The Cooper School Daily


Can you see him? The racoon? I spotted this little buddy while walking this week. As I watched him climb super high into the tree, in amazement, honestly, I was in disbelief how much he blended in when he paused. It made me think about how animals’ instinctual adaptations and understanding of learned behaviors have evolved for survival. Us humans, also animals, are included in these beautiful adaptations. Every day, the middle school teachers come to school not only to teach, but also to guide how to be self-regulated, functioning middle school students, who understand what behaviors are appropriate for school in and out of the classroom.

Kids just want to fit in, and this little raccoon reminded me of the importance of all of us animals using camouflage for survival. I witness kids trying out new behaviors. I see boys coming in with new haircuts, girls with the latest make-up trends, the same shoes, the same ole shorts, and of course, similar slang. Are these trends authentic? Some of it, maybe? At least our Cooper kids are about as authentic as middle school kids go. But even if it isn’t…is that developmentally appropriate?

According to an article, found in Frontiers Psychology, “We Copy to Join in, to Not Be Lonely, “ imitation behavior occurs throughout our lifetime. However, the adolescent tendency to copy peers is not only for protective purposes, but also to form a community of their own to counterbalance rejection and create their own rules of belonging. They’re figuring out who they are and copying others can help them explore potential roles. Interestingly, they don’t just copy each other, but they copy adults they trust in their life. They look to adults to learn how to be one. No pressure, right guys?

So, when your son or daughter walks into the kitchen with a ridiculous looking hairdo, just know they are doing what they should be. And if they want to borrow your shoes, you know that you are too 🙂


What’s happening in Science?
Fifth graders learned about chemical equations this week. They had to figure out the chemical makeup of a mystery mixture by comparing chemical reactions of eight known substances. They used their deductive reasoning to figure which mixture was the same as the mystery mixture. The fifth graders also continued to work on their interactive periodic table of elements. Next week, they will learn about energy transfer and kinetic energy.

What’s happening in Math?
This week, 5th graders studied and sorted more quadrilaterals and triangles, then began to find rules and patterns to plot relationships on a coordinate plane. Next week, we’ll explore the area and perimeter of shapes on a coordinate plane, before reviewing for and taking our test on Friday, April 5th.

What’s happening in ELA?
5th graders began an exciting unit in historic fiction this week! We built our background knowledge on Native American history and the true story of the lone woman of the San Nicolas Islands by combing through various non-fiction articles, documentaries, and websites.We practiced identifying text features and structures all week.

After Spring Break, 5th graders will begin reading Island of the Blue Dolphins, discussing the setting, mood, and historic story elements.

What’s happening in Social Studies?
In Social Studies, the fifth graders have been diving deeper and deeper into Asian history. Students have studied two main belief systems that formed in Asia, Buddhism and Hinduism. Students have mastered one of the two belief systems in a jigsaw activity, and were asked to present their information to the class.

Upon returning, the fifth graders will explore modern Asia. Students will begin by studying modern Southwest Asia before moving into modern East/Southeast Asia!

Important Dates:
March 23-April 1: Spring Break
April 10: Spread the Word- 11:30 dismissal