Hello Second Grade Families,
What a wonderful week we had in second grade. We had an amazing Eyes on Owls presentation on Tuesday, viewing many different types of owls this year. The students were able to get an up close look at these amazing creatures, ask burning questions, and even see owl pellets. We will dissect one of the pellets next week! I have included some amazing pictures from the presentation at the end of this post.
As well, we braved the cold and enjoyed our walking field trip. The students (and I) learned so much about the history of this amazing town. The Parkers, the Rothmans, Mrs. Woodbury, and other senior members of our town invested a great amount of time to make this a meaningful and exciting trip for the kiddos. I have also included some pictures from our trip below.
Additionally, Mrs. Kane came in to teach us some self-regulations techniques. The students learned that sometimes their motors are running high, while other times their motors are running low. We learned techniques to bring us back into the green zone, which is ready to learn.
This week in Wonders we will study the question, “How do animals survive?” Students will review identifying the character, setting, and main events in stories. As well they will work to make and adjust predictions. This can be tricky for second graders, as they struggle with changing their predictions as they read. We will focus on both the author’s words and the pictures in the story to make meaningful predictions. This is something you can continue to do at home as you read with your child.
Students will be studying the long and short o sound this week, with the long o sound made by bossy e, or king ed. We will also learn how to use a comma in a series or list when writing.
In Math this week we will continue to learn about math strategies. We will also explore the turn-around rule, which was introduced in first grade. The turn-around rule in math is simply that 2+3=5 is the same as 3+2=5. This helps kiddos see that mastering one fact is actually mastering two facts. As well, we will learn that the turn-around rule does not work for subtraction!
As a reminder, our Halloween celebration will be on Monday. Students should bring their costume with them, and they will change into it before the parade. Our class party will begin at 12:00, with the parade beginning at 1:00. We will stop to dress at about 12:45. We can always use extra hands to monitor the bathroom use as changing occurs, and any parent who would like to is welcome to walk with us during the parade. After the parade we will come back to the classroom to complete a fun STEAM challenge.
Please remember to use discretion when sending in your child’s costume. Please do not send in any toy weapons, or masks that contain any violence or gore. All other masks are okay.
Have a great week,
Hello Second Grade Families,
I am excited for this very fun and adventurous week of learning. The Eyes on Owls presentation on Tuesday and our walking field trip on Thursday will make for a fast week!
We will be on a review week in Wonders, as we help students learn the expectations for taking a Wonders Unit Assessment on their own. In first grade, the assessment was read to the students and they were walked through test step by step. Second grade serves as a bridge between lower and upper elementary in this area. We will take the time to talk about test taking strategies, and expose the students to a shortened version of the test. Along the way we will pause and share strategies, provide feedback, and explain the formatting. Students will take their first independent reading assessment later in the year.
Since we are on a review week, spelling will look a bit different. The students will be studying the proper way to write their address and phone number. We will give a pretest on Monday, and compare that to the information we have on file. Additional forms your child can use to practice writing their address and phone number will come home in place of the spelling menu. I you would like to correct any of the information, such as your phone number, please do so in pen and return to us the copy your child has been studying. Simply sign the pretest to acknowledge that your child has been studying at least three times this week. The assessment will be on Friday as normal.
In Math this week we will study the properties of doubles, as well as other fact strategies such as combinations of ten, doubles plus one and doubles plus two. These three fact strategies help students to master most of the facts whose sums are less than 20. It seems like a simple concept to us, but building the understanding that within 8+9 is 8+8 can be a tricky idea. Here is a fun quick video that reviews doubles plus one:
As well, these strategies help students become more flexible in their thinking, improving both their understanding of numbers and their efficiency. We will take time to go back and review exchanges of dollar bills, as this is a fundamental base 10 skill, and one I want to review some more. Homework in this area will be coming home this week.
I appreciate the feedback I received regarding the homework help videos on the class website. I will continue to create them as we move through the unit. Feel free to post any additional questions or suggestion, but do remember that your comments are public!
We are currently working on an introductory letter to our guinea pig which the students have chosen to name Cuddles (Senor Fluffy Pants was a close second choice). I am excited to learn what the students will find to be the most important things for our new pet to know about them. We continue to prepare for his arrival (I am working on an adoption through the NHSPCA) as we integrate a STEAM challenge to design a home for our new pet. The students will be give design requirements (size, materials, needs of the pet) and then will work as a group to decide which design they think would be best for Cuddles. On that note- if anyone has large corrugated plastic (like the ones used for the political election signs) we could use multiple pieces for our pet home challenge.
