The first graders went to the zoo. We saw many different animals and their habitats. It was a beautiful day to be outside exploring the animals. It was a great experience for the students to connect to the habitats units that they have been learning about.
We had a blast learning about different kinds of weather last week! We also learned about synonyms and antonyms and even made "synonym rolls and ant antonyms!"
This week we will learn about the seasons and review retelling a story. We will be learning about the characteristics of each season and how strawberries grow. The high frequency words for the week are: against, below, fall, orange, sure, yellow.
We are loving learning about shapes! Some important vocabulary words to review are: sides, vertices, and equal parts. Please make sure students continue to practice their addition and subtraction facts at home.
We are continuing to learn about habitats in preparation for the Brookfield Zoo Trip this Thursday (May 9th). Please make sure that students bring a sack lunch, water and wear comforable clothing.
Room 1 will be going on a field trip to the Bughouse Studio on May 14th. We will be leaving right away in the morning and return right before lunch. We will be walking there, so please make sure students are dressed comfortably. Also, please send a water bottle with them. If you would like to volunteer to come with us please let me know!
Thank you to the families that were able to make it to Open House last week! It was great to see you and have the students share all of the projects they have been working on.
Last week we learned about different scientists and inventors. We read about the accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin including his discovery of electricity! We even made kites with facts about his amazing life!
This week we will begin learning about different types of weather. The high frequency words are: great, know, sound, their, warm. The spelling concept is r-controlled vowels: or, oar, ore words.
In math we completed the chapter about measurement including measuring length using nonstandard units and measuring time to the hour and half hour on analog and digital clocks. The next unit will be about two dimensional shapes.
ABC Countdown has begun! Click here for a list of activities for each day!
RESEARCH! It's rough going, but we're pushing through! The hardest part, the kids say, is finding the information (for the different cards) in our library books. Yep, this IS hard! This is a valuable skill; looking for specific information in a text. Part of the issue is that not every book provides the information asked for, the other part is that for many of the kids, this is the first time they are being asked to perform such a task. But it won't be the last. I am checking online sources for them and printing additional articles to reference - but sometimes the information just doesn't exist or isn't applicable, so we're learning that we do the best we can with what we have. One student suggested we add a card to our six for "other interesting information" - what a great idea! Perseverance is an important quality to develop, and why not begin now?! Because I know this I am determined that the kids don't give up; that they recognize that because something is rough going does NOT mean it can't be done. I know they will be very proud of the final product, it will make all of their current frustrations worthwhile.
Mrs. Goldyn asked that I give you the following link; it is one they are using in music class while studying instrument families. The kids have asked to have it available outside of class, so here it is: http://listeningadventures.carnegiehall.hall/ypgto/game.aspx
You should have received the ABC countdown, it begins this coming Monday, April 29. Yes, that does mean there are 26 school days left in the year. As I remind the kids, there is quite a bit left to learn yet in second grade, so yes this is fun, but it should be a, "sit up and take notice" kind of moment for us all. There is much to be done, we can not lose our focus now.
Jump-rope for Hearts day was today, there was plenty of crazy-fun jumping going on after recess by the second grade. We had a lovely afternoon to "get our jump on" and we did!
There won't be any further Treasures spelling lists this year. Soon, however, I will send home the classroom spelling bee list. This list is for the class-level bee only. From there, three students will go on to compete in the grade-level bee on May 29, in the MPR. For the grade-level competition there is no list from which to study; it's about having a natural affinity for spelling. This can be stressful for many of the kids. I do give my "everyone has talents, but not everyone's talent is spelling" speech, but it seldom really sinks in - they just all want to win and only three in the entire grade level will win. So why do we do this? Tradition? A life lesson? I'm not sure. Spelling has never been one of my strengths, the kids know that! I try to tell them that I am perfectly happy anyway, but still they want to win. I know that will be hard on quite a few of the more competitive and sensitive students, so if yours is one like that - be ready.
