Friday, September 15, 2017

Team Building

Today was our second annual team building day.  The students participated in a variety of activities that required teamwork.  Some of the activities included tug of war, stuffed animal relay, bean bag toss and our favorite, the parachute.

  The students even got to enjoy some time playing on our playground.

This week we started on our first week of Wonders.  Our essential question was "How do friends depend on each other?"  We read a story about a baby bird that was afraid to fly out of the nest and his friends offered to help him out.   We practiced visualizing while reading and drew some pictures.

We are off to a good start on our math program as well.  This week we focused on different strategies when doing math facts.  Remember that the student's homework will be assigned by me.  They should just do the problems that are assigned. 

Overall, it was a WONDERFUL first full week.  It was so great to see so many of you at back to school night last night.  I know what a busy time of the year it is for everyone and I appreciate that you took the time to come.  I look forward to working with you as well as your children.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Welcome Back!

Welcome students and parents to 2-Wells.  We had a great first week and I have enjoyed beginning to know the students.  I am looking forward to seeing you at Back to School night on Thursday, September 14.  Please keep in mind that there will be a new format this year.  You should have received a letter from Mrs. Gansert outlining the schedule for the night. 

Check the blog weekly for valuable information and to find out what great things are happening in 2-Wells.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Thank You!!

I just wanted to take this time to thank you, the parents, for a great school year.  A HUGE thank you as well for the great wooden sign for my classtoom.  I will always remember your children as I see it in my classroom.

This has been a great year and I have thoroughly enjoyed having your students in my class.  Have fun and enjoy your children this summer.  They grow up fast!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

What Do Plants Need to Grow?

Last week in science, we started a plant experiement.  We planted four plants: one with sun and with water, one with sun and no water, one with no sun and with water and one with no sun or water.  We have seen some interesting results.  Of course, the plant that is growing the best has both sun and water.  But we saw some other interesting developments.

We had some growth in the plants with no sun but with water, but the plant had no green color to it.  And we are noticing that the water is not evaporating enough into the soil since there is no sun to dry it out.  We did see some growth in the plant with no sun and no water.  We decided that the soil was still a little wet when we originally planted the seeds so that is why there was some growth...but guess what else was growing in that one,,,mold!  

We finished up our last unit in Wonders this week.  We read several poems and discussed the author's point of view of the subject of each poem.  Speaking of poems, we are also finishing up our unit on poetry in writing.  The students are busily trying to create a poetry book with a compilation of all the poems they have written during this unit.  

We started a new unit in math this week.  This unit focuses on plotting data and analyzing data from charts and graphs.  

Don't forget....Best of Heights Night is June 7.  I will be displaying our work on the UNLESS project in our classroom.  Come check it out!

Tonight is our annual talent show.  Good luck students!!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Check out our habitat slides!!

This week the second graders finished up a unit on habitats in science.  They learned all about a given habitat.  Then they made posters with the plants and animals in the habitat and then took that information and made a slide show presentation.  

Click here to see the presentation for 2-Wells and here to see 2-Taylor.

We also started a plant experiment.  The question we are trying to answer is:  Do plants need sunlight and water to grow?  The classes were divided into 4 groups and each group planted four plants using chia seeds.  As you can see from the pictures, we had 4 test areas: with sunlight and with water, with sunlight without water, without sunlight and with water and without sunlight and without water.  We also tried planting some seeds with a hydroponics system that was given to us by the zoo.

We will be journaling over the next week to see what happens...stay tuned.
With sunligh and with water
With sunlight and without water

Without sunlight and with water (yellow) without water (green)

Our hydrponics system

You have probably heard a lot of complaining this week about testing.  We did our spring MAP test for both reading and math.  The students (after much griping) all performed well on their tests.  Look for these score with their end of year report cards.  

Have a great holiday weekend.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Teamwork is Important!

This week our theme in reading was teamwork.  We read stories about astronauts and how the space station and how people need to work together in both places.  We practiced finding the main idea and writing a summary.  We also learned about how words have greek and latin origins.