As a reminder, we will be taking our walking field trip this Thursday. We will be monitoring the weather closely throughout the week, but so far the outlook is clear for the morning. Please do plan to dress your child in multiple layers so they will not be cold. Hats and mittens will be a must!
Check out the photos below to see the map making we are doing with our buddy class. We are mapping the journey of the characters in the book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!
Have a great week,
We begin our week with our fire safety program tomorrow morning. Please ensure that your child has warm clothing on, as we will be outdoors for the demonstration for about 45 minutes.
This week in the Wonder’s Program we will learn what happens when families work together. Through our reading, students will continue to practice asking questions as they read. They will identify important details in paragraphs, and look for text evidence to answer questions. We have spent quite a bit of time on thick and thin questions over the past few weeks, and I am excited to see their progress. This is a developing skill that will take many months of practice, but we are on the right track! I have included a link to a bookmark you can print out at home and keep with your child as you read together at night.
We will focus on the long and short i sound this week. Again, the long i sound will be made with “magic e” or mean king ed as we like to call him. Here is a quick video link about mean king ed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShalW_eb2lI
As well, we will focus on combining sentences, using the word and. This is a great lesson for second graders, as it helps them to understand when they can join sentences together and when they are creating a run-on sentence.
In Math this week, we are finishing our Unit One math assessment. As well, we will work on money exchanges with one, ten, and hundred dollar bills. Having a foundation in understanding ten will be an important topic this week. For additional practice with base 10, check out the games at the following link: http://www.abcya.com/second_grade_computers.htm#numbers-cat
We will revisit coins throughout our year, and this is a great activity to have your child continue to practice. Simply lay out a handful of coins each morning or evening, and help your child sort and count the coins. They should begin with the largest coin first and count up from there.
Our author’s celebration has been moved to Tuesday of this week, as the student have so many wonderful details they are rewriting and illustrating. There is a great amount of pride in their work, and I have already noticed a shift in our classroom. Many of the students are upset when writing time is over, even when it means it is time for recess!
There was a great amount of excitement this week as we selected our class pet. The student’s have voted to get a guinea pig! The coming two weeks will focus on learning more about pet care, writing introductory letters to our class pet, and setting up a habitat for the pet to live in. This is a fun way to wrap up our getting to know you portion of the year (introducing ourselves and our classroom to our new pet), and bridge our learning about class pets to learning about animal habitats.
We are kicking off our animal adaptations and habitat unit next week with a focus on woodland animals and their habitats. We will begin the unit with a broad overview, before zooming in specifically on owls. On October 25th students will have a special presentation come to our school called Eyes on Owls. This is often one of the favorite second grade memories, as Marcia and Mark Wilson bring several permanently disabled Owls for an up-close discovery. Here is a link to their website if you would like more information: http://www.eyesonowls.com/ It is through the fundraising efforts of parents and the NBCS PTA that we are able to bring this amazing program to our school!
That leads me to our walking field trip on Thursday, October 27th, with a rain date of Thursday, November 3rd. We are so fortunate to live in a town with a rich history and easy access to nature. Two overarching themes in Second Grade science and social studies are animals and their habitats and community. This field trip will serve to kick off these two themes!
We have worked hard with volunteers from the New Boston Historical Society to plan a trip for the students that takes them on a journey of New Boston: Then and Now. Student will learn about the history of our town Library, Nan’s House, Parker Mill, the Northeast Café (which was once a meat supplier and a general store), and the Ice House. They will begin with a short presentation, and then take a walking tour from the Historical Society down to Parker Mill, and to the location of the old ice house. From there, they will enjoy a snack in the open field of the Parker’s land and head down the trail to explore the woodland habitat. They will cross the new footbridge and end at the Library. Along the way students will not only explore plant life and animals, but they will also notice the way that weather and people have changed the habitat.
Look for permission forms to come home this week. I will contact you further about chaperone information. We will leave the school at around 8:30am and return at lunch time (about 11:00). Students will need to have a packed snack, appropriate footwear, and warm clothing!
October 19-PTA Meeting 7:00pm
October 21-Michaelmas Fair
October 24th-Picture Retake Day
October 25th- Eyes on Owl Presentation
October 27-Walking Field Trip
This week in the Wonders program we will focus on the question, “How do we care for pets?” Students will read stories that help them answer this question, and we will continue to ask questions as we read. Our spelling will be focused on short a and long a sounds. We will continue to work on the subject and predicate of a sentence this week as well.
