Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Monday Update

Since we only had 2 days last week I decided I'd wait until today to give you an update. Last week we decorated Valentines and then we worked on our realistic fiction stories. Today we graded a realistic fiction story and tomorrow the second graders will compare those scores to the scores on their last informational piece. Then we will work on writing goals before we start our persuasive writing unit on Thursday. We were going to start earlier, but only having had 2 days next week slowed us down a little. I also wanted to give the second graders a chance to review their scores.

In reading we will be meeting with our books clubs one more time before starting our last round. Our focus last week was on finding the author's message. We practiced by reading The Straight Line Wonder as a read-aloud and talked with our book clubs using examples from the text to back up our ideas. When we meet with book clubs on Tuesday we will talk about the author's message in individual books, but also look for themes across the series.

We didn't have book clubs today because we got a special delivery. . . Mrs King, Mrs Hills and I applied for a grant from the HEF for flexible seating and lots of our materials came in today!! The kids were so excited to open all the boxes and see what we got for our classroom!

We can't wait to use it all tomorrow!

In math we are continuing our work with story
problems and to be honest, they are just going to get harder before we get to the test! Luckily all of this tough practice makes the test seem pretty easy. When your second grader brings home papers you will probably see some mistakes still, but not as many. We have been using math mountains to help write equations to find the answers to problems, and we will continue that work this week. This week we will add comparison bars as a way to find answers involving "more" and "fewer" quantities.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekly Update

We are officially decorating our Valentine cards! It is such a big project and the second graders have worked so hard on their cards and on the kind messages for their classmates. It feels like it has taken forever, but when we come back on the 7th we will have just one week 'till our party! So we will finish decorating our cards with glitter and paint Wednesday morning. I left my Party Sign-Up sheet at school, so I'll email those who volunteered first thing Wednesday.

It has been fun seeing the sweet notes the second graders have written to each other. They have worked hard on spelling and punctuation and each card has really turned out great. In our regular writing the second graders have been working on adding dialogue to their realistic fiction stories. This coming week we will be finishing up realistic fiction, but we come back to narrative writing again towards the end of the year. The following week we will start persuasive reviews, which I think are the most fun to write.

In math last week we worked on math mountains and how we can use them to write 8 different equations. Math mountains are a great tool for second graders to use with story problems, especially when they get complicated. Once they identify if the problem has a missing partner or a missing total they can draw a math mountain and are able to write an equation.

In books clubs the second graders have been working on identifying the author's message while at read to self time. Then they have been using the text to explain their thinking to the members of their book club. It has led to some more good discussions, and helped us to practice agreeing or  disagreeing with others in a respectful way.

We are also going to spend some time on our next Habit: Synergize. This is awesome because it really is the same as our school-wide theme of Better Together. One way Park School tries to be Better Together is by having school-wide "Family Meetings" once a month to check in and see what is going on in classrooms throughout the building. It is fun to see how classes and students work together to learn and also to make our school a great place to be! This past Friday at our assembly we saw how the only thing time being together not better is when we share our germs and colds! Ask your second grader about all the things Mr Tom "caught" from sitting by other teachers in the super-funny skit at the assembly.
We had cupcakes on Thursday for my birthday!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

weekly update

Before I get into our week, I sent home a book order on Friday that I will submit on Feb 3. So if you want to order please submit online at Scholastic.com. If you haven't been online before you click "get started" under the Parents section. Our class code is DLNGH. You can always send a check and the order form to school by Feb 2 and order books that way too.

This week we really turned a corner in double digit subtraction. Most of the kids have a pretty good idea of what they are doing. They still make mistakes, but understand why their mistakes are wrong, and are starting to be able to find them on their own when we go over work together. We took a quiz that will come home on Monday. Everyone brought home their Big Idea book this Friday, which is a formative assessment, so I use it to monitor progress and know what to focus on in the next day's lesson. I debated sending it home at all, because it is pretty messy, but it can give you an idea of how our lessons progress. On Monday we start using our subtraction skills, along with our addition with regrouping skills, in story problems. 

Writing has been really fun this week. Everyone has finished at least one realistic fiction story, and some are even planning their second. We are sticking with the same main character throughout this unit, so the second graders area really going to get to know their characters well. Their stories are really coming to life, and it is fun to see how far the second graders have come in developing as fiction writers.
In reading we are on to our second round of book clubs. Everyone has a new series, and a new group of club members. Last week we spent some time reading and looking for patterns in our new books, and next week we will work on comparing our old series with our new series. The second graders are really doing an amazing job of working as a book club and having real discussions about their books. I have been impressed as I listen in to their conversations. They have been sticking to the topic and sharing ideas about story lines and characters. 
We have been working on contractions in spelling, and this week we tried out a Scoot game. We rearranged our tables to make a loop and every 45 seconds the second graders had to "scoot" to a new chair and a new task card. They had to put the two words on the card together to make a contraction, or take a contraction apart. It was a fun way to practice contractions while getting to move a little too. The second graders really seemed to like it!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

weekly update

In math we have really dug in to subtraction with regrouping. We have been subtracting with regrouping from all kinds of numbers from two digits all the way to 200. The second graders have been introduced to the concepts and now we start the practice. They all understand how to regroup - in theory - in practice it is a different story. Some of the kids really get it, and some are not so sure. So next week we will spend time practicing.

