Second Grade Readers not only ROLL UP THEIR SLEEVES and work hard at their reading but they also have many TRICKS UP THEIR SLEEVES to solve those TRICKY words! We are learning that just because a word might have the same vowel combination, like in the words bread and bead, they are not always pronounced the same. Then there are the words that are exactly the same, such as fixing, bug, and pill, but have different meanings based on the context. I am fixing the table. I am fixing my lunch.
It takes a lot of practice, concentration and strategies to figure out these tricky words. Speaking of words, we are on our way to building a bigger and brighter VOCABULARY. We will finally get the opportunity to start using those notebooks that were brought in at the beginning of the year. They will be filled with all the JUICY vocabulary we’ll be learning and practicing. The more we read, the bigger our vocabulary becomes! We can’t wait to get started!
One a penny, two a penny, three a penny, More. Four a penny, Five a penny, That’s a nickel more….
We’re learning all about coins and combinations. We’re studying the similarities and the differences of each coin to help us remember what they’re called and how much they’re worth. We’re learning how to add cents with our pennies and trade them in for other coins. It’s very exciting and grown up to learn about and handle REAL money. Next week we will spend some time "spending" money.
We’re arriving at the final bend of our narrative writing unit and everyone has worked so hard. We are learning that whenever we need some help with our writing, we can figure out where to find that help - any mentor text. Learning craft moves from our favorite master writers will be the best way to inspire each of us to keep our hands moving. Mentor texts are everywhere - inside our homes, schools and libraries. All you have to do is find one you enjoy, figure out why you enjoy it so much and how the author wrote it. When you go back to your writing, give it a shot!
We are slowly beginning to get our student bloggers up to speed. I will create a separate page called STUDENT BLOG which will include some pictures and a short description of something we did in class that the students chose to write about. Check back soon for some pictures and a few student blogs from the week!
We had a great time competing, learning and having fun with our new friends at our school-wide Fall Olympics at Warren School. From playing in the woods and potato sack hopping to noodle javelin throwing and tricycle racing, there was something for everyone. When we returned to school, we enjoyed spending time with our other second grade friends at GCS to study where we are in the world starting in our very own bedrooms all the way to our planet. The students will continue working on a booklet demonstrating this knowledge which they will bring home when they are complete.
Our writing unit continues to cover the study of Master Writers. Currently, we our 'stealing' Writing Moves from Jane Yolen. We searched for areas in Owl Moon that were powerful to us, figured out why they were powerful and then discovered how Jane Yolen was able to do this in her writing. Making comparisons, using our senses as well as strong action words are some examples of Writing Moves we are going to try out!
We are learning how to solve addition and subtraction story problems by following steps in our thinking - visualizing the story, figuring out what we need to know and what we already know, whether a number will be greater than or less than the original number and then figuring out the expression to write before we solve the problem. Learning a variety of strategies is an exciting part of second grade math. The students are working very hard at learning the most efficient strategies to solve problems.
Second grade readers understand that it is easy to read faster and faster and sometimes forget to pay attention. Therefore, we are practicing helping our reading partners to STOP, THINK and RETELL their story to check for understanding. We will continue with the idea of stopping during our reading to take notes on post-its because now that we are reading more and more, we have many thoughts and ideas to share!
I look forward to talking with all of you at conferences. Here is the link to sign up.
Enjoy your long weekend! Below are some highlights of our special day of making memories in beautiful Warren!
The students spent a lot of time this week acting as writing detectives. We searched our writing for missing periods, capital letters and other important punctuation. We also found areas in our writing where we could add more detail to help our writing come alive. Our writing partners helped us figure out the intent we have for our stories. A variety of some of our favorite stories were used as mentor texts (models) to help us figure out our intent. It can get overwhelming having to remember all of these important writing tips. Therefore, we worked on setting our own personal writing goals. Whether it’s improving our beginnings or endings or adding more transitional words, setting goals will help our writing muscles grow stronger and stronger everyday!
Telling time is one second grade math routine that will be worked on regularly throughout the school year. We have been setting a timer every hour on the hour and jotting down what activity we are engaged in when the timer rings. Continuing this activity at home would be a great way to extend this fun and important lesson. Also, the students received their next set of facts today in their folders.
**Remember, in order to be considered ‘fluent’ on the math facts, the students need to know the answer right away. If they still need to count up in their head or count on their fingers, keep working toward fluency! **
We practiced reading with partners and modeled appropriate second grade partner reading as well as inappropriate partner reading so we can remember what not to do. It’s easy to get distracted when we’re reading with a friend but the students did a wonderful job staying on task. We also worked hard at keeping tabs on our comprehension. It’s easy to start reading words faster and faster and forget to THINK about the story. One way to do this is by stopping at certain times during our reading and doing a comprehension check. This helps us stay on track.
We enjoyed time with Mrs. Miller, our Tech Teacher, this week. We continued learning about safe internet use and got to go on a virtual field trip to San Diego Zoo. Here is the link in case you’d like to explore the animals together with your child. They had a great time!
I also included this on our class page under Technology.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES TO NOTE:
Thursday, October, 6th - All school field trip to Warren School - Fall Olympics Please be sure your child is wearing sneakers and dressed appropriately for the weather!
Friday, October 7th - No School
Monday, October 10th - Columbus Day - no school
The pictures below show some of our friends partner reading, writing down our goals and posting them to our class chart!
Thank you to everyone who attended Open House and the Harvest Luncheon. The students were so happy to share their school day (and Kale) with you. It was so nice to see everyone!
Turning to Friends as Writing Mentors
We worked with our writing partners on zooming in on our Small Moment stories and stretching them out with lots of detail. We used Post-its to add onto parts of our stories to make them come alive!
Crafting Powerful Endings
We learned that there are a variety of ways to end our stories. We learned that it’s okay to change our endings, it’s okay to write our endings before we even finish the beginning and middle and it’s even okay to write our endings first. Some different ways to write endings include:
We are getting better and better at finding combinations in number strings. Some combinations include doubles (4+4), making tens(7+3) or combinations we might ‘just know’ (2+1). Please continue practicing these at home as often as possible. Having your child write his/her own number string is a great idea. Please encourage them to write out their thinking in solving the problems. The Common Core Standards require students to do this. At the end of each unit, the students will be assessed on what’s being taught.
We also had a lot of fun learning about calculators and trying to ‘beat it’ while figuring out the answers to our problems.
We are learning to set goals with our reading. We will try to read more and longer each day. One way to do this is by SCOOPING up snap words which will help us become more fluent with our reading.
Reading assessments are continuing and reading groups and strategy groups are in the process of being formed. My hope is that the concepts learned in class will be continued at home. This is the best way to ensure each child gets the most out of school.
Math worksheets that come home are to be used as reinforcement for the students. Please utilize them to your liking so that the review is FUN. I don’t want the children to do them just to return them. I’d rather have them stay at home to be used as review and so they can be excited to share their learning with you. Please encourage them to ‘explain’ to you how to do the work. Then change up the numbers and enjoy your math time together! If there are any questions about the math worksheets, please let me know.
The notice that went home yesterday explained the process for ordering books online. Our code is QG49W and the orders are due by next Friday, September 30th.
Enjoy some pictures below from our Harvest Luncheon Preparation. We harvested, sorted, washed and spun dry the Kale to make the delicious Kale Chips. Everyone did a great job working together!
What a wonderful job the Second Graders did on this first FULL week of school. Here are some of the highlights:
The students received their Tiny Topics Notepads and were very pleased with them. We read a variety of beautifully written narratives from some favorite Master Writers. We looked closely at the words the writers chose and why they are so meaningful and memorable. Some examples include, “He looked up, as if searching the stars, as if reading a map up there...” from Owl Moon written by Jane Yolen. Please remind your child of these beautiful quotes. We also learned that memorable and meaningful stories can be from an everyday moment. A Master Writer can tell a story about going to the grocery store and make it touch our hearts and minds. We decided that in order to be a better writer, we must live like a writer. That's where our Tiny Topics Notepads can help us. Ask your child about his/her notepad!
Today, each child had his/her own, unique seashell to study. The students pretended they had magnifying glasses to look for the tiniest detail they may not have noticed if they hadn’t taken the time to look for it. Instead of saying, “A shell is pretty” or “A shell is white,” the students worked at ‘looking’ closer and coming up with these beautiful descriptions. Some of them included:
“My shell looks and feels like glass.”
“My shell looks like a sunset.”
“My shell is smooth and rough at the same time.”
“My shell looks like it has two layers.”
After studying our shells, the students scurried off to their seats to WRITE their NARRATIVES using their imaginary magnifying glass in their brains to remember the small moment details. This is true Second Grade work. I’m so proud of their efforts!
Some new math vocabulary this week include the words analog clock, digital clock, expression, order and doubles. Some are review from First Grade but will be expanded upon. The students worked at reading word problems and writing a variety of equations. They figured out that the order in which equations are written does not change the answer. There are numerous math assessments that are required in Second Grade. I will be able to review the results with you during our Parent/Teacher Conferences in October.
