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?
Sixth Graders began learning how climate has changed throughout Earth’s history. They explored how paleoclimatologists learn about the Earth’s climate in the past by looking at ice cores, rocks, tree rings, and even farmers’ journals. Partnerships have been made and topics have been decided for their TedTalk project. Next week we will cover how the climate is changing due to the increase of greenhouse gasses, what those greenhouse gasses are, and why the gasses have been increasing since the industrial revolution.

What’s up in ELA?

Sixth Graders are working on their personal narratives. Please take a look at their writings and give them some helpful feedback. They should include imagery and dialogue in their writings. Students should also apply the grammar skills they are learning to what they have written. 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?

We reached the middle of the latest unit, and celebrated by taking an assessment – I didn’t want to, but the kids insisted! Mostly more Unit Rate / “per each” work, which is crucial for more complex problem solving in the future. You’ve got a bucket of stuff, but you don’t want the whole bucket, you just want one; figure out how much just one is and there’s no stopping you. Once you know the value of just one, you can compare it to a single item from another bucket, compare the actual cost of two grocery items, figure out how many calories that one piece of pizza really has after you’ve convinced yourself, “Come on, ⅙ of pizza can’t be THAT bad!” Unit cost is one of the Math skills that the 6th-graders will use for their lifetime, even when they don’t realize they’re doing it. It’s also been interesting to see that you can present a ratio in so many different ways: a table, an expression, parallel line drawings, a diagram – use what’s most useful for you!

What’s happening in Social Studies?
Sixth Grade had an exciting week in class. We started this week talking about the Phoenicians and their impact on the Mediterranean area and our alphabet today! Students then dove into the origins of Judaism to grab and understanding of the different beliefs happening in the “Fertile Crescent” area.

Next week, the students will be assessing their knowledge on the Mesopotamia region and then moving forward to the Egyptian civilization. Students will be focusing on Pharaohs next week and completing a “Quest” to start the unit.

Important Dates:
October 17-18 – Fall Break – No School