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.

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

 

Writing Reviews, Looking at Our World and Growing Independence December 1, 2017

 Cheese Pizza is the Best!

First Grade writers have been busy finding many ways to convince their readers. These writers know that when convincing their reader it is important to give their opinion with details and explain reasons why. First Graders brought in personal collections to help inspire their opinion writing. These brave writers were also introduced to an opinion-writing checklist to help guide their writing. Scholars spent time checking their writing to be sure that they grabbed their reader’s attention, gave an opinion, and supported their opinions with reasons and details.

Our World

During Social Studies, First Graders took time to investigate, “ Where in the world do we live?” Scholars learned the seven continents and were able to identify that we live in North America. From there, they zoomed-in on the country that we live in. First graders identified that we live the country of the United States. Scholars then, zoomed-in even closer to identify the state and city that we live in. First Graders spent time mapping the street that they live on and shared these maps with their peers. Ask your First Grader what they know about, “ Where in the world do we live?”

We Are Independent!

 This week scholars began looking at the many ways that we can be independent at school. First Grade friends discussed ways they can be independent in staying healthy, by being sure to sneeze or cough into their “Germ Jail” and always washing their hands before leaving the restroom. These independent scholars know they can demonstrate independence in the classroom by referencing charts on the wall for information. First Grade writers demonstrated independence during Writing Workshop by using a checklist to be sure they had included certain components in their piece of writing. Ask your brave First Grader their favorite way to show independence at school!

Important Dates

Friday, December 8th            Concert at the Circular Church (1:30pm)

Thursday, December 14th    Parent Coffee (8am)

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

Friday, December 22nd         Winter Break Begins

We Are So Grateful! November 17, 2017

Gratitude
Every November Cooper School students and staff begin their discussion of Gratitude. This week, First Grade writers practiced identifying things in their lives that they are grateful for. After identifying things they are grateful for, they dug a little deeper to identify the reasons why they are grateful for these things. Writers at The Cooper School are working hard to express their gratitude for so many things through a beautiful school-wide writing project!

Story Elements

This week, First Grade readers launched a new unit that looks closely at story elements in fiction books, including character, setting and plot. Scholars spent time identifying who the main character is in the stories they have been reading. They know to ask themselves, “Who is this story mostly about?” when trying to identify the main character. First Grade readers also practiced identifying the setting in the fiction books they read by thinking, “Where and when does this story take place?” Readers learned to identify the problem in the story by asking themselves, “What is the challenge or conflict the character is facing?” These thinking jobs are great tools to help young readers as they learn to read fiction stories through the lens of story elements.

Pilgrim Discoveries

This week, First Graders took a look into the lives’ of brave pilgrims. They know that life was very different for these people who came to America a long, long time ago. Students spent time discovering reasons why the pilgrims came to America, where they came from, how they got here and what their long journey may have been like. First Graders learned about the native Wampanoag people that lived in America at that time. First Grade scholars looked closely at the daily life of a pilgrim as compared to the daily life of the Wampanoag.

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 20th Harvest Feast, Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • November 21st-24th Thanksgiving Break, No School
  • Thursday, November 30th Tree Decorating at Marion Square @ 3:15
  • Friday, December 8th Holiday Concert at Circular Congregational Church @ 1:30

 

 

 

We Are Family! November 10, 2017

 Our Families

This week in Social Studies students began exploring what it means to be a family. First Grade friends discussed how our families are made up of people we love. They know that families take care of each other and have fun together. First Graders learned how each generation of a family helps prepare the next generation for challenges to come. These First Graders know that family members, friends, and classmates can all teach us how to act responsibly!

Dime, Dime, Little and Thin

This week in Math, First Graders began exploring and working with dimes! This is big work for First Graders as they learn coin values and ways to identify each coin and its two different sides. First Graders learned a new math game this week to help them with their coin identification skills. In the game, Dime-Nickel-Penny Grab, First Grade mathematicians practiced identifying coin combinations and adding up their values to find a total amount. Once they found a total amount they compared their totals to find the greater value. Ask your First Grader all about their new math game, Dime-Nickel-Penny Grab!

Insect Museum

 First Grade scientists were thrilled to present all of their hard work as they shared their insect knowledge at the Insect Museum on Tuesday morning! Scholars bravely taught their parents and other audience members all about the insects they had researched during our Insect Study. First Graders were beaming with pride as they shared their insect photographs that they took all by themselves using an iPad mini. These insect experts shared their insect artwork with such an enthusiastic audience! This wonderful experience ended with a festive celebration in our school’s backyard, complete with adorable insect-themed snacks!

