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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Classroom Summary October 30-November 2

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we have been working with suffixes and base words. A base word is a word in its simplest form with no prefixes or suffixes attached. Suffixes are endings that change base words to have different meanings, such as ~ed, ~ing, ~s, ~es, ~er, ~est. Last week we learned that some suffixes help to explain a comparison between/among objects (~er, ~est), some tell us the time that an action took place (~ed, ~ing) and others tell us how many of something there are (~s, ~es). This week we learned that the ~ed suffix has different sounds depending on the verb it is attached to. Sometimes it says /d/, sometimes it says /t/ and sometimes it sounds like /id/ or /ed/. It's important to remember those sounds for when you are spelling words. If you are writing the word jumpt in a story you need to remember that it is probably spelled jumped. If you are writing the word calld in a sentence, it's probably spelled called. And if you're writing the word crookid, you probably want to spell it like this: crooked.

Can you think of any other words that you could spell with an ~ed ending?

In math we finished our first unit on story problems and quick ways to add math facts and began our second unit which is all about geometry. Geometry is the study of shapes. On the rug, we looked at the base word geometry and came up with some other words that are related:


We talked about the difference between two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects by looking at different shapes and determining if they were 2-D or 3-D. We also learned that three-dimensional objects do not have sides, they have faces. For instance, a square has 4 sides (2-D object) but a cube has 6 faces (3-D object). We tried drawing some of these shapes to understand how two-dimensional shapes are represented in different way than three-dimensional shapes are. Third, fourth and fifth graders are often asked to look at three-dimensional objects on the MCAS. As second graders, we can start learning about how those illustrations look and learn how to tell the difference. After drawing our shapes we have a new found respect for what Miss Fallon does every day!

In Miss Varrell's reading group we worked on making connections with texts that we read independently.  We used "stickynotes" (yellow Post-Its) to help us make notes to ourselves about what parts of a book we make connections with, whether it's an interesting part or just something that reminds us of our own lives. We practiced using this technique to help us maintain our comprehension while reading a book instead of waiting until the end to try and remember what we read. We will use this comprehension strategy a lot over the next few weeks as we add more tools to our reading toolbox.

In science we completed our unit on trees and finally brought home our tree sculptures. Miss Varrell had us review our tree unit by using a computer program on the iPad and on the desktop computers called Socrative. Unfortunately not all our iPads held their charges  (did Miss Varrell not attach the cord properly?) so most of us had to use the computers at the Bobcart, but we were able to persevere. Children are not the only ones learning in Room 211! On Friday, we took our tree test. Before beginning our next science unit on the Moon, we will do a short social studies unit on making and reading maps. On Monday of next week we will conduct a mock election to help us understand our country's democratic process!

Weekend challenge: Use a dictionary (online or traditional) to look up the meaning of the word persevere. Print the word and it's meaning on one side of an index card and draw a picture illustrating you persevering on the other side. Good fortune will come to those who bring in their weekend challenges on Monday!


  • A big thank you goes out to our room parent, Mrs. Naddaff, for the fabulous crafts she brought us to work on during our Halloween party! We had a wonderful time and everyone went home with a special treat that can be kept forever. :)
  • Keep those reading corps slips coming in. Each box is 15 minutes of reading. Remember, if you're reading 20 minutes a night as recommended, you can fill in an extra box every four days!
  • Math facts need to be practiced every night. Try mixing things up by practicing doubles for a few days (e.g. 4+4, 9+9, 20-10, 14-7) before returning to your normal routine. Or for a challenge, try some math facts using three addends instead of two! (e.g. 2+4+6, 3+5+10) Math facts make great traveling companions. :)
  • Tuesday is Election Day. There is no school. The homework packet that will be sent home on Monday will be less one homework sheet so that your child may attend the voting booth with you on Tuesday! This is a fabulous learning opportunity that will not present itself again for another 4 years. Remember, your child will be able to vote when he/she turns 18. She/he only has two more opportunities to practice with you before they are voting for themselves!

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