Marsha enters her third 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. Inspired by joyful learning and positive student outcomes, she is thrilled to be joining The Cooper School. Marsha’s daughter, Olive, is a second 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.

Learning New Algorithms! May 27, 2017


Third Grade mathematicians explored another new algorithm for multiplying two digit numbers this week! Students were introduced to the lattice method of multiplication. This method of multiplication is fun and has historical interest, as it was used hundreds of years ago! The lattice method is easy to use, which makes it a good algorithm, and provides Third Grade mathematicians with additional practice with multiplication facts. Ask your scholar about the lattice method!

Building Maps!

Third Grade state experts spent this week putting all of their state knowledge and research into action as they built their 3-D state maps! Scholars got to work molding clay into the shape of their chosen state then added landforms and landmarks. These busy Third Graders organized their research into an informational book about their state and are ready to share all of their knowledge next week during our State Museum! It has been an exciting week in Third Grade!

The Twits

Students spent this week reading their third Roald Dahl novel, “The Twits”, during Reading Workshop! Students practiced asking questions and recording them as they read. They know that good readers ask questions as they read in order to think about what is happening in the story. Good readers also make mental movies as they read in order to visualize what is happening in the story. Third Grade scholars chose a passage that they were able to visualize and illustrated what pictures were in their mind as they read. Ask your Third Grader which Roald Dahl novel was their favorite!

Important Dates

  • Monday, May 29 – No School, Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 31 – State Study Potluck 12:30
  • Thursday, June 1 – 5th Grade Graduation (Half Day, 11:30am dismissal)
  • Friday, June 2 – Field Day! (Half Day, 11:30am dismissal)

Climbing Finale, Fantastic Mr. Fox & More Discoveries About Our Great Nation! May 19, 2017

Climbing Finale

Third Graders wrapped up our final climbing adventure this week! Students were thrilled to set and meet multiple personal climbing goals while encouraging their peers in positive ways! Climbing allowed opportunities for Third Graders to demonstrate leadership while promoting team-building as we wrap up this magical year in Third Grade! We were very lucky to have had so many volunteers chaperone and join us at and ON the climbing walls! Third Graders loved every minute of their climbing adventures!

More Roald Dahl Please!

This week Third Grade readers enjoyed our second Roald Dahl novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox! In this novel, readers practiced various reading strategies to enhance comprehension. Scholars worked to identify the “Who” and the “What” as they read, stopping periodically to name the character on a page and what that character was doing. Third Grade readers also practiced a technique called “Stop, Think, Paraphrase” to be able to retell what they have read. Third Grade scholars know that good readers keep up with a story by thinking about what they have just read and putting it in their own words!

Discovering The Grand Old U.S.A.!

This week Third Graders made more discoveries about regions of the United States. We closely examined the southeast, northeast, and western regions to identify the geography, landforms, economy, culture and people connected to each region. Scholars were thrilled to take a closer look at their state and identify the geography and landforms found in their particular state. Students took a closer look at the borders of their state as we prepare to build 3-D maps of our states and present them to Second Grade!

Important Dates

Tuesday, May 30                            Movie Night, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 1                             Graduation Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, June 2                                  Field Day, 11:30 dismissal



Esio Trot is “Tortoise” Spelled Backwards! May 12, 2017


The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl!

Third Grade readers spent the week jumping into an exciting new unit on Roald Dahl! Scholars loved meeting the unique characters in the book, Esio Trot, by Roald Dahl. Third Graders examined the author’s note prior to reading and discovered that authors often share valuable background information in these passages. In this charming and witty book, students encountered two characters, Mr. Hoppy and Miss Silver, who are brought together by an ancient spell, 140 tortoises, and a bit of magic! Students practiced making predictions, identifying and tracking character feelings over time, and writing summaries to enhance their reading skills. Stay tuned as we begin, Fantastic Mr. Fox, another Roald Dahl favorite, next week during Reading Workshop!

Testing, Testing…1…2…3

This week Third Grade scholars got to experience the joys of standardized testing. They have been preparing for the ERB standardized test through a review of close reading skills learned earlier this year during our BUGS unit of study. Scholars practiced identifying main ideas, supporting details, writing summaries and sequencing information in passages. These brave scholars know to preview answer choices and conduct the process of elimination when looking at a multiple-choice exam. Most importantly, Third Graders learned to be brave and give their very best efforts, while trusting their instincts, when participating in a standardized test.

