Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Research and Expanded Number Strategies for Addition!

Howdy Friends! Things sure have been busy in 2W! Stephanie's been our math meeting helper this week, and has guided us through calendar math, days in school, in money, and today's number! Well done Stephanie! In math we've also learned lots of strategies for adding double and triple digit numbers! Our new strategy is to use what we know about expanding numbers! When you expand numbers into hundreds, tens, and ones, you can create a picture of the number in a more concrete way! Using this strategy, we can then add the hundreds, tens, and ones! Eventually, we will be able to do this in our head... mental math! In reading workshop we've taken our nonfiction reading standards, our research writing standards, and combined them into one awesome research project! Using research and collaboration we are building background knowledge and becoming experts on our topics! The research topics came right out of our district science curriculum: Earth, Moon, and Sun!! Soon we'll be ready to share all our learning and "expert words" along with creative illustrations with diagrams, labels, and all kind of nonfiction text features! Very exciting time to be learning in second grade! Well done friends!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dr. Suess, Guest Readers, and Algebraic Equations!!

If you're wondering how 2W's been going... it's been BUSY!!!! Just the way we like it! Friday was Read Across America Day, and we celebrated with some awesome guest readers! Rory, Grant, and Evan, all linebackers and scholars from Amherst College joined us in the morning for some Dr. Seuss fun!! We loved listening to these college boys read some of our favorite Seuss classics! They also shared a little about themselves... what their favorite stories were when they were our age, what it's like to play on a team, and how important reading is in their lives! They also talked about discipline, practice, and hard work... and the rewards that follow!! Each one had a favorite author and a favorite Seuss book as well! Great job and kudos to everyone who made this such a special day! Thing 1 and Thing 2 also made appearances, as did a variety of Seuss inspired characters throughout the day! Thanks to Mrs. Lemeshow and Ms. Kidder for making all the arrangements and coordinating all our guest readers! WE LOVED IT!!! While Seuss stole the show... we've also been working on problem solving and equations! Showing our thinking while solving problems is a very important skill! Knowing how to regroup numbers (composing and decomposing numbers), and turning ones into tens is the foundation for all of our problem solving strategies! We also took a close look at equations and figured out what the missing numbers were. Just like solving a puzzle! In reading workshop we jumped right back into reading groups with some very well deserved fiction and realistic fiction, and we loved it! We practiced writing about our reading (the second grade way) with lots of details and using important linking words, which always make our sentences better and full of important information! Next week... group projects! Reading workshop meets up with Science and second graders working together to research a topic, and report back on their learning! Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Research and Catapults!!

While not many things can top the splendor and whimsy of Willy Wonka Day... today was pretty awesome just the same! We started with math and learned how to add double digit numbers together! We had to play close attention to learn what happens when we write our adding the paper and pencil way, while keeping track of every time we "carry" tens into the tens column! After some practice, we tried some on our own! The quicker and easier you are with your math facts (fluency) the easier it is to learn and remember how to add and subtract numbers when they get bigger! We also celebrated our nonfiction writing unit with our animal research posters! Students read copies of books related to their topic, and became the expert on that animal! By sharing our learning, everyone learned a lot more about many animals, not just the animal they researched! We learned about extinct animals, wild animals, mammals, birds, reptiles, and MORE! After a little practice, each friend brought their poster to the front of the room and shared their learning! We were all quite surprised by many of the "fun facts", and life span of many of our animals! Awesome day friends! More research soon, but next time we will work in friends on a group project! Woohoo! This afternoon was pretty spectacular, and I am not exaggerating!! As we make our way through our catapult experiments, we must also remember to write about our thinking... like a scientist! Much of today was spent testing our catapults and writing details about our procedure! We actually had two procedures to write too! How to build the actual catapult, and then how to launch the ping pong balls and cotton balls! Using detail, labels, bullets and expert words helped the reader understand our process! Thanks to mentor author Robert today, for letting us take a close look at his lab report and inspire great scientific writing! More with catapults tomorrow!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Willy Wonka Day and Lab Reports!!

What happens after a second grade class finishes reading one of the best Roald Dahl full of adventures about a chocolate factory, Oompaloompas, 4 naughty children and one sweet wonderful boy? Why you get Willy Wonka Day... all day... in second grade! And it all started with our chocolate river in math!! Oh, no... not that chocolate river, that's Ms. B.! Along with some other characters posing as teachers.... heh, heh! Our chocolate river was full of all different kinds of chocolate data that we needed to sort, classify, and transfer onto our chocolate river bar graphs. We paid close attention to making our graphs neat, then used the data on the graph to answer some sweet, chocolatey questions!! When math starts in a chocolate river, you know it's going to be interesting! Our next adventure was the quest for our own golden tickets! That journey started with a scavenger hunt full of clues... leading to more clues... leading to yet more clues, which lead us to Nurse Jeannie and our Wonka bars!! Each, completed with a golden ticket for every second grader! Wow!! After that adventure, it was time for Grandpa Joe's math meeting! Well done Grandpa Joe... AKA Ben! Finally, it was time for every character's close up!! First up, all our Charlie Bucket's... the hero in our story! Next up, our one and only Veruca Salt, who I'm glad to say, is NOTHING like our sweet lovely Stephanie! Then it was time for our gum chewing Violets! We also had a number of Mike TVs today... along with Grandpa Joe! Finally, to round out our character profiles, we had the magnificent Mr. Willy Wonka!! And, let's not forget about our orange skinned, green haired friend, the hard working Ommpaloompa! Willy Wonka Day isn't just for kids, the teachers got into character too! Golden tickets, Wonka bars and chocolate rivers round out the group today! Last, this afternoon, it was all about nonfiction writing and new lab reports! Our new question and procedure will begin with catapults! That's right, today our task was to create a question that we would test using the scientific writing process... starting with building our very own catapults! And we're just getting started! More with catapults and "procedure writing" tomorrow! Wonka Day... HUGE success! Well done second grade!!