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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Concert Date Reminders from Mr. Lyons' and Mrs. Agati's Blogs...

Second Grade Winter Concert 2016-2017

Winter Concert Reminders

December 14th at 7:00 P.M. : 4th and 5th Grade Concert.  Students are asked to please
wear black and white.

December 21st at 9:00 A.M.: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade Concert.  Students are asked to please
dress up.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Helpful Homework Hints for Parents from Scholastic

If you're looking for some helpful homework ideas for your child (or children!), Jodie Rodriguez from Scholastic has put together this video (also located on the Scholastic Facebook page) to help! It's a little over 24 minutes long, but well worth the viewing if you're looking to cut down on your homework "stress" and gather some new ideas to help your child be a more focused and prepared homework participant!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Student Council Fundraiser

Image result for Soles 4 Souls
Pine Glen Student Council Fundraiser!

    Have shoes hanging out in the back of your closet taking up space? Soles4Souls can help solve that problem for you!

Soles4Souls is a foundation that donates new/gently used shoes to people in need.   Shoes donated are shipped to people whose communities have been destroyed by disasters. Some of these disasters include hurricanes and tsunamis. This fundraiser is a great way to give hope to people who have lost everything!

What to donate:
  • Sneakers
  • Boots
  • Dress Shoes
    *All gently used*

When to donate:
We will be collecting donations until Monday, January 8th.  

Where to put donations:
Donation boxes will be located outside the office. If your shoes have laces, please be sure to tie them together before placing them in the box.  

For more information, check out the Soles4Souls website  or ask a student council member!

Turkey Trot Rescheduled!

When:  Friday, December 1, 2017, at 9:00
Where:  1 lap run around the school, start and finish in front of school
Who: 3rd, 4th and 5th graders

Parents are welcome to come down and cheer on the runners.
We will not be able to reschedule this event due to weather.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Classroom Summary for November 13 - 17

Here's what we did this week...

In math we have been working on regrouping with addition using multiple double digit addends. It is amazing that just a few short months ago we were reviewing basic math facts like this:


 and now we're applying those math facts to problems that look like this:


We learned to regroup ones every time we could make a ten. Our process was this: we began by using cubes and ten rods to physically regroup numbers and then we moved on to draw models of our regrouping on paper (using sticks and circles). Both moving the cubes and rods and drawing on paper helped us visualize how we were "regrouping" ten ones to make one ten. 

We then progressed to regrouping using partial sums (adding all the ones together and then adding all the tens together; putting both partial sums together to get the final sum) and ended with learning the algorithm of regrouping the ten by notation over the top of the tens place.

Along the way we also had to learn how to add numbers in a column which was where our math facts came in handy! We knew we could add our addends in any order so we looked for addends that made a ten or were doubles or near doubles! We will continue our practice of regrouping in addition over the course of the year. We will begin our subtraction unit in the upcoming weeks.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we have been working with closed and closed exception syllable types and ending word parts called suffixes. A syllable is a chunk of a word that has a vowel sound. Some vowel sounds are short and some are long. Some are "closed in" by a consonant and some are not. We are learning about the different syllable types so that when we read new words in sentences, paragraphs and texts, we can figure out how to say each "chunk", or syllable, of the word by applying our phonics skills. We will also be learning about the following vowel and consonant suffixes over the next couple of weeks: -s, -es, -ing, -ed, -y, -ly, -ty, -ful, -en, -ish, -ment, -able -ness, -less, -er, -est. 

In Miss Varrell's reading class we have been using a comprehension strategy called "sticky notes" to help us think about what we read AS we read it. We know that sometimes when we read a book cover to cover we don't always remember or think about what is happening in the story all the way through. Comprehension, or understanding what we read, is about having a deeper knowledge of reading than just knowing what happened "at the end." We will continue to work on our comprehension strategies throughout the year.

In Writing Workshop we have been working on writing more complete, detailed sentences. We used a strategy called the "Five W's and How" to pre-write some ideas for a sentence before writing our sentences. Here are some examples (apologies for the sideways photos!):

We have also been working on our personal narratives and revising them for "juicier" words and more detailed sentences.  During Writing Workshop we sometimes write quickly to "finish" a story and announce, "I'm done!" But Miss Varrell has a saying that she uses to encourage students to go back and revise their work when they finish before writing time is over: When I'm done, I've just begun! In other words, a good writer never actually finishes writing. He or she might be writing a first draft, or revising a draft, or editing for spelling and punctuation or illustrating or thinking of a title, or reading for research for their next story....

In science we completed our Matter and Materials unit a couple of weeks ago. We ended the unit when Mr. Musselman from the Burlington Science Center sent us some "mystery matter" and told us that he knew we were studying matter and materials and wondered if we, as matter scientists, could figure out what this mystery matter was that he found in the closet at the Science Center. Here was his question: Is this mystery matter a liquid or a solid? We used all our knowledge about liquids and solids that we had developed over the past two months to really think about that question. Below is a short video of our experimentation with the mystery matter and some of the conversation we had about it. 