State Study

This week scholars were eager to return to our state study as we narrowed our choices for their state presentations. Scholars spent time learning about the regions of the United States and states located within those regions. After reviewing United States atlases, Third Graders chose their state and were able to describe which region of the United States their state of choice is located in. Scholars studied physical maps to identify landforms located in their state. Stay tuned as we continue to make discoveries about this great country of ours!

Important Dates:

Tuesday, May 16                            Climbing at JICP 11:00 – 1:00

Tuesday, May 30                            Movie Night, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 1                             Graduation Day, 11:30 dismissal

Friday, June 2                                  Field Day, 11:30 dismissal

Pass It On, Close Reading, and Launching the State Study May 8, 2017

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 were thrilled to hear their friends and siblings share their hard work. We are so proud of all of the hard work that The Cooper School poets put into their poetry writing!

Close Reading

This week Third Grade readers examined strategies to practice close reading. Scholars practiced identifying topic sentences to determine the main idea of passages. These brave scholars know that supporting details in a passage tell more about the main idea. Readers practiced identifying the sequence of events in a passage by paying close attention to clue words such as first, later, then, next and finally. These strategies will beneficial as we move into standardized testing next week!

State Study

This week scholars in Third Grade launched our exciting State Study! Third Grade enjoyed a joyful read aloud, “The Scrambled States of America”, to take a look at the location of each state with-in this beautiful country of ours! Scholars practiced identifying states on a map! These brave scholars learned all about the meaning behind the stars and stripes on our great American flag! Ask your Third Graders what they enjoyed the most about the State Study this week!


Important Dates:


Friday, May 5                                   Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                   Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                           End of Year Picnic at Magnolia Plantation 3:30

Tuesday, May 9                               JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 16                            JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Reaching Great Heights! April 28, 2017

Climbing With Friends

Third-Grade friends took an adventure to the James Island County Park climbing wall this week! These brave climbers set personal goals to challenge themselves. Third Grade friends demonstrated leadership and determination as many of them exceeded their own expectations! Third Graders strengthened their community by sharing supportive and encouraging words as their peers climbed to great heights. Students had such a great time and can’t wait to return next week!

Fairytale Variations and Character Archetypes

This week Third Grade readers continued to explore the magical world of fairytales in reading and writing workshop! Students compared and contrasted variations of fairytales across cultures and discovered similarities and differences in the characters, settings, and minor details of the stories. Scholars took a close look at themes and emotions such as love, hatred, kindness, and cruelty that occurred in fairytales across cultures. Third Grade readers began to examine archetypal characters such as underdogs, tricksters, heroes, villains and jealous stepmothers. Scholars learned that archetypal characters are found over and over in literature. Third Grade writers learned that switching archetypal characters can help them when writing their own fractured fairytales!

Multiplication and Division

Third Grade mathematicians launched Unit 9 in Everyday Math this week. This unit is one that focuses on the important skills of multiplication and division. Scholars dove into the unit by practicing multiplying and dividing with multiples of 10,100, and 1,000. Third Graders are working on applying what they know about basic multiplication facts and applying that to fact extensions while working through number stories and multistep problem solving. These brave scholars are working on using mental math to multiply as well as reviewing important concepts like remainders in division.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, May 2                               JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Friday, May 5                                   Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                   Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                           End of Year Picnic at Magnolia Plantation 3:30

Tuesday, May 9                               JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 16                            JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Thrilled to the Gills About Crayfish! April 21, 2017

Meeting the Crayfish!

This week, Third Grade Scientists eagerly welcomed crayfish friends into our classroom. Students quickly got to work observing the unique appearance and behaviors of these gilled-friends! Science groups observed the structures of the crayfish and discussed how these special features help the crayfish survive in its environment. Through close observation, students are analyzing the details of crayfish life and behaviors while further developing sensitivity to the needs of living things. It has been so exciting to meet our crayfish friends!

Fractions, Fractions, Fractions!

Third Grade mathematicians wrapped up a unit on fractions this week. Students practiced finding equivalent fractions through games and hands on manipulatives. Scholars practiced naming quantities greater than one with fractions and mixed numbers. Third Graders developed strategies for solving number stories involving fractions. We are working hard at becoming fraction experts!

