Erin Biddle enters her second year at The Cooper School as the Kindergarten teacher. Erin brings thirteen years of classroom experience in Connecticut, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Erin received her BA in Education at Mercyhurst University. She is a certified early childhood and elementary educator. Erin believes her mission is to instill the love of learning. She is thrilled to be a member of The Cooper School team! Erin enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris and daughter, Abigail exploring Charleston and going to the beach.
Atam is originally from Evansville, IN but lived in Memphis, TN prior to moving to Charleston. He previously worked as an assistant in a Junior Kindergarten class at Immaculate Conception Catholic School. Outside of the classroom Atam has a passion for teaching as a summer camp administrator, theater teacher and private swim coach. Atam is so happy to be in Charleston working with Miss Erin.
Investigating Diverse Cultures
Young scientists spent time discovering the wonders and uniqueness of the Yanomama people of the Amazon Rainforest! Brave scientists took a peek at the different aspects of this traditional tribe’s culture including: clothing, food, shelter, transportation, and celebrations. Scientist enjoyed learning about this tribe’s traditional ways of living off the land and their ways of respecting nature to protect the rainforest. Kindergarteners spent time illustrating and writing about their Yanomama discoveries. One of our favorite discoveries included the fact that the Yanomama don’t eat sloths!
This week Kindergarteners spent Writer’s Workshop time putting the finishing touches on their best piece of persuasive writing. Students have been writing about problems they see and offering fix-it ideas to make our classroom, school, and world a better place! Their pieces may look like a poster, song, list, petition, or how-to book to convince their reader to help. After choosing their very best piece, young writers collaborated with their writing partners to practice listening and speaking, in preparation for their final Kindergarten Publishing Party. Partnerships took turns offering each other feedback, following their practice readings. Writers were busy adding illustrations to match the words in their writing. Kindergarteners were very mindful in using true-life colors while illustrating their writing.
Reading Closely to Understand Characters
Young readers have been busy investigating story elements and discovering the ways we can observe characters in books to develop big ideas about characters’ traits. This week, Kindergarteners practiced observing characters’ dialogue, actions, and problem-solving strategies while asking themselves, “What does this tell me about my character?”. All of this close reading left us with a growing list of character traits as we analyzed characters throughout the week. Curious readers examined clues like quotation marks that help us know when a character is speaking. They noticed that they often found the word, “said” very close by when they saw quotation marks. Finally, readers noticed that sometimes a narrator tells the story as an outsider looking in on the characters.
Wrapping-Up Swim Lessons
Our brave swimmers completed their last swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners have gained confidence through their weekly swim lessons and helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lessons with brave and happy hearts. During Close of Day and Learning Centers this week, they helped compose a shared writing thank you letter to their swim coaches. Kindergarteners are grateful for their swimming lessons!
Readers Discover Story Elements!
This week Kindergarten readers investigated story elements to understand and analyze fiction books. Readers discussed elements including: character, setting, and plot. Kindergarten readers know to ask, “Who is this story mostly about?” to find the main character in a story. When thinking about the setting, they know to ask, “When and where did this take place?” Brave readers practiced identifying the conflict or problem in fiction stories to discuss the plot.
This week Kindergarten Mathematicians spent time practicing and reinforcing math skills. Students reviewed grouping and writing numbers 0-20. Kindergarteners then used this prior knowledge to show ways they can make addition fact families for the numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Small grouping helped students to really grasp the concept of addition and subtraction. Kindergarten mathematicians are quickly marching their way towards becoming First Grade mathematicians!
Pass It On Fundraiser
Cooper School kids invited a representative from the Charleston Animal Society to campus this week to present a check for the proceeds from sales of Pass It On. We had no idea that she would bring a special guest: her dog! After hearing even more about what the Animal Society does for local pets and where our money would go, we were thrilled to present a check for $490.00! That money can go a long way to help the animals that we love.
Pass It On
The Cooper School had a lovely time at our annual event, Pass it On. Brave poets put on their fancy clothes, gathered their gumption and shared their beautiful poems to a large and loving audience. Students and teachers were thrilled to hear their friends and siblings share their hard work. We are so proud of all of the hard work that Kindergarten poets put into their poetry writing
Eric Carle Museum
On Friday, Kindergarteners were tickled pink to share all their beautiful work and knowledge with their parents and families. Kindergarteners worked hard on creating art,
reading books, and creating writing with lots of luscious language. We celebrated all of our hard work with lots of Eric Carle inspired treats. Thank you parents and families for joining us!
Calling All Grandparents
The Cooper School was honored to have grandparents and special friends join us at school for Grandparents and Special Friends Day on Friday! Our proud singers shared special songs during a lovely Whole School Choir performance. Grandparents and special friends were also invited to join classes for a Morning Meeting just as students participate in, daily. Grandparents and Special Friends were elated to participate in greetings and activities that Kindergarteners enjoy each day. Ask your Kindergartener, Grandparents or Special Friends to tell you all about their big day!
