Friday, December 8, 2017

Elf Antics

Our class has been invaded by an elf.  We named him Elfie.  He has been pretty naughty.  He made a nice and naughty list and all of the students were on the nice list and I was on the naughty list. Lately he's been in a war with the Grinch.  Look what happened today....

That's the Grinch under the basket
This week in reading we have been talking about animals and why people love them.  We have read several poems about animals and discussed how the authors expressed their feelings about the animals in their poetry.  

In math, we are learning different strategies to help with subtracting.  Like addition, we will learn many different strategies that we would like the students to know and eventually they will be able to choose the strategy they like the best and use that one when subtracting.

An elf also visited Mrs. Taylor's class and is traveling around the world and reporting back to the class about different Christmas traditions from different countries.  This week the elf traveled to Germany and told the students about the tannebaum.  The students created one of their own.

Have a great weekend.  I hear we may be getting snow.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Animal Habitats

This week our essential question was "What are the features of different animal habitats?"  We read all about the coral reef and the many animals that live there.  We also read about the life of a sea turtle.  Did you know that a female sea turtle will go back to the beach where she was hatched to lay her eggs when she is an adult?

We finally learned how to do the "old fashion" way to do addition.  Keep in mind that we use different terminology when adding. Instead of saying "carry the one", we now say "regroup one into the tens." 

We are finishing up our Earth systems unit in science.  We will be moving on to working on the UNLESS contest for the zoo.  If you are interested to learn more about the contest you can go to this link...Philadelphia Zoo UNLESS contest
You may recognize someone in the video.  Last year, our second grade class came in 2nd place in our category.

We read a book this week called The Ugly Pumpkin.  The book is about a pumpkin that looked different from the other pumpkins and was left out.  It turns out in the end that he is actually a squash and is welcomed by the other squash.  We wrote about a time when we felt squashed and then designed our own ugly pumpkins.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Giant Pumpkin

This week the Giant Pumpkin came out for gym class.  This is one of my personal favorite gym games so I decided to participate, even in the punishments when one of my teammates threw the ball overhand instead of underhand...

Our essential question this week was "How do animals survive?"  We read about meerkats and how they have adapted to their environment.  We also read about sled dogs and how they perform in the snow.  We practiced making predictions and finding the plot by identifying the beginning, middle and end of the story.  

We started writing a new personal narrative.  We began by choosing topics by thinking of things that cause strong emotions for us.  Then we started to plan the narrative by using an organizer.  I shared a scary personal narrative of my own.

In math, we continued to learn different strategies to add two-digit numbers.  We will be having a test next week on Topic 3.

We are continuing to learn about erosion is science.  This week we used sand castles again as our model of a landform.  We demonstrated wind erosion by blowing on our landform with a straw.  The students were able to relate the model to what happens in the real world.

Next week is our annual Halloween parade.  Keep in mind that this year the party and the parade have flip-flopped.  The parties will take place first and then the parade will commence at 2:30.  

See you there.....Image result for halloween gif

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bat Week

Image result for bat gif

It's bat week in second grade.  We learned all about bats this week.  We gathered information from several books from the library and then we wrote reports.  Did you know that there are 900 different kinds of bats?

Here are our bat reports...just in time for Halloween. 

In math we started learning new strategies for adding two-digit numbers.  We learned using a hundred chart, open number line and the break apart strategy.  Please keep in mind that it is expected that the students learn each strategy.  But, eventually we want them to choose the one that works best for them. 

During science this week we learned about weathering and erosion.  We even learned a fun song to help us remember what they mean.  We did a fun experiment to show how water erodes the beach.  Ask you child about what models we used this week to help us with our experiments.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fire Prevention Week

Today was our visit to the firehouse for Fire Prevention Week.  First, Mrs. Sherm showed us the ambulance and taught us what to do if we were hurt.  We got to go into the ambulance, too!! Then Ms. Farrell taught us what to do if we were in a fire.  Did you know that if you were in a house on fire you should touch the door with the back of your hand to check if it is hot?  That way you won't burn your hand in case you have to crawl to safety. 

We took our second math test this week.  This test focused on making arrays (equal groups) to help us solve math problems.  Next week, we will start adding within 100.  We will be learning several ways to add including an open number line.

In reading our essential question was "What happens when families work together?"  We read about families that work together by sharing chores, working jobs, and selling goods.  We practiced asking and answering questions and finding key details. 

We had a visitor named Shadow to our classroom this week.  He taught us the correct way to write friendly letter. 
Our friend Shadow

Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fossil Digging

Today was our fossil dig at Edelman Fossil Park.  First, we learned about different animal fossils that were discovered in the area.  Then, we learned about how fossils are formed.  Then, it was time to go into the quarry and dig for fossils ourselves.

This week in reading we read about how we care for animals.  We read a Pepper the horse and how Jack takes care of him every day by feeding him and grooming him and letting him get exercise.  We also read a story about a girl named Tiva that had a pet rhino.

We started a new unit in math with even and odd numbers and using arrays to add.  This is a short unit, therefore, we will be taking another math assessment next week.  

We finished up our first writing narrative story after learning about the writing process.  Next week, we will practice letter writing when a special visitor comes to our class. 

In science we took our landform quiz.  The students did very well on the quiz.  Good job second graders!!  Then we started our landform models.

Have a great weekend!! Don't forget, Monday is a holiday...NO SCHOOL!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pets are Friends

This week our essential question in reading was How Can a Pet Be an Important Friend?  We read a story about a boy that got a new dog named Cal.  We also read a story about a boy who got a pet fish and at first he did not like him as a pet.  But, by the end of the story, Norman, the fish, turned out to be a good friend to him.

In science, we continued learning about landforms.  Check out my Instagram page to see our Yakits we made.  We will be having a quiz next week about landforms.  Remember to study.

We wrote about being a scarecrow last week and made scarecrows that we hung in the hallway.

This week we started planning for our first narrative story.  We will start drafting and revising next week and hopefully have our first narrative writing piece done soon.

We took our first math assessment today.  Next week we will be starting a new topic about even and odd numbers and using arrays.

Have a great weekend.

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