Monday, February 28, 2011

Outstanding Monday!

If you could make it to school on those ice covered roads.... then you were in for a treat, because second grade had one OUTSTANDING school day! We talked about coming back after the winter break with "ready" brains, and ready we were! We started with our new word study principle... "bully r" and generated quite a vocabulary list! Writing workshop was extremely productive, and friends shared the work they did on their stories in an effort to help show "what good writers do" during writing workshop! We worked on our projects a bit, and will finish our habitat research tomorrow. We'll celebrate our learning by sharing our projects Wednesday!
Today was a P.O.W! day in math, and students showed their thinking with pictures, words, numbers, and the answer! If you love cherry pie (the bigger the better), would your rather eat 1/3 of a pie, or 1/4 of a pie? Hmmmmm. Well done friends, and I wonder how much pie Mr. Merritt ate today (hee hee)?
I haven't included recent pictures as I've maxed out my picasa account (which holds my blog pictures) and am problem solving to remedy that!
Until then, check out the web site, I've added a great clip of one of our students sharing a chocolate river graph! Nice!
P.E. tomorrow, sneakers please!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friendship Pins, Sharing, and Double Digit Additon!

Greetings everyone! We sure have been busy in second grade! Many friends have lead some eventful morning meetings and our new math meeting helper has started her job this week as well! Celebrating the 100th day of school sure gave us lots to talk about at Monday's math meeting, and Rebecca handled it like a pro! Individual sharing has begun as well this week, and Charlie took a moment to share his rare and special collection of nickels. Charlie's become our resident coin expert and impressed us with a little history along with the collection. Valentines were shared by everyone in 2W, along with a special cheese and cracker snack! Thanks Mackenzie, everyone loved it! We also found ourselves in the "friendship pin" selling business. That's right, 2nd and 4th grade buddies have teamed up to create and market our beautiful little pins in hopes that we can send the proceeds to our Malawi pen pals. Our letters from our Malawi pen pals will arrive very soon, and we can't wait to see what they thought of our letters (that went out in November)! Students have created tons of pins on a couple of our "buddy-sessions" and had meetings about cost, value, publicity, posters, and our 4th grade buddy Ben even made a movie that we've run while selling our pins during lunch! Wow! Pretty inspiring to feel like you're making a contribution toward helping new found friends in Africa. Whatever we make will go a very long way toward helping build schools in Malawi! The feeling we get by being involved in service is priceless! We'll also be selling our pins and spreading the word about our global outreach project at the Polka dance, so come and check us out!
We've also stretched our double digit addition practice to include "carrying", also know as "regrouping" and "trading". Important to know your math facts when you have double digit addition, so keep working with those flash cards! We've also started a new work board in our morning literacy block, and have talked about how to get our work done independently and making "good choices" during work times! Very important! PE tomorrow... sneakers please.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Willy Wonka Day! 3 Violets, 3 Verucas, 3 Charlies, 3 Willy Wonkas, and 1 Mike T.V.!!

What a day! TJ started us off with a great morning meeting and we were off and running! We started our day writing riddles about what characters we were representing from Roald Dahl's story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Thinking about our character and using language to form clues that described our characters was challenging and fun, and lead to a great game of "Guess Who". Next, we played Wonka Bingo by answering challenging questions and creating bingo boards for our game. Everyone's a winner in Wonka Bingo, and got a big KISS from Ms. Worthley to prove it... chocolate Hershey Kiss, that is. We visited our library-media center where Ms. Kidder LOVED our costumes and shared her own love of this wonderful story with second grade! In the afternoon, we got ready for math... Wonka-style, with a chocolate river that ran straight through our math meeting area! That's right, a chocolate river, full of chocolaty goodness, ready for graphing! Each friend received a bag of chocolate from Wonka's chocolate river, and began sorting and counting the chocolaty data! Students completed their chocolate river graphs and were treated to a chocolaty snack as we watched the first part of the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version... please!) We ended our busy day in art with Ms. Lee (who, incidentally, supplied us with our soundtrack for today... tunes to the production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and we loved it)! What a great day! Nothing better than hearing students say... "Hey, is today over already???"... "I wish there was more left"..."Can tomorrow be Wonka day too?" Indeed, time flies when we're having fun, being challenged in innovative, thoughtful ways, and when creative juices re flowing! Well done second grade! Best Wonka Day ever!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wolly Wonka Day... tommorrow!

Greetings Wonka-lovers! Tomorrow we will watch Roald Dahl's characters come to life in 2W... straight from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Remember to dress as your favorite character, and let the fun begin! Lots of chocolaty surprises await as we begin fun Friday... Wonka-style!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sharing... Time... and 4th Grade Buddies!

