UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 5/2/2017
Now that our puppet shows are complete, we are moving on to several long-term projects that the children will complete between now and the end of the year. It is an exciting time of year as the kids are more independent and able to take on more complex tasks! One project we are working on as a class, is researching the seven continents. The class is split into seven groups and each group is in charge of researching about their continent and sharing their information with the rest of the class. They are learning about weather, plants, animals, landforms, cities, and famous landmarks from each continent. Ask your child which continent they are researching!
Another project the students have just started this week is animal research. The students had the opportunity to choose an animal that they were interested in researching then look for resources. We have just started the process of reading through information and learning how to take notes on the important information. We are focusing on four main areas of diet, habitat, appearance, and interesting facts. Their final projects will be shared on June 6.
In math, we have focused on geometry for the last couple of weeks. We have learned about two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. We have also introduced vocabulary such as vertices, angle, right angle, apex, and parallel lines. A fun way to build in practice was making various shapes out of straws and twist ties. Students were challenged to build shapes such as make a six-sided shape with two right angle or make a 4-sided shape with one set of parallel lines.
Today we had a special visitor named Noah Hoffman who is an Olympic cross country skier. He talked with the kids about how hard he has worked to make it to the Olympics and showed them pictures of him and his team at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He also did some stretches with them to show them some of his workout. Each student is coming home with an autographed postcard.
I hope everyone received the information about our Continent Show on Tuesday, June 6 at 8:30 AM. A note went home last week. Please let me know if you didn’t receive one and I can send a new one.
Classroom UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 3/28/2017
Over the last few weeks, we have spent a lot of time discussing what it means to read fluently and how reading fluently helps you to understand more of what you are reading. We made a chart which included points on how to improve fluency. The chart included rereading aloud or in your head, trying to talk like the characters, making your voice match the mood, and reading at just the right pace. We learned about reading in bigger scoops which focuses on learning where to appropriately pause as you are reading. We are also learning about what it means to use language in a playful way such as recognizing when an author is including similes and metaphors in his or her writing. It’s important to pay attention to this special language to take the time to figure out what the author really means. Students have also been encouraged to use this literary language in their writing. In writing, we have circled back to Narrative Writing. Students are learning to use the whole writing process including the important steps of revising and editing.
In math, we have spent more time focusing on measurement. Students have been introduced to the yard and had the opportunity to measure longer distances using a yardstick. Students have also worked together in pairs to use a tape measure to measure various body parts such as a wrist, arm span, and head. We are learning how to make an estimate that makes sense and are measuring in both inches and centimeters. We also are continuing to discuss great strategies for adding numbers together in an order that makes the most sense when you have 3 or 4 addends. For example, if you are adding 11 + 8 + 9 + 22, we have learned that it is an efficient strategy to add the 9 + 11 and the 22 + 8 to make multiples of ten first.
In social studies, we are learning about landforms. Students made their own illustrations of various landforms such as volcano, island, plateau, mountain, and canyon.
Just a reminder that our puppet show is on Wednesday, April 12. We are already hard at work practicing!
Also, there are still spaces available to be a mystery reader! The kids love having mystery readers!!!
Curriculum UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 2/8/2017
Here is an update of what we have been busy working on in S116:
In literacy, we have been focusing on reading nonfiction texts during read to self and during reading groups. We have been learning about how to grow our knowledge by using all of the information presented in a nonfiction book. For example, we can study the photographs, read the glossary, look for keywords, and read labels and captions. We have also been paying close attention to what is surprising or new information as we read a nonfiction book. Students are continuing to use post it notes to mark their thinking as they read. They are encouraged to write about what they noticed, what they learned or what they’re wondering about.
In writing, we have been reinforcing the ideas that we are working in reading and are in the process of writing Nonfiction Text Features books. Students are learning names of text features (heading, label, glossary, table of contents, etc.) and are searching for these text features in their nonfiction books. Once they find one, they are writing about the purpose of that text feature and what information it is providing.
In math, we have continued working on recording effective strategies for solving addition and subtraction problems. Some of the strategies we have learned are to use an open number line, find a friendly number, or use tens and ones. We have also started working with how to show data in an organized way. We have collected information using a tally chart and then learned the difference between a picture graph (uses pictures or symbols) and a bar graph. Students have also been working on their fact fluency as we really want all students to know their addition facts solidly.
In social studies, students continue to work with maps and have started learning about landforms. We will continue to work with landforms throughout the spring.
This has been a very busy week! Ted Scheu the poetry guy came and visited us yesterday. We loved having Ted in! He shared his poetry with the students and then visited our class to write list poems with the kids. All the kids got to pick a topic of their choice.
Today we had two Lincoln firefighters in to discuss fire safety. Students are coming home with coloring books, hats, and crayons. They also have a homework assignment to make a map of their house and choose an escape route in case of a fire.
Stay safe! Looks like more snow is headed our way!
Curriculum UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 12/23/2016
We have made it to winter vacation! It is hard to believe 2016 is coming to an end already. I am looking forward to a great 2017 with your children.
In literacy, we have continued our work with Cinderella stories. We compared and contrasted Cinderella stories from many different countries. We are writing opinion pieces on what out favorite version is and why. Students are learning to provide reasons with examples from the text. We have most recently read CinderEdna and The Persian Cinderella. When we return in January we will continue this work and read The Irish Cinderlad and a Native American story called Sootface.
In math, we have been working with measurement and discussing the difference between nonstandard and standard measurement. We are practicing measuring objects with both inches and centimeters. We also have been working with base ten blocks to reinforce place value and have learned to write numbers in expanded notation. For example, the number 257 is really 200 + 50 + 7.
In science, we have had a fun week rotating through all of the second grade classrooms to learn about a different simple machine in each room. We learned about inclined planes, a wheel and axle, pulleys, and levers. The students have also been working on this with Mrs. Green in science class.
Have a wonderful vacation!
Curriculum UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 12/2/2016
I hope everyone had a nice long weekend last week. It’s hard to believe that we only have three weeks left until a longer break! Here is what we are currently working on in class:
In literacy, we have started reading Cinderella stories from around the world and are comparing them to the version that is most commonly known. We will continue this unit throughout December. So far, we have read three Cinderella stories. We read the original version, an African version called Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, and a Caribbean version called Cendrillon. We will tie this into our work in Writing Workshop as well starting next week. We will move from Personal Narrative writing to Opinion Writing. Students will be choosing which version is their favorite and writing an opinion piece as to why it’s their favorite with supporting evidence from the text.
Earlier this week in math, we finished a unit on subtraction. We learned many strategies in this unit to help solve subtraction problems such as the think addition strategy, the making ten strategy, or using other familiar facts that you already know. On Tuesday, we began a unit on time. Students reviewed time to the hour and half hour from last year and then began working on time to the five minute. We talked a lot about the proper placement of the hour hand on the clock when they are required to draw hands onto a clock. For example, if it’s 3:30, the hour hand should be half way between the 3 and the 4 and not pointing directly at the 3.
In social studies, we have continued our work with maps. Most recently we compared a globe to the Earth and discussed similarities and differences. We also are in the middle of working on a Colonial Life book and are comparing the differences between our lives and colonial lives.
In science, we will be starting a unit on Simple Machines next week.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!
UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 3/23/2016
Happy Spring! Needless to say, the weather has been very strange over the last couple of weeks, but that isn't surprising given where we live! I think the kids enjoyed having one last adventure in the snow on Monday.
Our focus in literacy is turning to the puppet shows! Last week when we went on our field trip we saw a puppet show called Little One Inch. It was set in Japan and was about a little boy who was only one inch tall. We are using that show as our starting point to talk about how our puppet show will work. This week each student has started reading their script together with their group to begin rehearsing their parts. Everyone is doing a nice job learning to read their part with expression!
In Writing Workshop, we are continuing our Opinion Writing unit. The students have just started a writing piece where they are giving their opinion on whether they liked the show Little One Inch or not. In their writing, they need to state their opinion, provide three reasons with specific examples from the show to support their opinion, and then restate their opinion to close their writing.
In math, we have just started working on fractions. We are working with geoboards this week and finding ways to divide the geoboards into halves and fourths. As a challenge, we are finding ways to split the board into halves and fourths without using a straight line. We will continue working with fractions next week.
