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Friday, March 15, 2013

Classroom Summary for March 11 - 15

(L-R: Miss Anderson, Miss Varrell and Mrs. Lane dressed up as Things 1, 2 and 3 for Dress Up As Your Favorite Character Day on Monday)

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we continued our work with double vowel syllables, but this week we added the vowel teams ea, ee, and ey to our toolboxes. We continued to practice the spelling option strategy for writing words with the long e sound. We know that /ey/ is mostly used at the end of a syllable just like the /ay/ vowel team was last week. We also discovered more homophones and used the spelling option strategy and listened to context to decide which spellings matched which words.

In math we continued our work with charts and tables: how to read, how to understand and how to complete them. We used our knowledge of number patterns to help us identify numerical patterns in the table and then we applied that same pattern to fill in the missing data in the tables.  Here is an example of the type of table we worked with:

Total Number of Floors
Total Number of Rooms

(chart courtesy of

In Miss Varrell's reading group, we got back into our centers schedule by working with our IDR texts and journals (Independent Daily Reading), working on activities via the website, and working in our reading response journals. Miss Varrell assessed everyone in their third term sight words to make sure that we are all on track with our vocabulary before starting our new texts next week.

We also discussed the differences between nonfiction texts and fiction texts and used a T-chart to show the two types of books in contrast. Being able to compare and contrast texts is a critical thinking skill that we will work on more in the upcoming months.

On Thursday, Miss Varrell reviewed the reasons behind spelling rules and how they help guide us to standard spelling. She taught us how to write in a 'foreign' language, Pig Latin, to prove how applied spelling rules can really make a difference whether you understand a message or not! We created Pig Latin spelling rules and used them to both create and translate a simple message. We had a lot of fun using this different way to communicate!

In writing we continued to use our planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing skills. This week learned to use a different graphic organizer called a storyboard. Using a storyboard will help us keep the action in our stories more sequential and clear when we write. We will continue to draft paragraphs and stories, but we will have different mini-lessons each week to help us improve our writing.

In science we completed our mini-unit on fossils and enjoyed our long-anticipated field trip to the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. Thank you so much to Mr. Lyonnais, Mrs. Grossman and Mrs. Wolinski for coming with us and helping to keep us safe. We really enjoyed seeing the fossils but we were especially excited to see the huge whale skeleton in the big mammal room. It was REALLY BIG! Here are some photos of our trip:

Weekend Challenge: Try making a chart or table that might help a grocery store manager keep track of the eggs in her store. Have your chart show the total number of cartons of eggs and total number of eggs.  Bring in your table on Monday to share with the class. Eggsellent charts will be rewarded!


  • Book order flyers went home this week. All orders (both traditional order forms and online versions) need to be in by Friday, March 22. 
  • Over the next few weeks, Pine Glen students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, will be participating in the MCAS tests. These are cumulative academic tests that are mandated by the state. As second graders, one of the ways we can help our fellow classmates do their best on these very serious tests is to be very quiet and in control of our behaviors at all times. Room 211 happens to be a next-door neighbor to several MCAS rooms so we will be extra careful to speak in stage whispers for the next few weeks. Wish us luck!
  • Enjoy your weekend!

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