Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Writing Summaries and Place Value!

Greetings Friends! What an energetic Wednesday it was today! Wow! Kaela started our day with the koosh toss greeting, the Chicken Lips song, and the clothespin game (doubles, our new favorite way to play)! Great job Kaela! We used our spelling words to reinforce our word study principle: consonant blends. We stretched our learning to include context (meaning), antonyms (opposites), and categorizing. We also took turns reading our spelling words in character (rock star, opera singer, army Sargent, angry parent, winy baby, you get it). FUN! In writing we read a very compelling story called Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka. We talked about the elements in the story (character, setting, plot, ending) and payed close attention to the two characters. We tried writing our very own summaries today, a first time for many. We all agreed, that we did a pretty good job for our first try, and will have a lot more practice writing summaries in second grade. Well done writers!
In the afternoon, we learned a new place value game called High, Low, Middle! Taking 3 cards from the deck, we arranged them in different places (yes, we put the "place" in place value) to make the highest number and the lowest number. We also stretched our thinking to come up with numbers in the middle... sometimes more than one, or two, or even 3 numbers were possible! Great mathematical thinking along with number sense and great practice! We'll do much more with place value and play many more games to reinforce our learning! Well done friends! We read the next chapter in Frindle and learned about a new character in the story, Mrs. Granger. We're not quite sure how we feel about her yet. We all agree she's strict (which can be good for helping you learn, according to Harrison), but she might seem a little mean (according to Julienne). We'll learn more tomorrow, as Mrs. Granger and Nick Allen get to know each other in class.
Our afternoon on work board was a little frenetic and maybe even chatty. We all agreed that we will put in more effort and try harder tomorrow, not only doing our work, but keeping our classroom a quiet, productive work place! Library tomorrow, remember to bring in your books so you can check out new ones!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dictionaries and Place Value with Money!!

Greetings "Tuesday Tacklers"! Jake started our day with the "Did you know?" greeting, This Little Light of Mine, and the double clothespin game! Great start Jake! Well done! Dictionaries dominated most of our word study fun today, and we looked up our spelling words, while practicing phonetic substitutions, and following (listening carefully) to our consonant blends to sort spelling words! Nice job, and great cooperative learning! We used our spelling words to practice writing some amazing 2nd grade sentences and had three friends share their work at the end of writing workshop. Lot's of "great work" from everyone today, well done writers! We studied Jan Brett books during reading, and talked about her very unique style when it comes to illustrating! Impressive!
In math we talked about adding tens, and took what we learned to play a new place value game using money! Partners dumped cups of dimes and pennies to add up numbers. After counting all the tens and ones, we stretched our learning to add 100, and take away 10! WOW! As if that wasn't enough, we finished it all off by sharing whether our number was odd or even! I must say, this new game even "blew Ms. Weinberger's socks off"! Outstanding job! We also took a moment to reflect on learning, and what learning truly looks like in second grade! Remember, you're NOT learning when you are always right, or when you're done. You ARE learning when you THINK, and make mistakes (and especially when your thinking helps you correct mistakes)! Now that's what I really call LEARNING!
We also started a new story in read aloud called Frindle by Andrew Clements. We're still split on whether we think main character Nick is a "trouble maker" or simply full of ideas... I guess we'll learn more, and form stronger opinions tomorrow. Can't wait!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Author's Tea and Welcome Harrison!

Thanks to all the parents and friends who joined us for our first Author's Tea (spooky stories). Students bravely stood in front a a full house and read stories they wrote during writers workshop in October. After proofing, editing, illustrating, we were prepared and ready for our audience! Well done second graders! After our celebration, we gathered in the classroom for some delicious light refreshments. Thanks parents, for all you're support and tasty treats! It's truly very validating when you show up in support of all our learning! Well done!
We also welcomed a new student into our classroom community, Harrison! Students wrote some very thoughtful empathetic letters to welcome our new friend to Sunderland. Can't wait to share this great class with you, Harrison! If you love to think, read, play, write, help, sing, and have fun, then you're definitely in the right class!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Feasting... Remembering and Celebrating American History!!

We set, we sang, we gathered with friends! We wished our feast would never end. Wonderful celebration, gathering together and remembering how we survived our first winter in New Plymouth. Much to give thanks for!