December News

Class News 12/23/2016

Here are some things we’ve been working on in second grade.

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind.

 

Character Focus

We reviewed respect and responsibility.  We spent a lot of time on these two character traits at the beginning of the year, but it is important for us to remember what these important things look like and sound like.

We also continued our focus on “grit,perseverance, and being proactive.   Children are starting to notice when are doing challenging things we need grit, and when people stick with something hard and keep trying they are showing that they have grit.  It is GREAT to see that they are able to notice and name this important character trait!

 

Life Skills

We are continuing to work on being good listeners and following directions right away.  We are also reviewing strategies we have learned that can help us.

We’ve talked about how we are working towards being able to control our sounds and movements with our brain.  However, as we are learning to control these things with our brains, strategies can be helpful.  One strategy we have learned to use is to sit on our hands.  This strategy is especially helpful when our hands are repeatedly grabbing something, lifting it up, and dropping it on the desk or floor.

 

Important Dates

Holiday break (no school):  Monday, 12/26/16 - Friday, 1/6/17

Special book order (to use our “spend $10 and get a free book” coupons) – order ONLINE by Thursday, 12/29/16

Unit 4 math assessments:  Wednesday, 1/11/17 - Thursday, 1/12/17

MLK Holiday (no school): Monday, 1/16/17

Mid-winter Break (no school): Monday, 2/20/17

End of Second Trimester (1/2 day of school): Friday, 3/10/17

 

Book It!

Please help your child remember to return his/her reading log when we return from break.  I will be tallying the minutes and sending home certificates the week of January 9th.

December goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  11/28, 12/5, 12/12, and 12/19

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This reviewed our reindeer Scoot game and talked about the concepts / answers to the game questions.  This activity included many important language skills, including:

·         Naming synonyms (alike) and antonyms (opposites) in a sentence (Ex., autumn and fall; off and on)

·         Naming proper nouns (Ex., Rudolph, Monoply) in a sentence

·         Naming pronouns (Ex., he/she, him/her) in a sentence

·         Noticing which words in a sentence need to be capitalized

·         Naming contractions (Ex., can’t, he’ll, won’t)

·         Naming the nouns (people, places, and things) in a sentence

·         Naming verbs (action words) in a sentence

·         Naming the correct homophone (same sounding word) that belongs in a sentence  (Ex., there, their, they’re)

·         Telling where nouns are singular or plural

·         Telling which words have the same vowel sound

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we learned:

* We can plan for meetings with book clubs.  Things we might want to talk about include things that were surprising or confusing to us.

* We can figure out the meaning of tricky words using a “root word” strategy.  For example, “capitalizing” has the root word “capital”.  We know that a capital is an uppercase letter.  That can help us to figure out that capitalizing has to do with making letters uppercase.

 

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  The Power of Reviews

This week we:

*  Learned that a review is an opinion about something.  An opinion is something that we believe, but it is different from a fact.  Other people may disagree with our opinions.  Facts, on the other hand, can be proved.  You can observe, count, etc. to prove a fact. 

For example, here is a fact “Mrs. Gruenewald is wearing a red shirt.”  People can look to see the color of my shirt.  Here is an opinion, “Mrs. Gruenewald’s red shirt is pretty.”  Not everyone may like the color red, so they may not think it is pretty.

*  Made a list of things we could review.  Our lists include foods, restaurants, games, books, movies, etc.  We plan to add to our list after break.  We most likely will have some opinions to share about great toys, games, foods, movies, foods, etc.

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 4 – Place Value and Measurement

This week we:

* Continued to practice telling time to the 5 minutes.  Children are getting better and faster with this!

* Measured to the nearest inch and nearest centimeter.  If the measurement is between two numbers on our ruler, we use the half-way mark to decide which way to go.

* Learned that centimeters are smaller than inches.  So, when we measure the same item twice (once with inches and once with centimeters), we get a bigger number of centimeters than inches.  It takes more centimeters because they are smaller!

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: Measuring Matters

* We made paper airplanes and then measured the distance each airplane flew in centimeters.

* We made a design change to see if it might make the airplane fly further.  We added a paper clip (weight) to the airplane.  We discovered that it makes a difference where you put the weight.  It seems to help our airplanes fly farther when we put it closer to the front of the airplane.

 

Social Studies  [Click here for the link.]

Next focus: How do citizens live together in a community?

 

 

Computer lab

We learned more about coding with the Code.org website.

 

Monthly Homework Calendars [Click here for the link.]

Thank you for helping your child to remember to complete 3 activities each week on the calendar. Look for the January calendar in your child’s Weekly Folder this week.

Have a wonderful holiday break!


______________________________________________________


Class News 12/16/2016

Here are some things we’ve been working on in second grade.

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind.

 

Character Focus

We continued our focus on “grit”.  We also worked to persevere with many things that were challenging to us.

 

Life Skills

We are continuing to work on being good listeners and following directions right away

 

Winter Holiday Party (December 22nd) [Click here for the link to donateitems.]

Our winter holiday party is quickly approaching.  If your child would like to participate in our wrapped book exchange, he/she will need to bring a new 2nd grade book that is wrapped, and labeled “From [your child’s name].”  [Click here for a link to the “Notes” section of our class website, where you can access and print the Wrapped Book Exchange information sheet.]

 

We are looking for donations of food and other items for our holiday party.  If you can help, please sign-up up here.

 

Important Dates

Holiday sing-along: Thursday, 12/22, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Winter holiday party & Wrapped book exchange:  Thursday, 12/22, 3 p.m.

Half-day of school (dismissal at 12:10 p.m.):  Friday, 12/23

Holiday break (no school):  Monday, 12/26/16 - Friday, 1/6/17

 

Book It!

Please help your child remember to return his/her reading log on Monday.  December goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward the November goal:  11/28, 12/5, 12/12, and 12/19

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This week we did a fun Scoot game about reindeer.  The game provided children with an opportunity to apply what they’ve been learning about synonyms and antonyms.  It also game them opportunities to name contractions, nouns, verbs, proper nouns

We will go over the concepts / answers to this game next week when Mrs. Coleman comes to our class.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we learned:

* We can jot down our thoughts and wonderings as we read.

* We can look for the author’s message (what the author is trying to tell/teach us).

* We can figure out the meaning of words using strategies.  Two strategies we practiced were:

(1) looking in the glossary (if the book has a glossary)

(2) reading on and looking for clues (inferring the meaning)

 

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Lifting the Level of Personal Narrative

This week:

* Published a personal narrative book.  This means:

1.  We revised (made sure it made sense).

2.  We edited (fixed mistakes with capitalization, punctuation, and spelling). 

3.  We added color to our illustrations.

4.  We wrote a blurb about the author at the back of the book (or on the back cover).

 

Our next unit will be: The Power of Reviews

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 4 – Place Value and Measurement

This week we learned:

* Expanded form tells the value of each digit in a number.  For example, in the number 275:

* There are 2 hundreds.  The value of the digit 2 is 200.

* There are 7 tens.  The value of the digit 7 is 70.

* There are 5 ones.  The value of the digit 5 is 5.

The expanded form for 275 = 200 + 70 + 5

* We solved an Open Response problem.  With mid-unit Open Response Problems, students solve a problem on one day, look at and discuss examples of student work, share their work with classmates on the second day, and receive compliments and suggestions for improvement from classmates, and then work to revise their own work (make it better).

When we look at the example student work, we talk about things we like (compliments) about how these example children solved the problem.  We also talk about things that we think these students could do (revise) to make their work  better (suggestions for improvement).

Children are expected to get ideas from our discussion, and then to use these ideas the next day when they work in small groups sharing and giving compliments and suggestions for improvement.

