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Friday, September 19, 2014

Classroom Summary for September 15 - 19

Here's what we did this week...

In our Envision math program we began working with different kinds of story problems: joining, separating and comparing. We learned that joining problems require us to add to find the sum and separating and comparing problems require us to subtract to find the difference. We also continued to make good progress with our math fact practice using and our Chromebooks. Some us have even memorized our login passwords already!

In literacy this week, we read practiced silent reading, buddy reading and even did some nonfiction reading about elephants in our Scholastic News magazine. Miss Varrell listened to everyone read a list of 100 words that are commonly found in second grade texts. By the end of the year, our goal is to be able to read 300 new words with 100% accuracy! During writing time we used some sentence starters to help us write a class book of riddles called "Who Am I?" We also began learning some routines we will use during Writing Workshop time. We learned some idea-sharing techniques known as Turn To Your Partner and Think Pair Share.

For our first writing lesson, we learned how to begin writing! Sometimes when we try to write, we get stuck. The strategy we used to help us write on Friday was drawing a picture with a unique detail. Miss Varrell demonstrated by drawing a picture of a house with a broken window. After she drew the picture, she wrote a sentence. When she looked more closely at the picture, she began to imagine what was happening in and around the house. That's when she was able to add more and more sentences to her story. When it was everyone else's turn to write, some of us also chose to write stories about houses with broken windows and some of us found different things to write about that had interesting and unique details! We will add more to our stories next week.

In science this week we continued learning about trees. This week we learned about two of the three major types of trees: deciduous and coniferous. We learned that deciduous trees have broad, flat leaves and in the autumn those leaves change color and fall off the tree. The reason that deciduous leaves appear to change color is because the cooler temperatures of autumn signal to the tree to stop producing chlorophyll, a green pigment that covers the underlying colors of many deciduous leaves. We learned that many deciduous trees have seeds that can be found inside nuts or fruit. Coniferous trees are often referred to as evergreen trees because their needle-like leaves do not change color in the fall and they do not completely come off the tree like deciduous leaves do. Coniferous trees hold their seeds in cones, which is how they get the name conifers. We will continue to learn about trees next week.


  • Open House is Tuesday, September 23. Teachers will be presenting two sessions (6:15PM and 6:55PM) about their curriculum and classroom routines to accommodate those families who have children in multiple grades. Parents are welcome to come to either session but do not need to come to both. For those parents who are hoping to volunteer as chaperones this year, Mr. Lyons will be hosting a requisite confidentiality meeting at Open House night. All parent chaperones are now required to attend one of the confidentiality meetings that will be held throughout the year. Please see Mr. Lyons' blog for more information.
  • Please be sure your child's outerwear clearly labeled with his/her name in case it ends up in lost and found. With the changeable weather it is not uncommon that sweaters worn in the morning are often discarded and/or forgotten about at recess time because of the warmer temperatures. Unlabeled clothing left in lost and found over a period of time is eventually donated to charitable organizations. 
  • If your child has not yet brought a smock to school for art class, please consider bringing one next week. Old t-shirts or aprons work very well!
  • If you have not yet sent back the school copy of our homework expectations (signed by you and your child) please have your child bring it back to school as soon as possible. Thank you!
  • I look forward to meeting you all on Tuesday evening!

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