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 Science:
Whoop! Whoop! Maps and models are complete…check! Developers finished their models and maps this week and will be polishing them up. Legends to the maps and models were also completed, laminated, and posted. They moved onto creating google slide presentations that describe their parks and what they learned during the process. Presentations will be next Thursday at 2:00! They will be practicing, polishing, and perfecting next week to be ultimately prepared for their debut.

What’s up in Math?
Fifth graders have been busy reviewing for their Unit 2 Assessment. They have been practicing with division and multiplication of fractions, mixed numbers, and whole numbers. They are able to represent division using multiple expressions, and they are able to find areas of rectangles with fractional side lengths. I have seen great strides with their ability to use operations with fractions and a deepening of their number sense. I am excited to see the results of their assessment and to move forward with the curriculum.

What’s happening in ELA:
Writing, writing, and more writing! That is the ELA middle school life at The Cooper School. This week fifth graders continue to hone their writing skills producing narratives. They are working on revision strategies and learning that writers do not just end stories; they resolve problems, learn lessons, and make changes to end the stories in ways that ties back to the big meaning of their story. Parents, your young 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. You will be amazed at some of the stories they have written. I know they can use your editing skills and your encouragement. Fifth 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 Unit 3 of their workbooks..

We may have the next Amanda Gorman or Rick Riordan in our fifth grade class if they keep on writing!

Important Dates:
October 28th: National Park Presentations 2:00
October 29th: Halloween Carnival 11:30 Dismissal
November 3rd: Picture Day