The Cooper School Daily

Powerful Moments

On Monday, our Middle Schoolers had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Anthony James, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at USC. With Dr. James, the students discussed “Ouch!”, a strategy used to resolve conflicts surrounding stereotyping and microaggressions. Some of the approaches to standing up against microaggressions include asking a question, interrupting and redirecting, broadening to universal behavior, saying “ouch!”, making it individual, and assuming good intent then explaining impact.

At the conclusion of the assembly, the students were asked to share some takeaways they learned from the discussion. I really felt the need to shine on our students for their thoughtfulness, intentionality, and ability to absorb information. Some examples of takeaways:

“There’s an easier and more effective way to stand up to people who make offensive comments, rather than starting an argument.” – James Dawson

“When you use one of the strategies we discussed, you can control the conversation by creating a calm and informative discussion.” – Devon Porter

“If someone makes a stereotypical comment or microaggression, asking them “what do you mean?” gives the person a chance to think about what they said, and the impact it might have on someone.” – Zephyr Wall

I’m in awe every day of our students and their compassion, empathy, and resourcefulness when living their day to day lives, and it’s experiences like these that make being a Cooper Kid such a great investment in their lives and futures. These kiddos are going to change the world, and I can’t wait to watch!


Here’s a look at what is happening in each of the classes:

What’s happening in Science?
Sixth graders worked diligently on their biomimicry models this week! Boards are painted and the shelters are really coming together. The sixth graders also did the egg challenge! They collaborated and engineered a package that would protect an egg from a two story drop. Some eggs were saved, while others, not so much. Next week, the sixth graders will continue to work on their biomimicry project and then finish up their presentation slides.
What’s up in ELA?

6th graders reached final drafts of their informational articles, typing their chapters and presenting their findings to peers. We then considered how information and stories can be adapted into new forms–namely, a podcast! We listened to a model podcast from This American Life, naming the strengths of podcasting as a storytelling form. Ultimately we borrowed from this format to ‘shrink’ our essays into podcast scripts!

Next week, 6th graders will record and produce their essays in podcast format! We will have a listening party when the podcast is edited, and podcasters have the option to present the final product in their student-led self assessment conferences.

What’s going on in Math?
This week, 6th graders reviewed proportional relationships before taking their test on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we began our new unit by studying fractional and percentage increases and decreases. Next week, we’ll create equations for percentage increases and decreases, and understand what sales tax and tip are and how to use them!

What’s happening in Social Studies?
Sixth graders have entered the Medieval Period of Europe. Students looked into the different vocabulary terms before diving into Feudalism content. Students took time to learn about the conflicts that arose between the Popes and the Monarchs before diving into the Crusades.

Next week, the students will create skits of the medieval era to assess their content understanding. Students will be challenged to incorporate ideas from the different areas of study throughout the unit into their skits.

Important Dates:
February 14th- Valentine’s Day Book Fair, Bake Sale and Bingo, starting at 1:30!
February 19th & 20th- February Break (no school)