Parent F.Y.I.
  • Reading Corps slip #3 is due Tuesday, November 28
  • Please keep working on math facts at home whether it is using STMath (the blue icon),, flashcards or homemade practice fun with games and discussions with the family.
  • Progress Reports for the first term go home Thursday, November 28. Inside the report card folder will also be documentation of your child's September i-Ready reading assessment. Please note that this document is a "universal screener" used to inform administrators and to  provide a part of a "bigger picture" to guide successful reading instruction.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences are Thursday, November 30. A reminder of your assigned time will be sent home in your child's report card folder on Tuesday.
  • Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dress Up As Your Dream Career!

Dress Up As Your Dream Career!
Tuesday, November 21

Send your student to school in an outfit to represent their desired future career!

N.B. Please be sure to remind your child that hats are not to be shared with others. Thank you!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Classroom Summary for October 16 - 20

Speckle and Freckle

Here's what we did this week...

In math this week we completed our unit on arrays, evens and odds and began our third unit which focuses on adding numbers up to 100. We will be learning different strategies to solve double-digit addition problems. The first strategy we learned was to use a hundred chart to add double-digit addends. We reviewed the skills we learned about rows and columns in arrays and applied them to the giant 100-box array that makes up a one-hundred chart!
We learned that in order to add tens we needed to hop DOWN rows of boxes and in order to add ones we had to hop ACROSS single boxes.

Our next strategy was to use an open number line. We began by reviewing concept that addends can be added any in any order. We discussed how to choose which addend to start with on the number line (use the larger number so that you don't have to make so many hops with the second addend) and then we followed some basic place value rules to make sure we made the correct hops: we drew T-charts over our second addends so that it was much easier to see how many rows we needed to go DOWN and how many boxes we needed to count ACROSS.

Lastly, we made sure to label our hops and we put a box around our final answer. We will continue to work on new strategies over the next two weeks.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we are reviewing short vowel sounds; digraphs: wh, th, ch, sh, ck; bonus letters (f, l, s); and glued sounds: -ang, -ank, -ing, -ink, -ong, -onk, -ung, -unk, -all, -am, -an. We are paying attention to where these sounds come in the words we read as well as paying attention to using them as we spell words we write.

In Miss Varrell's reading class we began using a Work Board to remind us which literacy centers we go to during the week. This week, our literacy centers focused on independent daily reading (IDR), reading with Miss Varrell, listening to an online text and reading it back using the recording feature (KidsA-Z) and writing in our response journals.

Work Board

Each group practiced making quiet transitions to and from centers as well as using a different reading style that Miss Varrell calls "tap reading." Tap reading allows students to read silently at their own pace in a guided reading group, but as they are "tapped" (with the magic reading wand!) they magically begin to read aloud for the teacher to hear. When they are tapped a second time, they magically return to silent reading! Children continue rereading the passage from the beginning if they finish before the guided reading session ends. Rereading text builds fluency and sight word recognition.

Miss V's magic reading wand!

In Writing Workshop, we began learning how to write a personal narrative. A personal narrative is a type of writing that has a beginning, middle and end and tells about a moment in time in a person's life. We read the book Big Mama's by Donald Crews which told of a time when Donald Crews and his brothers and sisters visited his Grandmother out in the country. We looked at the different parts of text  and identified them as the beginning, middle and end of the story. We also discussed and retold some of the details that he included in his narrative--to highlight how he made the book more interesting for his audience to read. Once we had read and discussed the model text, we began writing our own personal narratives. We will continue to craft them over the next few weeks!

In Science, we completed the first part of our Matter and Materials unit on solids and began to learn about another state of matter: liquids. We worked with different liquids provided by Mr. Musselman at the Burlington Science Center. We discussed their properties (using sight and sound only) and compared and contrasted them with each other. We felt like real scientists! We completed several different charts and tables--highlighting the similarities and differences of each liquid--using our observations. By the end of the week we were ready to conduct an experiment based on a hypothesis we made! After a lot of discussion, we hypothesized (made an educated guess) that temperature would change our liquids. Miss Varrell asked us what kind of experiment we could conduct to test our idea. The class decided that perhaps we could freeze our liquids and see what happened. So...we froze the liquids overnight and then observed what happened!

We will finish our unit on Matter and Materials this week.

Parent F.Y.I.

  • Ms. Fallon asks that children have a smock in school for next Monday's art class. Thank you!
  • Thank you to Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Hurley for volunteering to be our Room Parents for the 2017-2018 year! Be on the lookout for an email from our Room Parents about our upcoming Halloween celebration. It's short and sweet! Literally!
  • Thank you, also, to all the families who made a book purchase through Scholastic Book Clubs this month. Because of your October orders, our class was able to buy $25-worth of free books for our classroom AND we earned over 4,000 points toward future book purchases this year! Our next book order will be placed November 3. New book order flyers will go home in a couple of weeks. For more book ordering information including the Scholastic online classroom code, please see elsewhere on this blog.
  • Our next Reading Corps slip (evidence of reading at home) is due Thursday, November 2. Please be sure that your child is reading 20 minutes daily and recording it on a reading corps slip. 
  • More and more children are using the website for their math fact practice at home. Keep up the good work! Remember, it's only 5 minutes a day! Congratulations to Tash K. in achieving her 100% addition and 100% subtraction certificates!
  • Just a quick reminder that the Halloween Dance (sponsored by the PG PTO) is scheduled for this Friday, October 26 at 6 - 8pm. Children are not be left unchaperoned at the dance. Thank you, PTO!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pine Needle Donations Requested!

