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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Classroom Summary for September 28 - October 2

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

In enVisionMATH we continued working in Topic 2's addition strategies. We learned that turn-around facts are just facts where the addends (numbers being added) are switched around. We also learned to add multiple addends. When we added three numbers we found that we could use all different strategies to choose the two numbers we wanted to add first; we used addends that made a ten, addends that were doubles, addends that were near doubles (1 number higher or lower than a double) or addends that were combining a 0, 1 or 2 (easier to add together).

We also began working with the app, STMath (a.k.a. JiJi math), this week. STMath is a visual-based math program that allows children to construct mathematical knowledge through visual problem-solving. Students are prompted to "Play the gray" in order to get JiJi (a little penguin) through a series of cumulative mathematical situations. All second grade teachers were trained on this district-provided math app on Thursday. It is brand new to the second grade 'tool box' of technology and will be used as an additional mode of instruction as time allows.

In Fundations we began working in Unit 2. Our focus was reviewing glued sounds (ang, ank, ing, ink, ong, onk, ung, unk, all, an, am) and bonus letters (f, l, s). We practiced the spelling rule that determines when bonus letters are used (bonus letters f, l, and s come immediately after a short vowel). We also practiced our first grade trick words and we learned three new trick words this week: shall, pull and full. Trick words are the words that are not spelled using standard spelling rules.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we continued to work on routines with reading logs, reading response journals and our independent book baskets. We also began working with a comprehension program called Making Meaning. Each week Miss Varrell will present a book or a text passage to help instruct the skills of deeper literary understanding and author's purpose. Critical thinking skills, such as inferential and evaluative thinking, will be addressed as our comprehension progresses throughout the year.

In writing workshop we continued to work in our first stories from last week where we used pictures or illustrations to give us ideas to write about. We also had a brief mini lesson on how to keep our multi-paged stories organized: with a paperclip! We demonstrated how to use paperclips and why we use them rather than staples (our stories are always changing and paperclips allow us to remove, add and change the order of pages much more easily than staples do).

We also listened to the story BigMama's by Donald Crews. We learned that Donald Crews often uses memories to get ideas for his books. While we read BigMama's we could see how parts of the story might have come from the author's memories about his childhood: taking a train to his grandparents' house, going fishing with his cousin, looking around the farm where his grandparents lived. Next week we'll use our memories to begin some new stories!

In science we have almost completed illustrating our tree books. Next week we will take a tree walk to gather some photographic evidence about the trees at Pine Glen. Mrs. Ardizzoni will be teaching us how to put our evidence into an app called Explain Everything so that we can make short videos  to teach other people about trees. We're really looking forward to it!

Weekly Challenge Activity: Write a poem about a tree! Be sure to put your name on your paper and illustrate your poem. If you bring it to school on Monday we will share them at dismissal time!

Parent F.Y.I.

  • Now that the cooler weather is here, please be sure that your child's outerwear is clearly labeled with his/her name. If you are ever concerned that an item of clothing has gone missing and you cannot find it at home, Pine Glen's lost and found is located at the back of the lobby area near the playground doors. With permission, your child can visit the Lost and Found to check for items that might belong to him/her. At the end of the year, any unclaimed items of clothing are donated to charity.
  • Book orders for the month of September arrived on Friday. October book order forms will be sent home later this month. For more information about ordering online, please see the sidebar of our blog.
  • Please keep the purple field trip permission slips and accompanying money coming in. Our first field trip is scheduled for Friday, October 30. Chaperones will be randomly selected from qualified applicants by Friday, October 16 and notified by email. 
  • Enjoy the sunshine while it's here!

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