​The Cooper School is a private, independent, non-sectarian school that values the participation of families from diverse backgrounds. Founded in 2007, The Cooper School is a 501(c) 3 non-profit institution. The Cooper School offers an exceptional holistic education for children grades K-5. Academic excellence, stewardship of the environment, activity, and creativity are hallmarks of the Cooper School Curriculum.

Third Grade Comics May 18, 2018

I Heart Hungry Kids

The tradition of publishing Pass It On is all the more special because the proceeds go to a charity of the student’s choosing. Every year, the students are presented with a few different charities and they get to vote on which one they feel should receive the honor of being selected. This year, students selected I Heart Hungry Kids. Started by a young boy wanting to help other kids, this charity works to bring food to underprivileged children in the Charleston area. After the success of our Pass It On presentation and the sales of the book, students were able to present the proceeds to the charity this week. The young boy who started the project and his father joined us for Morning Meeting on Monday and The Cooper School was proud to give them more than $500 from the sale of our book.


This week, Third Graders have participated in taking the standardized ERB test. The Cooper School believes that test taking is a skill, and like all other skills, it must be taught and practiced. As students move on from TCS, it is a reality that they will be encountering standardized testing. Therefore, we want to prepare our students and teach them how to be successful. Earlier this year, students completed a reading unit that was focused on reading comprehension, reading for information and multiple choice questions. This week, Third Graders got to know the feeling of these types of tests, from completing bubbled in pages, to the stress of timed sessions, to the importance of silence. And they had fun doing it! Studies show that the best test takers are relaxed and we hope to instill that quality in our students.


Third Graders have finished their final writing unit of this year, fairy tale adaptations. During this study, each student has gotten to write two adaptations of beloved fairy tales and one unique fairy tale of their own. Now, students are beginning the process of publishing these stories in a unique way… as comics! This week, students have been working on transferring their writing into pictures. Next week, they will use an app on their iPads to turn those pictures into comics!




Important Dates:

  • Sunday, May 20 End of the Year Picnic- 3:30-5pm @ Magnolia Plantation
  • Thursday, May 31 Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 1 Field Day, 11:30 Dismissal, Last day of school


Reflecting on a Great Week!


This week we have been examining reflections! Take a look in the mirror… seriously, go take a look in the mirror. What do you see? Your image should be the same size and shape of your own body, but there’s one difference. You are backwards! This week your investigators experimented with transparent mirrors to create reflections of various images. We learned that the original image is called a “preimage” and the reflection is called the “image”. After drawing their image on the other side of the reflection line, each student checked their work. They did this by folding their paper along the reflection line. If both images matched up exactly, they did it right!


This week students focused on the body’s muscles by creating models of the arm, leg, and thumb using craft sticks, rubber bands, paper clips, and rubber tubes. We’ve discussed how each material represents the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments. We learned how each of these parts are connected and work together to make arms and legs move.


This week students put their test taking skills to the test! We spent some time each day completing the ERB Standardized Test. Much of the focus leading up to these tests has been on good test taking skills, strategies, and habits. Students have learned to pre-read, reread, and manage their time. Taking this type of test is a skill that students will have to utilize throughout their school careers. TCS believes that students need to become familiar and comfortable with the test taking environment and process, however we do not place a lot of emphasis upon the test itself. Fourth Grade’s favorite part was filling in the bubbles.

Important Dates:

May 20th                                         End of the Year Picnic @ Magnolia                                                                                            Plantation (3:30-                                                                                                   5pm)

Monday, May 28th                        Memorial Day/ No School

Thursday, May 31st                       5th Grade Graduation – 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, June 1st                              Field Day – 11:30 Dismissal

Rainforests, Time, and Proud Writers May 13, 2018

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.

Proud Writers

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.