The Burlington Science Center is looking for pine needles for their animal enclosures. If your family rakes leaves this autumn and you are able to fill a bag with pine needles, the Science Center will gladly take them off your hands! Please be sure to keep as many twigs and branches out of the bag as possible (a few are okay) and clearly label your bag "For: Science Center."

You can drop off pine needle bags directly to the Science Center at Burlington High School or they can be brought to the main corridor at Pine Glen.

Thank you!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Welcome Back to School!

Meet the upcoming graduates of the Class of 2028!

Welcome back to school! We are well underway to completing our first month in school and things are progressing smoothly and cheerfully. Most of the past few weeks have been spent learning about classroom routines, expectations, locations of supplies, how to care for them and classroom rules. We started out with a Scavenger Hunt so that we could all discover where things were kept in the room for when we needed them.

Scavenger Hunt in Room 211!

"Hey, did you find everything on the list for the Scavenger Hunt?"

Mikey is crossing out the items he found.

However, we have begun work in our major subject areas too, beginning with a slower-paced review of first grade skills. Here is a brief breakdown of what we've been learning in each subject thus far...

In math class we have been reviewing different strategies we can use to solve problems: switching addends around (gets the same sum), doubles and near-doubles, changing a problem to be "10 +" problem, and recognizing patterns to fact families. We will continue to hone our strategy skills as we continue in our Envision 2.0 math books.

This month we also began a new year of working with the online math site called STMath. This year a new fluency piece has been added so that every time we log in, we are practicing math facts for 10 minutes before beginning our problem-solving skill practice. We love Jiji! Miss Varrell also introduced the class to and explained that if/when she is able to get some Chromebooks permanently stationed in the classroom for the year (when they aren't being used for schoolwide assessment purposes) we can also use Xtramath as a quick practice for our math facts as well. Below is a parent video about how to get your child started on Xtramath at home.

In our English Language Arts block to date, we have focused on author studies: Harry Allard and Kevin Henkes. We read several books by both authors and compared and contrasted the different stories to see how they were similar and how they were different. Next week we will begin our tiered reading instruction which includes thirty minutes of Fundations (phonics and spelling) work followed by sixty minutes of reading instruction and accompanying practice activities. Below are some books we read over the past few weeks in case you'd like to revisit them at home, at the library or at a book store near you!

During this time we practiced using techniques such as "turn and talk", "talk to your partner," written responses, adding details through illustrations, as well as practicing making smooth transitions between activities in a calm and respectful manner. We became familiar with some of the tools we will be using during our ELA block (e.g. whiteboards, dry erase markers and mini erasers, gel boards and magnetic pens, Spelling City, etc.). We will continue to review these skills as we apply them to a new activity this week: how to appropriately transition between classrooms!

This past week marked the beginning of our first science unit: Matter and Materials. We began with a review of the three states of matter: solids, liquids and gases and learned that over the next month or so we will be focusing our learning on solids and liquids in particular. We will be using lessons and different types of matter and materials provided by our fabulous Burlington Science Center. We will record our discoveries and hypotheses in specially designed e-notebook for our iPads. Thank you Science Center!

Last but not least, our class pets arrived this week! They are yet to be named, but we will take a couple of weeks to really get to know them so that we can make great name choices. They are a pair of female gerbils and they are only a few months old. We are SO excited to have them!

Photo courtesy of Ms. Pavlicek

Below are some helpful reminders/hints for parents:

  • Written homework is due the day after it is assigned (e.g. Envision HW practice, etc.)
  • Children have reading and math fact practice homework daily. 20 minutes for reading, 5-10 minutes for math fact practice. Your child's reading teacher may assign specific reading material for part of the 20 minutes. If so, you will receive a communication as such.
  • When possible, children need to bring a snack each day to help them get through their longer academic morning, compared to last year's first-grade schedule. 
  • Your child may ask you if he/she can have a small handheld pencil sharpener for school. It is true, our standard classroom hand-crank pencil sharpeners appear to be eating pencils, the electric ones melt the plastic coating on the pencils that children bring from home, and the handheld ones I ordered for the class this year appear to have the lifespan of a fruit fly. So...if you are willing, we would love it if you could provide a mini pencil sharpener for your child in the near future. I have posted a picture below of the kind that I have found most successful in the past. They are simple but get the job done without a lot of fuss and with a minimal cost. Thank you!