February News

2/17/2017

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

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 4 – Think win-win.  We are learning to make choices that make us happy, but also allow other people to be happy. 

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on empathy during the month of February. 

 

Life Skills

In our classroom, we are continuing to work on respect.  We have been working on keeping our sounds down, and being careful to not interrupt others who are concentrating. 

Students did a much better job this week with their sounds!  We walked more quietly in the hall, were much more respectful to Mr. Wilson in the lunchroom, and fewer children interrupted me when I was giving directions to the class or working with other students.  We are growing! 

Mrs. Curtis and Ms. Silverstein (resource room teachers) did a lesson with our class on patience.  We talked about how hard it can be to wait for things, like a turn to talk or share an idea.  We watched a funny Elmo video about being patient.  Ask your child to tell you about it.

Important Dates

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

Half-day of School for Students (dismissal at 12:10 p.m.): March 1st & March 10th

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

Battle of the Books: Wednesday, 3/29/17 (a.m.)

Spring Break:  April 3rd – 7th

No School:  Friday, April 14th

 

Book It!

Thank you for helping your children to remember to complete the reading logs and to bring them to school. Students are doing a nice job with the strategies on our new log (questioning/wondering and determining importance).

February goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  2/6, 2/13, 2/20, and 2/27

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This week we played a Scoot game with multiple meaning words.  Students are growing with this concept!

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we celebrated all we’ve learned about reading informational text, including:

*  We think about our schema (what we know about the topic) before we read.  We add new things that we learn to our schema.

* We visualize (make a movie in our mind) and make connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world) as we read. 

* We compare and contrast information within texts and across texts (2 or more texts on the same topic).

Next unit of study:  Cross-Genre/Series Book Clubs

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Personal Expertise Writing

This week we:

*  We organized our ideas into chapters and wrote a Table of Contents

*  We began writing our draft of the chapters. 

*  We talked about how illustrations and diagrams can help explain more.  We are going to be on the lookout for where it might be good to add illustrations and diagrams. 

*  We can give mini-lectures to ourselves while pointing at (1) ideas on our idea web, (2) chapter titles in the Table of Contents.  This helps us to elaborate on our idea and tell more details.  Then we write.

Next unit of study:  Research & Information Writing: Descriptive Report

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 6 – Addition and Subtraction

This week we:

*  Made tally charts to collect data.

*  Used a tally chart to make picture and bar graphs.

*  Solved comparison number stories.

Chose diagrams to use to solve number stories.

*  Did special activities with our collection of 100 things.  We worked with a partner and counted, predicted, measured, compared, made arrays, etc.

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: Measuring Matters

We:

* Practiced being patient as we waited for the water to evaporate in our salt water mixture. It sure takes a long time!

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: How do citizens work together in a community?

We learned:

*  People have unlimited needs and wants.  We talked about how no matter what we have or get, we always seem to wish for more!

*  People satisfy their needs and wants with goods and services.  We talked about how if you are buying a thing that you can touch, it is a good.  If you are paying for someone to do something (like cut your hair), it is a service

*  Businesses have limited resources (only a certain amount of things) that they can use to make goods.  This means sometimes they can only make a certain amount.  For example, bakeries use flour to make bread.  When they run out of flour, they cannot make any more bread.

*  Sometimes there is not enough of something.  When that happens, it is called scarcity.

 

Computer lab

We worked on our keyboarding, mouse, and formatting skills as we typed poems that we have written this year.  Children are getting better at finding keys, and remembering to use the Enter key to go down a line.  Some children are even using the Undo command independently to fix small mistakes.  This is great to see!

 

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.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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2/10/2017

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

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We focused on Habit 4 – Think win-win.  We learned that we can make choices so that two (or more) people get what they want/”win”. 

 

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on empathy during the month of February.  When we have empathy, we think about how other people feel.  This is a challenging concept for many young children.  They tend to focus on themselves and how they feel.  However, children are able to figure out how other people probably feel by thinking about how they would feel if they were in that situation.

