Friday, May 31, 2013

We Are Winding Down...

Our countdown is still on...

As the year comes to a close, the second grade is still hard at work.  In math, we have reviewing skills.  We took our last math facts tests of the year. You will be getting the final record sheet to sign on Monday.  The students have progressed well throughout the year on their facts.  Please help them keep their "fact power" strong by practicing over the summer.

Next week, the students will be taking the final math assessment which will encompass the skills from the entire year.  I expect that they will do great on this test!!

We are still moving forward with our Wonders reading program.  This week our focus was about how people get along.  We read a story about a boy attending camp for the first time and girls on a soccer team that learned to work together.  We also read a funny story about a girl and her little brother called "Once Upon a Baby Brother".  We also read about a school that tried to stop bullying.  During these stories, we practiced summarizing and looking for point of view.

We learned about pronouns and how they are used.  Of course, we had to have a fun writing assignment too.  The students began by organizing their opinions about why they love summer.  Then they wrote a story about why they think summer is great.  We made them into...flip-flops!!

The students have been enjoying reading the story "Charlotte's Web" together.  We have just been introduced to Charlotte.  This is such a great book with an extra special message about friendship.

In social studies, we learned about how problems in a community can be solved.  We talked about our own community and what things we would like to see changed.  Our class thought a community swimming pool would be fun.  Me too!!

Just a quick reminder.....with the hot weather upon us, the students are inside and outside throughout the day.  Of course they must dress for the hot weather but please keep in mind that we run our air conditioner in the classroom.  Some students feel chilled and therefore like to have a sweatshirt or jacket kept in the classroom to put on when they get cold.

Enjoy this hot weekend!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Field Trip Fun


Our long awaited field trip was this week.  We attended The Academy of Natural Sciences.  Our first stop was my favorite, the butterfly room.

 After receiving instructions from our guide, we wandered into the butterfly room to find many, many butterflies fluttering around.  A few lucky students were able to get a butterfly to land on them.

Then we explored the museum to find many animals.  Of course you could probably guess my favorite.

Then we were off to the "Big Dig" where we tried our hand at becoming paleontologists.

Our last fun experience at the museum was "Outside In".  We got to pet a rat (eww!), a hissing cockroach and a diamondback terrapin.  

All in all, we had a great time.  I think the students enjoyed their time and it was a fun and educational experience.  

Friday, May 17, 2013


This week was testing week for our neighbors in third grade.  We "attempted" to stay quiet to help them to concentrate on their test.  Not an easy task for this bunch....but we tried our best.

This week we started a new unit in Reading.  Our big question this week was "What do good citizens do?'  We heard a story about "A Boy Named Martin."  This was the story of Martin Luther King as a boy and how he started to feel about segregation and what he decided to do about it as he grew up.  We also read a story about a boy named Wyatt who had to make a "Difficult Decision."  He found a GameMaster and after first thinking he should keep it, decided to look for the owner instead.  This made the owner very happy and made Wyatt a good citizen.

We finished up our poetry writing.  The students typed up the poems they wrote and created a poetry folder to keep them in.

In math, we reviewed more skills like multiplication and division facts and graphing.  Please review the multiplication facts with the fact triangles that were sent home.  Of course, review of addition and subtraction facts is always needed too.  We will be taking our final unit assessment next week.  Then it's review, review, review until the end of the year.

Probably the most exciting thing this week was starting something that's been a second grade tradition.......reading our favorite book.
 We have started reading the book together as a class.  We will continue to read it and complete many activities to go along with it.

Please remember that our field trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences is on Thursday.  Each student should come prepared that day with a bag lunch and a drink.  It is indoors so school clothes are appropriate attire.  It should be a fun day.  We always have a good time.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there.  I hope you have an enjoyable and peaceful day!!

This was the final week in our Wonders unit on "What make the world different."  We read a play together called "A Whale of a Story." The students were each assigned a part in the play.  The story was about a whale named Humphrey (most of the students had a difficult time with that name) who was stuck in a bay after getting separated from other whales.  We discussed the problem this caused and what solutions can be done to solved it.

We also did a research project.  Each student was assigned a different country from around the world.  Using our computer lab, they researched that country and found out things such as what the flag looks like, what foods they eat, where it is located and what games are played there.

Here is a copy of our book online (keep in mind that names have been left off for privacy reasons:

In math we are reviewing our skills.  We reviewed the calendar and practiced telling time.  We also practiced using a timeline.  The math test was taken on Monday will be sent home next week.  Keep in mind that the skills on this test are beginning skills and therefore you should not be disappointed to see some mistakes.  These skills will be continually taught over the next few years.

We finished up our unit in social studies about people who helped their communities.  Our next uit will be about leaders in a community and how we elect them.

We also used some of our afternoon time this week to make something special for someone special.... I hope you enjoy it!!  To end our week, we had a compliment party.  We received 20 compliments so therefore we watched one of my favorite movies, Mulan.  Good job class!!

Have a nice weekend....

Friday, May 3, 2013

YAY....It's May!

I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by.  We have been counting down the days on our classroom door.  35 more days!!

This week our "big" question in reading was... "What excites us about nature?"  We read several poems about nature such as "April Rain Song", "Helicopters", "Snow Shape", "In the Sky.", and others.  We used clues from the poems to find the theme.  We discussed several features of the poems as well.  We looked for similes and repetition.

The students also wrote several poems of their own.  They used their imagination and their "poet's eyes" and came up with some interesting poems.  We looked at several poems and how the author used lines breaks in them.  We even had a visit from Mrs. Gansert who listened to several of the poems and was very impressed with the creativity.  Great job!!

One of the things that excited us about this nature this week was finishing our model rainforest.  We created the trees and the layers of the forest last week.  This week our class and Mrs. Taylor's class added the animals.  Mrs. Moran had the students create the butterflies and macaws in art class as well.  You can almost hear the sounds of the rainforest when you walk down the hall.

In math we have been doing a lot of multiplication and division practice.  We done number stories involving multiplication and division.  We also have practiced with fact triangles. Fact triangles were sent home this week as homework.  Spending just a few minutes everyday going over the fact triangles will not only help your child in the future but also boost their confidence in math.

In social studies this week, we looked at several communities from long ago that had a problem.  In Chicago over a hundred years ago children had to play in the street.  A woman named Jane Adams thought this was a problem so she rented a house and turned it into a recreational center for children.  She was also responsible for building the first playground there.  These were the types of problems we talked about and the students tried to come up with ways to solve the problems.

Next week the 5th graders (our book buddies) will be taking the NJ Ask test.  Since the theme of the month is EFFORT, we made cards for our book buddies.  We wished them luck and encouragement.

Once again, this week as a special thank you for viewing my blog, I have attached some special passes.  To print the passes, click here.  

Have a great weekend...