Erin Biddle enters her third year at The Cooper School as the Kindergarten teacher. Erin brings fourteen 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. This will be his 2nd year at TCS as the Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. 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.
Saying Goodbye to our Fifth Grade Buddies
On Tuesday morning, we had the opportunity to get together with the rest of the school to watch the Fifth Graders practice their special performances for graduation. Kindergarteners delighted in hearing their friends sing various songs, play instruments, read poems, and share their artistic abilities.
On Thursday, Kindergarteners had so much fun playing with bubbles, taking pictures, playing games, and enjoying treats while celebrating our fabulous Fifth Graders. It was a great party.
We Have Word Power
Kindergarteners have been busy all year learning lots of new words every week during our vocabulary curriculum. Since the beginning of the year, your kindergartener has learned a total of 131 words to expand their vocabulary in speech and in their writing. This is amazing and we hope that they take this new knowledge, put it into their hippocampus and have it for a lifetime. Ask your Kindergartener what their favorite vocabulary words were.
Fourth Grade Buddies
On Wednesday, we paired up with our Fourth Grade buddies to read books outside under the trees. It was a beautiful peaceful morning of reading and sharing stories with friends.
Fourth Grade buddies then ate lunch together, played Thunder Tag, and Kindergarteners got to show their Fourth Grade buddy a special game or activity that they love the most. Kindergarteners loved bonding with these buddies and are thrilled for them to be Fifth Graders next year.
Becoming First Grade Mathematicians
This week Kindergarten mathematicians spent time practicing a variety of ways to practice their addition and subtraction skills. Mathematicians used their smart brains to not only complete these problems, but to also expand their knowledge into solving word problems. Kindergarten mathematicians are quickly marching their way towards becoming First Grade mathematicians!
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. Scientists enjoyed learning about this tribe’s traditional ways of living off the land and their ways of respecting nature to protect the rainforest. One of our favorite discoveries included the fact that the Yanomama don’t eat sloths!
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.
Non-Fiction Avid Readers
This week Kindergarteners learned to be avid non-fiction readers. They learned that to be an avid reader they need to “think wow”, ask questions, and use fancy words to teach what they have learned. Kindergarteners spent time with their “peanut butter and jelly partners” teaching each other all about various non-fiction topics. Enthusiastic voices, words, and exclamations were heard throughout the classroom. Ask your Kindergartener about a nonfiction topic they learned about this week.
Wrapping-Up Swim Lessons
Our brave swimmers completed their last swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners have gained confidence through their weekly swim lessons and their 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 swim coaches. Kindergarteners are grateful for their swimming lessons!
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, dried up glue sticks 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!
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. Young conservationists found ways that they can live in harmony with nature, in efforts to save our rainforests. Students shared ways they could help save our rainforest including: turning off lights when we leave a room, save water by taking smaller baths or turning off water while we brush our teeth, plant a tree, recycling and picking up litter. 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!
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 kinds of things we can do in a minute. Students also investigated the hour by recording all of the things they can do within 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. Our young time-tellers practiced making their clocks match various times. Ask your youngster what they learned about telling time this week.
Kindergarteners have been working so very hard as writers, illustrators and storytellers to prepare for their upcoming How-To publishing party. We are so proud of their creative spirits and can’t wait to share these fabulous stories next week.
Calling All Grandparents
The Cooper School was honored to have grandparents and special friends join us at school for Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Our proud singers shared specially selected songs during a
lovely whole school choir performance. Grandparents and special friends were elated to participate in activities that Kindergarteners enjoy each day. Kindergarteners showed off their math skills as they taught grandparents and special friends how to play the “Raft Game”. Ask your Kindergartener, grandparents or special friends to tell you all about their big day!
We love Our Chicks
This week your chick enthusiasts got the chance to observe the chicks behavior up close and personal. Our feathery friends were let loose in our meeting circle to explore our room and the children. Kindergarteners watched the chicks explore, play, talk, and flap their wings. Kindergarteners even got a chance to touch them using a two-finger touch.
