Erin Biddle enters her fourth year at The Cooper School as the Kindergarten teacher. Erin brings fifteen years of classroom experience in Connecticut, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Erin received her BA in Education at Mercyhurst University. She is a certified early childhood and elementary educator. Erin believes her mission is to instill the love of learning. She is thrilled to be a member of The Cooper School team! Erin enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris and daughter, Abigail exploring Charleston and going to the beach.
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.
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!
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!
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.
This week in our Rainforest unit our students wrote about wonders with they had about the rainforest. Wonders about the rainforest ranged from, “How many trees are in the rainforest?” and “How hot does it get in the Rainforest?” to, ‘’Why are there so many dangerous animals?”, and “How do people travel in the rainforest?” Scholars created beautiful butterflies using blue mache paper to go with their wonder. Ask your scholar what wonder they chose!
Pass It On
This week scholars have been practicing reading their poems that they will read at Pass It On. Scholars have been reading with a partner in the classroom everyday to feel more comfortable. Students have also been reading their poems to both teachers in the classroom. Our poets now have their poems almost memorized and ready to share at Pass It On this evening! We hope to see you all there!
This week in math our scholars have been working on counting straws to make nineteen, twenty, and then making piles for each ten. Kindergartners are able to model with objects and represent number ten to twenty with place value and hide zero cards. Number bonds came back into the picture this week in math and our scholars were able to model numbers ten to twenty using them. Ask your scholar what was their favorite part of math this week!
On Monday our Kindergarten scholars took a field trip to Legare Farms. Our Scholars were excited to finish up our chicks unit with this special trip. Scholars got to learn new facts about chicks from our instructor who also showed us all the different types of eggs. Kindergartners even got the opportunity to pet the rabbit. The farm was filled with pigs, cows, water buffaloes and goats. Our scholars got to play on the farm themed playground and enjoy lunch. Finally we got to participate in an easter egg hunt. Ask your scholar what their favorite part of the trip was!
Wrapping-Up Swim Lessons
Our brave swimmers completed their last swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners have gained confidence through their weekly swim lessons and their helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lessons with brave and happy hearts. Kindergarteners are grateful for their swimming lessons!
It’s Green! It’s Humid! It’s a Rainforest!
Kindergartners have been enjoying our new rainforest study. This week we investigated to find out, “What is a rainforest?” Students practiced locating rainforests around the world using our color-coded biome map. Young conservationists found ways that they can live in harmony with nature, in efforts to save our rainforests. Students shared the different types of animals throughout the jungle. Kindergartners also watched videos of different types of trees in the rainforest. Ask your young scientist what they learned about the rainforest this week!
On Tuesday Kindergarteners went to the Dock Street Theater to see the magnificent play “Flat Stanley”. Students were so happy to sit “up top” and in the front row to watch the play. Flat Stanley was so funny and the actors really brought the characters to life from the book. Kindergarteners watched with amusement and curious eyes. Ask your child what part of the play was their favorite!
This week in math Kindergarten scholars have been working on making a five group drawing to show a story. Scholars have been showing the five ways using beans, number cards and cubes with their partners. We have also been focusing on subtraction and addition as well as showing different ways to make ten. Ask your scholar to show you the different ways to make ten while using the five group, fingers or number cards !
This week in Reading Workshop our scholars have been working very hard on their how to books. Kindergarten scholars looked over all of their books with us and chose which books they wanted to publish for their second publishing party. Scholars are now adding details to their pictures and more words to their books to make them even better. Ask your scholar which book they chose to publish.
Young scientists have been busy learning all about chicks and chickens during Science this week! Kindergarteners discovered the structure of hen eggs. Our Kindergartners learned that hen eggs have 5 different compartments.They learned that the shell and shell membrane are located on the outside and the yolk and egg white are located on the inside. Kindergarteners learned about the air cell, chalaza and the embryo. Our scientists are becoming bigger chick enthusiasts everyday!
This week in Math our Kindergarten mathematicians have been learning how to decompose the numbers nine and ten. Our scholars have used our fabulous five group counting skills to take apart these numbers. Kindergartens also have been practicing decomposition with a subtraction equation. Our mathematicians are able to represent subtraction story problems by breaking off numbers, crossing out numbers and hiding parts of them. Ask your Kindergartener what was their favorite part of math this week!
This week in Writing Workshop Kindergartners continued with writing “how to” stories. Our scholars have written up to five books this week. Kindergarteners enjoyed working with their “strawberry and banana” partners during these Writing Workshops to get fresh and new topics to write about. Kindergartners love writing about things in which they are experts and explaining it to others. Ask your scholar to tell you about one of the many books they have written. Stay tuned for more of this great work!