In social studies, we are learning about landforms. We have learned about many different types of landforms such as an island, volcano, plateau, mountain, & canyon and are learning definitions for these landforms.
Have a nice weekend!
Curriculum UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 1/12/2016
Here is an update of what we are currently working on in our classroom:
In literacy, we continue to add more words onto our word wall. We practice these during Morning Work time and during Morning Meeting. Our word wall currently has the words: again, always, above, before, because, both, can't, could, does, done, even, each, friend, good, give, know, many, new, our, there, their, use, word, work, when, why, where, who, write, were, & want.
Back in December we started a unit on reading Cinderella stories from around the world. So far we have read The Persian Cinderella, an African Cinderella story called Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, a Jewish Cinderella called The Way Meat Loves Salt, an Irish Cinderella called Cinderlad, and today we read a Native American Cinderella called Sootface. During Writing Workshop, we are working on Opinion Writing where each student is choosing their favorite Cinderella story and providing at least three supporting reasons with evidence from the story as to why they think their choice is the best Cinderella story. This is something we will continue working on throughout January.
In math, we have just finished up a unit on Geometry. We had the chance to construct pyramids with different bases (either a triangular pyramid, rectangular pyramid, square pyramid, or hexagonal pyramid) out of straws and twist ties. This was lots of fun! We also explored symmetry and practiced constructing shapes such as hexagons, trapezoids, and squares using only triangles and rectangles. This week we are just starting a unit on subtraction and exploring the relationship between addition and subtraction. We will be using the years all of you were born for this investigation!
In social studies, we have started our work on Geography. We have learned that there are seven continents and and four oceans and have practiced comparing which continents are north, south, east, or west of each other. We have also just started talking about what landforms are (plateau, plain, mountain) and what that looks like in different parts of the world.
Happy New Year!
Nonfiction Text FeaturesPosted by Melissa Webster on 11/22/2015
Last week during literacy we learned about nonfiction text features. We learned the names of different features and what purpose they serve. Each student had a partner and went on a text feature hunt through a nonfiction book. We learned about features such as:
-table of contents
We learned how these features help us to gain more information and how important they are to pay attention to when reading nonfiction books. We will be reading more and more nonfiction as the year continues. Ask your child about the purpose of each of these features!
Veterans DayPosted by Melissa Webster on 11/10/2015
Today we watched a short video clip on Brain Pop to learn a little about the military and the different branches in the military. We then made Veterans Day cards for people who have served in the military and are currently sick or injured and are at a VA hospital. Mrs. Curry is delivering our cards tomorrow morning! Ask your child what kind message they wrote in his or her card!
Weekly UpdatePosted by Melissa Webster on 11/9/2015
Hello Everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend. Here are a few things we have been busy working on:
We have started our work with word wall words. In second grade, students are expected to read and spell these words correctly. We now have the words again, before, because, can't, good, give, know, new, there, their, want, write, who, when, where, why, & were on the word wall. We also have been working on what adjectives are (describing words) and have read several books about adjectives, generated lists of adjectives, and applied adjectives into our writing during Writer's Workshop. We also learned the difference between revising and editing during writing and practiced both skills on separate days. On one day, the class had to find one or two words revise to make them more interesting and on a different day students went back and reread their work to find missing periods, upper and lowercase letters, and spelling mistakes (editing).
In math, last week we worked on making change. This is a challenging concept and something we will continue working on throughout the year. Mastery is not expected at this point. We also worked on the difference between picture graphs and bar graphs and charted how many pockets we all had on and used our data to make both a picture graph and a bar graph. We also have continued working on story problems and adding and subtracting two double digit numbers. We are practicing adding and subtracting by tens rather than by ones.
Today we started something new and exciting! We blogged for the first time this year through a website called Kidblog. For those who are unfamiliar with Kidblog, this gives the children a chance to learn how to communicate with one another in an authentic way using current technology. The way it works is I had a question posted for the students to answer. They read the question and then typed an answer to what I posted. Today they wrote about their favorite thing about fall and gave three reasons explaining their choice. Eventually they will able to read each others' posts and then respond to one another. It was a lot of fun!
Just a reminder that there is no school this Wednesday for Veteran's Day.
*Be on the lookout for school pictures coming home tomorrow!