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Monday, January 23, 2017

Classroom Summary for January 9 - 20

Gwyneth and Kenzie showing global pride!
Here's what we did this week...

In math we have been working on our subtraction strategies for double digit numbers. We reviewed our previous learning about addition strategies (e.g. breaking apart numbers, using a hundred chart, making open number lines, applying compensation, etc.) and applied similar strategies while solving subtraction problems. Next week we will start our new unit on subtraction with regrouping.  Children will first be introduced to the concept of regrouping with concrete learning materials (breaking apart a ten to make ten ones with cubes/manipulatives) before learning how to implement the traditional algorithm. If you are an adult who learned subtraction via "borrowing" you should know that we do not refer to it that way any more! We call it regrouping because it more clearly defines what is happening to numbers when you are subtracting large place values.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class this week students learned about the open syllable rule. An open syllable is a sound 'chunk' in a word where the vowel is not closed in by a consonant nor is there silent e "pinching" its sound. Here are some examples of words that are also open syllables:

he          she            why          me          by            try             flu            emu (e-mu)

Can you think of any others? And just like the other syllable types we've learned about, an open syllable can be combined with other syllables. Here are some examples:

ho-tel                 co-lon                 bing-o                 co-ag-u-late

Besides learning about open syllables, we also learned about three new suffixes: -ty, -ly, and -y. As soon as we learned about them, suddenly we started noticing how many words have them in our reading books!

In Miss Varrell's reading class we finished our winter i-Ready reading assessments and Miss Varrell introduced us to a new comprehension skill known as visualizing. We practiced using our visualization skills by listening to some stories without seeing the illustrations. We drew what we saw in our minds. It was amazing to find out how similar our drawings were after we compared them to what was printed in the book! Miss Varrell explained that as we get older and we read longer and longer texts, the books we read will have fewer and fewer illustrations. We will not be able to rely purely on pictures for our comprehension. We will need to start visualizing and looking for other clues that authors leave us in the text.

In writing workshop we have been hard at work learning about paragraphs. We know that a paragraph is a form of writing that is used for many other longer forms of writing. We have learned what a topic is. We have learned what a topic sentence is and we have begun learning about how detail sentences help us explain more specifically what we are writing about. We know that a paragraph in second grade in January is about 4-5 sentences long. A paragraph in second grade at the end of the year should be about 6-8 sentences long. There will be some homework assignments in the future where we will practice writing in paragraph form. Here are some mini lessons that will be coming up (have not been taught just yet) in writing workshop:

What is a paragraph?
What is a topic?
What is a topic sentence and what does it do? How is it different from a title?

What is a detail sentence? Why do we need them? What is a piggyback or “follower” sentence?

What is a closing sentence? Why do you need to “wrap up” a paragraph?

Punctuating a paragraph: the indent!

In Social Studies we have begun wrapping up our unit on landforms and bodies of water. We have learned about continents, oceans, maps and globes and now we are finishing up learning about particular landforms and bodies of water that can be found in and around those continents and oceans! Our paper mache globes were a wonderful learning experience for us not only as we learned the names of our major continents and oceans, but also when we tried to make sure our continents and oceans were placed correctly on our Earth models. Room 211 would like to thank Mr. Lyons for allowing Pine Glen to have its annual "Innovation Day" in December so that we could plan, construct and complete such a creative opportunity. Thank you, too, to Ms. Anderson for suggesting her idea for making social studies be the highlight of our Innovation Day.

Paper mache globes


In the upcoming weeks we will be learning a new science concept: Matter and Materials. Mr. Musselman has been hard at work writing and developing the unit to add to the second grade science curriculum based on the changes made within the Next Generation Science Standards (i.e. the science equivalent of the Common Core in ELA and Mathematics). Miss Anderson, Mrs. Beaulieu and Miss Varrell have been trained in the new unit and will be implementing the new lessons over the next month!

At the end of the week we spent some time organizing and cleaning our desks as well as reviewing our class jobs. "Spotters" are required for some jobs!






F.Y.I. for Parents

  • If your child appears to be missing any winter clothing items or accessories, please be sure to check out the Lost and Found area when you are at Pine Glen. Items not claimed at the end of the year will be donated to a local charity.
  • Please be sure your child is continuing to fill out reading corps slips to achieve star stickers on our reading chart at school. If you are in need of more slips, just let me know!
  • Enjoy the unusually temperate January weather!



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