Just as in First Grade, the Second Grade reading curriculum encourages the students to figure out HOW a book WANTS to be read by taking SNEAK PEEKS. Second Grade sneak peeks involve reading the title, the blurb on the back and the table of contents. Reading a story the way it WANTS to be read is a meaningful lesson for becoming better readers.
SCHOLASTIC BOOK ORDERS:
Today I sent home a scholastic book order form. They are due back next Friday, September 23r
Have a wonderful weekend!
The Second Graders worked very hard this week showing how much they’ve learned. We completed our STAR reading assessments and will do our math assessments next week. STAR is an online assessment tool which provides teachers with data showing where the students are and, most importantly, how instruction can be tailored for each child’s individual needs. They also completed a 45 minute writing prompt which is scored using a detailed writing rubric. Although it seems like a lot of testing, it is necessary in order for optimal teaching and learning to occur. The students displayed wonderful work habits as well as kind and courteous behavior while others finished the assessments. I’m very proud of their efforts.
We also continued practicing our routines and procedures which will assist us in being even greater workers than we already are. Much of the content thus far has been review from First Grade and practicing skills which we will build upon. Building stamina while Reading to Self is one such area. We learned why Reading to Self is so important - it makes us better readers and it’s fun! In order to be a successful and independent reader, a child should stay in one spot, read quietly, read the whole time, get started right away and build stamina overtime. If the students can do this successfully and seriously, then it will be that much easier to spend time with individual and/or small groups of students during our Reading Workshop.
We also completed our Class Promise. This includes being kind, working hard and being responsible, reasonable and respectful Second Graders. We talked about ways to be kind other than the obvious ways such as keeping our hands to ourselves and using nice words. One example we discussed was that we are here to help one another. If one of our friends forgets to do something, let’s help him or her in a quiet way without announcing it to the class. True kindness is thinking about others. This is an area that will be enforced daily through lots of practice.
Homework should not be a burden. It shouldn’t be something children or parents dread. Rather, it should be an open-ended extension of lessons taught throughout the day in the classroom. In order to maintain a positive approach to homework, the words we choose are paramount. Approach homework as something to be excited about rather than something that ‘has’ to get done. Our Second Grade homework policy will hopefully encourage this kind of mindset.
READING: Starting next week, the children will bring home reading folders with 2-3 books that they will choose with my guidance. If the students are reading chapter books, then he/she may only have 1 book. Included with the book(s) will be the same reading log the students use during class time. Once the log is filled up, a new one will be provided. Length of reading time does not need to be recorded - just the book the student reads. Independence and responsibility are strongly encouraged so that the students don’t feel like they ‘have’ to read but instead feel like they ‘want’ to read. Engaging in ‘book talk’ is a great motivator for the children and allows them to happily assume responsibility. Some examples of ‘book talk’ this week include the following: ‘model’ Read to Self, ‘model’ 3 ways to read a book as well as ‘how’ to read a book (happily, slowly, excitedly, etc). Asking THEM to model all of these second grade reading behaviors for you is what it’s all about! If they find it difficult, they’re not ready. Start small and build from there. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
MATH: The September math fluency assessment includes being able to add and subtract facts quickly and accurately. Therefore, math homework for the remainder of the month will be to practice these regularly with your child. If you and your child feel as though he/she is fluent, please let me know and I will give the assessment during class. Once a child becomes fluent, I will provide the next level of facts to practice. These facts will be sent home in your child’s folder on Monday.
Since homework is open-ended and dependent on the child’s willingness to work hard and practice, there will be no grading involved. I want the students to realize that, with hard work, they will be rewarded internally. Constantly rewarding students with stickers and prizes for doing things that are expected of them, will never hold much merit. I believe that natural consequences are the truest form of increasing initiative and independence. Second graders are capable of a lot and I am looking forward to discovering all they have to give.
LEXIA: I will send home Lexia sign in and password information next week. If your child already knows his/her sign in name and password and needs my email, it is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have included a new page called MATH. Please check it out for detailed information about the newly revised RSD6 Math Curriculum. Also, please be sure to click on Important Dates for upcoming events and happenings. Our annual BBQ Book Fest at WAMOGO will take place next Thursday, September 15 at 5:00. Everyone is invited to this FREE and FUN event and dinner. A dinner choice sign-up sheet was included in your child’s folder today. I hope to see you there!
Have a fun-filled weekend. Please know that I’m always available to answer any questions you may have. I’m having a wonderful time getting to know these sweet students and look forward to a spectacular year of SECOND GRADE ADVENTURES!
**Although the children’s individual portraits will be taken in the afternoon on Tuesday, our class picture will be at 9:05 so don’t be late! :)**
This week,the children enjoyed a popsicle and a read aloud from Mrs. Keilty.