Learning About Leadership

Scholars at The Cooper School spent time discussing leadership as we returned to school this week. Third Grade scholars shared their ideas about the qualities that make a great leader during Morning Meetings. Friends carefully observed their peers and shared times when they noticed others demonstrating leadership qualities. These mindful scholars know that leadership means being a positive role model that demonstrates integrity and kindness.

Important Dates:

Tuesday April 25                             JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 2                               JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Friday, May 5                                   Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                   Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Tuesday, May 9                               JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 16                            JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade


Magical Seeds of Empathy April 7, 2017

Fairy Tale Magic

Third Graders had the chance to be fabulous audience members on Tuesday as they attended The Charleston Music Hall for a ballet performance of The Ugly Duckling and The Velveteen Rabbit. Students were captivated by the presentation of these fairy tale favorite stories told through dance. This study trip was the perfect way to launch our new fairy tale reading and writing units of study! Students spent the rest of the week diving into the reading of fairy tales, identifying fairy tale elements and the writing of fairy tale adaptations. Ask your Third Grader what they learned about fairy tales this week!

Seed Discoveries!

Third Graders participated in a Seed Dispersal Challenge during our outdoor exploration and discovered the many ways that seeds can be dispersed from their parent plant. Science groups were given a variety of challenges and found creative ways to help their seeds survive and thrive using materials like tape, pipe cleaners, paper clips, rubber bands and string! Black eye pea seeds were launched through the air, sailed on the water, swung by string and buried all over our school’s backyard! We are going to examine the life cycle and growth process of these seedlings in a hydroponic tank during learning centers when we return from Spring Break. Third Grade science is fun!

Empathy is Everywhere!

This week during Whole School Morning Meeting, scholars shared all that they have been learning in their classrooms about empathy. Students shared times they have received and shown empathy as well as the steps that you can take when being empathetic towards others. Cooper School scholars discussed the places where they noticed themselves showing the most empathy and even learned a new chant about this great life skill!

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!

Important Dates:

Monday, April 10 – 17                      Spring Break, No School

Tuesday, April 18                              School Resumes

Thursday, April 20                            TCS Silent Auction, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Tuesday April 25                              JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 2                                 JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 9                                 JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Tuesday, May 16                               JICP Climbing Wall 3rd Grade

Friday, May 5                                     Grandparents Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, May 5                                     Pass It On, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, May 7                                   End of Year Picnic, 3:30 – 5:00 pm





Sequels, Seed Soak and Sharing March 31, 2017

Hate That Cat

This week Third Graders were thrilled to read Sharon Creech’s novel , Hate That Cat, the sequel to Love That Dog. In this novel our main character continues to study poetry and use writing as an avenue to express his feelings about pets and family. Third Grade readers spent the week examining various aspects of character relationships while providing evidence from the text in class discussions and in written responses. Students continued to study poetry greats through the poems studied by the main character. Our Writing Workshop lessons were closely tied with the poets studied by the main character. Brave young poets examined shapes of poems and stanzas to find purposeful ways to reorganize poems they had written. Young poets even chose a mentor poem to inspire their own poetry writing. Ask your Third Grader about this week’s Reading and Writing Workshops!

Seed Soak

Third Grade scientists continued their exciting investigation of seeds this week. Scholars came to school on Monday and observed the changes in the mini-sprouters they set up last week. Students observed that the seeds were “puffed-up”, “splitting” and beginning to sprout! Third Graders shared ideas about what caused the changes and decided that the seeds had absorbed water. They then collaborated to design an investigation and determine how much water seeds soak up. Each group compared the weight of their dry seeds on day 1 with the weight of their soaked seeds on day 2. Ask your Third Grade scientists all about their seed discoveries in science this week!

Equal Shares

This week Third Grade mathematicians launched Unit 8 with a review of fractions. Scholars used manipulatives to solve problems involving fractional parts of collections. They know that when looking at fractions that the numerator represents a part of the total amount shown in the denominator. Third Graders practiced using visual representations with various shaded regions to compare and identify equivalent fractions. A Third Grade class favorite was sharing number stories that required equal shares. Scholars will continue to build onto this understanding of comparing fractions with fraction cards, which are shaded to show a variety of fractions. Ask your brave mathematician what they enjoy most about fractions this week.







