Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Last Day.... sigh...

So, another last day... for the books! 2014 was truly a special year with so many wonderful students! We learned so much this year... In reading we compared fiction and nonfiction, historical fiction and realistic fiction! We learned to write like experts, to teach, lab reports, personal narratives with a great hook and compelling, emotional endings! In math... where do I begin? Place value, expanding numbers, fractions, problem solving, time and money problems, measurement... and especially thinking!!! Holding on to numbers in our heads... and working to solve problems using number patterns! We also learned how to persevere through a problem or situation... how to have the stamina required to solve a problem... how to EARN and feel the satisfaction that comes along with thinking and problem solving!! WOW! Goodbyes didn't come easy today... as we reflected together, many students were happy, though some were feeling ambivalent. Not quite ready to say good bye, and let it all come to an end. Each and every one of these students have worked hard and are prepared for their next chapter... third grade! But have a happy summer first! Make sure to include lots of play, and fun, and even some reading and thinking... puzzles and games... into each day! Well done second graders!! So very proud of you all!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Button Party Day!!!

What a day!! Day 176 out of 180 days for this group of 2W friends to be together, and today we celebrated!!! Now let me back this up... what are buttons... a button jar? On day one, we had a button jar where random, unexpected buttons would be awarded based on acts of kindness, caring acts of friendship, friends taking responsibility, or even when a student takes a risk... increases their learning by making a mistake, but persevering until a problem is solved!! Now, that's really learning!! To start this special day of celebrating, students chose activities that they would like to do together... and voted! Winning votes included sponge tag, extra recess, and ice cream sundaes!!! Well done! But, Ms. W had a few surprises, and the first one that started our day was a button treasure hunt! Working in teams... reading clues.... hunting for buttons throughout our school, and collecting keepsakes... button style! What an adventure!! And what a way to reflect on some of the great times in our second grade year together! Next up, on this beautiful Monday morning... sponge tag! Running in the grass while tagging friends with soggy sponges on a warm sunny day! What fun! After sponge tag, we tried a little "duck, duck sponge"... a lot like duck duck goose... but with a soggy wet, sponge filled with water!! Let the games begin!! Soon after our beautiful morning together hunting for buttons and cooling off with some sponge tag it was time for an afternoon with sundaes!! That's right!! Ice cream sundaes and some favorite toppings provided by all our button party participants! What could be better while noshing on ice cream sundaes than watching Mary Poppins! A movie made from a book we just read together at read aloud! Awesome day, spectacular weather, caring sweet second grade friends, and one great celebration! Well done second grade!!! Outstanding!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All School Author's Celebration!!

Greetings Families and Friends! We sure have been busy in writing workshop with our unit on opinion writing... writing to persuade and using evidence to support our thoughts and feelings... our opinions! WOW! What an important skill to have, and we've been breaking it down, day by day, one writing workshop at a time! Practicing strategies, using linking and transition words, learning important phrases like "for example", and "in my opinion", and even, "as you can see"... Wow! Great job writers! Today, we assembled each of our smaller/classroom community of writers and merged together as a school, under the organization of our very own Sarah Burstein!! First we joined together in the gym for a slide show of our writing community... every class, every grade, one big community!! Next, teams were assembled (across the grade levels) and we went on a writing journey of authors sharing! A parade of teams went from place to place, while second grade writers shared with PK writers and first grade writers!! It was absolutely spectacular! Another outstanding day to reflect on what we've learned as writers, and to see our writing skills on display! Well done second grade.... Well done SES! Writing matters, and we proved it today!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Large and In Charge!! Ms. Carey's Master Teaching!

So much has been going on in 2W... it's about time we got caught up! With Ms. Carey taking over as head teacher in 2W, we've introduced some new units in math, social studies, and writing workshop!! In math workshop, we've finished our units on time and money, and have practiced composing and decomposing numbers as a strategy for problem solving! We've also learned strategies for double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping and carrying, now we just have to keep practicing so we remember and follow all the steps so that we're working with precision and care! Our new math units have focused on measurement! What are the tools we use, how to measure carefully, precisely, and why measurment is important! Learning about inches, feet, meters, centimeters, yards, as units, and how they work together is especially important! We will continue to practice what we've learned so we can solve measurement problems! In reading workshop we've added a social studies unit on maps and globes! Learning how to use a compass rose and cardinal direction, scale, and how maps and globes are used are very important! In writing workshop we celebrated all our hard work in our non-fiction/writing to teach unit with a fantastic second grade author's share! We're moving on in our next writing unit on opinion/persuasion writing! Learning about what an opinion is, how to support opinions with evidence, and writing to persuade is a skill! Our focus in writing workshop will be to practice writing with these new skills we've learned! As always, every day is full of math and morning meetings, greetings, energizers, songs, and interactive fun learning activities! Ms. Carey will continue her master teaching throughout this week, and then she will remain in our classroom until the end of the year!! How lucky are WE?!?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Research and Expanded Number Strategies for Addition!

Howdy Friends! Things sure have been busy in 2W! Stephanie's been our math meeting helper this week, and has guided us through calendar math, days in school, in money, and today's number! Well done Stephanie! In math we've also learned lots of strategies for adding double and triple digit numbers! Our new strategy is to use what we know about expanding numbers! When you expand numbers into hundreds, tens, and ones, you can create a picture of the number in a more concrete way! Using this strategy, we can then add the hundreds, tens, and ones! Eventually, we will be able to do this in our head... mental math! In reading workshop we've taken our nonfiction reading standards, our research writing standards, and combined them into one awesome research project! Using research and collaboration we are building background knowledge and becoming experts on our topics! The research topics came right out of our district science curriculum: Earth, Moon, and Sun!! Soon we'll be ready to share all our learning and "expert words" along with creative illustrations with diagrams, labels, and all kind of nonfiction text features! Very exciting time to be learning in second grade! Well done friends!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dr. Suess, Guest Readers, and Algebraic Equations!!

If you're wondering how 2W's been going... it's been BUSY!!!! Just the way we like it! Friday was Read Across America Day, and we celebrated with some awesome guest readers! Rory, Grant, and Evan, all linebackers and scholars from Amherst College joined us in the morning for some Dr. Seuss fun!! We loved listening to these college boys read some of our favorite Seuss classics! They also shared a little about themselves... what their favorite stories were when they were our age, what it's like to play on a team, and how important reading is in their lives! They also talked about discipline, practice, and hard work... and the rewards that follow!! Each one had a favorite author and a favorite Seuss book as well! Great job and kudos to everyone who made this such a special day! Thing 1 and Thing 2 also made appearances, as did a variety of Seuss inspired characters throughout the day! Thanks to Mrs. Lemeshow and Ms. Kidder for making all the arrangements and coordinating all our guest readers! WE LOVED IT!!! While Seuss stole the show... we've also been working on problem solving and equations! Showing our thinking while solving problems is a very important skill! Knowing how to regroup numbers (composing and decomposing numbers), and turning ones into tens is the foundation for all of our problem solving strategies! We also took a close look at equations and figured out what the missing numbers were. Just like solving a puzzle! In reading workshop we jumped right back into reading groups with some very well deserved fiction and realistic fiction, and we loved it! We practiced writing about our reading (the second grade way) with lots of details and using important linking words, which always make our sentences better and full of important information! Next week... group projects! Reading workshop meets up with Science and second graders working together to research a topic, and report back on their learning! Can't wait!