FIRST GRADE

Lauren “Lou” Cherry graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. She grew up in Raleigh, NC and moved to Mt. Pleasant, SC five years ago with her sister. Lou enjoys attending local festivals, running the Ravenel Bridge, and reading on Sullivan’s Island. Lou taught Kindergarten at The Cooper School for several years before moving into our administrative office.  This will be Lou’s second year as the Parent and Community Liaison at The Cooper School.  

 

Marsha enters her fourth 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 ten 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’s daughter, Olive, is a Fourth grade student at The Cooper School. Marsha enjoys hula hooping, crafting, relaxing at the beach, and finding treasures at flea markets.

Read Marsha’s Testimonial.

Another Week of Magic! February 23, 2018

Polar Presentation

This week, First Grade Polar Experts were able to share all of their hard work with their favorite audience during their Polar Presentation. Scholars proudly shared their research about a unique Arctic-dwelling animal, with their families. From there, First Grade scholars took their parents on a tour of writing, showing all they know about the Arctic’s indigenous people, the Inuit. Parents were able to make discoveries about Inuit food, shelter, clothing and transportation, and how these things have changed over time. Families enjoyed exploring Inuit-inspired art projects including: mini Inuksuit, snow goggles, soap carvings and more! Interactive centers allowed students to guide their families in building igloos out of sugar cubes and comparing Inuit grocery store prices to the prices that we pay here in Charleston. This was such a special day for First Grade friends!

Personification

 First Grade Readers took a closer look at Cynthia Rylant’s unique and diverse characters during Reading Workshop this week. These brave readers were introduced to the idea of personification! First Graders discovered that when characters who are animals or inanimate objects are given human qualities, they have been personified. Ask your brave reader what they learned about personification this week!

 Math Explorations

 This week First Grade Mathematicians investigated pattern blocks to develop readiness for fractions, practiced addition facts, and compared various triangle shapes during their math explorations day. During their hands-on pattern block explorations, scholars used concrete materials to help visualize and explain fractions as equal parts of a collection. Next, First Grade Mathematicians worked in partnerships using random number generators to generate and solve addition fact problems, record sums, and tally the number of odd and even sums. Finally, to further investigate the different shapes of triangles, students formed triangles using geoboards and given specifications. Math exploration days are always a First Grade crowd-pleaser!

Important Dates

 

March 5th & 6th – Conferences (early dismissal)

March 8th             –  Silent Auction

March 30th-April 8th– Spring Break

A Very Sweet Week! February 15, 2018

Compliments Written With Care

First Grade writers have been busy preparing thoughtful and unique compliments for each friend in their class. Students discovered the joy of giving and receiving meaningful compliments through The Cooper School’s annual Compliment Book writing. These brave and hardworking writers have shown tremendous grit as they created compliment rough-drafts, fancied them up, and then wrote final copies in their very nicest and neatest handwriting. First Grade scholars were thrilled to the gills to create such unique compliment books for friends! Giving, and receiving these precious gifts is such a treasured memory on this special day!

Meet the Centimeter!

This week, mathematicians were introduced to a new unit of measurement in the metric system, the centimeter! First Grade friends practiced using base-10 longs to estimate and measure the lengths of various objects. These brave scholars also used a ruler to measure and draw line segments to the nearest centimeter. To wrap-up this exciting lesson, First Grade mathematicians practiced comparing the lengths of objects using centimeters as their unit of measurement. Ask your First Grader what they know about centimeters!

We Are Ready!

This week our First Grade scholars spent time preparing for their big Polar Presentation coming up next Tuesday! Scholars spent time publishing their final copies of writing and illustrations about Inuit culture then and now. First Graders practiced sharing their polar animal research with Third Grade friends in preparation for sharing with parents next week. We are so excited to show you all we know about the Polar Biome!

Important Dates:

February Break/ No School                  Friday, Feb. 16th

February Break/ No School                  Monday, Feb. 19th  

Inuit Presentation                                  Tuesday, February 20th

Student Lead Conferences                    Monday, March 5th and

                                                                    Tuesday, March 6th

Collaborating Across Grades, Author Study, and Celebrating 100 Days! February 9, 2018

 Celebrating 100 Days of Being First Grade Scholars

 First Grade friends are now 100 days smarter! First Grade scholars honored this very exciting day through a variety of math centers where they explored the number 100 in a variety of ways. Mathematicians created patterns of either 5 or 10 as they crafted necklaces made up of 100 pieces of cereal! Brave problem solvers also investigated the many ways that they could create 100 cents using a variety of coin combinations. Finally, scholars explored calculators to find a variety of ways to skip count and get to 100. This day was made extra exciting as Kindergarten friends paraded through the school in their 100 year old costumes!

