Friday, September 29, 2017

September went Fast!!!

     It was so great to see so many of you at the Open House/Parent Information Night on Wednesday.  The homework logs are in the folders.  You will keep track of reading and math practice next week and the log is due Tuesday, October 10th.  Normally it will be due on Mondays, but is Tuesday the first time due to the holiday.  In the future I will assign the math practice, this week counting and skip-counting my only suggestion.  It is especially helpful to skip count backwards!  We spend so much time skip-counting forward and then we wonder why kids have a harder time with subtraction.  Second graders are expected to be able to skip count forward and backward by 2s, 5s, 10s, & 100s, and 10s & 100s from any number within 1000.
     In Language Arts we did more work on narrative writing and then tried out a list poem about fall.  We also read a story called, The Rich Man and the Shoemaker.  After our first reading we talked about what surprised us and what words were repeated (worry, happy, singing).  After reading the story again we discussed why the Shoemaker would give back the gold that the Rich Man had given him.  This is the groundwork for comprehension work and book clubs.  Your kids are doing a great job noticing what is going on in a story and thinking about the characters' motivations.  It was a fun discussion! 
     I'm adding some pictures to the blog in science.
A few lot of dates:
Monday, October 2nd:  Me Collages are due (I will post the information I sent home on the blog.)
Wednesday, October 4th:  Walk and Bike to school day
Friday, October 6th:  No school, Teacher In-service Day
Monday, October 9th:  No school, Columbus Day
Tuesday, October 10th:  First Reading/Math Log due date
Friday, October 13th:  PTO Dance, 6 pm
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 will come home closer to the date)

Tuesday, October 31st:  Halloween Parade 1:30 pm Snack in the room to follow, parents are invited (Jacki Smith will be in touch regarding volunteers for the snack.)  (Jacki I'll get you the information this weekend.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

First Five Day Week

Our first whole week completed!  We have a couple things coming home in the folder this week.  There is a permission form for a show at the Lebanon Opera House in October.  (Oops this didn't make it in!)

The second item coming home in the folders is the Judy Moody Me Collage Homework information.  The Me Collage is due Monday, October 2nd.  Feel free to send it in earlier if it is finished.

We have had some amazing work and reading times this week in school.  The third day that we practiced "Read to Self," the kids read for 15 minutes!  It might not sound like a lot, but consider that it was 19 students on task for 15 minutes--no one got up, no one was talking with the person next to them.  I was blown away!  I love the sound and feel of productive hum in the classroom and we've already had a good share of it--makes me excited for the year.

Below you will see that I listed the Parent Information Night/Open House.  From 5-5:30 the teachers will meet with the parents and the students will be in the music room.  At 5:30 the students will come to the classrooms to show the parents the classroom.

A few dates for your calendar:
Tuesday, September 19th  Picture Day
Monday, October 2nd Me Collage due
Wednesday, September 27th 5-6 pm.  Parent Information Night/Open House  This will be a night for you and your second grader, please make other arrangements for other children you may have.

Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Whaley

Friday, September 8, 2017

Week Two

Our first four-day week is complete.  Next week we will have our first Monday of school.  This week involved a lot of learning of routines again, and also some assessments.  It's nice to get a feel for where the kids are at before jumping into curriculum work.  The students did narrative and opinion writing.  Next week they will do informational writing.  They also did a spelling inventory and a math pre-assessment.  It takes a long time to get the routines down, but it's worth the time now, so that things will go smoothly (more smoothly?) later.
In math we learned about subitizing numbers.  This is when you just know an amount because you recognize a shape or pattern.  Think about dice, you don't need to count the dots, you just know.  We will specifically use ten-frames to emphasize numbers' relationship to 10.  This will also help the second graders to talk about and "show how they know" when they solve math problems.  Being able to communicate your math thinking is so important.
Next week I will start individual reading assessments.  They are time consuming, but sooo valuable.  This will help me to have a good idea of good fit books as well as good fit next steps in reading.  Good fit books are ones that your child can read with 98-99% accuracy.  Good fit books are the fastest way to get better at reading.  We discussed good fit books by comparing them to shoes.  Different shoes are worn for different occasions and they reflect a person's interests.  However, if I need sneakers to play a particular sport, I can't just grab a pair of my husband's sneakers, the sneakers need to fit me.  The discussion about good fit books goes on all year.  I appreciate your help in finding and reinforcing reading good fit books.

We have a visiting author in two weeks.  This week in the folder there is a form if you are interested in buying a signed copy of one of Katherine Roy's books.  Also, in the folder is picture ordering forms.  Our picture day is Tuesday, September 19th.
We met the new student who is joining our class on Monday.  She is from China and doesn't know much English yet.  The students were SO friendly when they met her!
Have a great weekend,

Caren

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy, Happy Friday!!

We’ve had a great start in Second Grade.  The students are working hard to learn each other’s names and the classroom routines.  At the beginning of the year we go slow in order to go fast later.  The routines will help us establish independence, which in turn, frees the teacher to also be able to focus on small groups and individuals.
     We’ve been talking about what kind of place we want our room to be.  I love to use the book Little Blue Truck to help students think about how they treat each other.  We read it for the first time today, we'll have more discussion next week.
     We also read a nearly wordless book called South.  I gave the students the "Thinking Question" of "What can we learn about writing from a book that hardly has any words?"  A thinking question is one that we don't answer out loud right away.  If an answer pops into our heads, we keep thinking about other possible answers.  Thinking questions usually have more than one answer, they might also have "layers" of answers.  You can check in with your child to see if they can remember our discussion.  It was a productive discussion, but they've been learning so many new things this week, I won't be surprised if this highlight for me, isn't what sticks out for them.
     Take-home folders are going home today.  They are due Tuesday morning this week as Monday is Labor Day and there is no school.
     The first days are always such a whirlwind as we ALL adjust to the school routines.  I'm glad to have a three-day weekend and I'll look forward to seeing your kids on Tuesday morning.  We have PE at 8:10 that day.  I'm going out on a limb and predicting that we'll be late--but I'll appreciate any help you can provide with having your child on time and in sneakers.
Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Whaley