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Friday, March 8, 2013

Classroom Summary for March 4 - 8



Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we continued to work on double vowel syllables using /ai/ and /ay/, however we focused our learning on applying those rules with multisyllabic words. We also spent some time learning more about homophones and how words that sound the same often have different spellings and different meanings. We also challenged ourselves to spell our second grade trick words aloud in a spelling bee format: saying the word aloud, spelling the word aloud, and repeating the word to show we were finished. Sometimes we would need to ask for the word in a sentence to help us know which homophone we were spelling! For many of us who find spelling a difficult skill to master, the best way to practice spelling words is to practice writing them. Spelling is a written skill so the practice of spelling aloud is not always as helpful as as writing them. When was the last time you wrote a sentence and your teacher had you say all the words instead of writing them? You're right! Never!




Don't forget that Miss Varrell has a spelling website that you can use for practicing some second grade words. Waaaaaay back in September an introductory letter went home explaining about the website called Spelling City. Here is the link in case you want to check it out: 


In math we spent several days completing a district-wide math assessment. While we were working on Wednesday, Burlington's math facilitator, Mrs. Fortunato and a visiting math consultant, Dr. Hartmann, came by to see what a second grade classroom looks like during math time. We think they were very impressed! We also began our next Investigations unit, Unit 5 called How Many Floors? How Many Rooms? where we will review counting by groups and apply those skills by looking at different cube buildings and structures made of multiple floors. As we get more experienced, we will begin to predict the number of floors and rooms in our cube buildings by looking at the data we have about them. We will also begin interpreting and creating charts and tables to display the information we collect.


In Miss Varrell's reading group we reviewed the comprehension strategies we have learned so far. We know that when we understand, or comprehend what we read, we use these strategies:
  1. visualizing
  2. making text to self connections
  3. making text to world connections
  4. making text to text connections
But we added these two new strategies to our list:

     5. using literal thinking
     6. using inferential thinking (based on what a character says, does or thinks)

We use literal thinking when we read a book and use the information, descriptions and illustrations that the author/illustrator directly states to get meaning from the text. For example, in his series of Marvin Redpost books, Louis Sachar always tells the reader in the first one or two chapters that Marvin lives in a house surrounded by a white picket fence with one red post that his dad re-paints every year. Because of what is directly stated, we can visualize and understand what the outside of Marvin's house might look like. However, when we use inferential thinking, we use information not directly stated by the author to gather clues about what is happening or how a character is feeling in a text. For example, in the book Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn, we used our inferential thinking to figure out who "the man with no shoes" was in the story. Here are the clues we gathered:
  • The man was sitting in the middle of a food market on the ground, against a shop wall. 
  • The man had bare feet. 
  • The man had no shoes.
  • The man's clothes looked dirty.
  • Sam's mom offered him a quarter and he bowed several times over it. 
What can you infer about the man from the author's clues? (Answer will be at the end of this blog.)



In writing workshop we continued to write in our paragraphs using the writing process: brainstorming, drafting, revising and editing and publishing. We have begun to publish our writing on Google Docs. All students can access their Google Docs from home too so we can write from home too!



In science we continue to learn about fossils and how they form. We also had a special science presentation by Mr. Musselman where he showed us how a cloud forms...right in our classroom! It was very exciting and we were so happy to connect out learning with Mr. Musselman's presentation.


Weekend Challenge:   This weekend ask your Mom or Dad if they need any help around the house or in the yard. Ask permission to help shovel out the mailbox so the mailman can get to it or maybe you can shovel the walkway from your house to the driveway. Maybe you can help keep all your family's boots, hats and mittens organized so everyone can find them easily. Ask your family how you can help out!


F.Y.I. 
  •  We all love to listen to stories, but have you ever thought about using your phone as a listening center? Each day, this company will assign a piece of literature to a special phone number. With permission from a parent, a child can dial-a-story! Check out the link:  Dial-A-Story Literature by Phone!
  • Our field trip is Friday, March 15. More information will be sent home during the week!
  • Book order flyers will be sent home next week. 
  • Be safe and have a great weekend!

(Answer to inference question above: The man is homeless. )

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