Publishing Nonfiction Book Reports & Science Fair Fun

 First Grade friends were thrilled to collaborate with Fifth Grade for two special events this week! On Tuesday, Fifth Graders invited classes to visit their Science Fair. First Grade friends explored a collection of unique experiments and listened closely as Fifth Graders shared their science discoveries. On Wednesday, Fifth Graders joined First Grade Readers as audience members. First Grade friends proudly presented their Nonfiction Book Reports about the Arctic. These brave scholars shared fun facts and explained illustrated diagrams with labels that teach. Ask your First Grader about their favorite shared-experience with Fifth Grade friends from this week!

 Meet Cynthia Rylant!

 This week, First Grade readers launched a new Author Study on Cynthia Rylant during Reading Workshop! Scholars were introduced to this favorite author and her unique array of characters in her books. First Grade friends spent time exploring character traits and describing the personalities of Rylant’s characters. These brave readers were introduced to the idea of books in a series and discovered that in a series the characters stay the same but the problems and solutions are different. Ask your First Grader what they discovered about Cynthia Rylant and her characters this week!

 

Important Dates:

Valentine’s Day Concert                     Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 1:30-2:15

February Break/ No School                  Friday, Feb. 16th

February Break/ No School                  Monday, Feb. 19th  

Inuit Presentation                                  Tuesday, February 20th

 Student Led Conferences                    March 5th and 6th – Early Release 11:30 Dismissal

Arctic Animals, Opinion Pages,Tinkering, Oh My! February 2, 2018

Arctic Animals

This week First Grade Arctic Investigators zoomed-in on the wide variety of animals that call the frozen and icy Arctic their home! Each scholar chose an Arctic animal from the polar biome to research and made so many fascinating discoveries! First Grade friends pulled out all of their non-fiction reading tools to help them locate facts and information about their chosen animal, in books and on the Internet. Stay tuned as these busy scholars continue to gather and prepare their Arctic Animal research for a very special audience!

Opinion Pages! Opinion Pages! Come and Get Your Opinion Pages!

Wow! First Grade writers were thrilled to publish their reviews this Tuesday as they revealed The Opinion Pages to parents and special friends. Students came to school dressed in pajamas in order to get cozy and read the “paper” with a very special audience. These brave writers proudly showed all they have learned about being a convincing writer by giving many detailed reasons to support their opinions, rating the topic or idea, and telling their readers to go out and do something!

Tinkering Across Grade Levels

This week during Whole School Morning Meeting Cooper School friends talked about the tinkering cart. Students reviewed the contents, purpose, and process of using this engaging hands-on box of fun! Scholars closely examined the organization of the tinkering cart and discussed ways to take care of this property. First Grade friends are looking forward to getting their hands involved in The Cooper School tinkering cart!

Important Dates:

  • Bake Sale                                                Friday, Feb. 9th at 2:15-2:45
  • Valentine’s Day Concert                     Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 1:30-2:15
  • February Break/ No School               Friday, Feb. 16th
  • February Break/ No school                Monday, Feb. 19th  
  • Inuit Presentation                                Tuesday, February 20th

 

Inuit Shelter, Art Walk, and Function Machines! January 26, 2018

 

Inuit Shelter

This week scholars took a closer look at Inuit shelter and how they have changed over time. First Graders were thrilled to investigate the traditional Inuit homes known as “igloos”. Igloos are dome shaped homes that were built from blocks of ice, to help protect the Inuit from the harsh and bitter cold climate in the Arctic. Can you believe that these homes had windows made of frozen ice? Today, the Inuit live in regular homes with electricity. My, how times have changed! During Learning Centers, First Graders even practiced building igloos made of sugar cubes! Ask your brave polar expert what they learned about how Inuit shelters have changed over time!

 Art Walk 2018

 This week The Cooper School opened its doors to celebrate the awesome collection of artwork created by students this year. Families joined their children to stroll the campus, which has been transformed into one giant art gallery, showcasing student artwork! Students were thrilled to escort their families through the school pointing out their masterpieces and admiring the artwork created by their friends. Families enjoyed reading unique Artists Statements thoughtfully crafted by these brave young artists. Bravo to all of the beautiful artists and their amazing art teacher, Mrs. Kerry Bevers!

What’s My Rule?

