March News

3/31/2017   

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

 

Wish List

We would appreciate donations of the following items:

* Bandages (3/4” size preferably)

* Facial tissues

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 5 – Seek first to understand. 

We are working on listening first, and then talking.  This habit is helpful to us as we are learning new things.  It also is helpful to us as we are trying to be a good friend.

We are also reviewing and practicing habits 1-4.

Habit 1 – Be proactive.  You are in charge.

Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind.

Habit 3 – Put first things first.  Work first, then play.

Habit 4 – Think win-win.    

 

Character Focus

We have been focusing on mindfulness during the month of March. 

When you are mindful, you are “in the moment” with whatever you are doing.  You are focusing on that task. 

Students are making connections between this character focus, our 7 Habits (above), and strategies that we have learned in class.  This is wonderful to see!  I hope you are also reaping the rewards at home.

 

Important Dates

Spring Break:  April 3rd – 7th

No School:  Friday, April 14th

Unit 7 math assessments: Tuesday, April 10th & Wednesday, April 11th

 

Book It!

March is the last month of the Book It! program.  If your child would like to “make up” reading minutes over break, please encourage him/her to do so.  You may write the “extra” days on a separate sheet of paper and attach it to this week’s reading log, or print another reading log from the website.  I would be happy to include “make up” minutes in the March total.

March goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  3/6, 3/13, 3/20, and 3/27

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

We continued our focus on social skills.  We are learning strategies that we can use to defeat the team of “unthinkables” (characters that try to take over our brains).  

This week we talked more about ways to defeat Glassman.  We brainstormed ideas of things we can do to help ourselves if Glassman is trying to make us have a big upset reaction to a small problem.  Here are some of the ideas children shared:

* Tell yourself it is just a small problem.

* Take a deep breath.

* Count to 10.

Great thinking, students!  You make me proud!!

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

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

This week we:

Finished our series reading unit.

*  We are celebrating all the things we have learned and are doing when we read series books.

*  We plan to start our traditional literature unit after break.

 

Next unit of study:  Traditional Literature – Fables, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

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

This week we:

*  We looked through Mrs. Gruenewald’s collection of books on the topic of plants.

*  Students chose a focus for their research/informational book about plants.  Some children chose to write about plant lifecycles.  Other children chose to write about parts of plants (such as the roots), or to write about specific plants (such as the pumpkin).

*  We began researching our topic.  We are reading plant books, and taking notes about facts that we might want to include in our books. 

Next unit of study:  Realistic Fiction

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 7 – Whole Number Operations & Measurement and Data

This week we:

*  Learned about shape attributes.  Attributes help to describe shapes.  For example, the number of sides a shape has is one attribute.  A square has 4 sides.  Having square corners (right angles) is another attribute of shapes such as squares.

*  Measured in inches and centimeters.  Some children are still struggling to start their measurements at the zero mark.  Extra practice at home measuring with a ruler and/or measuring tape would be helpful.

*   Added double-digit numbers using the traditional algorithm that you probably learned as a student. 

**  I taught students to making thinking bubbles on their papers with the sum of the ones (labeled “1s”) and the tens (labeled “10s”).  They can look at the sum and decide how to record the digits.  They MUST finish their work with the ones BEFORE adding the tens, however.  We talked about how you can “graduate” and not need the thinking bubbles after you get some practice.

**  Most students grasped this strategy the day that I introduced it, and are correctly recording the sum of the ones and tens, even when we have more than 9.  This is great to see!

**  Some children are struggling with recording the digits after they total the ones, for example.  When the total of the ones is 12, for example, we need to put the 1 ten in the tens place … up above the numbers that were part of the original problem … in small print.  We need to put the 2 ones in the ones place … at the bottom of the problem where we are writing the answer.  These children would benefit from additional practice with adding double-digit numbers that have regrouping.  For example, 23 + 47 = ? or 35 + 73 = ?

**  Some children are putting little “1”s in the tens place on problems that did not have more than 9 when they combined the ones.  These children would benefit from additional practice with adding double-digit numbers that do NOT have regrouping.  For example, 23 + 45 = ?

*  We finished unit 7 lessons.  We will have a “catch up and review” day on the Monday after spring break.  We’ll take the unit assessments on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week.

*  Did you know that unit self-assessments are now available on our website?  Feel free to download them and use them to help you as you are working with your child at home.  Scroll to the bottom of the Resources/Math page.

