​The Cooper School is a private, independent, non-sectarian school that values the participation of families from diverse backgrounds. Founded in 2007, The Cooper School is a 501(c) 3 non-profit institution. The Cooper School offers an exceptional holistic education for children grades K-5. Academic excellence, stewardship of the environment, activity, and creativity are hallmarks of the Cooper School Curriculum.

Investigating Diverse Cultures, Vowels, and Water! May 24, 2019

Investigating Diverse Cultures!

Young scientists spent time discovering the wonders and uniqueness of the Yanomama people of the Amazon Rainforest! Brave scientists took a peek at the different aspects of this traditional tribe’s culture including: clothing, food, shelter, transportation, and celebrations. Scientists enjoyed learning about this tribe’s traditional ways of living off the land and their ways of respecting nature to protect the rainforest. Kindergarteners spent time illustrating and writing about their Yanomama discoveries. One of our favorite discoveries included the fact that the Yanomama people don’t eat sloths!

Our Vowels are Powered Up

This week, our vowel experts vocalized vowel sounds to make a difference and make new words by changing the vowels and other letters within the words. Kindergarteners learned that not only does every word have a vowel, but that every syllable has at least one vowel too. Your scholar used this information to segment words by syllable and to distinguish short vowel sounds in even bigger words.

Non-Fiction Writing

Your brave writer has been using their non-fiction skills to investigate why people need water. Kindergarteners listened to a non-fiction book called, “We Need Water”. During this read-aloud, scholars worked together with their pinch partner to discuss and answer questions about what the author was teaching us about water. Kindergarteners then asked and answered questions about the word “boiling” from the story. Students had the opportunity to write and draw their understandings of the word. Writers reread the book one more time to determine what reasons the author gives for why we need water and then used this information to write, draw, and dictate in order to share these reasons in an information book.

Important Dates:

  •      Monday, May 27th Memorial Day (No School)
  •      Thursday, May 30th Graduation 11:30 Dismissal
  •      Friday, May 31st Field Day 11:30 Dismissal


Celebrating 4th Grade Accomplishments!

ERB Testing!

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3

Students did a wonderful job with testing this week. Students took two ERB tests a day in order to display the knowledge they have learned all year. With only 4 more school days until Field Day, the countdown is on! Please ask your child how they felt about their testing experience.


Celebrating the Arts!

Fourth Graders created dynamic African masks for display outside of the TCS Library! Artists had to use color and not just pencil outlines to enhance the end result. Each student folded their masks in half to create clean lines and spectacular symmetry. Our historians also learned about the individuals who originally created these masks and how they had limited resources. They resorted to incorporating natural dyes like Indigo into their creations. The masks were used as entertainment pieces in certain countries in Africa. Please ask your child about the process of making these remarkable masks.



Centers this week revolved around mystery story writing. Students were tasked with creating their mystery story including detectives, suspects, witnesses, and a crime. Students shared their mysteries with the class and it was riveting. Ask your child to share their mystery with you!


Important Dates:

  • Monday, May 27th- Memorial Day! No School
  • Thursday, 5/30 5th Grade Graduation-Half Day
  • Friday, 5/31 Field Day-Half Day

May 24th, 2019

ERB Testing

Third Graders were anxious for their first year of ERB Testing this week. We could not be prouder of their focus, hard work, and patience as they worked their way through each test. Now, we celebrate the end of successful testing and a WONDERFUL school year!


This week, Third Graders finished up adapting their fairytales and were so excited to share them. Students blew us away in their ability to try a new way to tell their stories. Third Graders learned all about the need for narrators in play scripts to establish to their audience what the characters can’t say! Students used this opportunity to improve their abilities of writing descriptive dialogue, and finished their scripts with stage directions (to convey to their readers what the narrator and characters can’t say!). They are so excited for a reading of one of their scripts next week!