Cheep, Chirp, Cheep!
Our young scientists were surprised and thrilled to discover baby chicks in our classroom this week. Kindergarteners marveled at the cute yellow fluffy feathers and their little bodies. They loved sharing their wonderful wonders. Over the next several weeks, students will investigate the parts of an egg, the chicken life cycle, and how to care for baby chicks! Stay tuned for more egg-cellent news!
During our Minds Up lessons this week, students discovered that sometimes when things feel challenging or scary, our brains might send A.N.T.s (automatic negative thoughts) to our minds. Kindergarteners shared times when they have experienced A.N.T.s. Students learned how to identify when they might be having A.N.T.s and discovered strategies for helping to “squash” those A.N.T.s. Once self-defeating talk is identified and eliminated, the hope is that students may overcome hurdles that are stopping them from moving forward and doing their very best!
This week in Reading Workshop our Kindergarten readers have been learning about becoming avid readers. If you’re an avid reader, it means you read as much as you can, whenever you can. Our scholars have been reading so much this week, it’s been hard to get to them to stop. Kindergartners are enjoying reading and going deeper into the books. Our scholars will become avid readers in no time!
Can You Haiku?
This week brave readers and writers explored haiku poetry through the reading and writing of these 3 lined expressions. Kindergarteners have been busy composing haikus about nature. They know these special poems are usually said in one breath and have a line to tell when, where and what the haiku is about. Kindergarteners were very excited to learn more about poetry! Ask your young poet what they learned about haikus this week!
Our brave swimmers completed their first swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners will gain confidence through these weekly swim lessons and the helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lesson with brave and happy hearts. We can’t wait to see what they can do by the end of the four weeks!
This week in Math our mathematicians have made it all the way to the number ten with number bonds. Our scholars have become experts at these number bonds. We used fingers, sets, and linking cubes to show the number ten. Then Kindergarteners made stories to ten with 5-group drawings. Scholars have also been working on addition and subtraction this week!
St. Patrick’s day
The Cooper School enjoyed a fun-filled Whole School Morning Meeting of St. Patrick’s Day this year. Students of all grade levels were greeted Monday morning with a very green mess left behind by some visiting leprechauns. Those leprechauns are so mischievous! Leprechauns visited us again, and this time they left presents in the backyard. Students partnered up and searched for their Irish limerick and St. Patrick’s Day necklace. Ask your child what surprised them most on St. Patrick’s Day!
Our young poets have been exploring their five senses to enhance their reading and writing of poetry during Reader’s & Writer’s Workshop this week. Mindful observers experimented with different sounds, a variety of smells, an assortment of tastes, diverse movements, and multiple textures to enrich their descriptive language. Students are sharpening their skills while writing poetry using repetition, rhythm, and rhyme. During Writer’s Workshop, students are finding inspiration through interesting items in the Poetry Museum and peering at the world through our poetry window.
Diving Into Our Tree Study
Our scientists have been busy observing our school’s backyard trees! Students walked around the backyard and found trees that are pointed and trees that are rounded. They have noticed that there are a wide variety of trees that come in different sizes, colors and shapes. Kindergarteners have been observing trees and illustrating their observations in their Tree Observation Journal. Ask your young scientist what they learned about trees this week!
Diving Into Our Tree Study
Our scientists have been busy observing our school’s trees! Students collaborated to measure and find the circumference of two different trees. They have noticed that there are a wide variety of trees. Students also observed that trees have different types of bark, leaves, and branches. We examined nuts, seeds, cones, flowers, and twigs! Young scientists compared deciduous trees to evergreen trees, noting that deciduous tree leaves turn vibrant colors in the fall while evergreen leaves stay green all year. Kindergarteners have been observing trees and illustrating their observations in our Tree Observation Journal. Ask your young scientist what they learned about trees this week!
Kindergarteners Help Choose a Charity
Cooper School students collaborated during Whole School Morning Meetings this week to study this year’s tribute for Pass it On. Students had the opportunity to vote on three organizations that they were inspired by and would like to support. The organizations were The South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Earthwatch, and The Giraffe Conservation Foundation. The foundation that was chosen will be announced during carpool today. Ask your scholar which one was chosen!
On Tuesday, Kindergarten scholars got to participate in tie dying their white t-shirts. Kindergartners were thrilled to the gills to make these specials t-shirts. Kindergartners were able to choose their very own designs for their t-shirts. They were able to pick a bullseye design, circles or just a random design. Kindergartners put their own rubber bands on the shirts and were able to select the colors they wanted to use. They even got to pour the color all by themselves. Our Kindergarten artists can’t wait to show you their fabulous T-shirts.