Friday, September 30, 2016

Gaining Momentum

 Welcome to the Blog!!!  Our newest second grade teacher, Karen Wilson, showed me how to set up a blog.  It seems like a better way to get newsletters to you and to have a place where you can go to get information you need.  Please bear with me as I set up the blog and figure out how to best take advantage of it.
In Language Arts we covered a variety of ground this week.  We talked about what authors write about and where they get ideas.  We continued work on spelling and understanding syllable types.  So far we’ve learned/reviewed open syllables, closed syllables, and silent e syllables.  Jason was our silent e, so ask your child what would happen when Jason showed up.
We also talked about connections we might have when we read.  We reread My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco and made a list of connections and then talked about which ones really help us understand, remember, and enjoy what we read.
For math this week we continued to practice stations—learning how to be independent during this time.  We learned about the +2 and “friendly tens” fact strategies.  We mapped out all the strategies on our Foundational Math Facts poster.  We saw that out of 121 addition facts we will learn strategies for 117 of them.
Friday afternoon we are planning to go into the forest to make observations.  We’ve talked about how scientists and authors need to be careful observers.  Each student will bring one object back to the classroom and then do some writing and illustrating with that object.
I’m looking forward to meeting with you on Thursday night!

A few dates for your calendar:
Monday, October 3rd  Me Collage due
Monday, October 3rd  Reading & Math Log Due
Thursday, October 6th 5-6 pm.  Parent Information Night/Open House  This will be a night for you and your second grader. Please make other arrangements for siblings.  Students start in the music room, parents start in the classroom.
Friday, October 7th is an in-service day for teachers so there is no school.
Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day and is also a no school day.
Enjoy the weekend,

Mrs. Whaley

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Working Toward Independence


     We’ve made some good progress with classroom routines this week.  As a grade level we are noticing a larger than usual range of abilities.  We ask for patience as we work to find good fit work and ways to support each student.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice reading and counting and skip counting at home.  The more automatic these skills become, the more brain energy your child will have for other more complex areas of learning.

We have introduced a variety of math stations.  We talked about how to be independent during math and what it looks like to do math the whole time.  We have a game called “Drop It” that students can bring home for counting and skip counting.  Your child should know how to play, but I’ll post the rules on the web-site some time this weekend.

     In Language Arts we started a “Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall” list poem.  We’ve worked hard this week on long and short vowel sounds.  This is much easier for some that it is for others.  We continue to work on stamina for Read to Self.  Today we learned about making good use of Read to Someone time.  This is an opportunity for students to share a book together and take turns reading out loud.  Emphasis is on fluency and checking for understanding.

     Today, Friday, We had STEM class (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  We began by reading a wonderful story called “The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires.  In this story, a girl attempts to build the most magnificent thing, but encounters failure after failure.  We talked about the author’s message, and came to the conclusion that the author was teaching us about trying over and over even when we fail. A good lesson for us all. We followed up by giving the students a STEM challenge with 20 coffee stirrers,  a yard of tape, a yard of string, and a marshmallow.  Mrs. Whaley’s class also did this last week and spent this week refining their designs and improving their teamwork skills.  Ask your child about it.

A few dates for your calendar:
Monday, September 26th  First Reading/Math Log due date
Monday, September 26th  Dot Day  Wear dots!
Monday, October 3rd  Me Collage due (can come in earlier)
Thursday, October 6th 5-6 pm.  Parent Information Night/Open House  This will be a night for you and your second grader. Please make other arrangements for siblings.
Friday, October 7th is an in-service day for teachers so there is no school.
Monday, October 10th is Columbus Day and is also a no school day.

Have a great weekend,
Mrs. Whaley & Mrs. Richardson