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.  

The Holiday Season is Upon Us December 15, 2017

 

What’s the Point?

     This week in Math, Second Grade has been practicing identifying points. We’ve learned how to label points and write their mathematical symbol. Students explored these points with straightedges to connect points to make line segments. Using a straightedge, or ruler, can be super tricky, but we are practicing being precise! On Thursday, we examined parallel lines and quadrilateral shapes. Practice at home by having your child connect points to make shapes. Don’t forget to label each point!

Indigenous to the Lowcountry

    Curiosity is soaring with our lessons and discussions of the Kiawah Native Americans. This week, Second Graders discovered the materials that were used to make their beehive-shaped shelters. We learned that the Native Americans used their natural resources to build everything! This includes palmetto trees and leaves, skins of local animals, and mud from the Kiawah (now Ashley) River. Later in the week, we discussed the food and diet of our local (yet extinct) friends. How do we know the Kiawahs loved oyster roasts? Well, English settlers found huge piles of shucked oysters upon arrival. They also gathered local berries and hunted birds, squirrels, deer, and rabbit. They even had cast nets for shrimp and crabs! Students made the connection that their diet and food choice directly related to their natural resources found in our Lowcountry.

Mind over Matter

     Our daily mindfulness practice has continued to be a favorite activity among our Second Grade students. Each week, the Zen Master is learning how to lead breathing and movement activities. Earlier in the week we practiced eating raisins mindfully! By slowing down and focusing on each detail of the raisin, or any food, we can begin to notice new things about the food we put in our bodies. Mindfulness is all about paying attention on purpose. We asked students to use their hippocampus to connect an old memory with the new one forming (eating the raisin). One student shared, “I remember eating Raisin Bran when I was 5!” Try this at home with any food!! Ask them what they notice when they eat with all their senses activated.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, December 20th                 Polar Express Movie Night 5-8

Thursday, December 21st                    Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd                        Winter Break Begins

Thursday, January 4th, 2018                Return to School

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Holiday Choir Concert December 8, 2017

Kiawah Native Americans

     Did you know that there was once a tribe of Native Americans indigenous to modern Kiawah Island? Well, Second Grade students at TCS are learning their riveting tales of celebrations and sorrow. Students are examining the six main elements of this tribe’s culture: food, shelter, people, celebrations, transportation, and clothing. We will be delving into this rich history over the next few weeks, analyzing how they lived off the land and what resources were used in the Lowcountry around the 17th century. 

Holiday Choir Performance

     On Friday, our school performed a holiday Choir Performance at the Circular Church downtown. Ms. Hazel led students through folk and holiday classics, filling the beautiful cathedral with echoes of harmony and melodies of the season. Second Grade had their time in the spotlight, as well as three brave vocalist solos, during a heart-warming version of “Barnyard.” It was definitely a highlight of the show for all in attendance.

Author Study for Readers Workshop

      This week we started a new author study of famed children’s book author, Mem Fox. This Australian native is renowned for her picture books featuring animals indigenous to Australia. This pairs well with our recent Social Studies unit where we have been learning about continents, countries, and biomes of the Earth. Our Second gGraders love her stories about wombats, kangaroos, and koalas!

 

Important Dates:

Thursday, December 14th      Parent Coffee (8am)

Thursday, December 21st      Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd           Winter Break Begins

 

Goodbye November, Hello December December 1, 2017

Fired Up For Rocket Math

      Second Grade has officially launched into Rocket Math!! Each day, students practice their automaticity and speed, completing fact sheets for time and accuracy. Each student has a set goal, and their challenge is to correctly complete each level in order to move forward. Each level gets increasingly more challenging with higher digits and a larger range of numbers and sums. Second Graders have been thrilled to begin this part of our math unit and will continue through to the year’s end.

That’s The Way The World Goes Round

      Geography, Ecology, and the Earth’s biomes! Yes, this week we started our first Social Studies unit on landforms and continents. Learning the Earth’s biomes (ocean, polar, temperate forest, desert, grassland, mountains, tropical forest, and wetlands) helps to teach students to think of the world in terms of ecosystems and natural boundaries instead of political or historical divisions. We will be studying how humans share these spaces with flora and fauna, and how each biome’s climate and soil affect the way we adapt to the biome in which we live. Charleston is classified as wetlands.

Interim Class Pet

      While Michael Jordan and Oscar are off getting pampered at the pond spa, we have a new class pet for the week. Ms. Brooke gladly brought in her family pet, Teddy the hedgehog. Teddy is nocturnal and loves to burrow in his little hut. He eats mealworms as a snack. His quills can be sharp when provoked, but students loved meeting him and petting him on his wet doggy-like nose.

Important Dates:

Friday, December 8th              Concert at the Circular Church (1:30pm)

Thursday, December 14th      Parent Coffee (8am)

Thursday, December 21st      Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal

Friday, December 22nd           Winter Break Begins

 

 

Skatepark Fun!!! November 17, 2017

Push. Skate. Ride. Learn Science!!!

