writing skills, nurturing relationships, and building community. On Tuesday we gathered for whole school morning meeting with Mrs. Franci and even celebrated our first birthday circle. On Friday we had our second whole school morning meeting and learned more about our Peace Table and how we can use it to resolve conflicts in a kind and thoughtful way. We read a book about traditions that different countries around the world practice when children lose their teeth and introduced our Class Tooth Chart. We also had so much fun joining Fourth Grade and Kindergarten friends for lunch buddies and movement games.

My Healthy Body

First Grade friends brainstormed everyday things they can do at home and in our classroom to stay healthy and identified physical characteristics that make each one of us unique as we launched our My Healthy Body unit! This unit is especially fun because we get to learn all about ourselves. After reading Marvelous Me by Lisa Bullard, scholars were able to identify, illustrate, and share outside and inside qualities that they like about themselves. We encourage you to ask your young scholar which inside and outside qualities they admire most about themselves!

Our Class Pet

We introduced a 21st member of the class to First Grade—our new class pet, a baby-bearded dragon! We learned interesting facts about what our class pet likes and how to care for him and even collaborated to write a group story together. First Graders brainstormed names and then voted on a name for their class pet. We are pleased to announce that our class pet is now named “Fireball”.

 We are so very excited to continue getting to know this kind and wonderful group of learners and looking forwarding to supporting and empowering them socially and academically and learning and growing along with them!

Important Dates:

Monday, September 3rd              Labor Day, No School

Sunday, September 17th             New Parent Social, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 27th           1st-5th Grade Curriculum Night, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Celebrating a Beautiful Year! June 1, 2018

Closing the Year with Community

First Graders spent time this week engaging in community building activities to wrap up their school year. Our week was filled with favorite math games, plans for ways to fill buckets as Second Graders, Appreciation Circles, and so much more! Scholars chose their favorite math games from First Grade and enjoyed reviewing math skills each day. First Graders made plans for themselves and shared ways to continue living the life of a bucket filler. These thoughtful friends spent time observing their peers and shared ways that they noticed others showing love and kindness throughout our school day. We love this class to bits and their community bond continues to shine brightly!







Honoring Fifth Grade Friends

This was a magical week to celebrate Fifth Grade friends at The Cooper School! Scholars enjoyed supporting Fifth Graders as they practiced their graduation performances. Cooper School friends were thrilled to participate in The Cooper School’s graduation party, complete with a victory arch for the graduates, strawberry shortcake for everyone, a photo booth, and compliment chains for the Graduates. It was such a lovely way to celebrate our Fifth Grade friends’ last days at TCS.

Sending Well Wishes to Our Class Pet

First Grade zoologists sent Jackaroo well wishes this week as we prepared her for her summer vacation. Jackaroo enjoyed sunbathing, feasting on super worms, and resting in her clean habitat. Students shared hopes and dreams for Jackaroo’s next school year. Happy summer everyone!  

Shine On, Bright Scholars! May 25, 2018

Author Experts Shine

First Grade Author Experts were thrilled to the gills to share all of their hard work with friends and family this week! These brave presenters spent the week preparing to publish their Author Expert presentation boards and author inspired books by practicing presenting to class partners, Second Grade friends, and finally to their favorite audience, YOU! This project has certainly been a class favorite and we couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and determination! These Author Experts are most definitely Second Grade READY!

Place Value, Scrolls, and Number Grid Puzzles

First Grade mathematicians spent time reviewing place value by creating number scrolls into the hundreds, and identifying patterns on number grids during math this week. Math partners participated in various hands-on activities to review and enhance their understanding of place value through the hundreds. First Graders continued to add onto their growing number scrolls as they deepened their place value understanding. Scholars worked together using clues to identify missing numbers on a number grid and created puzzles for their math partners to solve.

What is Climate?

This week, First Grade scientists built onto their understanding of weather by investigating climate and climate zones. Scholars compared weather to climate and discovered that weather describes the day to day conditions in an area, while climate describes the average weather conditions of a certain region. First Graders investigated the different climate zones on planet Earth and then discovered the average temperatures and precipitation for these areas.

Important Dates:

Memorial Day/No School – Thursday, May 28th

Fifth Grade Graduation/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Thursday, May 31st

Field Day/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Friday, June 1st

We Are Author Experts! May 18, 2018

Thermometers and Temperature

Math and Science overlapped in a beautiful way for First Grade friends this week. Curious scholars investigated reading temperatures on a thermometer during Math and made discoveries about weather tools used by meteorologists during Science. Brave mathematicians studied a weather map of the United States to compare the high and low temperature for various states and find their difference. These brainy First Graders can tell you what happens to water at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and were thrilled to discover that the normal temperature for the human body is 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit!

Author Expert Preparations

First Grade readers and writers have been extremely busy preparing for next week’s Author Expert presentation. Scholars have been eagerly completing their nicest neatest published copies of book reports, book reviews, book lists, and author inspired books as they prepare to create their Author Expert presentation boards. These author experts have created detailed illustrations of their author’s characters and book covers. We can’t wait to share all of this hard work you next week!

I Heart Hungry Kids

Cooper School friends were delighted to meet the creator of I Heart Hungry Kids this Monday during Whole School Morning Meeting! I Heart Hungry Kids is the charity that students chose to donate proceeds from this year’s Pass It On funds. Cooper School scholars listened eagerly to the creator explain how he decided to start this beautiful charity. It feels so good to give back to the community we live in!


Important Dates

End of the Year Picnic- Sunday, May 20th @ Magnolia Plantation (3:30pm-5pm)

Author Expert Presentation – May 24th at 8:15

Memorial Day/No School – Thursday, May 28th

Fifth Grade Graduation/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Thursday, May 31st

Field Day/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Friday, June 1st


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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