We reached our goal of 10 class points last week! Such a great accomplishment as our class community continues to grow and gel as a group. On Monday, the students will decide if they are working toward 10 more class point, or a greater goal of 20 points.
This week in the Wonders program we will study the question, “How can a pet be a friend?” Students will read about a pet goldfish named Norman, and a pet dog who helps his owner. Students will understand the benefits of pets, as well as the responsibilities needed to be a pet owner. We will work on two letter blends in spelling this week (tr as in tree, or sp as in spot).
We will take our first end of the unit assessment in Mathematics this week. Students will answer computation questions, open-ended math problems, and word problems on this assessment. They will also be asked to explain their thinking in writing. We have practiced all of these concepts throughout this first unit, and I am excited for them to share their learning. We will spend two days following the end of the unit assessment both reviewing key concepts and enriching mastered concepts in a small group setting, based off of student need.
We continue our writing process this week, focusing our efforts on editing and revising. We continue to learn how to work with writing partners- asking questions, providing feedback, and sharing ideas. The students are making strong progress in this area.
In addition to our normal routine this week, we will take two NWEA assessments. Mobile labs will come into the classroom, as this is a computer based assessment. NWEA is a nationally normed assessment, and this is your child’s first exposure to the assessment. Dr. Stokes came into each second grade classroom to demonstrate what the test will look like and answer any student questions. This is what is called a “smart test” in that it adjusts the level of difficulty based on the student’s responses. If the student is performing well, it will give the child a greater challenge. If the questions become too hard, the difficulty will decrease. Through multiple attempts of questions focused around the same learning area, the test will hone in on a student’s current learning zone. Students will take one assessment on Monday morning, and a second assessment on Tuesday morning. As this is your child’s first exposure, our goal is to acquaint them to the assessment and help them feel successful. I have provided a link to the assessment website if you would like additional information.
This week we are continuing our focus on family with the Essential Question: How are families around the world the same and different? This serves as a wonderful opportunity to discuss your family history with your child. We will continue to practice identifying key details in the stories we read, and review the short vowel spellings of short u, short e, and short i. In addition, we will continue to explore the inflected endings –s and –es. We continue to focus on sentence structure this week, refining our understanding of statements (telling sentences) and questions (asking sentences).
In writing this week, your children are moving onto the third stage of their story. So far, they have come up with an idea, orally told the story to a partner, and sketched their ideas in pictures across multiple pages. This week we will focus on writing the important details that match the sketches. They are quite proud of their progress thus far, as am I!
In Mathematics, we will continue our work with skip counting, as well as review key concepts such as comparing numbers (greater than, less than, and equal to), even and odd numbers, and a review of the quarter. Students will practice making coin exchanges this week (5 pennies exchange for a nickel, two nickels exchange for a dime, etc.). This is an important concept you can reinforce at home. Ask your child to create exchanges with pocket change you may have. They can first count the coins (practicing those skip counts) and then exchange the lower denomination coins for those with a higher value. For instance, you may give your child:
P P P P P P P P N N N D D (where p=penny, n=nickel, d=dime). Your child could practice counting the amount, and then ask for exchanges such as a nickel for their 5 pennies, a quarter for the two dimes and a nickel, etc. They may need to make several exchanges based upon their comfort with this activity (they may not see that they can exchange two dimes and five pennies for a quarter. They may first exchange the five pennies for a nickel and then exchange the two dimes and the nickel for a quarter).
On Friday, we completed our second STEAM activity. The students were given a list of materials that they were able to use in order to complete the activity. They needed to make a nameplate that was easy to read from 4 meters away. The name plate had to stand upright on its own for at least one minute, have at least one moving part, and display two interest of the child (i.e. dirt bikes, soccer, dance). The creations were amazing! The best part of the entire process was that the students began to embrace the idea of STEAM. Once we had gone over the directions, they instantly began to collaborate. Even though they were working on individual projects, without prompting they asked each other for advice, helped one another, and gave out kind complements. These first 4-5 STEAM projects are all meant to build this type of mindset in our learning community. At the end of the challenge, I was impressed with their reflections. Multiple students shared that their designs didn’t go as planned and that their classmates gave them ideas for improving their work. We are STEAMing ahead with this scientific practice!
Important dates for next week:
Monday- GYM day, please wear or send sneakers
Wednesday- Popcorn Day, available at snack time for $0.50
School Board Meeting, 6:30, Library
Thursday- Magazine Drive kick-off assembly 8:30am, gym
Friday- Ice Cream available at lunch for $0.50
I wanted to give a quick overview of our homework this week.
Spelling Homework will be send home on the first day of the school week. On the first day of the week, students will take a preassessment on the Wonders Reading Program words. Based upon the results of your child's assessment, they will study either List A or List B.
Students will choose three items from the spelling menu to practice their spelling words (one item for each of the three nights they practice). Please circle or highlight the three activities your child completed and sign off on the squares. Students will be reassessed on the words on the last day of the school week.
In addition, the students came home with a page that highlights our literacy focus for the week. This page listed the high frequency words we will practice in class this week, the vocabulary words they will be exposed to, and the reading strategies we will practice. This is for you information only :)
I understand this paper came home two sided this week. Disregard the back of the page (it has pigs on it). My guess is that it was copied on recycled paper.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
With two partial weeks behind us, we are ready to take on the first 5 day week of school!