It’s Green! It’s Humid! It’s a Rainforest!
Kindergartners have been enjoying our new rainforest study. This week we investigated to find out what is a rainforest? Students practiced locating rainforests of the world using our color-coded biome map. Learning Centers allowed students to further explore our rainforest study. In our art center students illustrated themselves in the rainforest with a black crayon and painted these lovely pictures with watercolor paints. In the imagination station center Kindergarteners had a chance to pack for a trip to the rainforest. Students read rainforest books in our reading center and illustrated rainforest predators on a class chart. Finally, in our science center, students learned about various rainforest animals. Ask your young scientist what they learned about the rainforest this week!
We started a great conversation about leaders and leadership this week at TCS. We started by discussing what leaders do and by making a word cloud about how to identify a good leader. Students generated phrases like “never gives up,” “does the right thing,” and “solves problems.” Then we brainstormed a list of people who were leaders to us. The list was fascinating. Students identified peers, siblings, parents, famous people and presidents of the United States going all the way back to George Washington! It was the perfect way to start an ongoing conversation about what it means to be a leader in our community.
Pardon me, Do You Have the Time?
Kindergarten mathematicians have been learning to tell time to the nearest hour! We have investigated minutes to see what kind of things we can do in a minute. Students also investigated the hour by recording all of the things they do with-in an hour. Students know that the short hand on a clock is used to tell the hour and the long hand tells us the minutes. We practiced moving hands on a clock to show o’clock times, a little before and a little after each hour. Our young time-tellers practiced making their clocks match various times. Ask your youngster what they learned about telling time this week.
Friends Helping Friends
This week Kindergarten writers rallied support from classmates by writing letters, petitions, and signs to call for help in solving classroom and school concerns. Young writers deepened their understanding of persuasive writing by addressing their audience and offering solutions. Kindergarteners shared ways to solve problems such as messy cubbies, cleaning the art center and litter on our playground. Young writers were introduced to greetings, salutations and correct letter formats to make their letter writing even stronger! When writers see a problem, they think of how to fix it, decide who should hear the message, and then they write about it! Ask your youngster what they learned about letter writing this week.
Young scientists have been busy learning all about chicks and chickens during Science this week! Kindergarteners discovered the special body parts that chickens have including their combs, wattles, beaks, spurs and special feathers. Curious scientists compared the feathers on female hens to that of the male cockerels. They discovered that the female hens have feathers that allow them to camouflage themselves. Observant Kindergarteners also noticed that the male cockerels have colorful and fancy feathers.
Our brave swimmers completed their first swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners are going to be gaining confidence through their weekly swim lessons and helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lesson with brave and happy hearts. We can’t wait to see what they can do by the end of the four weeks!
Cheep, Chirp, Cheep!
Our young scientists were surprised and thrilled to discover baby chicks in our classroom on Tuesday morning. Kindergarteners marveled at the cute yellow fluffy feathers and their little bodies. They loved holding them and sharing their wonderful wonders. Over the next several weeks, students will investigate the parts of an egg, the chicken life cycle, and how to care for baby chicks! Stay tuned for more egg-cellent news!
On Wednesday, your Kindergartener got the opportunity to travel to Legare Farms to learn and discover wonderful facts about chickens and eggs. Your farm experts learned the difference between a rooster and a hen, how many eggs chickens lay in a week, the difference between farm chickens and chickens raised for food that go to the grocery store,
and that chicken eggs do come in all different colors, even navy blue!! Kindergarteners met Violet and Henry (the pigs), saw piglets running around the farm, and met a huge white rabbit named Cottontail. Your chick enthusiast then participated in an egg hunt, had lunch among their friends surrounded by huge oak trees and lots of caterpillars, and then finally played on the playground. Ask your Kindergartener what their favorite part of the farm trip was.
Inspired by Eric Carle
Kindergartners have been enjoying time in Readers Workshop with Eric Carle books. Young readers explored Eric Carle’s diverse book structures and storytelling by identifying word patterns and making connections between his texts. Kindergarten is learning more than just writing and illustrating from this author!
We Are Problem-Solvers
This week brave writers explored persuasive writing by finding problems and writing in many different ways to reach their readers. Inspired by The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, students have been searching for ways they can make our classroom, school, and world, a better place. Kindergarteners shared ways to solve problems such as messy cubbies, cleaning the art center and litter on our playground. When writers see a problem, they think of how to fix it, and then they write about it! By making signs, letters, songs, lists, or petitions, our students are eagerly convincing their audience into action!
Treasured Stories of Eric Carle
On Monday, Kindergarteners had the opportunity to see a puppet theatre show depicting three different Eric Carle stories. The stories came to life with vibrant illuminating colors that captured the attention of all the children and adults. It was an amazing show and we were thrilled to see the very talented performers from the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.
The Cooper School Silent Auction is coming up!
