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. 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!


What’s happening in Social Studies?
Eighth graders pushed through their midterms and began studying World War 1. Students took the week to understand the new vocabulary terms and the M.A.I.N. causes of the war. Students dove into their mapping skills as they were asked to label and color a map differentiating the alliances.

Next week, the students will dive further into the war and be challenged to analyze multiple primary sources; including the Zimmermann Note, a first-hand account of the murder of the Archduke, and a recording of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Students will be asked to use the information they have learned to participate in a debate that asks them who they believe should take responsibility for the war.

What’s happening in ELA?
This week, 8th grade readers hit the height of To Kill a Mockingbird’s conflict in the trial of Tom Robinson. We began a study of character archetypes in literature, identifying examples of archetypes like The Hero, The Innocent, and The Everyman in TKaM. This launched our magazine project where we each began a magazine spread profiling an archetype and examples of the archetypes in literature and pop culture.

Next week, 8th graders will finish the novel and their projects. We will study character foils and the art of scene analysis as we also finish the To Kill a Mockingbird film.

What’s happening in Science?
Eighth graders are finishing up with their science fair projects this week. Most folks have finished collecting their data or are at least close to collecting the last bits. Lots of interesting findings have been discovered. For one, y’all crickets will not chirp during the day! Hayden has observed his crickets daily in hot, cold, and room temperatures and they will not chirp in the light! Devon has found the BEST all-purpose cleaner, and JJ has an idea of who has the dirtiest lap top! More conclusions are to come!
What’s happening in Math?
This week, 8th graders reviewed for and took our Unit 5 Test on Tuesday. They spent the rest of the week beginning their Quadratic Function Unit by identifying patterns in data. Next week, we’ll compare quadratic and exponential functions, use quadratic functions to maximize revenue for a few scenarios, and use diagrams to help rewrite quadratic functions.

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