I hope your children shared their learning wheel notebooks with you this weekend; the STEAM activity spaghetti challenge was a big hit! Throughout the year the children will learn about scientific concepts, and then explore their learning through these types of challenges. STEAM challenges come in all shapes and sizes, with some involving more intricacies than others. The most important take away from these activities in second grade, is perseverance. We want the children to understand that science is a process of inquiry, redesign, and collaboration. By the end of the year we will become better versed in these areas.
Our big idea for literacy this week is, “How do friends depend on each other?” Students will discover character traits of friends, and how real friends stick together to solve problems. We will look for key details while reading, and cite evidence from the book. This is a great time to share how you manage your personal friendships;
· How do your help your friends?
· What do you do when you have a disagreement with a friend?
· How do you include others?
These are important social themes in second grade. We will continue to focus on these themes during our class community work.
The spelling pattern this week is focused on the short a sound (as in apple) and the short i sound (as in ink). There will be a pretest of words on Monday, and then a spelling menu sent home for homework. Based off preassessment results, students will either complete list A words, or list B words. Students should choose three squares (choices) from the spelling menu to complete. Please sign off on the squares your child did for homework this week, and return the spelling menu on Friday. We will have our post assessment on Friday afternoon.
*Note: students will only have spelling homework this week- additional math homework will begin the following week.
We will continue our mathematical focus on counting and number sequences this week. Your child will bring home papers that serve as a family resource for the concept. Look for this in your child’s backpack tomorrow afternoon. We will work to solve number problems, continue exploring addition and subtraction, and complete our first number story challenge. During these challenges, we will explore mathematical strategies-comparing how different groups approached the problem. We will spend the second day redesigning our answers, similar to a STEAM challenge.
Ideas to continue practice at home:
1) Have students count values of mixed coins-switching between counts of 10’s, 5’s, and 1’s.
a. Challenge: Have students count the coins out of order (10, 20, 25, 26, 36, 41, etc) or after finding the total, remove one coin at a time furthering their ability to count backwards.
b. Support: If this is a difficult task, have your child first line up the coins by value (dimes, nickels, pennies) then have them count the coins in order. After a few repetitions with the same coins, try mixing the order of the same coins.
Important Dates this week:
Monday- Picture day (8:50 am) and Gym day
Please send in your child’s order form with payment, or a printout of your online order
Please send in sneakers and a change of clothes if your picture outfit is not suitable for gym
Tuesday-Back to school night: 6:05-6:35; The book fair will be open afterwards J
Wednesday- Popcorn is available at snack time for 50 cents
Friday- Please send in your spelling menu only with three squares signed.
Ice cream is available in the gym during lunch time for 50 cents
This week your child will become more familiar with the academic routines of our classroom. Our classroom runs with multiple mini-lessons per day, followed by small group instruction and student application. Mini-lessons typically last 10-15 minutes, and serve to introduce students to a concept. Based on pre-assessment data, and in class performance, student application is differentiated to meet the needs of all students.
In order for this to be successful, students need to be comfortable in our academic routines. We will use this skill review week to practice these routines. In this way, students are able to practice the routines with skills they are comfortable with. In addition, I will use the next week or two to pre-assess your child’s strengths and needs in language arts (reading, writing, grammar, and spelling) and math.
In Language Arts this week, we will focus on the theme, “How Am I Special?” Students will read stories that demonstrate that each person has unique gifts to share with the world. Your child will begin to plan, draw, and write a story in which they explain a moment that made them feel special. Students will also review ending punctuation marks. We will review short vowels, blends, and the high frequency words: are, the, to, you, like, said, and, of, on, play, some, where.
In Mathematics students will begin the year by focusing on the number line. Using the number line they will explore counting, represent whole numbers, addition and subtraction, and will practice counting coins. In addition, your child will be introduced to math games this week. I will send home directions on how to play the games, so your child can play with you at home.
I cannot stress the importance of counting, organizing counts, and flexible thinking as the foundation for mathematical thinking. It underlies all other algebraic concepts in mathematics. Any time while you are driving, waiting at the doctor’s office, or need a distraction- count with your child.
Some counting examples are:
Count forward by 1’s from a number other than 1
Count backwards by 1’s from a number other than 1
Count forward by 5’s from a number other than 5
Count forward by 10’s from a number other than 10
Count backwards by 10’s from a high number (180)
Count forwards by 10’s from a number off the decade (not 10,20,30 etc.,-try 33 as a starting point-33,43,53,etc.)
Count backwards by 10’s from a number off the decade (try starting at 143-133,123,113,103,93,83,etc)
The greater flexibility your child has with counting forward and backwards, the better!
This week in Science your children will be introduced to their first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) challenge. Again, the challenge will serve to teach the students the routines needed to be successful in a collaborative group…and we will have a lot of fun along the way!
Welcome to the first week of school!
This week we will begin to form our classroom community. Students will have a chance to warm up their Math, Reading, and Writing skills with fun activities that help acquaint them with each other and our classroom.
Please remember to send in your child's dismissal plan on the first day of school. This helps us double check your child's dismissal procedure-especially during the first few weeks of school!