SECOND GRADE

Davis is starting his first year at The Cooper School as the 2nd grade teacher. He is originally from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and has lived here for most of his life. He received a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Appalachian State University. He received his SC teaching certificate through the PACE program. He was previously a Learning Support teacher and Mindfulness coach at the American School of Bangkok in Thailand for 3 years. He believes that the social and emotional wellbeing learned through mindfulness is the key to success in school and life. He also taught Spanish in Berkeley County for several years. In his free time he enjoys live music, traveling, kayaking, SCUBA diving, spending time with his wife, and photography.  

Summer Time June 1, 2018

Saying Goodbye

Second Grade has been busy wrapping up the year and saying our goodbyes, for now. Each day during Morning Meeting, we have been sharing what we are excited to do this summer. Here are some of their answers: “Going to see my grandparents”, “baseball camp”, “sleepovers”, “moving to Virginia”, and “trips to the library with my mom”.  We sure are going to miss our sweet students, but they definitely have earned a long, relaxing break with their family and friends.

Field Day

This year’s Field Day was one for the books!! Cooper School students were grouped with students from all grades to have a little fun and play some competitive games created by our Fifth Grade friends. Some of the student favorites included Ping-Pong Kleenex, Down the Mississippi, Snowy Mountain Climb, and Toss it Mate. It is so nice to see friendships grow amongst students in all different grades. The thoughtfulness of the older students and the way they care for the younger students is really a special and moving sight to behold. It is something that is truly unique and remarkable at The Cooper School.

1st Grade Letters

As we reflected on all the amazing things we have learned this year, we decided that we MUST share these tips and knowledge with the upcoming Second Grade class. Students shared tips for Rocket Math speediness, how to follow procedures, rock climbing pointers, and all the fun projects and field trips to look forward to. Our now 3rd Graders (!!!) will receive their letter on the first day of school next year from the current 3rd grade class.

Final Full Week of Class May 25, 2018

End of the Year Math Work

As the end of the year approaches and our days together slowly dwindle, our class has been working non-stop on Second Grade math skills that we feel are vital to success in the upcoming year. This week specifically we have been drilling time to the quarter and half hour, place values up to the 1,000s and 10,000s, and estimating costs and change. We shopped at the “grocery store” and estimated costs of multiple items. We discussed that calculating exact costs while shopping is not necessary and explained the idea of sales tax. One strategy we taught this week for calculating change was the counting up method. So if your total was $3.25 and you paid with $5, you can count up by quarters to $0.75 cents, the next whole dollar($4.00), then add one more dollar to reach $5.00. Your change would be $1.75. Have your child practice estimating costs of 2-3 items next time you’re at the grocery store.  

Reading Workshop

Second Grade readers spent the week jumping into the second part of our Roald Dahl unit! Scholars loved meeting the unique characters in the book, George’s Marvelous Medicine. In this thought provoking story, students encounter a little boy, George and his cross grandmother.  The grandmother takes medicine, but George feels that it does nothing to help the grandmother.  George decides to create his grandmother a special new medicine. We have all laughed while reading this peculiar and exciting book!

Vulture Cam

On our visit last week to the Birds of Prey center, we witnessed something that was quite unique in the bird world. Wild Vultures had made a nest in between two of the man-made enclosures! The guides were even quite perplexed by the Vulture’s behavior and placement of the nest so close to humans. They have set up a Vulture Cam to capture the growth of these magnificent birds and we watched a few times this week to check it out! Our resident Vulture lover, Arlo, was quite happy that this became an activity we were adding to our daily schedule. You can check out the camera yourself by visiting their website and finding the link on the home page. http://www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org/

Important Dates

Memorial Day – No School                    May 28

5th Grade Graduation                           May 31, 11:30 dismissal

Field Day                                                  June 1, 11:30 dismissal

 

Bird Study Finale May 18, 2018

Bird Finale

This week has been one for the books as Second grade wrapped their wings around another successful project-based study unit. The junior ornithologists studied beak adaptations this week and how birds have evolved for specific purposes over thousands of years. We also studied and created detailed diagrams of each bird’s nest, beak, and feet. Friday morning went off without a flutter and our bird lovers spewed facts on facts about their newfound passion. The students’ love and enthusiasm for their bird really shined in their presentations and art interpretations. We hope we’ve created lifelong bird lovers who caring greatly for other living things that share our planet.

