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Friday, October 5, 2012

Classroom Summary for October 1-5

Here's what we did this week....

In Fundations we reviewed the bonus letters (consonants that are doubled at the end of a closed syllable) f, l and s. We also began working with vowel teams. This week's vowel teams were ai and ay. The keywords to help us remember the sounds that these vowel teams make are bait and play. We also added two more words to our vocabulary lists: toss and stall. We also began our review of Trick Words. Trick Words are words that may be difficult to spell because they do not follow standard spelling rules. Sometimes these words are tricky because they are based in another language and sometimes they are tricky because they have silent letters. In either case, we will be working hard all year to learn our second grade trick words!

In math we continued to work in our Investigations math books. We focused our learning on coins and adding strategies. We have been working on getting better at our coin identification without having other coins around to help us. It's much more difficult to know which coin is which when you have nothing next to it to compare it to! We used magnifying glasses to see clearly what makes each coin different from the next. We also used our coin understanding and adding strategies to play a game called Collect 25 Cents. In order to play this game you need a die, a bag of coins (real or play) and a partner. Playing Collect 25 Cents is a great way to practice coin equivalencies at home while at the same time practicing coin identification. Ask us how to play!

As a bonus, this week we also had a special guest, Mr. Callahan, our technology specialist. He came to our classroom to teach us how to use a new app on the iPads called Explain Everything. This app will be a great tool for helping us explain our thinking when we are learning ANY subject! This week Mr. Callahan had us practice using the app in math class. Next week he will come to our class and show us how we can use it in science. We are really looking forward to next week's iPad activity!

In Literacy we worked on how to retell a story in different ways. First, we did an oral retell of a story with a partner. We listened by facing our partner, making eye contact and focusing on the story that our partner was telling us in his/her own words. We also tried retelling a story in written form by writing a summary. A written summary is a difficult task because it takes a lot of different skills all working together in order to produce one! Finally, we used drama as a way to retell a story. We used our summaries as scripts and worked in groups, known as casts, to perform the story in front of our classmates. We all did a fabulous job! Take a look at some of our productions below:

In science we continued to work on our tree unit. He learned about coniferous trees and how we can remember the difference between deciduous trees and coniferous trees. One of the concepts we learned was that all trees make seeds. It's how they begin their lives, just like other plants do. However, coniferous trees often make their seeds inside cones. Take a look at the word cone.  Now take a look at the word coniferous. If you look closely you can see a hint inside the word coniferous that tells you what coniferous trees make. Did you figure it out? (Remember, deciduous trees don't make these.) Click on the link below to see if you are right!

In social studies, we learned about the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. We learned that he was originally from Italy (his name was Christophoro Columbo) but that he explored the world for the King and Queen of Spain. We looked at a map and saw which continent Italy and Spain are on (Europe) and we saw how far he traveled with his fellow sailors to accidentally find a new continent: North America. He thought he was finding the Indies but he really found the Bahamas! We know that we celebrate Christopher Columbus Day because he was a very important part of world history--our part of the world!


  • We will be attending our first field trip of the year next Friday, October 12. We will be visiting the Discovery Museum in Acton, MA. Permission slips were sent home at Open House. Chaperones were randomly chosen this week. They are: Nick's mom, Jacob's mom and Timmy's mom. If you volunteered but were not chosen as a chaperone for this trip, we have two more trips in 2013 that you may be chosen for.

  • a very special treat, the curators of the Discovery Museum have asked permission to videotape our visit to the museum on Friday. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and would love to commemorate the occasion buy filming Pine Glen in action! That being said, we are extremely aware that children cannot be photographed or filmed without parental consent. Therefore, we are asking that parents fill out and return to school the yellow consent form that came home Friday (October 5). If you you give your consent for filming, just complete the form as directed and return it to school. Rest assured that no filming or photographs will be taken by the museum without this special form being signed by you.

  • Extra! Extra! Calling all artists! Mrs. Lynch, one of our fabulous third grade teachers here at Pine Glen, passed along some information this week that you and your child may want to find out more about. Click below to find out more... 

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