In Math, we will wrap up our first unit with an exploration of base 10 buildings, sorting dominoes (seeing that the same number can have more than one domino pattern) and a review of money. Toward the end of the week we will take our first Unit Assessment.
Next week the students will begin to publish their stories. While they will not publish every story they write, it is important to go through this process a few times a year. The week will end with an author’s celebration where the students share their writing.
We had great success with our STEAM challenge this week. Three teams were able to create designs that rescue the fish. All teams continue to refine their designs, and continue to test new ideas. We will wrap up this challenge on Friday.
As well, the students are working on their pet research presentations. Students are choosing between a brochure, poster, and mobile for this first research project. We will present our learning at the end of the week and vote on our class pet. I can’t wait to see what we choose!
This morning, you should have received two invitations from sign up genius. The first is for parent teacher conferences. Please choose a time that works for you. It is very important that you sign up at least two days before a conference so I have time to prepare for our meeting and make after school care arrangements for my kiddos
The second invitation is for our Halloween party. We will celebrate from 12:00 to 12:45. We will enjoy a craft, game, and a treat. Please remember that we are a nut free classroom. The kiddos are just coming back from lunch, so we do not need much in terms of treats. We will dress for the parade at 12:45, as we will head out at 12:55. Feel free to join us in the classroom if you like!
This week in Wonders, we are studying the essential question, “How are pets our friends?” This is a perfect tie into our class pet research and our STEAM challenge – save the class fish (more on that later). We will review the skill of identifyinig characters, settings, and important events. The students are well versed in the characters, settings, and important events from the beginning and ending of the story. Finding the most important event(s) from the middle of the story is something we will continue to practice in class. We will also learn how readers ask questions while they read. We will discuss thick and thin questions in class this week. Here is a quick guide on how you can help when reading at home:
This week we will study the spelling pattern of two letter blends at the beginning and ending of words, such as –sk in mask or cl- in clap. Finally, we will begin to learn about the subject (who) and predicate (what the subject does) of a sentence.
In Math this week, we will review skip counting by 2, 5, and 10. As well, we will discuss greater than and less than, and build structures using base 10 blocks. Base 10 blocks are not a tool I used in school, and in case you didn’t either, here is a quick “need to know” about base-10 learning:
In writing, we continue to work on our story writing. Many of the students are coming to the end of their first draft. Last week we learned about editing tools and techniques (quick words-mini dictionaries, thesauruses, etc). This week, we will learn about partner feedback, using the guide of 3-2-1. In this model, students will listen to their partner read their story. After their partner has finished reading their story, they will give 3 compliments, ask 2 questions, and give 1 suggestion for improvement. The students will then switch roles. This is a powerful learning tool for young writers, and they enjoy the chance to share their work with partners.
We had our first meeting with our fifth grade buddies on Friday, and had the chance to get to know one another. Our buddies will read with us, help up with technology, and we will complete group projects together. In a few weeks, our buddies will help us create an iMovie trailer to showcase our research learning. We will storyboard our ideas, and then use images to build the movie. This is just one example of how our older buddies can serve as learning models in our classroom.
Did your child tell you about our current STEAM challenge? During this challenge, students are tasked with designing a tool that can rescue a pet fish (stuffed animal) from a tube (old Clorox wipes container). The students were given time to first imagine on their own, sketching ideas on a white board. Students then were placed in groups where each child had time to share their idea and answer questions. After each child shared, the team came up with a group plan that they are now building. Before gaining access to the materials (things such as paper towel rolls, rubber bands, aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, tape, and so on) they had to create a detailed sketch of their contraption. Students will complete their builds and begin to test their ideas next week. The teams will then take their test results and improve their design. This is always the best part of the challenge and such an important learning experience! I have included some pictures from the “imagine” potion of this week’s challenge below.
Have a wonderful week, and let me know if you have any questions!
School Board Meetings: October 12th and 26th- 6:30pm- School Library
Fire Safety Week- October 17th-20th
PTA meeting- October 19th-7:00- School Library
Michaelmas Fair (we will attend to purchase items- if families chose to have students buy)- October 21st
Picture Retake Day- October 24th
Halloween Parade – October 31st 1:00pm (parents are welcome to join us-meet in the classroom at 12:40)