 

Author Study: Roald Dahl

Second grade concluded the Dahl classic James and the Giant this week. Wow! The creativity and imagination that guides his stories are captivating and timeless. Students recalled literary points like setting, characters, and climax, as we rolled through this young adult masterpiece. We really love diving into our author studies and filling the classroom with interesting and new literature. Some of his other works that floated in between tables included Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

 

End of Year Math Assessments

This week, Second grade took a series of Math assessments to evaluate progress made during the year. We are also using these results to drive the planning and reteaching of key skills for the remainder of the year.  Some of the most important topics include: telling time, making change from bills and other monies, naming place values up to 100,000s, basic fractions, fractions of a group, arrays for multiplication, and double-digit addition and subtraction. Each morning we have started our math lessons with time mini-lessons where students use a plastic clock to match times in a story. We have been introducing concepts and language such as “a quarter ‘til 5:00” and “half past 2:00.” Have your child practice at home if you have an analog clock or watch!

 

Important Dates

Climbing Wall May 15

Bird Study Presentation         May 18

Birds of Prey Field Trip May 18

End of the Year Picnic May 20 @ Magnolia Plantation

Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL         May 28

TCS Field Day June 1

May 11th Newsletter May 11, 2018

Area, Capacity, and Weight

Our current chapter on measurement has shifted from units of length to hands-on learning experiences with area and perimeter. This concept was introduced by counting squares in rectangular figures to find area. Students have also used their skills with rulers to measure sides of shapes to find the total perimeter. Students created a “Gallon Man” consisting of four paper cut-out quarts, sixteen cups, and eight pints. Providing experiences among these different units of capacity is fun and useful for helping in the kitchen.

 

 

 

Feathery Friends

Second Grade is seriously soaring with excitement over our bird study. Research for our birds has almost finished, as now most of our efforts are being put into our books and presentation. We are still watching the Hawk Cam and making notes in our observation logs. Our weekly bird vocabulary included: waddle, extinct, nestling, clutch, plummet, and plumage. One of our read alouds that captured our attention was Sadako and the Thousand Paper Crane. We tried last week creating our first origami and this week’s paper bird seemed to come together quite nicely.

5th Grade Lunch Date

As we prepare to say goodbye to our Fifth Grade friends who are graduating to middle school, Second Grade decided to buddy up with their class for some high quality time.  Each week until the end of school, we have different activities and lunch dates planned with our older friends. This week we invited them to our class to compare their arm span to that of our bird study birds. 5th Grade was so amazed that their arms are about as wide as a Great Blue Heron! After our lunch date, we concluded the day with a game of bird tag where students from each of the 4 groups were taken back to their nest after being tagged by hawks and falcons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Dates

Climbing Wall                                       May 15

Bird Study Presentation                     May 18

Birds of Prey Field Trip                      May 18

End of the Year Picnic                        May 20 @ Magnolia Plantation 3:30-5:00 pm

Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL           May 28

TCS Field Day                                      June 1

Grandparents and Pass it On May 4, 2018

Carriage Ride Charleston

Second Grade toured historic downtown Charleston on horse drawn buggies with the Palmetto Carriage Company this week. A representative visited our class on Wednesday to explain where the horses came from and how they are cared for. Apparently for every week of work, they receive a week of vacation on their farm on John’s Island. We learned the difference between a mule and a donkey and even passed around some real life horseshoes. Our tour lasted an exciting hour as we learned some interesting facts about architecture, infrastructure, and the growth of the Holy City!

 

Red-Tailed Hawk Cam

As part of our bird study, every few days we have been watching a live cam from San Francisco that features a family of Red-Tailed Hawks with two babies. According to their site, the webcam was placed 100 feet high in a blue gum eucalyptus tree. In each student’s observation log, they noted the chicks’ feathers, beaks, nest construction, and most excitingly feeding time. It has been such a learning experience in scientific observation, note-taking, and bird loving.

 

He’s Going the Distance

This week in Math it has been all about measuring long distances and learning the metric system. We started the week by looking at maps with distances between U.S. cities and adding up the distances in miles. We applied our knowledge of ballpark estimates and when and when not it’s appropriate to estimate distances and measurements. Perimeter was also introduced this week as we measured our journals, desks, and even the playground. We are introducing area of simple shapes like rectangles with a square grid. Practice measuring things around the house with rulers and yardsticks!

Pass-it-On                            May 4, 5-6pm @ The Charleston Museum

Climbing Wall                     May 8

Climbing Wall                     May 15

Bird Study                           May 18

Presentation       

End of the Year Picnic      May 20 @ Magnolia Plantation

First Week of Climbing April 27, 2018

Parks and Recreation

  This week, Second Grade took their first trip to the James Island County Park to go rock climbing. The last trimester is when all grades ar The Cooper School go on weekly Movement field trips to explore the adventurous outdoors of Charleston. Students were teeming with excitement as we strapped in our harnesses and got the safety run-down. The weather was perfect for an afternoon climb. During Morning Meeting that day, each student set personal goals to revisit throughout the day. It was a great lesson in self-confidence and perseverance after personal failure. The good thing is, they still have three weeks to work hard to achieve their goals.  

 

 

Bird Research

 Students are preparing diligently for their end of the year project on birds. This week, students researched their bird’s nest, habitat, predator, prey, interesting facts, and brood. We’ve found a family of Red-Tailed Hawks to watch on Cornell’s amazing bird website and watched the chicks eat a tasty squirrel for their first meal ever! Our bird lovers are prepping notes and facts for a research essay they will start formally writing next week.

Measuring With More

Our newest unit from Everyday Math (Unit 9) introduces students to measuring distances longer than a ruler. Students compared measurements with inches versus centimeters and yards versus meters. We have started to make more accurate guesses of lengths of things like books, pencils, and our fingers. After measuring our friends’ height and shoe size, students decided that rigid measuring tools, like rulers, are not ideal for measuring items like the circumference of your head or your waistline. Students are also starting to explore and measure perimeters of shapes and objects at school.

Important Dates:

Climbing Wall                                  May 1  

Charleston Carriage Ride              May 3

Grandparents Day                          May 4, Early dismissal 11:30 am

Pass-it-On                                        May 4, 5-6pm @ The Charleston Museum

Climbing Wall                                 May 8

Climbing Wall                                 May 15

Bird Study Presentation               May 18

End of the Year Picnic                  May 20 @ Magnolia Plantation

Bird is the Word April 20, 2018

Letter Writing

In handwriting this week, students have learned about the correct punctuation for writing a letter. Placement of those periods and commas in letter writing can be tough as a Second Grader. Students practiced abbreviations of months and writing the date properly as well as titling and addressing letters. We have another pen pal letter to write before the year is up and we are ready for round two!! We also sent an email and pictures to our Thai friends on Friday showing them our celebration here at TCS. Whoever said letter writing is dead?!

Bird is the Word

Students finally got to pick their birds this week for their final project of the year. Students first choose which category of birds they would like from the following list: birds of prey, song birds, water birds, and game birds. After some research and a lot of contemplation, students finally made their choices. Now the race is on and we are soaring!

Snapshot in a Box

During our first few days of the bird study, we recalled and wrote a story about a bird encounter that was significant to us. Over the week, that story has developed into 3D spectacles in the form of shoebox dioramas. The Tinkering Cart showed its shiny face again in the class as students used popsicle sticks, straws, wood chips, and cardstock to recreate a small moment from their story. Wrapping the shoe boxes was pretty tough to start, but some real shining moments came when students let their imaginations and crafty hands tell the story. We can’t wait to show you our creations!

 

Important Dates:

Climbing Wall                                  April 24

Billy, Goats, Gruff                           April 26

Climbing Wall                                  May 1  

Charleston Carriage Ride              May 3

Grandparents Day                         May 4, Early dismissal 11:30 am

Pass it On                                         May 4, 5-6pm

Climbing Wall                                May 8

Climbing Wall                               May 15

Early Bird Gets the Worm April 13, 2018

Cooper Village Cinema

The village is back and the cameras are rollin’. Once again, Second grade shined as they recited their speeches, adjusted their ties, and made Cooper School history. After a dash of make-up and a pep talk from the camera crew, the villagers took the stage with more confidence than we had seen all year. Students spoke about collaboration and project-based learning with ease and full smiles. Seeing the project complete again with everyone back in their roles and elevated moods, made it seem like we’ve never stopped being a village, and always will be.

Song Kran Celebrations

Friday afternoon marked the first day of the famous Thai New Years celebration called Song Kran. Students got their first taste of Thai culture and food as they sampled traditional treats, mangos, and coconut water from Thailand. Adorned in colorful Hawaiian style shirts, students created Thai art and got a little wet too. Water is very important in the celebrations as it washes away bad juju from the previous year and brings health and good fortune. Students loved getting wet and sharing in the spirit of our penpals!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Our final culminating project of the year kicked off this week and we are up to our talons in avian excitement! We started the week learning about parts of a book like the Glossary, Index, and Table of Contents. There are a lot of birds out there and to navigate these bird bibles you’ve got to be sharp as a tack! On Wednesday, we introduced student bird journals where students keep tabs on what birds they’ve seen by drawing pictures and diagrams and also taking notes. We have covered a lot in our first week from seasonal migration to mating dances to birds of prey. Encourage your kids to go outside, look up, and take note of what they spot!

Important Dates:

Field Trip: Billy, Goat, Gruff-               April 26, 9:30am, Dock St. Theatre

Grandparents and Special

Friends Morning-                                  May 4, 9:30-11:30. (11:30 dismissal)

Pass-it-on Poetry Celebration-           May 4, 5-6pm

 

 

 

Fractions and Settlers March 29, 2018

Look Out For Birds!

It’s about that time of year where birds take over Grade Two. Our final culminating project starts just after break and kids are already squawking with excitement!!! We wrote some poems inspired by birds of the lowcountry this week and we encourage students to explore birds even more over Spring Break. Some great activities would be a bird walk/hike, a journal of birds you’ve seen on a trip or in the backyard, and even exploring with binoculars. Students can share their sightings on our first Morning Meeting upon return!

Half and Half

Can you believe our little guys are dividing and making fractions? This week we explored halves, fourths, thirds using grouping. We learned that if we could split a number into even groups, we form fractions based on the parts to whole ratio. As of now, we’ve been using even and odd numbers up to 20. Another one of our strategies is to draw an array of the total and then circle equal groups based on the denominator. Try asking your child a problem like, “If Sally has 8 apples, and her brother eats ¼ of them, how many did her brother eat?”

Charles Towne and Kiawah Natives

Grade Two wrapped up our social studies unit on the Charles Towne settlers this week. Yesterday we discussed the things that the Kiawahs taught the settlers about hunting and gathering and fishing in the lowcountry. We’ve been playing this clever game where students can earn the titles of the 8 proprietors of Charles Towne. These founders of our city were given this title and land in the Carolinas in exchange for loyalty to King Charles II. In order to demonstrate the political implications of their titles, Second Grade proprietors were able to line up first and choose other proprietors to serve with them. We even exiled King Charles at one point!!

Important Dates

Spring Break Begins                              March 30

School Resumes                                      April 9

Settlers of Charles Towne March 23, 2018

Charles Towne Landing

    Second Grade visited Charleston’s famed site where English settlers first landed in 1670. We started our tour in the interactive museum where light-up maps and interesting art and photography told the history of our wonderful city. After picking up our scavenger hunt workbook, we embarked on the next leg of the trip, to the palisade fences and ditches. Students peered over the walls and discussed how natural boundaries were used as our defensive allies. We strolled through one of the replica houses and met a settler who told us all about living and transitioning to Charles Towne from England. After a hop on the boat and lunch in the grass, we ended our tour up close and personal with some of the creatures that used to inhabit the lowcountry before they were driven away or hunted to extinction. We just bear-ly had time, but we saw all the animals but the bobcat. Weather was sunny and smiles were aplenty!!

Picky Poets Pursuing the Perfect Poem

   Our young writers have been so busy writing poems that our room is literally flooded with amazing work! Each day, we have been introducing ways to spice up student work with alliteration, repetition, rhymes, and imagery. Students stepped outside for nature’s inspiration and one was even moved by our fire drill to write the hilariously titled “The Day Cooper School Ruined My Favorite Socks”. Encourage your child to write at home and to find topics that they are passionate about or inspired by. The joys of poetry are resurfacing in Second Grade and some truly incredible work is being created.

Classroom Jobs For Everyone

    We have created new jobs so that every student has a classroom duty each week. Every Monday in Morning Meeting, students from the previous week will teach the new student how to correctly perform their jobs. Our helpers are so eager to fulfill their duties that cleaning and organizing is now a daily habit for all. Some of our new positions are Playground Medic, Book Doctor, Sweepers, and Silent Zone Monitor.

Important Dates

Saturday, March 24th               Spring Planting Party (9am-12pm)

Friday, March 30th                    Spring Break begins

Monday, April 9th                      Return from Spring Break   

SCHOOL NEWS

Annual Fund Update

Thank you so much to all of you who have so generously donated to the Annual Fund. This year, to my delight, the Silent Auction raised more money than ever before. I wanted to take a moment to let you know exactly where your Silent Auction donation dollars are going…

 

 

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