Each morning this week, Cooper School students came together for whole-school morning meeting to learn about winter holidays, with a focus on the music of each respective tradition. On Monday, Ms. Franci taught everyone about the history and traditions of Hanukkah, and we listened to two traditional songs. On Tuesday, Mr. Noah taught Cooper School students about Kwanzaa, and students listened to traditional East African music, which is a centerpiece of the holiday. On Wednesday, Ms. Allison recounted the Christmas story and discussed how many Christmas carols retell its elements. On Thursday, Ms. Anne Wil taught about St. Lucia’s day, and the traditional song that is sung by the children’s procession in Sweden. On Friday, Ms. Marsha told students about the ancient traditions of the Winter Solstice, and how music connects to the holiday.
Our study of Story Elements marches on! The “thinking jobs” that we tackled this week were complex and interesting. On Thursday, for example, we learned how to connect how a character solves a problem with a particular character trait. So, in Leo Lionni’s “Tillie and the Wall,” when Tillie fails again and again to reach the other side of the wall but doesn’t give up, we can see that she has persistence and grit. Students used leveled texts to practice this on their own.
On Wednesday, First Grade parents, siblings, and special friends joined us in our classroom for our nonfiction publishing party! Students read their completed books to an audience of more than 20 people. After practicing speaking “loud and proud,” showing the pictures to the audience, and sitting up straight in the reader’s chair, the First Graders did a terrific job of presenting and they were very proud of their hard work. Bravo!