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.

Mixing Materials and Exploring Book Series! April 20, 2018

Mixing Solids and Liquids

First Grade scientists have been busy investigating small pieces of solid particles and comparing them to liquids they previously investigated. Scientists spent time investigating our school’s backyard to see if solid particles can be found outdoors. First Grade science partners found a wide variety of solid particles outdoors, collected them in bottles, and compared them to liquids in bottles. They were able to identify similarities and differences in the way these materials move inside of bottles. Their investigation ended with an observation to compare how the two states of matter poured from their bottles. Scientists also explored a collection of solid materials to observe what happens when they are mixed with water. We can’t wait to re-visit this investigation on Monday to observe changes! Ask your First Grade scientist what they observed during science this week!

Characters and Their Stories

First Grade readers spent the week closely investigating characters and their stories in the book series they read! These observant readers practiced getting to know the characters in a book series by investigating the title, cover pictures, back of the book and the Table of Contents. They know to pay special attention to the first chapter in a book series to identify who the main characters are, and when and where the setting of the book takes place. First Grade readers noticed quotation marks let a reader know when a character is talking. They worked hard to identify the many ways that characters share dialogue in a text, and were even able to incorporate these dialogue tags into their own writing!

Writing Books in a Series

Writers have been tackling some big work during Writing Workshop this week! They are working on writing books in a series! Through close investigation and reading of books in a series, these scholars know that when writing books in a series they must include the same imaginary characters throughout their series. As they created their first series book, First Grade writers made sure to create their imaginary character, describe where the character lives, what they like to do, how they feel, who their best friends are, and included important background information. Ask your First Grader about the book series they are writing in Writing Workshop!

Important Dates

Dock Street Theater – Thursday, April 26th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, April 27th

Grandparents Day- Friday, May 4th (10am- 11:30 Dismissal)

Pass It On-  Friday, May 4th (5pm-6pm @ The Charleston Museum)

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 11th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 18th

Bits and Pieces April 13, 2018

Bits and Pieces

This week, First Grade scientists spent time investigating a variety of solids including; cornmeal, rice, lima beans, pinto beans, and mung beans. These scholars compared this group of solids to liquids they have previously investigated, by observing what happens when each one is poured into different containers. First Grade scientists discovered that solids can be poured like liquids but do not flow in the same way. They learned that these “bits and pieces” of solids are known as “particles”. Science partners collaborated to find ways to separate different combinations of particles using screens of different sizes. Ask your First Grade scholar how they extended their particle investigation by creating artwork out of “bits and pieces”!

Math Explorations

During Math Explorations this week, scholars collaborated as they solved and designed hands-on pattern-block puzzles to find fractional parts of figures. Math partners shared ideas about the numbers that express the relationship between the pattern blocks and the larger shapes being explored. First Grade mathematicians used geoboards to build symmetrical shapes and divided the shapes into equal parts. These hands-on and manipulative rich activities help deepen First Grade mathematicians’ understanding of fractions and fractional parts of whole shapes in fun and engaging ways!

Writing Realistic Fiction Stories

First Grade writers were thrilled to dive into a new writing unit as we launched our writing of realistic fiction during Writing Workshop this week! Students tapped into their imaginations to create characters with problems that need to be solved in the stories they wrote. These brave writers learned several ways to bring their characters to life, by unfreezing people in their stories and having them talk and move throughout the story. First Grade writers know to tell their stories bit by bit in order to paint pictures with their words. Finally, First Grade writers are also working on bringing out the inside of their characters by explaining how they feel and making them think throughout the story.

Important Dates

French Party – Monday, April 16th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, April 20th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, April 27th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 11th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 18th

Dock Street Theater – Thursday, April 26th

Ginko Walks in Nature, Fraction Fun, and Puddle Discoveries! March 29, 2018

Ginko Walks

This week, young poets took their writing outdoors as they explored the wonderful world of writing haiku. First Grade writers took several Ginko Walks to unique areas on our school campus to tap into the here and now. These young haiku-writers composed three-lined poems about nature to answer when, where, and what about the here and now. Ask your First Grade observer of nature what they observed during our Ginko Walks this week during Writing Workshop.

Investigating Fractions

First Grade mathematicians took a closer look at fractions this week in math and built on their understanding by examining fractional parts of a whole. Students compared fractional parts of food to introduce them to unit fraction notation. First Grade scholars reviewed the vocabulary associated with fractions and participated in hands-on explorations of fractional parts and recording fraction notation.

Puddle Discoveries!

First Grade scientists wrapped up their investigation of liquids this week with an outdoor exploration! Young scientists know that liquids can be found in puddles. After searching for puddles and finding none, First Graders decided to make their own! These observational scientists know that liquids need containers to hold their shape. They searched with their science partners for ideal locations that dip down, to create their own puddles in our school’s backyard. Science partners were thrilled to find an ideal spot under the swings and collaborated to create a class puddle to observe! We are looking forward to further exploring solids and liquids when we return from Spring Break!

Important Dates:

Friday, March 30th                    Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                      Return from Spring Break    

Friday, April 20th   Swim Lessons

Friday, April 27th Swim Lessons

Friday, May 11th Swim Lessons

Friday, May 18th Swim Lessons

Poetry All Over the Place! March 23, 2018

Poetry From Every Angle!

First Grade writers continue to be immersed in the magic of poetry! Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Learning Centers, and Morning Meetings have allowed scholars to build on their poetic expertise by exploring poetry from every angle. First Graders are thoroughly inspired by the world around them and are bravely recording what they see when they look at the world through the eyes of a poet! Our classroom is flooded with poems written by First Grade poets, teachers, and Cooper School writers. We can’t wait to share our hard work with you at Pass It On!

Counting Money and Exchanges

This week First Grade mathematicians closely examined dollar bills and added to their growing knowledge of money. Scholars were eager to build on their understanding of coins, finding values of collections of coins, and representing money with different coin combinations, by adding exchanges of dollars! These brave scholars were able to practice their skills with a new math game, One Dollar Exchange. In this exciting game, students enhance their understanding of place value by building coin collections and trading when possible to change place values as numbers increase.

Observing Liquids

First Grade scientists dove deep into our study of matter by investigating liquids this week in science. Students were excited to investigate a variety of liquids to discover the many different properties! Close investigations of these liquids led to the building of scientific language used to describe liquids. First Graders discovered that water is transparent but can be many colors, and corn syrup moves slowly and is quite viscous. Ask your First Grader what they discovered about liquids this week!

Important Dates:

Saturday, March 24th               Spring Planting Party (9am-12pm)

Friday, March 30th                    Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                      Return from Spring Break    

Friday, April 20th   Swim Lessons

Friday, April 27th Swim Lessons

Friday, May 11th Swim Lessons

Friday, May 18th Swim Lessons

Solid, Poems, and Cones! Oh, My! March 16, 2018

Solids All Around Us!

This week First Grade engineers continued to investigate solids by further observing and analyzing the properties and usefulness of specific solids in building towers. Science partners read about types of towers and investigated how they are built. Then they were given a set of solid objects with the challenge to construct a sturdy tower. These brave engineers discovered that building with rigid materials allowed them to build a tower that was tall, strong, and sturdy. Scientists even took our learning outside to investigate our school’s backyard in search of solid objects. Each partnership gathered solids, observed and recorded properties of the items collected and then sorted them into natural and human-made categories.

 Poetry is Alive in First Grade

This week First Grade Poets were so busy reading, writing, and analyzing poetry! Morning Meeting, Reading and Writing Workshop, Vocabulary, Spelling, Learning Centers, and transitions throughout our school day, have been flooded with poetry! First Graders were thrilled to be using their senses to create and understand the elements of poetry. These poetry scholars investigated and experimented with line breaks, stanzas, and word choice to enhance the meaning in the poems they write. They were able to further extend their poetic knowledge by closely examining rhythm, rhyme and alliteration in poetry. Ask your First Grader what they learned about creating powerful poems this week.

