Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Flexible Reading Groups

Second graders have officially begun Reading Groups this week. Each student has been placed in a small, "flexible" reading group with their own reading teacher based on his/her reading level and instructional needs. Students may move groups if it is determined that their individual reading needs have changed at any time this year. Groups will meet for 45 minutes per day to work on grade level learning targets at their own instructional reading level. Because reading starts promptly at 9:30 each day, it is especially important for students to arrive to school on time so they don't miss out on this critical part of the school day.

During our first week, we created a list of expectations to make reading group time as successful as
possible. We also reviewed decoding strategies (What can you do when you are stuck on a word?) and we created a reading strategy bookmark. These will be used as a visual reminder of their "bank" of reading strategies.

All six groups will be working on the same essential learning target. We will start with Plot Development - students will learn how to sequence events from the beginning, middle and end of a story using transitional words such as first, next and last and ultimately will be able to summarize a story.

We are looking forward to a productive year of reading groups! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Investigating Life Cycles

Our young scientists began a unit of study on Insects and Ecosystems last week. The first part of the unit is exploring life cycles (including complete and incomplete metamorphosis). We have observed monarch caterpillars go through two stages of a life cycle. Students are recording their observations in a science journal, as well as reading and creating their own nonfiction books. Yesterday, they partner-read a nonfiction book titled Caterpillar to Butterfly and created science word cards. These are on display on our KLEWS board. It is so exciting to see the enthusiasm on the children's faces as they eagerly check the caterpillars each morning to see if any big changes happened overnight!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mathematicians at Work

For our first math lesson, the children brainstormed different math topics they might learn about this year. Their answers were very appropriate, ranging from patterns and money to addition and subtraction. Their first "official" math project was a bus glyph (as you can see in this photo) in which they had to answer specific questions and their answers determined the color of their bus/wheels, number of windows, etc. Not only did this project help us get to know one another, it was a great opportunity to collect data. Once the glyphs were complete, students analyzed the similarities and differences among them. You can see these during Academic Open House!