This will be an assessment week in our classroom for both Math and Reading. Students will take the end of the unit Wonders assessment. I have broken the assessment up into five smaller chunks for the students to complete. The unit assessment will check in on their ability to find important details in a story, compare two stories, find the theme while reading, identify key vocabulary, and understand phonics elements. Since we have a week of assessment, there will not be a spelling test or spelling homework this week. As well, math homework will be limited. All of these skills are ones we have been working on for the past few months, and I am sure the students will do quite well!
In Math, we will end our week with the end of the unit assessment as well. This assessment will only take two math blocks, with the remainder of the week focused on math explorations. Students will have the opportunity to further explore geometric shapes and measurement.
We continue our realistic fiction writing this week. We will learn more about using dialogue in our writing, and try to add similes as we write. The student have spent a great amount of time developing their characters and planning their story; they are eager to write!
This week in the Wonders program we will investigate the question, “What excites us about nature?” Students will have the chance to read multiple poems about nature, and even try their hand at creating one! As well, we will continue to study the bossy r spelling pattern; with ar spellings as our focus this week. We will continue to focus on the plot and sequence of the story.
In Math this week, we are focusing our efforts on a mathematical method called partial sums. This builds the foundational understanding for solving mathematical problems in a traditional way. It is sometimes referred to as column addition. Students will first add the tens, and then the ones before combining the two. In this way, we can have many conversations about the concept we know as carrying. Forgetting to carry is common when children this age are learning the traditional algorithm, so building the concept up using partial sums often eliminates these mistakes once students begin using the traditional algorithm for addition.
Because partial sums is new to most parents, I have provided two links. One is an online pdf style introduction, and the other is a short informational video.
In writing this week, we will continue our realistic fiction writing. Students have developed their characters, thinking about both their internal (how they act, feel, and think) and external traits (what they look like, their age, etc.). We will brainstorm lessons we want to teach our readers, and then come up with problems and solutions that support these lessons. I am impressed by their planning so far, and we are well on our way to fantastic stories!
This week in the Wonders program we will study the question; How can we understand nature? We will learn how for centuries people told folk tales to explain the changes in nature that occurred around them. We will compare that to how we use scientific tools to better understand nature today. The spelling pattern this week will continue to be the bossy r spellings, focusing on words with the ir sound. We will continue to practice visualizing as we read, and move onto the skill of identifying the theme or moral of a story.
In math this week we will move beyond traditional number stories, and look more at two step number stories. In these cases, students will first have to add, then complete a second math function (add again, or subtract). I plan to spread this lesson over a few days, as working through the language can be a challenge for many second graders. We will end our week in math making ballpark estimates. In this instance, we will round to the nearest 10. You may have learned a trick for this in elementary school, and I will introduce the children to some shortcuts, but only once I am sure they understand why those shortcuts work. I will use a number line to introduce this skill. Check out this link if you want a preview of how it will be introduced (https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-third-grade-math/cc-3rd-place-value-rounding/cc-3rd-grade-rounding/v/rounding-to-the-nearest-10). I encourage you to give your children as many opportunities to round to the nearest ten as you can. This is a skill that only gets better with practice!
This week the students are moving on with their realistic fiction writing. We had great fun creating our characters, and this week we will select a setting and a problem for our characters to solve. The students are really enjoying this part of the story writing process, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with!