Friday, November 20, 2015

Nov. 20th

Reading groups are focused on retelling the beginning, middle and ending of stories. We are working on decoding strategies to figure out unknown words and building our fluency through repeated readings of familiar texts.

We have spent lots of time learning about three parts of speech: nouns, verbs and adjectives. We have listened for examples of each in stories, sorted parts of speech and built silly sentences. You can ask your child to tell you about each of these parts of speech. They should be able to identify examples within their books at home!

Authors have been very engaged in the writing process. We have written stories about likes/dislikes and pets this week. In December, we will focus on taking a writing piece all the way through the process by editing and finalizing a couple of different pieces.

Students are using combinations they know to solve number strings. For example, a number string can look like this: 4+3+6+3 = ?
They should be able to see a doubles combination (3+3=6) and a combination of 10 (4+6=10). By figuring out these known combinations first, they should be able to efficiently solve the number string. You can help your child practice this learning goal with a deck of cards - ask them to turn over 3 or more cards and add them using combinations they know!

We have revisited addition and subtraction story problems. Students should be able to read a story problem and tell it again in their own words. They should be able to say if the problem is asking for addition or subtraction. Then, they should be able to solve the problem and explain how they arrived at their answer. Strategies for solving story problems can include: drawing pictures, making tally marks, using place value (tens and ones) and counting forward or backward. There are many steps involved but they are getting the hang of it!

Social Studies & Junior Achievement
We have begun a new social studies unit on Communities & Community Helpers. We have begun by defining "community" and talking about our neighborhood and school communities. We have identified important landmarks and places in our South Portland community and helpful people at those places. Students created All-Star Helper cards for important members of our community including teachers, custodians, bankers, police officers and taxi drivers. All of these people have jobs that help us in some way.

Mr. Brian McHugh is visiting us each Thursday for the next several weeks. He comes to us through the Junior Achievement program. The focus of his lessons revolve around community, business and saving money. As you can see, it ties in nicely to our social studies unit.

Important Dates
  • Tuesday, November 24th is an Early Release day
  • There is No School on Wednesday (11/25), Thursday (11/26), or Friday (11/27)

An important note about homework:
There is no spelling homework for the next few weeks. Students will be given a spelling assessment the week after Thanksgiving so I can have an updated spelling profile for each child for the second trimester. Students will receive new sets of spelling words in December. Please continue to have your child read at home because we will still send home the "100 Minute Reading Club" homework! In addition, there is a blue sheet titled "Ideas" coming home today. This is for parents or adult family members to fill out. This sheet will help your child complete an important writing project in December. Thank you for your help.

Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6th


  • Second grade reading groups have begun! All second graders have been placed into flexible reading groups (this means students can move between groups as needed based on their individual reading goals). Students will receive 45 minutes of targeted reading instruction at their reading levels each day. The focus for all reading groups at this point is to work on telling beginning, middle and ending events of a story in order.
  • We read picture books titled Possum's Harvest Moon and Frederick and used these to discuss the who, what, where, when and why of a story.


  • Our focus this week  was "adding more" to our stories by rereading and including important details. Writers had fun telling about a fantasy trip they would like to take. 
  • We are also focusing on using punctuation at the end of sentences. They even helped me with punctuation in our morning messages!

  • We wrapped up our geometry unit this week. Students did a wonderful job sorting and comparing 2D and 3D shapes. They became experts on building and describing rectangles as well!
  • We reviewed fact families - a fact family is a group of numbers related through addition and subtraction. For example: 3, 5 8. Ask your child to show you the equations that go with this family.
  • We spent lots of time practicing addition and subtraction facts with single digit numbers. 


  • We wrapped up our Insects & Spiders unit with a presentation by Phil Gavin from the Honey Exchange. He taught the second graders all about honeybees and even brought a beehive and two varieties of honey for students to sample. They really enjoyed his presentation!

Upcoming Events
  • We will begin a social studies unit on Communities next week.
  • There is no school on Wednesday, November 11th as we observe Veteran's Day.

Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet