The Cooper School Daily

Planting the Seeds of Success


Reading workshop can feel complicated. There’s a mini-lesson, independent reading, partner reading, a reading response, and finally a share. Getting comfortable with these routines is essential for a year of successful reading. This week First Graders learned to work in small groups for reading, conference with a teacher, and collect materials independently. Next week, we plan to deeply explore reading partners and discuss how to talk about books with a friend.


It has been a fun week of science lessons in Grade 1! After last week’s study of apples – culminating with a taste test of five different varieties – the excitement seemed hard to top. But on Tuesday we started a multi-day experiment, putting pumpkin seeds in a sealed ziplock bag with a wet paper towel. Hypotheses abounded, with most agreeing that the seeds will probably sprout in the bags, even without soil. We are discussing what it means to do science and that when we fail, we learn so much about what to try next!


Centers is a popular time of day for First Graders, and it’s easy to see why. Students get to cycle through a number of independent activities over the course of the week, all related to our areas of study. This student-directed time allows children to reinforce their learning and to have lots of fun in the process. This week, First Graders got to use specially-shaped blocks to create capital and lowercase letters, mirroring the work we are doing in handwriting. Students also created detailed images of the seeds in our seed museum, built structures with Base-10 blocks, and made their own counting books.