Last week after studying the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, we held an official trial to determine whether Goldilocks was in fact guilty. We even had a real life lawyer come in (Mr. Leary) to help our jury with deliberation. We are looking forward to our next trial of The Wolf vs. Fairytale land including some very interesting witnesses. Friday May 31st, Time TBA please put it on your calendar and keep an eye out for an invitation in orange folders sometime next week!
To introduce problem solving Friday, each table group was given a puzzle with 60+ pieces and no picture. They had to use what they already knew about puzzles and work together as a group to figure it out. They used strategies such as matching colors, creating the frame of the puzzle first, looking at the shapes, and getting clues from pieces of the picture that they put together. This was a fun activity to help the kids understand that even if they are given a really hard math problem all they have to do is use what they already know about math to figure it out.
This is an example of what we've been doing on Fridays to culminate our lessons on each Fairytale. Stay tuned for next weeks mock trial of Goldilocks!
While I know February is the shortest month of the year, it seems especially short for me as baby-time is nearly here!! Sarah Schmidt will be our teacher while I am away on maternity leave. Next week we will be team-teaching together as we hope to make a smooth transition. Mrs. Schmidt will be here on Monday and Wednesday and also plans on attending the QAE auction on March 8th. She has subbed in our classroom earlier this school year and at QAE. Please help me welcome her when you see her at school as she is very excited to join our community.
Reading & Writing: Our published book reviews are soon appearing on our Weebly sites! As strong writers, we focused on the following things: In the introduction we tried to hook our readers with the topic sentence and gave the basics about the book. The body should give a summary of the story that includes information about the characters and the big story events. The conclusion should have our opinion or review of the book. This includes feelings we got, what we learned, whether or not we like the book, and an overall rating (with 5 stars being the best!). The students went through the writing process from planning, drafting, editing, revising, and typing it themselves! You get to enjoy the 2nd graders hard work by visiting their Weebly sites and reading the reviews. Please see homework below!
Math: This week we explored geometry concepts of shape attributes; identifying similarities and differences, line segments; drawing line segments that are and are not parallel and polygons. They noted that it’s possible to trace the sides of a polygon and come back to the starting point without retracing or crossing any part. See math homework for practice.
PBL: The Dirt on Soil! As we have learned more and more about soil, we are digging further into our project of finding “WAYS WE CAN HELP IMPROVE OUR ECOSYSTEM.” The driving question for our Project Based Learning is “HOW RRR WE IMPACTING THE ENVIRONMENT? HOW BIG RRR OUR CARBON FOOTPRINTS?” (with an emphasis on Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle).
Students started breaking into manager teams for vermin-composting, collecting data, and designing our new and evolving PBL website www.dirtonsoil2013.weebly.com. The site is still launching and gradually students will be adding evidence of learning for all to see!
Our Project is branching into all disciplines; new vocabulary during word study, related readings and poetry (such as Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out by Shel Silverstein), graphing composting data in math, and creating both scientific and cartoon drawings of worms in art. Next week in art we will be REUSE household items to make sculptures. These should be small-scale, recycled items such as toilet paper rolls, yogurt containers, Altoid tins, etc. Please don’t bring in large objects such as cereal boxes and milk jugs, etc. Please bring in a few items by Thursday February 28th.
To support our learning, on March 12th we will be going to visit Seattle Tilth and tour their gardens. Students will be participating in composting, planting, and seasonal activities. Please review and return the permission slip. We will be welcoming driving chaperones! We are asking drivers to submit insurance and license information to the office prior by March 8th.
· BOOK REVIEW comments: Visit three classmates’ Weebly sites and read their book review and leave a comment for them. You must leave a comment for your READING BUDDY and at least 2 other 2nd graders. Comments should focus on what you enjoyed about the review and your opinion of whether or not you will read the book! You can access student sites from our classroom webpage/STUDENT SITES.
· Math Pages: Parallel lines
· Return fieldtrip permission slip
· Clean reusable household items for an art sculpture (by Thursday)
Questions of the week: Tell me about the different layers of soil. What does parallel mean? What do you know about polygons?
Shredding and watering newspaper for the worm bed!
It feels as though we have had a lot of starting and stopping the last few weeks with days off and early releases, which can make it challenging to get into a groove! Yet we have still managed to start our worm bins, write a review on a book we are reading and poll the school about their family composting habits; see below for more details.
On Tuesday February 12th we will be doing our class auction art project from 2:00-3:30 and need extra volunteers. There will be an introduction lesson the day before at the same time, but more hands-on help is needed on Tuesday. Please let Laurie Reed know if you’re available to help on either day!
Reading & Writing: This past week we spent a lot more time writing a book review. Your child chose a book they have read and know well. We start with planning what to write using a template and then write an introduction, body, and conclusion in sentence and paragraph form. In addition to giving a summary of the book, we are including our opinions; how we felt, what we learned and even giving it a rating. Next week we’d like the students (with adult support) to type their book reviews. This will be a way to have a nice published piece that can be easily be uploaded to their Weebly sites, submitted to online book review resources (if they so choose), and be displayed at school. If your child is not able to type this at home please let us know so we can allow them time to do it at school. Upon completion, we will need parents to send an electronic attachment to us (your teacher!).
Math: As part of our science/project based learning connection, this week we challenged the students to apply their graphing and data collection skills. As a group, they decided how they would collect and keep track of how many students’ in our classroom and school compost (food scraps) at home. They then created bar graphs to represent the data they collected. Come see our data in the hallway. We will continue to practice these skills throughout our composting unit.
Science/PBL: What’s boneless, teethless, has no eyes but has five hearts? A worm! Worms are “hard at work” in the worm bins we created at school. A BIG thank you to Amy Janas, our master composter, who helped us start the bins. The students made the worms a nice bed of shredded newspaper, a little soil and leaves, sprinkles of water, and of course food scraps. We are collecting food scraps from snack and lunch time to feed the worms. Stay posted for worm bin updates!
Valentine Compliments: A compliment or appreciation is a formal act of civility, courtesy and respect! Hopefully your child is enjoying this process and we know it’s a big feat to write 26 compliments. This is an exercise that supports our school’s positive discipline model. We start out every class meeting with compliments to teach the importance of noticing the positive aspects in each other and foster connections between students. This exercise stretches students to give compliments to all classmates!
Please note, that compliments were due today. We need them done before Valentine’s Day so we can assemble them into booklets. Therefore, students who don’t complete them before Monday will have the opportunity to finish them at school. Those students who have completed them will receive extra recess.
· Keep logging what you read and get on your reading log
· Dream box for at least 30 minutes during this next week
· Book reviews will start coming home at some point next week to be typed
*** WANTED: We are in need of books and resources focused on the environment. As part of our PBL project, students will be researching information around Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle and gather information from a variety of sources. Please send in items that may be of use. Please make sure your name is on any item so we can be sure to return them to you. You can also purchase environmental books and items that are on our Amazon Wish lists. Thank you!
MAP TEST SCHEDULE: we will finish taking the MAP test next week on February 13th.
Question of the week: Tell me about the FBI you learned about in school. What is important about each one? (Hint: FBI is an acronym for words we learned in science regarding composting).
Thursday, February 14th:
12:30 Early Dismissal (furlough day)
Valentine’s Day Party
Friday, February 15th & Monday, February 18th: NO SCHOOL,
Mid-Winter Break/Presidents’ Day Holiday
February 24th: Parent social at Bar Dojo
March 1st: Class baby shower
· Dream Box
· Type Book Review
Have a wonderful weekend!
This year each class is creating a class basket to donate to the QAE Auction! Ours is themed, "The Great Outdoors."
If you are willing and able to donate, please fill out information about your contribution in Google Doc linked below. Thank YOU!
Jennifer Richardson (Class Basket Coordinator)
It’s a Thursday letter! Tomorrow there is no school for students. The staff will be meeting primarily with Project Based Learning on the agenda. The timing is ideal as we are enduring our next unit “The Dirt on Soil” and will be launching worm bins in the next couple of weeks. School activities continue to keep us busy everywhere, from projects and holidays to the auction and MAP testing. All the while we are all trying to stay healthy! The “bug” has really been going around. We have had class discussions about good hygiene and ways we can keep spreading germs to a minimum. Please keep your child home if he/she is under the weather.
Reading & Writing: Stories, especially the series books we are reading, have so much to offer! The books are filled with new vocabulary, character development, inferential meaning, and points of view that are worth deep conversations and reflection. Book club discussions and written responses are ways we can dive deeper into books and really appreciate the work the author has provided. Please take the time to talk with your child about his/her reading. In some cases, we are finding that some key points and details are being overlooked. This may happen if books are too challenging and if readers are reading to just to get to the end of the book. Instead we should be stopping often, rereading, reflecting, and responding to what we read. Please have your child keep track of his/her thinking on sticky notes. This is a routine we do in class and can jump-start great conversations the next time we have an opportunity to work together.
