Friday, April 30, 2010

Chelsea's V.I.P. and One Great Work Board

Fun Friday didn't let us down! We had a great day, beginning with our new work board while reading groups worked on fluency with our readers theater scripts! I must say, this is the best class of work board workers I think I've ever seen! Thorough, hard working, independent, and cooperative. Work board is all about working together and helping other committee members, and everyone certainly rose to the occasion today. Very impressive.
Later, Chelsea treated us to her family photos, stories, and important events that all helped form who she is today! Loved the "chewing on Dad's nose" picture Chelsea! Can you say super-awesome V.I.P.?? I can... SUPER AWESOME VIP CHELSEA!! Thank you for sharing!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Second Grade Bulb Garden!

Thanks to Isaac (and first graders Peter and Mary... honorary tenders of the second grade bulb garden) we have added some new additions to our garden. Tulips, gifted to Ms. Worthley, courtesy of Alex and Chelsea (thank you ladies!!) have been planted in our second grade bulb garden courtesy of Isaac! Thanks Isaac, for your hard work and initiative! Can't wait until next year to see what new additions grow in our lovely garden!

Ethnotech... Thanks PTO!!!!

Asian flutes... Folk Tales.... Imagination and wonder all wrapped up in one amazing storyteller!!! Second graders, and Sunderland Elementary were all treated to some amazing talent courtesy of "Ethnotech"!! Beautiful stories were the feature of todays special guest, courtesy of Sunderland PTO. Thanks to all who researched, found, and funded such a worthy event for our community! Many grateful teachers and students truly enjoyed the show!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Buzzing with Excitement!!

Tomorrow.... the big night! Can't wait! The children have practiced their songs, worked on their art, and are ready for the stage. A show like this only happens once... it's a gift! Please join us and partake in this wonderful event. You'll be glad you did! See you there!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Connecting to Text, and a 9 to 12 split on the Question of the Day (I'll take it!).

Happy Tuesday Friends! Very productive morning! Busy students, great work, and Lital back after a long illness. It was so great to have our student teacher Lital back in the classroom. She treated us to a read-aloud lesson focusing on connectins. Throughout the year, we have often focused on text to text connections (books reminding us of another book we've read), text to self connections (books connecting us to something that has happended to us), or text to world connections (when a book connects us to the world around us)...and with this book, connectins are inevitable. Lital read Alexandar and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (a classic). Judith Viorst captures the drama felt by a young boy enduring one of those days NO ONE wants to repeat... everything that could go wrong, goes very wrong!! Students shared their thoughts and related their experiences to those of Alexandar. Thanks Lital! Great lesson. Nice having you back!
We also continued our fraction unit in math by reviewing half, thirds, and "equal parts"! We introduced fourths as "four equal parts" of a whole, and worked with one fourth (or one quarter).
Natalie was a great morning meeting helper, great way to start the day! Chelsea also ran a very efficient math meeting! Well done friends. Looking forward to tomorrows challenges, stories, and unexpected surprises!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gabe Runs Morning Meeting and Michael's V.I.P!!

Greetings Everyone! Short week for students, with all these half days... long days for school, with all the conferences. Thanks to all who took the time to come in and talk about your students, our classroom, and all the great progress we've seen since September! For many of you, we have yet to meet, and I look forward to seeing everyone and sharing your students academic progress and social development.
Though Friday was short, we certainly had enough time to finish our latest work board and work on our writing (story maps and summaries). We started Friday with a wonderful Morning Meeting run by Gabe! Not only did he choose the song, greeting, game and morning message, he grabbed the guitar, and literally ran the meeting on his own! Independent, confident, and extremely capable! Well done Gabe!
Michael also shared his V.I.P. Friday! We learned a lot about family vacations, super-powers, likes, dislikes, pets, and favorite foods/games! He finished his presentation by sharing "who he looks up to and why"...his older brother Eric, "because he's smart,nice and plays with me". Well done Michael. Excellent V.I.P!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Second Grade Bulb Garden, and Mrs, Stahalek Celebrates 20 Years of Service!

Greetings Friends! What a beautiful, sunny, wonderful spring day! We couldn't help but notice our second grade bulb garden is also enjoying the warm sunshine! Several students captured our blooming daffodils (on camera, during recess), and graciously allowed me to share their photos on our blog! Thanks Michael, Isasc, and first graders Mary and Peter!
We also honored our wonderful art teacher Mrs, Nancy Stahalek today! Dr, Nash and the Sunderland staff commemorated 20 years of teaching art in our district (an opportunity we missed in September due to cuts in our programming....replaced by generous parent and coorperate donations)! Thanks, Nancy, for understanding that art is an integral part of a "whole" education for every child. Your talent and the spirit behind what you teach is truly appreciated by your colleagues, parents and certainly by every student!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Awesome Work-Board Morning, and Chelsea Runs the Show!!

