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.
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!
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
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!
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
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!!
Spring Break Begins March 30
School Resumes April 9
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.
Saturday, March 24th Spring Planting Party (9am-12pm)
Friday, March 30th Spring Break begins
Monday, April 9th Return from Spring Break
Cooper Village Success
Wow!!! Is the word that pops into our head when thinking about seeing this multi-week project finally come to life. The Second Grader’s speeches were executed with finesse and emotion. The Banana Times was an instant bestseller and hit among all grades at TCS. Students throughout the week are still asking if there is more we could do with Cooper Village. That right there tells you how much this truly collaborative project meant to our students. A huge shout out to parents who brought snacks, prepared costumes, or supported your child on this journey. It was definitely a fine example of a loving community coming together to celebrate success and learning.
Math This Week
Second Graders competed in our own Olympic event with the Second Grade long jump. Students learned to measure with a tape measure in both inches and centimeters. Students also measured each other’s arm spans to the nearest inch and centimeter. After recording and measuring, students sorted our data in ascending order so that we could identify the middle value, or median. The next day we took our set of data and used the values to make line plots and bar graphs.
Haikus For You
Haikus have been a popular poetry choice this week as we are diving deep into the world of rhymes, repetition, and alliteration. Students are learning to write about their feelings with details and descriptive adjectives. Our poets have been inspired by some of the best writers of children poetry and are encouraged to think outside the box when creating their own work. Some of the poems already created by our class include free verse, acrostic, and haiku. We’ve even created tiny topic journals to brainstorm ideas for future poems. Encourage your child to write, write, write at home and in their free time!!! We would love to hear what they do outside of school and would be more than happy to share these creations during our Morning Meetings.
Charles Towne Landing March 22nd
Spring Planting Party March 24th
Spring Break (No School) March 31st
School Resumes April 9th
Poetry in Motion
Our newest writing unit is poetry and our room is covered with beautiful rhymes and vivid imagery. From Langston Hughes to Shel Silverstein, Second Graders are being introduced to the world’s greatest poets! We took a stab at our first on-demand poetry writing this week and it seems like we have some mighty fine poets brewing in our classroom. Students had a “poetry flood” earlier this week where pages upon pages of poems were spread on tables and the floor. Students then picked about 5-10 that piqued their interest and added them to our new poetry folders.
Final Week in Cooper Village
This has been one busy week painting and tinkering and finalizing all our amazing work. We cannot believe how much we have achieved in the past 7 weeks. This week we focused on the details of our village squares. Students used the TCS tinkering cart to sculpt workers, build trees, and create beautiful green parks and living spaces. Students have also been preparing for our presentation on Monday by writing speeches and captions for our photographs. This has definitely been one of the biggest highlights of Grade Two!! Parents are in store for quite the treat.
Second Grade spent so much time preparing our best work for parents and family members. Thinking critically about your work and reflecting on strengths and weaknesses in different academic and social settings is not an easy thing for anyone. I’m sure you would agree that our students’ speaking and presentation skills have skyrocketed since the beginning of the school year. Students have been preparing for a few weeks and putting their best work and writing together to showcase for their families. Each student went through a rigorous writing and editing process that took several hours of focus and commitment. When it came down to the conferences on Monday and Tuesday, all we could do was sit back and enjoy the gleaming smiles of our hard-working and proud little friends. We have a truly gifted group of scholars this year.
March 12th Cooper Village Presentation
March 24th Spring Planting Party
March 30th First day of Spring Break
April 9th Classes resume
Second Graders have worked hard this week setting daily goals to be successful in the classroom and on the playground. Each morning they have been writing one goal for the day on a post-it note. This has been important for each student to set daily intentions and taking time after transitions and during Mindfulness to reflect on how they have been doing. At Close of Day, students were handed back their post-it to decide if they fulfilled their daily goal. Here are some of their choices: “Focus during self assessment,” “Finish my job ad today,” “Speak loud and proud,” and “Ask more questions.”
Cooper Village Tinker Time
This week has been busy, busy, busy with building, painting, and lots of tinkering! We introduced The Cooper School “Tinkering Cart,” which is a cart that contains fun, hands-on building items like play-doh, sequins, pipe cleaners, sandpaper, and much more. Groups were assigned a natural disaster and then brainstormed what building materials would protect their homes. While one group might choose earthquake bolts for their house to stay safe from earthquakes, the flood group may be planning to put all their houses on stilts for protection from water damage.
One of the greatest joys in elementary school is showing off to your friends and family just how much you learn each year. Second Graders are full of new knowledge that they can’t wait to share with you next week! Reflecting on your favorite piece of literature and writing about it can be a tough thing to do. Identifying and writing about your own strengths and weaknesses in Math can be challenging as well. We are proud of how much effort these students have put into reflecting on their progress and setbacks from the past trimester. Don’t forget, student led self-assessment conferences are next week on Monday and Tuesday. Please double check your child’s scheduled time. We are so excited to share all the wonderful things that have happened this trimester!