We contiued with our poetry unit in writing.  This week we wrote poems using our senses, and wrote about small moments in our lives.

In science we went on a habitat hunt.  Students created habitats on paper and we hung them around our school and tried to identify each habitat.  Can you guess what some of them are?

This week we started our beloved second grade tradition of reading Charlotte's Web. The students and I have been doing "popcorn" reading and have enjoyed reading it so far.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Second Place!!!!

The second graders took second place in our age category of the UNLESS contest.  We were awarded a trophy and money for our school.

We visited the zoo as one of the finalists of the contest on Thursday.  We had a table set up on the Impala Lawn where the students shared information with zoo workers, parents, visitors and other participants of the contest.

After the project was displayed, the ceremony took place where the finalists were asked to come on stage and the winners were announced.  

I am so proud of the students and their hard work and dedication to this project.  Job well done!!!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Best Part of Me

We did a fun writing project this week.  We read a book called The Best Part of Me.  This book is written by children.  They write about a body part that they love and tell reasons why.  So, that's what we did.  Here are just a few:

We read myths this week in reading.  We practiced finding the theme, or message, of the story.  We also practiced finding the meaning of word using context clues.

We continued measuring this week in math.  Meters and centimeters were used to measure this week.  We will be having our measurement test next week.

In science, we continued learning about habitats.  The students are working on creating posters of the habitats they have been assigned by including many animals and plants that are found in their assigned habitat.

Our new water hydration station has finally been installed upstairs.  The second graders were so excited when they saw it today knowing they are the reason it's here.

Our trip is next week when we find out the winners of the UNLESS contest!!! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Rules are Important!

This week in reading our essential question was "Why are rules important?"  We read about the different rules that a town may have.  We also read about how and why our founding fathers created the Constitution.  We practiced the "cause and effect" skill.

In math we started a measuring unit.  We practiced measuring in inches, feet and yards.  We had a "Measure Thon" on Friday.  We used a puff ball and had four events, Blow, Toss, Flick and Kick.

We finished up our persuasive writing unit this week.  The students wrote letters to various people about a change they wanted to see made either in our town or our school.  Some of the topics included fixing potholes in the road, adding playground equipment to the athletic fields and bringing toys and games to school.  One brave student actually wrote to me asking for no homework!!

We also started a new unit in science this week as well, Relationships in Habitats.  The students were put into groups and given a habitat to research.  They will be creating a model of their habitat followed by a slide show in the upcoming weeks.

We had another great assembly this week thanks to our Home and School Association.  This one was from a wildlife rescue reserve.  We met Crogan the crow and an owl and a scary one-eyed hawk.  We learned the difference between a raptor and a non-raptor.  
Stay cool this weekend!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I am so excited to let you know that our second graders have been chosen as one of the finalists in the UNLESS contest.  We were notified via email last night by the Philadelphia Zoo.  We are invited back to the zoo on May 11th where the winners of the contest will be announced.

We are so proud of our students and the hard work and effort they put into this contest.  This was a great experience not only for the students but for the teachers as well.  We feel like they are winners already.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Peep Challenges!

Since we wrapped up our unit of Properties of Matter in science, we decided to do some fun STEM challenges.  Keeping with the Easter holiday spirit, the challenges we did involved Peeps.  The first challenge was to create a raft that would keep the Peep dry for the longest amount of time. The students worked together in groups to perform the challenge.
The Challenge

This peep stayed dry pretty long

We had a casualty

This peep stayed the driest the longest.

The second peep challenge of the week was to create a car for the peep to travel on the furthest.  

This one's wings helped it to move the farthest.

Happy Easter and have a fun, safe spring break!!
Moving animated picture bunny hopping easter eggs basket

Friday, April 7, 2017

Our Heroes

This week in reading our question was " What do heroes do?"  We discussed what the word hero meant to us and who we call our heroes.  We read about Diana Golden, a skier with one leg, and Rudy Garcia-Tolson, an paralympic athlete.  We practiced summarizing stories and sequencing stories.  This was a skill that many of the students struggled with.  You can help at home by asking your child to summarize a book/story that they have read at home.  Make sure they tell about the story in sequential order and in their own words.

