Monday, November 27, 2017

Heading Toward December!

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!  Now that we're back, we'll be heading into exciting times.  In math, we will be beginning double digit subtraction.  This is one of my favorite things to teach. I have a rap we created last year to remind students how to do double digit subtraction using the expanded form. We will be wrapping up the science unit on weather, and as we continue to look at the what the author wants us to understand in reading, we will begin to compare and contrast the most important point presented by two texts on the same topic.  We will begin math interventions during team time, as well as, practice present skills and go deeper into concepts we are learning. 

Please ask your students what goals they are working on at school.  Many have a goal of reading a book every night (or 15 to 20 minutes) and sending in two written responses each week.  There is a celebration waiting for those who accomplish their goals plus the feeling of accomplishment having set a lifetime habit of being responsible.

The in-school science field trip is coming up.  Please send in the fees soon if you haven't already.  It's $24.00 for the year (3 lessons with a scientist) or $8.00 per session.  Thanks for making this possible for your children.  They really get excited about science!

Finally, in this time of giving, I can never repay you for the gift of sharing your children with me. Thank you.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Happy Fall, Everyone!
Welcome to our four students from Mrs. Whitman's class who will be with us for the entirety of second quarter.  Our class is beginning to find a bit of a rhythm and is settling down to work more independently.

Awards day for Quarter 1 is Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 3:05.  This is a small affair held in our classroom. If your child has won an award, you will have already received an individual Dojo informing you.  If your child isn't involved this quarter, he/she will be getting an award at at least one celebration.  Now for academics...

In Math, we are beginning to look closely at place value and the many different representations we can show of a number.  We have looked at the 100's chart, as well as the 200's chart and have found patterns and ways of counting, adding and subtracting.

In Literacy, we've been discussing what pictures and images add to our comprehension of a text.  We work daily on writing about what we comprehend.

Please continue to have your students read and write about it over track out.  It is the difference of being on grade level and above, or being below grade level.  I will send home a track-out packet of math review pages.

Thanks to those of you who came out for Open House.  The students enjoyed showing off their Leadership Notebooks!  We'll have more data in them as the year progresses.

Be on the lookout for a conference sheet sign up page coming home Wednesday.  Please pick 3 choices to help me with scheduling.  Conference day is Friday, Oct. 20, the workday before track-in.
Report cards will go home the Friday after we track back in.

Have a safe and happy track-out!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Welcome to life post-eclipse!  We watched numerous feeds across the country on NASA's live feed, some exciting, some not so exciting.  We saw the sky take on a different light, but we were very disappointed that it didn't get as dark as we expected.  The booklet we explored helped us understand a little more about the Earth's rotation around the sun and the moon's rotation around the Earth.

In academics this week we are reviewing mental math strategies for problem solving.  We have been practicing creating word problems, discussing their situation and matching equation, and then solving using a strategy.  We've practiced making a ten by taking enough from the other partner to make a ten and then adding the ones left over.  For example,  8 + 7 = ?  can be thought of as (8 + 2) + 5.  Flexibility in math thinking is important for a strong math background.  We also have been looking at equality as the "same value" on each side of the equation.  We practiced with number trains. We continue this week with partners, totals, missing partner, and missing total.

In Reading, we are asking and answering questions as we retell the beginning, middle and end of a story.  We are writing narratives using strategies.  We have begun to work in independent work stations that support the standards being taught while others have a guided reading group.  We are becoming independent workers who can synergize with others to promote higher comprehension.

Our Science Unit involves investigation of solids, liquids and gases.

Hope you have a great week!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting into Routine

As Week 2 gets underway, everyone is adjusting to new 2nd grade expectations and the new schedule.  We're all happy to know where we're going and when we get back!  I'm getting a handle on the double special days finally.

This week in Math, we continue looking at numbers as 10s and 1s using ten frames.  Last week, we compared the strategies of "counting all" and "counting on".  This week we have worked with the commutative property, noticing the partners in addition problems can trade places and still represent the same value.  Subatizing is a part of our daily routine where we learn that our brains recognize numbers in patterns faster than counting randomly ordered groups of ones (for example, dot patterns on dice). We've also added another "game" to our daily routine where students complete a circuit and earn a tens card.  They can count how many places they have moved by knowing how many tens cards they've earned plus how many ones their game piece is adding to the total.

In Literacy, we are taking a close look at using the beginning, middle and end as a way of retelling key details and story elements. We are also asking and answering questions as we read.  We've learned how to choose an activity from the Word Work station, Reading Comprehension station, Fluency station and Vocabulary station.  We are writing narratives, working on sentence structure, as well as paragraph structure.

Please note the Calendar tab at the top of the page is updated with important upcoming dates.

Welcome to homework and have a great week! : )

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Welcome to 2nd Grade!

I hope your child is having a successful week settling in to a new grade level.  From my viewpoint, everyone is trying hard to be proactive leaders and good friends.  I was able to pull most of you into our class on Dojo from the system.  There are four families that still need to connect and that information should come home to you on Wednesday.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Dojo, it is a system of fast communication from me to you and you to me.
You are able to see the Dojo points your child earns during the day. Occasionally, I will add points at the end of the day, but often they will be logged in during the day.  Students can use their points at the Otter Den, the school store, for purchasing small items or privileges such as helping a teacher for 15 minutes.  

Next, I want to address our schedule!  It is new and alternates from "A" days to "B" days.  One week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday follows the "A" day schedule and Tuesday, Thursday follows the "B" day schedule.  The following week, there are three "B" days and two "A" days.  It sounds confusing, but it is easier to do than explain.  I'll try to show you in the following chart:
"A"                                                                          "B"
8:45-9:15 - Arrival                                     8:45-9:15 - Arrival
9:15-9:25 - Morning Meeting                    9:15-9:25 - Morning Mtg.
9:25-10:25 - Math                                      9:25-10:25 - Math
10:30-10:55 - Lunch                                10:30-10:55 - Lunch
11:00-11:40 - First Special                       11:00-11:40 - Science
11:45-12:30 - Second Special                  11:45-12:30 - Writing
12:30-1:30 - Lang. Arts                           12:30-1:30 - Lang. Arts
1:30-1:55 - Recess                                     1:30-1:55 - Recess
2:00-3:10 - Lang. Arts                               2:00-3:10 - Lang. Arts
3:10-3:45 - Team Time                              3:10-3:45 - Team Time
3:45 - Dismissal                                         3:45 - Dismissal  

As you can see, the 11:00 - 12:30 slot is what changes from one day to the next.  On "A" days, we have 2 specials, on "B" days, we do not have specials at all.

Here is a list of our specials on "A" days and "B" days:


Week 1
M                                 W                                     F
Focus                           PE                                 Media
Art                               Focus                             PE

Week 2
T                                                          Th.
Music                                                  Art
Media                                                 Music   

All days with Specials are "A" days.  During a Week 1, you can see the specials we go to.  On Week 2, the "A" days are Tues. and Thurs.  The weeks will alternate all year.   I hope this helps you understand a little more clearly.  The students and I are already beginning to adjust to the new schedule. 

This week, we are making our class mission statement, setting our WIGS!, and applying for leadership roles in our classroom.  We are also practicing subatizing, break apart numbers and decomposing tens and ones in math.  In Lang. Arts, we are reading and describing the structure of the story by looking at what happens at the beginning, middle and at the end of the story. We took a pre-assessment in writing to see where we are with narratives.  We're learning all sorts of rules and procedures, but my main rule is "show respect in everything you do".  I'm happy to say this is a class who is working on being in charge of themselves and not giving up.  I'm excited about the new year!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Well, it's finally here!  Our class has had a year full of success!  I've seen some amazing growth, as well as, students beginning to take charge of themselves and their learning.  It has been such an honor to watch these children grow in leadership and responsibility. Report cards go home today, so be on the lookout for them.  If your child misses the last day, report cards can be picked up in the office during track-out. I wish you all a very happy summer break and a wonderful year in 3rd grade!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fourth Quarter is flying by!  We've had some impressive accomplishments. One of them is performing our rap at Leadership Day. The second grade was given the task of explaining Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind.  We wrote a rap entitled, "The End is Our Beginning".  They did a great job.  Here is a link to the performance.  When you click on it, you will have some choices.  You may need to click on show all.  Then, choose the video that has a picture of the red curtains closed.  We are after the Habit Chant, first grade and pre-K. It's about half-way through the video, but watching the entire video will give you a taste of the day. Go to 13:14 for our part.  bit.ly/lmesyoutube  Some of the best parts get cut off, but I'm so happy someone was able to record it!

Thursday, May 25, is our 2nd grade Music performance night from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  Students need to arrive by 6:15 and come to their classroom.  The second grade teachers will meet them there and take them to the gym when the time comes.  The dance portion is first.

Interims go home next Monday in Monday folders.  Be on the lookout for them.

Academically, we are learning about measurement using inches, feet, yards as well as centimeters and meters in Math.  In Reading, we are reading non-fiction books and comparing facts and looking at connections. In writing, we are working on opinion papers.  Science is full of the butterfly life cycle! Ask about our butterfly house!

Again, thank you so much for your wonderfully kind gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week, and sharing your amazing children. This is really a great class.