Wednesday- This crew kicked it up a notch with Math! I am amazed at how they take each task in stride and ‘take care of business.’ Readers warmed up with phonics and reviewed the guidelines for selecting good fit books. Reading to teachers holds all accountable for taking the time to read the words how they want to be read. We are also taking time to STOP and think about what we are reading! We welcomed another Spring Creek Hawk to our class to travel to lunch and specials with us in the coming weeks. After Library, students composed thank you letters to Mrs. Ford for her wonderful presentation yesterday. Paying attention to placement of capitals and end marks is a focus right now. Many are doing very neat printing already! We finished up our day recording caterpillar facts which we’ve learned through our observations.
Tuesday- We started the day thinking in doubles, halves, odd and even and about how these terms relate to one another. Students built numbers on their number rack and practice proving whether they were odd or even numbers. Work Places are so pleasant in this classroom as students pair up and play games to strengthen math skills. During reading time, we learned that 2nd grade readers read more and more. Students read to Mrs. Williamson or myself and also discussed choosing good fit books. We began reading The Constitution in honor of Constitution Day. Maybe your child will recall that the constitution was written over 200 years ago! There’s little action in our monarch habitats right now, but Mrs. Ford, our Master Gardener, livened up our afternoon with her presentation on all things monarch / butterflies. Actually, she taught us a new word to represent all moths and butterflies: Lepidoptera. She, along with the assistance of her grandson, Owen, also showed us how to identify male and female butterflies. She kindly led the 2nd grade classes at SCE to name and release four butterflies. In a surprising twist, students were given the opportunity to feel the butterfly feet on their finger. Ask them what the butterfly was doing! (Tasting!) Our Number Corner time is falling into place with student leaders heading up the routines as they collect 60 minutes each day, determine numbers odd or even, practice saying and writing the date and many other skills. STEM seems to be a day many anticipate and this class is good about staying on the ‘Day Cycle’ and recalling each special class. The kids earned another star ticket today and are making quite a great name for themselves! This was part of our social studies discussion this afternoon as we really enjoyed celebrating all the great citizenship and friend behaviors in our classroom! Thank you for all you do, families! All the time you spend rearing these young people is really making our days together enjoyable!
Monday - Hard to believe it’s week 4 already! Routine is in place with students recalling AM procedures with few reminders. We returned today with caterpillars still munching, two new hanging J’s and chrysalides showing signs of change. Mathematicians thought about doubles and showed examples of doubles. They talked about how this relates to halves and shared ideas. Our latest Work Place game is a hit and students were eager to get started! Ask your child what game they’re enjoying at Work Places to learn more. Readers are reading more and more each week. We talk about the importance of selecting books that challenge us, but still allow us to comprehend the text. It is sometimes tempting for kids to get books just because they’re ‘big’ and this class also has an appetite for some ‘dessert books.’ (Dessert books = books that are really easy books for them/not challenging them to grow as a reader.) Of course, all books are welcome at free reading times, but during instructional time, good fits are a necessity. After our time with Mrs. Johnson in Art, we read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and considered how she comes up with ideas to write books. Kids thought about their day(s) and jotted memorable details or ideas for their ‘small moments’ in their tiny tablets. New Number Corner leaders took over tasks to lead the class. We’re noticing patterns, counting by decade numbers, practicing using the analog clock and becoming more familiar with AM and PM times. Finally, we finished the day brushing up on R-E-S-P-E-C-T as we joined the characters of Popcorn Park for a fun video on respect.
Fun Friday- Everyone’s on the ball with AM routine, checking the board for their jobs as soon as they enter! After sharing activities they’re looking forward to this weekend, they challenged me to a game of Count and COmpare Twos. (Yes, they won despite my best efforts.) Readers shared their interests on a special survey, enjoyed a book with Dr. D., and, of course, read. This top-notch class earned ANOTHER STAR ticket. . .and this time they actually fooled me into believing that they did not. Their painted-on sad faces really had me believing they’d broken their streak! The afternoon was extra fun as authors shared favorite pieces of their writing and had their first experience with REFLEX math. Ask them about it to learn more. Finally, we got into place for an all-school picture and enjoyed the extra recess they’ve earned. Have a great weekend!
