Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Break is Here!!

Wow!! This year is flying by.  Can you believe it's spring already?  If only the weather would begin to cooperate.

This was week 2 of our new Reading program.  The students are loving the new informational stories. This week we read about ways the Earth changes.  We learned about beach erosion, volcanoes, forest fires and earthquakes. We have been practicing using the reread strategy.  The students discovered, after taking a practice test, that they must go back into the text and reread to understand the material.  This is not a skill that they are used to, so if you are reading with them at home, have they try this.

The students have been doing exceptionally well on their spelling words.  Thank you for your help with the new homework.  They have been learning new vocabulary as well and have even used some of the words in everyday conversation.

In Math, we practiced place value using a paper book as a tool.  The students are getting better at identifying place value up to the ten-thousands place.  When we come back from break, we will have an assessment.  Then we only have two units left!!

We met with our Book Buddies again this week and they helped us make the Easter baskets.  In keeping with our second grade tradition we dyed Easter eggs this week, too.  The students got some goodies in their baskets and got to take home their eggs as well.

We are starting to prepare the classroom for Best of Heights Night on Tuesday, April 16.  Save the Date!!

I hope to see many of at Opening Day of baseball!  Have a great break and enjoy spending the time with your family!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Alaska & The Rain Forest

This week we started our new Reading program.  We read several stories about different regions of the world.  We learned about Alaska.  Did you know in the winter Alaska has more than 60 days of darkness and in the summer the sun doesn't set for more than 80 days?  We read about different types of rain forests and saw pictures of several animals that live there.  We will be studying rain forests in science when we come back from break.

We started writing a fictional story in Writing.  The students loved making up characters and telling a story.  We will continue to work on these stories in the coming week by revising and editing them and then hopefully typing them using our laptops.

You may have noticed from the homework, we practiced spelling words that have silent letters in them, such as wr, kn, gn, sc & mb.  We had a spelling test today and the students performed very well on it. 

In Math, we practiced using a calculator to enter money amounts.  We also practiced estimating money and counting change.  These are very beginning skills for second graders and also the most difficult.  You can help your child by having them try to figure out what your change is at a store.  Have them also estimate the cost of two items together.  The more they work on these skills the better they will become at them.

We finished up our Solids, Liquids and Gas unit this week.  After break we will begin our unit on Ecology beginning with our rain forest study.  In Social Studies, we continued discussing how communities change.  This week we focused on what happens to a community when things start to shut down and how it can them be built back up again. 

Please keep in mind that next week there are half days on Wednesday and Thursday for requested conferences and on Friday school is closed. 

Have a great weekend...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Despereaux & Leprechauns

This week the class earned a reward.  Since our reading "bed" was filled with monkeys, the class reward was to watch the movie, "The Tale of Despereaux."  The bed is filled when the students read a book and put a monkey on the bed with the title of the book.  The students were familiar with the story of Despereaux because the book was read to them by me.

In Writing we did one of my favorite activities of the year.  We wrote "How to Catch a Leprechaun in a Jar" stories.  The students are very inventive and use such things as gold coins, traps, shamrocks and one student even lured the leprechaun in the jar with Lucky Charms.  Great use of imagination!!  Look for these to be displayed on Best of Heights night.

This week we have been sharpening our money skills in Math.  We practiced writing money in dollars and cents notation.  We also practiced estimating to see if we had enough money to buy some groceries. 

In Social Studies, we started looking at how communities change.  Communities grow when more people move into them and then the community needs more things in it.  We created our own growing community called, Wellsville.

In Science, we are beginning to talk about the third state of matter, gas.  We had a quick experiment using baking soda, vinegar, a balloon and a water bottle.  The students were amazed to see that the gas from the baking soda and the vinegar was able to blow up the balloon.

Please look for the conference request form that will be coming home today.  If you would like to request a conference, please fill it out and return by Wednesday, March 20.  Also, just a reminder that Friday, March 22 is a half day for students.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

This week we celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday in several ways.

In Writing we read Oh, The Places You'll Go.  We then brainstormed all different types of occupations.  The students then chose which occupation they would like to be when they grow up. 

We also read Horton Hatches an Egg.  In this story, the momma bird Mayzie asks Horton the elephant to sit on her egg while she flies away and never comes back.  Then when the egg cracks, Mayzie tries to get the egg back.  We wrote a letter to Dr. Seuss telling him who we thought should get the egg.

In Science, in keeping with the Dr. Seuss theme and our solids and liquids unit, we made oobleck!!  Was it a solid or a liquid?? It was surely a mess, but we had a lot of fun playing with it.   You can make it at home with 2 parts corn starch to 1 part water (and a little green food coloring.)

In Reading, we continued with our money theme.  We practiced learned about the prefix un and the suffixes ful, ly, less & er.  We read stories and poems about money.  We then took a reading test on Friday.

 This week in Math, we learned about area.  We find area in second grade by counting the blocks on the inside of a figure.  We also learned about capacity.  To help us remember we created Gallon Man or Gallon Girl.  Pay special attention to the arms and legs.

Next week is our annual fundraiser, Jump Rope for Heart.  This is a great fundraiser for our school.  The students will be participating on Tuesday, March 12.  Please keep in mind that this is not our regular gym day so the students will have to be dressed properly in order to participate.  If you would be interested in volunteering, you can email me.

Have a nice weekend...

Friday, March 1, 2013

In Like a Lion....

Can you believe that it's March already.  In celebration of the new month and with the help of Mrs. Moran we decorated our door.

The students traced their hands to create the rainbow and wrote one reason why they are special on the gold coins.  It looks great!

This week we started a new Reading theme about that correlates directly to our Social Studies unit about money.  We learned some new vocabulary words.  Ask your child to explain how interest works... We read a folktale called Seeds of Fortune.  Then we started to discuss cause and effect.  The brothers in the book became lazy and spent all of their money.  The effect was that they ran out.

In Math this week, we practiced measuring.  We also started a Table of Equivalent Measures.  The students will be expected to know how many feet are in a many inches are in a foot and how many inches are in a yard.  They also should know how many centimeters are in a meter and decimeter. We also begun to explore perimeter.

We had some fun in writing this week.  We started our opinion/persuasion writing.  To practice opinion writing we had to decide which Hershey Kiss was our favorite.  We all got to try four different kinds of kisses and wrote our opinion and why one was the best.  The overall winner was Caramel.

Then for persuasive writing, we read a book called I Wanna Iguana.  In this book, the boy, Alex, tries to persuade his mother through letters that he should get an iguana for a pet.  We took this idea and the students wrote letter to their parents asking for various pets.  Some of the pets included a snake, an elephant, guinea pigs, a chinchilla and a lot of hamsters. You will get to see these at Best of Heights Night.

In Social Studies, in keeping with the money theme, we began discussing money and what a good shopper looks like.  We have talked about wants vs. needs.  In Science, we once again had some fun with our liquids.  We had "Drop Races."  Then we predicted which of the liquids would mix with water.  The students were surprised to see that oil and water did not mix.

Finally, we said goodbye this week to our wonderful classroom helper, Mrs. Moran.  We had a little surprise party for her this week.  We are so sad that she is leaving our classroom but are elated that she will now be our Art Teacher.  We wish her the very best and know she will do a fabulous job!!!

Have a great weekend...