Monday, March 5th Student Led Conference, 11:30 Dismissal
Tuesday, March 6th Student Led Conference, 11:30 Dismissal
Thursday, March 8th Silent Auction
Monday, March 12th Cooper Village Presentation
Saturday, March 24th Spring Planting Party
Friday, March 30th Spring Break begins
Monday, April 9th Return from Spring Break
Cooper Village Construction
Buildings are going up and our community is really starting to come together. Villagers have been busy planning the aesthetics of their business and city grid. Students have really matured these past few weeks while learning how to negotiate with their group and work together to solve tough problems. Our cartons are glued and were also painted this week. Villagers started adding our eco-friendly building materials after the paint dried and the results are magnificent! Next week we will start planning and building our houses and adding some props to the village streets and parks.
Words for the Wise
Our vocabulary words this week were very challenging and our students tackled them with grace and ease. The words came from a great story called Montezuma’s Revenge about a dog planning revenge on his family for leaving him at home while they vacationed at the beach. During one lesson, students acted out words like “mesmerized” and “misery”. One day students drew a picture of something that “frustrated” them and a time when they felt “regret”. We did not even have to “coax” them into working hard, it just came natural for these Second Grade scholars.
We have been slowly adding some really challenging, hands-on puzzles and manipulatives to test our mathematicians each morning. Students are now working in small groups to complete multiplication puzzles, Sudoku-type number problems, and division number stories once they complete their daily journal work. Each day brings a new challenge and the students are then asked to write and explain their math strategies using new vocabulary.
Student Led Conferences March 5th and 6th – Early Release 11:30 Dismissal
Silent Auction March 8th
Cooper Village Presentation March 12th
Valentine’s Day in Grade Two
On Wednesday, students exchanged kind words and clever knick-knacks. Second Graders have been driven for the past few weeks to learn the importance of positive praise and compliments. In Morning Meetings this week, we have discussed how to form and think of meaningful and personal praise. Our Compliment Books were a huge success and we could see them beaming with joy as they read nice things about themselves. Later in the day, we made multiplication arrays with cut-out hearts and wrote a creative writing piece about a helpful “Love-Bot” that showed up at our doorstep, and would do anything that we loved or asked him to do. The concert at The Circular Church was just icing on the cake. Hearts squeezed tight when the first notes of, “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke, filled the hall. What an amazing display of talent and love for the fine arts.
Cooper Village Update
This week we finally broke ground in Cooper Village!! Businesses were designed and planned and students were introduced to the “green” side of construction and conservation. Second Grade friends learned about insulation, flooring, paint, solar panels, and triple-paned windows. Groups negotiated and worked together until they created a plan that everyone agreed upon and that met the criteria of our building codes. Each group then designed their 32” x 32” village allotment grid where students planned where their businesses, roads, houses, and parks would be. Negotiation was key here while students learned a valuable lesson about needs versus wants.
The Cooper School introduced balls this week on the playground and Grade 2 was ecstatic! Mr. Davis has been coaching the students on the playground classic sport of kickball. More importantly, have been our discussions of fair play and sportsmanship. After each round of play, students have been encouraged to speak with their teammates and opponents using kind words and gestures. This went perfectly hand-in-hand with our discussions about compliment giving and meaningful praise. Emotions can run high when competitive play is introduced. Students are really trying to control their emotions, use kind words, and show great sportsmanship!
February Break/No School Friday, February 16th & Monday ,February 19th
Student Led Conferences Monday, March 5th & Tuesday, March 6th
Monday, March 12th Cooper Village Presentation
Fun with Multiplication
This week in Math, Second Grade students were formally introduced to basic multiplication. The concept was practiced by first discussing what equal groups are and where we see them in the classroom and at the grocery store. Students shared their solution strategies for figuring out word problems involving equal grouping and multiplying. We drew pictures, made tallies, and counted patterns to determine these solutions. We were so impressed and proud of these children who grasped this difficult concept with grace and ease!
Weather the Storm
Our current reading unit is called, “Weather and Climate”. Students investigated Earth’s fascinating water cycle and learned that evaporation happens when the sun turns water into a gas called water vapor. The concepts of condensation and precipitation were also discussed in pairs and as a whole class. In one of our next readings we examined a climate map of the US which also emphasized natural disasters. Students referred to the climate legend to match colored regions with a climate title and description. We discovered that South Carolina is part of a “Humid Subtropical” climate zone. So that explains Charleston’s summers!!
News From Cooper Village
This week’s lessons paired nicely with Reading class as Second Graders compared and contrasted two maps. First, we used Google Earth to check out our Pen Pals’ school in Thailand and we zoomed into Charleston and found The Cooper School. We examined zoning maps and learned about colored building codes. Students came to the realization that builders must prepare their houses or businesses for all types of natural disasters before the building process even begins. Building planning and construction is up next!
Bake Sale Friday, Feb. 9th at 2:15-2:45
Valentine’s Day Concert Wednesday, Feb. 14th at 1:30-2:15
February Break/ No School Friday, Feb. 16th
February Break/ No school Monday, Feb. 19th