* We practiced telling time to the 5 minutes.  We are working towards not needing to start at the 12 and counting all the way around the clock to where the minute hand is pointed.  Rather, we are trying to learn 4 specific places that we could “start” and count on.

* When the minute hand points at the 12, the minutes are 00

* When the minute hand points at the 3, the minutes are 15.  

* When the minute hand points at the 6, the minutes are 30

* When the minute hand points at the 9, the minutes are 45.

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: Measuring Matters

* We measured distance and time of objects rolling or sliding down a ramp.

* We learned that the object that goes the furthest, has a larger number in our data table.

* We learned that the fasted object takes less time to go down the ramp.  So, it has a smaller number in our data table. 

 

Social Studies

Current focus: Where Is My Community and What Is It Like?

We learned: 

* Natural characteristics of a city usually do not change.  Rivers and lakes pretty much stay where they were for many years.

* Human characteristics of a city change a lot over time.  We build things and rename things over the years.

 

 

 

Computer lab

We worked with Code.org again. 

* Most students are enjoying learning about coding.  Several kids exclaimed, “Yeah it’s the Angry Birds!” when I told them our plans.

* Through these coding activities, students are learning how to plan, do, review, and revise (if necessary).  These are great life skills!  It’s also fun to help the angry bird get to the pig!

 

Monthly Homework Calendars [Click here for the link.]

Thank you for helping your child to remember to complete 3 activities each week on the calendar. Look for the December calendar in your child’s Weekly Folder this week.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!


_____________________________________________________


Class News 12/9/2016

Here are some things we’ve been working on in second grade.

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind.

 

Character Focus

Cass is focusing on the character trait “grit” during the month of December. 

·         When we have grit, we persevere.  We work hard and keep trying.  We don’t give up.

Many students made connections to things Basketball Jones said during our assembly earlier this year.

·         We keep trying.  We stick with it.  We are “gritty” like that.

·         We work hard until hard things become easy.


Life Skills

We are working on being good listeners and following directions right away.  When we focus on the speaker, listen carefully, and think about what the speaker is saying, we are more successful with following directions.  This is because we know what we are supposed to do, and can get started right away with tasks. 

Some children have gotten into the habit of not focusing on the speaker.  These children often do not know what they are supposed to do, and are therefore unable to get started right away. 

We have taught strategies that can help children to focus and we are reminding children to use these strategies to be successful.  Some of the strategies we have taught include:

* Face the speaker.

* Put down items that you are holding.

* Hold your hands still.  You may sit on them if it is helpful.

* Turn off your voice.

* Think about what the speaker is saying. 


 

Report Card Information

Your child brought home his/her first trimester report card today.  As you are reviewing it, please keep these things in mind.

I am piloting the new standards-based report card for the area of mathematics.  On this report card, we tell you where your child needs help (NYAS-Not Yet Approaching Standard), where he/she can do 2nd grade standards with minimal help and/or errors (AS-Approaching Standard), and where he/she is independently and accurately doing everything that is expected (MS-Met Standard). 

Other parts of the report card are communicated differently.  In those areas, students get 1's, 2's, or 3's, and possibly 4's.  A 1 means he/she needs our help, a 2 means he/she is making progress with minimal help and/or errors, and a 3 means he/she has mastered the skill and can complete it independently and accurately. A 4 is reserved for if he/she is demonstrating in-depth knowledge and extended skills.

Keep in mind that our goal is for students to master grade level skills by the end of the school year.  If we continue to work together, and encourage children to approach tasks with a positive attitude, celebrate their achievements (big and small), and always put forth their best effort, they will be fine. 

We want children to be proud of their growth and progress, to know the expectations, and to work towards mastering the grade level skills

 

Winter Holiday Party (December 22nd) [Click here for the link to donate items.]

Our winter holiday party is quickly approaching.  If your child would like to participate in our wrapped book exchange, he/she will need to bring a new 2nd grade book that is wrapped, and labeled “From [your child’s name].”  [Click here for a link to the “Notes” section of our class website, where you can access and print the Wrapped Book Exchange information sheet.]

