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.


What’s happening in Social Studies?
This week eighth graders prepared and completed a debate on which European Power should have been blamed in the Treaty of Versailles for World War 1. Students analyzed primary and secondary sources in preparation for the debate, in order to build arguments with details to share in front of the class.

Next week, we will conclude our WW1 unit with an assessment before moving into the interwar and World War 2 eras. Students will explore new vocabulary terms and dive deep into the Great Depression with a contextualization activity.

What’s happening in ELA?
8th graders began a study of Shakespeare this week. We started with background information on Shakespeare’s life and work before diving into Hamlet with the help of No Fear Shakespeare. We discussed the elements of a drama and mapped the initial characters of this tragic tale! We also did a deep dive into sentence structures, types, and proofreading fragments/run on sentences.

Next week, 8th graders learn the art and structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets. A continuation of Hamlet will also reveal a lot about elements of comedies vs tragedies.

What’s happening in Science?
Eighth graders worked on their science fair boards this week. They have been contemplating the most effective and aesthetically pleasing way to present their findings. Not only have they been provided time to be creative, but they have had the opportunity to collaborate and consider the importance of their board looking professional. Next week, they will wrap up the science fair and work on self-assessment.
What’s happening in Math?
This week, 8th graders learned how to represent quadratic expressions in both standard and factored form before taking a quiz on Friday. Next week, we’ll compare quadratic functions when different parts of them are changed and how that affects their graphs, as well as learn about vertex form.

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