Important Dates:

  • Friday, May 18th Last Swim Lesson
  • Sunday, May 20th TCS Family Picnic @ Magnolia Plantation 3:30-5:00
  • Thursday, May 31st Fifth Grade Graduation ½ Day 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 1st Field Day ½ Day 11:30 Dismissal



May 11th Newsletter May 11, 2018

Area, Capacity, and Weight

Our current chapter on measurement has shifted from units of length to hands-on learning experiences with area and perimeter. This concept was introduced by counting squares in rectangular figures to find area. Students have also used their skills with rulers to measure sides of shapes to find the total perimeter. Students created a “Gallon Man” consisting of four paper cut-out quarts, sixteen cups, and eight pints. Providing experiences among these different units of capacity is fun and useful for helping in the kitchen.




Feathery Friends

Second Grade is seriously soaring with excitement over our bird study. Research for our birds has almost finished, as now most of our efforts are being put into our books and presentation. We are still watching the Hawk Cam and making notes in our observation logs. Our weekly bird vocabulary included: waddle, extinct, nestling, clutch, plummet, and plumage. One of our read alouds that captured our attention was Sadako and the Thousand Paper Crane. We tried last week creating our first origami and this week’s paper bird seemed to come together quite nicely.

5th Grade Lunch Date

As we prepare to say goodbye to our Fifth Grade friends who are graduating to middle school, Second Grade decided to buddy up with their class for some high quality time.  Each week until the end of school, we have different activities and lunch dates planned with our older friends. This week we invited them to our class to compare their arm span to that of our bird study birds. 5th Grade was so amazed that their arms are about as wide as a Great Blue Heron! After our lunch date, we concluded the day with a game of bird tag where students from each of the 4 groups were taken back to their nest after being tagged by hawks and falcons.







Important Dates

Climbing Wall                                       May 15

Bird Study Presentation                     May 18

Birds of Prey Field Trip                      May 18

End of the Year Picnic                        May 20 @ Magnolia Plantation 3:30-5:00 pm

Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL           May 28

TCS Field Day                                      June 1

Magnificent May


This week students have been enthralled with their new study with Ms. Franci. Students have begun their study on immigration by researching the history of immigration and the different ways immigrants assimilate to a new culture when they move. Students received their book club books and assigned themselves what pages to read. Students are practicing being in discussion groups and using scholarly language to agree and disagree with their peers. Students have learned what a social issue is and how to identify one in their book. Ask your child what book they are reading in book club this week.



What is soil actually made of?  How do big rocks break into smaller rocks?  These are questions your geologists studied this week!  To answer, “What is soil?”, students analyzed samples of soil from a desert, mountain, river delta, and forest.  They discovered that all soils are made up of different combinations of the following materials: pebbles, gravel, sand, silt, and humus.  The first four come from the break down of rocks into smaller pieces and the last one, humus, comes from living things that have decomposed. Ask your child what their favorite part of science was this week!


2nd Grade Buddies

Today, students worked in pairs with 2nd Grade to measure their arm spans and compare them to the birds being researched in 2nd Grade’s bird study. 5th Graders passed on their knowledge about birds to the 2nd Graders to help them with their final project. We ended the day with a fun game of Capture the Bird! It was great to see siblings and friends working together! Ask your child who their buddy was for Capture the Bird!


Important Dates

May 14th-18th- ERB Testing

May 17th– Kayaking/SUP

May 20th– End of the Year Picnic (3:30pm-5pm)

May 28th– Memorial Day – No school

May 31st– Graduation (11:30 dismissal)

June 1st– Field Day (11:30 dismissal)

Long Term Savings for the Future

Guest Speaker

Three guest speakers from Wells Fargo Bank visited Fourth Grade this week to discuss the importance of long term savings. Even though scholars are learning to add, subtract, multiply, and divide daily, it important for them to recognize the concepts of savings can begin now. By understanding money-saving habits, students can learn how to set goals that financially set-up them up for success later in life.

Literary Essays

Fourth Graders began their final unit in writing this week, combining their reading and writing skills to write literary essays. This unit requires students to do close reading of shorter books to really notice the details. Students will learn to notice the details in their books and think about why an author made the decision for the setting, characters, metaphors, and word choice. Readers are taught to ask, “Why did the author make this decision?” We will begin by writing essays to defend basic ideas about the text with a focus on the structure of an effective literary essay. Students will learn to write opinion pieces that focus on specific text, not just on a topic. This will include learning the difference between paraphrasing and quoting and how to correctly cite text.


