Friday, September 26, 2014

Families Around the World

This week our essential question in reading was "How are families around the world the same and different?"  We read and talked about different cultures and different traditions in these cultures. One of our stories was about a boy named Tommy who was having dinner at his friend, Alejandro's, house.  He was nervous about eating there because he knew his family was from a different country and they may serve food that he had not eaten before.  In the end, Tommy learned some new words and ate some yummy new food.

We have been doing a lot of number practice in math.  We reviewed the number grid, counting and finding number patterns.  We played some fun math games on Friday to help improve math skills.

In writing, the students wrote stories about my favorite time of the year, fall.  They will be illustrating these next week and will be displayed on Back to School night.

We finished up our unit on balance in science by making fall mobiles.  The students had to balance their leaves onto a straw to create the mobiles.

We started talking about the three types of communities in social studies.  Today we read a Scholastic News article about them as well.  Next week, we will be focusing on each community separately and what ways there are to live, work and play in each one.

Monkey around this weekend in the nice weather.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friends Depend on Each Other

This week our essential question in reading was "How do friends depend on each other?"

We read several stories about how friends help each other out.  One of the stories we read was about Lucy, a new kid, who meets a girl named Jade.  Jade helps Lucy adjust to the new school by introducing the class to Lucy's pet parrot, George.

The class came together at the end of the week to make posters about friends depending on each other.  They worked together in a group and drew some pictures of themselves and wrote how they depended on a friend.

In math, we have been practicing facts and number sense.  We have been counting by 5s and 10s. We practiced math using math boxes and played some fun math games.  

We finished up our first unit in social studies about communities.  You will see the first assessment come home.  Students had to identify a place to live, work and play.  In science, we practiced balancing several different objects using what we know about counterweights.

The students are practicing writing narratives.  This week the topic was "My First Day of School."  I found it interesting that a lot of the students were impressed by the fact that when they came into the classroom for the first time, there was a name tag on their desk. Next week, we will be focusing on adding more details to their writing.

I taught the students some fun attention grabbers this week.  These are fun sayings that I say when I want to get the students' attention. They are still working on remembering them. You could probably try them at home for fun too.

Go Bananas this weekend!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

We survived the first week...

The first week is always the hardest.  The students are still learning the new routines and rules of the classroom.  One of the first things we did this week was form our groups.  The students are seated in groups and give themselves a name.  Each day the groups can earn points by following directions.  At the end of the month, the group with the most points will win "Lunch with the Teacher."  I will provide lunch and we will eat together in the classroom.  This is a special time where I get to sit and converse with the students on a more casual basis.  It is always a big hit with the students.

So far the "Homeworks" group is in the lead but the other two groups are close behind.

This week in math we concentrated on adding to ten.  We use ten frame cards and even created rekenreks.  What is a rekenrek?  Here is a photo of one of the rekenreks we created.

It is a great tool to help the students visualize adding to 10 and to 20.  We will be continuing to use these to practice our math facts.  The students also took their first math facts timed test today.  Please do not be alarmed when they are sent home and you see their initial score.  This year they are required to complete 100 problems (both addition and subtraction) in 7 minutes.  We will be doing a lot of practice throughout the year and you will be surprised to see how much they will progress by June.  

In reading, we started off reading a fable, The Lion and the Mouse.  We practiced retelling the story and asking and answering questions.  Then we read "Meet the Artists", an expository text, about some special second grade students with special talents.  

We also practiced our vowel sounds this week.  We did hand signals to help us remember what each short vowel sound was.  We did a lot of white board practice with spelling words.

Next week you will start to see spelling words as well as homework come home.  Also, there will be a grammar worksheet as well.

In social studies, we started our unit on communities.  We focused on how people live, work and play in a community.  Balance and motion is our unit in science that we began this week as well.  Ask your child how they balanced a crayfish on their finger.

On Thursday we had a special assembly from "Safe Routes to School."  The speaker discussed the correct way to wear a helmet when bike riding and how to cross the street safely.

Today we had our kick off the new school year assembly.  We learned that our school goal this year is that everyone in the school will be creating goals and will be working to achieve them,  Our class came up with our goal.  

Our goal is to keep all the monkeys on green or purple.  So far so good,  

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of my new students and their families to 2-Wells.  I assure you this will be a fun and exciting year.  We had a really great morning with a few fun acitivities and a lot of information. I'm betting that some of the students were ready for a well deserved nap after our first day.

I look forward to meeting all of the students families on Back to School night on Thursday, October 3rd. At that time you will be able to get a glimpse of the classroom and learn about what the students will be doing throughout the year.

Here is preview of the classroom:

Today we read my favorite book for the first day of school called First Day Jitters.

We discussed what things make us nervous about coming to school today.  The students shared their thoughts on what they thought their teacher would be like, too.  To try to get the jitters out, we had some jitter juice.

Then we discussed class rules and consequences.  The class together developed our class rules.  They are:

1.  RESPECT your class and your teacher.
2.  Raise your hand.
3.  Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself.
4.  Listen and follow directions.
5.  Try your best.
6.  Keep the classroom clean.

All of the students signed the poster and pledged to follow the rules.  We talked about our monkey tree and how all of the monkey want to stay in the "green" leaves.  I will explain at back to school in more detail.

Lastly, the students did a "I'm a Super Second Grader" poster.  These gave me some information and helped me to get to know the students a little better.

I hope you all have a pleasant weekend and I'm looking forward to our first full week of school.