Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday... MONDAY and Mary's Morning Meeting!!!

Great Monday Friends! Mary started us off with a great morning meeting (Are You Sleeping, ball rolling greeting and boppity bop bop bop). Well done Mary! We adjourned to hand writing with "weekend fun words" as our embedded theme and came up with some seriously fun words to write today! Our new spelling rule was all about plurals! Taking a word and changing it or adding to it to "show more than one". A very important rule that will certainly help us with our writing! Weekend stories were the topic in writing workshop, and we talked about "adjectives" and how describing words really make a "juicy" story! Adjectives can put a picture into the readers head, like they're watching the story on t.v., but in their mind! Very cool! Maya and Peter boldly shared their stories today, and modeled excellent habits of successful writers (using "think sheets", rereading their work, and especially using adjectives to spice up their story)!! Well done!
In math we practiced a story problem with 3 variables and remembered how important a "picture, words, numbers, and the answer" are when solving word problems! Way to show your thinking second graders!
We ended the day with Ms. Kidder in computers with a fun adaptations game and created some crazy new species of animals! WILD!
I hear there's more winter weather on the way.... stay tuned friends! Tomorrow: sneakers for P.E. please. Thanks for all the wish list donations! Maintaining this blog creates a mighty big appetite for AA batteries.... thought I'd add this to the 2W wish list items. Thanks again for all your classroom support.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cafe Sun and All School Sing! Musical Wednesday For Sure!

Wow! A lot packed into one Wednesday school day! We started with Adan's morning meeting. Our morning was full with handwriting (focusing on fraction vocabulary review), and work board/reading groups. Writing focused again, on our habitat unit, and today we learned about the tropical rain forest, and how valuable and small this part of our planet really is. We wrote about different animals that live in this hot, humid habitat, and learned about the adaptations of animals and how they live/survive there.
We practiced more double digit addition in math, and caught up on work as well. We also talked about how important it is to learn (work on) our math facts up to 20. We spend 5 minutes, each day, with our math warm-up, practicing math facts, but could really use more practice. We'll talk about how flash cards can help, and send home a set of flash cards with every student for some extra practice. Simple... even 5 minutes a day with flashcards will help you be faster, better, and smarter at knowing your math facts!
We ended the day with an All School Sing and learned a lot of new songs from Mr. Hines reflecting freedom, civil rights, and struggle! Mathathon participants will be sent home with prizes earned for their participation tomorrow. Well done second graders! Not only did you practice math concepts, but you truly helped St. Jude's Hospital help care for their youngest, most vulnerable cancer patients! Thanks Ms. Weinberger for putting this academic fundraiser together for our students! Second graders making a difference! Nice!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meetings with Olivia and Ethan... and our Black Swallowtail Butterfly!

Greetings Friends! Olivia started our day with a great meeting singing "One Bottle of Pop", the Earth toss greeting, and a fun round of the "acting out" game. Well done Olivia, and very nice message, for sure!!
We practiced handwriting with our spelling rule: abbreviations, and followed with rainbow writing.
We learned more about habitats and researched deserts today. We practiced writing "facts" and learning what a true fact is, while learning about the desert habitat. Tomorrow, we'll visit rain forest habitats, and learn more facts about rain forest animals! If you haven't heard... our chrysalises have popped! We were unsure what kind of butterfly would emerge... but with a little research, we now know we have Black Swallowtail butterflies! They are very beautiful, and fun to watch!
In math, we learned double digit addition the "second grade way" and enjoyed another math meeting lead by Ethan! Well done Ethan! We cycled back into place value with base 10 blocks, and reviewed tens, ones, and the importance of the "place" of the digit.
All school sing tomorrow, and Cafe Sun... for any who want to join us!! Should be fun!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Snowy Thursday!!