Greetings Amigos! Well, we flipped our morning schedule, and it couldn't have been met with more success! Students got "crack-a-lackin" on work board right after meeting, and our brains and bodies responded beautifully! Amazing! We will "FLIP" our schedule again tomorrow morning friends, and see if we can repeat today's great work!
We wrote some great summaries of a wonderful Don and Audrey Wood story called Elbert's Bad Word. Students enjoyed Audrey woods "take" on hearing and foolishly repeating a bad word! Thanks to the local "wizard-gardener" Elbert "cured" himself of this bad word, and learned other strong words instead! Clever, funny, beautifully illustrated, and perfect for practicing our summary writing skills. Some summaries were long, some were shorter, but most included all the important elements of the story!
Chelsea also ran a very efficient math meeting! Well done Chelsea! She started on her own (after quietly complimenting ready, respectful listeners), and pretty much ran the show! Independent, purposeful, polite, and cheerful. Nice job Chelsea!
We ended the day (as the clouds parted, and sunshine yielded some attention worthy outdoor time), with a quick 15 minute extra outdoor recess. Students were pretty indignant that Mother Nature allowed for good weather after our scheduled recess time (..."it's sooooooo unfair"). So, after we shared an unexpected treat of fruit dressed up like a flower arrangement (pretty cool), we hit the playground for some sunshine, vitamin D and a quick outdoor motor break!
Best Tuesday in a long time second graders! Super awesome day indeed!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fractions and a Great Morning Meeting Maddison!

Greetings Friends! What a great start to our week! Maddison lead us in a great morning meeting

(well done Maddison!), and we launched right into our new spelling word principle"... antonyms... and we don't mean the crawly pic-nic-y" kind... we mean the opposite kind!! Students learned the concept of antonyms, and generated our own word list to choose from. After snack, we composed more personal narratives (thanks to our beautiful weekend... and a holiday weekend, at that, for many...).
We also introduced a new math unit on fractions. We remembered what we learned with symmetry and equal parts, and applied that to fractions. We began with half... or 1/2... or "one out of two equal parts" as we say in second grade. We will expand our learning to include thirds, quarters, and equal parts of a group (fraction of a group, not just one whole).
Well done second graders...can't think of what I'd rather do than spend another day listening to your stories, laughing at your unexpected surprises, and watching you learn more and more, each and every day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gabe's VIP and Destination Imagination! Kid Power and Creativity in action!!

Another fun Friday... and very busy as well! As if the week couldn't get any better, we probably had one of the most quiet and productive mornings in weeks! Students were on task, cooperating when necessary, and we got a lot of work done! We got to watch the last little bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (after reading the book, and celebrating Willy Wonka Day, of course), and to top it all off, it was Gabe's V.I.P! And what a Very Important Person he was...sharing family vacation photos, family celebrations, and lots of history. I think we have a lot in common with Gabe... we love our family, we love the beach, and we love our friends! Well done Gabe!
We ended our Friday with a performance by Sunderland's (first ever) D.I. Team. D.I. stands for Destination Imagination (formerly known as Odyssey of the Mind... O.M.). It's a global organization (yep, pretty big!!) where students choose a long term challenge/problem, and solve all on their own! This years D.I. team challenge was to learn how to build a robot and present their robot in a skit where they write a story explaining how robotic technology helps human kind! An organization whose focus is based on completely kid-inspired thinking and creativity! Pretty cool! Kids can, indeed, change the world... and I've got a couple of second graders who can prove it too! Busy week with a lot of activity!
Next week... looking forward to conferencing with you all! Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will all be half days (noon dismissal, no lunch) for students.
Happy Spring Everyone!!

Welcome Back Ms. Kuck! Let's have a Fun-Run!!

What a beautiful Thursday! Great day to honor our amazing Nurse Kuck. We missed her while she was out, many would say it just wasn't the same without her! We'd agree! She's a fighter, and she's back and looking better than ever! The whole school surprised her in the gymnasium chanting Mrs. Kuck...Mrs. Kuck...Mrs. Kuck! then everyone cruised outside to a warm, sunny gorgeous day for our first spring fun-run. Some ran, many walked, others jogged, and everyone got the blood flowing and muscles moving! One of the many events that makes our school special. Great job students, and I think Mrs. Kuck will remember this fun-run for a while! Great job!