Third Graders finished off their Water investigations over the past couple of days! We continued our investigations of the Water Cycle, looking at the processes of evaporation and condensation. This week, Third Graders questioned what happens to water after it rains and put it to the test. Using a pan balance, students soaked equal amounts of soil and gravel with water to see its effect. Students were amazed to weigh the two earth materials afterward to see that soil absorbed the water while it just slipped through the gravel!

Radio Show

This week, Third Graders transported us back to the 1940s with a classic radio show. Students have worked for months to create a full length radio script comprised of producers, announcers, players, a live band and more! Their show was full of creativity and zingers! Some even contributed original music. Third Graders were excited to invite friends and family to catch their one-time performance!


Important Dates:

  • May 27th: Memorial Day- No School
  • May 30th – 11:30 Dismissal
  • May 31st – Field Day (11:30 Dismissal)

How Far We’ve Come!

1st Graders Are Author Experts

Our week in 1st Grade culminated with the Author Expert Presentation. When we began this project, each student selected a favorite author that they wanted to learn more about. After weeks of reading their author’s books and doing research, each student created a poster board that featured biographical information on their author, a book report, a book review, character illustrations, and a book list. Additionally, students wrote author-inspired stories based on a mentor text written by the author they studied. Below is the full list of authors the class studied, from the very recognizable, beloved authors, like Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle and Ezra Jack Keats, to more up and coming authors such as Oliver Jeffers (Lost and Found) and Adam Rubin (Dragons Love Tacos) and Andrea Beaty (STEM-focused books, Rosie Revere, Engineer, Iggy Peck, Architect, Ada Twist, Scientist, and more)! We recommend checking out any or all of these authors’ amazing books!

Mary Pope Osbourne

Mo Willems

Jane Yolen

Laura Numeroff

Adam Rubin

Mem Fox

Salina Yoon

Cynthia Rylant

Oliver Jeffers

Doreen Cronin

Jane O’Connor

Dav Pilkey

Aaron Blabey

Ezra Jack Keats

Mercer Meyer

Dr. Seuss

Eric Carle

James Dean

H.A. Rey

Andrea Beaty

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

TCS families and teachers enjoyed an end of the year celebration at the Riverdogs baseball game on Sunday, May 19th. It was a fantastic evening of baseball, friendship, delicious ballpark eats, and fun. The Riverdogs put forth a valiant effort and everyone cheered for Charleston’s hometown team. What a great way to commemorate the end of a stellar school year!

The Future Depends on Social Emotional Learning  

Research shows that social emotional learning can not only have a positive impact on students’ academic performance, but is critical to a child’s development, as it directly correlates to success and happiness as an adult. The Cooper School values social emotional learning and intentionally weaves it into the curriculum. Along with tracking academic progress to make sure students are meeting grade-level standards, Cooper School teachers also complete a standardized, strength-based behavior rating to measure each student’s social-emotional competence each trimester. This helps us to understand students’ SEL strengths and needs and to be responsive in our teaching.

Important Dates:

Monday, May 27th-TCS Closed for Memorial Day

Thursday, May 30th-TCS Graduation (11:30 dismissal)

Friday, May 31st-Field Day/last day of school (11:30 dismissal)

Birds of Prey

Bird Crafts

Second Grade Ornithologists took time this week to continue the crafts for their bird study. In art, scholars have been creating life-like birds through paper mache crafts.  Artists took time to paint leaves in the style of their bird’s feathers with tempera paint and through needle arts. Scholars have created dioramas with authentic bird scenes based on their unique bird story.  Our presentation will feature all of these crafts and more!

Subtracting with Base Ten Blocks

This week in math, scholars used base-10 blocks to solve subtraction problems.  This method prepares scholars to learn the upcoming expand-and-trade subtraction we will be doing.  Scholars focused on exchanging base ten blocks for cubes when making trades. When subtracting, scholars utilized the “ball park” method.  When making “ball park” estimates, scholars are able to narrow down the range in which their final answer could be. For instance, 153 – 42 could be a ballpark estimate of 150 – 40.