We got back on the water this week and boy was it hot! Students could not resist the lure of the water and practiced safe ways to get in and out of their boats while on the water. We purposely capsized ourselves, going all the way over and learned how to empty our boats of water. The heat had everyone going for a dip and putting their safety practices into action. Races and games ensued and we all had a blast!

Important Dates:

Sunday, May 13th                             Mother’s Day

May 14th -18th                              ERB Testing

Thursday, May 17th                         Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

May 20th                                            End of the Year Picnic @ Magnolia                                                                                        Plantation (3:30-5pm)

Monday, May 28th                           Memorial Day/ No School

Thursday, May 31st                          5th Grade Graduation – 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, June 1st                                 Field Day – 11:30 Dismissal

Fifty Nifty United States!

State Study

Third Graders were excited to choose a state this week to research. Students wrote a few sentences about their top three choices of states to study in the Northeast and Southeast regions. They had to explain why they wanted to study that specific state. Their reasons ranged from having family in that state, to being born in that state and wanting to know more about it. Students will spend the next week researching their state and putting together a two minute presentation to teach the rest of the class. Then we will pick another state from the other regions!


There is reading and then there is reading. Third Graders have been focusing on reading with agency and intent. In order to do this, students have to be able to select a just right book so that they are not required to focus on the reading of the words and understanding the story. This can free up their thinking to “read between the lines” and focus on making connections, creating a clear image in their minds, and making predictions. Third Grades have loved this unit, which allows plenty of time for silent sustained reading and partner sharing of the stories they are reading.

Teacher Appreciation

This week has been Teacher Appreciation Week and, WOW,  have I felt appreciated. Students have shown their appreciation through flowers, cards, gifts, and comments. One student suggested we do this one day every month. That statement alone makes me feel truly appreciated throughout the year. Thank you to all the parents that have volunteered their time, donated food, and coordinated events. All the TCS staff appreciates all of you!

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, May 15 Climbing, 11:30 – 2:30
  • Sunday, May 20 End of the Year Picnic- 3:30-5pm @ Magnolia Plantation
  • Thursday, May 31 Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 1 Field Day, 11:30 Dismissal

So Busy Learning and Growing in First Grade!

Water, Water, Everywhere!

This week First Grade scientists took a closer look at the water cycle! Scholars closely examined the water cycle and how it works through a water cycle mat investigation and by creating a hands-on model of the water cycle in a plastic bag. Scholars were thrilled to discover that the water cycle is a natural and continuous cycle which renews itself over and over!

Author Expert Discoveries!

First Grade friends are truly becoming experts as they spent the week learning even more about their chosen authors for their Author Expert projects! Curious scholars spent time gathering research about the life of their author during learning centers this week. Students were thrilled to make discoveries about their author including their birthday, first book written, family life, and so much more! First Grade readers closely studied their author’s writing style as they continued working on their author inspired book that they are writing during Writing Workshop. First Graders even created book reviews about one of their author’s books. Stay tuned as these scholars have so much to share during our Author Expert presentation!

My, How We Have Grown!

This week, First Grade mathematicians enjoyed a “Data Day” as they recorded their heights, compared their measurements to their heights recorded earlier this year, determined how much they grew, and created a class line plot to analyze the class’ data. Scholars were thrilled to see how much they have grown while they have been so busy in First Grade! First Graders spent time reviewing telling time on an analog clock and challenged their math partners to solve elapsed time number stories. These brave mathematicians also worked on their mental arithmetic power as they revisited calculating amounts of change from purchases using our vending machine poster. It’s been a busy week of growth, review, and partner work in First Grade math!


