This week will be a busy in our classroom! I have worked hard to build a schedule that is balanced between the fun of the holidays and the structure of our academics.
We will be assessing students in both math and reading this week. Since we are taking our end of unit Wonders assessment, there will not be any spelling homework. Students will read two stories, answer questions, and write responses to a few open-ended prompts. As well, students will be asked to complete an unassisted writing piece.
In Mathematics, we will wrap up our unit on subtraction strategies. The students have been exposed to multiple approaches to subtraction, many which we were not taught in school. The underlying goal is to build number sense and awareness. When students begin to use the US traditional algorithm, they will typically make mistakes due to their lack of thinking flexibly about numbers. Learning many paths to subtraction often alleviates these mistakes as students become more efficient mathematicians. We will end our week with the Unit 3 math assessment.
Next week we will celebrate the fun of the winter season in three special ways. First, students will have a chance to travel to all of the second grade classrooms to participate in a winter activity. When they are with me, we will design a roof that can hold a heavy amount of snow. With Mrs. Marchesseault they will create a snowman picture frame. With Mrs. Prive they will grow snowflake crystals, and with Mrs. Wawrzyniak they will create holiday potpourri. Second, we will make a special something that they can bring home as a gift for you on December 23rd.
Finally, the students will participate in our Polar Express Day on Friday, December 23rd. On Thursday night, I will send home their “homework” in an envelope. The envelope will contain a letter and a golden ticket inviting them to the Polar Express. Please have the students bring the ticket to school with them on Friday. Students will be invited to wear their pajamas on this day. We will provide popcorn, hot cocoa, and candy canes for snack, but please do send a lunch or plan for your child to get a grab and go. The whole day is a SURPRISE for the students, I will only be telling them through the “homework” letter on Thursday night.
As a reminder the 23rd is an early release (12:00).
Enjoy your holiday season with your family, and I look forward to seeing everyone again on January 2nd.
This week in the Wonders reading program we will explore the question, “What do we love about animals?” We will focus our learning on animal poems, and even try our hand at some of our own poetry writing! Our spelling focus this week will be on three letter blends (scr, spr, etc.). As well, we will review compound words and identifying key details in a story.
Our focus this week in mathematics will be on subtraction strategies. Students will learn to use doubles to subtract. In this way, they remain focused on fact families, and build off of their knowledge of doubles addition. We will solve “what’s my rule” puzzles, which helps students look at the common pattern between addition and subtraction problems (9-4, 10-5, 6-1 all have the difference of 5 in common).
We have a special presentation called Lights Up this week. This is a brief introduction to the importance of conserving energy, introducing students to easy ways they can help at home (turning off lights when you leave a room) and teaches the idea that our resources are limited. As well, we will continue to build our mapping skills, focusing on the continents of Earth.
This week in writing we will learn how to write a good hook to begin our story. I have included a link below that outlines the most common hooks we will learn about. Students will generate multiple hooks for the stories they have been working on, and will they choose the one that is the best fit to launch their story. For more information, check out the link below: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/index.php?threads/teaching-kids-to-write-fantastic-hooks.53699/
12/23 – Polar Express Day- the students are invited to wear their jammies and bring something cozy to school. We will watch the Polar Express Movie, sip hot chocolate, and enjoy popcorn. Feel free to send in blankets for them to sit on. We will talk with the students about this next week!
early release- 12:00, lunch in the classroom
Today Cuddles came to join our classroom! We are all so very excited to have him as part of our classroom community. We built his cage as a team today, calculating how many squares we would need for the different cage shapes we had imagined. We then worked to put the cage together, shredded some paper for his home, and built him a hiding place.
As well, we spent time observing Cuddles and reviewed the ground rules for having a class pet. We agreed that only the adults in the classroom will handle Cuddles right now. We learned about the signs of a comfortable and happy guinea pig, and we will be on the lookout for these as he gets used to his new home. For now, students will be able to help add pellets and hay to the feeder. As well, they can help fill the water bowl and add fruit or vegetables to his cage.
This week in the Wonders program we will learn how offspring are like their parents. We will learn about eagles and eaglets, while searching for important details in the story. Our spelling focus this week will be on consonant digraphs at the beginning and ending of words (-ch, -tch, -ng, sh-, wh-). As well, I will introduce the students to common abbreviation and we will review plural nouns.
In math this week, we will continue our focus on subtraction. We will learn the game salute on Monday, and practice the game throughout the week. I have included game directions below. This games helps students think about addition and subtraction as fact families, helping them build off their knowledge of addition facts.
We continue to work in informational writing this week. The students will use transition words as they tell the steps of building a snowman- a perfect fit for the week! As well, we continue to work on our mapping unit, learning about our state, country, and continent on a map.
Please remember to send in snow gear any time there is snow on the ground. Students need boots, a hat, and gloves at a minimum. Additionally, they need snow pants if they want to play off of the blacktop when there is snow on the ground.
On a final note, I am always so thankful for the many kind notes and gifts I receive during the holidays from families and students. I would respectfully ask that you forgo any class or teacher gift for me. A simple handmade card from your child would be the most treasured gift of all.
Have a wonderful week!