Kelly returns for her fourth year at The Cooper School! Kelly was raised in the greater Chicago area. On her first visit to Charleston, she fell in love with the city and decided to attend The College of Charleston. Kelly received her Bachelor or Science in Elementary Education from The College of Charleston. She also has a Masters in Education from The Citadel. Kelly is a Nationally Board Certified Educator. During her free time, Kelly enjoys playing board games and taking long walks with her husband and three young children.

Read Kelly’s Testimonial.

Last Week of Second Grade May 31, 2019

Bird Study Museum

Second Grade ornithologists celebrated a successful presentation of their Bird Study Museum.  Scholars shared exciting iMovies to begin their presentation. Detailed Power Points covered facts ranging from the bird’s feathers, wingspan, nest, predators, prey and interesting facts! Second Graders displayed life like bird sculptures of their individual birds that they were able to refer to during their Power Point.  Wingspan vs. Armspan displays were a popular display of our presentation for our guests to visualize the size of scholar’s birds.

Vocabulary Review

This week in vocabulary Second Grade scholars did a review of a few handpicked words previously studied over the year.  This year Second Graders studied a vast list of vocabulary words that increased in difficulty as the year progressed. These words were usually first introduced in a read-aloud story and then definitions would be reviewed with example sentences.  Each day provides a new review of the definitions through activities like acting during freeze frame, word illustration, and word square sheets. Second Graders enjoyed the chance to “shine” on a word when they heard it used in class read alouds or in example sentences!

Read Aloud Book Themes

Second Graders took time this week to discuss the ranging themes from our year’s selection of Read Aloud stories.  Themes included discussions around diversity, acceptance, family, growing up, being different, making new friends, and trying new things.  Scholars enjoyed books like Maniac Magee, The Wild Robot, and The King’s Equal, James and the Giant Peach, and The Penderwicks.  

Important Dates

May 31st: 11:30 Dismissal 

Below: Second Graders perform their puppet shows from Music


Birds of Prey May 24, 2019

Bird Crafts

Second Grade Ornithologists took time this week to continue the crafts for their bird study. In art, scholars have been creating life-like birds through paper mache crafts.  Artists took time to paint leaves in the style of their bird’s feathers with tempera paint and through needle arts. Scholars have created dioramas with authentic bird scenes based on their unique bird story.  Our presentation will feature all of these crafts and more!

Subtracting with Base Ten Blocks

This week in math, scholars used base-10 blocks to solve subtraction problems.  This method prepares scholars to learn the upcoming expand-and-trade subtraction we will be doing.  Scholars focused on exchanging base ten blocks for cubes when making trades. When subtracting, scholars utilized the “ball park” method.  When making “ball park” estimates, scholars are able to narrow down the range in which their final answer could be. For instance, 153 – 42 could be a ballpark estimate of 150 – 40.

Once A Mouse

Vocabulary words for the week are from “Once A Mouse” by Marcia Brown.  This Caldecott winning story, based on an Indian Fable, was written in 1961 but still holds a relevant meaning today. The stories main character is  a small mouse who has many predators after his life. A hermit in the jungle changes the mouse’s life when they turn the mouse into many different animals, including a cat, a dog, and a tiger.  Along the way, the mouse adopts an ungrateful attitude and suffers the consequences of forgetting where he came from.

Important Dates

May 27th No School – Memorial Day

May 30th & 31st: 11:30 Dismissal


Achieving Goals! May 17, 2019

Interesting Bird Facts

Second Grade Ornithologists took time this week to write three interesting facts that most people might not know about their chosen bird. Scholars shared their fun facts with the class. For instance, did you know that hummingbirds can visit up to 2,000 flowers for nectar in one day? Scholars also discovered that in 1950, there were only sixteen Whooping Cranes left! Did you know that American Kestrels can change their speed from 100 mph to 200 mph in less than 8 seconds when they are searching for prey? 


Equivalent Money Amounts

Second Graders studied equivalent money amounts this week during math. To explore this idea, students made various coin combinations that have the value of a dollar. Some chose four quarters, while some showed this by putting out ten dimes. Scholars were then challenged to do this by using a mix of both quarters and dimes.  Scholars learned that money amounts that include dollars and cents can be written in different ways. For instance, $1.49 and 149 cents both show the same amount. 


Second Graders completed their last Movement field trip in climbing this week. Scholars set a personal goal of the amount of feet they wished to climb at each outing and then a total goal for their entire time climbing. Many Second Graders found that they quickly achieved their goal as they graduated from the 25-foot climbing wall to the 50-foot climbing wall. Many memories were made for our class over these outings! 


Important Dates

May 19th                            TCS End of the Year Celebration at The RiverDogs Baseball Game


May 21st                              Field Trip to Birds of Prey


May 27th                             No school – Memorial Day

May 28th        Bird Study Museum and Presentation

Bird Groupings May 10, 2019

Bird Groupings

Second Graders continued their science unit on birds this week. Scholars identify their birds by their bird groupings. These groupings are Birds of Prey, Water Birds, Game Birds, and Song Birds.  Some defining features of birds of prey are that they eat live prey, have a hooked beak, and possess exceptionally keen vision! Some defining features of water birds are that they eat fish, live near water, have long beaks and waterproof feathers.  Some defining characteristics of game birds are that they are also called ground birds and they lay eggs in grass on the ground, rather than building a nest. Some defining characteristics of song birds are that they are colorful and make music.

Two, Three, and Four Equal Shares

Second Graders studied equal shares this week, specifically dividing groups into two equal shares, three equal shares, and four equal shares.  Two equal shares might be named half, one half, or 2 parts. Three equal shares might be named one third or 1 out of three parts. Four equal shares might be called 1/4th, one fourth, or one out of four parts.  Scholars took post-it notes and folded these shares as examples of each type of share!


Second Grade’s vocabulary words this week are based on the book Nutmeg by author David Lucas. This is a story of a young girl named Nutmeg who has a redundant daily life eating the same breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  This is the case until Nutmeg meets a genie who gifts her with a magical spoon and three wishes. Nutmeg’s home is whipped into a new world with an unknown future. The only certainty is a life that promises something different from her previously scheduled days.  The story challenges readers to embrace changes!

Important Dates

May 10th 11:30 Dismissal

May 10th Pass It On (5pm-6pm at The Scottish Rite)

May 19th TCS End of the Year Celebration at The Riverdogs Baseball Game

May 27th No School – Memorial Day

May 30th 11:30 Dismissal

May 31st Field Day- 11:30 Dismissal

May 3, 2019

Bird Feathers

Second Graders continued their science unit on birds this week. They began this study by defining characteristics of birds’ feathers, also known as plumage.  One of the characteristics included that there are six types of feathers. Feathers are classified as tail feathers, flight feathers, semiplume feathers, filoplume feathers, bristle feathers and downy feathers.  Second Graders noticed that birds like penguins and owls possess downy feathers because they are essential for keeping these birds warms. Scholars will soon label parts of a feather as well as draw their own.

Number Stories for Equal Groups and Arrays

Second Graders continued their study of multiplication strategies this week by discussing equal groups and arrays through number stories and drawings.  Scholars used counters as a tool during this lesson. As they wrote out their drawings, scholars were encouraged to circle each row or column in their arrays to highlight the idea of equal groups.  Then, scholars connected the groups to the equal addends in their number models.

James and the Giant Peach

Second Grade’s newest read aloud book is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. This beloved classic written in 1961 is just as loved today as it was when it was written.  The story is centered around a young, English orphan, James, who enters an enormous yet magical peach. James meets enchanted garden bugs along this journey that leads to new adventures.

Important Dates:

May 10th 11:30 Dismissal

May 10th Pass It On (5pm-6pm at The Scottish Rite)

May 19th TCS End of the Year Celebration at The Riverdogs Baseball Game

May 27th No School – Memorial Day


Flat Stanley April 26, 2019

Bird Beaks

Second Graders continued their new science unit on birds this week. Scholars studied bird beaks and the categories in which they could be divided.  The categories included drilling, probing, striking, tearing, sipping, cracking, straining, scooping, and picking. Scholars divided their birds into these categories based on how they imagine each bird utilizes their beak as an eating utensil.  An example of a drilling bird is the Downy Woodpecker and an example of a cracking bird is a Northern Cardinal.


Second Graders began to study multiplication strategies this week by discussing equal groups and arrays. Scholars learned that the same number of objects are called equal groups.  They also learned that a rectangular array is an arrangement of objects or symbols in rows and columns. Second Graders then wrote number stories to display these concepts.

Flat Stanley

This week Second Graders attended “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” at the historic Dock Street Theater located in downtown Charleston.  This musical is based on the beloved children’s book “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown, about a boy, Stanley Lambchop, who wishes upon a falling star to be different.  When he wakes up the next morning, Stanley finds that he has been flattened and his adventures begin! Second Grade enjoyed reading this book before attending, and making comparisons of how the book and play were similar or different.