Don’t forget to purchase tickets for TCS Silent Auction. This year’s auction will be on Thursday, April 20th at 5:30! Click on the link below to get your tickets now!
· Spring Break April 8-April 17
· School Resumes April 18
· Study Trip to Legare Farms April 19
· Silent Auction April 20
· Swim Lesson April 21
Eric Carle Books are Alive in Kindergarten
This week, Kindergarten launched an exciting new author study on Eric Carle. Young readers are discovering the many duties of an author and illustrator and the great details that Eric Carle puts into his special books. This week readers focused on book structure and learning from picture clues. Eric Carle writes many books and Kindergarten readers are having so much fun delighting in the unique and beautiful books created by this amazing author/illustrator! Ask your child what they have learned about Eric Carle this week!
Our scientists have been busy observing our school’s backyard trees! Students collaborated to measure and find the circumference of two different trees. They have noticed that there are a wide variety of trees. Students also observed that trees have different types of bark, leaves, and branches. We examined nuts, seeds, cones, flowers, and twigs! Young scientists compared deciduous trees to evergreen trees, noting that deciduous trees’ leaves turn vibrant colors in the fall while evergreen trees’ leaves stay green all year. Kindergarteners have been observing trees and illustrating their observations in our Tree Observation Journal. Ask your young scientist what they learned about trees this week!
Our new Social-Emotional Learning strand is empathy. Empathy is an important skill to nurture in children. It helps people understand others better, it builds mindfulness and selflessness, and hones listening skills. Luckily for us, there are some excellent examples of children’s literature that seem tailor-made for teaching empathy. As we explore these books, our students will build a clearer picture of what empathy is and what it looks like at school and at home. Be on the lookout for empathy at home and discuss it with your child. They already have a lot to say on the subject!
Wednesday, April 5 Make-up Picture Day 8-9
Monday, April 10 – 17 Spring Break, No School
Tuesday, April 18 School Resumes
Wednesday, April 19 Study Trip to Legare Farms
Thursday, April 20 Silent Auction 5:30-8:30
Kindergarten tree enthusiasts were delighted to visit the Angel Oak tree on Wednesday. Kindergarteners were put into small groups to investigate and explore this magnificent tree. They marveled at the octopus-like branches, learned what lichen is, saw knotholes and tree bunions, and really enjoyed seeing where all the animals live. Kindergarteners then used their artistic abilities to draw a sketch of the angel oak and labeled things they saw. Last, your poetic child wrote a poem about the tree. It was a wonderful study trip!
On Tuesday morning, students gathered in the library for a very special Whole School Writing Workshop. Every year on this day, teachers and students join together to write poetry that will honor the charity chosen for Pass It On. The tribute poem this year will relate to the Charleston Animal Society. Students wrote and shared poems that described big feelings, extended metaphors, and took on a different perspective. Students of every grade level will submit their poems and all TCS students vote on their favorite. Once established, it gets to be on the very first page of the Pass-It-On book.
Can You Haiku?
This week brave readers and writers explored haiku poetry through the reading and writing of these 3 lined expressions. Kindergarteners have been busy composing haikus about nature. They know these special poems are usually said in one breath and have a line to tell when, where and what the haiku is about. Kindergarteners were very excited to learn more about poetry! Ask your young poet what they learned about haikus this week!
· Friday, March 24 Stingray Family Fun Night, 7-9:30 pm
· Saturday, March 25 Planting Party, 9-12
· Thursday, March 30 Parent Forum, 5:45-6:45 pm
· Monday, April 10 – 17 Spring Break, No School
Our young poets have been exploring their five senses to enhance their reading and writing of poetry during Reader’s & Writer’s Workshop this week. Mindful observers experimented with different sounds, a variety of smells, an assortment of tastes, diverse movements, and multiple textures to enrich their descriptive language. Students are sharpening their skills while writing poetry using repetition, rhythm, and rhyme. During Writer’s Workshop, students are finding inspiration through interesting items in the Poetry Museum and peering at the world through our poetry window.
Diving Into Our Tree Study
Our scientists have been busy observing our school’s trees! Students collaborated to measure and find the circumference of two different trees. They have noticed that there are a wide variety of trees. Students also observed that trees have different types of bark leaves, and branches. We examined nuts, seeds, cones, flowers, and twigs!
Young scientists compared deciduous trees to evergreen trees, noting that deciduous trees’ leaves turn vibrant colors in the fall while evergreen trees’ leaves stay green all year. Kindergarteners have been observing trees and illustrating their observations in our Tree Observation Journal. Ask your young scientist what they learned about trees this week!
Kindergarteners Help Choose a Charity
Cooper School students collaborated during Whole School Morning Meetings this week to study this year’s tribute for Pass it On. Students voted and are thrilled to be supporting Charleston Animal Society. This charity provides medical attention, medicine, shelter, and strives to find homes for all animals. Bravo animal helpers!