Once A Mouse

Vocabulary words for the week are from “Once A Mouse” by Marcia Brown.  This Caldecott winning story, based on an Indian Fable, was written in 1961 but still holds a relevant meaning today. The stories main character is  a small mouse who has many predators after his life. A hermit in the jungle changes the mouse’s life when they turn the mouse into many different animals, including a cat, a dog, and a tiger.  Along the way, the mouse adopts an ungrateful attitude and suffers the consequences of forgetting where he came from.

Important Dates

May 27th No School – Memorial Day

May 30th & 31st: 11:30 Dismissal



What’s Your Heartbeat?

This week we have been doing experiments in Math to find out what our target heart rate is. We checked the number of heartbeats at a resting state, and then did jumping jacks, increasing by 10 each time to see how our heart rate changed. Mathematicians concluded that their heart rates raised until a certain number of beats and then leveled out. Students then decided if their exercise was more beneficial or not depending on their target heart rate. Ask your student what their target heart rate is!



Scientists this week observed a model of a stream being formed. Our focus question was: How do weathered rock pieces move from one place to another? We watched as a soil and clay mixture reacted with a standard flow of water, and how the mixture reacted with a flood-like flow of water. Fifth graders watched as the water absorbed into the soil mixture and as a “flood” occurred, the stream table overflowed and began to travel quickly to the other side of the table. Students then described the model using landform vocabulary such as, canyon, valley, stream, and river mouth.


Head of School for the Day!

On Wednesday, our Second Grade Head of School was in our classroom asking questions about our Fifth Grader’s time at The Cooper School. She asked questions like, “What has changed since you started at The Cooper School? “ and “What has stayed the same since you started?” She also asked about our Fifth Graders’ favorite foods! We had a great time talking with her and it was exciting to hear how her experience was going.

Important Dates:

Monday, May 27th- Memorial Day! No School

Thursday, May 30th- Graduation Day! Half day

Friday, May 31st- Field Day! Half Day (Last day of School)

We Are Problem Solvers May 18, 2019

We Are Problem-Solvers

This week brave writers explored persuasive writing by finding problems and writing in many different ways to reach their readers. Inspired by The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, students have been searching for ways they can make our classroom, school, and world a better place. Kindergarteners shared ways to solve problems such as messy cubbies, cleaning the art center, and picking up litter on our playground. When writers see a problem, they think of how to fix it, and then they write about it! By making signs, letters, songs, lists, or petitions, our students are eagerly convincing their audience into action!

Vowel Power

Our vowel power continues to get stronger as we learn the vowels e, i, and o. This week, we practiced segmenting and blending vowel sounds, vocalized these vowel sounds to notice differences and used interactive writing to build ownership and support the transfer of these vowels. Ask your kindergartener how to use their vowel power!

Numbers Talk

Kindergarten mathematicians have immersed themselves in numbers 10-20 this week. Kindergarteners have been using their fingers, cubes, and beads to model these numbers in various ways. Your mathematician has been drawing ten frames and groups of 10 to represent numbers and see them in abstract ways. Kindergarteners have learned how to decompose teen numbers, 11-20 and show “how many.” Next week, your scholar will continue to extend their number knowledge all the way to 100.

Important Dates:

  •      Sunday, May 19th River Dogs Game @ 5:05
  •      Monday, May 27th Memorial Day (No School)
  •      Thursday, May 30th Graduation 11:30 Dismissal
  •      Friday, May 31st Field Day 11:30 Dismissal


Bucket List! May 17, 2019


Conjunction junction what’s your function? Combining words, phrases and clauses. Students worked on using conjunctions in their sentences this week to combine words and phrases, to contrast and to show options. 4th Graders are using grammar tools to enhance their writing  skills. Ask your child to sing the conjunction song!

Bucket List!

