The Cooper School Daily

The Rapidly Ending School Year

The Rapidly Ending School Year

This school year seems to have flown by and it is hard to grasp the fact that our kids have their school trips and ERB testing happening next month. With the finish line so near, it is easy to get lax about responsibilities. Our students will have to dig deep within themselves to stay the course and finish strong. In a blog titled, “Mom Does Reviews and Recipes” it was suggested that parents and kids should:

Prioritize Sleep – It’s tempting to let bedtime creep later as the days get longer. With ball practice or after dinner family walks calling, many families keep children awake an average of 30-90 minutes later on spring evenings. However, missing sleep is a major cause of behavior and attention problems in children! A well-rested child can focus, learn, and thrive as they finish out the school year. Set a bedtime that gives your child the recommended amount of sleep for their age and stick to it.

Have a Routine – With all the extra events and deadlines for school and extracurriculars, spring can be more hectic than the holidays. For kids, all those extra special events may feel like uncertainty. This event overload can lead to meltdowns in younger kids, but older kids may react by dawdling, tuning out, or acting out with defiance.

Be Consistent about Behavior Expectations – It’s easy to let the little things slide in spring- a sassy comment or rushing through homework. With all the excitement we don’t want to be the manners police or stop the fun just to answer a few extra math problems. Plus, parents are tired by May! The problem with this approach is that children are still developing and are very rigid thinkers: what is true in one place must be true in another. That is, what’s okay at home is also okay at school, so as we loosen up our expectations at home, they loosen their behaviors at school and become less focused on learning.

Spring is a wonderful season, and the end of school energy can be a great thing for kids. By making sure they get enough sleep, stick to a routine, and have consistent expectations, you can help them stay focused for the final weeks until summer vacation (Maynard, 2019).

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

What’s happening in Science:

Sixth Grade had a chemistry lab every day this week! First, they explored what happens at the particle level during a chemical reaction by mixing carbon dioxide with a solution of water and calcium hydroxide. It blew their minds when they balanced out the chemical equation and realized they created calcium carbonate, also known as baking soda! Next, they engineered a plan to separate a mixture of salt, silt, gravel, and magnetite to witness how dry mixtures can be taken apart. Sixth Graders also got to “taste test” the phenomenon of concentration and dilution of solutions with drink mix. Lastly, they experimented with liquids of different densities and were challenged to layer them in test tubes. Next week, we will wrap up chemistry and dive back into social studies, exploring the Renaissance. 

What’s up in Math?

This week, Sixth Graders have been applying their knowledge of percentages to solve problems involving increases and decreases. We have looked at savings accounts that accrue interest, discounts at stores, and sales tax! Students will continue to solve problems involving applications of percentages. After grading and returning the tests on Wednesday, I decided to go a bit off script on Thursday. We paused our percentage lessons and I taught an explicit procedure for solving equations. Today (Friday), I built on that prior knowledge in order to add skills for solving equations and we began to look at how to create an equation for a word problem. Students were excited about learning the steps for solving equations and eager for more examples and practice! 

What’s happening in ELA?

This week and next week, students will be diligently working on their “Spread the Word” writing and their fantasy book reports. We are working on each assignment in class, but feel free to ask your students how they are doing on their reading and writing projects. Please keep an eye out for when the “Spread the Word” event will be held for your middle school students.

Important Dates:

April 28: TCS Gala

May 4: Spread the Word