     Second Graders learned the physics of skateboarding today during our field trip to the local skate park. As Mr. Davis modeled how friction makes skateboarding possible, students were constantly engaged with hands-on activities and explorations. Our rad little learners tried their balance skills out on Indo-boards with Ms. Brooke and picked up bottles of rice with only a pencil (and friction!) with Ms. Franci. Our trip concluded with a derby car competition down the ramps. Each student created their car using the wheel and axle systems taught in class. It was quite an exciting day for our Second Grade friends!!

Rocket Math Has Commenced

    This week we blasted off with the start of our Rocket Math. Students were so excited to test their speed against their accuracy!! Rocket Math aims to strengthen each student’s automaticity with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division facts. Second Graders can move up to more challenging facts each week as they progress through levels A-Z.

Harvest Feast Monday

     Our TCS family Harvest Feast is coming up on Monday, November 20th. Please join us from 10:30-11:30am and don’t forget a potluck item to share! There will be activities like a DIY photo booth, a “Gratitude Tree”, and other family oriented activities to keep you busy after our feast!!! Hope to see you there!

Important Dates

Monday, November 20th       ½ Day – Harvest Feast

Tuesday, November 21st      Thanksgiving Break – No School

Monday, November 27th       School Resumes

Friday, December 8th            Choir Concert at Congregational Circular Church 1:30-2:15

Thursday, December 14th     Parent Coffee 8am-9am

Thursday, December 21st     Pajama Day (11:30 Dismissal)

Pickin up rice with friction!

 

 

 

Eager Readers November 10, 2017

Eat. Sleep. Read. Repeat

    Second Grade dove into some magnificent books this week. Students are discovering the ways to come back to reading by using bookmarks and rereading the previous marked page or paragraph. Their sustained reading times are growing each week and their ability to discuss plot and significant events are equally impressive. Our current read aloud, “The Penderwicks”, by Jeanne Birdsall, a tale of four sisters and an extraordinary summer adventure!!

 

They See Me Rollin’

      Our little Einsteins are dropping in and cruising down ramps in science. This past week we have been investigating what makes objects roll. A force must be involved, yes? Push or pull you say? What makes it go faster? Farther? All this (and more!) was answered when students made axle rollers out of straws and plastic round discs. Similar in concept to wheels and trucks on a skateboard axle. We also discovered that cups with different sized ends will roll in a circular motion depending on their sizes. Students tinkered with counterweights, exploring ways to make their creations go left, right, or full steam ahead!!

 

Trucking Through Trimester One

            Believe it or not, we’re one-third of the way done with the school year!! What a wonderful start we have had in Grade Two with so much more to look forward to in the upcoming months. We are truly a family at The Cooper School and we are so lucky to share so many magical experiences with these bundles of joy. Don’t forget parent/teacher conferences are Monday and Tuesday so it’s a half day for all students (11:30 Dismissal). Check your time and we’ll see you very soon!!

Important Dates:

 

Monday, November 13th       Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 14th      Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal

Wednesday, November 15th Make up Picture Day

Friday, November 17th          Field Trip to Ackerman Skate Park

Monday, November 20th       Harvest Feast, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 21st      Thanksgiving Break, No School

Monday, November 27th       School Resumes

Zen Master Tyler!

Bffs!!

Marble rolling to learn about motion and force.

We’ve got a digger!

Happy Halloween!! November 3, 2017

Writing Lab Reports

    It’s that exciting time of the year in Writing Workshop where Second Grade is learning to write lab reports. This unit will pair with our Science unit as students practice how to transcribe science procedures and investigations. In our first parent Publishing Party this month, students will present a lab report to parents, siblings, and classmates. We are really excited to learn and show this scientific process!

Twirlers and Zoomers

Our Science unit has been quite the hands-on experience this week as we learned about air resistance and spin. We have been comparing spinning tops, hand-propelled zoomers, and paper twirlers as we investigate how objects move. Some of our experiments required a force to start motion, such as spinning our fingers or moving our hands. While others simply use aerodynamics and air resistance to make them rotate or spin.

It’s Time for A Change

This week in Math, Second Grade has experimented with coins and bills. Using play currency to buy things from our Math journal’s fruit stand, students learned how to combine coins to get exact change for purchasing items. We also practiced giving larger coins and receiving change. Have your child practice at home by playing and counting coins. Each student also made a clock book that can be used at home to practice telling time. Students should now be familiar with times ending in :00, :15, :30, and :45.   

Important Dates:

Wednesday, November 8th     Picture Day

Monday, November 13th         Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 14th         Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal

Wednesday, October 15th       Make up Picture Day

Monday, November 20th         Harvest Feast, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 21st         Thanksgiving Break, No School

Monday, November 27th         School Resumes

The Step Sisters

Alex dropping his paper twirler.

Round and Round We Go! October 25, 2017

Our First Publishing

    Students prepared their final drafts of our personal narrative stories this week. Writers listened to Fourth Grade stories on Wednesday before presenting their own on Thursday. In our first published work as Second Graders, we have practiced the editing process, revising with intent, and using mentor texts to guide our writing.