As we entered the month of May, our Fourth Grade students created a priceless bucket list to close out the year. The class chose different activities to add to the list and we have been checking them off day by day. Each student has a voice and a wish, which we try to fulfill before the school year comes to a close. One favorite list wish was challenging the Third Graders to a relay race, and the race was an epic event on the TCS playground. Another popular bucket list wish was writing a mystery story. Please ask your child about a bucket list item they have chosen.

Pen Pals!

Students were thrilled to start their letters to their pen pals in Ghana. Students worked to describe their families, friends and the activities they enjoy. The letters were decorated and signed and sealed. The focal point of composing these letters was to engage our students in an activity that would brighten another person’s life. Ask your child what they wrote in their letters!


Important Dates:


  • Monday, 5/20-Friday, 5/24 ERB Testing
  • Monday, May 27th- Memorial Day! No School
  • Thursday, 5/30 5th Grade Graduation-Half Day
  • Friday, 5/31 Field Day-Half Day



Memory Lane

Analyzing the Text!

Our 5th Grade students learned about analyzing texts in order to understand events better while diving into their Westward Expansion books. As historians, it is critical for them to know not only what happened, but why. They should ask themselves, “Why did it happen that way?” We started by reading a passage from, The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal book. Scholars were encouraged to share their thoughts with a partner on what happened in the piece they read, and why! The exercise broadened their critical thinking skills and allowed the class to analyze texts in a new way.


Memory Lane!

This week, our 5th Grade class shared fond memories of their extensive experiences throughout the school year. At the top of the list was the GRP field trip, which kicked off the school year. This memorable trip was an important bonding experience for students, which has left a lasting impression in their minds and hearts. Students remarked about their time together in class and how they have grown in so many ways. The Halloween Parade and so many more memories became part of the discussion. Please ask your child what their fondest memory is of 5th Grade.  

Organizing Writing!

5th Grade scholars began to organize their writing this week by making sure certain elements, like headings, all matched and looked neat. Students learned that writers accomplish this cohesive flow in their texts by making matches and patterns in words, structures, and meanings. We read multiple texts and looked at how to effectively organize heading and structure to be matching sets. Students felt confident in accomplishing this organizational task.

Important Dates:

Monday, May 20th-24th- ERB Testing Week

Monday, May 27th- Memorial Day! No School

Thursday, May 30th- Graduation Day! Half day

Friday, May 31st- Field Day! Half Day (Last day of School)


Achieving Goals!

Interesting Bird Facts

Second Grade Ornithologists took time this week to write three interesting facts that most people might not know about their chosen bird. Scholars shared their fun facts with the class. For instance, did you know that hummingbirds can visit up to 2,000 flowers for nectar in one day? Scholars also discovered that in 1950, there were only sixteen Whooping Cranes left! Did you know that American Kestrels can change their speed from 100 mph to 200 mph in less than 8 seconds when they are searching for prey? 


Equivalent Money Amounts

Second Graders studied equivalent money amounts this week during math. To explore this idea, students made various coin combinations that have the value of a dollar. Some chose four quarters, while some showed this by putting out ten dimes. Scholars were then challenged to do this by using a mix of both quarters and dimes.  Scholars learned that money amounts that include dollars and cents can be written in different ways. For instance, $1.49 and 149 cents both show the same amount. 


Second Graders completed their last Movement field trip in climbing this week. Scholars set a personal goal of the amount of feet they wished to climb at each outing and then a total goal for their entire time climbing. Many Second Graders found that they quickly achieved their goal as they graduated from the 25-foot climbing wall to the 50-foot climbing wall. Many memories were made for our class over these outings! 


Important Dates

May 19th                            TCS End of the Year Celebration at The RiverDogs Baseball Game


May 21st                              Field Trip to Birds of Prey


May 27th                             No school – Memorial Day

May 28th        Bird Study Museum and Presentation


Annual Fund Update

Thank you so much to all of you who have so generously donated to the Annual Fund. This year, to my delight, the Silent Auction raised more money than ever before. I wanted to take a moment to let you know exactly where your Silent Auction donation dollars are going…

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