The Cooper School Daily

Festina Lente

Festina Lente. “Make haste slowly.” A classical adage and oxymoron to remind us to find the balance between the need to meet a deadline and to do things well. I almost made a hasty decision this week, just to cross a problem off my list. I called a friend before I took action, who then reminded me to consider my options before I followed through. I did wait. Thank goodness…now I am going to solve the problem in a different way.

Wrapping up this second trimester, I am trying to embody the essence of festina lente, as our students finish up self assessment, science fair, bacteria labs, and biomimicry projects…and that’s just in my classroom! February always feels like the month of juggling. Some of the balls are rubber and some glass, and those glass balls are very tempting to put down. The desire and eagerness to cross hard things off the list can lead the kids (and teachers) to hastily finish up work instead of completing it thoughtfully and thoroughly. While we polish up slideshows, reports, and science boards, I hope to slow down and help them to do the same, but still get our stuff done in time…festina lente.


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

What’s happening in Science?
Sixth graders enjoyed this shorter week learning about plant reproduction. They dissected flowers to see the hidden parts inside of plants that aid in the reproduction of new seeds. The sixth graders also learned about the importance of pollinators and why they impact our food supply. Sixth graders also learned about how non-flowering plants reproduce and how to identify between the two different types of plants. Lastly, the sixth graders finished up their biomimicry projects and self-assessment portfolios.
What’s up in ELA?

6th graders began a study of Shakespeare this week. We started with background information on Shakespeare’s life and work before diving into a 6th grade-friendly adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. We discussed the elements of a drama and mapped the initial characters of this tragic romance! We also reviewed sentence structures and added new sentence types to our grammar toolbox.

Next week, 6th graders learn the art and structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets. A continuation of Romeo and Juliet will also reveal a lot about elements of comedies vs tragedies.

What’s going on in Math?
This week, 6th graders studied how to represent errors with percentages, specifically in measuring! Next week, we’ll review percentages and finding errors before taking our Unit 6 Test on Tuesday, February 27th. We’ll spend the rest of the week exploring rational numbers!

What’s happening in Social Studies?
Sixth graders dove into the origins and beliefs of Islam in order to grab a better understanding of the ideas that center around the religion. This helped to bring context to our unit that is centered around the Muslim Empire. Students learned the difference between the Sunnis and the Shias and were asked to prove their understanding on a Venn Diagram. Students were then asked to complete a jigsaw activity, acting as teachers, for the different achievements of the Islamic world.

Next week, the students will assess the Islamic world before diving into Ancient Asia. We will begin with early Chinese dynasties.

Important Dates:
February 23rd: Middle School Dance 7pm
March 4th & 5th- Self-Assessment Conferences (11:30 dismissal)