This week First Grade mathematicians were introduced to the “What’s My Rule?” routine and Function Machines. “What’s My Rule?” provides a format for young scholars to think about rule-based relationships between pairs of numbers and also provides practice with number patterns and number facts. A Function Machine is a table diagram to help First Grade friends visualize the “What’s My Rule?” routine. The machines have a number go in and are “programmed” to change the numbers according to a rule. First Grade scholars were thrilled to take on this new way of thinking about number patterns and number facts.

 

Important Dates

 Tuesday, Jan. 30th              The Opinion Pages Publishing Party, 8:15

Friday, Feb. 9th                    Valentine’s Day Bake Sale 2:15-2:45

Wednesday, Feb. 14th       Valentine’s Day Concert 1:30pm (Circular Church)

Friday, Feb. 16th -19th         February Break, No School

Tuesday, Feb. 20th              Inuit Presentation, 8:15

 

Unfamiliar words? No problem! January 20, 2018

Brave Nonfiction Readers
This week First Grade scholars reviewed strategies to help them tackle unfamiliar words in their reading. These nonfiction readers know to pay close attention to the clues the author gives in the text. When scholars read around a word they get many clues which help them to build meaning.  First Graders also know to refer to the glossary of their text to help them understand the meanings of new vocabulary words. 
 
More Inuit Discoveries 
First Grade friends took a closer look at foods consumed by traditional Inuit people during Social Studies this week. Scholars spent time comparing the foods they are accustomed to eating here in Charleston to traditional Inuit foods. They investigated reasons why their diet is so different from that of the Inuit. This discussion lead to a very interesting activity comparing food prices where we live, to those in Nunavut, Canada, where many Inuit live. Ask your First Grader what Inuit discoveries they made this week!
 
Dr. Martin Luther King Day
Students and teachers took time in Whole School Morning Meeting last week to understand why we were out of school on Monday, and the importance of honoring and celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cooper School Scholars from all grade levels shared what they knew about his life, mission, and contributions to our country. Cooper School students know that he was a peaceful man who worked very hard for the equal rights of all races in The United States of America. We thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!
 
Important Dates:

Thursday, Jan. 25th             Art Walk, 8:00 AM

Tuesday, Jan. 30th              The Opinion Pages Publishing Party, 8:15

Welcoming the New Year with One Word! January 12, 2018

One Word

Each year at The Cooper School students take time to refocus and set intentions for the New Year by choosing our One Word to carry us into another year of learning and living. We do this by discussing ways that we want to move forward in our scholarly and personal lives. Students choose a word, which is meaningful to them, explain why they chose the word and how it will help them in their daily lives. Our words will be posted in the classroom to help students self-monitor and reference them throughout the remainder of the 2018 school year! Ask your First Grader what they chose as their One Word and how it will help usher them through 2018!

Polar Biome Discoveries

This was an exciting week of Polar discoveries for First Grade friends! Students were thrilled to make connections to our recent snowy weather as they investigated the unique permafrost soil and ecosystem of the Arctic Tundra. Scholars read a variety of non-fiction texts and made so many discoveries about the plants, animals, and people that have adapted to the frigid climate in the Polar Biome. In learning centers, students learned about the dangers of snow-blindness caused by the sun reflecting light on the snow. First Grade friends compared snow goggles from a long time ago, to snow goggles now, and even created their very own pair of Inuit snow goggles!

Stop and Summarize

First Grade non-fiction readers have added many tools to their non-fiction reader’s tool belt! This week scholars practiced stopping to summarize after reading a page in their non-fiction texts. When readers stop to summarize at the end of a page, it helps them understand what they have just read. Reading partners practiced sharing their summaries with their partner and even recorded a fact from their reading!

Important Dates:

Monday, Jan. 15th              MLK Jr. Day/ No School

Thursday, Jan. 25th             Art Walk, 8:00 AM

Tuesday, Jan. 30th              The Opinion Pages Publishing Party, 8:15

Happy Holidays! December 21, 2017

Polar Discoveries!

This week our First Grade scholars continued our study of biomes, zooming–in on the Polar Biome, specifically the Arctic Circle! First Grade friends learned all about the countries that make up the Arctic Circle by studying maps and a globe. Scholars were introduced to the idea of indigenous people and learned about the Inuit people of the Arctic! First Grade friends enjoyed reading a variety of non-fiction texts about the Arctic during Reading Workshop and shared many wonders. These curious scholars spent time studying interesting pictures of the Inuit and Arctic lands while participating in a “write-around” activity to share their thoughts and wonders. Ask your First Grader what they most enjoyed discovering about the Arctic this week!

