Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween... already! October 31 came frightfully fast this year! So, today we decided to use some spooky creative ideas to inspire our writing workshop! First, we started with meetings! This week our math meetings were lead by Hunter! Hunter lead us through calendar math, counted days in school, and added money to all our important math meeting jobs! Well done Hunter! Riley lead a morning meeting and chose the challenging ball toss greeting! We also played the clothespin game and took a survey about Halloween using our handy venn diagram to collect our data! Nicely done Riley! We introduced skip counting in second grade, and learned how to count, but instead of counting by ones, we skip some numbers! Following skip counting patterns can be tricky, so we used our strategies to help us with our thinking (number lines, hundreds charts)! We also noticed all kinds of patterns, depending on what kind of skip counting we were doing and where we started our skip counting!! Robert brought a special spooky ghost treat for snack today to help get us in the mood for Halloween! Thanks Robert! We also tried some roasted pumpkin seeds that Ms. W. cooked up after carving pumpkins over the weekend, and they were salty and tasty! With all these half days, we decided to treat ourselves to a morning writing workshop, complete with spooky stories and ghostly characters, and unexpected surprises!! After reading some more of our own spooky stories, and paying close attention to how the authors created a spooky mood, we tried writing some spooky tales ourselves! We also talked about how much fun it is to read and write scary stories, especially when you know that you're in no real danger, but having fun getting excited... in a spooky, sort of scary way! Tomorrow is Friday... and a full day of learning! Can't wait! Thanks to all you wonderful parents who came in this week to conference about your student's learning! Each of your student's is working very hard in second grade, and I've loved meeting with each and every one of you! Thank you for supporting your child's learning in this way! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rounding and Realistic Fiction!!

New week and new work!! This week we started with new meeting helpers... Hunter began his first week as math meeting helper! Well done Ethan! Robert lead his first morning meeting today with the clothespin game, ball toss greeting, and Chicken Lips!! Well done Robert! In math we introduced learning about rounding to the nearest 10... and what it means to be "closer" to a benchmark ten. If you have 23 marbles... do you have "about" 20, or "about" 30? Understanding tens and place value are very important in understanding how to round numbers! We practiced what we learned using strategies like number lines and hundreds charts to see how close the numbers really are! In Reading workshop we introduced realistic fiction as a new genre or type of reading we enjoy! We though about what "realistic" means... then applied what we know about "fiction" and looked at some favorite stories to recognize what are some features in realistic fiction (and what was something else... fiction, non-fiction, biography). So many types of books to read, and so much interest in reading it all! Can't wait!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Howdy Friends! Another thoughtful Thursday full of activity... starting with another fabulous math meeting courtesy of Ben, our math meeting helper! Great job Ben! Then it was all about math, hundreds charts, number sense and looking closely at numbers (with greater than, and less than...)! Busy! Caroline held her first morning meeting and chose "mad libs" as her game, and she could barely get through it without literally cracking up. Our morning message was a "listening-repeating" message, and we worked on careful listening while making sense of what we hear! Now, that's a skill!! In reading workshop we worked on retelling our stories, and read more fables and folk tales! Might have been one of the best reading workshops, EVER!! 3 buttons... can I get a WOOP WOOP!! Excellent morning! Cooperative reading and learning together, quiet reading with thoughtful reflection on our retell, careful use of transition words to help us with our writing, and fluency practice with readers theaters! GREAT morning! Just the way we like it! We practiced our spelling rule... short o vowel sound, and payed close attention to phonics (sounds in words), word structure, and syllables!! Tomorrow will be our first spelling test with words we've worked with all week. In the afternoon we practiced our fluency and enthusiastically jumped, leaped, bounded into writing workshop! We reviewed our learning from yesterday (powerful words show powerful feelings), and learned how to reread our writing like detectives. We paid close attention to punctuation to make sure our stories made sense. We used our mentor text and author Jane Yolen to remember what great writers do... leads that hook the reader, powerful words, use punctuation, plan stories, and write and rewrite sentences! Outstanding job writers... another collective, "Awwwwwwwww!" is how writers felt about writing workshop ending today... and that's just the way we like it!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday's WOW Words!!