Important Dates:

Tuesday, April 4                                The Velveteen Rabbit and The Ugly Duckling

Wednesday, April 5                           Make-Up Picture Day

Monday, April 10 – 17                      Spring Break, No School

Tuesday, April 18                              School Resumes

Thursday, April 20th                         TCS Silent Auction 5:30

Tuesday April 25th                            JICP Climbing Wall

Tuesday May 2, 9, & 16                    JICP Climbing Wall






Love That Dog, Seed Investigations & Tribute Poem Writing! March 24, 2017

Love That Dog

This week Third Grade readers started a new novel to dive deeper into their poetry unit. Love That Dog is a novel length poem written as a diary narrative of a boy named Jack. Jack hates poetry and he thinks that only girls write it, until his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, inspires him to read poetry including the work of Walter Dean Myers. This week Third Graders examined the difference in the ways to read poetry and prose. They paid special attention to line breaks and white space and noticed that we really slow down when reading poetry. Brave readers made inferences about Jack’s teacher, Mrs. Stretchberry, by paying close attention to Jack’s journal entries. We even studied the same poets as our main character did, during our own Writing Workshop! Scholars were exposed to some of the poetry greats including Robert Frost, William Blake, William Carlos Williams, Valerie Worth and Walter Dean Myers!

Observing and Comparing Seeds

Third Grade Scientists were thrilled to begin our seed study this week in Science! We reviewed how scientists observe using their senses and discussed the various properties to compare when observing seeds. We observed peapods and discovered that they hold seeds! Students were delighted to learn that anything with seeds is known as a “fruit”.   Brave scientists observed seed patterns in various fruits and compared their properties.

Tribute Poem

 This week poetry writers at The Cooper School gathered for a Whole School Writing Workshop to generate ideas and inspiration for this year’s tribute poem. Each year, 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 different perspectives. Students of every grade level 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! Stay tuned to find out which poem will be chosen for Pass-It-On 2017!

Important Dates:

March 24th         Stingray Family Night 7:00 P.M.

March 25th         Planting Party – 9:00 – 10:00 A.M.

March 30th         Parent Forum – 5:45-6:45 P.M.

April 4th               The Ugly Duckling and Velveteen Rabbit Study Trip at Charleston Music Hall

April 10th –17th    Spring Break

Presenting Asia, Writing Poetry, Empathy & St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2017

Asia Presentation

Third Graders did an outstanding job showing off all of their hard work during their Asia presentation this week! Scholars presented their research topics to an audience of parents and siblings using loud and proud voices. Scholars proudly displayed their salt dough map and the 3-D representations of their research topics ranging from: The Great Wall of China, Kimonos, The Ancient Temple of Heaven, Ninjas, Wolong Panda Sanctuary and more! The Asia Study was an exciting unit filled with hands on projects, reading across subject areas and Asian inspired art!


Poetry Writing

Third Grade poets have been busy writing poetry during writing workshop this week. They have been finding big ideas and writing about them in unique ways using their poet’s eyes. These scholars know that the structure of poems including stanzas, line breaks and shape, as well as word choices, are characteristics of poetry that help illuminate the main idea of their writing. Third Grade scholars worked together to write this poem about one of our favorite times during the school day, read aloud!


Read Aloud

Lights are off

feeling relaxed

on carpet

like yoga


Everything is quiet

pages turning



Like night


Third Graders began discussing empathy this week during Morning Meeting. Scholars started this discussion by sharing qualities that they look for in friends. Students were able to identify positive traits such as patient, kind, open-minded, loyal, thoughtful, good listener and more! Students learned that empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person in a situation. Third Graders all agreed that empathy was another quality that makes a great friend. They then began close observers of their classmates and shared times when friends showed empathy throughout the day!


St. Patrick’s Day

The Cooper School’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes a look at traditional Irish poetry (limericks) and a visit from the leprechauns. They then got to go on a “hunt” to find the present that was left for them from the “leprechauns”. Each student gets a green necklace and a silly limerick to enjoy. This year we were privileged to enjoy a concert from our very own Hazel Ketchum and special guest, Tom Morley, playing traditional Irish music.

Important Dates:

  • Friday, March 24- Stingrays Hockey Family Fun Night 7-9:30pm
  • Saturday, March 25- Planting Party at TCS 9am
  • Thursday, March 30- Parent Forum with LeAnn Gardner



Back to School Night!

We can’t wait to see everyone at Back to School Night on Friday, August 18th from 5:30 to 6:30!  New Parent Orientation will begin at 5:00pm in the Library.

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