Greetings Friends! Ms. Worthley was "out" today... but not really, she was meeting with readers all day. In her place was Ms. M. and she was wonderful! Students completed literacy jobs on work board, wrote about finding the "golden ticket" and getting invited to Willy Wonka's factory, and used beans to practice our math facts up to 15! Ethan had a wonderful math meeting, only to be matched by Peter and his equally awesome morning meeting! Well done second grade! Business as usual tomorrow... unless the snow, and Mother Nature have something to say about that!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back... At Last!!

Greetings Second grade friends!! What crazy wintry weather we've had... BIG TIME! Gotta admit, it was nice to see everyone after the long, unexpected break! We settled right back into word study with our new spelling rule... Dipthong /oi/ and /oy/. We did some quiet reading and tried to get back into the swing of our schedule, even though we had a very short morning.
We practiced math facts with our newly added "math minute" and Did Together In Class (D.T.I.C.). We reviewed time lines with Dr. Martin Luther King, and are getting ready to make our own personal time lines soon! Fun!
Ice outside made outdoor recess too dangerous (and if you tried to walk in your driveway this morning, you can relate)!! Hopefully, tomorrow we'll be outdoors for recess, so come prepared with snow clothes, hats, mittens, and boots!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fractions, Poetry, and Peter's Awesome V.I.P!!

Fabulous Friday Friends! Kirsten started our day with morning meeting! Loved singing Chicken Lips (grossest song EVER), and playing the clothespin game (well played Adriana and Mackenzie... well played)!!
Our theme in handwriting was "famous presidents" and we talked our way through a pretty respectable list of former presidents and their accomplishments! Well done second graders, that's what I call a good, balanced representation of some influential Presidential history! Very impressive!
We had our first buddy test with our new amount of words, and it went very well (second graders are truly ready for challenge when the new year hits)!! We also practiced sorting fractions of a group. Easy when you're asked to cut a whole circle in half, or in fourths, but what about a "group" of 8 squares, or 12 circles... what then? How do you split groups into equal parts? We learned the super-special top secret second grade way of splitting up groups, and stretched our learning in fraction-math! Nice!
Students recited our poem of the week together and realized that practice, does indeed make "perfect". The more you practice reading a poem, the more fluent, smooth, and "perfect" you sound while reading. Fun!
We ended our day with Peter's VIP presentation and were duly impressed with his knowledge of the South Korean flag and it's colors and symbols! This (flag) is clearly a meaningful part of Peter's possessions and personal history, and we were very grateful he shared it with us today! Truly one amazing VIP presentation Peter! Thank you for sharing such a special part of yourself with all your friends.
Sharing continues next week, but with a new twist... stay tuned second grade!
Happy Martin Luther King Day! Consider honoring his legacy and memory with a kind act. Extend an olive branch and bridge the gap with his message of "love" (not "hate). Thank you Dr. King.
Happy weekend! See you all Tuesday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

TJ's Meeting and Data with Venn!

Can you say "HOLY SNOW DAY"?? What a great time we had at recess with all that awesome SNOW! Woohoo! Please remember we play outside, every day, and need warm clothes, hats, gloves, snowpants, and boots to be prepared! We also have an unusually windy playground, so all the extra clothes help us stay warm as well as dry!
TJ started our Thursday off with a new ball-kick greeting (well done TJ!), and Mister Golden Sun! We practiced our handwriting with "winter" words (very appropriate) and learned how to do "look, say, cover, write, check" with our new amount of spelling words. We had a long productive literacy block on work board and in reading groups... well done second graders!
In math today, we collected some data and learned how to organize it on a Venn diagram! Very cool! We also practiced reading our Venn diagrams and how to compare and apply the data to every day situations! Interesting! We ended the day in computers and as Adan said, our behavior was a "thousand thumbs up"! Get ready for fun Friday second graders! Remember, it's "Patriots" (as in the football team) Spirit day, so come to school all decked out in Patriot's colors (red, blue, white) and "REPRESENT"! You don't have to be a Patriots (or a football) expert to join in the fun! See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adriana's Meeting and Fractions!