Cones and Symmetry

First Grade mathematicians continued to explore the wonderful world of geometry during math! This week scholars were introduced to more 3-dimensional shapes- the pyramid, cone, and cube. First Grade mathematicians practiced observing and discussing the characteristics of these new shapes and sorting them by their attributes. Scholars also explored symmetry by cutting and folding symmetrical shapes. Ask your First Grader to tell you what they learned about geometric shapes and symmetry this week in math!

Important Dates:

Saturday, March 24th                  Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                       Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                         Return from Spring Break  

 

Looking at the World Through Poet’s Eyes March 9, 2018

Launching Poetry

This week First Grade readers and writers launched our annual poetry study. Scholars have started to look at the world through the eyes of a poet. Our classroom is flooded with poetry and young readers are discovering the unique elements that make a poem a poem. These brave readers know that poems have stanzas, line breaks, and rhyming words.

First Graders are thrilled to be diving deep into our poetry study as writers of poetry! They know that they have an important job of looking at the world through the eyes of a poet. Looking at the world in new ways and from different angles allows them to see with their hearts and minds. First Grade writers know that this helps poets write about the world in new and unusual ways. We have even started a special collection of unique items in our class poetry museum to inspire us. Stay tuned to see what your brave poet is writing during Writing Workshop!

Geometry and Attributes

First Grade mathematicians are so excited to be exploring the wonderful world of geometry during math! This week scholars were introduced to 3-dimensional shapes and explored the 2-dimensional figures within 3-dimensional shapes. Brave mathematicians investigated a variety of attributes to sort and group these geometric shapes through the hands-on game, “Attribute Trains”. In this game, students practice identifying, describing, and comparing shapes. Ask your First Grader to tell you what they learned about attributes this week in math!

 What is Matter?

This week First Graders were thrilled to launch a new unit of study during Science! Scientists were introduced to the three states of matter and then zoomed-in to investigate solids. During this investigation scholars were given time to explore a set of solids. They were then given the challenge to describe these solid items and collect a list of properties to describe solids. First Grade scientists discovered that when describing solids they must observe the properties of solids. Students then further explored solids to observe the many different materials that solids can be made from. Ask your budding scientist what they learned about solids this week!

Important Dates:

Saturday, March 24th                           Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                       Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                         Return from Spring Break  

 

Big Kid Math, Author Study, and Self-Assessment March 3, 2018

Big Kid Math

This week brave mathematicians were introduced to a new math tool, the Student Reference Book, through an exciting scavenger hunt! First Graders were given time to explore this new tool with their math partners. They were then given clues telling them to hunt for a specific item in a certain area of their Student Reference Book. Scholars were able to apply their non-fiction reading expertise and use the Table of Contents to locate different information. First Grade friends enjoyed looking up information about their favorite math games, telling time, and counting coins. This math tool will come in handy in math for years to come!

Authors Write About What They Know

This week in our Cynthia Rylant study we explored the idea that authors write about what they know. First Grade friends investigated biographies and educational videos to learn more about Cynthia Rylant’s life. Through this investigation they discovered that she grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and had plenty of pets. First Graders were thrilled to make connections about Cynthia Rylant’s early life to the topics she writes about in her books. These connections were especially exciting when reading When I Was Young In the Mountains.

 Reflecting on Our Learning

First Grade friends spent time preparing for their upcoming student led conferences this week. These brave scholars thought about which skills they feel the most confident in presenting and are preparing to teach you what they know! First Graders each took time to reflect on and write about their growth so far this year. These brave scholars recorded responses to questions about their learning across subject areas in their nicest neatest handwriting quite thoughtfully. First Graders have been working hard this year and can’t wait to share all of their growth and progress with you!

Important Dates

Monday, March 5th                           Student Led Conference, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, March 6th                           Student Led Conference, 11:30 Dismissal

Thursday, March 8th                         Silent Auction

Saturday, March 24th                        Spring Planting Party

Friday, March 30th                            Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                              Return from Spring Break

 

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

SCHOOL NEWS

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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