We have been using these rhymes to help us subtract: More on Top, More on the Floor, and Number's the Same. The poster is not mine, but those are the rhymes we use : ) Ask your child what each of those phrases means and what they do when they get one of those problems. Next week you should start seeing more complete worksheets with more correct answers.

In writing we started our week with a writing celebration that was long overdue. The second graders got to read each others' informational books and gave each other feedback on what they did well. While they were doing that, I got to conference with almost everyone and help them record their second informational scores in their notebooks.

Then we could officially move on to realistic fiction! We spent time defining the genre, then we thought up realistic problems and worked on developing our characters. Next week we will plan and draft our first realistic fiction story. The second graders will also be bringing home their celebration book and a progress report attached to an informational piece they turned in to be scored.
Our read-aloud story is realistic fiction!

We took a Social Studies test based on the work we did early in the week and on our early release day. I have to get those recorded and they'll come home early in the week.

Our reading workshop time has been going great. The second graders have been doing great work in their book clubs. They have been analyzing characters and practicing talking and sharing ideas just like a real book club! Next week we will look at patterns in our characters and across series.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Weekly Update

We had a great first week back! We had cold and tons of snow to play in, we wrote Valentines, we had crazy warm weather, rain, flooded playgrounds, and weird half-power, and we ended it all with a half day. It was one crazy week!

Our Book Tasting was a success! The second graders had a fantastic time trying out new books and new series. Everyone brought their menus home today so you can see what they thought of the different series they "tasted".  The second graders were all assigned to a book club and we started some of that work this week too.

In math we are already done with our first big idea. We reviewed counting money and took our first quiz. That quiz and the first Big Idea book were in your child's mail on Friday. We started to look at ungrouping numbers to subtract, but we will spend more time on it next week too.

On Friday we spent the day on Social Studies. This time we worked on Economics. The second graders learned about wants and needs, and goods and services in Mrs King's room. In Mrs Hills' room they learned about natural, human, and capital resources. In our room we learned about choice, opportunity cost, and scarcity. Ask your second grader what was scarce in our room, and some of the choices they made.

Since it was an early release day we also had an all-school assembly. We got to see how other classes were living out our theme of "Better Together". Our class talked about recycling in our school, and how our whole school -and planet- will be better if we recycle. The whole school watched a video with recycling tips and then four second graders went up to share just a few more recycling tips. Mr Tom help the microphone and the second graders did an awesome job

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Always an Adventure

Before I tell you about our day, remember tomorrow is an early release day and we will wear our Color the Park shirts!

Not only was it crazy warm and very, very wet outside, but we also spent most of the day with only half-power in the building. It was really, really strange today!! We couldn't have any hallway lights on because they were all blinking like strobe lights, so walking to gym was like a voyage. The lights in the bathroom were either blinking or off, and, because the kitchen didn't have power, we ate lunch at 10:45ish. In the classroom! To top everything off, we had indoor recess !

Taking attendance and lunch count to the office was a little creepy, and required a team. It was not a solo mission in todays crazy low-power situation!

So, when your second grader gets home, he or she may have some crazy stories, and will probably be very hungry!

Having said all that, I have to tell you, they handled it so very well. I am so blessed to be in a class full of great kids, in a building with such a positive staff. It could have been a disaster, and people could've been really upset that we didn't really have heat, couldn't use our projectors or laptops, and some classrooms had no power at all. But Mr Field is always so positive, and his attitude is contagious! Our class did a fantastic job of learning in that crazy environment! Second grade is always an adventure : )

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Before Break

There was too much to put in just one post, so I figured I would write one about what we did before break, and then one for what's coming up.

You can check out the post about next week by clicking here.

The week before any big chunk of time off feels so busy. We tried to wrap things up, and at the same time, not start anything new. In writing that meant the one or two kids who still needed to finish up stories had time, and the ones who were done got to be a little creative. One of our favorites was a roll-and-write. The second grader rolled a die to determine the setting, main character and conflict or plot in their story. Then they took turns reading them to the class. They were awesome!

In math we took our post test for Unit 3 and our pre test for Unit 4. Unit 4 will be mostly about double digit subtraction with regrouping. Once we got all of that testing done we were able to play some games! One game that the second graders really liked was called Santa's Coal. It was just fact review, but they loved the tension of hoping not to get a "coal" card and put all their cards back.

I also want to say THANK YOU to all of the parents who came and helped out at our Christmas party. We had great treats and a great time. It was fun for the kids to hang out, snack, and have a great time with you and their friends.