Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Counting Money and Conclusions!!!

Welcome back after a long weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!!!! Now that we're back, it was time to get back to work, and that meant starting with Jenaily's math meeting! Well done Jenaily! We reviewed some of the skills we learned in our money unit, and it was time to put these skills to good use! We played one of our favorite money counting games.... Heads and Tails! After dumping, sorting, and organizing our coins, it was time to count! Great skills practice before we begin some post-unit assessment. Well done friends, and fun too! In reading workshop we continued our reading and learning about nonfiction with another super interesting book.... "Extreme Insects"!! Very cool! We paid close attention to text features, and how they help deepen our understanding of a topic! In writing workshop, we crafted conclusions in our lab reports from last week! We had to think about our "question" and remember our "results" while we summarized what actually happened in our "trials"!! After some thoughtful reflection, we wrote about what happened, but also about what we WONDER....how we could take our thinking and reflection further!! I feel another scientific investigation in our very near future!!! Well done scientist, and nice job on our very first lab reports! So much more to come.... and I can't wait!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lab Reports and Sukhmann's Meetings!

If your name is Sukhmann... then you were extremely busy today in 2W!! Not only did Sukhmann start our day as the math meeting helper, counting money, calendar math, and counting days in school, but he was also our V.I.P! We learned even more about this extremely cool Dude, his family, friends, and what he misses in India! Next it was on to problem solving using the skills we learned counting money! Using language and understanding how to read and solve a problem, and determining what kind of skills we need to access to get the answer kept us very busy! We also had to show ALL OUR THINKING... using strategies like pictures, diagrams, labels, numbers and words! Well done problem solvers! As I said, Suk was very busy today, because right after math he was today's morning meeting helper and picked our greeting, game, and wrote his very own morning message! Well done Suk!! Next in reading workshop we continued with our nonfiction unit and read about our hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all about his work in the Civil Rights Movement. As Kelsey said, it is a sad story anytime you talk about Dr. King because of how his life and work ended so abruptly and far too soon! Well said Kelsey, very thoughtful reflection. We also wrote about our reading paying close attention to text features. Not only what they are and why they're important, but how they can help us understand a topic better! In writing workshop we are learning all about scientific writing with experiments and lab reports. Today we took our question and hypothesis and put put our procedure to work! This meant measuring how far our car traveled on the rug, and how far the car traveled on the floor! We paid close attention to detail and made sure to perform each trial exactly the same! Measuring with precision, we learned that our hypothesis was correct. The friction on the carpet was thought to slow down how far the car traveled, and the smooth surface on the floor made the car travel farther! Well done scientists! We love this new unit and can't wait to pose more questions and write about our learning using lab reports! No school Monday, Martin Luther King Day! Enjoy your day off and think about his incredible life and legacy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lab Reports and Nonfiction!!! Serious Business!

Greetings friends! There is so much going on in 2W this week, so, here we GO!! Many meetings have been conducted with precision and efficiency! Sukhmann has run some very productive math meetings, and Giorgia's morning meeting was great! She certainly didn't need my help, and had the whole kit-and-kaboodle under control! Right down to composing her very own morning message... with survey question... complete with venn diagram! Way to ROCK the morning meeting Giorgia, and thanks to every other second grade participant! Well done! In math we've continued learning about money! Counting money, writing money, coin equivalents, comparing money, and games with money! Words like: worth, value, decimal, dollar sign, amount, order, and of course the names of all the coins, are very important words to know! All our learning about how money works will prepare us for the goal of all this learning... problem solving with money!! More with money next week! In reading workshop we've worked with nonfiction and informational text, paying close attention to text features! Learning how text features can increase our understanding of a subject, and how to use text features to help us with our learning are all important goals in reading workshop. Using anchor charts and organizers help us with our learning and thinking! We're not only learning about a lot of interesting subjects in science, sports, social studies, history, animals, and habitats, but we're also learning what's important about writing nonfiction and why authors include things like text boxes, charts, graphs, maps, and headings in their writing! And, speaking of writing... nonfiction has also taken over writing workshop! Learning how to write lab reports and about the scientific process (and thinking, wondering like a scientist) is what our new unit is all about! Needless to say, we are all very excited about blending science and writing workshop into one learning extravaganza! Can't wait for experiments.... and writing all about it... with lab reports! Very exciting! We also had our winter concert with strings, band, recorders, and our very own chorus today! WOW!! What a treat! How great it is to have INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC back in our school!! Well done musicians! And what a great 2nd grade audience we were too!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nonfiction/Informational.... Reading and Writing!!

Sooo, after days, and days, and days of forgetting to bring in the magazines. You know, the food magazines that I've contributed to... in the true spirit of informational writing. After all of the "forgetting", my students finally let me "have it"!!! As in, reminders that are hard to miss! And, I must say, our introduction into nonfiction reading and writing has been met with a lot of success, enjoyment, and pleasure!!! So, finally... looking forward to sharing my magazines with you all! More nonfiction reading and informational writing to come! Can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Great Wednesday Friends!! It started with another Riley math meeting, and it was awesome! Way to go Riley! We also had a quick tutorial on double digit addition.... not in depth, but a quick lesson on "starting with the top, and adding the ones column"... much more on adding double digit numbers (with a true, foundational appreciation for place value will happen later). But, nothing bad happens when we learn some quick tricks in computation and adding numbers! We also continued our investigations using informational text (nonfiction) and read more books about animals, weather, the solar system, dinosaurs, snakes, and even cheer leading and soccer!! We stretched our learning about information text into writing workshop, and learned about a new kind of writing! Information writing! We practiced thinking about something, a topic, that we know/care about. Next, we thought about writing about it... informational writing! Organizing informational writing, and using all the writing strategies we've learned is where we're headed in writing workshop.... and it's exciting!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome Back... Finally!!!!

Greetings and Happy New Year! It felt great to finally be back in the swing of second grade... 2W style! Weather has been reeking havoc on our schedules, but we were ready when school finally started today! First things first, we LOVED our new room! Students found their new desk spots and love our new learning communities! We also felt like the room looked... bigger, COOL! Not to mention, our water fountain works and the sink is less temperamental! Awesome! Talk about a new beginning... we even loved our new reading workshop unit of study... Informational Text! With 2014, we welcome learning about text features and what informational text looks like and why we love it! We will also begin a new writing unit focusing on informational writing (non-fiction, of course)! We loved investigating a variety of informational text, ranging from topics like weather disasters, important historical figures (and athletes), to gardening, and castles! The range of topics are endless, and we are all very excited about this new unit of study! Reading is an important way we learn, and we will pay close attention to how these books are crafted. What's important to include and how does the author, writer decide what to include! I can't wait to jump into this new unit with this very enthusiastic group of second graders! We missed math today, due to the delay, so we will review our learning about money tomorrow with a new game, and continue our money unit in math! What a great day friends... it sure felt good to see everyone and start our new year together!