Math: We have been practicing finding basic multiplication facts by making a symbol picture called an array. An array is a group of symbols arranged in straight rows and columns. For example: 3 rows of 7 symbols equals 21 symbols. 3 x 7 = 21.
Science: Scientists conduct three main test to investigate soil and its components: a ball, smear, and settling test. We did these tests with sand, clay, and humus and with a “mystery mixture.” The students were to use what they know from the previous tests to identify and give evidence of what components made up their mystery mixture. Ask your child what his/her mystery mixture was made of! Today we planted seeds in different soil components. Over the next couple of months, we will see if the healthiest plants grow in sand, clay, or humus and observe what happens as they grow or don’t grow!
February 14th Valentine’s Day Party:
Some of you have been wondering if the Valentine compliment assignment is in place of individual cards, not necessarily. You are still welcome to bring in the cute store bought or handmade cards to pass out, but each student will also receive 26 compliments in a booklet, from their classmates and teacher. Which we think is sweeter than candy!
We will have a party starting at 11:15 and will go until dismissal at 12:30. We will eat lunch and snacks in class during this time.
In addition to daily reading, our main homework is to write each classmate a compliment Valentine. Please return the compliment cards to school by February 8th. Be sure to use your best printing and you can color them too! There are also some array and multiplication math pages for practice.
Question of the week:
A column goes _______ and a row goes _________ (vertical or horizontal).
This helps us when creating an array.
Have a wonderful weekend!
After some cooler weather, I think our kids welcome back the usual rainy Seattle weather. With January coming to a close, we are starting to get ready for February. The shortest month of the year certainly isn't short on stuff to look forward to; Valentine’s day party, President’s day and lots of new concepts in reading, math and science! Please remember, there is no school this coming Friday, February 1st!
Reading & Writing: Our reading and writing block is a combination of writing about our reading. We are actively engaged in our book clubs and spend time each day responding to what we’re reading. We have been practicing “accountable talk.” This means within our book groups our discussions stay on topic, we add onto what others say, we ask questions if we don’t understand or to find out more, and we add-on to what others say. We are keeping track of our characters and important events by writing them down in reading notebooks. We have formed opinions about our characters and have given examples from the books to confirm our opinions. At home, have discussions with your child about what he/she is reading. What opinions do they have about their character and see if they can turn to specific pages in his/her book that support their opinion.
Math: Here comes multiplication! This week we practiced determining whether a group of objects has an odd or even number of members by pairing or counting them by 2’s. We then arranged objects in rectangular arrays (e.g. 2 by 5 or 5 by 2) and wrote equations to express our array arrangement; the beginning of multiplication, yeah!
Science: What did the worm say to the other when he was late home? Where in earth have you been! J This week we had a guest from Seattle Tilth come in with a couple hundred of his wiggliest friends . We learned about redworms and sorted organic and nonorganic materials. In class, we made containers, some with and some without worms. Over the next several weeks we will observe our containers and compare and contrast them where everything is the same (the amount of soil, parts of organic and nonorganic things, water, and placement) except for the one thing that is different, whether or not it has WORMS! These will be our models for what happens outside.
The title of our Project Based Learning unit is “The Dirt on Soil.” As we are getting into our next big endeavor, there are resources on our class Amazon Wishlist that will support our learning. If you are able, please check out it out on our class webpage and donate. Your contribution will not only help our classroom project but also help give back money to our school! The Amazon Wishlist is under the “more” tab on our class site; and while you’re on our class site, also under “more” check out the video from our presentation at the Martin Luther King Jr. assembly!
February 14th Valentine’s Day Party: We will be having a Valentine’s Day Celebration from 11:15-12:30 on Thursday the 14th. During this time students will be doing some art, exchanging Valentines, watching a movie, eating lunch (since it’s a 12:30 release) and enjoying some treats. Please feel free to join us for the celebration. Don’t forget to send in those cereal boxes to school for valentine mailboxes! In addition to daily reading, our main homework is to write each classmate a compliment Valentine. Please return the compliment cards to school by February 8th. Be sure to use your best printing and you can color them too!
· Valentine compliments (see sheet & directions)
Question of the week:
What do you know about worms and organic material? What things can be turned back into soil? What things can’t? (Worms are living systems made up of parts, each part has a function, what do worms need to stay alive?)
Friday, February 1st: NO SCHOOL
Thursday, February 14th: 12:30 Early Dismissal (furlough day)
Friday, February 15th & Monday, February 18th: NO SCHOOL, Mid-Winter Break/Presidents’ Day Holiday
Optional Google Doodle homework same one sent out on the QAE blog…
You’re probably familiar with Google doodles, the fun versions of the Google logo that you see on the Google homepage throughout the year in celebration of special events and people. Once a year, Google gives K-12 students across the U.S. the chance to display their own Google doodle on www.google.com through the Doodle 4 Google contest.
The 2013 Doodle 4 Google contest, with the theme “My Best Day Ever...”was just announced. Google wants to give students a blank canvas to exercise their creative imagination and doodle about their best day ever -- be that in the past, present or future. It’s exciting to see moments or thoughts that range from very small and personal too broad and far reaching -- maybe even out of this universe.
The stakes are high: in addition to seeing their doodle displayed on the Google homepage in May, the winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for their school. Last year, they received a record 114,000 submissions.
There will be a winner from every state who will win a trip to New York City on May 22nd for the announcement of the National Winner, a t-shirt printed with their doodle, and their artwork – along with the finalists and winners at an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.
Students can submit doodles until March 22, and they will announce a winner from every single state on May 1.
You can find the full blog post announcing the contest below. More information, including all contest rules, are available at google.com/doodle4google.
How is it already the middle of January? Time flies when you are busy starting new projects and enjoying some cool but sunny weather. The second graders did a beautiful job honoring Martin Luther King Jr. during our all-school assembly today. They sang two songs that shared his beliefs and dreams. The students’ artwork was also displayed during the assembly. They created desserts for MLK’s birthday, using American artist Wayne Theibaud style for inspiration.
We launched our science unit this week that will lead into our next PBL unit “The Dirt on Soil.” With all this new and exciting learning with lots of hands-on exploration, our schedules have been modified. In the afternoon, Mrs. Leckie is teaching science and Mrs. Minas is teaching math to both second grade classrooms. We are doing a little “switch-a-roo.” (It’s kind of nice keeping the messiness in one classroom for now!).
Reading: We are continuing our book club/series reading. Your child should be checking out or bringing home books that are part of a series. We are looking for reading goals and reading logs that are recording time spent reading book series books. We suggest at least 3 recordings/or an hour a week be spent reading book series.
Writing: While our writing has been centered around opinions, this week we have focused on writing about our reading. In our reading notebooks, we are collecting information about our books and writing about what we think and feel about our characters and the story.
Word Study: Instead of our regular spelling patterns/phonic sound study, we have been spelling sight words from our 200 word-list. Each child is working on words specific to what he/she needs to spell correctly. A list of words will be going home with your child either today or Monday. Please continue to work on the correct spelling of these words at home; we are including a list of ideas your child should be familiar with.
Math: This week students spent math time in Ms. Minas’ class where they learned how charts, tables and graphs help explain data. We used our measurement data from last week to create line plots. We also learned how we can take data from line plots to draw picture and bar graphs. Then we solved simple put-together, take-apart and compare problems using information presented in the student generated graphs.
Science: We explored local soil and the three main soil components this week; sand, clay, and humus (no, not hummus J). Using our senses, we observed the properties of the components both dry and wet. Have your child tell you about each component. We are recording our findings in science notebooks.
· Picture and Bar Graph Page
· Sight Word Spelling list-practice spelling your words at home. Choose something from the list, or come up with your own!
· BUTTONS-we are collecting buttons of all colors, shapes and sizes for a math activity. We plan on keeping them at school, so only bring buttons you can part with.
· Cereal boxes (or something similar) are needed to be used for Valentine mailboxes. (one per student)
Question of the week:
· What are two things you learned about Martin Luther King Jr this week?
· Monday, January 21st: MLK holiday, no school
· Friday, February 1st: NO SCHOOL
· Thursday, February 14th: 12:30 Early Dismissal (furlough day) Valentine’s Day Party (more info coming)
· Friday, February 15th & Monday, February 18th: NO SCHOOL, Mid-Winter Break/Presidents’ Day Holiday
As a reminder, the second graders will be singing two songs at our assembly honoring Martin Luther King Jr. this Friday, starting at 2:50. The students' recent art pieces will also be displayed during the assembly. Studying the style of american artist Wayne Thiebauld, the students created desserts for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. Please help your child practice the lyrics to the songs we are singing. Lyrics were sent home last Friday, if you need another copy please let me know! They will also have lyrics to look at during their performance.
I hope to see you at the QAE spaghetti feed tomorrow. It starts at 5:30 in the cafeteria. My two-year old daughter should be joining me-she is one big (and messy) spaghetti eater!