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 are 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.


What’s happening in Science?
Fifth 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 fifth graders also learned about the importance of pollinators and why they impact our food supply. Fifth graders also learned about how non-flowering plants reproduce and how to identify between the two different types of plants. Lastly, the fifth graders finished up their bacteria projects and self-assessment portfolios.

What’s happening in Math?
This week 5th graders continued practicing addition and subtraction of mixed numbers and fractions with uncommon denominators. Next week, students will find out about line plots with fractional data numbers before taking a quiz on Tuesday, February 27th. They’ll spend the rest of the week comparing products from multiplication problems!

What’s happening in ELA?
5th graders began a study of Shakespeare this week. We started with background information on Shakespeare’s life and work before diving into a 5th grade-friendly adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We discussed the elements of a drama and mapped the initial characters of this whimsical story! We also reviewed sentence structures and added new sentence types to our grammar toolbox.

Next week, 5th graders learn the art and structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets. A continuation of Midsummer will also reveal a lot about Shakespeare’s comedies vs tragedies.

What’s happening in Social Studies?
The fifth graders have worked diligently on their jigsaw activities that focus on Europe today. Students have created presentations that highlight the living and working life in Europe, along with the government, and the challenges that Europe faces. Students then presented these in front of their peers. Students will also pair up with one other student and dive deep into one specific European Country. Students will be tasked with presenting about life today in that country.

Next week, the students will quickly dive into the Eurasia region of the world before progressing into Asia. Students will dive into the Russian Revolution, and Stalin and Putin’s reign.

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