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.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Winter, no Spring, no Winter!  Oh my! At least I know it's St. Patrick's Day!  I haven't been sick in years, but I'm sorry to say I was very sick with the stomach virus, followed by a tremendous cold. I'm on the mend now so I hope to be on top of things from here to the end of the year!

We had a great in-school field trip about Sound where the students did hands on experiments and got to take home some "gak". If you haven't paid the $8.00 for the field trip then it's probably my fault for being sick and forgetting to send the reminder home last week.  You can still pay if you haven't and I would be most thankful. (Don't worry. I'll send a reminder in the Monday folder if you haven't paid.)

Next week is our last week before trackout.  Homework is optional next week.  Many of you have asked for more homework to enrich or intervene for your child. I will send a few things home next week, but in Quarter 4, there will be more choices.

Academically, we are completing our Quarter 3 units.  We finished up our exciting unit of Economics in Social Studies with a bang! The projects were great! Our Science test is coming up the first of next week on sound.  Ask your child about sound waves.  We are also finishing our unit on triple digit subtraction.  In Literacy, we've been comparing and contrasting different versions of the same fairy tale and now different texts about the same non-fiction topic.  To prepare for the math test, ask your child to compare and contrast two strategies for solving three digit subtraction problems.  Also, we are writing poetry. I love this unit! Can't wait for them to publish their finished products.

Leadership Day is coming up in May. The 2nd Grade is in charge of presenting Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind.  Our class has been asked to create and perform a rap about Habit 2.  We have written a rough draft and are making final changes.  Exciting times!

I hope you and your family stay well and warm. Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hello Everyone!  Hope you are enjoying this early spring weather. Thanks so much to those of you who came out for students led conferences.  The students were so excited!  

I want to remind you of the information that went home earlier this quarter about the Economics Fair.  I've been reminding students for some time, but I want to give you a head's up that the items they have made are due to be brought in on Thursday so they will be here by Friday.  That gives them an extra day to bring them in if they forget. They need about 20 items which they have designed to sell (for fake money that students have earned).  We will rotate to all classrooms to view and buy their products as well.  We will discuss how much money they made, who sold the most items, and did they need to put their products on sale at the end of the fair. Supply and demand, producers and consumers are topics we have discussed.  Their assessment will be writing about their experiences and understanding of terms on Monday.  

Next week is Literacy Week!  Everyday is a dress up day.  A paper went home explaining each day.  Check the school website if you loose the paper.  I'll update later.  

We are working on arrays in math, comparing different versions of fairy tales in reading, writing realistic fiction stories and economics in Social Studies, and we will begin our unit on sound for Science next week.  Our next Science in house field trip will be Mar. 15.  

Have a great week!