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!

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