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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Classroom Summary May 21-25

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations this week we learned two additional spellings of the short o sound in words: au and aw. We know that these two spellings work very much the same as the other double vowels we have learned. When you need a short o sound at the end of a syllable aw is what you most likely need to use. When you need the short o sound at the beginning or middle of a syllable, au and o are often used. Using a dictionary or online spell-check system is the best way to tell the difference when you're not sure which one is correct!

In reading, all the second grade students were busy demonstrating their progress in reading, comprehension and sight vocabulary this week. Each child read a book independently, retold the story either orally or in a written summary, and answered questions either orally or in writing. These assessments help teachers focus on the skills each student will need to work on next--in third grade!

In writing, we focused on learning how to take notes for a research report. Mrs. D'Elia, our librarian, had showed us how to take notes last week and so this week we focused on using our new note-taking skills to collect information from different sources about insects we are studying in science class. As we collected our information we began putting it into an online document called a Google doc. Mr. Callahan, our computer instruction specialist, set up an web-based research report that we can access at school and at home to put our notes in. We will be working on this report over the next two weeks and publish it online!

In math, we finished our unit on working with even and odd numbers and how double digit numbers can be added together and subtracted from each other. We learned so many strategies it's amazing our hats still fit on our heads! We know how to break apart numbers, keep one number whole, use number strings, use mini-equations, and and subtract with a number line or a hundreds chart, use a T-chart, and last but not least, using tens and ones! We know that certain strategies work better for certain problems. We know that if a problem is a math fact, we don't need to use a problem-solving strategy, we just use our math fact knowledge. Next week, we will be working with measurement!

In science, we continued collecting facts about our chosen insects. Next week we will take a test on insects to show all that we have learned. In case you want to help us study, here are some of the characteristics (unique features) we know that ALL insects have in common:

  • exoskeleton (skeleton is on the outside instead of the inside, that's why bugs "crunch" when you step on them)
  • three main body parts: head, thorax, abdomen
  • starts life as an egg
  • goes through a metamorphosis
  • six legs
  • antennae

We also know that insects go through a life cycle just like other living things. What makes the insect life cycle unique is that each insect goes through one of two different types of metamorphosis depending on the insect it is. Some go through incomplete (or simple) metamorphosis:
  • egg
  • nymph (molts several times as it grows to adulthood)
  • adult

Some go through complete metamorphosis:
  • egg
  • larva (caterpillar, maggot, grub)
  • pupa (chrysalis, cocoon)
  • adult

We had no idea that insects were such complicated creatures. We will certainly think differently about the "pesky" critters we call insects from now on!

  • We filled our compliment jar this week! Hooray! We voted for a class reward that would not cost money or involve food. We decided we would like to take a class hike! Miss Varrell will work on organizing one once she speaks with Mr. Lyons and Ms. Pavlicek for approval. If the hike isn't approved, we will vote on a different reward. :)
  • Thank you to our chaperones Mr. Fahey, Mr. Harsanyi, Mrs. McCabe and Mrs. Murphy for coming with us on our insect field trip last week. We had a great time and we appreciate you keeping us safe and helping us learn during the day.
  • Ms. Govoni, our P.E. teacher, is looking for CORIed volunteers to help out with Field Day scheduled for Thursday, June 6. Orange volunteer forms went home earlier this week. This is an extremely popular event that Ms. Govoni organizes for the children every year. It is completely dependent on volunteers so if you have some time available on June 6 (or the rain date, June 7) we would greatly appreciate your time!
  • The Pine Glen Family BBQ is coming soon. Forms went home this week. For more information please see the PTO Blog!
  • Keep practicing your math facts on and keep those reading corps slips coming in!
  • Happy Memorial Day! Please take a moment to give a nice thought to all the men and women who have served in our armed forces who help keep our country safe. We thank them for their sacrifice.

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