Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Measurment, Maps and Globes!!

We've had the best couple of weeks with Miss Nelms at the helm!! It's been two great weeks of measurement, mapping, and reading group celebrations!! Let's take a look! Miss Nelms started her 2 week master teaching with units on measurement and geography! Yard sticks and maps and globes never looked so good!! Miss Nelms also filled our mornings of literacy with work board jobs that celebrated both spring, and maps and globes! Buddy reading measurement books helped introduce these new units to students! After reading with our buddies, we talked about what we already "know" and what we "want to know"! Highlighting important vocabulary help us learn all the terms we'd need to know when writing about what we measure. We also learned the difference between measuring "big" things... with yard sticks and meter sticks... and measuring "small" things using rulers and centimeters! Learning about measurement was an important opportunity to talk about and practice being "precise" and careful when using tools (rulers) to see how long, wide, tall, or short things are! After practicing with rulers, it was on to bigger and better tasks... so, off the the cafeteria with yardsticks and meter sticks! Using teamwork, students worked together to measure distance in a large space using our yardsticks and meter sticks! Team work is important when precision is important! And.... Work together we did! Rather well! Our dear friend, BG has also returned to his home in South Korea just prior to April vacation, and we wish him well! We will miss his enthusiastic laugh, his sweet smile, and his friendly demeanor in 2W! Along with measurement, Miss Nelms has taught 2W all about maps and globes. Using globes we located all 7 continents, all 5 oceans, and noticed important features of both maps and globes! Here David shows us how important a compass rose is when learning about cardinal directions on a map! We not only learned about directionality, but found some artistic flair when making our own compass roses! When remembering direction.... Never.... Eat.... Soggy... Waffles! Our way of remembering cardinal directions! Students also learned about estimating and making "smart guesses" when thinking about measurement and distance! Comparing maps and globes helped provide a deep understanding of both tools, and how they compare. So... cue venn diagram... compare we did! Using maps and globes we noticed how to best use each, comparing how they are alike, and how they differ! Amidst all the mapping and measuring, we also celebrated some important learning in our reading groups! After reading about spiders, Niko, Aine, and Trey shared their learning using maps... How appropriate! Each student completed a map of the United States, and created a map key for spiders and where they live in the United States! Every friend shared their maps, and talked about their learning, while also sharing where specific types of spiders live within the United States! Well done friends! What a wonderful couple of weeks it's been! While Miss Nelms has completed her work in 2W, we will remember her fondly and wonder what lucky schoolroom gets to share a classroom with her when she becomes a teacher!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

V.I.P... Bianca's in the Spotlight!

Today was Friday, and that means it's V.I.P. day! Bianca shares her stories... but, more on that later. The day started with reading groups and work board! Ethan shared his learning in his "fact book" about skunks! Each page had one carefully selected fact he learned from his reading! Well done Ethan! Georgia lead morning meeting with Apples and Bananas, and our new favorite greeting, "team work koosh toss"! Nice job Georgia! Ms. Nelms shared a very important letter that went home on Friday sharing details about her 2 week master teaching. Next week, Ms. Nelms is officially in charge! She has planned some amazing learning opportunities with some new units that everyone will love! She will take charge of the classroom all next week, and the week following April vacation. It was another half day, so we celebrated V.I.P. this morning with Bianca!! She shared ribbons the earned with her riding skills at the Tri-County Fair... As well as some detailed illustrations she made. Making it CLEAR, it is not a picture of her, because she IS NOT afraid of the forest! We also got a glimpse of family pictures, horses she's ridden, her pooch, and favorite books she's read! You could have heard a "pin drop" as Bianca shared her V.I.P. survey... and how she looks up to her grandmother because she sings so beautifully! Well done Bianca! Very well done!!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Base 10 System... Served Up 2nd Grade Style!

Another busy morning on work board... along with some delightful non fiction writers sharing their work from their reading groups! After reading some non fiction in reading groups, Bianca shared her learning in the form of a poster! Behold... Frogs! Their habitat, their habits, and what could endanger their environment! And she wasn't done there... NOT BY A LONG SHOT!! Bianca carried her learning from writing workshop into her reading group, and wrote her very first "All About Penguins" book! OUTSTANDING Bianca! Thanks to you, we learned a lot about frogs and penguins! And that wasn't all... Kirsten shared her research as well! One very colorful poster full of facts, detailed illustrations and evidence from the text to support her learning! Well done ladies! In math, we stretched our learning from yesterdays game, and practiced counting hundreds... all the way up to one thousand! And... BEHOLD... the base ten system! Right there, all orangey and ready for it's close up! Students compared tens to hundreds, and hundreds to thousands using our base 10 blocks! Thank you, base 10 blocks! Students worked within hundreds and kept track of "100 more" and "100 less". Next we had to think about what happens when you count to one thousand by hundreds, and show your thinking! Skip counting might be the easy part, but showing your thinking is also very important! And not as easy as it sounds. Including important vocabulary and using those words properly takes a lot of thinking! And that's what 2W is all about! We ended the day in library, followed by Bianca's morning meeting! Greeting friends WHILE Irish step dancing??? Who knew it could be so fun! Well done Bianca... you are one fabulous Irish step dancer (and I can't wait for you to teach me some of those sweet moves)!!! Half day, today. Tomorrow too. See you all at conferences tomorrow!