 

We are looking for donations of food and other items for our holiday party.  If you can help, please sign-up up here.

 

Important Dates

Holiday sing-along: Thursday, 12/22, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Winter holiday party & Wrapped book exchange:  Thursday, 12/22, 3 p.m.

Half-day of school (dismissal at 12:10 p.m.):  Friday, 12/23

Holiday break (no school):  Monday, 12/26/16 - Friday, 1/6/17

 

Book It!

Please help your child remember to return his/her reading log on Monday.  December goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward the November goal:  11/28, 12/5, 12/12, and 12/19

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This week we did an activity with antonyms.  Antonyms are opposites.  Most students were able to name antonyms when given examples such as, “They didn’t want hot food.  They wanted ___ food.”

Students listened to a story about bear brothers and named antonyms from the story.  For example, one bear had a long scarf, and one bear had a short scarf.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we learned:

* We can retell the big ideas.

* We can ask and answer questions about the text.

* We can learn from pictures.

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Lifting the Level of Personal Narrative

This week learned:

* We can get ideas of ways to make our writing better by observing someone reading our little books. For example, we can notice if they get stuck or make a confused face.  Then we can make changes that make our writing easier to read and understand

* We can write a blurb about the author.  We noticed that “big authors” tell about where they live, their family, etc.

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 4 – Place Value and Measurement

This week we learned:

* We tell time on an analog clock (clock with hands) by counting the minutes.  We count by 5s and then counting on by 1s.  We count by 5 each time we get to a big number on the edge of the clock.  Then, we count on by ones if the minute hand is between the big numbers. 

* We need to look closely at the hour hand to determine what hour it is.  If the hand has not yet passed the big number, the hour is still the last number that the hand has passed.

* The hands on a clock are always moving.  We can easily see this with the second hand, but the minute hand and hour hand are always moving too.

* Learned about a.m. and p.m. times on the clock.  A.M. times are after midnight, so when we wake up, it is probably a.m.  P.M. times are after 12:00 noon. 

* We can use base ten blocks to represent 2- and 3-digit numbers.  This will be helpful to us as we gain a deeper understanding of how numbers work in preparation for adding and subtracting 2- and 3-digit numbers.

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Next unit of study: Measuring Matters

Current focus: Measuring Matters

* We measured Snoopy and Woodstock with centimeter cubes and measuring tapes.

* We hunted around the room for objects that were a particular length (in centimeters and in inches).

 

Social Studies

Current focus: Where Is My Community and What Is It Like?

We learned: 

* Natural characteristics of a city usually do not change.  Rivers and lakes pretty much stay where they were for many years.

* Human characteristics of a city change a lot over time.  We build things and rename things over the years.

 

 

 

Computer lab

We worked with Google Classroom again. 

·         We now know how to mark assignments complete, and how to use bookmarks to quickly get where we need to go. 

·         This week we read another book on GetEpic.com, took a quiz about the book, and answered questions about using Chromebooks in the classroom with a Google Forms activity. 

 

Monthly Homework Calendars [Click here for the link.]

Thank you for helping your child to remember to complete 3 activities each week on the calendar. Look for the December calendar in your child’s Weekly Folder this week.

 

http://cass.livoniapublicschools.org/staff_directory/k-2_websites/mrs__gruenewald_-_2nd/resources/homework/

 

Have a wonderful weekend!


______________________________________________________


Class News 12/1/2016

Here are some things we’ve been working on in second grade.

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind.

 

Running Self-Checks

We have been talking with the children a lot about running “self-checks.”  Essentially, this is a chance for them to do a self-reflection.  Our guiding questions for self-checks are:

·         Am I doing the right thing?

·         Am I doing it at the right time?

·         Am I doing it in the right way?

