Last June I forgot to make my daughter sort through her backpack until after we got back from vacation. A lot can happen to a banana in a backpack in two weeks’ time.
Whole worlds can spring forth.
So this year I got smart and helped her empty the last-day-of-school bag before the carrion attracted scavengers.
I’m a word person by trade, so naturally I lingered the longest over the many literary exercises Camilla did. Some lessons focused on constructing sentences:
In second grade one may grasp the reins and truly control the power of language! Resulting in boring sentences!
The kids also worked on paragraphs, extending this toward the end of the year into expository writing and the classic 5-paragraph essay. Here Camilla writes about an Ecuadoran coin her dad gave her, a sucre. (Note: Ivan is not from Ecuador but lived there in the 1980s. She is correct that they don’t use the sucre anymore; Ecuador uses the dollar now. So that is extra speshle.)
They also worked on recognizing literary elements such as the story arc. As part of this unit they read classic fairy tales and riffed on them by changing details about characters and setting but keeping the basic plot the same.
In free moments Camilla often chooses to work on a book. Or should I say start a book. She thinks up a great title, creates a cover, and even inserts a little marketing copy blurb. Check this out:
Ivan and I shared a parent job at Camilla’s school this year.
Let’s back up a bit here. Yes, I said parent job. If, like me, you went to school in an era when the big yellow bus whisked you away and deposited you by magic back at home and parental attendance meant a conference with the principal to determine your punishment or, at best, that you were about to be embarrassed because it was Career Day and your parent was showing and telling about a day job nobody understood, well, here’s some education. Some schools these days require parent participation. At Camilla’s school it is two hours per week per child. Anyway, partner and I played rock-paper-scissors every Monday and one of us went to help with Math Centers.
So we can attest that a lot of measuring happened in math. Also counting by 10s and other factors. This illustration sums up second grade math:
Writing is integrated across the curriculum. As it should be. Here’s some science writing for you (see below). While it may be an overreach to say that the crtashos piriod was egseckly thirteen million years ago–geologic time, like spelling, being an exercise in best approximations–I think this paper does capture a core truth: namely, that scientists seek precision in their work.
And finally, let’s take a peek at social studies. Camilla’s school is big on capstone experiences and performances. Second grade is the year of The Ancestor Project. In addition to decorating a giant foam board with family tree, flag and map from one or more countries of origin and other sundry facts, the kids hosted a dinner with musical entertainment and an artifact museum. The placemats were supposed to look like quilts.
To celebrate the end of the school year, Camilla hosted a party at our house with three other girls. This is pretty much egseckly how it went down: