Friday, September 25, 2015

Sept. 25

Dear Families,
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our academic open house. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of your child's quality work and participating in math and science activities. We have really dug into some more in-depth learning over the past couple of weeks. Here are some highlights:

Spelling
We began our spelling program this week. Students will receive spelling instruction in small groups, based on their own "spelling profiles." The focus of this program is to identify patterns in words through word sorting and other related activities. Repeated practice with sorting helps students develop automaticity with their spelling words. This week, all students focused on contractions.

Reading Workshop
This is an important time of the day when students are working independently in centers while I work with guided reading groups. This week was only a practice round of centers to ensure students knew what was expected of them. They practiced working independently and quietly. I think they will find this to be an enjoyable time of day! Centers include a variety of hands-on learning experiences including creation stationpuzzles & games and computers. Ask your child to tell you what his/her favorite center is!

Shared Reading
We read The Little Red Hen and the Ear of Wheat and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse and used them to recall important events that happened in the beginning, middle and end - an important skill all good readers can do!

Writing Workshop
Students learned how to sketch as a method of getting ideas for writing. They practiced sketching and turning those sketches into interesting stories.

Math
We worked a lot with coins this week! Students observed and described each coin and practiced naming and saying the value of each. Your child will need to know the names and values of all coins so please help them practice at home. We explored coin equivalencies with a game called "Collect 25 cents" where students had to roll a die, collect pennies and eventually trade pennies in for other  coins.

Students practiced some in-depth mathematical thinking through an activity called "Enough for the Class?" They were given a bag with a number of cubes inside. They had to use strategies to determine if there was enough cubes in the bag for each child in class to have one. Then, they had to decide if there were any leftover cubes, or if we needed more. It required a lot of heavy thinking but they did well!

Science
Students explored the question: What makes an insect?
They know that an insect must have 6 legs and 3 body parts (head, thorax, abdomen). They created an insect-mini book that helped them identify these body parts.
We are also patiently awaiting the arrival of our butterflies. We have several healthy chrysalises in our classroom. We expect to see the final stage of the butterfly life cycle sometime next week!

Announcements
Parent-Teacher Conference sign-up sheets are coming home today in your child's homework folder. Please fill it out and send it back in as soon as you can. Times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. You will also need to fill in the goal-setting sheet that accompanies it.

Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sept. 8 - Sept. 11

Hooray for finishing our first week of second grade! We spent lots of time getting to know each other, practicing respectful listening and creating a set of classroom rules. Here is a quick rundown of some of our highlights:

  • We held a daily Morning Meeting beginning on the first day of school. The students learned two greetings and read daily morning messages. We will add a sharing component to our meeting next week. This provides us with a good foundation for building a strong classroom community.
  • We practiced procedures such as lining up, walking in the hallway and fire drills. 
  • We created a chart of classroom rules. These will be the guiding expectations in everything we do this year. The rules will be reviewed and reinforced often.
  • We read many school-themed stories such as If You Take a Mouse to School, Chrysanthemum and Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes.
  • We decorated our big bulletin board with a special project. Students reflected on their summer and made goals for second grade. You will see these during open house!
  • In math, we began calendar routines, "played" with the 100 grid and explored important math tools such as pattern blocks and geoboards.
Our Specials:
Monday - P.E. (please wear sneakers)
Wednesday - Music
Thursday - Art
Friday - Library (remember to return your books)

We will also have computer and kindergarten book buddies each week.

Thank you for a great week!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet