The Cooper School Daily

The Season of Sprints and Spirit

All the holiday preparations, upcoming breaks, trips planned, and gifts wrapped can send one into a spin. It’s always so funny to cap off a fast flying, busy year with the busiest month ever. However, I’ll halt my cynicism right there. Yes, the year is moving fast (especially in Middle School), but I’ll attribute much of that to the positive momentum of kids rapidly growing into who they were meant to be. I see budding basketball players flying down the court, projects reaching their peak, concepts unlocking, even a brand new spirit club forming.
Ah yes, spirit club. In this spirited season, a number of our middle schoolers have started a new club solely focused on pride in our school, celebration of who we are. It’s honestly lovely timing, a perfect way to applaud wildly for another year of growth and cheer loudly as we look forward to part II in 2024.
So, as I consider this lightning-fast time of year, I happily accept that the fast paced progress and high-energy celebrations make the moments of quiet, magical, slow rest all the more satisfying.


What’s happening in Social Studies?
Eighth graders dove deep into the Sadler Report. Students took on the Hollywood-like experience of acting while completing a skit over the Sadler Report. This emphasized the seriousness of Child Labor during the Industrial Revolution. Upon the completion of this skit, we analyzed the laws put into place to help limit the destruction of childhood by child labor. After the completion of our child labor studies, we moved into the differences of capitalism and socialism through an economic system simulation!

Next week, the students will dive into a graphic biography of Harriet Purvis before looking into women’s suffrage. Women’s suffrage will conclude the unit, and we will begin prepping for our assessment.

What’s happening in ELA?
This week 8th graders worked on their book/film recommendation projects while still studying the art of reading complex nonfiction deeply. In a continuation of our study of digital media, we considered the ‘language’ of nonfiction narrative podcasts. We listened to a 6-act This American Life episode on Middle School. Readers learned how viewing nonfiction narratives through the lens of social sciences could deepen our understanding and discussion of these stories. For example, sociology, psychology, and even economics had a direct connection to many of the stories we heard on the podcast!

Next week, 8th graders will transition into a literary essay writing unit! We’ll study a short story by Ray Bradbury and practice developing and revising thesis statements on theme. 8th grade will also make the usual switch from vocabulary to grammar study for the next four weeks.

What’s happening in Science?
This week, eighth graders considered the difference between mechanical and electromagnetic waves. They used lasers and mirrors to observe that electromagnetic waves flow in straight lines that can reflect and refract. The eighth graders also experimented with energy transfer. They burned cheetos to observe and calculate how many calories are in the food. By calculating how much heat is needed to raise the temperature, they were able to witness what a “calorie” is and how they provide us energy for our everyday needs. Next week, the eighth graders will finish up their waves and energy unit to get ready for science fair when they return from break.
What’s happening in Math?
This week, 8th graders took their mid-unit 4 quiz before furthering their knowledge of functions to find all possible outputs, and analyzed piece-sized functions. Next week, they will study absolute value and its effect on functions, find the inverse of a function, and review for their assessment which they will take on Monday, December 18.

Important Dates:
December 19: PJ Day (½ day)- Holiday Extravaganza 10:30-11:30
December 20 – January 3: Winter Break