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.
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
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
Second Graders began Unit 6 in Everyday Math this week. The beginning lessons review strategies for solving addition and subtraction number stories using a diagram. There are three different types of diagrams presented that help students organize their information. In this unit, students are expected to enter the known quanity or identify the quanity unknown. They choose the operation needed, solve, and write the number model.
In the classroom and on the playground, students are bringing Cooper Village to Life. Second Graders teamed up this week to discuss ideas and collabrate with their classmates. Students even used their imagination to role play different scenarios in Cooper Village during recess.
Students also learned about 4 major natural disasters that could affect our village: fires, floods, tornados, and hurricanes. Our imaginations soared and hands were flying in all directions. The topics definitely inspired a lot of great questions!
Just about everyone is familiar with the definition of a compliment. A compliment is an expression of praise or admiration. Although students give and receive bits of praise daily, this week Second Graders discussed giving and receiving meaningful compliments. They expressed the sentimental feeling one gets when receiving a geniune compliment. They also realized compliments weren’t just for the receipents, but for them as well. Students discovered that taking time to admire their classmates best qualities built strong relationships and nurtured friendships.
Friday, February 9th Bake Sale – 2:15-2:45
Wednesday, February 14th Valentine’s Concert – 1:30
Friday, February 16th February Break-No School
Monday, February 19th February Break-No School
TBA Cooper Village Presentation
Wow! We have some truly gifted artists in Second Grade. Students were so excited to showcase their pieces to family and friends as our Cooper School community gathered Thursday morning. Our building transformed into a dazzling gallery of watercolors and pastels, with each piece beaming with the personality of its artist. We were very proud of how mature our students acted as they effortlessly led their admirers around the school, discussing their favorite artists and pieces. It was a huge accomplishment and success for all artists involved!
Our writing classes have been hard at work learning how to write letters that include opinions. We have practiced proper greetings and signatures. Starting last week with our pen pal letters, students have been practicing beginning their letters with an attention-grabbing statement that will hook their readers right away. Deciphering the difference between opinion and fact has been a topic of discussion amongst students during this time. Students were encouraged to include three strong opinions about their favorite book, ending, or character from a book to include in the body of their letters.
Cooper Village Update
If you have not heard about our recent developments in Cooper Village then you are in for a treat!! Second Graders are in the process of researching and writing about their jobs and businesses. They are really taking their roles to heart as students act out their jobs in the classroom and on the playground. Our resident record store owner even took it upon himself to create a survey for the class to gather some information regarding the musical preferences of the community. Currently we are discovering some natural disasters that could wreak havoc on Cooper Village if the proper precautions are not taken. We will start analyzing maps and begin our city planning next week!
February 9 – Valentine’s Day Bake Sale (2:15-2:45)
February 14 – Valentine’s Day Concert at The Circular Church 1:30pm
February 16-19 – February Break
Pals Across the Pond
Last week, students in Second Grade were matched with a pen pal from Mr. Davis’ old school in Bangkok, Thailand. Our pen pals are in First Grade and are mostly Thai, although their subjects are taught all in English. English is their second language!! Our students were so excited to write their first letters this week to their new friends in Thailand. Curiosity was soaring as our students came up with questions and wrote about themselves and their families. Letter writing is still an important skill, and we will be sending our letters next week via snail mail. It will take about ten days for our letters to arrive. If you have anything light (pictures, postcards, stickers of S.C. or Charleston, etc.) that you would like to send with our letters, please send it in by Tuesday.
Symmetry is Everywhere
During the latest lessons in Math class, Second Graders have been learning the beauty of symmetry in nature, art, and even geometric shapes. Students used pattern blocks to make symmetrical art designs and then their partners had to recreate their art piece. We have been challenging students to find symmetrical items in the classroom or outside found in nature. Test your child’s symmetrical skills at home by quizzing them on items around your home or yard.
