How We’ve Grown
This week we opened our height strings that we measured ourselves with at the beginning of the year to see how much we’ve grown over the Fifth Grade year. Many students were surprised by how much they have grown over the year. We not only talked about how much we’ve grown physically, but also how much we’ve grown academically and socially over the year. Many students talked about how much confidence they’ve gained. They feel prepared and excited for Sixth Grade. It is sure to be another great year for them!
Wrapping Up Westward Expansion
To wrap up our Westward Expansion unit this week we presented our papers and visuals to Fourth Grade. Historians taught about things like the Gold Rush, the Transcontinental Railroad, and covered wagons. Fifth Graders also displayed their visuals that went along with their papers, some students made covered wagons while others showcased WANTED posters to go along with their papers about cowboys. It was a great way to end such a fun unit.
Wow! There are so many emotions that surround graduation; sad feelings, happy feelings, nervous feelings, and many more. This week was all about wrapping up curriculum, preparing students for end of year festivities, and saying goodbye. Graduation and Field Day were beautiful ways to end the year and say goodbye to the school they’ve grown up in, the friends they’ve made, and the teachers that prepared them over the years. Thank you again for all that you’ve done to make this the best year ever! Have a great summer!
Final Africa Project!
This week, 4th Graders shared their powerful creations for our final Africa project. Their presentations included iMovies, posters and dioramas. Our scholars were given a wide range of freedom to produce meaningful pieces to showcase for 3rd and 5th Graders. Projects ranged from Cheetahs, Elephants and Mount Kilimanjaro to the war in Chad. Please ask your child about this amazing experience.
Our creators jumped into creating innovative pieces from the tinkering cart. The cart holds a multitude of materials for building and materials that foster the imagination. 4th Graders designed unique pieces such as marble runs, airplanes, cars and so much more. This activity allows students to think outside the box! Please ask your child about their cool creation.
Wrapping Up the Year!
It is hard to believe that the year has come to an end. Scholars talked about all the growth that occurred through achievements and challenges. They shared some of their proudest moments and their accomplishments. Each student chose one or two words that they thought summed up their year. Then looking ahead, they shared the things they looked forward to in Fifth Grade. Please ask your child about their favorite memory this year!
Enjoy your summer!
Paving the Way…
This week, 1st Graders interviewed 2nd Graders to get an idea of what their next year will be like. It was so wonderful to hear all the things their older peers love about 2nd Grade and it definitely got everyone excited to move up! They also reflected on their 1st Grade year and wrote letters to the Kindergarteners (rising 1st Graders). Some things they wanted to highlight from 1st Grade were the Insect Study, the Bridge Study, the Author Expert project, the exciting field trips, and that you become a better reader in 1st Grade (true).
Bidding Farewell to Our Grads
Congratulations to the 5th Graders-Carys, Grant, Hadley, Maggie, Mia, Miles, Olive, Penny, Sam, Sydney, and Willis and to their fabulous teacher, Ms. Erica! 5th Graders- you will be missed! One of our very own 1st Graders, Harry, was chosen to be a graduation buddy for a 5th Grader and attended the ceremony to present Willis with his graduation book! After the ceremony at the Circular Church, 5th Grade grads were welcomed back by all the younger students who formed a human tunnel for them to run through. Then everyone enjoyed lemonade and strawberry shortcake- a TCS tradition. Thank you to the 4th Graders and Ms. Lauren and Ms. Kara for organizing that and to Ms. Brooke for her gorgeous decorations!
Field Day and Then School’s Out for the Summer!
On Friday, May 31st, the entire Cooper School community commemorated the end of the year with Field Day. Outdoor games were organized by the graduates, and students competed with their Field Day groups decked out in their group’s color! Pelican Snowballs was the perfect sweet, cold treat to finish out a hot, but awesome day!
Bird Study Museum
Second Grade ornithologists celebrated a successful presentation of their Bird Study Museum. Scholars shared exciting iMovies to begin their presentation. Detailed Power Points covered facts ranging from the bird’s feathers, wingspan, nest, predators, prey and interesting facts! Second Graders displayed life like bird sculptures of their individual birds that they were able to refer to during their Power Point. Wingspan vs. Armspan displays were a popular display of our presentation for our guests to visualize the size of scholar’s birds.
This week in vocabulary Second Grade scholars did a review of a few handpicked words previously studied over the year. This year Second Graders studied a vast list of vocabulary words that increased in difficulty as the year progressed. These words were usually first introduced in a read-aloud story and then definitions would be reviewed with example sentences. Each day provides a new review of the definitions through activities like acting during freeze frame, word illustration, and word square sheets. Second Graders enjoyed the chance to “shine” on a word when they heard it used in class read alouds or in example sentences!
Read Aloud Book Themes
Second Graders took time this week to discuss the ranging themes from our year’s selection of Read Aloud stories. Themes included discussions around diversity, acceptance, family, growing up, being different, making new friends, and trying new things. Scholars enjoyed books like Maniac Magee, The Wild Robot, and The King’s Equal, James and the Giant Peach, and The Penderwicks.
May 31st: 11:30 Dismissal
Below: Second Graders perform their puppet shows from Music
Ready for Fourth Grade
We were so excited to spend the week celebrating all of the successes of our Third Graders this year. As our school year came to a close this week, Third Graders took a look back at the letters addressed to their future selves from the first day of school as well as the yarn they used to measure themselves on the first day. Students were so excited to observe their growth! Students spent time this week responding to all of the questions they had asked at the beginning of the school year. We are so proud of all of the hard work our Third Graders accomplished this year!
This week, two Third Graders’ scripts were selected to be workshopped in our classroom. Using students’ final drafts, our entire class joined in for a readthrough of each script. Following the reading, students spent time going around the circle to discuss suggestions for improvement. It was very helpful to Third Graders to hear their peers’ suggestions to improve their writing, but even more helpful to them to hear their peers bring their words to life. Third Graders were excited to get scripts so that they could prepare a short performance for our Second Grade friends on our last day of school. We were so impressed by our Third Grade playwrights!
At the beginning of the school year, Third Graders made it their goal to read silently as a class for 45 minutes. They tried each week to see how long Third Graders could challenge themselves to continuously read without interruption. This week, Third Graders were proud to finally reach their goal and read quietly and independently for a full 45 minutes! We were so impressed by their focus, concentration, and of course, fantastic reading choices.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
Ezra Jack Keats
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.
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)
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.
May 27th No School – Memorial Day
May 30th & 31st: 11:30 Dismissal