Next Unit: 8 Geometry & Arrays

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: A Plant’s Life

*   We observed our seeds.  We were surprised to find that the seed in the dark cupboard is the only seed that is growing right now!  The seed on our window that has sun, water, and air is just cracked open.  It doesn’t have roots or a stem yet.

*  We talked about what can learn from our observations.  We no longer think seeds need sun to grow.

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: How do communities change over time?

*  We learned that history is the study of the past.

*  We talked about ways you can study the past, such as by reading books, observing objects from the past (like at a museum), or by studying old photographs

**  Your child may ask if you have old photographs of grandma or grandpa when they were little.  We talked about how the clothes that people wear have changed, toys that kids used to play with have changed, and houses and cars look different now!

 

Computer lab

We worked in RAZ Kids … reading books and taking quizzes about the books.  Remember that your child can login at home and read RAZ Kids books over break.

 

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!

_____________________________________________________


3/24/2017   

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

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We began our focus on Habit 5 – Seek first to understand. 

We are learning to listen first, and then talk.

We are also reviewing and practicing habits 1-4.

Habit 1 – Be proactive.  You are in charge.

Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind.

Habit 3 – Put first things first.  Work first, then play.

Habit 4 – Think win-win.    

 

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on mindfulness during the month of March. 

We have learned that when you are mindful, you are “in the moment” with whatever you are doing.  When we are reading, we are focused on reading.  When we are doing math, we are focusing on math.  Other things are not important at that time.

We have many strategies that we have learned in class which help us to stay focused on what is really important.  We are working on using these “tools” to help us be mindful.

 

Report Card Survey [Click here for the link.]

The district is asking for parent feedback regarding the second trimester report card.  In the case of our class, you would be giving feedback about the standards based mathematics report card

They have changed the survey resource that they are using to try to make it easier for all parents to complete the survey.  I encourage you to share your thoughts.

 

Important Dates

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

Spring Break:  April 3rd – 7th

No School:  Friday, April 14th

 

Book It!

March is the last month of the Book It! program.

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).

March goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  3/6, 3/13, 3/20, and 3/27

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

We did a fun warm up activity with acronyms.  Students were quick to tell us that BLT stands for “bacon, lettuce and tomato”; PB&J stands for “peanut butter and jelly”; and ASAP stands for “as soon as possible”.  Impressive!

We continued our focus on social skills.  We are learning strategies that we can use to defeat the team of “unthinkables” (characters that try to take over our brains).   We talked about students’ Glassman activities from last week.  Students wrote about times that they defeated Glassman as he tried to make them have a big upset reaction to a small problem.

We made a list of things that really are “bigproblems, and some that are really “smallproblems.  Students told us that having your car stolen really is a big problem.  Not having a certain colored crayon is a small problem.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

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

This week we learned:

*  We get ideas of topics we might like to learn more about as we read series books.

*  We go back and forth between reading fiction and nonfiction books.

*  We decide if we have enough information to understand the story, or need to do research to learn more about the topic.

Next unit of study:  Traditional Literature – Fables, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

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

This week we:

*  We will be writing informational books about plants.

*  We wrote down all the things we think we know about our topic.

*  We used a Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction (R.A.N.) Chart to keep track of our thinking: what we knew before we read, things we confirmed while we read, things we understood a little differently, and new information we learned from our reading.

Next unit of study:  Realistic Fiction

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 7 – Whole Number Operations & Measurement and Data

This week we:

*  Learned about personal reference units (parts of our body that are about the same size as a particular unit).  We use our personal reference units to estimate length.

*  Estimated and then measured in inches and centimeters.  We are noticing that when we measure in centimeters, we get a bigger number.

*   Subtracted double-digit numbers using strategies that we’ve learned this year.  For example:

*        Using a number grid

*        Open number line

*        Drawing base ten blocks

*        Using a Quantity-Quantity-Difference diagram

*        We will be learning Trade First Subtraction, a pencil and paper strategy for subtracting, shortly.

Next Unit: 8 Geometry & Arrays

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: A Plant’s Life

*   We read books about seeds.  Most plants have seeds.

Seeds are spread by animals (such as birds), the wind, etc.

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: How do communities change over time?

 

Computer lab

We worked on our typing skills.  We did a science activity about plants (seeds).  This was a great way to review the things we have been learning in class!  Look for the paper in your child’s Weekly Folder.

 

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!

______________________________________________________


Class News 3/17/2017    

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.    

 

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on mindfulness during the month of March.