Zoomers and Spinners

    Our current unit in Science involves balance, force, spin, and motion. Earlier in the week we made spinning tops. Students discovered that the faster an object spins, the more stable it becomes. We experimented with adding and taking off our plastic discs from the straw shaft to conclude that the greater the weight, or mass, the more stable our spinners became. On Tuesday we made zoomers with strings and a plastic discs. Scientists determined that force was necessary to start a motion.

Reading Goals

    We started a new unit in Reading this week. Our first task was to think and write about our reading goals for this trimester and year. Some students decided that they wanted to read longer books. Other students’ goals were to finish their first chapter book or to be able to read for longer periods of time. Encourage reading for fun at home and make sure your child has a comfy spot to snuggle up with their favorite book.

 

Important Dates

Tuesday, October 31st           Halloween Carnival, 11:30 Dismissal

Wednesday, November 8th     Picture Day

Monday, November 13th         Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 14th        Conferences, 11:30 Dismissal

Monday, November 20th         Harvest Feast, 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 21st        Thanksgiving Break, No School

Monday, November 27th         School Resumes

Balanced Lifestyle October 20, 2017

A Balanced Lifestyle

            Second Grade Scientists are busy this week investigating balance and stability. We started by balancing paper crayfish and using clothespins as counterweights. We discovered that the trick to balancing anything is to add counterweights below the balance point. We ended our balance investigation by creating mega-mobiles out of paperclips, rubber bands, straws, and index cards.  Students then designed and hung them in class.

I Pity The Rule!

   We’re predicting number patterns in Math this week by figuring out “What’s My Rule?” for sets of numbers. Students are learning about T-charts and looking at real life data to determine patterns and rules. We have started basic subtraction and students are finding the difference for common facts. Practicing subtraction with objects around the house or with coins and dollars is definitely an enrichment activity you could try at home.

Class Publishing

   Our little writers have come a long way since August. We are editing, illustrating, and presenting personal narratives to the Fourth Grade class next week. Students are developing powerful techniques to captivate their readers. We closely studied mentor texts and tried to emulate their powerful writing in our own. Students were encouraged to use descriptive language to describe their character’s feelings and emotions. We are also starting to incorporate dialogue to help carry the action of our stories. Look for these amazing books coming home next week!

Important Dates:

Thursday, October 26th          Parent Lunch 11:00 am

Tuesday, October 31st            Halloween Carnival ½ Day

Balancing with Counterweights

Preparing for Publishing

Harper’s Bday Celebration

Listening to 1st Grade stories

 

Friday the 13th!!!! October 13, 2017

Balance and Motion

   This week we started a new Science investigation into Balance. We are discovering that objects can be balanced in many ways and that counterweights can be used to help. Scientists are learning about stable positions and how the counterbalance of those weights can help obtain stability. Continuing with this investigation, students will also be making mobiles and discussing their observations and comparisons of balanced objects.

 

Welcoming Ms. Brooke

   This week we met our new Second Grade co-teacher, Ms. Brooke. She will be joining our class full time next week, but our students truly enjoyed greeting her and getting to know her a bit this week. She will be leading our Writing and Reading lessons and will also take over some daily classroom responsibilities like read alouds and Spelling. Everyone at The Cooper School is really eager to have her on board!

 

Wise Readers

     Our Second Grade family has been learning the joys of reading for pleasure. We are also learning how to dissect stories and break them down to analyze them further. This week we have been looking at dialogue vs. non-dialogue books and identifying the narrator in the text. We have been using Owl Moon as our “mentor text” to show the use of luscious language.

 

Important Dates

October 26h – 11:00am Parent Lunch

October 31st– Halloween Carnival

 

Clay Art and Beyond September 22, 2017

Tiny Topics

This week we launched an exciting new writing unit. You may have noticed your child sporting a flashy notebook necklace. This is for collecting small moments from life to later turn into stories. These young writers are learning the process for personal narrative writing by planning planning out stories ahead of time. We are using strategies like telling a story across your fingers before writing, brainstorming, and marking key words on blank paper to plan a strong beginning, middle, and end.

 

Things Are Heating Up in Math

Math this week has had a focus on telling the temperature and using a thermometer. In one of our math explorations this week, students discovered the use of the degrees symbol and the meaning of Fahrenheit. By drawing the lines on their own temperature gauges, students worked in small groups to estimate the degrees set by their peers.

 

Visiting Artist

Students have been showing great insight during our Geology lessons this week. We had a visit from a local artist, Meryl Weber, who brought in clay pottery and materials for students to create their own clay jewelry. Students made beads in a variety of shapes and patterns to string onto bracelets and necklaces. They will experience how clay from the earth can be used to create different objects and how it changes in property from soft to hard. Look forward to these dazzling creations coming home next week!  

Sculpting Beads!

Fun with clay!

Drama with Charleston Stage!

Important Dates:

  • Thursday, September 28th   Curriculum Night 5:30 – 6:30 pm
  • Monday, October 9th              Columbus Day, No School
  • Tuesday, October 10th            Fall Break, No School
  •  Tuesday, October 31st            Halloween, 11:30 Dismissal

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