Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Today is my favorite day of the year.  The school is filled with ghosts and goblins (and a lot of Anas and Elsas).  We are looking forward to our annual Halloween parade and party.

This week we had our final math assessment on Unit 1.  Overall, the class performed very well. Things to practice at home are skip counting and saying numbers.  We will be moving on to practicing our math facts.  The new unit begins with addition facts.  Please keep in mind that every night when math homework is sent home there should be a sheet of classwork with it.  The homework is almost identical to the classwork so therefore it should be helpful in figuring out the homework.

We also started a new unit in reading all about animals.  This week we focused on how animals adapt to survive.  We read stories about several animals and the different ways in which they adapt.  Did you know meerkats burrow in tunnels to stay cool in the warmer temperatures?

We went to the computer lab and we researched three facts about an animal that helps it adapt.  Then the students each created a poster about their animal.

This week in science the students were given a challenge to create a roller coaster with our runways and marbles.  The students were asked to create hills and loops in their roller coaster.  The students had a great time and were all able to complete the challenge.  They began to figure out how high the beginning of the roller should have been and how to manipulate the runway to achieve their goal.

In social studies we continued working on our map unit.  We began using a map grid and coordinates. We also discussed a compass rose and its purpose.

Lastly, this week we had a JDRF assembly about juvenile diabetes.  This is a fundraiser we have done successfully over the past few years and are excited again to be a part of it.  Of course the best part is the teacher dances that follow our fund drive.  The dances have yet to be announced but I am sure we will a sight to see as always.  Remember to send in change for the students to add to the jars!!!

Hang is there......

Friday, October 24, 2014

What is your best Halloween costume?

This week the second graders started opinion writing.  They were given the topic of "Best Halloween Costume" and "Best Halloween Candy."  Each student was required to support their opinion with four reasons. There were some interesting costumes with some great drawings.  I think the overall winner for candy was Reese Peanut Butter Cups (that's mine too).

We reviewed in reading this week to prepare for the Unit Assessment that was given over two days, Thursday and Friday.  The students were asked to read a story and answer several question both muliple choice and short answer.  Next week we will start a new unit in reading with a focus on animals.

We also finished our first unit in math about Place Value.  We will be reivewing on Monday the skills we have been learning and have an assessment on Tueday. Then we will be starting on our next unit which focuses on math facts, addition and subtraction.  

In social studies, we started learning about maps.  Mrs, Selby, our computer teacher, came into our classroom and showed us all about Google maps.  She even played a fun game where the students had to trace a route on a map on the smartboard.  

To continue with the motion portion of our science unit, the students were given ramps and cups. The students were given challenges:  like the park the car challenge.  This is where they had to roll the cup down the ramp and make in park itself under the ramp.  The entire class was able to complete this challenge.  Good job, class!!

Our preschool teacher, Ms. Waddell, asked for our help this week in creating a school wide pumpkin patch.  The students were asked to make a glyph pumpkin.  This is where they create their pumpkin based on how they answer certain questions.  For example, if they were going trick-or-treating this year, their pumpkin should have two vines.  They had a lot of fun making them and each one is unique.

Have a great fall weekend.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Who Is That?

This week the students got to dress up the teacher.  We brainstormed some ideas of what would be a good costume for me.  They had to dress me up in a costume and tell why they thought I should wear that costume this Halloween.

We had a really fun assembly this week.  This assembly was about setting goals and achieving them. The "Hoop Wizard" Jack Ryan came and showed off his awesome basketball skills.  He told the students how he kept believing in himself and went on to achieve his goal to become a great basketball spinner.

This week our essential question was "What happens when families work together?"  We read several stories about how families can work together.  The stories we read were all expository text.  This means they give us information and include text features.  

In math, we practiced skip counting.  We looked for patterns when counting by 5s and by 10s.  We took our first math assessment today.  Overall, the students performed very well on them.  Look for them next week in homework folders to sign and return.  

We had a guidance lesson today from Mrs. Fletcher.  She came in and discussed RESPECT with the students.  She talked about respecting others, property, environment and most importantly yourself.  

In social studies, we began our unit on maps.  The students had a fun treasure hunt in the classroom.  At first, they were given a task to find the treasure with no direction.  After searching unsuccessfully, they were given a map of the classroom and had to find the treasure based on it.  Of course, with the map the treasure was easily found by all.  In science, we started looking at a new motion...rolling.  The students were given a ramp and wheels and an axle and told to make it roll down the ramp.

For a short week...we sure were busy.  Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Week of Respect

This was the Week of Respect.  We started off the week with "Band against bullying."  Every student and all faculty and staff received a red bracelet so we all could come together as a school community and treat each other with respect.

To go along with the respect week theme, we read a story called "The Ugly Pumpkin."  The pumpkin in the story does not look like the rest of the pumpkins and is not treated fairly because of it.  In the end, the pumpkin realized that he was not a pumpkin at all.  That, in fact, he was a squash.  We discussed how it feels when you get "squashed."  The students wrote about a time when they felt squashed and then they created their own ugly pumpkins.

This week our essential question was "How do we care for animals?"  We discussed our pets and how we care for them.  We learned about the different kinds of veterinarians.  We read a story about how a girl became friends with a rhino.  Our focus is spelling was long a words and short a and we did a lot of practice making words with these sounds.  We also learned to identify root words that have inflected endings like -ed and -ing.  

In math this week we started something new.  We started using more technology in our math lessons.  We concentrated this week on numbers and different ways to read and write numbers.  We learned how to write numbers in expanded form and word form.  Next week we will be practicing counting by ones, fives and tens.

We finished up our unit on the three communities today.  We did a survey of which community the students would to choose to live in and the winner was...suburban.  In science, we discussed the motion of spinning.  We tested this motion by creating twirly birds.  We took our twirly birds outside to identify which force helps our twirly birds fly.

Lastly, we had a special visitor to our classroom this week named Shadow.  Shadow is a bat who flies around and plays at night with his twin brother (also named Shadow) in the other second grade class.  He's been leaving us letters everyday.  The students have been practicing their letter writing by writing letters back to Shadow.  
Here's Shadow hanging from our ceiling fan. 

Don't forget...there is no school on Monday.  Have a great long weekend.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thank You For Coming to Back to School Night!

Thank you to all of the parents who attended Back to School Night.  It was great to see so many parents and to know that you take a special interest in your child's education.  I hope you were able to gain valuable information about our classroom.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me any time.

This week our essential question was "How can a pet be an important friend?"  One of our stories was about a boy who had a goldfish as a pet but wished he had a different pet.  Norman, his pet goldfish, couldn't do the fun things other pets could do.  He even brings him in for show and tell but no one is paying attention to him because another pet, a snake, gets loose in the classroom  In the end, he begins to realize what a great pet he has in Norman.

This week in math we started working on number stories with addition.  We did a lot of practice reading number stories and solving them using different methods and different diagrams.  Of course, we continue to practice math facts!!

In social studies we continued to talk about the three types of communities, rural, urban, and suburban.

 In science this week, we made designs on our tops and watched what happened when we spun them.  Then we made zoomers!  You can make them at home with some string or yarn and cardboard disks.

To continue with our letter writing unit, we wrote letters to the other second grade class.  Let's hope they write back!!!!

Have a great weekend...