Important Dates

  • November 13th & November 14th Parent Teacher Conferences, Half Days, 11:30 Dismissal
  • November 15th Make-Up Picture Day
  • Monday, November 20th Harvest Feast, Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • November 21st-24th Thanksgiving Break, No School

Carnival Fun, Twin Sentences, and Being the Boss of Our Bodies November 3, 2017

Halloween Fun with Friends!

This week, festive friends had the joy of celebrating Halloween together at school! Cooper School students celebrated this special day by wearing unique costumes, playing Halloween games, and singing holiday songs with Miss Hazel and Mr. Bob! Fifth Grade students did a fabulous job creating an exciting and old-fashioned Halloween-carnival; complete with a spooky play structure, candy hunt chamber and zombie bowling! Cooper School kids always shine with their creative costumes! It was such a fun-filled and festive day!

Let Me Teach You What I Know!

This week during Writing Workshop, brave writers have been busy sharing their knowledge on topics that they know well! First Grade friends are writing books that teach! These wonderful writers know to think about the who, where, how, when and why about their topic when writing books that teach. They have worked hard to add pictures to help teach their topic. These detailed drawings are complete with arrows, words to describe and zoomed- illustrations! One strategy writers especially enjoyed was writing “twin sentences”! These special sentence pairs go together. The first sentence states a fact and the second sentence explains the first. Ask your First Grader to tell you their favorite “twin sentence” from this week!

I am the BOSS of my body!

This week, First Graders learned strategies to help them regulate their emotions. These brave scholars learned steps they can take to help identify warning signs of when they are feeling frustrated, annoyed, angry, or scared. They know to watch out for hot cheeks, pounding hearts, sweaty hands, or hot blood. First Graders know to pay close attention to these signs in their body! These feelings are a signal for them to stop, wait and reflect, thinking to themselves, “How can I solve this problem?”. First Grade friends are learning to be problem-solvers. They know that problem-solvers think of a plan and always use a calm tone instead of reacting to a problem.

 

Important Dates

 

 

  • Tuesday, November 7thInsect Museum Presentation 8:15-9:15
  • Wednesday, November 8th TCS Picture Day
  • November 13th & November 14th Parent Teacher Conferences, Half Days, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Monday, November 20th Harvest Feast, Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • November 21st-24th Thanksgiving Break, No School

 

October 27, 2017

 

 Math Explorations

This week, First Grade friends investigated number patterns, shapes and patterns during Math Explorations.  Math Explorations are a time when mathematicians are given opportunities to extend their understanding of recently taught math concepts through hands-on, manipulative rich activities. First Grade math partners practiced sorting dominoes by odd and even numbers and recorded their findings. Scholars also worked on finding a variety of ways to cover shapes with different combinations of pattern blocks. First Grade friends enjoyed sharing their pattern block findings with their math groups!

Character Study

First Grade readers are getting to know more about characters during Reading Workshop! This week readers payed special attention to the characters in their books by noticing what they like and dislike. These brave readers know to look at what a character does in each part of the story and then ask themselves, “What does this tell me about my character?” Scholars in First Grade pay close attention to what characters say in order to learn even more about how they feel. Ask your First Grader what they have learned about characters in their books this week!

Insect Photography

We have had such an exciting week in First Grade Science! Young scientists have been learning how to use iPad cameras to capture photographs of insects in our school’s backyard. First Graders spent time searching for insects to photograph and then practiced using the iPads to zoom-in and focus on our tiny insect friends. Scientists found insects in so many interesting places. They even found insect eggs on a plant in our backyard! Ask your young scientist about the insect they photographed this week!

Halloween Carnival Fun

We are looking forward to next week’s Halloween Carnival at The Cooper School! Our Halloween Carnival is an old-fashioned, fun-filled day put on by the oldest students for the younger children’s enjoyment. We invite students to wear costumes to school, but we ask that they are not too scary; no gore, guts, or weapons, please! Dismissal is at 11:30 am on Halloween.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, October 31stHalloween Carnival- Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Tuesday, November 7thInsect Museum Presentation 8:15-9:15
  • Wednesday, November 8th TCS Picture Day
  • November 13th & November 14th Parent Teacher Conferences, Half Days, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Monday, November 20th Harvest Feast, Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • November 21st-24th Thanksgiving Break, No School

 

Patterns, Publishing, and Play! October 20, 2017

Patterns, Patterns, Everywhere

This week, First Grade launched Unit 3 in Math. One of the most important topics in Mathematics is the study of patterns. First Grade mathematicians spent time exploring and examining various patterns with numbers and patterns in their community. First Grade friends were able to locate patterns in so many places! They found calendar patterns, even and odd number patterns, sound patterns, and visual patterns! These scholars practiced finding a rule to describe predictable visual and numerical patterns. They then practiced using the rule to extend these patterns. Ask your young mathematician where they see patterns in the world around them!