Well, okay for now - my daughter is moving out of the house (again) this weekend, and though my son has temporarily moved back, it will be an emotional couple of days. I told the kids about it, it's a good healthy thing that she is moving on, but that won't make me miss her company any less...y'all have a good weekend - more another day.
Students attended an assembly this week. They heard different stories from a woman named Donna Washington. She is a famous storyteller and engages kids into her stories by having them participate by chanting, singing, and repeated parts of the story. She is AMAZING and she has a website... www.donnawashington.com. You should check it out!
Students prepared for open house by writing their own autobiographies and drawing a portrait of themselves. They also created their very own constellations after learning about the sky.
Students enjoyed sharing the activities that they have worked really hard on with their parents at open house.
Last week we have started a new Treasures reading unit focusing on stories about things in nature. The focus for last week was all about the moon! We learned about the moon phases, space travel, and did creative writing about visiting the moon. We even watched a fun rap song about the moon phases! We were also very busy working on projects for Open House this week and they are excited to show these to you. I hope you can make it to Open House on Tuesday (4/23) from 6:30-7:30.
In math we have been learning how to measure length using nonstandard units of measurement like cubes. This week we also introduced time. The children will be learning time to the hour and half hour on both analog and digital clocks.
This week our reading unit will focus on what scientists do. The children will be reading biographies about both men and women who have made important contributions to science.
First grade will be going to the Brookfield Zoo on May 9th! This will be a great field trip for students to see all of the animals that we have been studying during our habitats unit. Please return the permission slip sent home on Friday ASAP.
Maybe you have heard about our caterpillars and moth cocoons; two of our caterpillars have now crafted a chrysalis in their little container. Once they have all done so I will transfer them to a large netted container so that when they emerge we can watch them carefully. After they they have all emerged we will take them to the courtyard to have a "letting go" ceremony. That is always a bitter-sweet experience for the kids.
Last week (while I was out 3 of 5 days) the kids made a chart of facts they were pretty sure of regarding butterflies and moths. Then they were supposed to watch a video, but alas, there was no sound and the substitute put it aside. They formed small groups and were given 2-3 library books to search for and record a couple of facts they thought were fascinating. After 15-20 minutes they shared out with the whole group. Today we will see and take notes on the video and then make a new chart adding/correcting facts we are now sure of, and a third chart listing facts and information about which we are still curious.
I hope to book time in the computer lab early next week for a really fun Internet scavenger hunt using the Enchanted Learning website to hunt up some of the information they listed on that third chart.
It is amazing how excited second graders are to do interest-based research. It isn't until the later grades that some begin to view this as an onerous task. At this point it is a new and mind-expanding activity. This is one thing I really love about teaching this age group; they love learning for learning's sake - they aren't bogged down with worry about a grade or all of the work involved; they just want to find out new things about their world. After we do the scavenger hunt we will modify our chart once again.
On the biography front, my being out means s l o w going, but we are plodding forward. Our parent mentor has put together a ring of labeled index cards for each child and the kids are in various stages of decision making as to their biography subject. I am hoping they will choose someone they don't know too much about; just enough to make them want to dig deeper. I will get books this weekend and I am hoping we can start the actual research process next week. Any parent (or age-appropriate relative) is welcome to come and help during the researching part - many kids will be in need of support as kids search for and try to paraphrase information they find into notes on their cards, and later to move those notes into report-style writing for their finished biography. We will be working on these for at least 2-4 weeks, partially in the mornings (around music/P.E.) usually somewhere between 9:30 and 11:00, and also between 1:45 and 2:30 (or 3:00 on Mondays when we don't have WIN). Please feel free to come on in and support these kids as they into greater independence with this process. If you are interested we can talk more Tuesday night at Open House - yes, don't forget Open House next Tuesday @ 6:30!!
We wamt you all to come and see the projects we have been working on!
Lincoln Junior High