Howdy friends! While the rest of New England is growing beards, and getting ready for the World Series... featuring our beloved Red Sox... we were busy in second grade writing spectacular stories and solving story problems!!! We began with another great math meeting with Ben and were quickly diverted by our "lock-down" practice... otherwise known and the "hide and be quiet" game! We talked about how we were all safe, and that there was NO danger, but how we practice hiding to be prepared. Students did an amazing job today too! Well done! In math we solved story problems with a lot to think about! First, there were big numbers to consider, next, there was the actual question to consider, then we had to think of a strategy to show our thinking and solve our problem. And that's exactly what we did! We had a great time with Ms. Kidder comparing Stone Soup folk tales and checking out books! Then it was the moment we all have been waiting for... writing workshop! We have seriously developed into a productive, supportive, creative writing community, and we love our writing workshop! Today Ms. Lemeshow reviewed our learning from yesterday (about powerful leads and how to hook a reader in the beginning) and talked about "powerful words" and "powerful language"! We used mentor text from The Recess Queen to see how the writer used strong words to show emotion and strong feelings in the story! Then, we took our ideas and applied some powerful words to our own stories. Every writer was focused and "storytelling" using strategies we've learned! Some worked on planning a story with key words, some used talking in their story, and some used powerful words... straight out of today's lesson. Way to go writers! You know you have a budding writing community when it's time to go home and you break the news to a classroom full of students that: "Writing workshop is over for today"... and you get a collective: "Noooooooooo!!!!" from students! More tomorrow writers! PE tomorrow too... sneakers please.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Equations and Meetings!!

Greetings Friends! Another great start to a busy week! Ben lead the way with his very first math meeting, complete with calendar math, days in school, and money! Well done Ben! Next we reviewed what we learned about greater than > less than < , and equal to = then we used these symbols in equations! We also reviewed strategies for solving problems! Using strategies like number lines, pictures, and hundreds charts help us understand and express our thinking when solving problems! Especially when the problems get more complicated, and there are a lot of things to consider in finding a solution!! We will continue this kind of work all year, because, math is not just something we learn and practice every day in school, it helps us in our real lives!!! In reading workshop we continued reading fables and added some spooky Halloween stories to our quiet reading choices... and we loved it! We also practiced being word detectives and searched for short o vowel sounding words. This meant counting syllables, and finding words that rhyme, and writing our words in an organized way! Jack had his first morning meeting and chose to sing Chicken lips, the koosh greeting, and "this or that"! Well done Jack! Excellent meeting! In the afternoon, writing workshop was full and busy with tiny topic stories and learning how to "zoom in" and add details to our stories. We remembered how to "plan" a story (with key words on each page as we stretch our story out on many pages), and went back to add detail. Writers pay attention to life, like a magnifying glass pays attention to details. Developing as writers, and living a writers life is some of the most exciting and important work we do in second grade! Well done writers! Keep those stories coming!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fun Run and Fables!!

Another busy Thursday, starting with Giorgia's Math meeting! Next we remembered what we learned about place value and practice comparing numbers using important words and symbols... < less than.... > greater than.... and = equal to!! We paid close attention to digits in the ones place and in the tens place, and figured out the value of our numbers. There were some tricky questions that required some thinking and time... and more thinking... but that's how we learn! We also used strategies to solve problems! It's hard to solve a problem if you don't have a strategy to figure out what to do, so we talked about strategies, and today, using a number line was a very effective strategy! Well done friends! In reading workshop we worked more with fables and paid attention to characters and the moral of the fable! We were able to buddy read and interact with the text with highlighters, and then write about our thinking! We love working with our buddies, especially when the job is reading, thinking, and talking about our learning!! This afternoon we had our first "fun run"! this means we "stop" school to pay attention to our bodies, exercise, and health! And that's just what we did today! After assembling in the gym, we were let loose to run the track around SES! Students ran, walked, and even accompanied friends for a fun afternoon of fitness and healthy activity! Gotta love it when the entire school gets together for healthy, fitness and fun, and on one spectacular sunny day! Thanks to Nurse Jeannie and Ms. Gebo for organizing our afternoon of fun! And to Ms. Palmer for those delicious apples, courtesy of Clark's orchards... we LOVED THE APPLES!!!! Great day friends, fun Friday tomorrow!