Students arrived ready and raring to go today! Adriana started us off with the Sandwiches song, Spongebob greeting, and a rousing game of "Alibi". Well done Adriana! We sorted (and read) our spelling words according to each word's spelling rule and practiced our handwriting with more of "Martin's Big Words"! Very impressive handwriting and equally impressive thoughtful use of words like: peace, freedom, love, fair, equal rights, and character!! How I love the sense of justice and moral conviction of second graders... tell it like it is... with complete clarity! Writers shared their thoughtful ideas at author's share. Well done writers!
We worked on fractions in math today as well, and stretched our learning. Instead of fractions of a "whole" we worked on fractions (equal parts) of a group (a bit harder... especially when finding 1/3 of a group of 12 items). We learned Ms. Weinbergers super-special-secret-strategy for working with fractions of a group, and will review our thinking tomorrow. We've also been working with "data" in math too. We've worked with surveys, bar graphs, tables, and collecting data using Venn diagrams... how cool!!
Snow day tomorrow? Every other school has "called it in" already. We'll see. If you do, indeed, have a day off, go out and PLAY IN ALL THAT SNOW!!! We will have a "snow" survey question waiting when you return!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Olivia's Meeting and Peter begins as Math Helper!

Greetings Friends! After a nice, snowy weekend, we were all ready to get started in second grade! Olivia's morning meeting was quite an eye opener... LOVE the sparkle game! Thanks Olivia! Next it was handwriting with our old spelling rule, long u vowel sound. Great job remembering long u words, and using them appropriately! We practiced choosing 15 spelling words and putting our words onto our homework packets. From now on, we will have more words, what remains the same is students will still simply write each word, one time, on their homework packet each night. The new template for homework is meant to encourage (almost forces) students to write neatly and carefully!
We read some more about Martin Luther King, and, as you'd expect, some very thoughtful questions and conversation followed. Justice and equity, along with a strong moral compass is firmly rooted in our second grade class... that's for sure! Well done second graders!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is our new addiction! We love every chapter and linger over every little detail Roald Dahl offers us! His take on all the quirky (spoiled rotten) characters make it unusually interesting, accept for Charlie, of course!!
In math, we learned about time lines (kind of like number lines, but different) and documented some important events as they happened during Dr. King's short meaningful life. "Who was president when King was shot?" "Is killing in a war ok?" Such provocative connections and questions for such a young group, but intensely thoughtful and deeply rooted in fairness. And in these times, it's no surprise smart caring youngsters who are taught to be careful observers would ask such difficult questions. Very impressive!
PE tomorrow... Sneakers please!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mackenzie Rocks her Meeting, and Ethan's VIP!!!!

Howdy Friends! What a great day to end one fantastic week. We really got back into the "swing of things" post vacation, and had a very productive few days! Mackenzie started us off to a great Friday with her morning meeting! Well done Mackenzie! We practiced our handwriting while examining parts of Dr. King's very famous speech. The handwriting was unbelievable (no surprise) but the content was incredibly moving, sparking many meaningful conversations, yet again! After our buddy test (long u vowel sound.... GOT IT), we "fancied up" our M.L.K. words with color-washing in writing workshop and admired our results! Some very impressive words meet with equally impressive artistic representation! Wow! Please come check it out for yourself on our bulletin board! Inspiring, thoughtful, and very meaningful content!
We learned how to represent data on a table in math, and talked about how tables help us organize information. Especially when counting elephant legs!! Many second graders were new to "tables" in math (not pool, not ping pong, and certainly not DINNER tables) but we were quick to catch on!
We ended our day with Ethan's wonderful VIP! Again, I must say how impressed I am with the level of respect, courtesy, and interest Ethan's peers showed during his VIP presentation! Well spoken and very interesting Ethan! We look forward to Peter next week! Our last VIP! After which, sharing will take on a whole new meaning in second grade! Have a great weekend friends!