Important Dates

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 18th

End of the Year Picnic- Sunday, May 20th @ Magnolia Plantation (3:30pm-5pm)

Memorial Day/No School – Thursday, May 28th

Fifth Grade Graduation/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Thursday, May 31st

Field Day/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Friday, June 1st

Celebrating Children’s Poetry, Series Super Powers, and Reasons for Seasons May 5, 2018

Pass It On

The Cooper School had a lovely time at our crown jewel, 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. Cooper School writers have worked so hard during our school-wide study of poetry and were thrilled to hear their friends and siblings share their hard work. We are so proud of all of the hard work that Cooper School poets have put into their poetry writing! It was truly a beautiful experience seeing children share their poetry this evening!

Super Series Writers

This week First Grade Super Series Writers worked hard to give themselves orders during Writing Workshop. These independent writers tapped into their super series writing super powers to bring their series writing to life! Scholars continued to busily set writing goals, created pretend characters, invented adventures for their characters, got their characters into and out of trouble, and unfroze their characters by making them talk and by describing them doing things. These brave writers closely studied mentor authors and noticed these mentor authors added tiny realistic details, made chapters for their stories, and used patterns in their writing to stretch parts of their writing. First Graders know that they can use these strategies to enhance their own series writing!

Reasons for the Seasons

First Grade scientists were thrilled to launch a new unit of study during science this week! Scholars spent time sharing facts they knew about the seasons of the year and sharing wonders about the seasons. First Grade scholars were delighted to investigate the cause of seasonal changes each year. Students discovered that the earth’s axis, or its tilt, is responsible for the change of seasons as the earth rotates and revolves around the sun!

Important Dates

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 11th

Swimming Lessons – Friday, May 18th

End of the Year Picnic- Sunday, May 20th @ Magnolia Plantation (3:30pm-5pm)

Memorial Day/No School – Thursday, May 28th

Fifth Grade Graduation/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Thursday, May 31st

Field Day/ Half Day 11:30 Dismissal – Friday, June 1st

Busy Week!

Pass It On

The Cooper School tradition of publishing and sharing student poetry celebrated its tenth year! Third Graders were excited, and a little nervous, to share their poems to a crowd of family, friends, and more. We have been practicing our poems, learning the importance of annunciation and the strength of pauses. It was a moment of pride to watch all students, from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade, get up on stage and present their work to such a large audience. Well done Cooper Kids!


Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Another tradition of Cooper School is Grandparents and Special Friends Day! During this half day, we open our doors and classroom to share with these important people all the things we do here at The Cooper School. Students begin by sharing their beautiful voices in a choir performance. Grandparents then join us in the classroom for students to share some of the work we have been doing. Third Graders were proud to show off their multiplication skills in a game of Multiplication Bingo. They also interviewed their visitors to find out what they enjoyed when they were in Third Grade. We also practiced naming and locating states as part of our state study by sharing all the states we have visited.





Third Graders embarked on their annual climbing trips this spring! Each year, Second and Third Graders get to go to the James Island County Park to tackle the 50 foot climbing wall. Third Graders have the experiences from last year to build on their climbing skills. These trips are about more than just climbing and having fun. Students spent time in the classroom, thinking about their level of confidence and setting personal goals. They each selected an accountability partner that they felt would help them to achieve their goals. Students talked about how motivation to accomplish something helps to increase their confidence to keep trying when things get hard. They applied this idea to their climbing and most students were able to complete their goals and set higher goals to reach for.





Our class was sad to say goodbye to our assistant, Mrs. Marsha, who has taken the rest of the year off. We agreed it was not goodbye forever, just a see you later. Students shared an appreciation circle with Marsha, expressing all the ways she has helped them individually and how she has helped the whole class. Marsha was sad to leave and shared some treats and sweet notes with the students. These observant Third Graders were able to remark on all the ways that Mrs. Marsha helped our class and she will be missed.




Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, May 8 Climbing, 8:30 – 11:30
  • Tuesday, May 15 Climbing, 11:30 – 2:30
  • Sunday, May 20 End of the Year Picnic- 3:30-5pm @ Magnolia Plantation
  • Thursday, May 31 Half Day, 11:30 Dismissal
  • Friday, June 1 Field Day, 11:30 Dismissal


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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The Cooper School