Loyal Subjects of Cooper Village
Second Grade’s most ambitious project, Cooper Village, has commenced and jobs and businesses have been chosen. This year, our 10 businesses were brainstormed and chosen by the students. We held student-led discussions and voted for what businesses we needed in our village. The concept and values of needs versus wants was central to this brainstorming and elimination process. Our top 10 businesses for this year are: a Post Office, Hospital, School, Restaurant/Grocery, Record Store, Veterinary Clinic, Police Station, Fire Station, Electric company, and News Station. Your child has applied and been accepted as a professional at one of our businesses. They should be doing some independent research outside of school to truly understand their duties and contributions to our community.
Thursday, Jan. 25th Art Walk, 8:00 AM
It Takes A Village
It’s finally here! Cooper Village has begun and the students are teeming with excitement! Our biggest and most engaging project kicked off this week with exciting plans our community village. The purpose of Cooper Village is to teach students the different aspects of how cities are planned and why businesses and professions perpetuate its success. This week, students brainstormed businesses that our community will need. After a hearty discussion of needs versus wants, our class has narrowed down a long list of ideas to only 8. Soon, students will be choosing and applying for jobs. We can’t wait to show you the final product!
Our little Van Goghs and Matisses have been hard at work, polishing off their own masterpieces. Art walk is coming up in a few weeks, and we have quite the spectacle in store for our guests. Over the course of Art class this year, Cooper School artists have been learning techniques and styles from the world’s most renown masters. They have explored organic shapes through Miro, traditional Japanese watercolors with “The Wave”, and collages and cut-outs with Matisse. Each student will have three pieces to display at our upcoming gallery.
With each new year, we strive to become better versions of ourselves. Sometimes resolutions fall short, so this year our intention is to choose one word that can hold us accountable in all aspects of our lives. We have just started brainstorming ideas and words for students and they have already come up with some really motivating and inspirational words. Students have suggested: practice, perseverance, control, happiness, better, brave, and many more. We will be writing about our words and putting them into practice immediately. Encourage and remind your child to stay true to their one word.
Monday, Jan. 15th MLK Jr. Day/ No School
Thursday, Jan. 25th Art Walk, 8:00 AM
Scientists and Lab Reports
What an amazing job these Second Graders did this past Monday presenting their lab reports! They truly worked for hours on end preparing for their first ever presentation on the scientific process. We saw students talking about making hypotheses and testing their results. They discussed how they came to their conclusions based on the results from their experiment. As writers, they showed great writing strength using bold new scientific terminology and procedural writing. Hard work really paid off as we ended this year with a bang!! Tri-folds came home this week, as did their new derby cars!!
Downhill Derby Racing
All week, the students have been revving their excitement for Thursday’s derby give away and mega ramp extraordinaire! Students were fueled up and ready to race after cars were selected at the end of the day. We tested the racers on two different surfaces before our finale down the slide. We ended the day writing thank you cards to Brooke’s father, Mr. Abe, and celebrating Austin’s birthday with his family and new baby brother.
“We Know Why It’s Called a Parallelogram!”
An actual quote from two students one morning this week after coming to the realization of how the parallelogram got its name. This week in Everyday Math, we’ve been investigating quadrilaterals (or quadrangles) and parallel lines. The idea of line segments or lines being parallel is a very difficult concept to predict when first learning about shapes and angles. Have your child identify as many parallel lines around the house or your neighbor’s house over the break. We used pattern block templates to draw right angles and polygons (closed shapes made of straight lines). Practicing connecting dots with a ruler is also a new skill that should be reinforced at home.
Have a wonderful Winter Break!!! From Davis and Brooke, we wish you the best of times with your family and loved ones. See you bright and early on January 4th!
Friday, December 22nd Winter Break Begins
Thursday, January 4th School Resumes
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.
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
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!
Thursday, December 14th Parent Coffee (8am)
Thursday, December 21st Pajama Day, 11:30 Dismissal
Friday, December 22nd Winter Break Begins