The Cooper School Daily

Curiosity, Adolescent Brains, and Balancing…Oh My!

As we explore curiosity through our social and emotional curriculum, we have been wondering about our wonders! Because our brain is a muscle, it gets stronger the more we use it, so being curious makes our students’ minds stronger and more observant of new ideas.

In fact, while reading about adolescent milestones and curiosity, I found that adolescents love to explore different perspectives, and because their work is typically complex, it invites conversations. They are busy questioning their curiosities and challenging all of their assumptions about the world, often awkwardly and sometimes it can come across rude. However, adolescents need solid connections to trusted adults that can see through their rude behavior. As their teachers, we need to provide a “balancing act” of staying close, but not too close to honor their “in between” nature as they explore and become more curious about their independence and identity. And by-golly, we are truly trying to nail that balancing act every day! If you are “curious” to learn more, I was reading from Yardsticks by Chip Wood.

Here’s a look at what is happening in each of the classes:

What’s happening in Social Studies:
In American History this week, historians contemplated the role they believe the US should play in the world. They looked at America in 1960 during the Cold War and in the beginning of the 21st century by listening and reading speeches made from presidents during those time periods. Their astute connections and empathy towards groups who systematically have received inequality through history truly brought me hope for an even brighter future in our country. We also discussed a presidential project that we will begin in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

What’s up in Math?
Seventh graders have been developing a deeper understanding of dilations this week. They have worked through task cards and created charts to represent different dilations. Students are able to identify if a dilation is an enlargement or reduction based solely on the scale factor. They are able to apply the scale factor and create images of pre-images given a scale factor. I am seeing a great understanding of non-rigid transformations and how those compare with rigid transformations that we looked at in Unit 1. These students are so bright and I look forward to every single class with them!

What’s happening in ELA:
Writing, writing, and more writing! That is the ELA middle school life at The Cooper School. This week seventh graders continue to hone their writing of realistic fiction skills. They have recognized that writers “stay in scene,” by making sure scenes are grounded in dialogue, action, and setting. Parents, your writers are working very hard towards quality writing. Please be sure to ask them about their writing and even check out their writing notebooks as often as you can. The young ladies can certainly use your help with editing and I am sure they will welcome your encouragement. Seventh graders have also added using pronouns in their writings through their grammar studies. They will have a grammar test next week on the following: nouns, pronouns, articles, homophones, capitalization, and using correct punctuation. Next week they will also begin working on vocabulary words found in Lessons 5 and 6.

Your seventh graders are also involved in the Global Connect Curriculum with students from a school in China. You have been sent dates and times in an email when they will be on a Zoom video conference with their counterparts in China. The young ladies are super excited to be chosen to be a part of this project. Finally, the seventh graders have been working on their Halloween Carnival responsibilities for the elementary school students. This carnival will be happening on October 29th. Please check in with kids and make sure they have the supplies needed for their booths.

Important Dates:
October 22nd: Booth Materials brought to school
October 29th: Halloween Carnival 11:30 Dismissal
November 3rd: Picture Day