 

Life Skills

In our classroom, we are also working on respect.  We’ve talked about how respect is more than just keeping our hands to ourselves.  That certainly is part of it, but we also have to respect people’s need to think, concentrate, and complete their work.  We talked about how students in our class feel when they are trying to concentrate and classmates are talking, clowning around, or otherwise distracting them.  We are working on being respectful to the teacher and to all of our classmates by being good listeners when others talk, and by being careful to not disturb others.

 

School Transition

A white half sheet of paper came home with your child on Thursday 2/9.  It was titled Sharing from School/Dept./Group.  The purpose of this form is for you to share your thoughts about the upcoming school transition (from Cass to Buchanan, Hoover, or Randolph).  Please share any thoughts you would like by completing the form and returning it to school with your child.  Please be sure to circle Parent on the form so that the transition team will know that they are reading a parent’s concern.  Thank you!

 

Valentine’s Day Celebration (Tuesday 2/14, 3:00-3:45 p.m.)

We will be having a class celebration on Valentine’s Day.  Students are invited to bring valentines (they can make or purchase) for classmates.  If children choose to bring valentines, they MUST bring one for every child in the class. 

Valentines should be addressed to classmates and include each student’s special class number.  We will be “delivering” valentines to special “mail bags” that are numbered and in numerical order.  It will be VERY helpful if children put their valentine’s in number order at home and then bring them to school in either a rubber band or ziplock bag.

 

Important Dates

Valentine’s Day Class Celebration: Tuesday, 2/14/17, 3:00 p.m.

Spell Check #6: Friday, 2/17/17

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

Half-day of School for Students (dismissal at 12:10 p.m.): March 1st & March 10th

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

Battle of the Books: Wednesday, 3/29/17 (a.m.)

Book It!

Thank you for helping your children to remember to complete the reading logs and to bring them to school.

February goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  2/6, 2/13, 2/20, and 2/27

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This week we played a game with multiple meaning words.  Sometimes we had to tell the 2 meanings of a word.  For example, “bark” (what a dog does and part of a tree) and “bright” (intelligent and lots of light).  Sometimes we had to try to tell the word when we were given 2 definitions.  For example, “a wooden club that you use to hit a ball” and “an animal that flies at night”.

We played this game with two teams, and talked about how both teams could “win”.  We talked about how when we play a game one team may get more points, but the other team can also win, just in a different way.  We can enjoy the game or learn something.  We are trying to learn to be good sports, whether our team wins  or not.  We will continue to work on this.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we learned:

* We visualize (make a movie in our mind) and make connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world) as we read. 

* We compare and contrast information within texts and across texts (2 or more texts on the same topic).

* We use qualifying words to tell how often things happen or are mentioned in books.  Some qualifying words we could use are always, most of the time, sometimes, rarely, and never.

Next unit of study:  Cross-Genre/Series Book Clubs

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Personal Expertise Writing

This week we:

*  We made a list of topics we know a lot about.  We have expertise on these topics, and will use this list to decide what to write books about.

*  We made a giant list of things we know about the topic. 

*  We chose the most important things our readers should know about our topic.

 

Next unit of study:  Research & Information Writing: Descriptive Report

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 5 – Addition and Subtraction

This week we:

*  Shared our work on an Open Response Problem in small groups (3 or 4 students).  Classmates gave us compliments and suggestions for improvement.  Then, we revised our work to make it better.  We’ve talked about how we appreciate work that has both pictures and words.  Many children are now including both in their work.  This is great to see!

*  Took the unit 5 assessments.

*  We played a game of Scoot.  This game focused on the Value of Digits in NumbersThe value of each digit in a number is determined by the place that the digit is in.      

For example, in the number 1,234 there are 4 digits (1, 2, 3, and 4).  The “1” is in the thousands place.  The “2” is in the hundreds place.  The “3” is in the tens place.  The “4” is in the ones place.  Therefore, in the number 1,234 the “1” has a value of 1,000.  The “2” has a value of 200.  The “3” has a value of 30.  The “4” has a value of 4.

