It's finally starting to feel like fall. If you are in the building check out the list poems I mentioned last newsletter, the kids made a tissue paper fall tree to go with their poems. This week we also wrote (persuasive) letters to either Home Depot, the PTO, or Ms. Sjostrom to ask for donations of money or materials for our outdoor table/bench project. We read an informational text first to get ideas about good reasons for outdoor learning. As we read, we marked places in the text we thought were good reasons for an outdoor classroom with post-its so we could refer back to that evidence in the text when we wrote our letters. I have a feeling we'll be able to obtain the supplies we need.
I'm not sure when the materials will be delivered. We are working on a parent survey about any skills and time you might be able to provide. A parent from Mrs. Wilson's class will be in touch with you about that.
We have been learning about marking our thinking and using evidence from the text with stories put together by Jr. Great Books. Recently we read, Nail Soup which is a version of Stone Soup. We talked about who we thought was more dishonest, the old woman or the soldier. We had a great discussion. This lays the groundwork for Book Clubs. Later in the week we read another version of the story and then compared the two.
You should find two kinds of math problems coming home in most of the folders. One is a little more concrete than the other (the one that is more open is the "Legs in the barn/forest" problem. Right now we are working on figuring out what is being asked in the problem and then how we might show our math thinking so someone else could understand how we solved it. I find that the window for good fit numbers with second graders can be very small. If the numbers are too easy, they might not have to do the thinking I was hoping for and, conversely, if the numbers are too hard they might feel they are not good at math. When the numbers are good fit, it is easier for students to talk about what they did to solve a problem.
We started our math exchange work in the last few weeks. During math exchange I work with small groups. The goal is to have the kids talk with each other about how they solved a particular problem and hopefully they can "exchange" ideas about what they did and thereby learn new ways from each other. So far we've worked on a couple of problem types and we've focused on ways we might show our work. Many kids start second grade showing their work by "counting all." This means they make some sort of representation of all the objects in the problem. We'll work to find more efficient ways to solve.
Homework logs are in the folders. Please send them back on Monday. It's your option about whether to record what your kids did this past week. Hopefully with a couple of five-day weeks we'll be in more of a routine.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 18th: 2nd Graders to Lebanon Opera House to see "The Money Tree"
Thursday, October 19th: Picture Retake Day
Thursday, October 26th: Student Flu Clinic (permission forms in the folder)
Monday, October 30th Jr. Ranger Program (field trip permission form coming soon)
Tuesday, October 31st: Halloween (Parade starts at 1:30, snack following in the classroom)