Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Spring!

Spring rolled in with a bang and a threatened snowstorm.  Lucky for us, we escaped the snow.  Next week is our long awaited spring break. This is a chance for everyone to get refreshed and to return to school ready to finish out the school year with greatness.

Our focus this week in reading was "What do good citizens do?"  One of the stories we read about was called "A Difficult Decision."  The students really relate to this realistic fiction story.  It is about two boys who while playing at the park come across a hand-held video game.  The boy who finds it thinks he should keep it using the old adage "finders keepers, losers weepers."  The other boy thinks that he should not.  In the end, the boys find the rightful owner and return the game and realize that is what a good citizen would do.

In preparation for the upcoming Easter holiday, we did some fun activities.  We did a writing piece about what would happen if the Easter Bunny was sick.

We also dyed easter eggs and made easter bags in the hopes of receiving some goodies.

We started a math unit on Time this week.  The students should be able to tell time to the nearest five minutes by the end of the unit.  Then we will be moving on to money.  For those should who have a hard time counting by 5's and 10's , this unit may prove to be a bit difficult.  Please practice these skills and even coin recognition with your children.  

We are finishing up our Properties of Matter unit this week in science.  You should have seen a study guide come home this week.  The next unit we will start after our break is Plants and Animals and Their Habitats.  

As always, enjoy your time together as a family.  Have a great break!!

Friday, March 11, 2016

I'll Huff and I'll Puff...

This week in science the students were given "The Three Little Pigs House Design Challenge."  We watched a short video of The Three Little Pigs story and discussed the materials and their properties that the pigs used to build their houses and why the wolf could easily blow down the straw and stick homes.  The students were placed in groups and the groups were given either straw (drinking straws), sticks (craft sticks) and bricks (marshmallows) to build their house.  The houses had to be able to withstand the wolf (our school nurse's hair dryer) blowing on it for 30 seconds.

The results were:  the stick house lost a few shingles off the top but held its ground, the straw house got blown away, and the brick house was blown a little off its foundation but was able to hold together.

This week in reading and writing we focused on things in nature and how they excite us.  We read several poems about nature like snow, rain, giant trees and meadows.  We took a nature walk around school to find ideas in nature that would inspire writing some poems of our own.  The students enjoyed the freedom or poetry writing and are excited to make their poems into a book of their own.

In math, we practiced adding three digit numbers with regrouping and then began subtracting three digit numbers as well.  Next week, we will be practicing subtraction with regrouping with three digit numbers along with subtracting across zeroes.  

Mrs. Taylor has been teaching the students about land, air and water pollution in social studies.  They are learning about the consequences of the pollution and how it affects people and animals.

With the nice weather this week, we took some time out of our busy second grade schedule to enjoy our new playground.  

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

This week in celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday we read the book Oh, the Places You'll Go.

We had an interesting discussion about our futures.  The students were then asked to write about what they would like to be when they grow up.  They first listed their strengths and different occupations they would be interested in.  Then using the strengths they listed, they were asked to pick an occupation that would be best for them.  We had a few video game makers, a teacher, a fasion designer, a police officer and even a teacher.  Then they wrote their story on a balloon which is now displayed in the classroom.

"How can we understand nature?" was our essential quesiton this week.  We read several folktales that tried to explain why things in nature have happened.  My favorite is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bird and how they try to help Sun find a way to warn people about impending storms.  In the end, Mrs. Bird lays her eggs so loudly that it creates a "thunder" sound. Mr. Bird tries to catch them before they fall out of the sky and flies so quickly that sparks, or lightning, come out of his tail feathers.  

This week the students took a math test on the length unit.  Overall, the students did very well.  These will be sent home next week for your review and signature.  We started our new unit; Three Digit Addition and Subtraction.  We began rather simply by adding with no regrouping.  Next week, we will begin regouping with addition and subtraction.  

In social studies, Mrs. Taylor started a new unit about natural resources.  The students were given a task of survival in a natural habitat.  They had to figure out how to gather food, create a shelter and clothing with just the resources in the natural habitat.  

The students were given different tasks in science as well.  They were given three different scenerios: design a house, design a playground or create an animal.  In each of the tasks, they needed to decide which materials would be best suited for the purpose.  The animals that were created had body parts such as spikes, horns, turtle shells, and camouflage skin to protect them from predators.  Some of the materials used for the playground and houses were brick, metal, plastic (for swing seats), glass (for windows) and wood.  The designs and ideas were very creative.  Good job, second grade!