The Cooper School Daily

Decisions, Decisions…

“No matter what the situation, remind yourself, I have a choice.”

-Deepak Chopra

This week has been about choices. What are my New Year’s Resolutions? Am I introverted or extroverted? Would I rather live in Sparta or Athens?

These questions may be easy for you and me to answer, but for your adolescents, it may create an emotional meltdown. Sound familiar? Why?

During adolescence, brains undergo continued growth, and different sections of the brain develop at different rates. The emotional centers of the brain, towards the middle and back, develop first. Maybe you’ve heard of the amygdala or hippocampus before — these are the areas of the brain that play a big part in how people feel and react. On the other hand, the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, is involved in reasoning and weighing decisions. Adolescents’ emotional centers mature before their decision-making centers. In other words, teen brains are programmed to have strongly developed emotional responses even as the part of the brain that interprets and calms those emotions is still actively developing.

However, we work hard to support your sons and daughters by understanding that their unique emotional state is all part of the growing process. When it appears as though they are making an emotionally charged decision, we strive to act as a voice of compassion and practical reasoning. We know you all do the same. Thank you for all of your support, parents!

What’s happening in Science and Social Studies:
Historians researched the ancient city-states Sparta and Athens. We had an academically-heated debate about which city-state we would rather live in if we were an Ancient Grecian.

In Reading:
Readers began their Social Issues Book Clubs this week. They began to not just think deeply about characters in their book, but to analyze and reflect on the relationships between the characters in their stories. They are beginning to question how the relationships in their books relate to the relationships in their own lives.

What’s up in Math?
Middle Schoolers are getting started with Module 3 for both 5th and 6th graders! Fifth graders are gaining confidence as they begin adding and subtracting fractions. Sixth graders are exploring number lines to discover natural counting numbers, whole numbers, and integers!

In Writing:
Writers continued their fiction writing unit by inserting dialogue into their writing. Writers generated ideas by reviewing mentor texts, such as the Scholarship Jacket by Martha Salinas. Writers worked hard to elaborate their own story in order to engage their reader!

Important Dates:
January 18th- MLK Day: No School
February 15-16- Winter Break: No School