The Cooper School Daily

The Project of Projects

Do you remember working on projects when you were younger? You would have a fun project idea about a topic you were maybe interested in. You would get books for research, maybe construction paper, or a trifold…and do it ALL AT HOME! You would then somehow get your project to school intact, hopefully before the deadline, in order for the teacher to give you a grade. Maybe your elementary and middle school experience was different from my public Atlanta school upbringing, but I truly don’t remember doing projects at school with my teachers guiding my individual inquiries or creative desires.

I guess I have started to take TCS for granted when it comes to our Project Based Curriculum that is fully integrated into every grade level. I was talking to a friend this week about projects her son was doing, but at home! I then went on to tell her about the projects I was doing with your kids and the projects Ms. Subhadra completed with my own son. It hit me (like a rock) why teachers dish out the projects to parents! It’s a TON of work! It takes patience, constructive criticism, subtle troubleshooting, individualized instruction, and of course…clean up! Yet, the learning and growth that takes place when students have the time and place for flow, is so important. The pride that is received at the end of the project is the epitome of intrinsic reward.

So cheers to projects at school from one parent to another! Our kiddos are learning through projects where they can explore their own questions, build upon their own ideas with differentiated learning, collaborate with peers, and make a mess at school 🙂

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

What’s happening in Science:
Fifth Grade polished and presented their presentations describing their nature inspiration for their completed biomimicry shelter. They practiced presenting their slides with each other, then presented their work to the whole class. They also learned about the characteristics of living things and the impact of insect populations in local ecosystems. Fifth grade completed their self-assessments and also practiced what they will present to you all during conferences. Next week, we will dive back into Social Studies and learn about the history and current events of Russia and Ukraine.

What’s up in Math?
Practice makes progress! We are perfecting our self-assessment presentations for you all. Presentations have been through peer-editing, teacher-editing, and now they are role-playing as student/teacher pairs to practice their math presentations. Students have revisited culminating lessons from their favorite unit in order to demonstrate their learning. They will present unit objectives, lesson objectives, and how they were able to solve a real-world problem applying the standards covered in the lesson. Students have been engaged with activating prior knowledge and metacognition, which has been really interesting to see. I can’t wait for you all to hear their presentations next week!

What’s happening in ELA:
The Fifth Graders have completed their final writing project for the second trimester. Many of them did a great job on their argumentative essays. This week, they have been working diligently on preparing for their ELA self-assessments. You will be very proud to see their progress since the beginning of the school year to the present. Be prepared for your kids to “knock your socks off” with their reading and writing skills savvy.

Important Dates:
March 7th and 8th – Self-Assessment Conferences
March 28-April 1: Spring Break