We are having an exciting week in second grade! We had a special guest Monday morning who helped explain the Water Cycle for us. Everyone brought home a beaded bracelet showing how they precipitated, filtered, evaporated, or melted through the water cycle, to name just a few possibilities. Please ask your child to name the places they visited as a water molecule and how they moved from one to another to help reinforce the concepts and vocabulary learned.
We are also starting our 4 day residency with the Portland Taiko drummers. This should be a energetic and fun experience. We will be exploring the basics of this amazing form of traditional Japanese drumming. The kids will be learning how to play as an ensemble, building their listening skills, and creating and expressing themselves through drumming and movement.
Along with both of these fabulous activities we will see the second and third graders’ drama performance. This will be exciting because we will start our drama residency next week! In between all of these activities will be learning about the mathematical concept of area, begin to take a more focused look at the genre of nonfiction, and build on the water cycle work we did on Monday. Cheers!
This week we are starting our geometry unit Exploring Shapes, Symmetry, Area, & Number. We began our week by exploring 3-dimensional blocks, identifying and counting their faces, edges, and vertexes, and then moved on to some sorting. We will continue to observe, explore, and describe these shapes and begin to look more closely at ideas of similarity and congruence. One of the mathematical practices we are working towards is using precise language to communicate our mathematical understandings. As you notice and talk about shapes with your child be sure they are using the correct vocabulary – i.e. square vs. cube, or triangular prism vs triangle.
In art we are gearing up for our Taiko Drum residency by creating our own painting in that depicts another Japanese subject – the cherry blossom. Look for them in the hallway soon.
In literacy, we are working on some games to help us determine fact from opinion, and read and write words with the -le syllable such as simple, purple, or table. We are also revisiting our stamina goals, and our Good Fit Book picks.
Finally, next Monday, March 3rd is Read Across America Day. Each year Lewis invites family and friends to come in to the school and classroom to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by sharing books with students. We will be spending the end of our day from 2:00 – 2:40 enjoying good books with each other. Please let your child’s special someone know about this opportunity. They are also welcome to bring a favorite children’s book to share. If no one is able to make it in for your child they will be paired with another classmate’s grown-up. Cheers!
I am so happy that we seemed to have avoided a strike as this is the time of year we can really dig in and focus on curriculum with fewer interruptions. I am really looking forward to these next few very busy months.
This week we are focusing our efforts on our personal narratives, balancing equations, addition and subtraction strategies, observing the weather, and the literacy comprehension skill of fact and opinion.
There are a few things you can help with at home… Each Monday (or Tuesday, should we have a snow day or holiday as of late) we start our week by writing Weekend News. We try to focus on one thing that happened over the weekend. Many kids have a hard time remembering what they did. You can help them be more successful by reviewing your weekend over breakfast or on the way to school that morning to help them find a topic.
In writing, we are focusing on how authors turn ordinary stories into more extraordinary ones. They do this through word choice, crafting dialogue, and honing in on details that draw a reader into the scene. Again, you can help your second grader with these skills at home by telling stories together, reading stories together, and being word collectors. Some words just capture an idea, emotion, or concept perfectly. We want to notice these words and collect them for when we need them to communicate an idea.
Finally, thanks for all of your support and kind words through the last few stressful weeks. We are lucky to have such a caring community at Lewis!
Welcome back – What a storm! I‘m so glad we didn’t get stuck downtown in the snow last week, but sadly we won’t be able to see the OCT’s production of Charlotte’s Web, as it was at the end of its run. I am talking with them about rescheduling for one of their other upcoming shows in either March or May. More news on that in the coming weeks.
As last week got cut short, and this week has as well, I am NOT sending home NEW Spelling homework this week. What I did send home is last week’s Spelling lists and the Sight Word list, and a Speller’s Choice board to help students prepare for Friday’s test. On a more fun note, this week we are starting our Winter science unit on Weather. We should be working on this through Spring break – and then on and off again as the weather changes throughout the Spring. We should have some good stories to get us started after the long weekend! We will be examining weather basics along with meteorological tools and extreme weather. It should be a lot of fun!
This week students will be in the Garden on Thursday afternoon with Kathleen. Please remind your kiddo to dress for the weather. Finally, we will be having a small Valentine’s Day/Friendship celebration on Friday afternoon. Students can exchange cards and/or sign each others Valentine’s Pocket-Holders. If your kiddo brings cards please be sure to include one for every child in the class. A list went home on Tuesday. Cheers!
This week we are reading the story A Weed is a Flower by Aliki. It is a beautifully illustrated biography of George Washington Carver’s life. We are talking about the genre of biographies and looking at what hard work and creativity can amount to. We are finishing up our letter writing unit and will return our focus to personal narratives for a few weeks before tackling some non-fiction writing along with our upcoming unit on weather.
In math we are returning to addition and subtraction strategies for a few weeks and wrapping up our problem solving unit before starting our Shapes, Symmetry, Area & Number unit.
This Thursday, Feb. 6 is our field trip to see Charlotte’s Web. (**Chaperones, please be at school by 10:15 a.m. We are leaving for the bus at 10:35) It is supposed to be quite chilly, so please bundle your child up as we have to walk back and forth from Woodstock blvd. If possible, please send your child with snack to take along for after the show. Something small and easy, such as a bar or small baggie of crackers. Nothing wet, please! Cheers!
This week we are reading the story Rosa and Blanca by Joe Hayes. It is a sweet story about two sisters that have very different home lives, yet are similar in other ways. The sisters help each other in various ways to show how much they care, making their mother very proud. We are focusing our discussion on ways that we can be helpful and show we care. We are also learning the some more ways to spell the long I sound (-y, igh, i), writing strong sentences, and working with our Amazing Words vocabulary.
In math, we are finishing our assessments and spending some more time on problem solving. We are noting different problem solving strategies in our Problem Solving Notebooks and will begin using these in our morning work. Students are learning to use pictures, words, and number sentences to explain their mathematical thinking.
In writing, we will be composing persuasive letters. We are looking for strong supporting reasons to help persuade our readers. We will also be getting more practice with the letter writing format.
Finally, the book order was sent off last week. You can tell your eager readers that the books should be here in about 10 days. And most importantly, I am still waiting for a few permission slips for Charlotte’s Web. That field trip is next Thursday, Feb. 6th. Just a heads-up to chaperones – you will need to be here by about 9:45 for the walk to the TriMet bus. (More details about that once I get my bus schedule!) Thanks to all who are volunteering. Cheers!
It is hard to believe it but we are just about half way through the school year. We will wrap up the second quarter this week by reading more trickster tales, solving math story problems, working on telling time and counting coins, and finishing our raven collage art. In this latest art piece we combined the elements of NW Native American art and the technique of Henri Matisse’s cut-paper collage.
I want to remind families of the wonderful online resources our school subscribes to to help supplement classroom homework. The Raz-Kids program is a great way to get your kiddo reading a variety of fiction and folktales, as well as nonfiction selections on all kinds of great topics including animals, a variety of science and social studies themes, and many different countries and cultures. In addition to the great selections, you can do voice recordings to practice fluency and quizzes which help build strong comprehension skills. And, in the mathematics realm, we’ve got IXL Math which has a host of skills and levels to choose from. It also has some game-type features built in to help motivate kids to master skills. If you haven’t checked either of these resources out yet, or haven’t been online in a while, I encourage you to do so. Let me know If you need your child’s login. We use them in the classroom, so they may know them already!