This is a very important concept.  It will be especially important as we learn how to add and subtract 2-digit and 3-digit numbers.  We checked the answers for all the Scoot questions together, and children are bringing home their answer sheet today in the Daily Folder.  For students that struggled, a little extra practice would really help them.  I thought it might be helpful if you could see the questions and answers you are working with your child at home, so I posted them on the website.

*  We’ll start Unit 6 (Addition and Subtraction) next week. 

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: Measuring Matters

We learned:

* Sometimes when you make a mixture, one ingredient seems to disappear.  For example, salt seems to disappear when you mix it with water.  This is a special kind of mixture called a solution.

*  We tried to separate the salt from the water using a coffee filter.  We wondered if the salt would get stopped by the filter or if it would go through the filter with the water.  We’re letting our cup of water sit.  We think the water will evaporate and we are wondering if there will be any salt left in the cup.  It sure takes a long time for water to evaporate, though!

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

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

We learned:

*  There are three parts to our government.  One group makes the laws.  Another group enforces the laws.  The third group interprets the laws.  We learned that at the city/community level it is the council that makes the laws, the mayor and police that enforce the laws, and the courts that interpret the laws.

* We learned about patriotism.  We learned that there are many ways to be patriotic.  For example, we can learn more about our country or sing a patriotic song.  The students did an amazing job singing “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner”!  Mr. Turner has taught them well! 

*  We learned that our flag is a special symbol of our country and we should be respectful of it.  We learned that there are things we should do with our flag, such as shine a light on it if we fly it at night, fold it in a special way, etc.  Students enjoyed watching a video of the military folding the flag into a special triangle.  We learned to fold it “hot-dog style” twice, then fold into a triangle, and finally tuck in the last flap. 

We began our next unit: How do people work together in a community?

 

Computer lab

We continued working on learning to copy and paste.  This week students were much better listeners.  They followed step-by-step directions, and had “grit.”  By the end of this week’s computer lab, most children knew and could recite the steps to copy and paste.  They were also doing it all by themselves.  This was wonderful to see!

 

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.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Class News 2/3/2017

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

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 3 – Put First Things First: Work First, Then Play

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on confidence during the month of January. 

In our classroom, we are also working on respect

 

Life Skills

We are working on being respectful to classmates.  We are working towards

 

Valentine’s Day Celebration (Tuesday 2/14, 3:00-3:45 p.m.)

We will be having a class celebration on Valentine’s Day.  Students are invited to bring valentines (they can make or purchase) for classmates.  If children choose to bring valentines, they MUST bring one for every child in the class. 

Valentines should be addressed to classmates and include each student’s special class number.  We will be “delivering” valentines to special “mail bags” that are numbered and in numerical order.  It will be VERY helpful if children put their valentine’s in number order at home and then bring them to school in either a rubber band or ziplock bag.

 

Important Dates

Jump Rope for Heart: Tuesday, 2/7/17, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Unit 5 Math Assessments: Wednesday, 2/8/17 & Thursday, 2/9/17

Valentine’s Day Class Celebration: Tuesday, 2/14/17, 3:00 p.m.

Spell Check #6: Friday, 2/17/17

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

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

Battle of the Books: Wednesday, 3/29/17

 

 

Book It!

Thank you for helping your children to remember to complete the reading logs and to bring them to school.

January goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  1/9, 1/16, 1/23, and 1/30

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This week we reviewed our winter synonyms activity from last week.  Children were able to tell that synonyms are words that mean almost the same thing.  Some of the synonyms that we talked about are stone and rock, hat and cap, stick and branch.

We learned about multiple-meaning words.  We learned that some words have more than one meaning, and the meanings can be quite different.  For example, the word “ship” has two meanings.  A “ship” is a boat.  You also can “ship” a package.  “Left” also has two meanings: the opposite of right, and to have already gone (i.e., the past tense of leave).

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Readers Learn from Informational Text

This week we learned:

* The more times we read something, the more details we notice.  We often have to read nonfiction texts several times to really understand them.  Students made their own R.A.N. charts this week.  Look for your child’s in the Weekly Folder.  Students were instructed to think about the topic of the nonfiction book they were reading.  Before reading, they were to write down all the things they THOUGHT they knew about the topic.  Then, after each time they read the book, they updated the R.A.N. chart to confirm things they read about and know they were right, to change the things that were not quite right, and to add the things they just learned.  Note:  If your child’s paper is not in his/her Weekly Folder, it is because he/she did not turn it in when I asked for them.

* When we ask and answer questions as we read, we understand more of what we read.  For example, we have been reading Will and Orv.  As we started reading the book, it was talking about another person, not Will and Orv.  We wondered who this person was and what he had to do with Will and Orv.  As we continued to read, we found out that Johnny liked to watch Will and Orv as they tested out flying machines in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

* We can think of our own headings and captions (for pictures) to help us organize our ideas and better understand what we are reading. 

Next unit of study:  Cross-Genre/Series Book Clubs

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  The Power of Reviews

This week we:

*  Published a Review.  When we publish, we read our writing, revise (to make our message better) and edit (fix mistakes with capitals, periods, and spelling), and add colored pictures.

Next unit of study:  Personal Expertise Writing

 

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 5 – Addition and Subtraction

This week we:

*  Solved problems using an open number line.  When we use an open number line, we decide which numbers to mark on the number line, and we hop by tens and ones to add or subtract.  For example, 36 + 12.  We would mark 36 on the number line.  Then we would draw an arrow, label it “+10,” and label where it landed as “46.”  Then we would draw another smaller arrow for the ones, label it “+2,” and label where it landed as “48.”

* Used Change Diagrams to solve addition and subtraction problems.  When we use a change diagram, we write the 2 numbers that we know in the correct places, and write “?” for the number we need to figure out.  Then, we write a number model with the “?” in the correct place, and solve the number model to get the answer.

* Used Part-Part-Total Diagrams to add numbers together.  We practiced shopping for snacks like oranges and bananas and added up the costs using the diagram.  When we use this diagram, we write the 2 numbers that we know in the correct places, and write “?” for the number we need to figure out.  Then, we write a number model with the “?” in the correct place, and solve the number model to get the answer.

We have talked about how the math concepts are getting more challenging, and students may benefit from a little more concept review and practice. We talked about one way students can review the lesson at home.  The Connected Ed website has a mini version of the lesson we did in class.  Students can login and review the concept we worked on in class.   Once logged in, click on the large box that says “Go to lesson #-#” and then select the part of the lesson that you want to review.

We will be taking our Unit 5 assessment next week.

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: Measuring Matters

We learned:

* You can measure the mass of rice and popcorn using a balance.  We used ½ cup of rice and ½ cup of popcorn.  Even though the volume was the same, the mass was different.

* A mixture is made up of 2 or more things.  We made mixtures using two ingredients.  We choose from these options: popcorn, rice, beans, peas, salt, and sugar.

* We observed our mixtures and named properties of the mixtures.  We used our eyes and told the color.  We used our sense of touch to tell the texture.

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

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

We learned:

*  People form governments to help them live together and stay safe.  We have local governments, state governments, and national governments.

* Laws are rules that are made by communities, states or countries.

Governments make laws (city council), enforce laws (mayor and police), and interpret laws (courts).

*  Governments provide services to the people.  Local governments like Livonia provide police protection, fire protection, libraries, schools, parks, garbage pick-up, and road maintenance (including snow removal).

* Governments think about and try to balance individual rights and the common good.

 

Computer lab

We are learning to copy and paste.  This is a tricky skill that students will really appreciate knowing down the road.  We plan to continue working on this next week.

 

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.

 

Have a wonderful weekend!