Important Dates

April 30th Climbing Field Trip

May 10th 11:30 Dismissal

May 10th Pass It On (5pm-6pm @ The Scottish Rite)


Teammates April 18, 2019

Bird Characteristics

Second graders began their new science unit on birds this week. They began this study by defining characteristics of birds that differentiated them from other animals.  A few of these characteristics included that they have beaks, talons, and claws.  They have wings and feathers. Birds lay eggs and most birds can fly.  Scholars are now looking to define the characteristics that all native birds of South Carolina possess!


Second Graders continued their study of shapes in math, focusing on quadrangles.  Scholars learned that quadrangles are a shape with four angles.  Building on previous knowledge of shapes, scholars learned that all shapes that have four angles also have four sides.  A shape that has four sides is called a quadrilateral.  To be a quadrilateral, scholars noted that the shape must have four straight sides.  It must be a flat shape and it must be a closed figure!


This week’s vocabulary is based on a book called Teammates written by Peter Golenbeck.  This is the true story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a Major League baseball team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s, and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate.  With detailed illustrations and challenging, new vocabulary words, this book describes an important memory in the history of American sports. 

Important Dates

April 24th “Flat Stanley” at the Dock Street Theatre

April 25th Spring Auction

April 30th Climbing Field Trip

Haikus April 12, 2019

A Nest for Celeste

The current read aloud book selection our class is enjoying is A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home by author Henry Cole.  Celeste is a mouse who is looking for a home. Is it nestled in the toe of a warm boot? In the shirt pocket of Celeste’s new friend Joseph? Or is home the place deep inside Celeste’s heart, where friendships live? Second Graders look forward to discovering the answer.

Series Reading

Second Graders have begun their new study in Reading Workshop about book series.  Scholars determined that book series usually have a few things in common such as the same author, same problems, and the same main characters.  When reading a series, you want to keep track of the stars of the story, otherwise known as the main characters. Just like a television series, a book series has characters that frequently reappear.  Second Graders plan to become experts on the main characters of each of their series by making predictions on the plot of the story.


Our poetry studies continued this week as we discussed a different type of poetry called haiku.  Scholars learned that haikus are a traditional form of Japanese poetry that consists of three lines.  The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.  Scholars define syllables as a unit of pronunciation that have one vowel sound. Traditionally, haikus center around nature topics.

Important Dates

April 16th Climbing Field Trip

April 24th “Flat Stanley” at the Dock Street Theatre

April 25th Spring Auction

May 10th Pass It On (5pm-6pm)

The King’s Equal April 5, 2019

The King’s Equal

The current read aloud book selection our class is enjoying is The King’s Equal by Katherine Paterson.  This is a timeless classic that provides a contemporary social message of measuring qualities like intelligence, fortitude, and pride.  This enchanting fairy tale leads readers to discover how beauty and intelligence are measured differently in each character.

Aboriginal Culture

Second Graders have begun their final week studying Australia.  This week focused in on the Aboriginal culture. Scholars learned that the Aborigines’ shelters depended on the materials they could extract from their natural environment.  In some places, soft paperbark was easily pulled off of trees to make a shelter. In other places, shelters were built out of branches to make poles for a tent, covered in leaves.  Our study will continue with learning about the Aboriginal forms of transportation, food, culture, and celebration.

Repetition and Endings

Our poetry studies continued this week as we looked for patterns of repetition in our poems, as well as focused on the ending lines of a poem.  Scholars identified that poems have a way of repeating lines and words to convey a poet’s deeper meaning. Second Graders also noticed that the last line of a poem is usually one of the most important parts of the poem, because it can lead the reader straight to the deeper meaning.

Important Dates

April 6th Spring Planting Party

April 19th -22nd April Break

April 25th Spring Auction


Arm Span March 22, 2019

Arm Span

This week math scholars partnered together to measure each other’s arm spans in centimeters and inches. Second Graders learned that arm span measure the distance from fingertip to fingertip across outstretched arms.  Scholars also noticed that when comparing units of length of centimeters versus inches you can fit more centimeters than inches in the same arm span. They learned that this was because they are smaller units.

Globes vs. Maps

Our geography scholars took a deep dive into looking at the differences between maps and globes.  When thinking of a globe, Second Graders visualized an orange being peeled. As an orange is peeled, the peel can be flattened. This type of formation helps scholars visualize how a map might appear if a globe were peeled.

Pauses in Poetry

Poetry studies continued with a focus in taking purposeful pauses in our readings.  Students studied “Sick” and “No Grown Ups” by Shel Silverstein. Scholars paired together to read poems aloud, matching their pauses as they presented to the class.  Second Grade poets noticed that the period was a signal in poetry to pause. Question marks signal a tone of inflection!

Important Dates

March 25-29 Spring Break

April 6th Spring Planting Party 


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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