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Friday, October 23, 2009

Classroom Summary for October 19-23

We were math maniacs this week! The children worked very hard making combinations (numbers sentences/equations) of ten all week long. We played three different card games to help us with our math fact fluency: Make Ten, More Than Two Make Ten, and Tens Go Fish. You can play any of these games at home with a deck of cards, a buddy, a pencil and paper. Along with practicing our equations of ten, we noticed that there was a pattern that we could see when we organized our math combinations in certain ways. When one addend was increasing, the second addend was decreasing! We also saw how several of our combinations had "reversibles", combinations that can reverse the order of their addends. Our new math words this week were addend, sum, range and mode. Wow. We really ARE math maniacs! Next week we will begin working on simple story problems. For many of us it will be the first time we will have to use our writing skills to explain how we solve problems. Over time, we will learn some good strategies for explaining our thinking. :)

We also worked very hard in our reading groups. Rachel's group continued reading Tacky the Penguin, Danny's group continued in Letting Swift River Go, Abby's group read some more in Christopher Columbus and Jack's group worked in Noisy Nora. We also read from our Scholastic News, a children's newspaper that reinforces science and social studies topics. We continued to work independently to improve our reading fluency and did some buddy reading to just appreciate and enjoy the books that we choose to read! In phonics we finished our review of short vowels. We will begin our review of long vowels over the next few weeks. In writing, Miss Varrell introduced everyone to the Venn Diagram. We used it to organize the information we have learned about trees. We can use a Venn Diagram to organize any information that we want to compare or contrast. We will use our Venn Diagrams next week to produce a nonfiction piece of writing to hang on the bulletin board in the hallway.

In science we finished watching a slideshow of the book Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees that we got from Mrs. Downes in the library. We also had a chance to make some pop-up tree posters to show the differences between deciduous and coniferous trees. In social studies we continued working in our World Passports and learned that Brazil is part of the continent of South America. We colored a map of South America to show all the different countries that are inside it and labeled the largest country Brazil! In computers, Mrs. Canfield started a project with us about the seven continents. We are researching 5 facts about each continent to put in a book that we will work on over several weeks. We are great fact-finders!

Our Halloween party is scheduled for Friday, October 30. If you have not been asked for donations, you may be asked for donations for future celebrations. We thank you in advance for your generosity and time! Also, you should know that the children will NOT be wearing or bringing their costumes to school for Halloween. Now that we're in second grade, we get to be the "big kids" when we watch the kindergarten and first-graders parade through the classrooms on Friday.

On a final note, please be sure that your child is coming to school with appropriate clothing for the increasingly cold autumn days. Although we had the lovely surprise of some 70 degree days at school this week (as well as the stinkbugs!), they are more of an exception than the rule. Layers are always a good idea, just in case. :)

Enjoy the weekend!

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