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Monday, March 13, 2017

Classroom Summary for February 27 - March 10

Here's what we've been learning....

In math we finished working on place value with subtraction and addition up to 100. We will return to place value later on. Last week we began our eighth unit which focuses on counting money and telling time. Last week we looked at real coins close up to observe what kinds of words and symbols on coins can help us understand their values. Using magnifying glasses we observed that the following coins have these value words (a copy of this chart is available for assisting with homework, if requested):



“one cent”


“five cents”


“one dime”

“quarter dollar”


“half dollar”


“one dollar”

We will continue to work with coins, bills and telling time over the next couple of weeks.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we began working on vowel pairs, otherwise known as vowel digraphs. We began learning the long a vowel pairs: ai and ay. We brainstormed lots of long a words to look at the spelling patterns and discovered that most words use /ai/ in the middle of syllables and /ay/ is more often used at the end of syllables. There are times when syllables begin with /ai/ but it is not frequent. After learning our new vowel pairs, we then reviewed the four ways, or spelling options, to spell the long a sound.

/ā/ spellings ----->  a-consonant-e ----->       bake, sale, made, face, rake
                                      ai --------------->               mail, bait, rain, cinquain, chain
                                      ay -------------->               hay, say, May, tray, gray
                                       a --------------->               apron, Avon, atypical, apex

In Miss Varrell's reading class we continued to work in our reading groups focusing on main idea and details. We worked in Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks and A Day's Work by Eve Bunting.  Both stories required us to read slowly and carefully as there were many clues throughout the stories to help us begin to make inferences and understand the main idea of the story.

In writing workshop we have continued to learn about paragraph writing. We have worked on the following skills: topic sentences, detail sentences, indenting, and combining simple sentences to make compound sentences using connecting words. We used our writing skills to write about Matter and Materials that we have been learning about in Science class. When our paragraphs are finished we will publish them and hang them up outside the reading room on the second floor.

In Science, we continued our work in Matter and Materials by learning how temperature affects different states of matter. We worked with solids and liquids and cold temperatures to predict, observe and explain what happened. After observing seven different liquids, we predicted what would happen if they were frozen. Our predictions proved correct in most cases, but in one case, they did not! One of our liquids did NOT freeze (we really want to know why)! Later, we also checked to see if the weight of solids and liquids would change if we took them apart or separated them into smaller pieces. We predicted that the solids would not change but that the liquids would be lighter. We observed that none of the weights changed when we separated them into parts. Whether a solid was whole or in parts or a liquid was all in one container or separated into "drops", the weight stayed the same. Next week we will look at how heat affects solids and liquids!

Using pipettes to separate a container of liquid into droplets... 

predicting, observing, explaining...

learning about matter is fun!

Here are some pictures from our solids unit when we were tasked with engineering a bridge using materials that would support zoo animals crossing over a river:

"How are we going to get these to stay on?" 
"Many hands make light work!"

Addie joined us as a guest science student!

Science Pride!

"Team work!"

"Hmmm. What's the task again?" 

"Will this work? Let's try it."

"What materials should we use? How are we going to get this to stay on the cups?"

"Did it work? Yes! But now we need to extend the length and see if it STILL works..."

"Where's the meter stick to check our bridge length?" 
"Hey! We're getting the hang of this engineering stuff!"

Last but not least, we had a great time buddy reading with our Kindergarten friends on Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss' Birthday) who were on a mission to read with every grade in the school! Thank you, Mrs. Hoyt and Room 103 for coming up and reading to us. We were so proud of how well everyone is reading! Keep up the great work, Kindergarten!

Parent F.Y.I.

  • Second grade will be going on their first field trip to the theater on Friday, March 24. We will not be taking any chaperones as this is a limited seating event. All permission slips and payments have been sent in for this field trip so we are all set and ready to go! A reminder will be sent home next week for proper attire and lunch requirements.
  • Keep working on math facts!
  • Keep reading for increasing lengths of time at home. The goal for children leaving second grade is to be able to sustain their independent reading (known as reading stamina) for a minimum of 20-30 minutes. Please be sure your child is stopping every few pages to "digest" what he or she is reading. What does that mean? That can take the form of a drawing, a conversation with an older sibling or adult, or a written journal entry about what has happened so far in the story. Children who do not stop or pause intermittently to think about, or digest, what they are reading often have more difficulty comprehending text. Don't forget your reading corps slips!
  • Enjoy the signs of spring (when they eventually arrive)!

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