Thursday - We are now 17 students strong in room 153! This class is making me feel like one fortunate teacher. They’re really starting to get into the groove of our routines and becoming more focused on their tasks. During math we learned & played a new game called Make the Sum. It’s fun to see the fun kids are having together while applying their math skills! We have a lot of good sports and kind kids in our class which makes these game times extra enjoyable. Readers used good fit books to build stamina and practiced taking sneak peek at their books to find clues about how the book wants to be read. Mrs. Komlenic returned the class after music with a nice compliment about their time together. Writers heard the story Sincerely Yours, about writing their own letters, then dove into writing. The entire class was able to watch a caterpillar transform into its chrysalis on the big screen & a few moved their bodies in imitation of the caterpillars motion. Science time is tough to top these days, with so much happening in our Monarch habitats! Dr. D. stopped by to announce that in addition to an all school picture at 2:00pm tomorrow, everyone has a chance to earn extra recess. This class is up to the challenge and I have NO doubt they'll earn it!! Thanks for sending me your best!
Wednesday - Students arrived, signed up for lunch, and checked out the caterpillars and chrysalides. Several noticed there was a chrysalis with a black line. We found 2 or 3 new chrysalides today. We also found another hanging J! Everyone logged onto laptops and completed math MAP! These kids are amazing with their technology!! After a few minutes to move in the dance circle, students choose book bins or epic reading with others read to me. Library time is reported by Maddie to be 'great!' We learned about writing friendly letters and children wrote to people they know and deserve letters. (<--in Ava's words) Then, we wrote equations for odd and even numbers. Fia reports this to be fun! Mrs. Gilligan arrived and told us we will be welcoming a new student tomorrow. The class came up with terrific ideas on how we can make our new friend feel welcome. Studnets wondered about, then figured out the boy to girl ratio in our class. Love this crew!
Tuesday- Your children began this 'Day 1' by greeting our caterpillars and wathing them chow down on the juicy green milkweed that Mrs. Darlington has supplied! We’ve been waiting and hoping to see some hanging J’s or green chrysalides soon and after a focused morning with our first Reading MAP, we had an unbelievable surprise!! In the midst of Math, Robby spotted a chrysalis on. . .the bottom of one of our spinning chairs! I’m sure your children will tell the tale of how we suspect this happened. Needless to say, it has made for quite an exciting time in our class! Kids eagerly inspected other nooks and crannies in the room to check for more escapees. Who knows, maybe we’ll have butterflies emerging from mysterious places in a couple of weeks . . .After STEM (where the class earned another STAR ticket), we found that another of our caterpillars had transformed into a chrysalis. We enjoyed watching the final wiggles on the big screen as kids jotted stories about our caterpillar adventures & other engaging topics. Number Corner is now student-led for most of the session. Today, moving our bodies into horizontal and vertical positions helped us to identify and name two different number lines. Students counted decade numbers to 100 and then added another decade on our class number line. They’re getting quite good at collecting 60 minutes a day. Any time spent looking at analog clocks or talking with your kids about AM and PM will help support this learning. Finally, we finished our day by selecting new seats and reflecting on the ‘glows and grows’ of our day. I, for one, am feeling grateful for this class of 16 pleasant, second grade students!
Monday- Everyone kicked off the morning seatwork time as many finished work from Friday. They observed our caterpillars, which are not too active, but still eating and growing. We’re still observing, asking, wondering,recording. . . and eagerly awaiting their transformation to the next stage! Mathematicians learned a new game, Count and Compare Fives and practiced subitizing for fast totals of 10. Literacy time found students reading good fit books, reading with me, and recording complete thoughts about the changes in our caterpillar habitat. Recess was a welcome time to share and play with friends, though a few are still working on getting to line in a timely manner once the whistle is blown so we’ll have plenty of time for lunch. Mrs. Johnson returned the class to me with ANOTHER all-class STAR ticket! They are really getting a reputation for this and that is something to be proud of for all! Later, students studied the calendar grid, noting equations for the number depicted on today’s card. We added the first century to our number line! Writers did the work of 2nd grade authors, getting started quickly and writing right away! Finally, we observed real time and time lapse videos of two monarch caterpillars transforming into chrysalides. This will prep us for watching for those tiny details when our eventually go to the hanging J stage. It never seems to get old, watching and wondering, when we see this transformation! Tomorrow, we’ll kick of the day with technology as students log on to MAP for Reading. Having a good night’s sleep and good fuel for breakfast will help them be at their best, just like any other day!
Friday- 9/6 The day was full with Mrs. Heim at the helm. Playing Flash Attack, working at Math Work Places, making discoveries in Scholastic News, independent reading, & Houdini the Amazing Caterpillar filled our morning. After lunch, Mrs. Constable led the class in PE. Students later enjoyed coming up with imaginative story ideas about fictional caterpillars. Finally, second graders worked on using complete sentences as they recorded scientific observations and completed drawings of the caterpillars! They paid special attention to the size, color and detail to accurately record observations. (Thanks to Mrs. Darlington for the special, juicy, green milkweed for our little critters!)
Thursday - It was great to see so many of you at Back to School Night! There’s a refreshing sense of community in the classroom and those who weren’t able to attend enjoyed getting updates from their classmates. Morning work included opening up Chromebooks to explore tools, watch a video about MAP, and even try some practice questions like the ones they’ll see on the site for our 2nd grade Measures of Academic Progress. We got a close up view of our caterpillars, identifying and counting different parts of their bodies. A review of our schedule and morning gathering were the perfect start before moving onto Math where students built their own number racks and began showing efficient ways to represent numbers within 20. Readers nestled into cozy spots to enjoy their good fit books while Mrs. Williamson and I conducted 1:1 check-ins. Number Corner gave us a closer look at the pattern shaping up on our September calendar and students are taking the lead with jobs to become more familiar with the analog clock, corresponding digital times, and representing the date using numbers and abbreviations. Writers embrace the opportunity to tell their stories! Finally, we watched a few close-up video clips of monarch caterpillars hatching from their eggs and munching leaves in real time! Students reviewed expectations for STAR behavior in 2nd grade and confirmed their desire to make good choices!
Wednesday - BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT OPEN HOUSE TONIGHT FROM 6 - 7 PM.
Tuesday - We finally got a look at our caterpillars in person after the long weekend! They certainly have grown over the past three days, and we were eager to see them moving about. This week 2nd graders will be asked to take greater responsibility for doing their morning jobs independently and everyone is getting better at recalling the routine. Nearly every student has been remembering his or her folder daily! Math time was spent learning about bar graphs and picture graphs, then creating one of our own. We worked on strengthening our language skills with some fun, active word work. Readers identified and practiced great Read to Self habits as others began meeting with myself and Mrs. Williamson to assess sight words and phonemic awareness. Our first Fire Drill went smoothly, with students taking great responsibility for their role in our community. After lunch & STEM, students had a chance to read with Mrs. Allen or Mr. Rockey and also worked on writing. Finally, we finished our day observing our caterpillars and recording changes. Ask your child what TOOL they used to get a closer look. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing some student work tomorrow evening!
Monday- Happy Labor Day!
Friday- What a first week! The class has earned 5 all-class STAR tickets in the first week of school. Good citizenship is shining more brightly with each day. We kicked off the morning sharing our weekend plans, then moved onto math, using Venn Diagrams to categorize our beetles. Readers reviewed Good Fit books, and how to make those selections. We also learned that 2nd grade readers don’t just choose what to read, but also how to read. Students practiced in pairs, demonstrating their ability to make their own choice, based on the text and their interpretation of it. After recess, lunch and Art, students were eager to get to writing. We peeked at two mentor text and considered how these authors may have come up with such ideas. Second graders also have story ideas and can choose to tell meaningful stories that people are interested in reading! We’re just beginning to learn how to use the sort of moves language to tell our stories in ways that are more powerful. Scientists observed caterpillars and recorded scientific details to share some information which they collected. Have a great weekend with your family and friends and I’ll look forward to seeing your children and our caterpillars next week!