We are continuing to subtract in math.  We learned different strategies but the regrouping strategy seems to be the favorite.  Then we also practiced explaining in words how we solved the problem.

In science this week, we learned about reversible changes.  We melted down crayons in a crock pot and "reversed" them back into a heart crayon.  Then we took an assessment on the Properties of Matter.  Next week, we will be doing a fun STEM challenge with Peeps!  Stay tuned.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Writing Reviews and Idioms

We have been working on writing reviews for the past couple of weeks.  Students brainstormed ideas about things they could reivew like movies, tv shows, restaurants, games and books.  They chose one of their reviews and published it on their chromebooks and made it into a book.

We also learned about idioms in reading this week.  We looked up some idioms on the internet and made our own idiom book.  Here are a few examples of our idioms...

This week in reading we also practiced finding point of view and summarizing.  We read stories about getting along with others.

In math, we took the Topic 10 test.  These will be coming home today for your review and signature.  We started Topic 11 which focuses on subtracting 3-digit numbers.

In science we learned about reversible and irreversible changes to matter.  Next week we will be doing a fun experiment to see how heat affects a certain solid.

As a fun writing assignment, we wrote a sequencing story about how to help the Easter bunny who was stuck in a hole.

Enjoy your weekend...hope for sunshine again.  🌞🌞

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What a crazy week!  Snow storm and inservice.  We squeezed in a fun writing activity for St. Patrick's Day.  The students pretended to be a leprechaun and wrote a story about hiding their pot of gold.  Some of the interesting hiding places were space, underground and even on Jupiter.

We read poems in reading and discussed the author's feelings about the subject of their poem. Also, we discussed how the poets use similes and repetition in the poems.

In science, we look at different odd looking tools and tried to figure out what their job was. The students analyzed each tool and looked at its material and shape to see how the tool might be used.

Friday, March 3, 2017

How are kids around the world different?

This week in reading we read about kids around the world.  We compared and contrasted things they do to things we do here in our country.  In China, they celebrate new years for 15 days instead of one.  There is a popular game played in our countries called cricket which is similar to our baseball.  The students took a reading test and overall they did GREAT!!  These will come home next week for you to review and sign.

We continued to practice place value and naming numbers in different ways.  We also skip counted by 5s, 10s and 100s.  Next week we will be comparing numbers.  We will be taking a math test toward the end of the week.

We started opinion writing this week.  We brainstormed ideas of things like games, movies, books, etc. that we would like to review.  Then we started writing reviews using an introduction, giving reasons and adding examples.

In celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday and keeping with our science unit, we read a book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck. We made some oobleck in class.  Then we debated whether the oobleck was a liquid or a solid.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2017

President's Day

This week in honor of President's Day, we did president reports.  The students picked a president's name and did research on that president.  Then the students wrote a hanger report about their president.
Gerald Ford
George Washington

Barack Obama

This week in reading we learned about different ways the earth changes.  This brought us back to science fromt earlier in the year when we learned about erosion and landforms.  We read about how the beach erodes and how earthquakes and volcanoes can change the earth quickly.  We practiced finding cause and effect and continued practicing how to write about our reading.

In math, we started a new unit on place value.  We used base-10 blocks to find and name numbers.  This skill is building us up to doing three and four-digit number adding and subtracting.  We played math games today to practice place value and clock skills.

We tested the viscosity in liquids in science.  We had 6 different liquids in glasses: water, olive oil, shampoo, corn syrup, maple syrup and glue.  We dropped a marble into each liquid and timed it with a stopwatch to see how long it took to get to the bottom.  Can you guess which liquid was the most viscous?  Ask your child to tell you.

Have a great weekend.  Enjoy this unseasonably warm weather.