Friday, April 29, 2016

April 29th

Dear Families,
As we prepare for the "home stretch" of second grade, students will be busy at work demonstrating proficiency in their essential learning targets. We'll revisit these ELTs one final time to ensure students are well prepared for third grade.

We began a poetry unit this week which encompassed reading and writing workshop. Students are learning that poetry is a type of art in which the poet expresses an emotion or idea through words. Students realized that poets love to play with words by using rhyme, repetition and made up words. We spent lots of time reading and visualizing poems written by Shel Silverstein and Douglas Florian. I am sending home some of the poems we read in their homework folders today. I hope you can read them together, act them out, look at the word play or anything else you can think of to enjoy them! In addition, students wrote two poems and chose one to take through the writing process which included editing, rewriting, illustrating and sharing.

Children spent time counting coins to add up to $1.00 and spending money to subtract from $1.00. We played out scenarios of having a certain amount of change and figuring out if we could buy items from the class store or if we needed more money. Not only was this great practice with counting coins, it was also a great opportunity to add and subtract 2-digit numbers.
We revisited place value by looking at three digit numbers. Students practiced building numbers in the hundreds using base ten blocks, dice and white boards. We used expanded form to show our understanding of place value. This means children had to write a number to show the value of each digit on its own. For example, the expanded form for 137 looks like: 100 + 30 + 7 = 137.

We have continued to learn about the various roles and relationships plants and animals have in their particular ecosystems. Students have discovered why honeybees and sea otters are considered "keystone species." Next week, students will design a unique insect that is beneficial in some way to its ecosystem.

Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, April 8, 2016

April 8th

Dear Families,
Even though we are quickly approaching April vacation, our learning isn't slowing down a bit! Here are the learning goals (ELTs) we are currently working on:

We are finishing up author's purpose (P.I.E.). Students can tell if an author is trying to persuade, inform or entertain the reader and give evidence to support their claims. We continued to practice retelling by recalling the important events and characters in a story. Using words such as in the beginning, then, next, and finally helps give order to the retelling.

We began a unit on opinion writing this week. Students wrote their opinions and gave persuasive reasons to support them. We used the books I Wanna Iguana and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus to inspire some of our own "Here's why I should" and "Here's why I shouldn't" pieces. We had topics ranging from "Here's why I should have a zebra for pet" to "Here's why I shouldn't have to do chores" and so much more. It has been quite fun so far and we will continue this writing next week.

Lynn Plourde Author Study
We spent lots of time reading Lynn Plourde books. She is visiting Skillin next week and we want to be experts on her! We read School Picture Day, Field Trip Day and Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud. Students decided that her main purpose is to entertain readers because her books are fictitious and quite amusing and silly. They completed projects including a story cube, postcard and book award. These projects required them to identify story elements and summarize the major events. We are looking forward to her visit next week!

Students continued to work on adding and subtracting two-digit numbers by playing several related games called Get to 100, Roll a Square and Unroll a Square. Each game involved adding dice and either counting up or back on a special 100 grid. We took these skills to another level with counting coins, adding coins up to $1.00 and spending $1.00. It is essential that children understand one dollar equals 100 cents. Coin counting is an important life skill so please encourage your child to practice at home.

Upcoming Dates:
Thursday, April 14: early release (students are dismissed at 12:30)

Friday, April 15- Friday, April 22: no school (April vacation week)

A Note About Homework
There is no spelling homework this week. The next set of spelling words will be sent home after vacation. Please have your child keep up with their reading homework, though. Remember, we are all working toward the 1, 000, 000 page goal and we need everyone's help!

Mrs. Bradstreet