Melanie Berlin

Bicycles Class Writing Celebration

To culminate our unit on narrative writing we wrote “small moment stories” which were detailed true stories from our own lives.  To cap this off, my class had a writing celebration and invited family and friends to join us for a reading.   The process leading up to the celebration – choosing a story, revising,…

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Friday was Grandparents and Special Friends Day here at Chicago Friends School.  During Community Meeting, which culminated our morning together, Karen asked the query, “How does our community feel different on this day?”  There were a lot of interesting and insightful comments. I kept my comment inside but thought I would share it here. Our…

2nd Grade Math: Minding the Store

The second grade math group culminated a unit on money by creating their own pretend store.  Each student drew 6 items on little pieces of paper, and labeled them with their prices. The prices had to be less than $10.  Students were encouraged to choose prices that they could comfortably and automatically compute change for.…

Buddies Save the Day

In the second grade class, we recently started a writing unit on biographies. Students chose an African American figure that they wanted to learn more about. I gave students texts about the person they chose, so that research could begin. There are many good biographies written on a second grade level, but they are not…

Research

My second grade students have been recently introduced to the concept of research, and began a preliminary process in both Writing and Science last week.  In Writing, students are writing non-fiction information texts, or “All-About” books.  In order to learn more about their topic, students have borrowed books from our classroom library and I have…

Problem Solving

Our social-emotional curriculum, Second Step, teaches students about a series of steps (using the acronym S.T.E.P.) for solving problems (whether they be interpersonal, personal, or group problems).  I have found that, after explicitly teaching about each of the steps, using these steps with the class has been helpful in solving problems together.  With enough practice…