 

Important Dates

BookfairThursday, March 23rd

Report cards come home
:  Friday, March 24th

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

Spring Break:  April 3rd – 7th

No School:  Friday, April 14th

 

Book It!

March is the last month of the Book It! program.

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).

March goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  3/6, 3/13, 3/20, and 3/27

 

Guest Readers [Click here for the link.]

We are enjoying having guest readers during our March is Reading Month celebration. 

If you would like to be a guest reader for our class, please check your schedule and sign up for an available slot on Sign Up Genius.  Click on the above link.

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

We continued our focus on social skills.  We are learning strategies that we can use to defeat the team of “unthinkables” (characters that try to take over our brains).

This week we talked more about “Glass Man.”  We have learned that sometimes we get huge upset reactions to what are really not that big of a deal.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

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

This week we learned:

*  We think about the author's message.  What is he/she trying to tell me.

*  We notice what is the same and what is different across books in a series.

*  We come up with new theories as we read to explain why things are happening.  

Next unit of study:  Traditional Literature – Fables, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Personal Expertise Writing

This week we:

*  We worked on publishing.

 

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

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 7 – Whole Number Operations & Measurement and Data

This week we:

*  Used strategies such as Going through Ten to get from a Starting Number to a Target Number.  For example, if you want to get from 23 to 70, you can do this:

23 + 7 = 30 + 40 = 70  You only needed 2 steps (+7 and then +40) to do it!

*  Used strategies such as Making Ten to add 4 numbers together.  When we use this strategy with big numbers, we are making multiples of ten (Ex., 10, 20, 30, …).  So, we start by deciding how many ones we would need to make ten.  We look in the ones place for 2 numbers that would “go together.”  Then we put the parts together.

Ex.  17 + 25 + 33 + 41 = ?

First, put the 17 and 33 together.  You get 50.

Now, put the other numbers together. 

** One way to put the numbers together is to count up from where you are.  We are at 50, so we can count up 25 like this, “60, 70, 75.”  Then we count up 41 like this, “85, 95, 105, 115, 116.”  The answer is 116.

** Another way to put the numbers together is to put the other two numbers together and then add them to the number you already have.  We still need to add 25 and 41.  So, 25 + 41 = 66.  Now, we put the 50 and 66 together.  We get 116.

Next Unit: 8 Geometry & Arrays

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: A Plant’s Life

*   We learned that seeds have 3 parts: seed coat, baby plant, and food storage.  Ask your child to tell you about these 3 parts.

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: How do communities change over time?

 

Computer lab

We worked on our typing skills.  We typed more of our poems that we write on Wednesdays in class. Students are becoming more independent with finding and opening the file, finding the letters on the keyboard, using the Enter key and space key, and saving the file.  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!



______________________________________________________

3/10/2017

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.    

 

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on mindfulness during the month of March.

 

Wish List/Donations

We need tissues and glue sticks in our classroom.  We are looking for donations of these items.  If you can help us, please send some in.  Thank you!

 

Important Dates

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

Report cards come home:  Friday, March 24th

Spring Break:  April 3rd – 7th

No School:  Friday, April 14th

 

Book It!

March is the last month of the Book It! program.

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).

March goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  3/6, 3/13, 3/20, and 3/27

 

Guest Readers [Click here for the link.]

We are enjoying having guest readers during our March is Reading Month celebration. 

If you would like to be a guest reader for our class, please check your schedule and sign up for an available slot on Sign Up Genius.  Click on the above link.

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

We continued our focus on social skills.  We are learning strategies that we can use to defeat the team of “unthinkables” (characters that try to take over our brains).

This week we talked more about “Rock Brain.”  We have learned that sometimes we get “stuck” on something that we want to do, and forget to do things that we need to do.  When this happens, we say that Rock Brain has taken over our brain.

We began reading about another “unthinkable” character in the Superflex series: Glassman.  Glassman makes people have huge upset reactions to little things.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

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

This week we learned:

*  We think about how series books go together.

*  We stop and tell what we know about characters so far.

*  We notice when surprising things happen and wonder why.

Next unit of study:  Traditional Literature – Fables, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Personal Expertise Writing

This week we:

*  We added a glossary to our book.  We chose 5 important words that are in our book that we felt readers needed to understand.  We put them in ABC order and wrote definitions for them. 

* We began publishing a personal expertise book.

*  We revised our writing to make it better, clearer, or more detailed.

 

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

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 6 – Addition and Subtraction

This week we:

*  Worked in small groups to solve challenging math problems.  Students are learning to work together, listen to each other, and share their ideas in respectful ways.  Students discovered that working in a group can be hard.  Also, it is easy to get “stuck” on one idea or strategy just because others used it first.  However, sometimes a different strategy might work better to solve a problem.

*  We worked more on making ballpark estimates (number models with “friendly” numbers).

*  We worked more on solving addition problems using the partial sums method

*  Took our unit 6 assessments.

Next Unit: 7 Whole Number Operations & Measurement and Data

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: A Plant’s Life

*   We plan to start this unit next week.

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]


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

Next focus: How do communities change over time?

 

 

Computer lab

We worked on our coding skills with the website Code.org.  It is impressive what the students are able to do.  They are becoming stronger problem solvers.  They are persevering with challenging tasks, and showing that they have grit.  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!



______________________________________________________


3/3/2017

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

 

7 Habits of Happy Kids

We continued our focus on Habit 4 – Think win-win.    

 

Character Focus

Our whole school is focusing on mindfulness during the month of March. 

 

Important Dates

Half-day of School for Students (dismissal at 12:10 p.m.): 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!

March is the last month of the Book It! program.

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).

March goal: 400 minutes

Weeks that count toward this goal:  3/6, 3/13, 3/20, and 3/27


Guest Readers [Click here for the link.]

We are looking for guest readers during the month of March.  If you would like to be a guest reader for our class, please check your schedule and sign up for an available slot on Sign Up Genius.  Click on the above link.

 

Podcasts [Click here for the link.]

Check them out!

 

Activity with Mrs. Coleman

This week we continued to learn about social wondering as we read more about Superflex, a superhero who has flexible thinking skills.

Homework for the Weekend:

* Choose 1 thing your parents often have to ask you to do.  Do it this weekend without needing reminders.  Mrs. Coleman is going to ask about this next week.

*  If students cannot think of anything, they should clear the dinner table.

 

Reading [Click here for the link.]

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

This week:

*  We notice when surprising things happen. Then we think about why that might be happening.

*  We make theories about why things are happening and then read on to see if our theories are correct.  Sometimes they are; sometimes they are not.  That is okay, as long as we use everything we know already to come up with our theories, and the theories make sense.

* We jot down (write) our theories about stories.

* We review our jots (notes) before we meet with our book clubs to talk.

Next unit of study:  Traditional Literature – Fables, Folktales, and Fairy Tales

 

Writing [Click here for the link.]

Current unit of study:  Personal Expertise Writing

This week we:

*  We use text features to help our readers understand.  For example: Table of Contents, bold print,  photographs (from a camera), diagrams (drawn), labels, captions, and a glossary. 

*  We can talk notes when we talk to experts to learn more about our topic.  We have to be careful, though, as sometimes people think they are more of an expert than they actually are.  So, when things seem “fishy,” we thank our “expert” for their time, and try to do more research to better understand if the “fishy” part was correct or.

*  We revise our writing to make it better, clearer, or more detailed.

 

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

 

Math  [Click here for the link.]

Current Unit: 6 – Addition and Subtraction

This week we:

*  Continued to make ballpark estimates.  Ballpark estimates use numbers (usually the nearest 10) that are easier to work with.  We use the ballpark estimates to determine if our answers make sense.  Many students are struggling with this concept, and would benefit from a little extra practice. 

For example,  123 + 245 = ?  The nearest tens are 120 and 250.  So, we make a number model using these nearest tens:  120 + 250 = 370.  This tells us that we expect the answer to be close to 370.  If the answer we get for the “real” problem is not close (within 10), we need to go back and check our work.  Something doesn’t seem right.

*  Solved addition problems using the partial sums method.  This strategy basically combines the hundreds, the tens, and the ones.  Then, we combine the sums that we just figured out to get the answer.

 * Solved an Open Response Problem about subtracting 2-digit numbers (drawing base-ten blocks to help us).

*  We will do the last lesson (explorations) on Monday.

*  We will take the unit 6 assessments next week on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 7th and 8th).

 

Science  [Click here for the link.]

Current focus: Measuring Matters

*   We took our unit assessment

Next unit:  A Plant’s Life

 

Social Studies [Click here for the link.]

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

 

Computer lab

We worked on our coding skills with the website Code.org.  It is impressive what the students are able to do.  They are becoming stronger problem solvers.  They are persevering with challenging tasks, and showing that they have grit.  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!