Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Cleaning at the Sunderland Public Library!

Morning Meeting started off with a rousing version of This Land is Your Land, and the acting out game... way to start the day friends! We practiced writing all the names of the oceans we learned about in our "best handwriting" and even practiced writing all 7 continents as well! Writing workshop was full of more scientific writing! We played a guessing game... to see if our scientific observations included enough detail for friends to guess EXACTLY which flower we wrote about! Matching the photo of the flower with our drawings/observations really validated the importance of including detail in our writing! It was library days for 2W in more ways than one! We visited Ms. Kidder in our own SES Library, and after lunch, took a walking field trip to our Town's public library for some community service! We talked about the importance of community members helping to take care of our community... our town! As good citizens, we thought it might be nice if we offered to clean our library, and Sheila and Kelly loved the idea! They walked us into the children's room in our wonderful town library, and that's where we GOT BUSY!!!!! Students were shown where and how to help, we must have wiped just about every surface, every shelf, and every windowsill in sight! Outstanding job second graders! Sheila and Kelly were just as proud of you as I was... job WELL DONE!! On our walk we used compasses to point out cardinal directions along our journey! Emma taught us how to position/orient the compass ("red in the shed") and we noticed that we were heading south-east as we crossed the street and headed back to school! What a full, fun, busy Friday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Writing Like a Scientist and More With Maps!

Thoughtful Thursday Friends! It all started with Adan's morning meeting and the Chicken Lips Song, Koosh toss greeting, Hindi greeting, and a great game of Boppity Bop Bop Bop! Well done Adan! Great meeting! Next, in handwriting, we practiced writing our addresses in our neatest handwriting! Very important, as we were using real envelopes... the very vessel with which we will send our mystery-friend letters tomorrow! When you receive your letter at home, make sure you read it and think about who your mystery friend might be (and make sure you bring the letter in to school for a fun activity)!! Writing workshop was full of scientific observations in our bulb garden! Writing like a scientist is very different than writing like a fiction writer, or story writing! We looked carefully at our flowers and practiced writing about what we see, what we notice, what was similar and different about flowers in our garden! We were even surprised (like scientists often are) when we took a real close look at the critters who also enjoy hanging out in our garden! Caterpillars, bees, and bugs!! Well done scientists! More on that tomorrow!
In math Emma reviewed temperature and all the important vocabulary to help us understand this important concept in measurement! And if that wasn't enough... we followed with a great lesson on map keys and used our own maps to answer questions about cardinal directions! Remember, when reading a map, a great place to start is the map key... and then the whole map makes sense! We really developed a deeper understanding of how maps are a representation of the world around us! Well done second graders! Remember... tomorrow: walking field trip to Sunderland Public Library... comfortable shoes please (sneakers)!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Covered Wagons and Measuring Temperature!

Greetings Friends! Another warm, beautiful sunny day to be in second grade! Today Students worked on writing summaries with Emma's story Covered Wagons Bumpy Trails! Students focused on writing about the "who" (character/setting), "but" (story problem), "so" (solution), and "then" (outcome/conclusion). This funny, lyrical story showed us about a families journey (migration) out west to find land and work toward a better life for their family. They encountered many obstacles along the way and their journey was anything but easy! After many challenges, they found a valley perfect for their new home. There they built houses, and finally feeling safe and settled, they hunkered down for a good night's sleep! Great story to practice our summary writing skills! We also continued to map where our ancestors are from on our classroom map and made many more connections to our family histories, as well as mapping connections!
Later, in math, Emma introduced another important way we measure... temperature using thermometers! We made our very own thermometers and learned new vocabulary: degrees, Celsius, Fahrenheit, thermometer, and, of course, temperature! We used our thermometers to show where the mercury would be when it's warm, when it's hot, when it's winter, and when it's summer! Great practice and lots of fun!
Remember, we will be taking a walking field trip to the Sunderland Public Library on Friday after lunch. Sneakers would be the right choice for Friday's footwear! We will also introduce and use compasses along our journey and talk about cardinal directions (north, south, east, west). If anyone would like to donate a tube of wipes for our library visit, part of the mission is to help with "spring cleaning" in the Library's children's literature room. Looking forward to contributing toward making our library and our community clean and shiny! Remember... a clean library is a happy library (hee, hee)!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rebecca's Meeting, and Snacking by the Ounce!!

What a busy Tuesday Friends! Rebecca started us off with a great morning meeting, singing Sandwiches, the scarf toss greeting, and SPARKLE!! Great job Rebecca! Then it was on to handwriting with Emma's rule...continent words! Writing workshop was busy with more map/ancestor-writing. Learning about where our ancestors came from has been very interesting! We quickly noticed that many of us in the class have ancestors from Europe, along with other continents as well! Very interesting! Emma also introduced a new way to measure at snack today... with a scale! Learning how to measure using ounces and pounds, and noticing who had the heaviest snack, and the lightest snack. Comparing our snacks and their weight was a very concrete fun way to learn new vocabulary words! Emma also followed up with a review math lesson using cups, pints, quarts, and gallons and how to convert and compare all these different units of measure! Tricky... how many cups are in two quarts if 4 cups are in 2 pints (which equals one quart)? Lots of vocabulary, and lots of thinking! Hard work! Well done second graders! Can't wait to see the progress in our second grade bulb garden tomorrow!! Beautiful!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Welcome Back and Pouring Pints!!

Greetings and welcome back to school! Peter started our Monday with a great morning meeting! We talked a little about our vacations and talked about choosing one of many stories about our spring break, and writing that one story in writing workshop. Emma modeled how many activities and adventures she had, but eventually had to pick one, and write that story (instead of listing everything she did over the vacation). Harder than it may seem! Writers all shared their stories with each other in groups of two, taking care to point out what was clever, or what really worked in their stories! It was great to get back into Roald Dahl's Matilda! We listened, slightly horrified, to how the Trunchbull actually shot-putted one of her students by the pony tails! YIKES!! No worries... you'll never see a "choaky" at SES, much less students getting hurled into space by their pig tails!! Maya held her first math meeting followed by more with measurement! Emma stretched our learning to include important words like cup, quart, pint, and gallon today. Students investigated how all these terms relate to each other... how many cups in a quart... and so on. We used water and tools (cups, quarts, pints, a gallon) in small groups to test and measure volume and capacity for ourselves. We quickly reviewed the 7 continents, and will actually find and map the country and continent of our ancestors tomorrow! WOW!!
Another wonderful day second grade friends! I was particularly pleased with the level of good manners, participation, and respect shown to Emma, and each other, on her first day as teacher of 2W! Well done!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Spring! Back to School!

Greetings Friends! Hope your vacation wasn't too soggy and that you were able to relax and enjoy your friends and family! I can't wait to check out our bulb garden when we return to school! You know what they say... April showers bring May flowers! When we return, Emma our wonderful guest teacher from Mt. Holyoke College will begin her 2 weeks of master teaching, and wow, does she have some great things planned for our learning! Get ready for more hands-on fun with measuring tools, and spanning the globe with her mapping unit! Can't wait!!
Art's night was truly one memorable evening! The house was FULL, the band was READY, and the students REPRESENTED!! Check the link on the right for a recap of all the wonderful music, singing, and all our amazing student performances!!
Sunderland students were also recognized by the Daily Hampshire Gazette for our meaningful work with our Malawi pen pals! Check that link as well, and see for yourself how second graders can make a global impact and affect positive change! Well done second graders!