Some children are getting very good at noticing things such as that they are talking while the teacher is giving directions, or that they are playing with their pencil and not focusing on the directions.  These children are able to quickly fix respond and fix the things that they notice.  This is wonderful!

Other children seem to be less aware of what they are doing at any given time.  These children seem to need us to specifically point out what is occurring and remind them of strategies we have learned that would help them to fix the problem.  We will continue to work on this very important life skill.

 

Report Card Information

Your child will bring home his/her first trimester report card next Friday (December 9th).  Here is some information that will be helpful to you as you are reviewing your child’s report card, and talking with him/her about it.

As you know, I am piloting the new standards-based report card for the area of mathematics.  On this report card, we will be telling you where your child needs help (NYAS-Not Yet Approaching Standard), where they can do many of the 2nd grade standards with minimal help and/or errors (AS-Approaching Standard), and where they are independently and accurately doing everything that is expected (MS-Met Standard). 

Other parts of the report card will be communicated differently.  In those areas, they will get 1's, 2's, or 3's, and possibly 4's.  A 1 means they need our help, a 2 means they are making progress with minimal help and/or errors, and a 3 means they have mastered the skill and can complete it independently and accurately. A 4 is reserved for if they are demonstrating in-depth knowledge and extended skills.

Please know that writing informative report cards is an extremely difficult task for teachers, and we are changing to a new way of thinking.  You will see your child’s strengths and challenges on report cards, but you should also see a lot of growth over the year.  Our goal is that students will master the grade level skills by the end of the school year.  If we continue to work together, and encourage children to approach tasks with a positive attitude, celebrate their achievements (big and small), and always put forth their best effort, they will be fine.  If your expectations are for 4's or A's (which haven't been used in elementary), this will be difficult on the children. 

We want children to be proud of their growth and progress, to know the expectations, and to work towards mastering the grade level skills.  We talk every day about what we are learning, and why the skill or concept is important to us.  We are teaching students that each learning task is important, and that learning tasks build upon each other, and these skills will help them throughout life if they remember to use them.

 

Important Dates

Holiday sing-along: Thursday, 12/22, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Winter holiday party & Wrapped book exchange:  Thursday, 12/22, 3 p.m.

Half-day of school (dismissal at 12:10 p.m.):  Friday, 12/23

Holiday break (no school):  Monday, 12/26/16 - Friday, 1/6/17

 

Book It!

Please help your child remember to return his/her reading log on Monday.  December goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward the November goal:  11/28, 12/5, 12/12, and 12/19

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we learned:

* We read informational texts with a teaching voice.

* We store information we read in an organized way in our brains.  It is like files in a filing cabinet.

* We can reread the topic sentence of each paragraph and think about what we learned in that section.

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Lifting the Level of Personal Narrative

This week learned:

* We can learn something from every author

* We study writing crafts and try them.

* Varying our sentence structure (the order of our words) to make our writing more interesting. 

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 3 – More Fact Strategies

This week we:

* Finished unit 3 lessons and took the unit assessments.  Look for them in next week’s Weekly Folder.

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Next unit of study: Measuring Matters

Current focus:

* We are focusing on social studies and doing close reading activities.  Children are using what they learned during our Earth’s Land and Water science unit as we are learning about Communities.  This is GREAT to see!

* Our next science unit will be Measuring Matters

 

Social Studies

Current focus: Where Is My Community and What Is It Like?

We learned: 

* Livonia is in the state of Michigan.

* Michigan is in the country United States.

* United States is on the continent North America.

* We learned that maps are flat and globes are round 3-D shapes (spheres).

 

Computer lab

We logged into Google Classroom, and did an activity (assignment).  Our assignment asked us to go to the website GetEpic.com and read a book about maps.  We set up bookmarks on our computers so that we can get to this website more easily next time.

 

Monthly Homework Calendars [Click here for the link.]

Thank you for helping your child to remember to complete 3 activities each week on the calendar. Look for the December calendar in your child’s Weekly Folder this week.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

‚Äč