Publishing Celebration

 First Grade writers have been so busy writing, illustrating, and practicing reading their writing, as they prepare to publish to Second Grade friends this week! These brave writers selected their very best small moment piece of writing to revise, edit, and prepare for publishing. Scholars spent the week putting finishing touches on their pieces by carefully illustrating pictures to match the words on each page using true-life colors. Ask your First Grader how they felt publishing their work to our Second Grade audience!

Jump Ropes in Our Backyard

 On Monday, scholars of every age were introduced to the first playground toy of the year, the jump rope. At TCS, students are introduced to playground toys one by one as a strategy to encourage these creative minds to initiate inventive play. The beginning of the year is also the time to develop friendships throughout different grade levels through group games. Therefore, it was of no surprise that when jump ropes were introduced at Whole School Morning Meeting students were excited to experiment with all the creative uses a jump rope can offer. Once a new toy is introduced, students discuss and model proper use and care of the toy. After jump ropes, teachers will continue to introduce one toy a week at Whole School Morning Meeting. This ensures each toy is used appropriately and to its full potential.

 Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, October 24th First Grade Parent Morning Meeting,                                         8:00 – 8:30
  • Tuesday, October 31st Halloween Carnival- Half Day
  • Tuesday November 7th Insect Museum Presentation 8:15-9:15

“We Get Along Like Peas and Carrots” October 13, 2017

Reading Buddies

This week, First Grade non-fiction readers learned new ways to share what they are learning in their books, with their “Peas and Carrots” reading partners. These scholars know to show their partner several pages and explain what the author taught on each page. First Graders practiced asking their reading partners questions to learn even more about their topics. They know to use the text and non-fiction text features when sharing. First Grade friends are truly becoming non-fiction reading experts!

Molting Mealworms

 Our insect study is chugging along in First Grade! This week we checked on our mealworm colony and made an exciting discovery! Our mealworm friends have been so busy growing that they have shed their hard exoskeletons. When these creatures grow, they get too big for their exoskeletons, shed, and leave them behind. First Grade scientist used hand lenses to closely observe and draw their mealworms in this stage of their lifecycles! Ask your First Grade scientist to tell you all about their molting mealworm!

Magic C

 In Handwriting this week, First Grade writers learned all about “magic c”! This lowercase letter starts at the top and takes a little curve down to the bottom line. Magic c is a special letter because it helps form many other lowercase letters like a, o, d, g, and even q. Reviewing proper ways to form lowercase letters is necessary to building good writing habits for our growing writers.

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, October 18th First Grade Parent Lunch, 11:00-11:30
  • Tuesday, October 24th First Grade Parent Morning Meeting,                                         8:00 – 8:30
  • Tuesday, October 31st Halloween Carnival

 

We Are Independent! October 6, 2017

 Non-Fiction Readers Use Text Features!

This week our brave readers examined non-fiction text features to learn how they help us as readers. Scholars examined a variety of non-fiction books and practiced locating and using four special text features. Readers learned to use photographs to imagine and understand what the text is describing or explaining. First Graders closely examined captions to see how they explain what is happening in a photograph or picture. Scholars practiced using a Table of Contents to locate specific information about a topic. First Graders know how to locate and use an Index to look for important keywords in a non-fiction text.

 Wax Worms

This week our young scientists welcomed a new insect into our classroom! First Grade scientists observed wax worms very closely during Science and noticed so many new and interesting body parts that these insects have! We discovered that wax worms have dots along the sides of their bodies called “spiracles” and they allow the wax worms to breathe. We learned that wax worms have an extra set of legs called “prolegs” that work like suction cups! First Grade scientists used hand lenses to look closely at our wax worm larvae and create detailed drawings with labels. Ask your brave scientists what else they learned about wax worms this week!

Independent Learners

This week, First Grade friends discovered new ways to be the boss of their learning during Writing Workshop! These wonderful writers know to reread their writing independently and think about what to add next. When they finish a piece of writing, First Grade scholars know to then edit their work, and start a new piece of writing. These busy writers were writing so much that they needed more pages added to their writing booklets. They have learned how to independently add pages to their booklets using a stapler! Ask your brave First Grader how they show independence during Writing Workshop!

Important Dates:

  • October 9th & 10th F all Break, No School
  • Wednesday, October 18th First Grade Parent Lunch, 11:00-11:30
  • Tuesday, October 24th First Grade Parent Morning Meeting,                                             8:00 – 8:30
  • Tuesday, October 31st Halloween Carnival

 

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