Saturday, May 4, 2019

The 100 Days of May!

Teachers always call this time of year the 100 days of May, and it certainly is starting to look like that in Room 16. Soon you will see a VERY messy room under rainforest construction! But... as you will also see, that is NOT all that's going on...

The kids are back to reading fiction. Every child at every level is reading a book that has strong characters. The key reading strategy we are using right now is making inferences about these characters as well as the plot based on evidence. The question I keep asking them after they talk about a character is “What makes you think that?” They are also learning that authors use punctuation to help create the voice we hear when we are reading. Being aware of that voice helps with the comprehension of the story in a deeper more meaningful way.  We are reading the book, Lulu Walks the Dogs as our mentor text to practice these reading skills and strategies together.

Basing predictions, ideas, and inferences on evidence, is a skill not only used for reading, but we use that same skill in science. For the last few weeks, our kids have been "Glue Engineers" working on designing a new glue. They decided that their glue needed to be both sticky and strong, but they each chose another specific design goal such as spreadable, dries clear, not runny, etc... They went through the entire design process several times: learn, plan, make, test and back to the whole process over again trying to get it right. They learned about different substances, by observing, reading (through the Handbook of Interesting Ingredients), and testing. They then wrote design arguments where they stated their claim about which substance would make a sticky, strong, and ? glue based on evidence from the design process. Yesterday, they designed their last two glues and made wood picture frames to test their glues. On Monday, we will see if they were successful. Being unsuccessful is A-Okay because that's what engineers go through all the time and they go back to the drawing board. We, unfortunately have to move on... next up: Biodiversity in the Rainforest!!! Wait till you see our room transform! 

As we finished our All About Books and celebrated yesterday with our friends in the other three 2nd Grade classes. Each student got to read their book aloud and enjoy praise from their peers for a job well done!

Last week was Earth Day and the kids wrote SUPER SWEET letters to Mother Earth letting her know how they feel about her.

The focus last week was on telling time. This is always one of the toughest concepts for 2nd graders to master. It takes A LOT of practice, so please have fun with this at home, too. We spent much of the week, learning about time as a unit of measurement and building their own paper analog clock. Now we are working to understand the difference between hours and minutes, the hour hand, the minute hand and how they work in tandem.

In the area of number sense our focus has been on understanding “balance problems.” A balance problem looks like this:
121 + 135 = __ +130
or  166 + __ =  220 + 11 
Kids are so used to seeing equations that look like this 21 + 5 = __ that they don’t understand the true meaning of the equal sign. Balance problems allow them to see that equations can be written in many ways, but the equal sign always means that one side is EQUAL to the other. We are also working on 3-digit addition and subtraction using mental math strategies.

Other important information:

•The You've Got Talent Speeches went SOOO well. You'd all be proud of your kids. Good News/Bad News though... I videoed each child giving their speech, however, I didn't realize until half the class had already given their speeches, that the sound wasn't working. Luckily I got it fixed for the second half. Not to worry, we will have one more speech before the end of the school year, and I will make sure I get it working just right for everyone. Those that did come out will be uploaded to Seesaw soon! Speech feedback will be in the Wednesday Folder.

•Thursday, May 16th at 2:10, the 2nd Graders at Edna will have their music performance in the Multipurpose Room. I hope you all can join us! 

•Friday, May 17th is our trip to the Academy of Sciences. We will be spending most of our time there in the Rainforest Biome. Kids should plan on bringing their lunches as we will have a picnic on the lawn in front of the museum when we are done. I can only take 5 parents, so I chose based on space in cars. If you haven't heard from me about driving/chaperoning, you are off the hook. However, if someone has to bow out, and you signed up on your child's permission slip, I still may give you a call.

•Thursday, June 6th is Open House. You won’t want to miss it!

•I will be needing some extra hands to help kids draw "life-sized" pictures of rainforest animals. The ODD numbered kids, will be drawing on Tuesday, May 14th. The EVENS will be drawing on May 21st. We will be doing this on both dates at 12:40. If you'd like to volunteer, shoot me an email letting me know which date you prefer. Your kids know if they are ODD of EVEN, so if you want to come while he/she is drawing just ask them. 

•Thanks to a grant from KIDDO!, we had our last cooking lesson with Chef Rosalie! We made a Waldorf Salad and Tomato Salsa! I will send a hard copy of the recipes in the Wednesday Folder. I can't tell you how much we ALL learned in these two day. Not only did they learn how to chop, mix and pinch, they learned about basic nutrition, the importance of clean hands and food safety. Thank you to Marisa Bradley and Tom Thacher for helping out! It was truly a wonderful experience for all of us. Keep the KIDDO! Donations coming! Enjoy these joyful faces!