Cascades Academy Independent School PK-12
Self Portraits

I'll never forget when I posted a photo on Instagram that my son had taken of himself and labeled it "Self Portrait by Luke". My sister, let me rephrase that, my younger sister, quickly responded with, "Umm, Merry, that's called a selfie!". Our world is changing and words that did not exist in my own childhood are now part of our children's vernacular. In fact, they are adding words to the Oxford Dictionary each and every year that tie into the 21st century world our children are growing up in.

By Lorie Ann Grover


This week's poem by Lorie Ann Grover called for a fun photography project: taking selfies. Please enjoy the selfies that your children took last week at recess along with photos of the poses they would like to have done for their school photo.

Money, So They Say......

"Do you invest, Ms. Fiore?" Chris asked me as I stopped by his desk to check in with him during our math time. Before you jump to conclusions, let me assure you this was not a lesson on playing the stock market or how to safeguard one's future, rather Chris' question stemmed from a simple request for the kids to write me a letter telling me everything they know about money. I had given them the prompt and they were responding to it in their math journals. And in this case, Chris was curious about whether his knowledge of investing was something I knew about too.

It's a delicate balance when thinking about how to draw out information from a classroom of kids. Do I need only a few students to respond or do I wish to hear from all of them? If it's the latter I seek, then I have to think of a way that allows each of them an opportunity to share, all while keeping the average attention span of seven and eight year olds in mind. I have found that writing a journal response is a great option when I do want to hear from everyone. Through words and/or pictures I am able to gain insight into how a child is thinking, what they are thinking and in some cases how they are thinking about their thinking. This information is extremely valuable and informative for my teaching.

Here are a few sentences I have gleaned from the kid's letters to me about their knowledge of money:

Chris: You can buy stuff. Invest it. You work for it. You need it.

Logan: I wonder why pounds from England are more than dollar bills. I know about the story of how money was invented.

Drew: Did you know money is all over the world?

Nolan: Did you know that there is a 1$ coin? I know that 100 pennies is 1$. There are different sizes of coins.

Mirren: A 100$ bill is valuable to a person. The one dollar bill has the first president, George Washington.

Aria: I do a money app every night. I know that 25¢ + 25¢ = 50¢. Also 50¢ + 50¢ = 100¢

Finn: I cleaned the chicken house for 10 dollars. And I had 4 dollars. Now I have 14 dollars.

Bella: I love money. I collect it too.

Mick: You can use money for ATMs. You put money in and you get money. There's even gold bars.

Avalyn: Dimes are 10¢. Pennies are 1¢. I find money everywhere.

Jackson: You can basically find money anywhere.

Ellie: I know that 2 pennies is 2¢, and that 5 dollars could be five 1 dollar bills or one 5 dollar bill, and that 4 quarters is a dollar, and my tooth fairy gave me 6 coins that are worth 13 dollars each!

Sterling: I wonder what is a half dollar coin is. I like the 2$ bill. Somewhere they make them.

Chloe: I don't know that much about money. Fifty cents is half a dollar. I want to learn as much as I can. It seems to be really fun.

Sabrina: The bank has 100's of dollars. You can buy food.

Johnny: I know that you can buy things with it.

As you can see, this one writing prompt has given me a huge glimpse into what knowledge the kids already possess, what curiosities they have and what they want to know more about regarding money. I have seen changes over the years in how kids talk about money especially since my days as a child who spent a lot of time rolling coins into paper tubes. I know one day that I might even see someone write about Paypal or Venmo, but for now, their responses will serve as a starting point and guide as we delve into learning more about money this year in second grade.

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