Monday, November 25, 2013

Getting Ready for our Feast!!

Second grade's been busy! With everything from math games, to learning about American History and the story of the first thanksgiving, to preparing for our very own feast! It all started with math, and Royal lead his very first math meeting, thanks to Kelsey who got it all ready first thing this morning! Great team work! Next, we used our math facts to solve problems with three addends... all while trying to get as close to 20 as possible! Not as easy as you think, and great practice with our math facts! Working in teams, partners helped each other keep track of cards, scores, and 3 numbers adding up to 20! Then we had to subtract the difference between the sum of our cards... and 20! Great work and excellent practice! Everyone agreed, sometimes you get good cards, and sometimes you don't... so every one wins when we use strategies! And that's exactly what we did! We also talked and learned more about Massachusetts number one crop, the cranberry! We learned how it's grown and how it's harvested. Then we took some fresh cranberries and made some cranberry sauce to get ready for our feast tomorrow! We especially loved joining our 2B neighbors... in true holiday style! Working together, learning together... and tomorrow... feasting together! We can't wait!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Solving Equations!!

Greetings Friends! Chan-Hee started our morning with his math meeting, then it was onto some serious equations! Solving BIG equations with big numbers requires strategies! And that's just what we learned... how to break down a big problem and tackle it one step at a time, while persevering through all the steps.... with precision... until we come to a solution! Using our 100 charts to anchor our thinking really helped too! Knowing how the base 10 system works, number patterns, and place value were also important skills in solving today's equations! Caroline lead one great morning meeting, with the song This Land is Your Land! This gave our writing community another opportunity to look at descriptive language and good writing... but in a SONG! Well done Caroline! Way to lead a great meeting, as well as a great learning opportunity! In reading workshop we got to choose our reading and added some non-fiction back into our reading choices! We also took some time to read more about American History and events surrounding the First Thanksgiving! This afternoon we practiced fluency, as we do every day. Learning all our math facts up to 20 (without fingers or number lines) is an end of year goal... so we practice... every day! We also talked more about "craft moves". Ways to make our writing better so readers feel like they're right there, in our story as it happens. We talked about 2 craft moves good writers use... adding metaphors and similes into our writing! Today writers tried some of these craft moves in their writing, and it was a lot of fun! As writers, we will continue to nurture our small moment stories with all our fancy craft moves, powerful words, and descriptive language! Just the way we like it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Counting and Meetings!

Greetings Friends! Today a great day of math games, meetings, and learning about history... specifically... the story about the first Thanksgiving!! It all started with math and counting, adding, and tallying up to 100! Roll A Square is a great game to help us practice and learn adding, combinations of tens and hundreds, and cooperative learning! And then, if that wasn't enough... we had some "curve ball" questions added into each turn making us think about combinations of ten, or addition, or subtraction, or adding parts to the whole!!! Like I said, we love this game for a reason!!! Great practice thinking in terms of our "base 10" system of numbers, and working with number patterns... and ALL while having fun playing a game! Ethan was today's meeting helper and he lead one very efficient and awesome meeting! Well done Ethan! Later, we read and learned about the First Thanksgiving! After listening to the many events leading to how the Pilgrims survived that first brutal winter in New Plymouth, we wrote about our learning! We remembered all the parts of this important story... the Mayflower part, the religious freedom part, the long hard surviving the first winter part, the first Thanksgiving part, and the Abraham Lincoln part!!! Lots of of American history wrapped up into one extremely important and significant story! We ended the day in writing workshop trying more "craft moves" and writing like Jane Yolen! Jenaily and Giorgia have some incredible small moment stories all planned out and ready to write! What will your small moment story be tomorrow?? Writing workshop... a writer's favorite time of day, and mine too! See you tomorrow writers! Can't wait for another day of fun and learning! Library is tomorrow... make sure to bring in borrowed books so you can get new ones!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ladies Day in 2W!!

While today was full of important meetings, reading fiction and learning about character development, writing about our thinking... it was also a day dominated by the Ladies of 2W!! And we LOVED it! First Giorgia ushered in her birthday with a celebratory read aloud of her favorite new fable, The Honest Woodcutter! A perfect story to help us understand how characters respond in a story and how that helps us infer what they are like... their character! Well done Giorgia, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SECOND GRADE LADY!!! We practiced skip counting by tens, and what happens you reach those important benchmark numbers... 100...200... and how to write numbers properly. But, back to the ladies... Stephanie lead her last fantastic math meeting of the week, and she was also today's V.I.P!!! Every Friday we "stop school" to sing with our second grade buddies in 2B, and to learn about some very important people in 2W... and today it was Stephanie! Great presentation Stephanie! Learning about how important your family is to you, and how you have awesome super powers in math (knowing and using strategies!!!) helped everyone really get to know you better! And that's why V.I.P. is so important! Have a great weekend everyone! See you all Monday... well rested and ready for learning!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Character Maps and Buddy Reading!

Howdy Friends! This has been a full busy week with a lot of meetings, writing, and reading more realistic fiction while taking a laser-close look at characters (what they are like, what they might be thinking, and how they react in a story)! So, let's start with meetings! Stephanie started our days this week with math meetings. She skillfully recited calendar math, days in school (while explaining place value... tens and ones), and lead some pretty big discussions on "mental math"! That's right! Mental math is when you use your head, your brain.... your noggin'!! You hold on to parts of numbers and problem solve... but ALL IN YOUR HEAD!! A very important skill, and we all practiced today with Chan-Hee's question... what's 336 + 336? I'm not sure Chan-Hee knew what he started... but it lead to a lot of thinking and talking about number sense... breaking numbers apart (expanding numbers), and working with the different parts (and value) of those numbers!! FUN! We also practiced fluency and remembered how important it is to pay attention to the operation (addition or subtraction), and to try... even if you're not sure about your answer! Our reward for all our practice in math... was... MORE MATH!!! Yesssss! Courtesy of our favorite math game: "I Have-Who Has"! Working in teams students had to listen to math questions and use "mental math" to solve problems and keep the game moving! Awesome job second graders! This was a game about math, but, also a game about cooperating with your partner, how to "help" your partner (without "taking over"), and how second graders can work in helpful ways (without answering for someone else, even if you can... being patient and letting people think through a problem)!!! Outstanding! Both Sukhman and Stephanie had morning meetings this week and did a great job! Greetings, games, and songs! The clothespin game was a favorite this week... looking at this picture... would you ever guess that Hunter was secretly wearing the clothespin (while others tried to spot it)? Awesome! In reading workshop we're learning how to think about characters and how they react/respond in a story. Paying close attention to what characters do can help us infer things about a story and what characters might be thinking (feeling)! Another very important skill, and we've just started learning how to take a close, careful, thoughtful look at characters and how a character can develop in a story! After quiet reading and writing about our reading, it was on to our favorite reading activity... buddy reading! Students worked together reading stories (mostly fiction) so we could practice our learning about character development! Reading with a buddy is like two of your favorite things... smooshed together... reading and friends!! I must say, I was very impressed at the level of thinking when we worked with our buddies. Students were able to listen to another point of view, and expand their thinking about characters!