Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summer Library

End of the Year

I cannot thank you all enough for the kind emails, sweet gifts, and thoughtful notes you all have sent me this past week. Your trust and support of what we do in the classroom means so much to me and to the second graders and really helped your children be successful this year.

I wanted to share with you some pictures from our last day and from field day, and I also want to invite you to our summer library program. We are kicking it off this Tuesday from 9:30-10:30. You can park in back by the bus loop and come in the 5th grade doors to the library. I've posted the flyer here. Hope to see you all there!

All of the second graders signed t-shirts for our para-pros and we gave them the red-carpet treatment on our last day. We have the best paras at our school!!

Field day was so fun! We got outside, played team games and did some running, and just had fun as a class! A big thanks to all the parents who helped out. We couldn't pull off an all-school event like this without you!!

The very best volunteers were at the tug of war!!

We spent some time on our last day outside with our sidewalk chalk writing happy messages for all the kids to read on their way to the bus.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

One more weekly update

Did I say the last weekly update was the last one? I was wrong!

I wanted to share a little bit of what we've been up to, and give you some "last days" information.

First, I was wrong about the last day special. It will be art! Next, we have our picnic and field day tomorrow. You do not need to send a lunch with your second grader unless he or she doesn't want a hot dog. Our field day will start at about 1:15 and we are going to wear our Color the Park shirts. Tennis shoes and water bottles would also be a good idea!!

This week we have been having fun at math workshop. We played math games on laptops, used the shape templates, played around with fractions, played a Who Would Win card game, and even bowled!!

We also wrote Bucket Lists for the summer this week. Then we each got a bucket and everyone signed them! We have two days left. . . and they are going to be great!!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

weekly update

I can't believe we are headed into our last week!!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will all be pretty normal days. I posted our specials schedule here in case you didn't get it in your child's mail.

On Thursday we will have our school-wide picnic, so your child does not need to pack a lunch. We will have hot dogs, chips, juice and cookies. Your child may still bring a snack, and if he or she doesn't love hot dogs, you can pack a sandwich. This is one of my favorite events of the year. I always bring old sheets for us to sit on so we end up having a class picnic and all sitting together. It is so fun to just hang out together and enjoy our last days!

After lunch on Thursday we also have our team-building field day. This is a favorite too because all of the games are designed to have our class working as a team (or teams). So remember water bottles and tennis shoes on Thursday.

Click on the picture to make it bigger
so you can read the poem!
Friday is our last day and it is an early release day! We will have a little award ceremony in the morning to thank some of the staff who worked with our class this year, and then we have some closing activities to wrap up our time together. We do have PE that last day, so tennis shoes on Friday as well.

Last week we read and wrote more poems. We learned about concrete poems and wrote some of our own. These, and acrostic poems, are favorites for second graders to write because they don't have a set rhyme pattern or a specific number of syllables. We will write more poems early in the week and then our poetry folders will come home.

We also had our very last math test! If I didn't send those home already I'll send them on Monday. I remember that I sent math workbooks home, but I can't remember about the tests! This weekend has been a blur of report card work!! To that end, this week I will be working on re-testing skills for anyone who has a 2 on anything from the first two trimesters. We will continue to run a math workshop format for the beginning of next week so we can review skills and I can get some small-group time to work on those re-tests.

On Friday we had our very last Genius Time. This was a totally new thing I tried this year. It was sometimes chaotic and frustrating, but mostly interesting and fun. The second graders thought of some great projects and research topics and I think they enjoyed learning about whatever they wanted to learn about. There aren't many places in the school day where each second grader gets to decide what he or she wants to work on. I think they liked that freedom and choice. I'm still undecided as to whether I'll do it again next year. I plan on asking the second graders what they think about it and what they would change or keep about genius time.

You won't be surprised to hear that we had many, many presentations. We had a presentation about made-up language someone found in the back of her book, and we had a demonstration of how to make earrings. We also viewed slide shows about hockey and birds. There were also presentations about Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, one about blob fish, and many more! It was fun to see and hear what everyone had learned in their genius time!

June Specials

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

weekly update

I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!

This is such a busy time in 2nd grade! Our writing units are all done and I have the informational books scored and recorded. We will get them recorded in black and white notebooks and then they will come home! It feels good to have all three of our big writing units wrapped up!

We took some time last week to write back to first graders who wrote to us asking what 2nd grade is like.

We are wrapping up math this week as well. We will take our practice test on Tuesday, have a review day Wednesday and then the test on Thursday. Your child will only have to take the parts of the test that he or she did not do well on the practice test. I figure if they do fantastic on the practice they shouldn't have to do it again two days later! Practice tests will come home Wednesday.

I have to tell you. these second graders have been rocking math workshop. You would think that this would be the time of year that they would be goofing around and not working on math when they are not in the group working with the teacher. But that's just not happening! They have been staying on task and working on math every day!! They have been helping each other and engaging in the activities in workshop. I am so proud of them!

Not only are we writing poetry, but we are reading it too. Last week we talked about the rhyme and rhyme patterns in poetry, and the rhythm that poets create with syllables. This week we will talk more about how poets and authors think about where and how to put words on the page to make poems. Reading poetry has been especially fun because sometimes the poems are so silly. Last week we read a poem about boogers! Luckily none of the second graders were inspired to write their own poem  on that topic!

The second graders have also been wrapping up their Genius Time projects. We had lots of presentations last week and I anticipate lots more this Friday. Some of the topics were sewing, killer whales, Spanish and hurricanes!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

weekly update

This past Friday we had our second-to-last genius time. We had two presentations. One was about dolphins and one was about why leaves change color in the fall. They were both very interesting! Other students are researching and writing books about animals or famous people, a few are making Powerpoint-style presentations and a couple are studying foreign languages. One second grader researched how to make earrings and has been working on them during her genius time. It is fun to see what they second graders want to do when they have an hour to pursue their own interests!

This coming week is going to be our last full 5 day week! I can't tell you how nervous and excited that makes me! I'm nervous that we won't be able to get everything done, and excited that we have almost made it to the end of the school year!

We really are wrapping up almost everything this week! We will finish our informational books about Hudsonville on Monday or Tuesday, and then we will start writing poetry! Your child's final narrative writing piece will come home on Monday after we record the scores.

We took a quiz on Friday in our last math unit that will come home on Monday too. Next week we will do the last 3 lessons in this super-short unit and there will be a quiz towards the end of the week.

We finished some of our last social studies lessons last week too. The second graders did reader's theaters which centered on a community issue. Then everyone had to take a stand on the issue and decide how they would inform the community of the issue. We also read The Gian Jam Sandwich and talked about public issues and personal issues. It was fun to be able to tie in the mayors visit and real-life community issues with what we are learning in school. We have one or two more lessons next week and then we will take our last social studies assessment for the year.