Friday, May 30, 2014

Use Your Imagination!

This week in reading our essential question was "Where can your imagination take you?"  We read several poems about using your imagination.  Give Me a Brown Box was about a girl that just wanted a brown box and she could use her imagination to make it into different things like a barn or a castle.  We practiced summarizing and looking for the author's point of view.

In math, we began to review all of the skills we learned throughout the year.  We went all the way back to Unit 1.  The students were amazed at how easy those early skills were now that they are almost finished second grade.

We continued to read Charlotte's Web.  Wilbur is beginning to feel lonely on the farm.  We are just about to be introduced to a special character that will become a close friend to Wilbur.  We did some fun activities to go along with the book including drawing everything in Zuckerman's farm.

Most of the students have finished publishing their personal narratives.  These will be graded using a rubric.

As a fun writing activity today, we made a "Dive into Summer" story.  The students chose three different activities they would like to do this summer.  Then they wrote it into a story.  The finished product will look something like this.

3 more weeks to go...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

We never thought summer would actually get here after this winter, but Memorial Day is upon us so there is no denying it now.  With the end of the school year approaching we need to remember there is still some work to do in second grade.

In honor of Memorial Day, we created a book about what the day represents and what it means to us.

This week in math, we finished up our last unit.  You should have seen the last unit test come home and have signed and returned it.  This was a review of the skills that have been taught this year.  We will continue to review skills over the next few weeks.  Some of the skills that we will work on are time, money, addition/subtraction, reading and creating graphs and practice multiplication facts.

In reading our essential question was "How do we use money?"  We read several stories about money and how money came about and how money has changed through the years.  In our small groups, we read a book about how to be a smart shopper.  Don't be surprised if your child asks you if you are using a coupon the next time you go shopping.  We focused on looking for the problem and the solution in a story, continued to summarize and practiced finding paragraph clues to define more difficult words.

The students are busily trying to publish their latest personal narratives.  They are beginning to illustrate and create covers for them.  They will be given a grade based on a rubric that we have gone over several times.  This is good practice for them for the future when they will be graded from a rubric.

This week we started one of my favorite books of all time.

We will be reading this book together as a group and doing many activities, including keeping a journal.  If you are familiar with the book, this can be a great discussion piece at home.  If you are not, I encourage you to read it as it is a great family story.

Have a nice weekend...

Friday, May 16, 2014

MAP Testing is back...

This week we finished our last MAP testing for the year.  The results of the test show that the students are making good progress and are showing growth.  I was very pleased with how serious the students were taking the test and how hard they tried. Great job 2-Wells!

Our reading theme this week was teamwork.  We read several stories about how teamwork was important.  The students learnded about the International Space Station.  We read about a 13 year-old boy who climbed Mount Everest. We even read an Astronaut Handbook that told us the steps that need to be taken to become an astronaut. We did a lot of practice finding the main idea of these stories.  We also practiced summarizing them as well.

This week began our yearly review in math.  This week we started with reviewing the calendar.  We discussed leap year.  We also learned the "30 Days Has September" song. We even recorded a "rap" video of our version of the song. (If you would like to see a copy of the video, please email me and I will send you a copy as I do not like to put the students' faces on my blog.) In our spare time, we continue to practice our facts, addition/subtraction and multiplication.

We began writing personal narratives in writing.  The students brainstormed ideas of stories they wanted to write about.  Then they chose their topic and began writing.  We also reviewed a writing rubric with an ice cream cone.  The rubric used a sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top to show what a high writing grade would look like and a melty ice cream cone to show a what a low writing grade would look like.  Using that visual helped the students to understand what the expectations were when they write.

As a reward for receiving compliments and working hard on the MAP testing, today we watched...

... and ate some popcorn, too!  

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

I would like to wish a very Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there.  I can tell you that the students speak very fondly about their mothers.  They are so excited to bring you a special gift that was handmade by them.  I hope you all have a special day.

This week we learned all about energy.  Our essential question was "How do we use energy?"  We read about how we get energy from the sun, wind and even the ocean.  We read about turbines and how their energy waters farms and powers cities.  We read about windmills and how they pump water and how dams produce energy from the water.

In math, we finished our last major unit of new material.  We focused on mulitplication and started practicing facts.  Next week we will begin reviewing many of the skills that were taught throughout the school year.

We finished up our rainforest unit.  As part of this unit we collaborated with our fantastic art teacher, Mrs. Moran.  The students made colorful macaws in art class.  They are now flying gracefully in our hallway.

For our writing unit, we finished up our rainforest animal research paper.  The students researched their animal on the internet and wrote the information on a report.  They drew a picture of their animal to include with their report.  They will be sharing their reports with the other second grade class next week.

Just a quick note....please keep in mind that as the weather gets warmer we will be running the a/c in the classroom.  It tends to get cold in the classroom when it runs but very hot when it doesn't.  It is a good idea to send in a light jacket/sweatshirt with your child to put on if it gets cold in the room.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hello May :)

The school year is flying by.  Our class countdown has us at 35 days left of school.  Over the next few weeks, we will be reviewing many of the skills we learned this year and getting prepared for third grade.

Our essential question this week was "What do myths help us understand?"  We read myths about the bluebell flower and the fir tree.  In our small groups, we read stories about Greek gods.  We practiced finding the theme of the story.  We also reviewed how to reread a story to answer questions.

The students were introduced to multiplication this week.  This is just an introduction as they will be expected to learn their multiplication facts in third grade.  We really want the students to master their addition and subtraction facts this year so we continue to practice them as well.

This week in science we continued to learn about the rainforest.  We learned that the rainforest has four layers.  The students started making a model poster of the rainforest.  These will include some of the animals that live in each layer as well.

The students also started doing research on a rainforest animal for writing.  Each student in second grade was assigned a different animal.  We used our computer lab this week to reasearch the animal and its habitat, description and other interesting facts.  Next week, the students will use that information to write a report about their animal.

Today we had a special assembly to cheer on the students about to take the state test.  There were some fun surprises and we had a lot of fun.  We also wrote letters to our sixth grade "book buddies" to wish them well. Good can do it!!

Have a nice weekend.