Exploring Place Value and Comparing Numbers

 Mathematicians launched Unit 5 in Math this week! First Grade friends spent time exploring place value with base ten blocks on place value mats. Mathematicians were able to practice building numbers to explore the ones and tens place values. This hands-on activity helps to build place value knowledge and number sense. Scholars spent time reviewing relational symbols to compare two numbers. These brave scholars used all they know to identify numbers using the language, “greater than and less than”.

Holiday Migration

 Students at The Cooper School participated in Whole School Morning Meetings this week to learn about how different winter holidays came to be, and specifically how light is important to each one! Scholars were delighted to make new discoveries about holidays celebrated around the world, as well as make connections amongst the variety of celebrations. Students learned how light is a valued component across holidays. Ask your scholar which holiday they enjoyed learning about the most!

Important Dates:

 Friday, December 22nd                           Winter Break Begins

Thursday, January 4th                            School Resumes

Book Reports with Reading Buddies! December 15, 2017

Story Elements and Book Reports

First Graders have been busy analyzing story elements during Reading Workshop. First Grade friends have been paying special close attention to the characters in the books they are reading. They know to take notice when a character has a strong feeling, and to think about what is happening in the story to make him or her feel this way. Brave readers know to pay attention when their character encounters a problem, and notice how they try to solve it. This can teach us a great deal about our characters! First Grade friends have been practicing telling the important things that happen to the main character in order, and then saying how the main character felt about the things that happened. We are wrapping up our study of Story Elements by writing and presenting book reports! We will celebrate this hard work by sharing our book reports with Fourth Grade Reading Buddies!

 Addition Fact Power

First Graders are working on their Addition Fact Power! Addition Fact Power is the instant recall of sums of one-digit numbers without stopping to figure them out. First Grade mathematicians are learning that having Fact Power is like being a good reader. Reading is easier and more enjoyable if you recognize many words automatically. These scholars are finding out that the same is true of number facts! First Graders are discovering that solving problems is easier if you automatically know the sums of two numbers from 0 to 9. One strategy that students learned is to look for patterns in the numbers they are adding. For example, in doubles facts, both numbers being added are the same and their sums are even! Brave mathematicians are sharpening their Addition Fact Power through games and practice during math time and learning centers!

What is a Biome?

First Grade friends spent time learning about biomes this week during Social Studies. They discovered that a biome is a community of plants and animals in a large geographical area with the same climate and soil. These curious scholars were able to identify the different parts of a biome, which include: energy, air, water, plants, animals, and soil. First Graders were thrilled to learn that all energy comes from the sun and participated in hands-on activities to examine the flow of energy through food chains. Ask your young scholar what they learned about biomes this week!

Important Dates

Wednesday, December 20th   Polar Express Movie Night 5-8

Thursday, December 21st    Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd         Winter Break Begins

Measurement, Citizenship, and Health December 8, 2017

Measuring Away!

First Grade Mathematicians have spent the week exploring measurement during math! Scholars investigated rulers and measuring tapes to make discoveries about inches. They know that an inch is about as long as a small paperclip. First Graders used this knowledge to make estimates about the length of objects around our classroom. Friends even took turns measuring each other, and built a class graph to show the heights of all students in inches! Ask your First Grader how many inches tall they are!

Citizenship and Our Country

 This week, First Grade scholars took a closer look at what it means to be a good citizen. These kind friends know that a citizen is anyone who lives in our country and that to be a good citizen, you look out for each other and the world we live in! Young scholars learned about the people who lead our country, state, and town. They know that a president, governor and mayor are all leaders who help keep people safe and make sure people follow laws. First Grade citizens explored symbols of our country and even practiced The Pledge of Allegiance.

Keeping Our Bodies Healthy

 First Grade friends took time this week to re-visit ways to keep our bodies healthy. First Graders enjoyed Morning Meeting discussions about the steps to take in order to effectively wash their hands. These health-conscious children know to be sure and get their hands good and sudsy, and then sing their ABC’s while washing their little hands. First Graders enjoyed class read-alouds about the many ways that germs can spread, and reviewed steps that can be taken to help prevent the spread of germs!

Important Dates

Thursday, December 14th    Parent Coffee (8am)

Thursday, December 21st    Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd         Winter Break Begins

 

SCHOOL NEWS

Silent Auction

Join us at the 2018 Silent Auction!

March 8th from 6pm-9pm at The Schoolhouse

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