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 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!
Billy Goats Gruff
Kindergarten students, teachers, and parent chaperones were thrilled to take a study trip to The Dock Street Theatre to see several of our drama coaches from Charleston Stage Company perform in “Billy Goats Gruff”. Kindergarteners donned their “fancy” dress uniforms to view real live actors and actresses at work in the theatre. Students delighted in seeing familiar faces on stage as well as seeing other Cooper School classes and parents, in the audience. The humorous spins that Charleston Stage was able to add, truly made the play a special event!
Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!
Curious scientists have been learning all about chicks this week. Students discovered the basic needs of chicks, the difference between hens and roosters, the life cycle of a chicken, and the structure of a hen egg.
Learning Centers were also alive with chick discoveries. Students used their new found knowledge to write chick facts, draw pictures of a farm, make chicks in art, and turn the block area into a farm. Imagination Station turned into a nest complete with lots of baby chicks. Ask your Kindergarten “farmer” what they learned about chicks this week!
We Are Avid Readers
This week your reader started a new reading unit called, “Becoming Avid Readers”. Kindergarteners learned that “avid” readers have a love for reading, they read a lot, they can find a place to read anywhere, and they always have lots and lots of books in waiting. Kindergarteners showed that they are becoming “avid” readers by reading lots and lots and sharing everything they know about their books with their “Peanut Butter and Jelly Partners”.
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 Wednesday morning. Kindergarteners marveled at the cute yellow fluffy feathers and their little bodies. They loved observing 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!
Celebrating Ginger Palm
Kindergarteners ended their tremendous tree unit by planting a tree in our backyard. Young scientists chose the perfect spot in our school’s backyard to plant our lovely palm tree. Students took turns digging a hole, watering, and sweetly welcoming our new evergreen friend. Ask your young scientist about the “newest member” of our Kindergarten class!
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!
Kindergarten Writers Explain “How-To” and Speak to Their Readers
Kindergarten writers have been busy sharing their knowledge on a variety of topics as they compose “How To” books during Writer’s Workshop. This week they extended their knowledge of writing “How To” books by finding ways to elaborate in their writing. Writers learned that they can give the reader of their book tips, warnings, and suggestions as they teach how to do something. Students also found ways to use comparisons in their writing to help the reader better understand how to follow steps. Ask your brave writer what they did this week to make their “How To” books even stronger!
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. It was a wonderful study trip!
Our young writers have been hard at work, learning how to properly form their “Frog Jump Capital Letters”: F, E, D, P, B, R, N, and M. All of these letters start the same way with a “big line” down from the top, left corner. Students know to pick up their pencil as they “Frog Jump” and bring their pencil back to the top before proceeding to the next step. Kindergarten has been practicing following the steps to create these “Frog Jump” letters! Ask your child what they know about “Frog Jump” capitals! RIBBIT!
Our scientists have been busy observing our school’s backyard 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!
Building Confidence in K
This week your Kindergartener was introduced to our social and emotional topic for the third trimester, confidence. Kindergarteners shared what confidence means to them with a pinch partner and then created a t-chart discussing what confidence sounds like and looks like. We are excited to build our self-esteem and boost our confidence in Kindergarten this trimester.
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!
Kindergarten Mathematicians have been busy exploring 2-D and 3-D structures during math this week. Students were thrilled to show all they know about 2-D and 3-D shapes as they used marshmallows and toothpicks to build examples of each. Kindergarteners were excited to discover how they could combine 2-D shapes to create new shapes and objects. Brave Mathematicians worked to combine 3-D shapes to create 3-D objects like houses, cubes, and triangular prisms.
Kindergarteners Help Choose a Charity
Cooper School students collaborated during Whole School Morning Meeting this week to write this year’s tribute poem for Pass It On. Students voted and are thrilled to be supporting a charity called I Heart Hungry Kids. This charity provides bagged food for children in need. Bravo community helpers!