The Cooper School Daily

You Gotta Keep It Regulated

We are finishing up our self-regulation study this week in our Advisories. Over the past six weeks, we have talked about what stresses out, how anxiety looks to us, and ways to manage stress and anxiety both at school and at home.

Yesterday in my advisory, we started to watch a waterfall video with a woman directing us to tense and then relax our muscles to feel calm. We all looked at each other and laughed because it was so not what we do…ever! I witnessed that my students, your children, self-regulate all day long. They have tools that they have been taught, figured out on their own, and even shared with others. That being said, the waterfall video seemed so hokey that we just turned it off, listened to Canon-D on repeat, and independently chose a technique that made us all feel more grounded. Some kids played a puzzle game, one person held Monty, others drew and some read. We created our own meditative moment based on individual needs…and it was intrinsic! We all collectively wanted to feel grounded because it just feels good!

Later that afternoon, my own children debriefed their school day, telling me about mistakes they made throughout the day. As First and Third Graders, obviously their self-regulation strategies look very different from the middle schoolers. As I reflected, I realized that they too were truly intrinsically motivated to be regulated at school. They don’t have a clip moved down, or punitive punishments to make them feel ashamed or embarrassed. Instead, they have to realize that they are talking out of turn or having a hard time staying in criss-cross applesauce during circle time.

What’s the common denominator?

Cooper…The goal for Cooper School teachers is to help our students intrinsically be motivated to be regulated in the school environment. Our day is not just teaching academics, but guiding our students to become aware of the behaviors that are disruptive, hurtful, or just not acceptable in a learning environment. Our Cooper kids are working on lifelong skills that will help them mature and grow 🙂


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

What’s happening in Science?
Fifth Graders learned and practiced making topographic maps that will segway into our National Parks study this week. They learned how contour lines represent elevation in a two-dimensional way on a topographic map. They will apply their cartography skills and make topographic hiking maps for their National Parks. Partnerships have been created and some regions have been decided for their projects. Next week, they will learn about map legends, typical symbols used, and scales used on maps.

What’s up in ELA?

Fifth Graders have started on their Narrative Writing Unit. Please take a look at what they have written so far and offer feedback. Their writings should include imagery and dialogue. Students should also apply the grammar skills they are learning to their writings. Due to school being canceled for inclement weather, rubrics will not be sent home until next Friday and the following Monday. Please encourage students to continue to read during this long weekend.

What’s going on in Math?

Fifth-grade Math this week has been a healthy (crazy) week of review and new things. We’ve spent quite a bit of time reviewing some fundamentals that have suddenly become more important, and that we’ll see so much more of in the future: Multiplying decimals, dividing fractions, and what to do when your division doesn’t come out evenly but the mean Math teacher won’t let you use remainders anymore. We’ll be doing more of this periodically because these skills need to become so automatic that they’re almost invisible – just a small component in a bigger problem.

What’s happening in Social Studies?
This week the Fifth Graders got to explore the different Native American cultures in North America. They mastered a cultural group and acted as teachers for the rest of their peers. Students designed poster boards based on the information they researched.

Next week, the students will be learning the differences in the thirteen colonies and how the United States government came to be. They then will be using that information to create a timeline of the Native Americans from the previous week through the formation of the government that we studied this week.

Important Dates:

October 17-18 – Fall Break – No School