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!


What’s happening in Science?
Fifth graders have literally watched bacteria colonies grow in front of their eyes! Their petri dishes are thriving full of bacteria of many colors from the different locations all over the school. The carpets in elementary classrooms, the pet’s cages, bathroom floors, and computers. They have been documenting the growth and changes since week one both in the petri dishes and through the microscope. Next week, they will analyze their data to make a conclusion. They will then make a presentation that will provide a way to share their information.

What’s happening in Math?
This week 5th graders began their 6th Unit in which we started studying powers of 10, metric measurements, and converting units of measure. Next week, students will convert more metric measurements and begin converting customary measurements. They’ll have a quiz over these two concepts on Tuesday! After, we’ll review adding and subtracting fractions with uncommon denominators – as these are super important in measuring!

What’s happening in ELA?
5th grade wrapped up their focus on the class wide “Milk Debate,” carrying their argument writing skills with them into a self-selected argument topic. Being that many topics impact our 5th graders’ own personal communities and lives, we discussed the merit of not only online research, but also student-conducted interviews and observations. Be on the lookout, students might even come to their own family members for perspectives on their issues!

Next week, 5th graders will wrap up their unit, drafting and publishing their arguments. They will proudly present their arguments on topics that matter to them in class to their peers. Be sure to ask for a “peek” at your students’ writing as they develop a stance. Essays can be found in the google classroom!

What’s happening in Social Studies?
The fifth graders are progressing through the medieval, renaissance, and enlightenment eras of European history. Students participated in a jigsaw activity looking at the different components of the Enlightenment Period before pushing into the different wars throughout the history of Europe.

Next week, the students will focus on mapping Europe. We will be taking several days to understand the modern countries’ locations and cultures. Students will participate in a “This or That” activity defining if different countries are part of Western Europe or Eastern Europe.

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