The Cooper School Daily


We did it! We got through the first two weeks of school! You could feel in the air how students (and teachers) were pleasantly anxious for the new start. We walked in the doors after summer break hopeful for the potential of positive change and the desire to start off on the right foot.

In TCS middle school, we plan explicitly for community building time. We consider the whole middle school community, our advisories, and each grade level. These first two weeks, we had middle school meetings to not just talk about rules, routines, and expectations, but to get to know each other through games! As a middle school community, we played games together to laugh, make eye contact, communicate, and learn more about each other as a whole middle school. To create more community for each grade level, we made time for social and emotional conversations, executive functioning guidance, and more fun get to know you games. As the year progresses, and our communities grow and evolve, our explicit community building will do the same. However, the extra planning and time we put into community building these first few weeks, will help us persevere and respect each other for the rest of the year.


What’s happening in Social Studies?

Eighth graders were introduced to their new curriculum by learning about and discussing the dangers of a single story. Students then moved into the three frames of history before diving into the World in 1750. Students started in Europe and moved their way into Asia by the end of the week.

Next week, students will be looking at Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific in 1750 before being asked to create their own empire based on the references from their notes. Students will have Ms. Henslee come into our classroom on Thursday to discuss some research strategies they can use going into this school year.

What’s happening in ELA?
This week in 8th grade, students received their book club novels, all of which are exciting representations of diverse YA narratives by on-the-rise and awarded young authors. In order to step into more sophisticated reading, 8th graders reflected on the value of book reviews to guide their thinking. We also started significant identity work, attempting to define who we were and how that interacted with the identities of characters in our novels.

Next week, we’ll meet more with our book club and elevate our summary skills from pure retellings to more analytical character or theme-based summaries. We’ll learn to synthesize our note-taking into deep reflections on power-dynamics and the meaning of our novel’s more obscure parts.

What’s happening in Science?
Eighth graders learned about the brain this week! They learned about memory, the functions of the different lobes, and what happens if a part of the brain is damaged. The eighth graders began to prototype helmets that will protect a “model” human brain. Using the engineering process, they have defined the problem they are trying to solve, considered their limitations, and began to create their own helmets. Some groups have begun to test their helmets by releasing a “model head” with paintballs attached to the head underneath the helmet. If the paint balls don’t break, they have a helmet that is successful and an effective prototype that they can refine. If the paint balls do break, they have to go back to the drawing board. Next week, we will wrap up our helmet project and begin to dive deeper into the phenomenon of gravity.

What’s happening in Math?
This week in math, 8th graders explored the difference between statistical and non-statistical questions, collecting numerical and categorical data, and creating displays that represent their data. They also took their IXL diagnostic test, which Ms. Allison will explain more about during Curriculum Night on September 6th. Next week, we will begin learning how to use a technological spreadsheet to create formulas and input data to show our collections. We will explore how different data points affect the mean, median, interquartile range, and deviation.

Important Dates:
Monday, September 4th- Labor Day (No School)
Wednesday, September 6th- Middle School Curriculum Night (5:30-6:30)
Friday, September 15th- Parent Coffee (8:15-9:00)
Saturday, September 23rd- Charleston Battery Family Fun Night