Greetings Friends! 2W has been a very busy place this week, and that's just the way we like it! We began sharing (individually) this week, and started with Adan's great drawing, Olivia's amazing flexibility, Lannashia's puppy, T.J.'s very special handmade quilt, Makenzie's pet hamster, and Maya's treasured hand painted butterfly she's had since she was a baby! Wow! Great job everyone! Stopping our busy school day to listen to friends share meaningful treasures and talents is a great way to learn about each other! LOVE IT!
Adriana started our day with a great morning meeting... Oh Susanah, High five greeting, and the weekend song! Well done Adriana!
We practiced vocabulary with our contraction rule by using our words in sentences. TJ shared some great work as well, very thoughtful and well constructed sentences TJ! Nice job!
We continued learning about time, clocks, parts of a clock, and how it all works! With a world saturated in cell phone technology, students rarely look at and use clocks to stay on schedule. We're learning how to read analog (as well as digital) clocks, and how to measure the passing of time. Harder than it seems in a clockless world... but we're up for the challenge!
We also met with our 4th grade buddies and made more of our friendship pins to sell to our classmates in hopes of making money for our pen pals in Malawi! We've been working hard on the manufacturing piece, and had several "business meetings" with our buddies on negotiating a fair price, teams to sell our wares during lunch, and issuing press releases to make the public aware of our initiative! Can I just say, we LOVE working with our buddies, especially when the result is global outreach on behalf of helping our Malawi friends purchase useful tools which support their learning! We begin selling our friendship pins on Monday (Valentine's Day... how appropriate) during the lunch. We will also be selling our pins and sharing our outreach project with the community at the Polka Party! Come check us out and see what all the buzz is about!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Charlie's Meeting, and Habitat Research!

Greetings Thursday Thinkers! Imagine, we just spent one whole day in school, and it's winter! WOW! It was, indeed a great day, and I think we're all ready to get back into the swing of "back to back" school days! And did you notice we just might have the most beautiful winter wonderland right in our own back yard! Breathtaking!
Today, Charlie started us off with his morning meeting. We sang Sandwiches (aka: chickens), greeted each friend with Sponge Bob, and played the acting out game. Well done Charlie!
Our handwriting theme helped us review our spelling rule: turning singular noun words into plural words! Tricky when so many words have their own special rule... drop the y, add ies... add es... only add s... and all those irregular plurals! Yikes. We also reviewed the new school web site with second grade, and showed friends how to use the web site themselves. Ms. Worthley showed students how to find their 2W page, how to find the blog, and even how to "talk back" on the blog (uniquely designed for "talking back"... completely appropriate)! Give it a try friends!
We browsed some web sites in computers to find some information on our animal habitat research. Students learned how to search for information, and talked about how important it is to remember where our research comes from. We're extremely excited about this project, and will stretch our fact writing skills in a unique way with our final project!
Stay tuned for Willy Wonka Day announcements! We hope to have it next week, and want to make sure all our friends are here to partake in this special day! Stay tuned for "Sweetheart Polka" news, as there's more in-climate weather on the way for Saturday.
See you Friday friends!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowy Tuesday!!

Greetings Snowbunnies! We managed to squeeze in a half day of school, despite the wrath of Mother Natures abundance of snow!!! Lannashia started us off at her morning meeting with This Old Man, the ball toss greeting, and an awesome game of sparkle (LOVE that game)!! Well done Lannashia! Our handwriting theme was "snowy winter words", perfect day for that! We were able to learn about one more habitat, the woodland/forest habitat, before choosing our animals to research. Learning about a variety of habitats have helped us learn about research and the importance of understanding "facts" as scientific observers and learners. It's also helped to lay a lot of schema about how animals live and what they need before choosing what to research. And let's face it, it's been a blast comparing and contrasting different types of environments and adaptations needed to survive in different parts of the world!
We were also able to fit in some quiet reading this morning as well (while watching and wondering about all that snow coming down out our windows)!
We've just finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and in 2W that means Willy Wonka Day will happen very soon! Probably next week! This is usually a very exciting day where we arrive to school dressed as our favorite story book character, and have fun "candying" with the curriculum! No kidding, this day is super fun and still full of exciting academic challenges with a little of that Wonka charm and flavor mixed in! I'll send a "hard copy" note home notifying everyone of the official date... until then, keep thinking about how to surprise us with your rendition of an Oompa-loompa, gum-snapping Violet, overindulgent Augustus, spoiled-winey Veruca, wise-mouthed Mike TV, crazy old Grandpa Joe, mysterious Willy Wonka, or our hero, sweet-loving Charlie! Whoever you choose you need not spend money on costumes... remember, they're just kids, just like you, so be creative and have fun!!
Wondering about a snow day tomorrow? Hmmmm... please remember to read and keep up with your homework and math practice. Spend a little time with your flash cards too, just like we showed you in class! Happy snow day!!