Thursday 8/29 We continue to get to know one another and practice being a part of a larger learning community. Mathematicians choose Work Places to apply their skills to various tasks using unifix cubes, geoboards, tiles, and pattern blocks. S.T.A.R. lessons for playground, cafe, hallway, bathroom and even buses filled much of our morning as we explored our new school with all of 2nd grade. After lunch, Mrs. Constable led our class in their first P.E. class of the year. We continued to talk about and practice ‘thinking like scientists.’ Partners observed rocks and used specific words to describe characteristics. Mr. Ferguson surprised us with a plant teeming with tiny caterpillars. This led to great discussion on what students already know and what they’d like to learn about caterpillars. Later, writers practiced penmanship as they labeled the parts of a caterpillar. Most were surprised to learn that there are three different categories of ‘legs’ on these little critters. Students created an August calendar to record our caterpillars’ events in the coming weeks. This helps establish our Number Corner routine as we familiarize ourselves with the calendar.
PS There was a spectacular turnout of friends remembering their green folders on this first day already!
Wednesday 8/28 - We continue to establish routines on this 3rd day. Students have already gotten the hang of many routines like: signing up for lunch, unpacking backpacks and folders and bringing all needed materials into the room upon arrival. Today, everyone received a green communication folder which they’ll use to transport important items to and from school. (Students should soon be responsible for independently collecting mail things at the end of the day and ALSO for sharing them with an adult at home.) During Math, we began classifying by generating appropriate categories in which to place our beetle glyphs. Next, we practice our Work Place routine for Math time. Kids did this flawlessly. Having this down-pat allows us to maximize our time for learning each day! Ask your child what they explored during Work Place time to learn more. Readers learned that they don’t just choose what to read, but also how to read. They were eager to get their hands on some books from our class library and nestled into spots to read without any prompting at all! They only stopped when I insisted they needed to take their recess break. Writers thought about things they may enjoy writing about and jotted them in their tiny tablets before continuing their first narrative writing. Finally, we also enjoyed the The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss and talked about the author’s purpose and the message. Ask your child to hear all about their first Music class!
Tuesday 8/27 - We warmed up our minds and hands creating with Play-Doh. Students were thoughtful in teaching us something about themselves with their handy work! After Library time, students enjoyed some reading time before calling on all their first grade skill for writing. They began demonstrating what they are able to do as writers, recording visions or goals for themselves and also began telling a true story about a time in their lives. Kids are beginning to settle in a bit. For many, this means more positive learning, sharing, exploring and living! For some it means they’re testing limits and may need reminders for making positive choices. We continued to build our community by reading a portion of the Energy Bus for Kids. We discussed the message and how it relates to our lives. These students think deeply and are quick to make connections! By the way, this class is VERY responsible for knowing their travel routine and for keeping track of where they go, weather it be a regular routine or adjusting to planned or impromptu change in routine. That’s nothing to sneeze at for kids of 7 & 8 years, and I know that all comes from home. Thank you!
Monday 8/26 - Welcome to our Room 153 Week in a Wink! This is the place to get a glimpse of what’s happening from day to day in our classroom. We had a great first day in our new school! Students are displaying good manners, kind friend behaviors and simply using many STAR behaviors all through the day. We have 16 children in our class. Today, we took a tour of our new building and learned about some daily routines before taking time to share our names. It was wonderful to see how all of the students in our class enjoyed visiting with one another at our arrival gathering in the gymnasium. We’ll do this one more time tomorrow! Students established some guidelines to help make our learning environment a comfortable place for all. Of course, everyone must do their part here! Parents have already set the foundation; it’s easy to see that you’ve already instilled very valuable traits in your children that are essential to positive community! Thank you! Students learned a bit about each other in our class meeting. Then they used hieroglyphics to share some important facts about themselves, which we will later decipher during math time. This class earn their first all class S.T.A.R. ticket today and have made a nice first impression! Thank you for sending me your children ready to learn and play in a positive community where we support and encourage one another. I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.